Old Testament

Numbers 13
Scouting Canaan
131The Lord spoke to Moses: 2“Send men to scout the land of Canaan, which I myself am giving to the Israelites. You are to send one man from each ancestral tribe, each one a tribal chief among the people of Israel.”
3Moses sent them from the Wilderness of Paran according to the Lord's command. All of these men were heads of the Israelites. 4These were their names:
From the tribe of Reuben, Shammua son of Zakkur.
5From the tribe of Simeon, Shaphat son of Hori.
6From the tribe of Judah, Caleb son of Jephunneh.
7From the tribe of Issachar, Igal son of Joseph.
8From the tribe of Ephraim, Hoshea son of Nun.
9From the tribe of Benjamin, Palti son of Raphu.
10From the tribe of Zebulun, Gaddiel son of Sodi.
11From the tribe of Joseph, that is, from the tribe of Manasseh, Gaddi son of Susi.
12From the tribe of Dan, Ammiel son of Gemalli.
13From the tribe of Asher, Sethur son of Michael.
14From the tribe of Naphtali, Nahbi son of Vophsi.
15From the tribe of Gad, Geuel son of Machi.
16These were the names of the men whom Moses sent to scout the land. Moses renamed Hoshea son of Nun “Joshua.”[]
17Moses sent them to scout the land of Canaan and said to them, “Go up this way through the Negev[] and go up into the hill country.[] 18See what the land is like. See if the people who live in the land are strong or weak. See if they are few or many. 19See if the land that they live in is good or bad. See what kind of cities they live in. See if the cities are camps or fortified places. 20See what the land is like. See if the land is fertile or poor. See if there are trees in the land or not. Be courageous and bring back some of the fruit of the land.” This happened at the season of the first ripe grapes.
21So they went up and scouted the land from the Wilderness of Zin to Rehob, toward Lebo Hamath. 22They went up through the Negev and came to Hebron. Ahiman, Sheshai, and Talmai, the descendants of Anak, were there. (Hebron had been built seven years before Zoan in Egypt.) 23The scouts came to the Valley of Eshcol, and there they cut down a branch with one cluster of grapes. They carried it on a pole between two men, along with some pomegranates and figs. 24They named that place the Valley of Eshcol,[] because of the cluster which the Israelites had cut down from there. 25At the end of forty days, they returned from scouting the land.
The Report About Canaan
26They came back to Moses, Aaron, and the entire community of the Israelites at Kadesh in the Wilderness of Paran. They brought back a report to them and to the entire community. They showed them some of the fruit of the land. 27They reported to him and said, “We went to the land where you sent us. It really does flow with milk and honey, and here is its fruit. 28However, the people who live in the land are strong, and the cities are fortified and very large. We also saw the descendants of Anak there. 29The Amalekites are living in the land of the Negev. The Hittites, the Jebusites, and the Amorites are living in the hill country. The Canaanites are living by the sea and along the Jordan.”
30Then Caleb quieted the people before Moses and said, “We should go up now and take possession of it, because we can certainly conquer it!”
31But the men who had gone up with Caleb said, “We are not able to go up against the people, because they are stronger than we are.” 32So they spread a negative report to the Israelites about the land that they had scouted. They said, “The land that we explored and scouted is a land that eats up its inhabitants. All the people we saw in the land were huge. 33We saw there the Nephilim[] (the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim). In our own eyes we seemed like grasshoppers. We seemed like grasshoppers in their eyes too.”


  • 13:16 Hoshea means he saves. Joshua means the Lord saves.
  • 13:17 The Negev is the arid and semi-arid region south of the hill country of Judah.
  • 13:17 Literally the mountain. The translation retains the traditional rendering hill country for the highland regions of Israel.
  • 13:24 Eshcol means cluster.
  • 13:33 Nephilim is simply a transliteration of the Hebrew word. Its meaning is uncertain. There cannot be any direct connection with the Nephilim in Genesis 6.