Numbers Chapter 14 : Easy-to-Read Version  | SearchSearch | Next Version | Previous Page | Next Page |

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The People Complain Again

14 That night all the people in the camp began yelling loudly. 2The people of Israel complained against Moses and Aaron. All the people came together and said to Moses and Aaron, “We should have died in Egypt or in the desert. {That would have been better than being killed in this new land.} 3Did the Lord bring us to this new land to be killed in war? The enemy will kill us and take our wives and children! It would be better for us to go back to Egypt.” 4Then the people said to each other, “Let’s choose another leader and go back to Egypt.” 5Moses and Aaron bowed low to the ground in front of all the people gathered there. 6Joshua and Caleb became very upset. (Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh were two of the men who explored the land.) 7These two men said to all of the people of Israel gathered there, “The land that we saw is very good. 8It is a land filled with many good things.* And if the Lord is pleased with us, then he will lead us into that land. And the Lord will give that land to us! 9So don’t turn against the Lord! Don’t be afraid of the people in that land. We can defeat them. They have no protection, nothing to keep them safe. But we have the Lord with us. So don’t be afraid!” 10All of the people began talking about killing Joshua and Caleb with stones. But the Glory of the Lord* appeared over the Meeting Tent* where all the people could see it. 11The Lord spoke to Moses. He said, “How long will these people continue to turn against me? They show that they don’t trust me. They show that they don’t believe in my power. They refuse to believe me, even after I have shown them many powerful signs. I have done many great things among them. 12I will kill them all with a terrible sickness. I will destroy them, and I will use you to make another nation. And your nation will be greater and stronger than these people.” 13Then Moses said to the Lord, “If you do that, the Egyptians will hear about it! They know that you used your great power to bring your people out of Egypt. 14And the people of Egypt told the people in Canaan about it. They already know you are the Lord. They know that you are with your people. They know that the people saw you. Those people know about the special cloud. They know you use the cloud to lead your people during the day. And they know the cloud becomes a fire to lead your people at night. 15So you must not kill these people now. If you kill them, then all the nations that have heard about your power will say, 16‘The Lord was not able to bring these people into the land he promised them. So the Lord killed them in the desert.’ 17“So now, Master, show your strength! Show it the way you said you would! 18You said, ‘The Lord is slow to become angry. The Lord is full of great love. The Lord forgives* people who are guilty and break the law. But the Lord always punishes people who are guilty. The Lord punishes those people, and he also punishes their children, their grandchildren, and even their great grandchildren for those bad things!’* 19Now, show your great love to these people. Forgive their sin. Forgive them the same way you have been forgiving them since the time they left Egypt until now.” 20The Lord answered, “Yes, I will forgive the people like you asked. 21But, I tell you the truth. As surely as I live and as surely as my power fills the whole earth, I make you this promise! 22None of the people I led out of Egypt will ever see the land of Canaan. Those people saw my glory and the great signs that I did in Egypt. And they saw the great things that I did in the desert. But they disobeyed me and tested me ten times. 23I made a promise to their ancestors.* I promised that I would give them that land. But none of these people who turned against me will ever enter that land! 24But my servant Caleb was different. He follows me completely. So I will bring him into the land that he has already seen. And his people will get that land. 25The Amalekite and the Canaanite people are living in the valley. So tomorrow you must leave this place. Go back to the desert on the road to the Red Sea.”

The Lord Punishes the People

26The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, 27“How long will these bad people continue to complain against me? I have heard their complaints and their griping. 28So tell them, ‘The Lord says that he will surely do all those things to you that you complained about. This is what will happen to you: 29You will die in this desert. Every person who is 20 years old or older and was counted as one of my people will die. You complained against me, the Lord. 30So none of you will ever enter and live in the land that I promised to give you. Only Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun will enter that land. 31You were afraid and complained that your enemies in that new land would take your children away from you. But I tell you that I will bring those children into the land. They will enjoy the things that you refused to accept. 32As for you people, you will die in this desert. 33“Your children will be shepherds here in the desert for 40 years. They will suffer because you were not faithful to me. They must suffer until all of you lie dead in the desert. 34For 40 years you will suffer for your sins. (That is one year for each of the 40 days that the men explored the land.) You will know that it is a terrible thing for me to be against you. 35“I am the Lord, and I have spoken. And I promise that I will do these things to all of these evil people. These people have come together against me. So they will all die here in this desert.” 36Those men that Moses sent to explore the new land were the ones that came back and spread complaining among all the Israelite people. Those men said that the people were not strong enough to enter that land. 37Those men were responsible for spreading the trouble among the Israelite people. So the Lord caused a sickness to kill all of those men. 38But Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh were among the men that were sent out to explore the land. And the Lord saved those two men. They did not get the sickness that caused the other ten men to die.

The People Try to Go into Canaan

39Moses told all these things to the Israelite people. The people were very, very sad. 40Early the next morning the people started to go up to the high hill country. The people said, “We have sinned. We are sorry that we did not trust the Lord. We will go to the place that the Lord promised.” 41But Moses said, “Why are you not obeying the Lord’s command? You will not be successful! 42Don’t go into that land. The Lord is not with you so your enemies will easily defeat you. 43The Amalekite people and Canaanite people will fight against you there. You have turned away from the Lord. So he will not be with you when you fight them. And you will all be killed in battle.” 44But the people did not believe Moses. They went toward the high hill country. But Moses and the Box of the Lord’s Agreement* did not go with the people. 45The Amalekite people and the Canaanite people living in the hill country came down and attacked the people of Israel. The Amalekites and the Canaanites easily defeated them and chased them all the way to Hormah.

filled with many good things Literally, “flowing with milk and honey.” Glory of the Lord One of the forms God used when he appeared to people. Here this might be a bright, shining light, or it might be the tall cloud. Meeting Tent The Holy Tent (tabernacle) where the people of Israel went to meet with God. forgives Or, “spares.” But the Lord … bad things Or, “The Lord credits the guilt of the fathers to their children and grandchildren, to the third and fourth generation.” ancestors Literally, “fathers,” meaning a person’s parents, grandparents, and all the people they are descended from. Box of the Lord’s Agreement Holy Box or ark of the Covenant,” the box containing the flat stones with the Ten Commandments written on them. These were proof of the Agreement between God and the people of Israel.

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