1 And all the congregation lifted up their voice, and cried; and the people wept that night.#1: The whole congregation cried (you'd think Alderaan had blown up or something).
2 And all the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron: and the whole congregation said unto them, Would God that we had died in the land of Egypt! or would God we had died in this wilderness!
3 And wherefore hath the LORD brought us unto this land, to fall by the sword, that our wives and our children should be a prey? were it not better for us to return into Egypt?
4 And they said one to another, Let us make a captain, and let us return into Egypt.
5 Then Moses and Aaron fell on their faces before all the assembly of the congregation of the children of Israel.
6 And Joshua the son of Nun, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, which were of them that searched the land, rent their clothes:
7 And they spake unto all the company of the children of Israel, saying, The land, which we passed through to search it, is an exceeding good land.
8 If the LORD delight in us, then he will bring us into this land, and give it us; a land which floweth with milk and honey.
9 Only rebel not ye against the LORD, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defence is departed from them, and the LORD is with us: fear them not.
10 But all the congregation bade stone them with stones. And the glory of the LORD appeared in the tabernacle of the congregation before all the children of Israel.
11 And the LORD said unto Moses, How long will this people provoke me? and how long will it be ere they believe me, for all the signs which I have shewed among them?
12 I will smite them with the pestilence, and disinherit them, and will make of thee a greater nation and mightier than they.
13 And Moses said unto the LORD, Then the Egyptians shall hear it, (for thou broughtest up this people in thy might from among them;)
14 And they will tell it to the inhabitants of this land: for they have heard that thou LORD art among this people, that thou LORD art seen face to face, and that thy cloud standeth over them, and that thou goest before them, by day time in a pillar of a cloud, and in a pillar of fire by night.
15 Now if thou shalt kill all this people as one man, then the nations which have heard the fame of thee will speak, saying,
16 Because the LORD was not able to bring this people into the land which he sware unto them, therefore he hath slain them in the wilderness.
17 And now, I beseech thee, let the power of my LORD be great, according as thou hast spoken, saying,
18 The LORD is longsuffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation.
19 Pardon, I beseech thee, the iniquity of this people according unto the greatness of thy mercy, and as thou hast forgiven this people, from Egypt even until now.
20 And the LORD said, I have pardoned according to thy word:
21 But as truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD.
22 Because all those men which have seen my glory, and my miracles, which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have tempted me now these ten times, and have not hearkened to my voice;
23 Surely they shall not see the land which I sware unto their fathers, neither shall any of them that provoked me see it:
24 But my servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him, and hath followed me fully, him will I bring into the land whereinto he went; and his seed shall possess it.
25 (Now the Amalekites and the Canaanites dwelt in the valley.) Tomorrow turn you, and get you into the wilderness by the way of the Red sea.
26 And the LORD spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying,
27 How long shall I bear with this evil congregation, which murmur against me? I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel, which they murmur against me.
28 Say unto them, As truly as I live, saith the LORD, as ye have spoken in mine ears, so will I do to you:
29 Your carcases shall fall in this wilderness; and all that were numbered of you, according to your whole number, from twenty years old and upward which have murmured against me.
30 Doubtless ye shall not come into the land, concerning which I sware to make you dwell therein, save Caleb the son of Jephunneh, and Joshua the son of Nun.
31 But your little ones, which ye said should be a prey, them will I bring in, and they shall know the land which ye have despised.
32 But as for you, your carcases, they shall fall in this wilderness.
33 And your children shall wander in the wilderness forty years, and bear your whoredoms, until your carcases be wasted in the wilderness.
34 After the number of the days in which ye searched the land, even forty days, each day for a year, shall ye bear your iniquities, even forty years, and ye shall know my breach of promise.
35 I the LORD have said, I will surely do it unto all this evil congregation, that are gathered together against me: in this wilderness they shall be consumed, and there they shall die.
36 And the men, which Moses sent to search the land, who returned, and made all the congregation to murmur against him, by bringing up a slander upon the land,
37 Even those men that did bring up the evil report upon the land, died by the plague before the LORD.
38 But Joshua the son of Nun, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, which were of the men that went to search the land, lived still.
39 And Moses told these sayings unto all the children of Israel: and the people mourned greatly.
40 And they rose up early in the morning, and gat them up into the top of the mountain, saying, Lo, we be here, and will go up unto the place which the LORD hath promised: for we have sinned.
41 And Moses said, Wherefore now do ye transgress the commandment of the LORD? but it shall not prosper.
42 Go not up, for the LORD is not among you; that ye be not smitten before your enemies.
43 For the Amalekites and the Canaanites are there before you, and ye shall fall by the sword: because ye are turned away from the LORD, therefore the LORD will not be with you.
44 But they presumed to go up unto the hill top: nevertheless the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and Moses, departed not out of the camp.
45 Then the Amalekites came down, and the Canaanites which dwelt in that hill, and smote them, and discomfited them, even unto Hormah
#2: The Israelites "murmured against Moses and against Aaron" and wished they'd all died in Egypt or right there in the wilderness.
#3: Why, they ask, did God bring them here to be killed in battle and for their families to be vulnerable. Shouldn't they all just go back to Egypt?
#4: And they decided to name a captain to lead them back home. (Just wonderin': how do two million people in the wilderness pull off a vote like that? Was Diebold around back then?)
#5: "Moses and Aaron fell on their faces before all the assembly of the congregation of the children of Israel." (That's gotta leave a mark.)
#6: Joshua and Caleb tore their clothes.
#7: And they told the Israelites that the land they spied was "an exceeding good land."
#8: If, they continued, "the LORD delight in us, then he will bring us into this land, and give it us; a land which floweth with milk and honey."
#9: Don't rebel against YHWH, they urged, and don't fear the people whose land you're about to steal. We'll eat them like bread. God has rendered them defenseless. Don't fear them.
#10: The Israelites decide to stone them (is "them" Moe and Double-A or the raiment-ripping spies?). "And the glory of the LORD appeared in the tabernacle of the congregation before all the children of Israel."
#11: YHWH, who hadn't been threatened with any stones, decides it's all about Him. "And the LORD said unto Moses, How long will this people provoke me? and how long will it be ere they believe me, for all the signs which I have shewed among them?"
#12: The Lord, previewing the "turn the other cheek" philosophy I understand we'll hear from his son, says: "I will smite them with the pestilence, and disinherit them, and will make of thee a greater nation and mightier than they." (I.e., we had to infest and infect the villager in order to save them.)
#13: Timid, tongue-tied ol' Moses, twists God's arm once again: "Then the Egyptians shall hear it..."
#14: They'll tell the land's current occupants, who know about our close connection to you...
#15: If you kill all the Israelites, those designated enemies will say...
#16: "Because the LORD was not able to bring this people into the land which he sware unto them, therefore he hath slain them in the wilderness." (I'm not sure why that's a great defense: don't kill your chosen people, because what will the heathens say?)
#17: Moses begs God, "let the power of my LORD be great, according as thou hast spoken, saying..."
#18: ... that you are longsuffering and merciful... but "by no means clearing the guilty," as you'll do the right thing and punish the next four generations for the sins of their forefathers. (Sounds reasonable.)
#19: Please, Moses asks, pardon the Israelites.
#20: And YHWH relents.
#21: He says, "as truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD."
#22: Because the Israelites, whom He's shown His glory and His miracles "have tempted me now these ten times" and still don't listen to me...
#23: They won't get to the promised land.
#24: "But my servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him, and hath followed me fully, him will I bring into the land whereinto he went; and his seed shall possess it."
#25: Parenthetically we are reminded that "Amalekites and the Canaanites dwelt in the valley." But tomorrow, God says, "get you into the wilderness by the way of the Red sea."
#26. Yahweh tells (or asks, really) Moses and Aaron...
#27: "How long shall I bear with this evil congregation, which murmur against me? I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel, which they murmur against me." (Speaking of captains, this Yaweh fellow is starting to sound like Philip Francis Queeg.)
#28: Tell them, God says, that...
#29: "Your carcases shall fall in this wilderness," all of you twenty and older "which have murmured against me." (Hooray! God loves us!)
#30: "Doubtless ye shall not come into the land, except for Caleb and Joshua.
#31: Your kids, though, will "know the land which ye have despised."
#32: But, again "your carcases... shall fall in this wilderness." (Just in case He hadn't been clear on that part.)
#33: "And your children shall wander in the wilderness forty years, and bear your whoredoms, until your carcases be wasted in the wilderness." (Just like we used to say, never trust anyone over 20. And haven't they served one of those 40 years in Nowheresville already? Nope, 40 more years, it seems, suffering their parents' "whoredoms" and waiting for their carcasses to rot. This all could have gone so much more quickly if someone had invented Soylent Green.)
#34: The 40 years is one year of payback for each of the forty days of God-ordained spying on God-ordained victims, which culminated in "breach of promise" when the chickenshit spies exaggerated the strength of the targeted peoples.
#35: "I will surely do it unto all this evil congregation," says the loving Creator, "in this wilderness they shall be consumed, and there they shall die."
#36: Moses' spies, who caused the murmurs with their "slander upon the land..."
#37: They "died by the plague before the LORD."
#38: But Josh and Caleb lived.
#39: Moses told the Israelites, and they "mourned greatly." (I think they're supposed to go, "It's good you're gonna do that, Lord. It's real good.")
#40: They got up early and went to the top of the mountain, saying that they've sinned... and that they'll head to the promised land (instead of rotting in the wilderness, as the Good Lord intended).
#41: Moses asked them why they "transgress the commandment of the LORD," when it can't possibly succeed.
#42: Moses tells them not to do it, as they'll be struck down by their enemies.
#43 The Amalekites and Canaanites will slay the Israelites, he says, because the latter have "turned away from the LORD," and thus the Lord won't be with them.
#44: But up they went, while Moses and the Ark of the Covenant stayed put.
#45: And, sure as