Journey to the Promise Land

Twelve Princes

Deu 1:20 And I said unto you, Ye are come unto the mountain of the Amorites, which the LORD our God doth give unto us.
Deu 1:21 Behold, the LORD thy God hath set the land before thee: go up and possess it, as the LORD God of thy fathers hath said unto thee; fear not, neither be discouraged.

Moses said to the people; here is your promised land, go in and possess it, "as the LORD God of thy fathers hath said unto thee; fear not, neither be discouraged."

A command, go in to your promise. God knew that satan would try to stop them in their thoughts, so He commanded them to not fear, neither be discouraged. Two negatives to avoid: fear and discouragement, these keep you bound. We are people of God's word through faith and belief in his commands.

Deu 1:22 And ye came near unto me every one of you, and said, We will send men before us, and they shall search us out the land, and bring us word again by what way we must go up, and into what cities we shall come.

Instead of just obeying God, the people had their own plan. God speaks a command, we should obey by faith.

Deu 1:23 And the saying pleased me well: and I took twelve men of you, one of a tribe:

Moses had been chosen by the LORD God of Israel to be the deliverer of his people. He was sent into Egypt to bring the Hebrew people, who had become slaves to the Pharaoh (king) of Egypt. Moses, with the presence of God with many signs and wonders led the people out of Egypt, through the Red Sea, that the LORD had opened up for perhaps three million people to pass through. The sea fell back on the horses and chariots of the Egyptians, who were sent to bring them back, by the Pharaoh who broke his promise. God never breaks his word. The LORD was leading His people to a promised land in Canaan.

Num 13:1 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
Num 13:2 Send thou men, that they may search the land of Canaan, which I give unto the children of Israel: of every tribe of their fathers shall ye send a man, every one a ruler among them.

The twelve tribes were near the land promised to them through Abraham. God allowed the people their request. He told Moses to pick leaders, princes, from each of the twelve tribes to spy out the land. as the people requested.

Num 13:3 And Moses by the commandment of the LORD sent them from the wilderness of Paran: all those men were heads of the children of Israel.

Moses did as the LORD God commanded him. He was a humble and obedient servant.

Num 12:6 And he said, Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, I the LORD will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream.
Num 12:7 My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all mine house.
Num 12:8 With him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of the LORD shall he behold: wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?

Num 13:4 And these were their names: of the tribe of Reuben, Shammua the son of Zaccur.
Num 13:5 Of the tribe of Simeon, Shaphat the son of Hori.
Num 13:6 Of the tribe of Judah, Caleb the son of Jephunneh.
Num 13:7 Of the tribe of Issachar, Igal the son of Joseph.
Num 13:8 Of the tribe of Ephraim, Oshea the son of Nun.
Num 13:9 Of the tribe of Benjamin, Palti the son of Raphu.
Num 13:10 Of the tribe of Zebulun, Gaddiel the son of Sodi.
Num 13:11 Of the tribe of Joseph, namely, of the tribe of Manasseh, Gaddi the son of Susi.
Num 13:12 Of the tribe of Dan, Ammiel the son of Gemalli.
Num 13:13 Of the tribe of Asher, Sethur the son of Michael.
Num 13:14 Of the tribe of Naphtali, Nahbi the son of Vophsi.
Num 13:15 Of the tribe of Gad, Geuel the son of Machi.
Num 13:16 These are the names of the men which Moses sent to spy out the land. And Moses called Oshea the son of Nun Jehoshua.

Moses changed the name Oshea, meaning "salvation," to Jehoshua; the LORD is my salvation. Joshua, this is the same name in the Hebrew for Jesus.

Spies Sent

Num 13:17 And Moses sent them to spy out the land of Canaan, and said unto them, Get you up this way southward, and go up into the mountain:
Num 13:18 And see the land, what it is; and the people that dwelleth therein, whether they be strong or weak, few or many;
Num 13:19 And what the land is that they dwell in, whether it be good or bad; and what cities they be that they dwell in, whether in tents, or in strong holds;
Num 13:20 And what the land is, whether it be fat or lean, whether there be wood therein, or not. And be ye of good courage, and bring of the fruit of the land. Now the time was the time of the firstripe grapes.

The grapes would be ripe for picking from September to October.

Moses had been told at the beginning about the land;

Exo 3:7 And the LORD said, I have surely seen the affliction of my people which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows;
Exo 3:8 And I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto a good land and a large, unto a land flowing with milk and honey; unto the place of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites.

It was a good land, flowing with milk and honey and inhabited by several tribes of people. This land flowing with milk and honey was mentioned at least 20 times in the Bible. This is the land God has for you, go into it. They were showing unbelief by first wanting to spy the land. God permitted them to do this, against his first command to go in and posses the land.


Num 13:21 So they went up, and searched the land from the wilderness of Zin unto Rehob, as men come to Hamath.
Num 13:22 And they ascended by the south, and came unto Hebron; where Ahiman, Sheshai, and Talmai, the children of Anak, were. (Now Hebron was built seven years before Zoan in Egypt.)

Moses tells this story, comparing the age of Hebron to Zoan in Egypt. He having been taught the history of Egypt. Only Moses would have known this detail. He had been an adopted prince of Egypt, before he fled to the desert for forty years. Forty is the time of trials and testing. Moses was eighty when he was called by God from the burning bush. Perhaps he had felt he was no longer of use to God after such a long wait as a shepherd in the wilderness. God wasn't through with him, nor is he through with you. The LORD called Moses to deliver God's covenant people, to the promised land. The callings and purpose of God, may take time to be realized. At this time the purpose appeared to be fulfilled. The people had reached the outskirts of the promise land and the twelve princes were gathering information about the land of milk and honey. Was it as good as God had told Moses?

Num 13:23 And they came unto the brook of Eshcol, and cut down from thence a branch with one cluster of grapes, and they bare it between two upon a staff; and they brought of the pomegranates, and of the figs.

One cluster of grapes was so big that it had to be carried by two men on a staff! There were also pomegranates and figs. Pomegranates have many seeds, and became a symbol for the covenant given to Abraham and Sarah.

Gen 22:17 That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies;
Gen 22:18 And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.

Num 13:24 The place was called the brook Eshcol, because of the cluster of grapes which the children of Israel cut down from thence.

Eschol, means cluster, the brook place was named after the large cluster of grapes which came from there. The land indeed was fertile, producing a bountiful harvest.

Mostly a Bad report

Num 13:25 And they returned from searching of the land after forty days.

They returned after forty days, the time of testing. Jesus was in the wilderness fasting for forty days and then was tested of the devil. Would the spies come back with a good report? Would they remember that God had promised them this land?

Num 13:26 And they went and came to Moses, and to Aaron, and to all the congregation of the children of Israel, unto the wilderness of Paran, to Kadesh; and brought back word unto them, and unto all the congregation, and showed them the fruit of the land.
Num 13:27 And they told him, and said, We came unto the land whither thou sentest us, and surely it floweth with milk and honey; and this is the fruit of it.

The fruit of the land was good, as God had said. God had also said that there would be several tribes of people in the land.

Num 13:28 Nevertheless the people be strong that dwell in the land, and the cities are walled, and very great: and moreover we saw the children of Anak there.

They saw that the people appeared to be strong, the walls of the city were high, fortresses, and there were giants in the land. They reported what their natural eyes had seen and perceived to be true. Had they forgotten what God had told them?

Deu 1:21 Behold, the LORD thy God hath set the land before thee: go up and possess it, as the LORD God of thy fathers hath said unto thee; fear not, neither be discouraged.

Num 13:29 The Amalekites dwell in the land of the south: and the Hittites, and the Jebusites, and the Amorites, dwell in the mountains: and the Canaanites dwell by the sea, and by the coast of Jordan.

The Amalekites, in the south, were descendants of Esau, who sold his birthright for a bowl of stew. The Hittites, descendants of Heth, a Canaanite. They inhabited Turkey and northern Lebanon. The Jebusites were descendants of Canaan, inhabiting the area now called Jerusalem. Jebus was an early name for Jerusalem. The Amorites inhabited east Canaan and beyond the Jordan. The Cananites dwelt by the Mediterranean Sea.

Num 13:30 And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it.

Caleb was a man of faith, he believed God's command to go up and possess the land, to not fear or be discouraged. Satan binds us with fear and discouragement. Too many are overcome and look upon themselves as unable to do God's commands. Yes, we of ourselves are unable, but God is able! He will fulfill his promise. Some just need more of him, we are weak and he is strong. Ask him for his strength by His Spirit.

Luke 11:13 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?

Num 13:31 But the men that went up with him said, We be not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we.

Negative words of defeat, we should not speak unbelief, for we are according to our words and testimony.

Num 13:32 And they brought up an evil report of the land which they had searched unto the children of Israel, saying, The land, through which we have gone to search it, is a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it are men of a great stature.
Num 13:33 And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.

Giants, the sons of Anak, and we in our own eyes are grasshoppers. They saw with defeated eyes, slave eyes. To whom you obey you become their slaves. These were natural men, defeated in spirit, not having the Holy Spirit of God. If we have the Holy Spirit, we have the power of God to do his will.

Rom 8:15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

Heb 2:14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;
Heb 2:15 And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

Gal 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.

Fear not the giants of defeat and discouragement that so often stand in our way. Do not fear, trust God, he is your strength. Go forth into your inheritance as beloved children of God.

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