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Nu 13:1-33. THE NAMES OF THE MEN WHO WERE SENT TO SEARCH THE LAND.
1, 2. The Lord spake unto Moses, Send thou men, that they may search the land, of Canaan--Compare De 1:22, whence it appears, that while the proposal of delegating confidential men from each tribe to explore the land of Canaan emanated from the people who petitioned for it, the measure received the special sanction of God, who granted their request at once as a trial, and a punishment of their distrust.
17. Get you up this way . . . , and go up into the mountain--Mount Seir (De 1:2), which lay directly from Sinai across the wilderness of Paran, in a northeasterly direction into the southern parts of the promised land.
20. Now the time was the time of the first grapes--This was in August, when the first clusters are gathered. The second are gathered in September, and the third in October. The spies' absence for a period of forty days determines the grapes they brought from Eshcol to have been of the second period.
21-24. So they . . . searched the land--They advanced from south to
north, reconnoitering the whole land.
22. unto Hebron--situated in the heart of the mountains of Judah, in
the southern extremity of Palestine. The town or "cities of Hebron," as
it is expressed in the Hebrew, consists of a number of sheikdoms
distinct from each other, standing at the foot of one of those hills
that form a bowl round and enclose it. "The children of Anak" mentioned
in this verse seem to have been also chiefs of townships; and this
coincidence of polity, existing in ages so distant from each other, is
Hebron (Kirjath Arba,
was one of the oldest cities in the world.
23. they came unto the brook of Eshcol--that is, "the torrent of the
cluster." Its location was a little to the southwest of Hebron. The
valley and its sloping hills are still covered with vineyards, the
character of whose fruit corresponds to its ancient celebrity.
26. they came . . . to Kadesh--an important encampment of the Israelites. But its exact situation is not definitely known, nor is it determined whether it is the same or a different place from Kadesh-barnea. It is supposed to be identical with Ain-el-Weibeh, a famous spring on the eastern side of the desert [ROBINSON], or also with Petra [STANLEY].
27, 28. they told him, and said, We came unto the land whither thou sentest us, and surely it floweth with milk and honey--The report was given publicly in the audience of the people, and it was artfully arranged to begin their narrative with commendations of the natural fertility of the country in order that their subsequent slanders might the more readily receive credit.
29. The Amalekites dwell in the land of the south--Their territory
lay between the Dead and the Red Seas, skirting the borders of Canaan.
32. a land that eateth up the inhabitants--that is, an unhealthy
climate and country. Jewish writers say that in the course of their
travels they saw a great many funerals, vast numbers of the Canaanites
being cut off at that time, in the providence of God, by a plague or
33. there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak--The name is derived
from the son of Arba, a great man among the Arabians
who probably obtained his appellation from wearing a splendid collar or
chain round his neck, as the word imports. The epithet "giant"
evidently refers here to stature. (See on
And it is probable the Anakims were a distinguished family, or perhaps
a select body of warriors, chosen for their extraordinary size.