Leaders explore the land of Canaan

The Lord spoke to Moses: Send out men to explore the land of Canaan, which I’m giving to the Israelites. Send one man from each ancestral tribe, each a chief among them. So Moses sent them out from the Paran desert according to the Lord’s command. All the men were leaders among the Israelites. These are their names:
from the tribe of Reuben, Shammua, Zaccur’s son;

from the tribe of Simeon, Shaphat, Hori’s son;

from the tribe of Judah, Caleb, Jephunneh’s son;

from the tribe of Issachar, Igal, Joseph’s son;

from the tribe of Ephraim, Hoshea, Nun’s son;

from the tribe of Benjamin, Palti, Raphu’s son;

10 from the tribe of Zebulun, Gaddiel, Sodi’s son;

11 from the tribe of Joseph:

from the tribe of Manasseh, Gaddi, Susi’s son;

12 from the tribe of Dan, Ammiel, Gemalli’s son;

13 from the tribe of Asher, Sethur, Michael’s son;

14 from the tribe of Naphtali, Nahbi, Vophsi’s son;

15 from the tribe of Gad, Geuel, Machi’s son.

16 These are the names of the men whom Moses sent out to explore the land. Moses changed the name of Hoshea, Nun’s son, to Joshua.

17 When Moses sent them out to explore the land of Canaan, he said to them, “Go up there into the arid southern plain and into the mountains. 18 You must inspect the land. What is it like? Are the people who live in it strong or weak, few or many? 19 Is the land in which they live good or bad? Are the towns in which they live camps or fortresses? 20 Is the land rich or poor? Are there trees in it or not? Be courageous and bring back the land’s fruit.” It was the season of the first ripe grapes.

21 They went up and explored the land from the Zin desert to Rehob, near Lebo-hamath. 22 They went up into the arid southern plain and entered Hebron, where Ahiman, Sheshai, and Talmai, the descendants of the Anakites, lived. (Hebron was built seven years before Tanis[a] in Egypt.) 23 Then they entered the Cluster[b] ravine, cut down from there a branch with one cluster of grapes, and carried it on a pole between them. They also took pomegranates and figs. 24 That place was called the Cluster ravine because of the cluster of grapes that the Israelites cut down from there.

Report about the land of Canaan

25 They returned from exploring the land after forty days. 26 They went directly to Moses, Aaron, and the entire Israelite community in the Paran desert at Kadesh. They brought back a report to them and to the entire community and showed them the land’s fruit. 27 Then they gave their report: “We entered the land to which you sent us. It’s actually full of milk and honey, and this is its fruit. 28 There are, however, powerful people who live in the land. The cities have huge fortifications. And we even saw the descendants of the Anakites there. 29 The Amalekites live in the land of the arid southern plain; the Hittites, Jebusites, and Amorites live in the mountains; and the Canaanites live by the sea and along the Jordan.”

30 Now Caleb calmed the people before Moses and said, “We must go up and take possession of it, because we are more than able to do it.”

31 But the men who went up with him said, “We can’t go up against the people because they are stronger than we.” 32 They started a rumor about the land that they had explored, telling the Israelites, “The land that we crossed over to explore is a land that devours its residents. All the people we saw in it are huge men. 33 We saw there the Nephilim (the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim). We saw ourselves as grasshoppers, and that’s how we appeared to them.”


  1. Numbers 13:22 Heb Zoan
  2. Numbers 13:23 Or cluster of grapes