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The People Rebel...
Then all the congregation lifted up their voices and cried, and the people wept that night.
And all the children of Yisra'el grumbled against Mosheh and against Aharon, and all the congregation said to them, 'If only we had died in the land of Mitsrayim! Or if only we had died in this wilderness!
'And why is YHWH bringing us to this land to fall by the sword, that our wives and children should become a prey? Would it not be better for us to turn back to Mitsrayim?'
And they said to each other, 'Let us appoint a leader, and let us turn back to Mitsrayim.'
Then Mosheh and Aharon fell on their faces before all the assembly of the congregation of the children of Yisra'el.
And Yehoshua son of Nun, and Kaleb son of Yephunneh, who were among those who had spied out the land, tore their garments,
and they spoke to all the congregation of the children of Yisra'el, saying, 'The land we passed through to spy out is an exceedingly good land.
'If YHWH has delighted in us, then He shall bring us into this land and give it to us, 'a land which is flowing with milk and honey.'
'Only, do not rebel against YHWH, nor fear the people of the land, for they are our bread. Their defence has turned away from them, and YHWH is with us. Do not fear them.'
But all the congregation said to stone them with stones. Then the esteem of YHWH appeared in the Tent of Meeting before all the children of Yisra'el.
And YHWH said to Mosheh, 'How long shall I be scorned by these people? And how long shall I not be trusted by them, with all the signs which I have done in their midst?
'Let Me smite them with the pestilence and disinherit them, and make of you a nation greater and mightier than they.'
And Mosheh said to YHWH, 'Then the Mitsrites shall hear it, for by Your power You brought these people up from their midst,
and they shall say to the inhabitants of this land they have heard that You, YHWH, are in the midst of these people, that You, YHWH, are seen eye to eye and that Your cloud stands above them, and You go before them in a column of cloud by day and in a column of fire by night.
'Now if You shall kill these people as one man, then the nations which have heard of Your report shall speak, saying,
'Because YHWH was not able to bring this people to the land which He swore to give them, therefore He killed them in the wilderness.'
'And now, I pray, let the power of YHWH be great, as You have spoken, saying,
' YHWH is patient and of great kindness, forgiving crookedness and transgression, but by no means leaving unpunished; visiting the crookedness of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation.'
'Please forgive the crookedness of this people, according to the greatness of Your kindness, as You have forgiven this people, from Mitsrayim even until now.'
And YHWH said, 'I shall forgive, according to your word,
but truly, as I live and all the earth is filled with the esteem of YHWH,
for none of these men who have seen My esteem and the signs which I did in Mitsrayim and in the wilderness, and have tried Me now these ten times, and have disobeyed My voice,
shall see the land of which I swore to their fathers, nor any of those who scorned Me see it.
'But My servant Kaleb, because he has a different spirit in him and has followed Me completely, I shall bring into the land where he went, and his seed shall inherit it.
'Since the Amaleqites and the Kena'anites are dwelling in the valley, turn back tomorrow and set out into the wilderness by the Way of the Sea of Reeds.'
And YHWH spoke to Mosheh, and to Aharon, saying,
'How long shall this evil congregation have this grumbling against Me? I have heard the grumblings which the children of Yisra'el are grumbling against Me.
'Say to them, 'As I live,' declares YHWH, 'as you have spoken in My hearing, so I do to you:
'The carcasses of you who have grumbled against Me are going to fall in this wilderness, all of you who were registered, according to your entire number, from twenty years old and above.
'None of you except Kaleb son of Yephunneh, and Yehoshua son of Nun, shall enter the land which I swore I would make you dwell in.
'But your little ones, whom you said would become a prey, I shall bring in, and they shall know the land which you have rejected.
'But as for you, your carcasses are going to fall in this wilderness.
'And your sons shall be wanderers in the wilderness forty years, and shall bear your whorings, until your carcasses are consumed in the wilderness.
'According to the number of the days in which you spied out the land, forty days - a day for a year, a day for a year - you are to bear your crookednesses forty years, and you shall know My breaking off.
'I am YHWH, I have spoken, I shall do this to all this evil congregation who are meeting against Me: In this wilderness they are consumed, and there they die.''
And the men whom Mosheh sent to spy out the land, who returned and made all the congregation grumble against him by bringing an evil report of the land,
even those men who brought the evil report about the land, died by the plague before YHWH.
Of those men who went to spy out the land, only Yehoshua son of Nun, and Kaleb son of Yephunneh remained alive.
And when Mosheh spoke these words to all the children of Yisra'el, the people mourned greatly.
And they rose up early in the morning and went up to the top of the mountain, saying, 'See, we have indeed sinned, but we shall go up to the place which YHWH had spoken of!'
But Mosheh said, 'Why do you now transgress the command of YHWH, since it does not prosper?
'Do not go up, lest you be smitten by your enemies, for YHWH is not in your midst.
'Because the Amaleqites and the Kena'anites are there before you, and you shall fall by the sword. Because you have turned away from YHWH, YHWH is not with you.'
But they presumed to go up to the mountaintop, but neither the ark of the covenant of YHWH nor Mosheh left the camp.
So the Amaleqites and the Kena'anites who dwelt in that mountain came down and smote them, and beat them down, even to Hormah.