1 These are the words that Moses spoke to the assembly of Israel east of the Jordan River, in the Arabah desert, opposite Suph between Paran, Tophel, Laban, Hazeroth, and Di-zahab. 2 It takes eleven days to travel from Horeb to Kadesh-barnea via Mount Seir. 3 On the first day of the eleventh month, in the fortieth year, Moses spoke to the Israelis about everything that the LORD had commanded him concerning them. 4 This took place after he defeated Sihon, king of the Amorites, who lived in Heshbon and Og, king of Bashan, who lived in Ashtaroth at Edrei. 5 East of the Jordan River, in the land of Moab, Moses began to expound this Law:
6 "The LORD our God spoke to us in Horeb. He said, "You have been at this mountain long enough. 7 Break camp, get going, and proceed to the hill country of the Amorites and all the nearby places in the Arabah desert, the highlands, the foothills, the Negev, the coastal plains, all of the land of the Canaanites, and Lebanon as far as the great river, the Euphrates. 8 Look! I've given you the land that lies ahead. Go in and possess the land that I, the LORD, promised to give to your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as well as to their descendants.'"
9 "I also told you at that time that I won't be able to sustain you on my own. 10 The LORD your God greatly multiplied your numbers, and today you are like the stars in the sky. 11 May the LORD, the God of your ancestors, increase your numbers a thousand times more, and may he bless you, as he promised you. 12 How can I bear the burden of you and your bickering all by myself? 13 Choose for yourselves wise and discerning men, known to your tribes, and appoint them as your leaders.
15 So I chose leaders from your tribes, wise and respected men, and I appointed them over you commanders of thousands, hundreds, fifties, and tens. 16 I charged your judges at that time, "When you hold a hearing between brothers, judge fairly between a man and his brother or between foreigners. 17 When you hold a hearing, don't be partial in judgment toward the least important or toward the great. Never fear men, because judgment belongs to God. If the matter is difficult for you, bring it to me for a hearing.' 18 I charged you at that time that you must do all of these things."
19 "Then we set out from Horeb and walked through that vast and dreadful desert, where you observed the road to the Amorite hill country. Just as the LORD our God ordained for us, we finally arrived at Kadesh-barnea. 20 I told you at that time, "You have reached the hill country of the Amorites, which the LORD our God is about to give us. 21 Look! The LORD your God has given the land that lies before you. Go and possess it, just as the LORD God of your ancestors commanded you. Don't be afraid or discouraged.'
22 "Then all of you approached me and said: "Let's send out men in advance of us so they can survey the land and bring back a report to us on how we'll go up to their cities.' 23 Because this suggestion seemed good to me, I chose twelve men from among you, one from each tribe. 24 Then these men set out, went up to the hill county, reached the Eshcol Valley, and surveyed it. 25 They hand-picked some of the fruit of the land, brought it down to us, and gave a report that said, "The land which the LORD is about to give us is good.'"
26 "However, your ancestors didn't go up. Instead, they rebelled against the command of the LORD your God. 27 You murmured in your tents, "The LORD hates us. He brought us out of the land of Egypt in order to deliver us to the Amorites so he could destroy us. 28 Where can we go? Our brothers discouraged us when they said that the people are bigger and taller than we are. Their cities are tall and fortified to the sky, and we also saw the Anakim there.'
29 "Then I told you, "Don't be terrified or afraid of them. 30 The LORD your God is the One who will be going ahead of you. He'll fight for you just as he did in Egypt before your eyes. 31 In the desert you saw that the LORD carried you like a man carries his son, on every road you traveled until you reached this place.' 32 But despite this, you didn't trust in the LORD your God, 33 who walked ahead of you along the way to scout a place for you to pitch camp by fire at night and cloud by day to lead you on the way you should go."
34 "When the LORD heard your complaints, he became angry and declared, 35 "I swear that not one man of this evil generation will see the good land that I promised to give to your ancestors, 36 except Jephunneh's son Caleb. He will see it and I will give to him and to his descendants the land on which he has walked because he wholeheartedly followed the LORD.'
37 "The LORD was also furious with me because of you. He said: "You will not enter the land. 38 However, Nun's son Joshua, your assistant, will go there. Encourage him, for he will cause Israel to take possession of it. 39 Your little ones whom you said would be taken captive and your children who do not yet know right from wrong will enter the land. I will give it to them and they themselves will possess it. 40 But as for you, prepare to set out for the desert on the way to the Reed Sea.'
41 "You responded to me and said, "We have sinned against the LORD. We will now go up and fight according to what the LORD our God commanded.' So each man put on his weapon for battle and recklessly started out for the hill country."
42 "Then the LORD told me: "Tell them not to go up and fight because I will not be in their midst, or else you will be defeated before your enemies.' 43 "I spoke to you but you didn't listen. Instead you rebelled against the command of the LORD and went up to the hill country. 44 The Amorites who lived in the hill country came out to engage you in battle. They pursued you like bees do and crushed you from Seir to Hormah. 45 You returned and cried out in the LORD's presence, but the LORD didn't hear your voice or listen to you. 46 You remained in Kadesh for many days. It was a long time, indeed."