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Day 62 – Spies Sent to Canaan

Thoughts and Reflection

As we read these two chapters (Numbers and Deuteronomy) we need to remember that Numbers is telling the story of the Israelis in real-time. Deuteronomy is recalling the same story but in the past tense as Moses is telling the same story some 40 years later. Today we see family strife between Moses and Aaron over Moses’ wife Miriam. We aren’t sure what is causing this family strife but since she is speaking poorly of Moses, God afflicts her with leprosy as a punishment. This brought the family together and both Aaron and Moses pray for Miriam.

Spies are sent out to scout out the land in Canaan and they came across fortified cities. They come back frightened since they don’t know how to fight. You will recall they have spent their lives as slaves in Egypt and they don’t know how to fight. This only shows the Israelites still do not trust God even though he has set them free from Egypt and has provided for them. Moses reminds the Israelites what God had done for them and to trust him.

About This Project

For the year 2022, I decided that my New Year’s Resolution was to read the whole Bible following the Bible in the Year plan presented by Fr. Mike Schmitz. It is a big and bold undertaking. You can follow along by subscribing. Feel free to look at previous day’s post and comment. It’s something we can all learn from together!

Daily Readings

Numbers 12

1 Miriam, and Aaron too, criticised Moses over the Cushite woman he had married. He had indeed married a Cushite woman.

2 They said, ‘Is Moses the only one through whom Yahweh has spoken? Has he not spoken through us too?’ Yahweh heard this.

3 Now Moses was extremely humble, the humblest man on earth.

4 Suddenly Yahweh said to Moses, Aaron and Miriam, ‘Come out, all three of you, to the Tent of Meeting.’ They went, all three of them,

5 and Yahweh descended in a pillar of cloud and stood at the entrance of the Tent. He called Aaron and Miriam and they both came forward.

6 Yahweh said: Listen to my words! if there is a prophet among you, I reveal myself to him in a vision, I speak to him in a dream.

7 Not so with my servant Moses; to him my whole household is entrusted;

8 to him I speak face to face, plainly and not in riddles, and he sees Yahweh’s form. How, then, could you dare to criticise my servant Moses?

9 Yahweh’s anger was aroused by them. He went away,

10 and as soon as the cloud left the Tent, there was Miriam covered with a virulent skin-disease, white as snow! Aaron turned to look at her and saw that she had contracted a virulent skin-disease.

11 Aaron said to Moses: ‘Oh, my Lord, please do not punish us for the sin we have been foolish enough to commit.

12 Do not let her be like some monster with its flesh half eaten away when it leaves its mother’s womb!’

13 Moses pleaded with Yahweh. ‘O God,’ he said, ‘I beg you, please heal her!’

14 Yahweh then said to Moses, ‘If her father had done no more than spit in her face, would she not be unclean for seven days? Have her shut out of the camp for seven days, and then have her brought in again.’

15 Miriam was shut out of the camp for seven days. The people did not set out until she returned.

16 Then the people moved on from Hazeroth and pitched camp in the desert of Paran.

Numbers 13

1 Yahweh spoke to Moses and said,

2 ‘Send out men, one from each tribe, to reconnoitre the land of Canaan which I am giving the Israelites. Each of them is to be a leading man of the tribe.’

3 At Yahweh’s order, Moses sent them from the desert of Paran. All of them were leading men of Israel.

4 These were their names: For the tribe of Reuben, Shammua son of Zaccur:

5 for the tribe of Simeon, Shaphat son of Hori;

6 for the tribe of Judah, Caleb son of Jephunneh;

7 for the tribe of of Issachar, Igal son of Joseph;

8 for the tribe of Ephraim, Hoshea son of Nun;

9 for the tribe of Benjamin, Palti son of Raphu;

10 for the tribe of Zebulun, Gaddiel son of Sodi;

11 for the tribe of Joseph, for the tribe of Manasseh, Gaddi son of Susi;

12 for the tribe of Dan, Ammiel son of Gemalli;

13 for the tribe of Asher, Sethur son of Michael;

14 for the tribe of Naphtali, Nahbi son of Vophsi;

15 for the tribe of Gad, Geuel son of Machi.

16 Such were the names of the men whom Moses sent to reconnoitre the country. Moses then gave Hoshea son of Nun the name Joshua.

17 Moses sent them to reconnoitre the land of Canaan, ‘Go up into the Negeb,’ he said, ‘then go up into the highlands.

18 See what sort of country it is, and what sort of people the inhabitants are, whether they are strong or weak, few or many,

19 what sort of land they live on, whether it is good or poor; what sort of towns they live in, whether they are open or fortified;

20 what sort of land it is, fertile or barren, wooded or open. Be bold, and bring back some of the country’s produce.’ It was the season for early grapes.

21 They went up and reconnoitred the country from the desert of Zin to Rehob, the Pass of Hamath.

22 They went up by way of the Negeb as far as Hebron, where Ahiman, Sheshai and Talmai, the Anakim, lived. (Hebron was founded seven years before Tanis in Egypt.)

23 Reaching the Vale of Eshcol, there they lopped off a vine branch with a cluster of grapes, which two of them carried away on a pole, as well as pomegranates and figs.

24 This place was called the Vale of Eshcol after the cluster which the Israelites cut there.

25 After forty days they returned from reconnoitring the country.

26 Making their way to Moses, Aaron and the whole community of Israel, in the desert of Paran, at Kadesh, they made their report to them and the whole community, and displayed the country’s produce.

27 This was the report they gave: ‘We made our way into the country where you sent us. It does indeed flow with milk and honey; here is what it produces.

28 At the same time, its inhabitants are a powerful people; the towns are fortified and very big; yes, and we saw the Anakim there.

29 The Amalekites occupy the Negeb area, the Hittites, Jebusites and Amorites the highlands, and the Canaanites the sea coast and the banks of the Jordan.’

30 Caleb called the people round Moses to silence and then said, ‘We must march in immediately and take it; we are certainly able to conquer it.’

31 But the men who had been with him said, ‘We cannot attack these people; they are stronger than we are.’

32 And they began disparaging to the Israelites the country they had reconnoitred, saying, ‘The country we have been to reconnoitre is a country that devours its inhabitants. All the people we saw there were of enormous size.

33 We saw giants there too (the Anakim, descended from the Giants). We felt like grasshoppers, and so we seemed to them.’

Deuteronomy 11

1 ‘You must love Yahweh your God and always keep his observances, his laws, his customs, his commandments.

2 You are the ones who have had the experience, not your children. They have not had the experience, they have not witnessed the lessons of Yahweh your God, his greatness, his mighty hand and his outstretched arm,

3 the signs and the deeds which he performed in the heart of Egypt, against Pharaoh king of Egypt and his entire country,

4 what he did to the armies of Egypt, to their horses and their chariots, by overwhelming them with the waters of the Sea of Reeds when they were pursuing you, and leaving no trace of them to this day;

5 what he did for you in the desert, until you arrived here;

6 what he did to Dathan and Abiram the sons of Eliab the Reubenite, when, with all Israel standing round, the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them, with their families, their tents and all their supporters.

7 All these great deeds of Yahweh you have seen with your own eyes.

8 ‘You must keep all the commandments which I enjoin on you today, so that you may have the strength to conquer the country into which you are about to cross, to take possession of it,

9 and so that you may live long in the country which Yahweh promised on oath to bestow on your ancestors and their descendants, a country flowing with milk and honey.

10 ‘For the country which you are about to enter and make your own is not like the country of Egypt from which you have come, where, having done your sowing, you had to water the seed by foot, as though in a vegetable garden.

11 No, the country which you are about to enter and make your own, is a country of hills and valleys watered by the rain of heaven.

12 Yahweh your God looks after this country, the eyes of Yahweh your God are always on it, from the beginning of the year to the end.

13 Depend on it: if you faithfully obey the commandments I enjoin on you today, loving Yahweh your God and serving him with all your heart and all your soul,

14 I shall give your country rain at the right time, rain in autumn, rain in spring, so that you can harvest your wheat, your new wine and your oil.

15 I shall provide grass in the fields for your cattle, and you will eat to your heart’s content.

16 Beware of letting your heart be seduced: if you go astray, serve other gods and bow down to them,

17 Yahweh’s anger will be kindled against you, he will shut the heavens, there will be no more rain, the soil will not yield its produce and, in the fine country given you by Yahweh, you will quickly perish.

18 ‘Let these words of mine remain in your heart and in your soul; fasten them on your hand as a sign and on your forehead as a headband.

19 Teach them to your children, and keep on telling them, when you are sitting at home, when you are out and about, when you are lyingdown and when you are standing up.

20 Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates,

21 so that you and your children may live long in the country which Yahweh swore to your ancestors that he would give them for as long as there is a sky above the earth.

22 ‘For if you faithfully keep and observe all these commandments that I enjoin on you today, loving Yahweh your God, following all his ways and holding fast to him,

23 Yahweh will dispossess all these nations before you, and you will dispossess nations greater and more powerful than yourselves.

24 Wherever the sole of your foot treads will be yours; your territory will run from the desert all the way to the Lebanon; and from the River, from the River Euphrates, as far as the Western Sea, will be your territory.

25 No one will be able to resist you; Yahweh your God will make you feared and dreaded throughout the territory you tread, as he has promised you.

26 ‘Today, look, I am offering you a blessing and a curse:

27 a blessing, if you obey the commandments of Yahweh your God which I enjoin on you today;

28 a curse, if you disobey the commandments of Yahweh your God and leave the way which today I have marked out for you, by following other gods hitherto unknown to you.

29 And when Yahweh your God has brought you into the country which you are about to enter and make your own, you must set the blessing on Mount Gerizim and the curse on Mount Ebal.

30 (These mountains, as everyone knows, are on the other side of the Jordan on the westward road, in the territory of the Canaanites who live in the Arabah, opposite Gilgal, near the Oak of Moreh.)

31 For you are about to cross the Jordan, to enter and take possession of the country given you by Yahweh your God. You will possess it, you will live in it,

32 and you must keep and observe all the laws and customs promulgated by me to you today.’

Psalm 94

1 God of vengeance, Yahweh, God of vengeance, shine forth!

2 Arise, judge of the world, give back the proud what they deserve!

3 How long are the wicked, Yahweh, how long are the wicked to triumph?

4 They bluster and boast, they flaunt themselves, all the evil-doers.

5 They crush your people, Yahweh, they oppress your heritage,

6 they murder the widow and the stranger, bring the orphan to a violent death.

7 They say, ‘Yahweh is not looking, the God of Jacob is taking no notice.’

8 Take notice yourselves, you coarsest of people! Fools, when will you learn some sense?

9 Shall he who implanted the ear not hear, he who fashioned the eye not see?

10 Shall he who instructs nations not punish? Yahweh, the teacher of all people,

11 knows human plans and how insipid they are.

12 How blessed are those you instruct, Yahweh, whom you teach by means of your law,

13 to give them respite in evil times, till a pit is dug for the wicked.

14 Yahweh will not abandon his people, he will not desert his heritage;

15 for judgement will again become saving justice, and in its wake all upright hearts will follow.

16 Who rises up on my side against the wicked? Who stands firm on my side against all evil-doers?

17 If Yahweh did not come to my help, I should soon find myself dwelling in the silence.

18 I need only say, ‘I am slipping,’ for your faithful love, Yahweh, to support me;

19 however great the anxiety of my heart, your consolations soothe me.

20 Are you partner to a destructive court, that gives disorder the status of law?

21 They make an attack on the life of the upright, and condemn innocent blood.

22 No! Yahweh is a stronghold to me, my God is my rock of refuge.

23 He turns back their guilt on themselves, annihilates them for their wickedness, he annihilates them, Yahweh our God.


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