God tells Moses to send spies, one from each tribe, to check out the land they’re going to. 

Off the scouts go, checking out the land.  They come across the Wadi of Eshkol, where they take a bunch of grapes that’s so big, they need two men to carry it on poles.  They also find some pomegranates and figs.

After forty days they come back to the camp and stand before Moses and Aaron and the rest of the Children of Israel.

They say: “Sure, we went to the land, and sure it is flowing with milk and honey – here are some samples.  The thing is, there are already people settled in the land.  Their cities have walls and there are Hittites and Jebusites and Amorites and Canaanites!

Caleb, one of the spies, speaks up.  “We can beat these guys,” he says. 

The rest of the spies (except Joshua) say “No, the inhabitants are stronger than we are.  This is a land that eats its people.  All the people there are giants.  Compared to them, we are like grasshoppers!”

The Children of Israel start weeping and grumbling.  “If only we had died in Egypt!  Now we’re going to be killed and our women and children will be slaves!  Let’s go back to Egypt!”

Joshua and Caleb alone among the scouts rip their clothing and cry “Honest, the land we went through is really, really good!”

Food for Thought

Can you sympathize with the people who are afraid to go into Canaan?

The spies bring back grapes from the Wadi of Eshkol