1 These are the words which Moses spoke to all of Israel, across the Jordan, in the plain of the wilderness opposite the Red Sea, between Paran and Tophel and Laban and Hazeroth, where gold is very plentiful,
2 eleven days from Horeb, by way of Mount Seir as far as Kadesh-barnea.
3 In the fortieth year, on the eleventh month, on the first day of the month, Moses told the sons of Israel all that the Lord had instructed him. And so he spoke to them,
4 after he had struck down Sihon, the king of the Amorites, who lived at Heshbon, and Og, the king of Bashan, who resided at Ashtaroth and at Edrei,
5 across the Jordan in the land of Moab. And so, Moses began to explain the law, and to say:
6 “The Lord our God spoke to us at Horeb, saying: ‘You have remained long enough on this mountain.
7 Turn back and go to the mountain of the Amorites, and to the other places which are near it: the plains as well as the mountainous regions, and the low-lying places opposite the south and along the shore of the sea, the land of the Canaanites, and Lebanon, as far as the great river Euphrates.’
8 ‘Lo,’ he said, ‘I have delivered it to you. Enter and possess that which the Lord swore to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, that he would give it to them, and to their offspring after them.’
9 And I said to you, at that time:
10 ‘I alone am not able to sustain you. For the Lord, your God, has multiplied you, and you are today like the stars of heaven, very many.
11 May the Lord, the God of your fathers, add to this number many thousands more, and may he bless you, just as he has said.
12 Alone, I do not have the strength to endure your arbitrations and judgments and disputes.
13 Offer, from among you, wise and experienced men, those whose conversation has been proven within your tribes, so that I may appoint them as your rulers.’
14 Then you responded to me: ‘What you intend to do is a good thing.’
15 And so, I took from your tribes men, wise and noble, and I appointed them as rulers, as tribunes and centurions, and as leaders over fifty and over ten, who would teach you each thing.
16 And I instructed them, saying: ‘Listen to them, and judge what is just, whether he is one of your citizens or a sojourner.
17 There shall be no favoritism to any persons. So you shall listen to the little as well as to the great. And you shall not accept anyone’s reputation, for this is the judgment of God. But if anything seems difficult to you, then refer it to me, and I will hear it.’
18 And I instructed you in all that you were obliged to do.
19 Then, setting out from Horeb, we crossed through a terrible and great wasteland, which you saw along the way of the mountain of the Amorite, just as the Lord our God had instructed us. And when we had arrived at Kadesh-barnea,
20 I said to you: ‘You have arrived at the mountain of the Amorite, which the Lord our God will give to us.
21 Gaze upon the land that the Lord your God gives to you. Ascend and possess it, just as the Lord our God has spoken to your fathers. Do not be afraid, and do not become terrified by anything.’
22 And you all approached me and said: ‘Let us send men who may consider the land, and who may report as to the way by which we ought to ascend, and as to which cities we ought to travel.’
23 And since the word was pleasing to me, I sent from among you twelve men, one from each tribe.
24 These, when they had set out and had ascended the mountains, arrived as far as the valley of the cluster of grapes. And having considered the land,
25 having taken from its fruits in order to show its fertility, they brought these to us, and they said: ‘The land that the Lord our God will give to us is good.’
26 Yet you were not willing to go there. Instead, being incredulous to the word of the Lord our God,
27 you murmured in your tents, and you said: ‘The Lord hates us, and therefore he has led us away from the land of Egypt, so that he might deliver us into the hand of the Amorite and destroy us.
28 To where should we ascend? The messengers have terrified our heart by saying: “The multitude is very great, and taller than us. And the cities are great, and the walls extend even to the sky. We have seen the sons of the Anakim there.” ’
29 And I said to you: ‘Do not be apprehensive, nor should you fear them.
30 The Lord God himself, who is your leader, will fight on your behalf, just as he did in Egypt in the sight of all.
31 And in the wilderness (as you yourselves saw), the Lord your God carried you, like a man who is accustomed to carrying his little son, along all the way that you walked, until you arrived at this place.’
32 And yet, despite all of this, you did not believe the Lord your God,
33 who went before you on the way, and who marked out the place where you should pitch your tents, showing you the way by fire in the night, and by a pillar of cloud in the day.
34 And when the Lord had heard the voice of your words, becoming angry, he swore and said:
35 ‘None of the men of this wicked generation will see the good land, which I have promised by oath to your fathers,
36 except Caleb the son of Jephuneh. For he himself will see it, and I will give the land on which he has walked to him and to his sons, because he has followed the Lord.’
37 Neither is his indignation with the people a wonder, since the Lord also became angry with me because of you, and so he said: ‘Neither will you enter into that place.
38 But Joshua, the son of Nun, your minister, shall himself enter on your behalf. Exhort and strengthen this man, and he himself shall divide the land by lot to Israel.
39 Your little ones, about whom you said that they would be led away as captives, and your sons, who to this day are ignorant of the difference between good and evil, they shall enter. And I will give the land to them, and they will possess it.
40 But as for you, turn back and go out to the wilderness, by way of the Red Sea.’
41 And you responded to me: ‘We have sinned against the Lord. We will ascend and fight, just as the Lord our God has instructed.’ And having been equipped with weapons, when you were setting out for the mountain,
42 the Lord said to me: ‘Say to them: Do not ascend and do not fight. For I am not with you. Otherwise, you may fall in the sight of your enemies.’
43 I spoke, and you did not listen. But, opposing the order of the Lord, and swelling with pride, you ascended onto the mountain.
44 And so, having gone forth, the Amorite, who was living in the mountains, came against you and pursued you, just as a swarm of bees would do. And he struck you down from Seir all the way to Hormah.
45 And when you returned and were weeping in the sight of the Lord, he would not hear you, nor was he willing to agree to your voice.
46 Therefore, you camped at Kadesh-barnea for a long time.”