1 This is the message that Moses gave the people of Israel. He told them these things while they were in the Jordan Valley, in the desert east of the Jordan River. This was across from Suph, between the desert of Paran and the cities Tophel, Laban, Hazeroth, and Dizahab. 2 The trip from Mount Horeb ˻(Sinai)˼ through the Seir mountains to Kadesh Barnea takes only eleven days. 3 But it was 40 years from the time the people of Israel left Egypt until the time they came to this place. On the first day of the eleventh month of the 40th year, Moses spoke to the people. Moses told them all the things the Lord commanded. 4 This was after the Lord defeated Sihon and Og. (Sihon was the king of the Amorite people. Sihon lived in Heshbon. Og was the king of Bashan. Og lived in Ashtaroth and Edrei.) 5 The people of Israel were on the east side of the Jordan River in the land of Moab, and Moses began to explain the things that God commanded. Moses said: 6 “At Mount Horeb ˻(Sinai)˼ the Lord our God spoke to us. He said, 'You have stayed at this mountain long enough. 7 Go to the hill country where the Amorite people live. Go to all the places around there. Go to the Jordan Valley, the hill country, the western slopes, the Negev, and the seacoast. Go through the land of Canaan and Lebanon as far as the great river, the Euphrates. 8 Look, I am giving you that land. Go and take it. I promised to give that land to your ancestors—Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. I promised to give that land to them and to their descendants.’” 9 Moses said, “At that time I told you I couldn’t take care of you by myself. 10 And now, there are even more of you! The Lord your God has added more and more people, so that today you are as many as the stars in the sky! 11 May the Lord, the God of your ancestors, make you 1,000 times more than you are now! May he bless you like he promised! 12 But I couldn’t take care of you and solve all your arguments by myself. 13 So ˻I told you:˼ 'Choose some men from each family group, and I will make them leaders over you. Choose wise men that have understanding and experience.’ 14 “And you said, 'That is a good thing to do.’ 15 “So I took the wise and experienced men you chose from your family groups, and I made them your leaders. In this way, I gave you leaders over 1,000 people, leaders over 100 people, leaders over 50 people, leaders over 10 people. I also gave you officers for each of your family groups. 16 “At that time, I told those judges, 'Listen to the arguments between your people. Be fair when you judge each case. It does not matter if the problem is between two Israelite people or between an Israelite and a foreigner. You must judge each case fairly. 17 When you judge, you must not think that one person is more important than another person. You must judge every person the same. Don’t be afraid of anyone, because your decision is from God. But if there is a case too hard for you to judge, then bring it to me and I will judge it.’ 18 At that same time, I also told you all the other things you must do. 19 “Then we obeyed the Lord our God. We left Mount Horeb ˻(Sinai)˼ and traveled toward the hill country of the Amorite people. We went through that big and terrible desert that you saw. We came to Kadesh Barnea. 20 Then I said to you, 'You have now come to the hill country of the Amorites. The Lord our God will give us this country. 21 Look, there it is! Go up and take the land for your own! The Lord, the God of your ancestors, told you to do this. So don’t be afraid. Don’t worry about anything!’ 22 “But you all came to me and said, 'Let’s send some men to look at the land first. They can look for all the strong and weak places there. Then they can come back and tell us the way we should go. They can also tell us about the cities we will come to.’ 23 “I thought that was a good idea. So I chose twelve men from among you, one man from each family group. 24 Then those men left and went up to the hill country. They came to the Valley of Eshcol and explored it. 25 They took some of the fruit from that land and brought it back to us. They told us about the land. They said, 'The Lord our God is giving us a good land!’ 26 “But you refused to go into the land. You refused to obey the Lord your God. 27 You went to your tents and began to complain. You said, 'The Lord hates us! He brought us out of the land of Egypt just to let the Amorite people destroy us! 28 Where can we go now? Our brothers ˻(the twelve spies)˼ have made us afraid with their report. They said: The people there are bigger and taller than we are! The cities are big and have walls as high as the sky! And we saw giants there!’ 29 “So I said to you, 'Don’t be upset! Don’t be afraid of those people! 30 The Lord your God will go before you and fight for you. He will do this the same as he did in Egypt. You saw him go before you there 31 and in the desert. You saw how the Lord your God carried you, like a man carries his son. The Lord brought you safely all the way to this place.’ 32 “But you still did not trust the Lord your God! 33 When you were traveling, he went before you to find a place for you to put your camp. He went before you in a fire by night and in a cloud by day to show you which way you should go. 34 “The Lord heard what you said, and he became angry. He made a strong promise. He said, 35 'None of you evil people who are living now will go into the good land that I promised to your ancestors. 36 Only Caleb son of Jephunneh will see that land. I will give Caleb the land he walked on. And I will give that land to Caleb’s descendants. Why? Because Caleb did all that I commanded.’ 37 “The Lord was also angry with me because of you. He said to me, 'Moses, you can’t enter the land, either. 38 But your helper, Joshua son of Nun will go into the land. Encourage Joshua, because he will lead the people of Israel to take the land for their own.’ 39 “And the Lord said to us, 'You said your little children would be taken by your enemies. But those children will go into the land. ˻I don’t blame your children for your mistake, because˼ they are still too young to know if something is right or wrong. So I will give the land to them. Your children will take the land for their own. 40 But you—you must turn around and go back to the desert on the road that leads to the Red Sea.’ 41 “Then you said, 'Moses, we have sinned against the Lord. But now we will go and fight, like the Lord our God commanded us before.’ Then each of you put on your weapons. You thought it would be easy to go and take the hill country. 42 “But the Lord said to me, 'Tell the people not to go up there and fight. Why? Because I will not be with them, and their enemies will defeat them!’ 43 “I spoke to you, but you did not listen. You refused to obey the Lord’s command. You thought you could use your own power. So you went up into the hill country. 44 But the Amorite people living there came out to fight against you. They were like a swarm of bees chasing you. They chased you all the way from Seir to Hormah. 45 Then you came back and cried to the Lord for help. But the Lord refused to listen to you. 46 So you stayed at Kadesh a long time.