1. These are the words which Moses addressed to all Israel beyond the Jordan, in the desert, in the Arabah facing Suph, between Paran and Tophel, Laban, Hazeroth and Dizahab.
2. It is eleven days' journey from Horeb by way of Mount Seir to Kadesh-Barnea.
3. It was in the fortieth year, on the first day of the eleventh month, that Moses told the Israelites everything that Yahweh had ordered him to tell them.
4. He had defeated Sihon king of the Amorites, who lived at Heshbon, and Og king of Bashan, who lived at Ashtaroth and Edrei.
5. There, in Moab beyond the Jordan, Moses resolved to expound this Law. He said:
6. 'Yahweh our God said to us at Horeb, "You have stayed long enough at this mountain.
7. Move on, continue your journey, go to the highlands of the Amorites, to all those who live in the Arabah, in the highlands, in the lowlands, in the Negeb and in the coastland; go into Canaan and to Lebanon as far as the great River Euphrates.
8. Look, that is the country I have given you; go and take possession of the country that Yahweh promised on oath to give to your ancestors, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and to their descendants after them."
9. 'At the same time, I told you, "I cannot be responsible for you by myself.
10. Yahweh your God has increased your numbers, until you are now as numerous as the stars of heaven.
11. And Yahweh your God is going to increase you a thousand times more, and bless you as he has promised you.
12. So how can I cope by myself with the bitter burden that you are, and with your bickering?
13. From each of your tribes pick wise, shrewd and experienced men for me to make your leaders."
14. You replied, "Your plan is good."
15. So I took your tribal leaders, wise, experienced men, and appointed them to lead you, as captains of thousands, hundreds, fifties, tens, and as scribes for your tribes.
16. At that same time I told your judges, "You must give your brothers a fair hearing and see justice done between one person and his brother or the foreigner living with him.
17. You must be impartial in judgement and give an equal hearing to small and great alike. Do not be afraid of any human person, for the verdict is God's. Should a case be too difficult, bring it for me to hear.
18. And on that occasion I gave you instructions about everything you were to do."
19. 'So, as Yahweh our God had ordered, we left Horeb and made our way through that vast and terrible desert, which you saw on the way to the Amorite highlands, and arrived at Kadesh-Barnea.
20. I then said, "You have now reached the Amorite highlands, which Yahweh our God has given us.
21. Look, Yahweh your God has given you this country. March in, take possession of it as Yahweh, the God of your ancestors, has said; do not be afraid or discouraged."
22. Then you all came to me and said, "Let us send men ahead of us to explore the country; they shall report to us which way we ought to take and what towns we shall come to."
23. This seemed good advice to me and I selected twelve men from among you, one from each tribe.
24. These men made towards the highlands and went up into them; they reached the Valley of Eshcol and reconnoitred it.
25. They collected some of the produce of the country and brought it down to us; and they made us this report, "Yahweh our God has given us a fine country."
26. You, however, refused to go up there and rebelled against the voice of Yahweh your God.
27. You muttered in your tents, saying, "Yahweh hates us, and that is why he has brought us out of Egypt, to put us into the Amorites' power and so destroy us.
28. What kind of place are we making for? Our brothers have discouraged us by saying that the people are stronger and taller than we are, the cities immense, with walls reaching to the sky. And we have seen Anakim there too."
29. 'And I said to you, "Do not take fright, do not be afraid of them.
30. Yahweh your God goes ahead of you and will be fighting on your side, just as you saw him act in Egypt.
31. You have seen him in the desert too: Yahweh your God continued to support you, as a man supports his son, all along the road you followed until you arrived here."
32. But for all this, you put no faith in Yahweh your God,
33. going ahead of you on the journey to find you a camping ground, by night in the fire to light your path, and in the cloud by day.
34. 'Yahweh heard what you were saying and in his anger swore this oath,
35. "Not one of these people, this perverse generation, will see the fine country I swore to give your ancestors,
36. except Caleb son of Jephunneh. He will see it. To him and to his children I shall give the land he has set foot on, for he has been perfectly obedient to Yahweh."
37. Yahweh was angry with me too, because of you. "You will not go in either," he said.
38. "Your assistant, Joshua son of Nun, will be the one to enter. Encourage him, since he is to bring Israel into possession of the country.
39. And your little ones too, who, you said, would be seized as booty, these children of yours who do not yet know good from evil, they will go in; I shall give it to them and they will own it.
40. But, as regards yourselves, turn round, go back into the desert, towards the Sea of Suph."
41. 'In reply, you then said to me, "We have sinned against Yahweh our God. We shall go up and fight just as Yahweh our God has ordered us." And each one of you buckled on his arms and equipped himself to march up into the highlands.
42. But Yahweh said to me, "Tell them this: Do not go up and fight. I am not with you. Do not let yourselves be defeated by your enemies."
43. So I told you, but you would not listen, and you rebelled against the voice of Yahweh; presumptuously you marched into the highlands.
44. The Amorites, who live in that country of hills, came swarming out against you like bees, pursued you and beat you from Seir to Hormah.
45. On your return, you wept in Yahweh's presence, but he would not listen to your cries or pay attention.
46. That was why you had to stay at Kadesh as long as you did.'