Parashat Shlach

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[edit] Spy Request

Moshe was approached by the Jews who requested to send spies of them to scout the Land of Canaan[1] that Hashem planed on giving to the Jews. Moses took counsel with the Shechinah and Hashem replied reminding Moshe how He had that it is good. Since they were doubting Him, He would now give them the opportunity to err through the words of the spies, so that they will not inherit it.[2] Hashem told Moshe he could send for himself men to scout the land, this was not a command, rather he was allowing Moshe to do so if he wished.[2] He is to send one spy per tribe who chieftain in their midst.

[edit] Their Sending

Moses sent them from the desert of Paran with Hashem's consent who did not stop him.[3] All the spies were men of distinction, importance[3] and heads of the of the Nation. At the time of their sending they were all still righteous.[3].

[edit] The Spies

These were the names of the spies...

  1. Shammua the son of Zachur from the Tribe of Reuven
  2. Shaphat the son of Chori from the Tribe of Shimon
  3. Calev the son of Yepphunneh from the Tribe of Yehuda
  4. Yigal the son of Yosef from the Tribe of Yisachar
  5. Hoshea the son of Nun from the Tribe of Ephraim
  6. Palti the son of Raphu from the Tribe of Binyomin
  7. Gaddiel the son of Sodi from the Tribe of Zevulon
  8. Gaddi the son of Susi from the Tribe of Menashe
  9. Ammiel the son of Gemalli from the Tribe of Dun
  10. Sethur the son of Michoel from the Tribe of Usher
  11. Nachbi the son of Vophsi from the Tribe of Naftali
  12. Geuel the son of Machi from the Tribe of Gad

[edit] Yehoshua Bin Nun

Hoshea bin Nun was the personal assistant of Moshe and one of his main students. Knowing the obstacles and tests he would face, Moshe renamed Hoshea Yehoshua which is a compounded form of יָ-הּ יוֹשִׁיעֲךָ - May Hashem save you,[4] and then prayed on his behalf that he be saved from the counsel of the spies.[4]

[edit] The Mission

Moshe instructed the spies to enter Canaan through the South and then climb up the mountain. First viewing Southern Israel which is the most inferior part of the Land conforms the custom of merchants; who show their inferior goods first and afterward display their best.[5] They are to see what kind of land it is since some countries rear strong people and some countries rear weak people; some countries produce large populations and some small populations.[6]. They are also to report about the people who inhabit it; if they strong or weak, if there few or many. Moshe gave the spies a sign; they are to check what kind of cities the inhabitants dwell in, if they live in camp-like open, exposed and unwalled cities[7] it is a sign that they are strong, since they rely on their might. On the other hand if they live in fortified cities it is a sign that they are weak.[6] They are also to check the quality of the actual land; Is it good, possessing springs and other good healthy water sources or bad.[7]

They are to check what the soil is like, is it fat or lean. They are also to see if there are any trees or not. On a deeper level this meant the spies were to check the Canaanite had any righteous worthy men whose merit could protect the country.[8] The spies are to be courageous and take from the fruit of the land. At the time of their sending it was the season in which the grapes begin to ripen begin to ripen, in their first stage of growth.[8]

[edit] Lashon Hara

Recently Miriam had been punished for speaking slander against her brother and these wicked people witnessed this, but did not learn their lesson.[2]

[edit] References

  1. ^ Devarim 1:22
  2. ^ a b c Rashi Bamidbar 13:2
  3. ^ a b c Rashi Bamidbar 13:3
  4. ^ a b Rashi Bamidbar 13:16
  5. ^ Rashi Bamidbar 13:17
  6. ^ a b Rashi Bamidbar 13:18
  7. ^ a b Rashi Bamidbar 13:19
  8. ^ a b Rashi Bamidbar 13:20

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