So the Lord struck down the men Moses had sent to check out the land. They had returned and had spread a bad report about the land. And that had made the whole community speak out against Moses.
Those men were to blame for spreading the bad report. So the Lord struck them down. They died of a plague.
Only two of the men who went to check out the land remained alive. One of them was Joshua, the son of Nun. The other was Caleb, the son of Jephunneh.
Moses reported to all the Israelites what the Lord had said. And they became very sad.
Early the next morning they set out for the highest point in the hill country. “We have sinned,” they said. “Now we are ready to go up to the land the Lord promised to give us.”
But Moses said, “Why aren’t you obeying the Lord’s command? You won’t succeed.
So don’t go up. The Lord isn’t with you. Your enemies will win the battle over you.
The Amalekites and the Canaanites will meet you on the field of battle. You have turned away from the Lord. So he won’t be with you. And you will be killed by swords.”
But they wouldn’t listen. They still went up toward the highest point in the hill country. They went up even though Moses didn’t move from the camp. They went even though the ark of the Lord’s covenant didn’t move from the camp.
Then the Amalekites and the Canaanites who lived in that hill country came down. They attacked the Israelites. They won the battle over them. They chased the Israelites all the way to Hormah.