Numbers 13:26
And they went and came to Moses, and to Aaron, and to all the congregation of the children of Israel, to the wilderness of Paran, to Kadesh; and brought back word to them, and to all the congregation, and showed them the fruit of the land.
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(26) To Kadesh.—Robinson and others identify Kadeeh with Ain-el-Weibeh, which is in the Arabah, about ten miles north of the place in which Mount Hor abuts on that valley. On the other hand, Mr. Wilton, in The Negeb (pp. 79, 80), and Mr. Palmer in the Desert of the Exodus (Numbers 25), maintain the identity of Kadesh with el-Ain, which is about sixty miles west of Mount Hor, and about fifty miles west of Ain-el-Weibeh. The former of these views is maintained in a very elaborate note on this verse in The Bible Commentary.

13:26-33 We may wonder that the people of Israel staid forty days for the return of their spies, when they were ready to enter Canaan, under all the assurances of success they could have from the Divine power, and the miracles that had hitherto attended them. But they distrusted God's power and promise. How much we stand in our own light by our unbelief! At length the messengers returned; but the greater part discouraged the people from going forward to Canaan. Justly are the Israelites left to this temptation, for putting confidence in the judgment of men, when they had the word of God to trust in. Though they had found the land as good as God had said, yet they would not believe it to be as sure as he had said, but despaired of having it, though Eternal Truth had engaged it to them. This was the representation of the evil spies. Caleb, however, encouraged them to go forward, though seconded by Joshua only. He does not say, Let us go up and conquer it; but, Let us go and possess it. Difficulties that are in the way of salvation, dwindle and vanish before a lively, active faith in the power and promise of God. All things are possible, if they are promised, to him that believes; but carnal sense and carnal professors are not to be trusted. Unbelief overlooks the promises and power of God, magnifies every danger and difficulty, and fills the heart with discouragement. May the Lord help us to believe! we shall then find all things possible.Kadesh is usually identified with Ain-el-Weibeh, which lies in the Arabah, about 10 miles north of the place in which Mount Hor abuts on that valley, (or with Ain-Gadis in Jebel Magrah). 26. they came … to Kadesh—an important encampment of the Israelites. But its exact situation is not definitely known, nor is it determined whether it is the same or a different place from Kadesh-barnea. It is supposed to be identical with Ain-el-Weibeh, a famous spring on the eastern side of the desert [Robinson], or also with Petra [Stanley]. Kadesh; so called by way of abbreviation, which is frequent in Hebrew names, for Kadesh-barnea, Deu 1:19, which some rashly confound with Kadesh in the wilderness of Zin, Numbers 20:1 27:14 33:36; into which they came not till the fortieth year after their coming out of Egypt, as appears from Numbers 33:37,38 whereas they were in this Kadesh in the second year, and before they received the sentence of their forty years’ abode in the wilderness. And they went, and came to Moses, and to Aaron,.... They proceeded on their journey from Eshcol, till they came to the camp of Israel; and as soon as they came there, went directly to Moses and to Aaron, before they went into their own tents, as Aben Ezra observes:

and to all the congregation of Israel, unto the wilderness of Paran,

to Kadesh; that is, Kadeshbarnea, as appears from Joshua 14:7; called for brevity's sake Kadesh; but is by some thought to be different from the Kadesh in Numbers 20:1; to which the Israelites came not until thirty eight years after this time: this Kadesh was in the wilderness of Paran, and the same with Rithmah, or was near it, where the Israelites were now encamped, and had remained all the time the spies were gone: the Targums of Onkelos and Jonathan call this place Rekem, as they do in Genesis 16:14,

and brought back word unto them, and to all the congregation: to Moses and Aaron, and the principal heads of the body of the people assembled together: to these they related an account of their tour through the land of Canaan, what they had met with, and what observations they had made, agreeably to the instructions that had been given them when they set out:

and showed them the fruit of the land; which they had brought with them, the bunch of grapes, pomegranates, and figs.

And they went and came to Moses, and to Aaron, and to all the congregation of the children of Israel, unto the wilderness of {h} Paran, to Kadesh; and brought back word unto them, and unto all the congregation, and shewed them the fruit of the land.

(h) Called also Kadesh-barnea.

Verse 26. - To Kadesh (see note at the end of chapter 14). They were to see the land, "what it was," i.e., what was its character, and the people that dwelt in it, whether they were strong, i.e., courageous and brave, or weak, i.e., spiritless and timid, and whether they were little or great, i.e., numerically; (Numbers 13:19) what the land was, whether good or bad, sc., with regard to climate and cultivation, and whether the towns were camps, i.e., open villages and hamlets, or fortified places; also (Numbers 13:20) whether the land was fat or lean, i.e., whether it had a fertile soil or not, and whether there were trees in it or not. All this they were to search out courageously (התחזק, to show one's self courageous in any occupation), and to fetch (some) of the fruits of the land, as it was the time of the first-ripe grapes. In Palestine the first grapes ripen as early as August, and sometimes even in July (vid., Robinson, ii. 100, ii. 611), whilst the vintage takes place in September and October.
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