But the men that went up with him said, We be not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Numbers 13:31. The men — All of them, Joshua excepted. Stronger — Both in stature of body and numbers of people. Thus they question the power, and truth, and goodness of God, of all which they had such ample testimonies.Numbers 14:25 note.
The Canaanites - i. e. those of the Phoenician race: the word is here used in its narrow sense: compare Genesis 10:15-18 note.
Hittites … dwell in the mountains—Their settlements were in the southern and mountainous part of Palestine (Ge 23:7).
the Canaanites dwell by the sea—The remnant of the original inhabitants, who had been dispossessed by the Philistines, were divided into two nomadic hordes—one settled eastward near the Jordan; the other westward, by the Mediterranean.The men that went up with him; all of them, Joshua excepted.
They are stronger than we, both in stature of body and numbers of people. Thus they wickedly question the power, and truth, and goodness of God, of all which they had such ample testimonies.
said, we be not able to go up against the people; this they had not said before, though they plainly suggested it, and, to make the people believe this, had represented the inhabitants of the land of Canaan in the light they did; but now, in direct opposition to Caleb, fully expressed it, giving this reason for it:But the men that went up with him said, We be not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Verse 31. - For they are stronger than we. In point of numbers the enormous superiority of the Israelites over any combination likely to oppose them must have been evident to the most cowardly. But the existence of numerous walled and fortified towns was (apart from Divine aid) an almost insuperable obstacle to a people wholly ignorant of artillery or of siege operations; and the presence of giants was exceedingly terrifying in an age when battles were a series of personal encounters (cf. 1 Samuel 17:11, 24). Numbers 16:6), and reported the great fertility of the land ("it floweth with milk and honey," see at Exodus 3:8), pointing, at the same time, to the fruit they had brought with them; "nevertheless," they added (כּי אפס, "only that"), "the people be strong that dwell in the land, and the cities are fortified, very large: and, moreover, we saw the children of Anak there." Amalekites dwelt in the south (see at Genesis 36:12); Hittites, Jebusites, and Amorites in the mountains (see at Genesis 10:15-16); and Canaanites by the (Mediterranean) Sea and on the side of the Jordan, i.e., in the Arabah or Ghor (see at Genesis 13:7 and Genesis 10:15-18).
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