Numbers 14:6
And Joshua the son of Nun, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, which were of them that searched the land, rent their clothes:
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(6) Rent their clothes.—Comp. Leviticus 10:6 and Note.

Numbers 14:6. Rent their clothes — To testify their hearty grief for the people’s blasphemy against God and sedition against Moses, and that dreadful judgment which they easily foresaw this must bring upon the congregation.14:5-10 Moses and Aaron were astonished to see a people throw away their own mercies. Caleb and Joshua assured the people of the goodness of the land. They made nothing of the difficulties in the way of their gaining it. If men were convinced of the desirableness of the gains of religion, they would not stick at the services of it. Though the Canaanites dwell in walled cities, their defence was departed from them. The other spies took notice of their strength, but these of their wickedness. No people can be safe, when they have provoked God to leave them. Though Israel dwell in tents, they are fortified. While we have the presence of God with us, we need not fear the most powerful force against us. Sinners are ruined by their own rebellion. But those who, like Caleb and Joshua, faithfully expose themselves for God, are sure to be taken under his special protection, and shall be hid from the rage of men, either under heaven or in heaven.Already Caleb had endeavored to still the people before Moses Numbers 13:30; already Moses himself (Deuteronomy 1:29 ff) had endeavored to recall the people to obedience. After the failure of these efforts Moses and Aaron cast themselves down in solemn prayer before God (compare Numbers 16:22); and the appearance of the glory of the Lord in the "tabernacle of the congregation" Numbers 14:10 was the immediate answer. 6. Joshua … and Caleb, which were of them that searched the land, rent their clothes—The two honest spies testified their grief and horror, in the strongest manner, at the mutiny against Moses and the blasphemy against God; while at the same time they endeavored, by a truthful statement, to persuade the people of the ease with which they might obtain possession of so desirable a country, provided they did not, by their rebellion and ingratitude, provoke God to abandon them. To testify their hearty grief for the people’s blasphemy against God and sedition against Moses, and that dreadful judgment which they easily foresaw this must bring upon the congregation and people of God. And Joshua the son of Nun, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh,.... Rose up and interposed in this affair, looking upon themselves under a special obligation so to do, as they were capable of confronting the other spies, and contradicting what they had said:

which were of them that searched the land; they were two of that number, and were the more concerned to hear such a false account given, and distressed to observe the mutiny of the people, and therefore judged themselves in duty bound to do all they could to stop it:

rent their clothes; in token of sorrow for the sins of the people; and at their blasphemy and ingratitude against God, and in dread of his wrath and fury breaking forth upon them.

And Joshua the son of Nun, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, which were of them that searched the land, {d} rent their clothes:

(d) For sorrow, hearing their blasphemy.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Verse 6. - And Joshua. In a last hopeless effort to bring the people to a better mind, or at least to deliver their own souls, there was no reason why Joshua should hold back any more. Rent their clothes. Another token of grief and horrer practiced from patriarchal times (cf. Genesis 37:29, 34; Job 1:20). Thus they spread an evil report of the land among the Israelites, by exaggerating the difficulties of the conquest in their unbelieving despair, and describing Canaan as a land which "ate up its inhabitants." Their meaning certainly was not "that the wretched inhabitants were worn out by the laborious task of cultivating it, or that the land was pestilential on account of the inclemency of the weather, or that the cultivation of the land was difficult, and attended with many evils," as Calvin maintains. Their only wish was to lay stress upon the difficulties and dangers connected with the conquest and maintenance of the land, on account of the tribes inhabiting and surrounding it: the land was an apple of discord, because of its fruitfulness and situation; and as the different nations strove for its possession, its inhabitants wasted away (Cler., Ros., O. v. Gerlach). The people, they added, are מדּות אנשׁי, "men of measures," i.e., of tall stature (cf. Isaiah 45:14), "and there we saw the Nephilim, i.e., primeval tyrants (see at Genesis 6:4), Anak's sons, giants of Nephilim, and we seemed to ourselves and to them as small as grasshoppers."
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