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The Fourth Book of Moses

also called Numbers if from middle English, French from the Latin

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Chapter 14

Yes Word (Tyndale-Modern English)


      And the multitude cried out, and the people wept throughout that night, and all the children of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron. And the whole congregation said unto them: would God that we had died in the land of Egypt, either we would that we had died in this wilderness. Wherefore hath the Lord brought us unto this land to fall upon the sword, that both our wives, and also our children should be a prey? is it not better that we return unto Egypt again? And they said one to another: let us make a captain and return unto Egypt again.
      And Moses and Aaron fell on their faces before all the congregation of the multitude of the children of Israel. And Josua the son of Nun, and Caleb the son of Jephune which were of them that searched the land rent their clothes and spake unto all the company of the children of Israel saying: The land which we walked through to search it, is a very good land. If the Lord have lust to us, he will bring us into this land and give it us, which is a land that floweth with milk and honey. But in any wise rebel not against the Lord. Moreover fear ye not the people of the land, for they are but bread for us. Their shield is departed from them, and the Lord is with us: fear them not therefore.
      And all the whole multitude bade stone them with stones. But the glory of the Lord appeared in the tabernacle of witness, unto all the children of Israel. And the Lord said unto Moses: How long shall this people rail upon me, and how long will it be, before they believe me, for all my signs which I have shewed among them? I will smite them with the pestilence and destroy them, and will make of thee a greater nation and a mightier than they.
      And Moses said unto the Lord: then the Egyptians shall hear it, for thou broughtest this people with thy might from among them. And it will be told to the inhabiters of this land also, for they have heard likewise, that thou the Lord art among this people, and that thou art seen face to face, and that thy cloud standeth over them and that thou goest before them by day time in a pillar of cloud, and in a pillar of fire by night. If thou shalt kill all this people as they were but one man then the nations which have heard the fame of thee, will speak saying: because the Lord was not able to bring in this people into the land which he swore unto them, therefore he slew them in the wilderness.
      So now let the power of my Lord be great, according as thou hast spoken saying: the Lord is long before he be angry, and full of mercy, and suffereth sin and trespass, and leaveth no man innocent, and visiteth the unrighteousness of the fathers upon the children, even upon the third and fourth generation, be merciful I beseech ye therefore, unto the sin of this people according unto thy great mercy, and according as thou hast forgiven this people from Egypt even unto this place.
      And the Lord said: I have forgiven it, according to thy request. But as truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with my glory. For of all those men which have seen my glory and my miracles which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and yet have tempted me now this ten times and have not hearkened unto my voice, there shall not one see the land which I sware unto their fathers, neither shall any of them that railed upon me, see it. But my servant Caleb, because there is another manner spirit with him, and because he hath followed me unto utmost: him I will bring into the land which he hath walked in, and his seed shall conquer it, and also the Amalekites and Cananites which dwell in the low countries. Tomorrow turn you and get you into the wilderness: even the way toward the red sea.
      And the Lord spake unto Moses and Aaron saying: how long shall this evil multitude murmur against me? I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel which they murmur against me. Tell them, that the Lord sayeth: As truly as I live, I will do unto you even as ye have spoken in mine ears. Your carcasses shall lie in this wilderness, neither shall any of these numbers which were numbered from twenty years and above of you which have murmured against me come in to the land over which I lifted mine hand to make you dwell therein, save Caleb the son of Jephune, and Josua the son of Nun.
      And your children which ye said should be a prey, them I will bring in, and they shall know the land which ye have refused, and your carcases shall lie in this wilderness. And your children shall wander in this wilderness forty years and suffer for your whoredom until your carcases be wasted in the wilderness, after the number of the days in which ye searched out the land forty days, and every day a year: so that they shall bear your unrighteousness forty years, and ye shall feel my vengeance I the Lord have said that I will do it unto all this evil congregation that are gathered together against me: even in this wilderness ye shall be consumed, and here ye shall die.
      And the men which Moses sent to search the land, and which (when they came again) made all the people to murmur against it in that they brought up a *sclander upon the land: died for their bringing up that evil slander upon it, and were plagued before the Lord. But Josua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephune which were of the men that went to search the land, lived still. And Moses told these sayings unto all the children of Israel, and the people took great sorrow.
      And they rose up early in the morning and gat them up into the top of the mountain saying: lo we be here, and will go up unto the place of which the Lord said, for we have sinned. And Moses said: wherefore will ye go on this manner beyond the word of the Lord? it will not come well to pass: go not up for the Lord is not among you that ye be not slain before your enemies. For the Amalekites and the Cananites are there before you, and ye will fall upon the sword: because ye are turned away from the Lord, and therefore the Lord will not be with you.
      But they were blinded to go up into the hilltop: Never the later, the ark of the testament of the Lord and Moses departed not out of the host. Then the Amalekites and the Cananites which dwelt in that hill, came down and smote them and hewed them: even unto Horma.

*sclander (scandal/slander)

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