Numbers 13

Study the Inner Meaning

English: King James Version

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1 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,

2 Send thou men, that they may search the land of Canaan, which I give unto the children of Israel: of every tribe of their fathers shall ye send a man, every one a ruler among them.

3 And Moses by the commandment of the LORD sent them from the wilderness of Paran: all those men were heads of the children of Israel.

4 And these were their names: of the tribe of Reuben, Shammua the son of Zaccur.

5 Of the tribe of Simeon, Shaphat the son of Hori.

6 Of the tribe of Judah, Caleb the son of Jephunneh.

7 Of the tribe of Issachar, Igal the son of Joseph.

8 Of the tribe of Ephraim, Oshea the son of Nun.

9 Of the tribe of Benjamin, Palti the son of Raphu.

10 Of the tribe of Zebulun, Gaddiel the son of Sodi.

11 Of the tribe of Joseph, namely, of the tribe of Manasseh, Gaddi the son of Susi.

12 Of the tribe of Dan, Ammiel the son of Gemalli.

13 Of the tribe of Asher, Sethur the son of Michael.

14 Of the tribe of Naphtali, Nahbi the son of Vophsi.

15 Of the tribe of Gad, Geuel the son of Machi.

16 These are the names of the men which Moses sent to spy out the land. And Moses called Oshea the son of Nun Jehoshua.

17 And Moses sent them to spy out the land of Canaan, and said unto them, Get you up this way southward, and go up into the mountain:

18 And see the land, what it is; and the people that dwelleth therein, whether they be strong or weak, few or many;

19 And what the land is that they dwell in, whether it be good or bad; and what cities they be that they dwell in, whether in tents, or in strong holds;

20 And what the land is, whether it be fat or lean, whether there be wood therein, or not. And be ye of good courage, and bring of the fruit of the land. Now the time was the time of the firstripe grapes.

21 So they went up, and searched the land from the wilderness of Zin unto Rehob, as men come to Hamath.

22 And they ascended by the south, and came unto Hebron; where Ahiman, Sheshai, and Talmai, the children of Anak, were. (Now Hebron was built seven years before Zoan in Egypt.)

23 And they came unto the brook of Eshcol, and cut down from thence a branch with one cluster of grapes, and they bare it between two upon a staff; and they brought of the pomegranates, and of the figs.

24 The place was called the brook Eshcol, because of the cluster of grapes which the children of Israel cut down from thence.

25 And they returned from searching of the land after forty days.

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

27 And they told him, and said, We came unto the land whither thou sentest us, and surely it floweth with milk and honey; and this is the fruit of it.

28 Nevertheless the people be strong that dwell in the land, and the cities are walled, and very great: and moreover we saw the children of Anak there.

29 The Amalekites dwell in the land of the south: and the Hittites, and the Jebusites, and the Amorites, dwell in the mountains: and the Canaanites dwell by the sea, and by the coast of Jordan.

30 And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it.

31 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.

32 And they brought up an evil report of the land which they had searched unto the children of Israel, saying, The land, through which we have gone to search it, is a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it are men of a great stature.

33 And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.

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   Study the Inner Meaning
From Swedenborg's Works

Explanations or references:

Arcana Coelestia 567, 581, 1444, 1673, 1676, 1678, 1679, ...

Apocalypse Revealed 349, 424, 623


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 403, 431, 543, 619, 865, 918

Other New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:


  PDF Resources


Hop to Similar Bible Verses

Genesis 6:4, 13:18, 15:20, 21, 35:22, 23

Exodus 3:8, 17, 17:8, 9

Numbers 10:12, 13:1, 2, 3, 13, 16, 26, 14:1, 6, 7, 8, 9, 34, 45, 16:13, 14, 20:1, 27:18, 32:7, 8, 9, 33:36, 34:3, 8, 17, 18, 19

Deuteronomy 1:19, 7:1, 18, 21, 8:8, 20:17, 31:6, 7, 8, 32:44

Joshua 2:1, 3:10, 12, 5:1, 9:1, 10:40, 11:21, 14:6, 7, 8, 12, 15:14

Judges 3:5, 18:28

1 Samuel 17:24, 27:8

1 Chronicles 4:15, 7:27

Nehemiah 9:8

Psalms 78:12, 106:24

Isaiah 19:11

Ezekiel 36:12, 13

Amos 2:9, 10

Word/Phrase Explanations

the Lord
The Bible refers to the Lord in many different ways, which from the text seem indistinguishable and interchangeable. Understood in the internal sense, though, there...

spake
Like "say," the word "speak" refers to thoughts and feelings moving from our more internal spiritual levels to our more external ones – and ultimately...

moses
Moses's name appears 814 times in the Bible (KJV), third-most of any one character (Jesus at 961 actually trails David at 991). He himself wrote...

Send
'To send' signifies revealing.

men
"Man" is a tricky word to discuss, because the Hebrew of the Old Testament uses six different words that are generally translated as "man," with...

Search
'To search,' as in Revelation 2:23, signifies seeing.

Land
Land' in the Word, denotes the church, for the things which signify the church also signify the things relating to the church, for these constitute...

land of
'The land of Rameses,' as in Genesis 47:11, signifies the inmost of the spiritual principle in the natural mind.

Land of Canaan
The land of Canaan' in the Word, means love, and consequently, the will of the celestial self.

Canaan
Canaan signifies a worship in things external without internals, which arose out of the internal church corrupted, called Ham. Thus it is that Ham is...

give
Like other common verbs, the meaning of "give" in the Bible is affected by context: who is giving what to whom? In general, though, giving...

children
A child is a young boy or girl in the care of parents, older than a suckling or an infant, but not yet an adolescent....

Israel
'Israel,' in Jeremiah 23:8, signifies the spiritual natural church. The children of Israel dispersed all the literal sense of the Word by falsities. 'The children...

Tribe
'A tribe' signifies the church with respect to its truths and goods, and in the opposite sense, with respect to its falsities and evils. 'A...

man
The relationship between men and women is deep and nuanced, and one entire book of the Writings – Conjugial Love or Love in Marriage –...

Every one
The phrase “Every one,” where it occurs in Genesis 20:7, signifies every thing or all things.

one
A company might have executives setting policy and strategy, engineers designing products, line workers building them, managers handling personnel and others handling various functions. They...

Ruler
'A ruler' or 'governor' signifies goods of the church, and in the opposite sense, falsities.

commandment
To command is to give an order that something must be done, and is directed to an individual, or a group. It is an imperative,...

Sent
'Being sent' everywhere signifies, in an internal sense, going forth, as in John 17:8. In similar manner, it is said of the holy of the...

wilderness
'The wilderness of Sin,' as in Exodus 16, signifies the good from truth in a state of temptation.

Paran
'Paran' or 'Elparan' signifies a state of illumination from the Lord’s divine human.

names
It's easy to see that names are important in the Bible. Jehovah changed Abram and Sarai to Abraham and Sarah, changed Jacob to Israel and...

Reuben
'Reuben,' in the highest sense, signifies omniscience. In a spiritual sense, he signifies wisdom, intelligence, science, and faith. In a natural sense, he signifies sight....

son
Marriages in the Bible represent the union we all can have between the desire for good and the understanding of truth (or an understanding of...

Simeon
In Revelation 7, 'Simeon', in the highest sense, signifies providence, in a spiritual sense, love towards our neighbor, or charity, and in a natural sense,...

Judah
City of Judah,' as in Isaiah 40:9, signifies the doctrine of love towards the Lord and love towards our neighbor in its whole extent.

Caleb
Caleb, In Numbers 14:24, represents those who are introduced into the church, and, accordingly, his seed signifies the truth of the doctrine of the church.

Issachar
Issachar,' in the highest sense, signifies the divine good of truth, and truth of good. In a spiritual sense, he signifies celestial conjugial love, which...

Joseph
'The tribe of Zebulon' signifies the conjunction of people in the third heaven with the Lord, 'the tribe of Joseph,' the conjunction of people in...

Ephraim
Ephraim was the second son born to Joseph in Egypt and was, along with his older brother Manasseh, elevated by Jacob to the same status...

Manasseh
'Manasseh' signifies the will of the spiritual church.

Dan
The tribe of Dan (Jer. 8:16) signifies truth in its own ultimate degree of order, here truth in the church, which is contained in the...

Michael
'Michael' signifies genuine truth from the Word.

Naphtali
'Naphtali' in a supreme sense, signifies the proper power of the Lord’s divine human. In a spiritual sense, he signifies temptation and victory and a...

Gad
Gad, in a supreme sense, signifies omnipotence; in a spiritual sense, the good of life, or use; and in a natural sense, works. Gad, in...

called
To call someone or summon someone in the Bible represents a desire for conjunction between higher and lower states of life. For instance, imagine someone...

said
As with many common verbs, the meaning of “to say” in the Bible is highly dependent on context. Who is speaking? Who is hearing? What...

Way
In John 14:6, 'the way is doctrine,' 'the truth' is every thing pertaining to doctrine, and 'the life' is the essential good which is the...

southward
'The land of the south,' as in Genesis 24:62, signifies divine light, for 'the south' signifies light, and the light of intelligence, which is wisdom,...

Go up
To go up and to go down: in the Word, mention is made of going up and going down when speaking of going from one...

mountain
The Writings tell us that the Lord's love is the sun of heaven, and it is natural for us to look above ourselves to the...

see
The symbolic meaning of "seeing" is "understanding," which is obvious enough that it has become part of common language (think about it; you might see...

people
The Bible generally uses two different terms for large groups: “people” and “nation.” When it uses the term “nation,” it is talking about a group...

Strong
In the Word, people who trust to themselves and their own intelligence are sometimes called 'strong,' as in Isaiah 1:31. This is because they suppose...

many
Intellectual things – ideas, knowledge, facts, even insight and understanding – are more separate and free-standing than emotional things, and it’s easier to imagine numbering...

dwell
Many people were nomadic in Biblical times, especially the times of the Old Testament, and lived in tents that could be struck, moved and re-raised...

good
It seems rather circular to say that “good” in the Bible represents good, but in a general sense it’s true! The case is this: The...

Cities
Cities of the mountain and cities of the plain (Jer. 33:13) signify doctrines of charity and faith.

Tents
'Ohalim' or 'tabernacles' signify the holy part of what is good.

Strong holds
Strong holds,' as in Daniel 11:39, signify the aspects of self-derived intelligence confirmed by he literal sense of the Word.

Fat
Fat signifies the celestial principle. Fat things, full of marrow, signify goodnesses. Fat and blood signify interior goods and truths, and hence the Israelites, prior...

Lean
Lean in flesh,' as in Genesis 41:19, signifies an absence of charity. To make lean,' as in Zephaniah 2:11, signifies the removal of evils from...

Wood
'Wood' signifies good, as well the good of love to the Lord as the good of charity towards our neighbor.

bring
As with common verbs in general, the meaning of “bring” is highly dependent on context, but in general it represents an introduction to a new...

fruit
In Zechariah 8:12, 'the vine shall give her fruit, and the ground her increase,' signifies that the spiritual affection of truth produces the good of...

time
Time is an aspect of the physical world, but according to Swedenborg is not an aspect of the spiritual world. The same is true of...

come
As with common verbs in general, the meaning of “come” in the Bible is highly dependent on context – its meaning is determined largely by...

South
'South' denotes truth in light.

Hebron
'Hebron' represents the Lord's spiritual church in the land of Canaan. 'Hebron' represents the church as to good.

built
To build something generally means to put together a variety of simpler pieces to make a useful and more complex structure, as to build a...

Seven
The number 'seven' was considered holy, as is well known, because of the six days of creation, and the seventh, which is the celestial self,...

before
In most cases, the meaning of "before" is pretty straightforward, both as a way of assessing relative time, and in its use meaning "in someone's...

Egypt
In the Bible, Egypt means knowledge and the love of knowledge. In a good sense that means knowledge of truth from the Lord through the...

down
"Down" is used many different ways in natural language, and its spiritual meaning in the Bible is highly dependent on context. Phrases like "bowing down,"...

Branch
A branch (Matt. 24:32) signifies affection, for affection springs and flourishes from good as a branch Springs from its trunk. A branch (Mal. 4:1) denotes...

Cluster
A cluster denotes live truth of spiritual good, and grapes, the good of celestial truth. (Gen. 40:10.)

bare
'Small' refers to truth and 'round' refers to good.

two
The number "two" has two different meanings in the Bible. In most cases "two" indicates a joining together or unification. This is easy to see...

upon
'Upon' or 'over' signifies being within.

Staff
In Jeremiah 48:17, 'the strong staff' signifies power from good, 'and beautiful rod,' power from truth.

Pomegranates
'Pomegranates,' as in Exodus 28:34, signify the scientific ideas of good and truth, which are doctrinal matters from the Word in the memory, which is...

Place
'A dry place,' as in Luke 11:24, signifies states of evil and falsity which are in the life of someone who does the work of...

forty
'Forty' means completeness because 'four' means what is complete, as does 'ten.' Forty is the product of four and ten. Compound numbers have a meaning...

days
"Day" describes a state in which we are turned toward the Lord, and are receiving light (which is truth) and heat (which is a desire...

aaron
Aaron was the brother of Moses and he has two representations, one when he was Moses' spokesperson during the first part of the exodus, and...

congregation
A congregation is a group of people with common loves, interests, and purposes. It often refers to a church group. In the Word it is...

Kadesh
'Kadesh' denotes truths, and contention about truths.

back
There are many instances in the Bible which describe people turning back, looking back or going back. In most cases it is a negative, sometimes...

Word
'Word,' as in Psalms 119:6-17, stands for doctrine in general. 'The Word,' as in Psalms 147:18, signifies divine good united with divine truth. 'Word,' as...

Us
Because people are governed by angels and spirits, in Genesis 1:26 it says 'let us make man into our image.' But because the Lord alone...

milk
Water represents true ideas about day-to-day life, and other drinks and liquids in general represent different forms of truth. Milk is a drink that contains...

Honey
'Honey' signifies the delight derived from good and truth or from the affection thereof, and specifically the external delight. Thus it signifies the delight of...

Jebusites
Girgashites and Jebusites, as in Genesis 15:21, signify falsities derived from evils.

mountains
In Isaiah 40:12 'to weigh the mountains in a balance, and the hills in scales,' signifies that the celestial aspects of love and charity are...

sea
Water generally represents what Swedenborg calls “natural truth,” or true concepts about day-to-day matters and physical things. Since all water ultimately flows into the seas,...

jordan
The river Jordan separates the land of Canaan from the lands to the east. This separation represents the division of the human mind into an internal...

Well
'A well,' as in Numbers 21:17-18, signifies the Word of the ancient church. 'A well,' or 'pit,' as in Luke 14:5, signifies falsity and the...

Overcome
'To overcome' signifies receiving in heart. 'To overcome' signifies conquering temptations, and remaining in a state of faith derived from charity.

the inhabitants
'The inhabitants of Teman,' as in Jeremiah 49:20, signifies the evils and falsities opposed to the Lord’s celestial kingdom.

Inhabitants
Inhabitants,' in Isaiah 26:9, signify the men of the church who are in good of doctrine, and thence in the good of life.

Giants
Giants, as in Genesis 6:4, signify those who, through a persuasion of their own height and pre-eminence view whatever is holy and true as nothing.

Sons
'Sons of Canaan,' as in Genesis 10, are people who kept external worship separate from internal. 'Sons of Canaan,' as in Genesis 10, are people...

own
In many cases, the spiritual meaning of "own," both as a verb and as an adjective, is relatively literal. When people are described as the...

Grasshoppers
Grasshoppers signify the same as locusts: the false which vastates the extremes of the natural part of the mind.

Resources for parents and teachers

The items listed here are provided courtesy of our friends at the General Church of the New Jerusalem. You can search/browse their whole library by following this link.


 Correspondences of the Vegetable Kingdom
Illustrations of three stories in the Word that talk about plants. (Quotations are the King James translation.)
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 Fear of the Giants
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 The Spies and the Giants of Canaan
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 The Spies Bring Grapes, Pomegranates, and Figs
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 The Spies Return
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 The Spies Return
Activity | Ages 7 - 14

 The Twelve Spies
A New Church Bible story explanation for teaching Sunday school. Includes lesson materials for Primary (3-8 years), Junior (9-11 years), Intermediate (12-14 years), Senior (15-17 years) and Adults.
Teaching Support | Ages over 3

 Twelve Spies Sent into Canaan
A lesson for younger children with discussion ideas and a project.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 4 - 6


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