Numbers 13

Study the Inner Meaning

           

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.

  
   Study the Inner Meaning

Explanation of Numbers 13      

By Henry MacLagan

Verses 1-3. On self-examination, by means of truths, and by means of Divine light from the Lord's Divine Human, of the inmost of his life by man.

Verses 4-16. Concerning the general truths by which this examination is effected.

Verses 17-21. The extension of it is from where truth and good are in obscurity and coldness through the multiplication of truths advancing to a zealous state of natural good and its truths confirmed in ultimates.

Verses 22-25. It leads, also, by means of interior light and perception to the discovery of persuasions of falsity from the pride of selfish love, as well as to the perception of charity in its general form of natural truth and natural good, involving a complete state of trial and temptation.

Verses 26-33. The effect of this examination, through instruction, upon the evil and upon the good.

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 drafts, indexes & diaries:

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

Related New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:



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

Bible Word Meanings

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...

lord
The Lord, in the simplest terms, is love itself expressed as wisdom itself. In philosophic terms, love is the Lord's substance and wisdom is His...

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
Generally in the Bible a "country" means a political subdivision ruled by a king, or sometimes a tribe with a territory ruled by a king...

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
Jacob is told twice that his name will now be Israel. The first time is when he wrestles with an angel on his journey to...

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...

fathers
Father in the Word means what is most interior, and in those things that are following the Lord's order, it means what is good. In...

man
"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...

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...

sent
'To send' signifies revealing.

wilderness
'Wilderness' signifies something with little life in it, as described in the internal sense in Luke 1:80 'Wilderness' signifies somewhere there is no good because...

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

heads
The head is the part of us that is highest, which means in a representative sense that it is what is closest to the Lord....

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
'A son,' as in Genesis 5:28, signifies the rise of a new church. 'Son,' as in Genesis 24:3, signifies the Lord’s rationality regarding good. 'A...

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
Joseph, Jacob’s eleventh son, is one of the favorite characters in the Bible, with his troubles, his triumphs over them, and his constant trust 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...

Benjamin
Also, Benjamin signifies the Word in its ultimate sense (Deut. 33:12)

Zebulun
Zebulon's name comes from a Hebrew root word meaning habitation, or "dwelling together". In Genesis 30:19, 22 and Genesis 49:13, 'Zebulon' signifies the way that...

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 proclaim' signifies exploration from influx of the Lord.

jehoshua
Joshua is first mentioned in Exodus 17, where he is told to select men to fight for the children of Israel against the Amalekites in...

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
These days we tend to think of "roads" as smooth swaths of pavement, and judge them by how fast we can drive cars on them....

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
'Hills' signify the good of charity.

see
To look,' as in Genesis 18:22, signifies thinking, because seeing denotes understanding. Look not back behind thee,' as in Genesis 19:17, means that Lot, who...

dwelleth
'Inhabit' refers to good.

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
In the ancient world cities were very nearly nations unto themselves – they existed within walls, with their own laws and customs, generally centered on...

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...

wood
In general, plants in the Bible represent facts, thoughts and ideas – intellectual things. This makes sense: Plants are rooted in place, but can grow...

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...

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

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
In the Word, 'the south' or 'midday' means a state of light, which is a state of intelligence produced by truths, thus also an interior...

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

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

built
wrought (also entwined or entwisted) is predicated of the natural scientific principle, and in Isaiah 45:13, of divine natural truth.

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...

Zoan
'Zoan' and 'Noph' were in the land of Egypt, and they signified the enlightenment of the natural human from spiritual light. (See Apocalypse Explained 654[50])...

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...

brook
A 'stream' signifies aspects of intelligence.

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

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...

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...

figs
In the Bible, a fig tree represents the "natural", outward life of a person in the world, and the thoughts and feelings directly connected it....

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...

returned
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...

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

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. He symbolizes two things, at different stages of the story. During the first part of the exodus, when he...

congregation
A company, congregation, and a multitude, in the Word, are predicated of truths.

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
Angels do give us guidance, but they are mere helpers; the Lord alone governs us, through angels and spirits. Since angels have their assisting role,...

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...

great
The word "great" is used in the Bible to represent a state with a strong degree of love and affection, of the desire for good;...

saw
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...

amalekites
Amalek, or the Amalekites, signifies those who are in false principles.

hittites
'A Hittite' in a good sense, signifies the spiritual church, or the truth of the church. The Hittites were among the upright Gentiles who were...

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
'The sea and the waves roaring' means heresy and controversies in the church and individual.

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...

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.

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...

sight
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...

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 at the New Church Vineyard website.


 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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