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23 they will by no means[a] see the land that I promised on oath to their fathers, nor will any of them who despised me see it— 24 Only my servant Caleb, because he had a different spirit and has followed me fully—I will bring him into the land where he had gone, and his descendants[b] will possess it. 25 (Now the Amalekites and the Canaanites were living in the valleys.)[c] Tomorrow, turn and journey into the wilderness by the way of the Red Sea.”

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  1. Numbers 14:23 tn The word אִם (ʾim) indicates a negative oath formula: “if” means “they will not.” It is elliptical. In a human oath one would be saying: “The Lord do to me if they see…,” meaning “they will by no means see.” Here God is swearing that they will not see the land.
  2. Numbers 14:24 tn Heb “seed.”
  3. Numbers 14:25 sn The judgment on Israel is that they turn back to the desert and not attack the tribes in the land. So a parenthetical clause is inserted to state who was living there. They would surely block the entrance to the land from the south—unless God removed them. And he is not going to do that for Israel.

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