Two Perspectives שתי הסעיפים
In the Torah in the Book of Numbers Chapter 13 במדבר פרק יג Israel was flush with the sense of her own strength. Moses had numbered the people at G-d’s commandment. The tribes were arranged in their respective places around the Tabernacle אוהל מועד, and the Levites had their assigned places, duties, and provisions. With the sense of order came the realization of strength and power. Israel came to see her own prowess. Full of the sense of her own power, and the magnificence of being a new nation, Israel decided to send spies into the land in order to reconnoiter and to devise strategies to conquer the nations who were in it. With their own glory in mind Israel decided to choose twelve of the most illustrious princes, one prince from each tribe that was to receive an inheritance in the land. Each tribe chose one prince from among their people: the most famous and valiant, the most highly esteemed for strength and intelligence. These princes would search and map out the land, and come back with intelligent strategies. These strategies would allow the prowess of Israel to conquer all the enemies that dwelt there.
At this point we come to the two differences in opinion שתי הסעיפים. The dichotomy between them at first appears to be subtle. But the longer that they are intently observed, it becomes evident that the two differences in opinion שתי הסעיפים are diametrically opposed to each other, and the difference between them grows and widens until a huge chasm separates them.
The first opinion was that of the ten spies that were from the tribes other than Judah (Caleb) and Ephraim (Joshua ). (Levi was not included because Levi did not have a territorial inheritance in the land.) Each of these ten princes was filled with the sense of his own position, popularity and the glory of his renown within his own tribe, and the feeling of his own importance and power. They were also elevated and riding on the collective realization by
all the people of Israel כל עם ישראל of their own power and strength as a new united nation. The princes were carried away by this euphoria, but the strength of HASHEM was not in their present mindset. He was not in their minds and their hearts. HASHEM had been replaced with the ostentatious estimation of their own self-importance, and the new collective self-esteem and self-importance in the consciousness of the people.
The second opinion was that of the two spies from the remaining two tribes, Judah and Ephraim. Although these two princes were renowned and illustrious in their own tribes, they did remember the total power and the prowess of HASHEM, and the mighty works, and signs, and wonders that HASHEM had recently performed when He had brought the people out of Egypt, and when He had drowned Israel’s enemies in the Red Sea. They were in the opinion and the mindset that all of Israel had when the people saw the bodies of their enemies wash up on the shore of the Red Sea.
On that day the Lord saved Israel from the hands of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore.
And Israel saw the great hand, which the Lord had used upon the Egyptians, and the people feared the Lord, and they believed in the Lord and in Moses, His servant.
וַיּוֹשַׁע יְהֹוָה בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא אֶת יִשְׂרָאֵל מִיַּד מִצְרָיִם
וַיַּרְא יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶת מִצְרַיִם מֵת עַל שְׂפַת הַיָּם
וַיַּרְא יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶת הַיָּד הַגְּדֹלָה אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה יְהֹוָה בְּמִצְרַיִם וַיִּירְאוּ הָעָם אֶת יְהֹוָה
וַיַּאֲמִינוּ בַּיהֹוָה וּבְמשֶׁה עַבְדּוֹ
Exodus 14:30-31 שמות יד:ל-לא
These two spies, Joshua and Caleb, were also mindful of the glory and holiness of HASHEM that they had recently witnessed at Mount Sinai. As a result of these meditations, they were trusting in the Mercy or Hesed חסד of HASHEM. They were relying upon His Mercy or Hesed חסד, not relying upon their own power, fame, position, ingenuity, and strength. Their perspective fell into the category that is delineated in Psalm 147 and Psalm 33:
He does not desire the might of the horse, nor does He take pleasure in the legs of man.
The Lord desires those who fear Him, those who hope (trust) in His mercy.
לֹא בִגְבוּרַת הַסּוּס יֶחְפָּץ לֹא בְשׁוֹקֵי הָאִישׁ יִרְצֶה
רוֹצֶה יְהֹוָה אֶת יְרֵאָיו אֶת הַמְיַחֲלִים לְחַסְדּוֹ
Psalm147:10-11 תהלים קמז:י-יא
The king is not saved with a vast army; a mighty man will not be rescued with great strength.
A horse is a false hope for victory, and with his power, he will not escape.
Behold the eye of the Lord is to those who fear Him, to those who hope for His mercy.
אֵין הַמֶּלֶךְ נוֹשָׁע בְּרָב חָיִל גִּבּוֹר לֹא יִנָּצֵל בְּרָב כֹּחַ
שֶׁקֶר הַסּוּס לִתְשׁוּעָה וּבְרֹב חֵילוֹ לֹא יְמַלֵּט
הִנֵּה עֵין יְהֹוָה אֶל יְרֵאָיו לַמְיַחֲלִים לְחַסְדּו
Psalm 33:16-19 תהלים לג:טז-יט
May Your kindness (mercy), O Lord, be upon us, as we hope (in trust, expectation) for You.
יְהִי חַסְדְּךָ יְהֹוָה עָלֵינוּ
כַּאֲשֶׁר יִחַלְנוּ לָךְ
Psalm 33:22 תהלים לג:כב
This was not the perspective of the other 10 princes. Their trust was in their own power, position, and renown, together with the collective sense of the glory and power of all the people of Israel as Moses ordered their tribes around Mount Sinai. The sight of 600,000 fighting men made them feel strong. The glory and power of the people had eclipsed their sense of the glory and the power of HASHEM.
They were trusting in the might of man בְשׁוֹקֵי הָאִישׁ
and the strength of the horse בִגְבוּרַת הַסּוּס
that is described in Psalm 147 above. This is the strength of the flesh.
Part II: The Outcomes התוצאות
While they were spying and searching the land, the 10 spies became aware of the huge stature of their enemies, and their own power appeared tiny in comparision. They were judging by the sight of their eyes, and measuring their power by the perceptions of the flesh, not by the revelations of the Holy Spirit. They also saw the high walls around immensely fortified cities. The cities appeared to be so impregnable by the judgment of their natural minds, and the information given to them by their five senses. Any strategies that they could devise by their natural sensual intellects seemed to be useless and futile. They also saw how huge the crops of the land grew to be in their fruition. They grew to gigantic sizes. It didn’t matter how delicious and juicy and succulent the fruit of the land was. The size was a negative in their eyes because it reinforced the perception of the size of their enemies and their impregnable cities. They realized their own smallness, and the impossibility of achieving victory in their own flesh. By relying upon their own strength, and their own ingenuity it seemed impossible to conquer their enemies. Moreover, the strength of the people of Israel עם ישראל suddenly appeared in their own estimation to be small and woefully inadequate to conquer impregnable cities, and the huge, fierce giants who were well trained and well versed in the practices of war. The 10 spies became filled with fear and trembling trepidation. Their minds became overwhelmed with the perceived impossibility of ever conquering such peoples. The land also became to be viewed by their sensual minds in a negative light. They saw the land as devouring its inhabitants.
The other two spies, Joshua of the tribe of Ephraim, and Caleb of the tribe of Judah, saw the land in a different perspective. They formed a different opinion. When they saw the giants, they remembered the glory of HASHEM, and how HASHEM had destroyed Pharaoh and his armies. When they saw the high walls and the fortified cities, they remembered the signs and wonders that HASHEM had performed in the land of Egypt. They remembered how HASHEM had protected the children of Israel, and separated them from the Egyptians. When HASHEM smote the Egyptians with plagues, He put a hedge of protection around His people so that they were untouched by the disasters. As it is written in Psalm 91:
For He will save you from the snare that traps from the devastating pestilence.
With His wing He will cover you, and under His wings you will take refuge; His truth is an encompassing shield.
You will not fear the terror of night, the arrow that flies by day;
Pestilence that prowls in darkness, destruction that ravages at noon.
A thousand shall fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand; but it will not approach you.
You will but gaze with your eyes, and you will see the annihilation of the wicked.
כִּי הוּא יַצִּילְךָ מִפַּח יָקוּשׁ מִדֶּבֶר הַוּוֹת
בְּאֶבְרָתוֹ | יָסֶךְ לָךְ וְתַחַת כְּנָפָיו תֶּחְסֶּה צִנָּה וְסֹחֵרָה אֲמִתּוֹ
לֹא תִירָא מִפַּחַד לָיְלָה מֵחֵץ יָעוּף יוֹמָם
מִדֶּבֶר בָּאֹפֶל יַהֲלֹךְ מִקֶּטֶב יָשׁוּד צָהֳרָיִם
יִפֹּל מִצִּדְּךָ | אֶלֶף וּרְבָבָה מִימִינֶךָ אֵלֶיךָ לֹא יִגָּשׁ
רַק בְּעֵינֶיךָ תַבִּיט וְשִׁלֻּמַת רְשָׁעִים תִּרְאֶה
Psalm 91:3-8 תהלים צא:ג-ח
Therefore these high walled cities and the giant peoples who lived within them only served to augment their meditation of the power and the glory of HASHEM.
in His law he meditates day and night.
וּבְתוֹרָתוֹ יֶהְגֶּה יוֹמָם וָלָיְלָה
Psalm 1:2 תהלים א:ב
Joshua and Caleb were filled with joy at seeing an opportunity for the power of HASHEM to be displayed. Thus when they saw the fruit of the land, how huge and delectable it was, they rejoiced at the size of it, because the fruit proclaimed the grandeur of the goodness of HASHEM. They rejoiced in HASHEM for producing such wonderful, succulent blessings for them to inherit. The land appeared to them to be very GOOD GOOD. טוב טוב מאד
Part III: The Report השמועה
The report that the 10 spies elicited to the people of Israel issued from their negative perspective. It was negative. It was full of fear. It caused the heart of the people to be discouraged and melt. The 10 spies compared themselves in the flesh to their enemies. They measured themselves to them by the calculations of their natural sensual minds. They said that they were as tiny and vulnerable as grasshoppers.
There we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, descended from the giants. In our eyes, we seemed like grasshoppers, and so we were in their eyes.
וְשָׁם רָאִינוּ אֶת הַנְּפִילִים בְּנֵי עֲנָק מִן הַנְּפִלִים
וַנְּהִי בְעֵינֵינוּ כַּחֲגָבִים וְכֵן הָיִינוּ בְּעֵינֵיהֶם
Numbers 13:33 במדבר יג:לג
The land, in the opinion of the 10 spies, reinforced this negative concept. Even though it produced extraordinarily good and gigantic fruit, it was a land that appeared to devour its inhabitants.
They spread an [evil] report about the land which they had scouted, telling the children of Israel, “The land we passed through to explore is a land that consumes its inhabitants, and all the people we saw in it are men of stature.
וַיֹּצִיאוּ דִּבַּת הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר תָּרוּ אֹתָהּ אֶל בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל לֵאמֹר
הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר עָבַרְנוּ בָהּ לָתוּר אֹתָהּ אֶרֶץ אֹכֶלֶת יוֹשְׁבֶיהָ הִוא
וְכָל הָעָם אֲשֶׁר רָאִינוּ בְתוֹכָהּ אַנְשֵׁי מִדּוֹת
Numbers 13:32 במדבר יג:לב
The 10 spies brought a slanderous report against the good land. They were convinced in their own minds and hearts that they were right. They were discouraged. They murmured against G-d for giving them such difficulties.
The report of the the other two spies, Joshua and Caleb, was radically different. It proceeded from a different perspective. It was positive. It was faith. It was full of joy and promise, mixed with the excitement of hope. Joshua and Caleb looked upon the difficulties as an opportunity for HASHEM to manifest His glory. The size of the fruit of the land was a positive testimony to the goodness of HASHEM. It confirmed their belief that HASHEM wanted to give Israel the land. They blessed HASHEM for giving to Israel the VERY BEST and the BIGGEST to inherit. They were jubilant and excited.
Part IV: The Effects of the Report התצאות של הדיבה
The people of Israel believed the report of the majority. They believed in numbers. The report of the 10 outweighed by sheer numbers the report of the two. Therefore it appeared to be the valid report. They adopted the perspective of the 10 spies. They took and believed the report of the flesh, rather than the report of the Holy Spirit. As a result the people murmured against HASHEM. They ate the forbidden fruit. They became fearful and despondent. They became disillusioned and morbidly introspective. They began to feel sorry for themselves and gave way to self-pity. They cried in their tents all night long. They became full of the fear of failure, and also of the fear of death. They began to blame HASHEM for “creating” their difficulties. They became resentful, and full of bitterness, and the bitterness turned to rebellion against HASHEM. They backslid and determined to return to their slavery in Egypt.
Part V: The Judgment המשפט
When the people of Israel received the perspective of the 10 spies, it caused them to enter into unbelief. They said “We CAN NOT.”
But the men who went up with him said, “We CAN NOT go up against the people, for they are stronger than we.
וְהָאֲנָשִׁים אֲשֶׁר עָלוּ עִמּוֹ אָמְרוּ לֹא נוּכַל
לַעֲלוֹת אֶל הָעָם כִּי חָזָק הוּא מִמֶּנּוּ
Numbers 13:31 במדבר יג:לא
In contrast, the report of the two spies was the report of FAITH. It said “We CERTAINLY CAN!”
Caleb silenced the people who were opposing Moses, and he said,
“We can surely go up and take possession of the land
for we CERTAINLY CAN overcome the obstacles.”
וַיַּהַס כָּלֵב אֶת הָעָם אֶל משֶׁה
וַיֹּאמֶר עָלֹה נַעֲלֶה וְיָרַשְׁנוּ אֹתָהּ
כִּי יָכוֹל נוּכַל לָהּ
Numbers 13:30 במדבר יג:ל
This is the report that proceeded from the perspective of the two spies. It is a report that would have caused the people of Israel to enter into the Sabbath Rest that HASHEM decreed on the seventh day of creation. For it is the exact Hebrew word that HASHEM uses to describe His Sabbath Rest.
Now the heavens and the earth were completed and all their host.
וַיְכֻלּוּ הַשָּׁמַיִם וְהָאָרֶץ וְכָל צְבָאָם
And God completed on the seventh day His work that He did
וַיְכַל אֱלֹהִים בַּיּוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי מְלַאכְתּוֹ אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה וַיִּשְׁבֹּת בַּיּוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי מִכָּל מְלַאכְתּוֹ אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה
Genesis 2:1-2 בראשית ב:א-ב
Since there is not evening and morning declared for the seventh day, it applies to NOW.
The report of the 10 spies caused the people of Israel to break the Sabbath of HASHEM, and NOT to enter into His rest. The people were full of fear and unease and self-pity. Thus they were in turmoil and there was no rest to their souls.
The Messiah המשיח said that His yoke would cause us to enter the Sabbath rest of HASHEM.
“Take my yoke upon you,
And learn of me,
And you shall find rest to your souls.”
Thus the report of the two spies would have caused the people of Israel עם ישראל to enter into the Sabbath of HASHEM, and to enter into His rest. The perspective of the two spies would have caused them to be full of joy, victory, multiple triumphs, and rejoicing. They would be able to rest their souls in the power and the glory and the goodness of HASHEM. Their flesh was dead in the face of the glory of HASHEM. This is what Moses had attempted to teach them.
But because Israel went with the report and the perspective of the 10 spies, the majority, they did not enter into the rest of HASHEM and they spent 40 years of their lives wandering in the wilderness, where they finally died. Those unbelievers never entered into the possession of their inheritance.
When your fathers tested Me; they tried Me, even though they had seen My work.
Forty years I quarreled with a generation, and I said, “They are a people of erring hearts and they did not know My ways.”
For which reason I swore in My wrath, if they should enter into My rest.
אֲשֶׁר נִסּוּנִי אֲבוֹתֵיכֶם בְּחָנוּנִי גַּם רָאוּ פָעֳלִי
אַרְבָּעִים שָׁנָה | אָקוּט בְּדוֹר וָאֹמַר עַם תֹּעֵי לֵבָב הֵם וְהֵם לֹא יָדְעוּ דְרָכָי
אֲשֶׁר נִשְׁבַּעְתִּי בְאַפִּי אִם יְבֹאוּן אֶל מְנוּחָתִי
Psalm 95:9-11 תהלים צה:ט-יא
Caleb and Joshua, on the other hand, entered into the possession of their inheritance, and they did not die in the wilderness.
The Messiah המשיח said that unless we die to the perspective of the flesh, and its mindset or rationale, which is usually the perspective of the majority opinion, we will not grasp and enter into the inheritance of the Kingdom of HASHEM. He said:
“Unless a man deny himself,
And take up his cross and follow me,
He cannot be my disciple.”
They that are in the flesh cannot please G-d. Through the power of the Spirit of G-d, and His perspective, we can conquer, and we can enter and live in the Kingdom of G-d, thereby entering into the Sabbath and the goodness of HASHEM. We then eat the fruit of the land, which He has prepared in advance for us to enjoy.