“Then all of you approached me” (Dt.1:22)—
as a confused mob.
Elsewhere He says:
“Then all the heads of your tribes and elders approached me” (Dt.5:20)—
the children respecting the elders,
and the elders respecting the leaders.
But here He says:
“And all of you approached me” (Dt.1:22)—
as a confused mob,
children shoving the elders,
and elders shoving the leaders.2
“And you said: let us send men in advance to scout the Land for us” (Dt.1:22).
Said R. Shimon:
What contemptible people!
For this is how they requested scouts!3
Moses replied to them:
When you were in a deserted land of brush
you didn’t request any scouts.
Now, when you are entering a good and broad land,
a land flowing with milk and honey,
you ask for scouts?4
“And they returned to us with this proposal”5 ( Dt.1:22)—
which language do they speak [in the Land]?6
“And the path of our ascent” (Dt. 1:22)—
you can find no path without its twists,
nor a path without ambushes,
nor a path without crossroads,
[all of which hinder invasion].
“And the cities by which we shall come upon them ” (Dt. 1:22)—
to know by which path we should attack.