שׁלח - "Send Out"
Then the LORD spoke to Moses saying, "Send out for yourself men so that they may spy out the land of Canaan, which I am going to give to the sons of Israel; you shall send a man from each of their fathers' tribes, every one a leader among them."
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The Hebrew Word
Sh'lach (Strong's #7971) is a primitive root which means "to send away" or "to send forth". It is used 995 times in 790 verses in the Tanakh.
First use in Scripture
The first time sh'lach is used in Scripture is in Genesis 3:22.
Then the LORD G-d said, "Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil; and now, he might stretch out his hand, and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever"--
Last use in Scripture
The last time sh'lach is used in Scripture is in Malachi 4:6.
"Behold, I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of the LORD.
- Spies View the Land - Numbers 13:1
- The Spies' Report - Numbers 13:25
- The People Rebel - Numbers 14:1
- Moshe Pleads for the People - Numbers 14:11
- The Lord Pardons and Rebukes - Numbers 14:20
- Israel Repulsed - Numbers 14:39
- Laws for Kena'an - Numbers 15:1
Portraits of Messiah
Verse by Verse Notes
"Surely all the men who have seen My glory and My signs which I performed in Egypt and in the wilderness, yet have put Me to the test these ten times and have not listened to My voice, shall by no means see the land which I swore to their fathers, nor shall any of those who spurned Me see it.
What are the ten times the Israelites tested G-d?
(1) The Children of Israel, pinned against the Red Sea with the Egyptians in close pursuit, complained to Moses: "Was it for a lack of graves in Egypt that you took us to die in the desert?" (Exodus 14:11).
(2) After safely crossing the Sea, Israel suspected that the Egyptians ascended on the opposite bank -- until G-d had the water spit them out.
(3) Complaining for water at Marah (Exodus 15:24).
(4) Complaining for food at the Desert of Sean (Exodus 16:2-3).
(5) Leaving over Manna -- in defiance of the command not to leave the Manna overnight (Exodus 16:20).
(6) Searching for Manna on the morning of the Sabbath (Exodus 16:27).
(7) Complaining for water at Refidim (Exodus 17:1-3).
(8) The sin of the Golden Calf (Exodus 32:1-6).
(9) The "mixed multitude" of nations which accompanied Israel complaining for meat, precipitating Israel's complaining as well (Numbers 11:4-6).
(10) The sin of the Ten Spies (who returned from spying the Land of Israel with a negative report) (Numbers 13-14). At this final trial, G-d refers to Israel as "having tested Me these ten times," as quoted in our mishna.1