When the people had heard the report of those who had been sent to search the land, the whole congregation lifted up their voice, and wept that night. They murmured against Moses and Aaron, and said to them, "Would God that we had died in the land of Egypt! or would God we had died in this wilderness! And wherefore hath the Lord brought us into this land to fall by the sword, that our wives and our children should be a prey, were it not better for us to return into Egypt! And they said one to another, Let us make a captain, and let us return into Egypt."

And Moses and Aaron fell on their faces before the congregation, and Caleb and Joshua rent their clothes and spake unto the children of Israel," saying, The land which we passed through to search it, is an exceeding good land. If the Lord delight in us, then he will bring us into this land and give it us, ....only rebel not ye against the Lord, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us; their defense is departed from them, and the Lord is with us; fear them not.”  Instead of listening to these words of courage from Caleb and Joshua, the people hardened their hearts and bade them stone them with stones.

And the anger of the Lord was kindled against the people, and he said to Moses, "How long will this people provoke me, and how long will it be ere they believe me for all the signs which I have showed among them?" He said that he would smite the people with a pestilence and disinherit them, and make of Moses a greater nation. Again Moses was ready to plead for the erring people, and besought the Lord to pardon their iniquity according to the greatness of his mercy, even as he had forgiven them from Egypt even until then. He said that if the Lord were to destroy them, the nations round about would say that the Lord was not able to bring the people into the land that he had promised, therefore he had slain them in the wilderness.

So the Lord said that he would pardon the people according to the word of Moses, but yet he told Moses that those men, who, after seeing all his glory, and the miracles which he did for them in the land of Egypt and in the wilderness, had tempted him these ten times, and had not hearkened to his voice they should not see the promised land; but that their children whom they had said should be a prey, should possess the land which their fathers had despised. He said that the people should wander in the wilderness until all those from twenty years old and upwards, who had murmured against him, should die; but that Caleb and Joshua, because they had had another spirit, they should enter into the land.

Now the men that brought back the evil report died by the plague before the Lord.