“O my people! Enter the holy land which Allah hath assigned unto you, and turn not back ignominiously, for then will ye be overthrown, to your own ruin.”
They said: “O Moses! In this land are a people of exceeding strength: Never shall we enter it until they leave it: if (once) they leave, then shall we enter.”
We now come to the events detailed in the 13th
and 14th chapters of the Book of Numbers in the Old
Testament. Read these as a Commentary, and examine
a good map of the Sinai Peninsula, showing its
connections with Egypt on the west. North-West Arabia
on the east, and Palestine on the north-east.
We may suppose that Israel crossed from Egypt into the
Peninsula somewhere near the northern extremity of the
Gulf of Suez. Moses organized and numbered the people,
and instituted the Priesthood. They went south about
200 miles to Mount Sinai where the Torah was received.
Then, perhaps a hundred and fifty miles north, was the
desert of Paran, close to the southern borders of Canaan.
From the camp there twelve men were sent to spy out
the land, and they penetrated as far as Hebron, say
about 150 miles north of their camp, about 20 miles
south of the future Jerusalem. They saw a rich country,
and brought from it pomegranates and figs and a bunch
of grapes so heavy that it had to be carried by two men
on a staff. They came back and reported that the land
was rich, but the men there were too strong for them.
The people of Israel had no courage and no faith, and
Moses remonstrated with them.
The people were not willing to follow the lead of
Moses, and were not willing to fight for their
In effect they said: “Turn out the enemy first, and then
we shall enter into possession.”
In Allah’s Law we must work and strive for what we wish
Yusuf Ali, Abdullah. Translation and Commentary of the Quran. Microsoft Word – 005 Ma’ida.doc (quran4u.com)