It is far easier to be the premier of a billion Chinese than the prime minister of a few million Jews.(3) (A humorous story illustrating this point is told about a meeting between former US President Harry Truman and the future Prime Minister of Israel Golda Meir. And instead of speaking to the rock as he was commanded to do, he hits it.We have to spend a little time talking about the tragedy of the spies, because the implication of this event is going to reverberate throughout all of Jewish history.It's going to put into place one of the most significant and certainly most depressing dates in the Jewish calendar -- the Ninth of Av -- Tisha B'Av.This theme will repeat itself over and over again throughout the Bible.Moses, of course, sees his error right away and accepts God's judgment.God tells Moses to speak to the rock and water will flow.
These 12 spies spend 40 days scouting out the land and they come back with a huge cluster of grapes saying, "You all see the size of these grapes? We may as well go back to Egypt."(1) Only two of the spies dissent from this report: Joshua ben Nun, who is Moses' chief student, and Caleb ben Yefuna from the tribe of Judah.
It's a desecration of God's name, done publicly in front of the Jewish people.
The consequences show just how accountable people on such high levels are for the little mistakes they make and the repercussions of those mistakes.
Moses is absolutely horrified and God is very angry.
He issue two decrees of punishment: The Jews wander for 40 years.