gennaio 29th, 2013
Chapter 13of the book of Numbers, the fourth Old Testament text, narrates that Moses sends some explorers to the promised land.
The people were still in the desert of Paràn, and the conquest of Canaan required careful planning: it was necessary to know its characteristics, if the people who inhabited it were strong or weak, numerous or scarce, with what the defences the cities were provided with, the camps’ location and what type of vegetation there was… In short, even if it was a land promised by “god”, Moses knew that it had to be conquered with weapons, using prudent and well-planned strategies.
God was certainly powerful but not omnipotent, Moses knew it, and was also aware that their goal was to be achieved by counting on their own strength. He therefore sends explorers to acquire the necessary information. After forty days they come back bringing information and local products. They report that the land is actually very attractive, but it is inhabited by strong and aggressive people; some of them even claim that this is an impossible expedition and state (Nm 13:28):
And there we saw the one born from Anàq, too
These explorers make a list of the various people they met, but feel it’s necessary to point out with emphasis that they “also” saw the sons of Anàq, namely the Anaqitis. Why? They clearly explain it by saying that they thoroughly observed the land to conquer (Nm 13:32-33):
Among all the people we saw men of stature and there we saw the Nephilìms, children of Anàq; compared to the Nephilìms, in our eyes, we were like locusts and such we were in their eyes.