You’ve heard that the children of Israel wandered in the wilderness for 40 years, right? The book of Numbers tells that story. Numbers follows Moses and Israel’s journey from the foot of Mount Sinai (which is where Leviticus ends) to the edge of the promised land of Canaan. If this were a regular road trip of the time, the journey would only take about two weeks. So why does it take 40 years? When the people get about halfway there, Moses sends a few spies into the land to scout it out for the upcoming invasion. (The current inhabitants probably aren’t going to welcome them with open arms.) Most of the spies come back in a panic, claiming that the Canaanites are far too powerful for Israel to overcome. This leads to a revolt, with the people refusing to take the land. God gives them their wish, decreeing that the whole generation will die in the wilderness, and the land will be taken by their children.