Bamidbar Rabba 16:14 has an interesting back-story for the giant fruits that Numbers 13:23 tells us the twelve spies retrieved from Canaan:

ויבאו עד נחל אשכול - לא רצו ליטול מפירות א"י, אילולי כלב ששלף את הזיין וירץ לפניהם ואמר להם: אם אין אתם נוטלים, או אתם הורגים אותי, או אני הורג אתכם, לא היו נוטלים

"And they came to the Valley of Eshkol": They did not want to take from the fruits of the Land of Israel. If not for Caleb, who unsheathed his sword and ran before them, saying, "If you don't take, either you kill me, or I kill you," they would not have taken.

my translation

Why was Caleb so adamant, to the point of being ready to kill or be killed, over the retrieval of the fruits, in particular?

In fact, did retrieving the fruits result in any silver lining to the tragedy of the spies?

1 Answer 1


At the end of the day, it was a mitzvah from Moshe to the meraglim. Secondly, the fruits' incredible qualities were undeniable. Not bringing them back for klal yisrael to see would prevent the nation from making their own judgments about the land's bounty. At least Calev and yehoshua could make a stronger case with the evidence.

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    Jun 19, 2015 at 4:43

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