Men Died in Wilderness but Ladies Entered Promised Land

It is a perception that only Joshua and Caleb who came out of Egypt entered the promised land. But do the Scripture really say that? You might be surprised to learn that the ladies who came out of Egypt actually got an entry ticket into the promised land.

The Victims

Num 14:3 “Why has the LORD brought us to this land to fall by the sword, that our wives and children should become victims? Would it not be better for us to return to Egypt?”

The children of Israel rebelled against the LORD and questioned why He brought them to this land that their wives and children should become victims.

Who are the victims?

  • Wives
  • Children


Deut 1:35 ‘Surely not one of these men of this evil generation shall see that good land of which I swore to give to your fathers

The complainers seem to be all men to whom God is denying entry into the promised land.

Num 14:29-31 ‘The carcasses of you who have complained against Me shall fall in this wilderness, all of you who were numbered, according to your entire number, from twenty years old and above. Except for Caleb the son of Jephunneh and Joshua the son of Nun, you shall by no means enter the land which I swore I would make you dwell in. But your little ones, whom you said would be victims, I will bring in, and they shall know the land which you have despised.

Deut 2:14-18 “And the time we took to come from Kadesh Barnea until we crossed over the Valley of the Zered was thirty-eight years, until all the generation of the men of war was consumed from the midst of the camp, just as the LORD had sworn to them. For indeed the hand of the LORD was against them, to destroy them from the midst of the camp until they were consumed. So it was, when all the men of war had finally perished from among the people, that the LORD spoke to me, saying: This day you are to cross over at Ar, the boundary of Moab.

When God responds in anger towards the children of Israel because of their unbelief, He seems to reply that only the little ones whom they said will be victims will enter the promised land. Didn’t the children of Israel say that their wives will also be victims? Absolutely yes. So, why did God not include their wives in the list of victims? The simple reason is, God is addressing only the males.

Who complained against God?

  • All of those who are numbered, 20 years and above
  • Except Joshua and Caleb


Num 1:2-3 “Take a census of all the congregation of the children of Israel, by their families, by their fathers’ houses, according to the number of names, every male individually, from twenty years old and above–all who are able to go to war in Israel. You and Aaron shall number them by their armies.

Num 1:47-49 But the Levites were not numbered among them by their fathers’ tribe; for the LORD had spoken to Moses, saying: Only the tribe of Levi you shall not number, nor take a census of them among the children of Israel;

All the males from twenty years and above from all tribes except the tribe of Levi are numbered.

Entering Promised Land

‘Surely none of the men who came up from Egypt, from twenty years old and above, shall see the land of which I swore to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, because they have not wholly followed Me, (Num 32:11)

Based on what the Scriptures actually say, the following people inherited the promised land.

  • The ladies of all ages and little ones who are under 20 years old from all tribes
  • All the tribe of Levi both men and women (except Moses and Aaron)
  • Joshua and Caleb

The popular belief is that from all who came out of Egypt, only Joshua and Caleb inherited the land. The truth is, the ladies and their little ones from all tribes, the entire tribe of Levi except Moses and Aaron and finally, Joshua and Caleb inherited the land.

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Ed Eifert
2 years ago

how about the people who were under 20? see Numb. 32:11