There are few good things you can say about the bible, but I have to admit, I really like how you can tell at a glance when you can skip large swaths of it! Okay, so that’s probably not a quality a book should be proud of, but because it’s such an awful book, the more you can skip the better! Numbers 13:1-16 is one of these sections. God tells Moses to take one man from each tribe and have them scout out the land of Canaan, but rather than leave the decision up to Moses, God specifically names each person to be sent, including their father’s name and their tribe, just to be sure! This gives us a list of 12 tribes, 12 names, and 12 fathers. Not 13, because of course, the Levites are too busy sipping sherry and eating scones to spare a single man from their multitude.
As expected, most of the names are adorations to God, which at this point is just embarrassing. Having someone name their child after you is an honor, but how proud can you feel when an entire race of people names their children after you out of fear? Thankfully there is still a little enjoyment to be found in the silliness of some of the names. Hori mean’s “cave dweller,” Susi means “my horse,” Gemalli means “camel driver,” and the faithful old scout Caleb’s name aptly means “dog.” In fact, the Hebrew word for dog is calev, AKA caleb.