A parable for the Meraglim

By starting off with a good report the meraglim were like a soccer player donning the other team’s jersey, gaining their trust and turning around to score a goal for his team.

So the Meraglim (Bemidbar 13:27,) started off with an honest report saying: we came to the land… and indeed it is flowing with milk and honey …. They went on to give the bad report.

Kalev used this tactic against them (ibid 30) vayahas Kalev – Kalev hushed them … Rashi explains that he started off as if to say more bad against Moshe to gain the ear of the people and then lobbied against the spies.

A Question in Rashi

The pasuk (Bemidbar 13:22) says the meraglim (spies) went up through the Negev till Chevron… and Chevron was built seven years before Tzoan Mitzrayim.

Rashi asks on this, is it possible that Cham would build Chevron for Kenaan his younger son before he would build Tzoan for Mitzraim his oldest son?

From this question we see that Rashi understands Chevron (and apparently Israel) as having been given by Cham to Kenaan. This means that Eretz Yisroel (the Land of Israel) belonged to Cham.

Yet Rashi in Parshas Lech Lecha (Breishis 12:6) on the words in the pasuk: vehaKenaani az baaretz (and the Kaninites were yet in the land,) states that Kenaan had conquered the land from Bnei Sheim (the sons of Noach’s son Sheim,) as Noach had given this land to Sheim when he apportioned the world to his sons.

The mepharshim (commentators) (Ibid) ask on this apparent contradiction in Rashi. The Avi Ezri brings the Chezkuni who answers that the Talmud (Kesubos 112a) has a different wording. The Talmud says: would a man build a house for his younger son and then his older… Through this the Chezkuni explains that really the man is Noach and his sons are Sheim (the younger) and Cham.

Thus the explanation is that Noach allocated the land to Sheim and the offspring of Cham (Bnei Kenaan – the sons of Kenaan) vanquished it from Bnei Sheim.

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