Did none (Deuteronomy 5:2-3; Numbers 32:13) or two (Numbers 26:65) of Moses’ contemporaries enter the promised land? Is there a contradiction?
For some reason the questioner believes that Deuteronomy 5:2-3 excludes the possibility of Moses’ contemporaries entering the land of promise. Note the text:
The LORD our God made a covenant with us in Horeb. The LORD did not make this covenant with our fathers, but with us, those who are here today, all of us who are alive. (Deuteronomy 5:2-3)
Where does the text speak about who would and would not go into the promised land? Moses is recounting the history of the Israelites, and in this chapter speaks about them receiving the Law at Mount Sinai (read the rest of the chapter). Who did Moses speak to? Verse 3 doesn’t exclude anyone, but addresses any who were living and there at that time.
Take a look at Numbers 26:65:
For the LORD had said of them, ‘They shall surely die in the wilderness.’ So there was not left a man of them, except Caleb the son of Jephunneh and Joshua the son of Nun.
The questioner cites this as evidence that two contemporaries of Moses would enter the land of promise. Numbers 32:12-13 says the exact same thing!
…except Caleb the son of Jeph-unneh, the Kenizzite, and Joshua the son of Nun, for they have wholly followed the LORD. So the LORD’s anger was aroused against Israel, and He made them wander in the wilderness forty years, until all the generation that had done evil in the sight of the LORD was gone. (Numbers 32:12-13)
Why did the questioner only cite verse 13, and not verse 12 also? I hope it wasn’t an effort at being dishonest with the text.
Just a point of clarification, Caleb and Joshua were not contemporary with Moses. Joshua succeeded Moses as the leader of the Israelites (Deuteronomy 31:14, 23). He would have been of the generation that followed Moses. It is likely that Caleb was about the same age as Joshua.
There is no contradiction.
A response to 1001 Bible Contradictions.