Numbers 14:7-8

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BibleOld TestamentNumbers
RSV

7 and [Joshua and Caleb] said to all the congregation of the people of Israel, "The land, which we passed through to spy it out, is an exceedingly good land. 8 If the LORD delights in us, he will bring us into this land and give it to us, a land which flows with milk and honey.


See "very good". (The phrase translated "exceedingly good" here is "very good" in Genesis 1:31).

Flowing with Milk and Honey

(Also occurs in Exodus 3:8; 13:5; 33:3; Leviticus 20:24; Numbers 13:27; Deuteronomy 26:9, 15; Jeremiah 11:5; 32:22; Ezekiel 20:6.)

The honey in question is probably not bee's honey, for apiculture was not practiced in this early period, but rather a sweet syrup extracted from dates. The milk would most likely have been goat's milk and not cow's milk. In any case, these two synecdoches for agriculture and animal husbandry respectively become a fixed epithet for the bounty of the promised land.

Robert Alter note at Exodus 3:8