XL. (220) After this battle he considered that it was proper to reconnoitre the country into which the nation was being led as a colony (and it was now the second year that they had been travelling), not wishing that his followers should (as is often the case) change their designs out of ignorance, but that they should learn by accurate report, what the nature of the country really was, availing themselves of the positive knowledge of the inhabitants, and should then consider what was best to be done; (221) and accordingly he chose out twelve men, to correspond in number to the twelve tribes, one out of each tribe to be the leader of it, selecting the most approved men, with reference to their excellence, in order that no quarrels might arise from any one party being better or worse off than another, but that they might all, by the agency of those to whom the matter was entrusted, be equally instructed as to the state of affairs among the inhabitants, if only the spies who were sent out brought a true report. (222) And when he had selected the men he spoke to them as follows: “The inheritance which is before us is the prize of those labours and dangers which we have endured hitherto, and are still enduring, and let us not lose the hope of these things, we who are thus conducting a most populous nation to a new settlement. But the knowledge of the places, and of the men, and of the circumstances, is most useful, just as ignorance of these particulars is most injurious. (223) We have therefore appointed you as spies, that we, by your eyes and by your intellects, may see the state of things there; ye, therefore, must be the ears and eyes of all these myriads of people, that thus they may arrive at an accurate comprehension of what is indispensable to be known. (224) “Now what we wish to know consists of three points; the number of the inhabitants, and the strength of their cities, whether they are planted in favourable situations, whether they are strongly built and fortified, or the contrary. As to the country, we wish to know whether it has a deep and rich soil, whether it is good to bear all kinds of fruits, both of such plants as are raised from seed and of fruit-trees; or whether, on the contrary, it has a shallow soil; that so we may be prepared against the power and numbers of the inhabitants with equal forces, and against the fortified state of buildings and cities by means of engines and machines, for the destruction of cities. “And it is indispensable to understand the nature of the country, and whether it is a good land or not; for to encounter voluntary dangers for a poor and bad land is an act of folly; (225) and our weapons, and our engines, and all our power, consist solely in our trust and confidence in God. Having this preparation we will yield to no danger or fear, for this is sufficient with great superfluity of power to subdue otherwise invincible strength, which relies only on bodily vigour and on armies, and on courage, and skill, and numbers; since to that too we owe it, that even in a vast wilderness we have full supplies of everything, as if we were in well-stocked cities; (226) and the time in which it is most easy to come to a proper understanding of the good qualities of the land is the spring, the season which is now present; for in the season of spring what has been sown is coming to perfection, and the natures of the trees are beginning to propagate themselves further. It will be better, therefore, for you to enter the land now, and to remain till the middle of the summer, and to bring back with you fruits, as samples of what is to be procured from a prosperous and fertile country.”