About Face! Forward March!By Rabbi Jack Abramowitz
The people ostensibly refused to conquer Israel because they feared for the lives of their children. Well, those selfsame children would be the ones to inherit the land. Until that time, it was “about face” and back into the desert.
The people were most apologetic and they offered to go conquer the land then and there. Moshe told them not to bother – God was no longer with them, so there was no way they could succeed. They didn’t listen and made the attempt anyway, only to be beaten back by the Amorites.
They were to remain camped in Kadesh Barnea for many years. They eventually traveled to Seir, the home of the descendants of Eisav (Esau).