hebrew
1)

Why did Moshe describe the desert they were in as 'great and awesome'?

1.

Rashi and Targum Yonasan: Because it contained snakes like beams and scorpions like bows 1 (which explains why nobody traveled there 2 ).


1

Targum Yonasan: Which the people saw after they had been burnt-up by the Pillar of Fire. See also Sifsei Chachamim.

2)

Why did Hashem lead Yisrael through a desert through which nobody dared pass?

1.

Ramban (on Pasuk 2) and Seforno: Because it was the shortest route to Eretz Cana'an, and He wanted to get them there as quickly as possible before they created problems and sinned. 1


1

Seforno: To no avail, because they managed to sin anyway, first by the Mis'onenim, then when they desired meat, and finally by the Meraglim.

Sefer: Perek: Pasuk:
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