Remember the story of the miraglim in Parshas Shelach? Instead of doing exactly what Moshe said, the miraglim added things which they were not instructed. Parshas Chukas describes another team of miraglim, sent out many years later.

The Jewish people were getting ready to enter Eretz Yisrael after wandering forty years in the desert. Moshe Rabbeinu sent spies to the area of Ya’azer, which the Jewish people had to cross in order to enter Eretz Yisrael. The spies were asked to scout the area and report back to Moshe.

The miraglim sent to Ya’azer did more than spy out the land they also conquered it for the Jewish people. These miraglim were praised for what they did.

But wait a minute. These spies were not instructed to fight the people of Ya’azer. Didn’t they also add to their instructions? Didn’t they make the same mistake as the first team of miraglim ?

No. If we look closely, we’ll see that this time, things were very different.

These miraglim knew about the mistake that had been made before. During the forty years of wandering in the desert, the Jewish people had been doing teshuvah. Now they were all anxious to enter Eretz Yisrael. The miraglim wanted to show that the teshuvah of the Jewish people was complete.

The first miraglim made the mistake of adding something wrong to their instructions. The second team of miraglim added something right. The addition of the first miraglim prevented the Jewish people from entering Eretz Yisrael. The addition of these miraglim enabled them to enter the Promised Land.

By adding a right thing to their instructions, they corrected the wrong additions made by the first miraglim.

The first miraglim were timid and afraid. They did not trust HaShem, even though He had promised to help. The second group of miraglim had such tremendous trust in HaShem that they decided to fight the unfriendly people of Ya’azer by themselves. They knew that HaShem would help.

(Adapted from Sichos Shabbos Parshas Chukas, 5750)