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CALEB2   4'1m*f RT: twelve spies report on the Promised Land

(RT == Readers' Theater: requires little or no memorization,
little or no rehearsal. An indefinite number of reporters are
salted throughout the audience.)

CALEB -- (enters wearing tunic, headdress and sandals, crosses
to podium) Good Morning. My name is Caleb son of Jephunneh. I am
one of twelve spies selected by Moses to evaluate the Promised
Land. The reason I called this press conference is to announce
the results of our evaluations.

REPORTER -- Caleb, how much time did you spend in the Promised
Land?

CALEB -- We were there for forty days. Among the twelve of us,
we spied on and evaluated virtually every nook and cranny of the
Promised Land.

REPORTER -- When you use the term PROMISED LAND, you're talking
about Canaan, aren't you?

CALEB -- Yes, but the name is a little misleading. There are
more than Canaanites living in Canaan. The Amalekites live in
the Negev; the Hittites, Jebusites and Amorites live in the hill
country; and the Canaanites live near the sea and along the
Jordan.

REPORTER -- This is bad news, isn't it, Caleb?

CALEB -- Bad news?

REPORTER -- Yes. If you were expecting to battle only one tribe
for possession of the land, but you now have FIVE tribes to
contend with, isn't that bad news?

CALEB -- Not for me.

REPORTER -- And what about the Anekites?

CALEB -- The Anekites?

REPORTER -- It's a tribe of giants. Some of them were reported
by the other spies as nine feet tall.

REPORTER -- That's six tribes.

REPORTER -- Aren't you discouraged?

CALEB -- Me? No.

REPORTER -- You and Joshua were the only two among the twelve
spies who don't seem to be discouraged by the opposition forces.
How can you two remain so optimistic?

CALEB -- Because both Joshua and I saw the potential for the
land. We picked one bunch of grapes that was so big it took two
of us to carry it back here. We also saw bumper crops of
pomegranates and figs. The Lord God of Israel was right when he
told us that the promised land is flowing with milk and honey.
And it's ours for the taking.

REPORTER -- Then, how do you explain the pessimism of the other
ten spies?

CALEB -- They have short memories.

REPORTER -- What do short memories have to do with the strength
of Israel's enemies?

CALEB -- The other ten spies saw the same ten plagues of Egypt
wipe out the most powerful nation in the world. They saw God
drown the most powerful army in the world in the Red Sea. The
tribes of Canaan are second rate compared to the Egyptian army
even if you include the Anekites.

REPORTER -- So, are you saying that Israel will be crossing over
the Jordan River into the Promised Land?

CALEB -- (sighs) Unfortunately, no.

REPORTER -- But you said Israel could defeat them.

CALEB -- We can. That is, we could if we put our trust in the
God who fought and won for us in Egypt.

REPORTER -- Are you saying that you Hebrews are NOT putting your
trust in God?

CALEB -- It's even worse than that. The Hebrews are not only
sniveling and crying in fear of these tribes, they have
threatened to remove Moses from power and elect a new leader who
will lead them back to slavery in Egypt.

REPORTER -- So, in spite of the fact that you think victory over
the tribes of Canaan is a sure thing, Israel isn't going?

CALEB -- Unfortunately that's true. Apparently, four hundred
years of slavery in Egypt has made them cowards.

REPORTER -- So, are you going back to Egypt?

CALEB -- No.

REPORTER -- No?

CALEB -- No.

REPORTER -- If you're not going to Canaan and you're not going
back to Egypt, where will you go?

CALEB -- The Lord God of Israel will march us around the Arabian
desert until all the adults who rebelled against God have died.
That's the price they will pay for their rebellion.

REPORTER -- How long will that take?

CALEB -- About forty years.

REPORTER -- So, these poor fools could have taken possession of
the Promised Land. But now they will have to settle for a slow
death in the desert?

CALEB -- May God have mercy on our souls. (exits)

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