The word “spies” may be an incorrect translation. The Hebrew word that the Torah uses is מרגלים (“meraglim”), which mean “spy”. In Numbers 13:, the Hebrew word describing the group is also the word usually translated as “men” or the word usually translated as “princes”. In addition, the twelve were clearly not trained as spies, nor did they conduct any covert activity, nor did they enlist any indigenous people for later help. Thus, the phrase “Twelve Scouts” or “Twelve Observers” might be an alternative way of describing the group. However, the final point remains that their “report” resulted in a great outcry and the Israelites despaired of entering the promised land and were punished by God accordingly, as outlined above. [citation needed]

Twelve spies coloring page, On TheDollPalace.