Rabbi Chiya describes the corrupted testimony of the spies about the Land. The spies took a small grape cluster from the bunch and said that they were promised Land of Milk and Honey and this is its fruit. If the measure of what they receive is related to the suffering they went through, then Egypt would give them much better fruits.
“אֶפֶס כִּי-עַז הָעָם, הַיֹּשֵׁב בָּאָרֶץ; וְהֶעָרִים, בְּצֻרוֹת גְּדֹלֹת מְאֹד, וְגַם-יְלִדֵי הָעֲנָק, רָאִינוּ שָׁם”
“However, the people that dwell in the land are fierce, and the cities are fortified and very great; and moreover, we saw the children of Anak there.”
Normally the people outside the cities were warriors and strong. They protect the roads and the cities but here the spies describe the natives including those inside the cities as people with great strength, living inside fortified cities that no army can penetrate them. They also mentioned “עֲמָלֵק יוֹשֵׁב, בְּאֶרֶץ הַנֶּגֶב” “Amalek dwells in the land of the South” to scare the people because Amalek hurt them once before. They use that in the way you scare a person that was bitten by a snake, “look, here is a snake”. That person would get scared because he had a bad experience with snakes.
Immediately after they heard the stories, the nation fell into fear and cried to Moses
“וַתִּשָּׂא, כָּל-הָעֵדָה, וַיִּתְּנוּ, אֶת-קוֹלָם; וַיִּבְכּוּ הָעָם, בַּלַּיְלָה הַהוּא”
“Then all the congregation lifted up their voices and cried, and the people wept that night.”
When a person starts with a lie he continues to build on it, adding more lies to sound believable. It’s hard for a liar to turn back on his lies once he is connected to the inflated lies. The ego of that person won’t let him go back.
Some pathological liars believe in their own lies and can’t distinguish the truth from false. They sound like telling the truth because they believe in them. These people have a strong aspect of death and we should avoid them like a plague.
Because the presence of the Snake is strong in the world, lies are everywhere. We hear fake news, ‘doctored’ images and movies, politicians, misleading TV commercials and advertisements.
The Zohar calls this world ‘עלמא דשקרא’, ‘the world of lies’ because everything is depending on the senses that could mislead us easily. It’s very difficult for most people to detect lies but when we connect and study Torah and Zohar we elevate ourselves to the Tree of Life and can see the truth.