spread an evil report

See: malign
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Standing on the cusp of Canaan, he sends 12 spies to tour the strange new land; when they return, 10 of them have some bad news: "They spread an evil report about the land which they had scouted," reads the parasha, "telling the children of Israel, 'The land we passed through to explore is a land that consumes its inhabitants, and all the people we saw in it are men of stature.