#357. Do the people initiate the plan to send spies to scout out the land OR does Moses command the people to do this? (Deut 1:22 [D] vs Num 13:17 [J])
#358. Is the plan to send spies presented as an alternative plan OR Yahweh’s original commandment? (Deut 1:21-22 [D] vs Num 13:1 [P])
#359. Are the Amorites in the land OR is it the Canaanites and the Amalekites? (Deut 1:20, 1:27, 1:44 [D] vs Num 13:29, 14:25, 14:43-45 [J])
#360. In the face of there being giants in the land, who encourages the people to have faith in Yahweh: Moses OR Caleb OR Caleb and Joshua? (Deut 1:29 [D] vs Num 13:30 [J] vs Num 14:6-9 [P])
#361. Does Moses intercede on the people’s behalf exhorting Yahweh not to wipe them out OR does he not? (Num 14:11-23 [J] vs Deut 1:29-40 [D])
#362. Is Yahweh also incensed with Moses OR is he not? (Deut 1:37, 3:26 [D] vs Num 14:11-35 [J/P])
#363. After the men are defeated at Hormah, do they turn back into the wilderness OR do they return to Kadesh? (Deut 1:40, 2:1 [D]; Num 14:25 [J] vs Deut 1:46 [D]; Num 20:14 [P])

The story of the spying of the promised land is initially recounted in Numbers 13-14, which as we have already seen is a composite text of the Yahwist and later Priestly traditions (see Contradictions #233, #234, #235-236, #237, and #238-240). When we say “composite text,” we mean that the text/story in the form that it has come to us modern readers is composite in nature; it is composed of two onceRead More

#352. Who initiates the proposal to appoint judges over the Israelites: Moses OR Jethro? (Deut 1:9-13 vs Ex 18:17-23)
#353. When is this judiciary appointment made: before OR after Sinai? (Ex 18:13 vs Deut 1:19)
#354. Where is the judiciary formed: at Rephidim OR Horeb? (Ex 19:2 vs Deut 1:19)
#355. What are the criteria of selecting these judges: “men of truth, who fear god and hate gain” OR “men with wisdom, discernment, and knowledge”? (Ex 18:21 vs Deut 1:13)
#356. Did “Moses do everything that Jethro had instructed him to do” OR not? (Ex 18:24-25 vs Deut 1:9-18)

In my previous post, Moses Retells His Story (Part 1) we saw how a reader might react to the realization that Moses’ renarration of the appointment of the judiciary in Deuteronomy 1:9-18 differed significantly from its “original” narration in Exodus 18:13-26. In that post, I neither attempted to explain why, nor how, these differences existed. I simply presented our 1st person reader grappling with these textual inconsistencies and contradictions which heRead More

#351. After their stay at Horeb, did Yahweh command the Israelites to “Go! Possess the land” OR not? (Deut 1:6-8 vs Num 10:28-36)

Contradictions in the Bible is really a website devoted to textual criticism of the Bible, in particular to what scholars label as source-criticism, that is identifying the Bible’s different and often competing textual sources and assessing when they were written, by whom, to address what historical concerns, in relation to what other literary works, etc. Nearly all of the Bible’s contradictions, from minute narrative inconsistencies to larger theological and ideological agendasRead More

#350. After the conquering of Sihon and Og does Moses deliver his first speech OR does Moab hire Balaam, the Israelites commit apostasy at Baal Peor, Yahweh grants the priesthood to Phinehas, Moses and Eleazar take a second census, Yahweh gives laws for the sacrificial calendar, etc… (Deut 1:4-3:29 vs Num 22:1-36:13)

Deuteronomy’s Moses claims that he gives his first speech to the children of Israel, who are assembled before him on the plains of Moab, immediately after the conquest of the kingdoms of Sihon and Og. After he struck Sihon king of the Amorites who lived in Hesbon and Og king of Bashan who lived in Ashtaroth at Edrei on the opposite side of the Jordan in the land of Moab, MosesRead More

#349. Does the book of Deuteronomy contain “all the words” that Yahweh spoke to Moses across the Jordan OR not? (Deut 1:1-3 vs Ex 21-31, 34-40; all of Leviticus; Num 1-10, 15, 17:1-20:13, 28-31)

The book of Deuteronomy opens with this seemingly innocuous claim: These are the words which Moses spoke to all of Israel on the other side of the Jordan in the wilderness, in the plains before the Suph (sea), between Paran and Tophel and Laban and Hazeroth and Di-zahab (11 days from Horeb by way of mount Seir up to Kadesh-barnea). And it came to pass in the 40th year in theRead More

Introduction to Forthcoming Contradictions for Deuteronomy

We finally make it to the book of Deuteronomy—a book that in my view best exemplifies how later scribes, in this case the Deuteronomist, modified, rewrote, and even contradicted earlier tellings of Israel’s stories and traditions in an attempt to “up-date” these older traditions so that they better conformed with the religious and political views of their own historical circumstances. But don’t take my word on this matter. Rather, take theRead More

#348. A manslayer must remain in the city of refuge until he can stand trial OR until the current high priest dies? (Josh 20:6 vs Num 35:25)

This is the last entry for the book of Numbers. This contradiction continues the previous entries on the Torah’s variant asylum traditions (see Contradictions #345, #346, #347) and seems to be created by a spurious verse embedded in the Joshua passage. That is both the Priestly passage of Numbers 35 and the Priestly redactional work of Joshua 20 state that the murderer who murders another by mistake must remain in theRead More