A new year. . . a new (re)start. Let’s see if I can get back on track here.
First, Happy New Year!
Second, this contradiction continues where we left off—noting the variant traditions concerning Moses’ death and the reasons why, from the perspective of our various scribes (mainly P & D), he was not allowed to enter the promised land. I’m indebted to a reader who pointed this one out to me. Thanks John.
Similar to the way in which the Priestly writer retold the older Yahwist story of the Waters at Meribah so that he could interject into his version a reason why Moses would not enter the promised land (previous post #266), the Deuteronomist retells another Yahwist story for the same purpose—to interject in the tradition that he received the reason why, from his assessment, Moses could not enter the promised land (see forthcoming Deuteronomy contradictions). What I neglected to mention in #266 was that these 2 events occur at the opposite ends of the wilderness campaign, and thus also when Moses was told that he could not enter Canaan.
Thus, while the Priestly source has Yahweh telling Moses that he will not enter the promised land on account of his rebellion concerning the Waters of Meribah in the 40th year of the wilderness campaign (see #261), the Deuteronomic tradition has Yahweh informing Moses of this—due to no fault of his!—in the 2nd year of the wilderness campaign as a direct result of the spying of the land episode. Unlike the present placement of this story in the Priestly redacted book of Numbers (see #233, #234, #235-236, #237, #238-240), in the Deuteronomic tradition the spying of the land happens directly before the 38 years of wandering (Deut 2:14), and indeed causes there to be 38 years of wandering. Thus in this tradition Moses is informed in the 2nd year. Additionally, in the Priestly tradition there is no acknowledgment of this happening on the 2nd year.
Tomorrow we will venture into chapter 21 of Numbers, which on its own evidences a number of textual problems and contradictory traditions.