It would seem that the Priestly tradition itself exhibits some variation and discrepancies with respect to the wilderness itinerary.
Notwithstanding the fact that P doesn’t record a skirting around Edom tradition (see #268), the specific movement from Hor directly into Edom is variously represented in Numbers 21 and 33.
Numbers 21:10 presents the itinerary as follows:
- Hor ➔ Oboth ➔ Iyye-Abarim
While Numbers 33:41 claims:
- Hor ➔ Zalmonah ➔ Punon ➔ Oboth ➔ Iyye-Abarim
The differences here are not significant, since both traditions have the Israelites marching directly into Edomite cities. The most significant discrepancy is that these Priestly traditions, contrary to the Yahwist and Deuteornimc tradition, have the Israelites move directly from Hor into Edom rather than around Edom.
There a numerable other discrepancies in P’s itinerary for the wilderness period in Numbers 33 and what we find throughout the P narratives in Exodus and Numbers. Most of these contradictions we will look at when we get to chapter 33.