#245. Is the Sabbath an eternal covenant decreed by Yahweh that must be kept under penalty of death OR not? (Ex 31:12-17, 35:2; Num 15:32-36; Matt 5:18-20 vs Acts 15:29; Rom 14:5-6; Gal 3:23-25, 4:9-10; Col 2:16)

All of the Torah’s Sabbath laws, including the account of its consecration as a holy day by God himself at creation (Gen 2:3), were penned by the same author or priestly guild!—what scholars have come to label as the Priestly source. Indeed the Sabbath itself has a much earlier origin than the writings of this 6th century BCE elite priestly guild. Thus the Sabbath is found in the earlier Yahwist andRead More

#244. Can any and all sins be atoned/expiated OR only those sins which were committed inadvertently? (Matt 6:14; Jn 3:16, 5:24; Acts 10:43; Rom 3:22, 4:25; Gal 3:13, etc. vs Deut 21:1-9, Lev 4-5; Num 15:30-31; cf. 1 Cor 5; Matt 6:15, 12:31, 18:35, etc.)

This entry expands upon an earlier entry, contradiction #174: Can sin only be atoned through sacrifice or not?—a post that needs much amending itself. Here I will try to limit my remarks [Interjection: I failed at this task, my apologies. The post goes on and on and on. Hopefully there’s a little something for everyone here.] to, first, the different stance taken between unintentional and intentional sins as viewed by theRead More

#243. What is the accompanying grain-offering for a burnt-offering of 1 lamb: one-tenth OR two-tenths of fine flour mixed with oil? (Num 15:4, 28:13, 28:29 vs Lev 23:13)

This contradiction should have been enumerated during the book of Leviticus, particularly during the entries which dealt with Yahweh’s sacrifices on his appointed times (see #194-197, #198-204, and #205-208). At any event, Numbers 15 is clearly an inserted piece of Priestly legislation which has neither any relationship to the spy story that precedes it nor the Korah rebellion (or the Dathan and Abiram rebellion) that follows it. It is a laterRead More

#242. Was Hormah so named because the Israelites were destroyed by the Canaanites there OR the Canaanites destroyed by the Israelites? (Num 14:44-45 vs Num 21:1-3)

There are presently two traditions in the book of Numbers that recount how the town of Hormah, which means “destruction” in Hebrew, got its name. It is difficult to determine which one is from the Yahwist and which from the Elohist, or indeed from other archival traditions. At any event, Numbers 14:44-45 is the conclusion of the spying of the land story and is presented as yet another story about Israel’sRead More

#241. Do the Amalekites live in the land of the Negeb OR in the valley? (Num 13:29, 14:45 vs Num 14:25)

Numbers 13:25 claims that the Amalekites and Canaanites “live in the valley” and that therefore the children of Israel are to “turn and travel tomorrow to the wilderness by the way of the Red Sea” (Num 13:26). This is the conclusion of the spy narrative in the Yahwist account (see previous entries, #235-236, #237, #238-240) and verses 25-26 set the stage for the Transjordanian conquest—that is, since the Israelites had no faithRead More

#238. In the face of there being giants in the land, who encourages the people to have faith in Yahweh: Caleb alone OR Caleb and Joshua? (Num 13:30 [J] vs Num 14:6-9 [P])
#239. In his anger, Yahweh swears to slaughter all the Israelites except Caleb OR except Caleb and Joshua (Num 14:24 [J] vs Num 14:30 [P]; Deut 1:36-38)
#240. Does Yahweh immediately wipe out the other scouts [P] OR not [J]? (Num 14:37-38 vs Num 14:22-24)

Another textual indication that Numbers 13-14 now contains what once was two independent versions of the spy story are the duplicate and contradictory accounts of who steps forward to encourage the Israelites to have faith in Yahweh, and conversely whose lives out of all 600,000 men, or as the case may be 647,550 (#116 & #218), Yahweh spares! Thus, in response to the people’s lack of faith in their ability andRead More

#237. Do the spies report that the land is rich and bountiful OR one that devours its inhabitants? (Num 13:27 [J] vs Num 13:32 [P])

In rewriting the spy story, the later Priestly writer has not only changed who the initiator of the reconnaissance mission is (#233), the specific land that the spies are to reconnoiter (#234), and how many go and to whom they report back (#235-236), but also the content of the report brought back by the scouts. In the earlier Yahwist version the spies report back that the land is “flowing with milkRead More