#347. Does the murderer merely flee to a city of refuge OR must his case first be judged at the gate before admittance? (Deut 19:1-10 vs Num 35:9-18; Josh 20:1-6)

This entry follows the previous two entries (#345 & #346) on the Torah’s variant asylum traditions for murderers. It discusses, once again, a unique feature found only in the Deuteronomic tradition, or shall I say a unique silence or omission. No where does the Deuteronomic tradition (Deut 19:1-13) reference any legal proceedings associated with fleeing to, being admitted entrance in, and residing in a city of refuge. This version of theRead More

#346. Does Yahweh establish the cities of refuge for “every murderer” OR for only those who have killed another unintentionally? (Deut 19:4-12 vs Num 35:9-15; Josh 20:2-3)

Working from the previous entry (contradiction #345), the Torah, or Hexateuch to include the book of Joshua, speaks of the tradition of asylum in a number of different places. Arranged in roughly chronological order these are: Exodus 21:12-14 from the 9th-8th century Elohist tradition (see #345) Deuteronomy 4:41-43 & 19:1-13 from the 7th century Deuteronomic tradition Numbers 35: 9-28 from the 6th century Priestly tradition Joshua 20:1-9 which looks like aRead More

#345. A murderer may flee to one of Yahweh’s altars for asylum OR only to one of the cities of refuge (Ex 21:12-14 vs Num 35:11-34; Deut 19:1-13; Josh 20:1-9)?

“You shall make accessible to yourselves towns which will serve you as towns of asylum where a manslayer may flee, one who kills a human being inadvertently. These towns shall serve you as places of asylum from an avenger so the manslayer will not die until he stands before the congregation for judgment.” (Num 35:11-12) There are a number of traditions in the Torah that speak of a manslayer (that isRead More

#343. What were the borders of the land of Canaan promised to the patriarchs by Yahweh: from the brook of Egypt to the Euphrates OR from the Red Sea to the Euphrates OR from the Wilderness to Lebo-Hamath OR from Beersheba to Dan (Gen 15:18; Deut 1:7, 11:24; Josh 1:4 vs Ex 23:31 vs Num 34:1-12; Josh 13-19; Ezek 47:13-21 vs Judg 20:1; 1 Sam 3:20; 2 Sam 3:10, 17:11, etc.)?
#344. Did Yahweh promise Gilead and Transjordan as part of the promised land OR not (Deut 1-3, 34:1-3 vs Num 34:1-12; Ezek 47:13-20)?

The Bible as it has come down to us preserves a number of varying traditions concerning the size and border of the promised land. Said differently, throughout the roughly six centuries that defined the monarchy, Israel’s exile, and its post-exilic restoration, biblical scribes variously delimited Israel’s borders, often in idealized and utopian ways. This fact the biblical record bears witness to. And Yahweh spoke to Moses: “This is the land thatRead More

#342. Were the Israelites to dispossess the indigenous Canaanites OR utterly destroy them? (Num 33:51-52; Ex 23:28-33 vs Deut 7:1-16)

The itinerary of Numbers 33 ends at verse 49 with the Israelites on the plains of Moab, with no mention of a Transjordanian conquest as previously noted (#341). Here our Priestly author launches into the conquest of the promised land theme, articulated as the very words of Yahweh himself: Speak to the children of Israel and say to them: “When you cross the Jordan to the land of Canaan, you shallRead More

#341. Do the Israelites conquer Transjordan OR not? (Num 21:21-35; Deut 2:24-3:11 vs Num 33:45-49)

When compared to the earlier itineraries of Numbers 20-21 and Deuteronomy 1-3, the itinerary of Numbers 33 bears witness to a number of discrepancies and contradictions after the Israelites leave mount Hor at the end of the 5th month of the final and last 40th year of the wilderness period (Num 33:39). Many of these contradictions have already been discussed:  While Numbers 33:40 (P) merely notes that the Canaanite king ofRead More

#339. Where did Aaron die: Hor OR Moserah? (Num 33:38 vs Deut 10:6)
#340. When did Aaron die: in the 40th year of the wilderness period OR much earlier? (Num 33:38 vs Deut 10:6-7)

After the Israelites arrive at Kadesh for the first and only time according to the itinerary of Numbers 33 (but see contradictions #332-334), they quickly move to mount Hor at the edge of the land of Edom, where it is stated: Aaron died there in the 40th year after the children of Israel came out of the land of Egypt, in the 5th month, on the 1st day of the month.Read More