#338. The Israelites stop at Ezion-Geber just before arriving at Kadesh OR after Kadesh? (Num 33:35-36 vs Deut 2:18)

As noted in previous contradictions (see #260-261, #332-334), the Torah preserves variant and contradictory traditions concerning the Israelites’ arrival at Kadedsh, when, from where, for how long, and not least of all how many times. This entry should be seen as part of these variant Kadesh traditions. As noted in contradictions #332-334, Ezion-Geber is the last stop on the itinerary of Numbers 33 before the Israelites arrive at Kadesh, and accordingRead More

#336. Do the Israelites travel from Moseroth/Moserah to Bene-Jaakan OR to Gudgod? (Num 33:30-31 vs Deut 10:6-7)
#337. Do the Israelites travel from Bene-Jaakan to Hor-Haggidgad OR Moserah? (Num 33:31-32 vs Deut 10:6)

As noted in the previous entry (#335) the Priestly writer’s itinerary stops listed in Numbers 33:18-35 are unknown to the itinerary tradition(s) of Numbers 11-21. Yet four of these place-names were apparently know to another tradition which the Deuteronomist picked up and briefly used. Comparatively, here is how each tradition used these place-names: Even though three of these place-names are variously vocalized Moseroth and Moserah Bene-Jaakan and Beeroth (the Wells of)Read More

#335. Where were the Israelites from the 2nd to 40th year of the Wilderness period: traveling southward from Kadesh toward the Gulf of Elath, then northward back to Kadesh OR traveling northward from Sinai to the Gulf of Elath OR traveling southward, encamping around Mount Seir, and then traveling through Edom? (Num 14-20 vs Num 33:17-35 vs Deut 2:1-15)

The Wilderness itineraries of the Torah diverge quite radically after the Israelites depart, or never had arrived as the case may be (#332-334), from Kadesh in the 2nd year. Here is a brief summary of these traditions. The combined Yahwist (J) & Priestly (P) Traditions of Numbers 13-20. This now combined narrative has the Israelites depart from Kadesh in the 2nd year and trek into the wilderness toward the Sea ofRead More

#332. Do the Israelites travel from Hazeroth to Rithmah OR to Kadesh in the Wilderness of Paran? (Num 33:18 vs Num 12:15, 13:26)
#333. When do the Israelites arrive in Kadesh: in the 2nd year OR the 40th? (Num 13-14; Deut 1:19-46 vs Num 33:5-39)
#334. How many times did the Israelites arrive at Kadesh: once OR twice? (Num 33:5-39; Deut 1:19-46 vs Num 13-20)

There are severe chronological and geographical discrepancies at this point in the itineraries, specifically related to Kadesh, and harmonizing these various traditions is no longer possible. At this point we must try to piece together the views of these different scribal schools—in Levine’s words, to understand “the significantly different perceptions of the wilderness experience” through the eyes of these different scribes as they themselves wrote about it (Numbers 1-20, 49) ForRead More

#331. From Sinai do the Israelites travel to Taberah OR to Kibroth Hattaavah? (Num 11:1-3 vs Num 33:16)

And they traveled from Rephidim and camped in the wilderness of Sinai. (Num 33:15 = Ex 19:2) The Priestly traditions or Redactional inserts preserved in Exodus–Numbers inform us that the Israelites arrived in the wilderness of Sinai, opposite the mountain, “on/in the 3rd month after the Exodus” (Ex 19:1)—let’s call it 3/1/01, counting from the Exodus. See also my Introduction to Numbers 33. The itinerary of Numbers 33 then continues: AndRead More

#330. From the Wilderness of Sin do the Israelites travel to Dophkah, Alush, and then Rephidim OR directly to Rephidim? (Num 33:12-14 vs Ex 17:1)

There are a number of place-names and even whole sections of the wilderness itinerary mentioned in Numbers 33 that are not found, or are contradicted, in the wilderness narratives of the books of Exodus and Numbers.  Here is one of our first examples. In the itinerary of Exodus 16:1–17:1, the Israelites arrive in the wilderness of Sin exactly 1 month after the Exodus, “on the 15th of the 2nd month fromRead More

#329. The Wilderness of Etham OR Shur (Num 33:8 vs Ex 15:22)

Numbers 33 seems to be an independent source which attempts to tally up the Wilderness itinerary from the time the Israelites leave Egypt to their arrival on the plains of Moab 40 years later (see Introduction to Numbers 33). Scholars attribute this composition to a later redactional layer from the Priestly source. Moreover, scholars contend that part of this redactional process included inserting itinerary verses into the narratives of Exodus andRead More