#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

#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