#309. Where does Joshua get appointed: in public OR in the Tent of Meeting? (Num 27:18-23 vs Deut 31:14-15)
#310. When does Yahweh confer Joshua as Moses’ successor: Before the giving of the laws OR after? (Num 27:18-23 vs Deut 31:14-15)

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Following contradictions #307 and #308, the place where Joshua’s appointment is conferred and when are also contradictorily represented between the Torah’s different sources.

The earlier tradition of Joshua’s appointment, which comes from the Elohist source, has been grafted onto the end of Deuteronomy. As noted previously (#166), it has some striking differences when compared to the Priestly writer’s version.

  1. As we saw in other entries (#166, #220, #231, #254), the Aaronid priests who wrote this text has Yahweh adamantly decree that no non-Aaronid is to enter the Tent of Meeting! But in the earlier Elohist source, this is exactly what the non-Aaronid Joshua does! Thus, the Elohist also presents Joshua’s appointment as a private affair in the Tent of Meeting. This contradicts with P’s version of a public occasion outside of the Tent of Meeting: “in front of all the congregation.”
  2. The Elohist version is now amended to the Deuteronomic account of Moses’ death at the end of Deuteronomy. Likewise, but in different fashion, the appointment of Joshua is amended to the Priestly version of Moses’ death, or the anticipation of it, in Numbers 27. So the conferment now happens at two different locations and times.

2 thoughts on “#309. Where does Joshua get appointed: in public OR in the Tent of Meeting? (Num 27:18-23 vs Deut 31:14-15)
#310. When does Yahweh confer Joshua as Moses’ successor: Before the giving of the laws OR after? (Num 27:18-23 vs Deut 31:14-15)

  1. Nice, Joshua was “commissioned” twice. I never knew this. This seems like one of the simplest examples of proof that different tellings of the same stories were combined to make the current Bible text.

    1. KW, nice to hear from you and thanks for the extended comment to Sabba. I lost my patience trying to explain to him what we’re doing here, etc.. I still think our best examples from the Torah literature of doublets that are diametrically different and contradictory will come from Deuteronomy 1-11, because there in each one of Moses’ retellings we can compare it to the “original” account in Exodus or Numbers.

      Thanks again,
      Steven

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