Both census were taken of Israelite men who were of fighting age (twenty years of age and older) Num 1:1-4; 26:1-4.
Census Figures in Numbers 1 and 26A literal understanding of the numbers in the census is in congruence with Pharaoh’s fear of the rapidly increasing Hebrews overrunning Egypt (Ex 1:7-12), the promises made to Abraham about becoming a great nation (Gen 12:2; 17:5-6), the earlier census taken during the first year in the wilderness (Exod --16; ), and other traditions about the numbers of adult males who left Egypt (Ex ; Num ) 4) The Hebrew word for “thousands” from the lack of vowel markings in the writings and could be read as “clan,” “tribe,” or even unit” (cf.
The birds listed as unclean are unclean, because they are birds of prey, i.e.
eat flesh with blood in it, a mortal sin under Old Testament law (Lv. It is the herbivorous land animals that are clean, and according to Genesis 9:3 (cf. It is also worth noting that Carmichael, using more traditional methods of exegesis, has arrived at similar conclusions.
It is perhaps fairer to give the tradition the benefit of the doubt, than to assume everything must be late unless there is evidence to the contrary. Whether he transcribed the words of Yahweh himself or dictated them to a scribe is unclear. An example of his discussion of an anthropologically-based approach to ritual symbolism is as follows: First, this approach seeks to understand the whole ritual system and not just parts of it, or more precisely to understand the parts in the light of the whole.
But precise dating of the material is largely irrelevant to exegesis, for it is the final form of the text that has canonical authority for the church ... Likewise, Hill and Walton write, The book itself contains only one reference to Moses as an author of the material, and that is specifically limited to the itinerary of the Israelites in their desert trek from Egypt to Moab (Num. Elsewhere the text implies that priests were also recording and preserving the divine instruction and regulations, especially those pertinent to their duties associated with the tabernacle (cf. As with Leviticus, the introductory formula 'and the Lord said to Moses' pervades every chapter of the book. However, the references to Moses in the third person in the narrative (e.g., Num 12:3; -23) and the sporadic editorial insertions designed to inform a later audience (e.g., , 22; ; ) suggest that the book took its final form sometime after the death of Moses. But Numbers and the rest of the Pentateuch were cast in the form of a unified, five-volume book sometime between the days of Joshua and the elders of Israel (Josh. This may be illustrated by Douglas' approach to the food laws.
It is not unreasonable to suppose that in addition to the written log of the stages of the journeyings (33:2) Moses also kept a record of the dates--at least those preserved in the account (OTS, 163, n. After marshalling supporting evidence for an early Numbers Wenham writes, This evidence lends weight to the book's own testimony that the traditions on which it is based originated in the Mosaic period. They offer no real solution to this difficulty, but unfortunately affirm that one's presuppositions determine one's conclusion, Yet it must be emphasized that none of the interpretive options for the Numbers census figures is without problems or inconsistencies.
How much expansion, revision and rewriting they underwent in the centuries before they reached their final form, possibly in the early days of the monarchy, is hard to determine by critical methods. Generally speaking, one's view of Scripture determines a person's stance on the biblical numbers, with one end of the spectrum inclined toward literalness, and the other end skeptical about their historicity and reliability, and between them a moderate view of openness toward alternative readings (ibid.). Wenham, Numbers: An Introduction and Commentary (Inter-Varsity Press, 1981), 25-39.
The inclusion of law with narrative is designed to emphasize promise in that Israel can fulfill it 3.
The rondo, or variation, form in Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers emphasizes large cycles which bring out “the parallels between the three journeys, and between the three occasions of law-giving, at Sinai, Kadesh and the plains of Moab.” A.
it is better in view of they underlying assumptions of JEDP and the supporting historical evidence to give the book the benefit of the doubt and assume Mosaic authorship which was then edited at later times into its present canonical form a.
To ascertain and recruit manpower for war (Num 1:3) b. To order the Hebrew tribes in marching and camping formations (Num 2) e.
) emphasizing the lists of numbers recorded in the book (1--4; 26) C. The Passover occurred on the fourteenth day of the first month of the year and the nation departed from Egypt on the fifteenth day of the first month (Num 33:3; Ex 12:2, 6) B.