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xviii. 1-7. (In chh. xviii. 8-32 ; xix., miscellaneous Levitical laws disconnected with the history are given). At KadeshMeribah the people murmur for water, Moses and Aaron rebel against Yahweh's word and are punished; but the rock is smitten 'with the rod and gives forth water for the people ; xx. 1-13, except traces of J in vv. I, 3, 5.
The narrative of E in Numbers is very closely interwoven with J. Passing over in the present review, the Institution of the Seventy, (xi. 16., 24-30) and the insubordination of Aaron and Miriam (ch. xii.), as not properly belonging to this section, (see & IV. Analysis); E probably gave after xii, 15 an itinerary of the journey from Horeb to Kadesh, of which fragments may perhaps be discerned in Dt. x. 6f. and i. if. ; cf. Num. xxxiii. 16–36. To this belonged doubtless the story of Taberah, a station which received its name from the “ burning " sent by Yahweh in punishment of murmuring ; xi. 1-3. At Kadesh E gives a version of the story of the spies, and of the complaint and rebellion excited by their report ; xiii. 17–33 in part, and traces in xiv. iff. Yahweh commands a return to the wilderness by the way to the Red Sea. Repentant, the people presumptuously undertake to invade the country but meet disaster at Hormah ; xiv. 25, 39–45. The story of the rebellion of Dathan and Abiram and how the earth swallowed them up is combined with the story of the rebellion of Korah and On, xvi. 12–15 in part, 23–34 in part. We should infer from the analogy of J (cf. xiv. 22) that this was related of the time before the arrival in Kadesh.
According to J, Moses prevails upon his father-in-law Hobab to accompany Israel from Sinai as guide. They set forward, the ark and cloud in advance ; x. 29–36. Arrived at Kibrothhattaawah the people weep for the flesh-pots of Egypt. Yahweh in anger sends a wind bringing great flights of quails which the people devour, and are in consequence smitten with a plague. Hence the name “Graves of lust.” Incidentally the manna is described as a desert food, and the method of its preparation ; xi. 4-9, 10 in part, 13, 18-23, 31–35. (Vv. 10C-12, 14f. belong to SIV.; see above, p. 141). Leaving Kibroth-hattaawah, they come, after a stay at Hazeroth, to Kadesh; whence Moses sends spies into Canaan to explore the land and its defences. The spies come to Hebron, where they find the three sons of Anak ; returning, they report the richness of the country and the great strength of the people ; xiii. 17–33, in part. Israel is discouraged, and breaks out in mutiny. Yahweh in anger proposes to destroy them, but is again appeased by Moses, who intercedes on their behalf. They are doomed, however, to wander for a generation in the desert, until all who came out of Egypt are consumed. Caleb alone, who had been of the number of the spies, but encouraged the people to go up, is excepted from this fate and receives the promise of the land trodden by his feet, (Hebron); xiv. iff., in part, 8f., 11-24, 31-33. At some time not specified, but probably previous to the arrival at Kadesh, another mutiny took place, in which Korah (?) a Calebite (?) and On a Philistine (?) were principal actors. The rebellion was directed against the prerogative of (Aaron and ?) the Levites, and was quelled by the mutineers being swallowed up by the opening of the ground ; xvi. if. in part, 12-15 in part, 25-33 in part. At Kadesh also (again previous to the sending of the spies) the people murmur for water, and “strive with Moses.” The water is miraculously supplied from the rock, the place, Meribah-Kadesh, taking its name from the incident ; xx. Ib, 3a, 5.
The usual contrasts in historical standpoint, doctrinal presuppositions, purpose, style and language between J, E and P, already familiar to the reader are the same in $V. as before, and quite as noticeable. A comparison of Po's Story of the Spies with the “prophetic ” account of the same is specially instructive as to the development away from primitive tradition toward history (?) as conceived in the age of Ezra. In J the traces of the clan-story of the Calebite stock in Hebron are still distinct and if not history, we have here at least the material for history. Had only the story of P’ remained, the attempt to discover the facts of the fourteenth century B. C would have been almost hopeless. There is nothing left but the dry bones of the preexilic tradition “restored into a “history ” whose single guid
ing principle was the requirement of a crude systematic theology. The story became what the theodicy and the doctrinal preconceptions of the writer required it to be. This may be unfortunate for the reader if the reader is principally in search of a critical and scientific knowledge of the facts of Israel's external relations in the fourteenth century B. C.; but it is well to remember that for the purpose of conveying a trustworthy idea of the religious conceptions and internal relations of Israel in the fifth century B. C., which is far more important to the Bible student than an infallibly accurate critical history of the Exodus and Conquest, P is indispensable ; while the most important to all classes of readers and students of the Pentateuch is to frame a true idea of the development in religious conceptions and internal relations which went on in Israel between the fourteenth century B. C. and the fifth ; for herein was the teaching of God. For this purpose it is most helpful to leave J and E and P to compare with one another.
i Chh. x-xii.
THROUGH THE DESERT OF PARAN.
The latter part of Num. x. is devoted to a description of the departure of Israel from Sinai ; but is by no means the uniform product of a single pen. Vv. uf. in fact carry us on to the point where we stand at the end of ch. xii. But detailed and explicit as is the statement in v. uf., it is much too cursory for the writer of vv. 13-28, who has before his eyes the elaborate provisions for breaking camp in ch. ii. Accordingly he makes room for a second and more detailed statement of the departure by means of the otherwise utterly meaningless verse 13 (see note in loc.) Bur not even yet are we permitted to think the departure actually made. Vv. 29ff. carry us back again to a time considerably previous, in which Moses is negotiating with his father-in-law, Hobab the son of Reuel, who is all at once and unexpectedly with them again at the mount of the Lord ” (ct. Ex. xviii. 27), to serve as their guide. “And he said, Leave us not, I pray thee; for as much as thou knowest how we are to encamp in the wilderness, and thou shalt be to us instead of eyes." It transpires in the subsequent history (Jud. i. 16; iv. II; I Sam. xv. 5f.; xxvii. 10; xxx. 29) that Hobab consented, and went with Israel; but what then of the divine guidance by means of the pillar of fire and cloud so elaborately described in ix. 15–23? Either one guide or the other was superfluous.
Finally the departure is once more stated to have taken place in vv. 33f. But here is an equally great disagreement with the story of vv. II28. There, in accordance with the positive requirement of the priestly law, the tabernacle is guarded on each side, in front and behind, by three tribes, always maintaining the central position. Here it certainly is stated that the ark went in advance of the people, and, it even seems to say, three days' journey in advance (see note in loc.).
It is not difficult to discover from the highly characteristic language (see refs.), from the presence of Hobab (not “ Jethro ") and from subsequent references (Jud. i. 16; iv.: 11 J; ch. xiv. 14) that vv. 29-36 are J's; while the priestly origin of vv. II-28 needs no demonstration.
In ch. xi. the principal difficulty is caused by the inappropriateness of the verses which we have already seen must belong elsewhere (SIV. Analysis 3). Moses' vehement expostulation with Yahweh, and reference to words which Yahweh has not here used at all, constitutes a singular interruption to the story of the quails, which from vs. iob should proceed to vs. 13 and vv. 18–23. The story is only mutilated by the introduction of an entirely different subject, viz. the lightening of Moses' responsibilities; and this is even more true of the account, vv. 16., 24-30, in which the sequel to Moses' complaint is the appointment of the Seventy, than of that whose sequel we have seen to be Yahweh's promise himself personally to go with Moses and relieve him of the burden, Ex. xxxiii. 12-23; xxxiv. 6-9. The intercalated portions have much more affinity with one another than with the story whose connection they so rudely break into. As they are derived partly from J, partly from E the probability is that the displaced elements (vv. Uf., 14f., J) were brought hither in connection with 16f., 24- 30 (E) by Rd, after they had previously been amalgamated by Rje in Ex. xxxiii. After the removal of this intrusive element ch. xi. from vs. 4 on is a perfectly uniform, consistent and characteristic narrative of J (cf. vv. 4 and 21, with Ex. xii. 37f; and vs. 31 with Ex. X. 13, 19; xiv. 21 and see refs.), the obvious parallel to EP in Ex. xvi. and source of P's description of the manna ; cf. vv. 7-9 with Ex. xvi. 31, 14; vv. 4-6 with Ex. xvi. 3, and “the quails,” Ex. xvi. 13. The apparent inconsistency between vv. 19f. and 33 is removed by proper translation (See note in loc.) Vv. 7-9 are not displaced (Wellhausen), but the description of the manna is introduced in this casual, incidental way, as of something employed since the beginning, but only now mentioned, for the reason that J regards it only as one of the normal products of the desert, un
familiar indeed to his readers, and to be considered in a special sense
the gift of heaven” (but not exceptional in the desert). In common with the modern manna gatherer he doubtless believed it to drop from heaven (there are indications of a similar belief as to the origin of honey ; cf. I Sam. xiv. 26); but did not regard it as limited to the Exodus period, or specially given for Israel's benefit ; hence he defers the description of it until the story of Israel's murmuring for flesh furnishes special occasion. The combination of the manna story with that of the quails in P2, on the contrary, Ex. xvi. 13, is purely artificial, and can only be explained by the dependence of P2 on Num. xi.
As between J and E it is impossible to determine with certainty the derivation of vv. 1-3. Vv. 4ff. (J) could perfectly well connect with x. 34 and we should understand the failure to give the name of the station reached in x. 34 as due to the intention to narrate its origin. So ch. xxxiii. in fact makes Kibroth-hattaawah the first station after Sinai. But unless we make the violent supposition that Taberah and Kibroth were the same place there is no room for vv. 1-3 between. The intercession of Moses is also a strong evidence of E. (See refs.).
The passage should of course come after ch. xii.
Ch. xii. is universally recognized as E's. Prophecy” as the mark of greatness, vs. 6; the attitude towards Aaron; the representation of the Tent of Meeting without the camp, and the pillar of cloud standing at its door; the interest in Miriam, are all of great significance; but the most important characteristic is found in the poetic citation, vv. 6-8, in which we have outlined the precise conception of divine communications which underlies the entire history of E, viz. “ by visions and dreams,” (see refs.) with the sole exception of Moses (cf. Ex. xxxiii. 11). The true position of Num. xii. we have already seen to be after Ex. xviii. It is attached to the itinerary of P (cf. x. 12) by means of the clause vs. 16a, taken from J (see refs.).
(P2) And it came to pass lin the second year, in the second 11 month, on the twentieth day of the month, that 2the cloud was taken up from over the tabernaclt-f the testimony. And the children of 12
3 Israel set forward according to their journeys out of the wilderness of Sinai ; and the cloud abode in the wilderness of (P3) Paran. And they first took their journey according to the com- 13
19:5; Ex. 12 : 1, 40f. 16:1; 19:1.
2 Ex. 40: 34-38. 3Ex. 17:1; 19:1; cf. vv. 28, 33.