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15

Sticking just to the text: In the earlier passage, God commanded Moshe to strike the rock and he obeyed. In the present passage, God commanded Moshe to speak and he struck instead. (It's been 39 years, so "that's what we did last time" probably doesn't apply.) Why is this a problem? Look at what Moshe said: shall we bring water for you out of this ...


14

The first two reasons are easy to understand with Balaam being a pagan prophet. After all his encounters with God and the angel threatening to kill him, Balaam doesn't dare do anything except speak the words YHWH gave him. As a polytheist, he will sacrifice to any deity which helps him. Most likely, he is a henotheist (in the geographic sense) and ...


12

I will show three things: 1) The law has no retroactive force: a man is not condemned for breaking a law which did not exist until later. 2) Moses did not break the law you quote. 3) God did not defend Moses' marriage, but his person. 1) THE LAW HAS NO RETROACTIVE FORCE Abraham married his half-sister. Lev 20:17 ‘If a man takes his sister, his ...


10

The choices seem to be: We correctly understand the text and it was a miracle. Two million or so people left Egypt and (mostly) died in the desert, where their bones were never found (looking would be a huge archeological task). If we can accept the miracles of the plagues, the crossing of the sea of reeds, the giving of torah, and sustaining everybody ...


10

Part 1 – The ambiguity ולא יספו, ve'lo yasafu “ve'lo” means: “and didn't/weren't” The suffix “-u” means “they” Without knowing the meaning of the word yasaf, we have “and they didn't/weren't ... [yasaf]” The meaning of yasaf is ambiguous and can come from one of two Hebrew roots: אספ, asaf of יספ, yasaf. [Strongs H3254 and H622] Asaf means “to ...


8

Could not the Lord have "instigated" the people to spy the land through indirect means, and therefore solve the conundrum? For example, Satan incited David to number the Israelites in a census (1 Chr 21:1), but in 2 Sam 24:1 it is the Lord who is the subject of the Hebrew verb סוּת, and therefore in the immediate grammatical context it was the Lord who had ...


8

The bible was written in a time of a primarily oral culture. Repetition is often used for emphasis or to drive home a point (as Seeker of Truth mentioned), and to make things easier to remember. So important things were repeated a whole bunch of times in slightly different words to make it easier to remember. Even if you didn't remember it the first several ...


8

Short Answer: The numbers are accurate as they have been translated. There were ~600,000 Israelites in the Wilderness (and in Egypt). Count and re-count These are those who were numbered of the sons of Israel, 601,730. -Numbers 26:51 Earlier in the chapter we are given the counts of each individual tribe. They are recorded as follows: 1) 43,730 from ...


7

The argument I have read is that the word often translated thousands means "fighting units" and the number after is the number of soldiers in those units. Thus, it would be "64 units, 400 soldiers from the tribe of Dan." While the Lexicons and word books such as Gesenius and Strong point out that eleph can mean "a company of troops fighting under one ...


7

It is the 3rd and 7th day after touching the dead corpse That seems somewhat implied from the context of the verses you quote. I honestly would not have ever thought to consider Tuesday/Saturday, but in thinking about your question, I could see how someone might question it (though days of the week are not really mentioned in context). However, the ...


7

1. Use of the Hebrew word satan The Hebrew word satan means, in a general sense, 'opponent', 'adversary', or 'accuser'. As with any word in any language, satan does not have a one-size-fits-all application. It can mean different things in different contexts. In my answer on this question, I surveyed a few of the Hebrew texts that use the word satan. On one ...


6

Perhaps someone has a more authoritative answer, but I'll try to explain as best I understand it: The KJV (as well as most of its predecessors, eg: Tyndale, Coverdale, Geneva Bible, etc) were based off of manuscripts that were available at the time. We hadn't found the dead sea scrolls amongst other ancient manuscripts that most modern translations also ...


6

This is a question that has caused problems with commentators and interpreters for centuries. Speaking most strictly, Cush and Midia are not the same place. Midia was on the Arabian peninsula (in the region of Jordan and Saudi Arabia today) while Cush proper was in the Sudan and Ethiopia region. In fact, the Septuagint uniformly translates Cush with ...


5

This test has many dimensions to it. It has little to do with the guilt or innocence of the woman. In order for the test to apply, the woman must become foolish. This has been interpreted to mean that she has aroused her husband's jealousy by flirting. Or she has aroused the suspicion of witnesses to her flirting, but they have not witnessed adultery, and ...


5

The medieval scholar Maimonides (Rabbi Moses ben Maimon) reads this as God allowing Bilaam to exercise his free will. He cites an earlier source, Numbers Rabbah 20:12, which says (Soncino translation): IF THE MEN ARE COME TO CALL THEE, RISE UP, AND GO WITH THEM (XXII, 20). From this you can infer that a man is led in the way he desires to go. For at ...


5

In the Tanakh the concept of a "satan" exists, but it is not a personification of evil and there's no particular reason to believe there's even just one for all time. The word "satan" is a job description. The best way to render the Hebrew הַשָּׂטָן is probably literally: "the satan", lowercase 's', with definite article (the הַ). It would be misleading ...


5

This is just a brief addendum to a previous answer. The idiom אֵין מִסְפָּר (ʾên mispār) appears 16x in the Tanak: Gen. 41:49; Jdg. 6:5; 7:12; 1 Chr. 22:4, 16; 2 Chr. 12:3; Job 5:9; 9:10; 21:33; Ps. 40:13; 104:25; 105:34; 147:5; Cant. 6:8; Jer. 2:32; Joel 1:6. I wholly agree with H3br3wHamm3r81's overall conclusion. However, my own sense is that if you ...


4

Under torah a woman does not have standing to bring a legal claim against her husband, nor can she initiate a divorce. It seems to follow, then, that she could not initiate the sotah ritual against a straying husband. (Note that if there has been adultery, then this means the other man's wife, if he is married, has no recourse against him.) According to ...


4

I just want to pop in here to add that it's important to remember that the way that we think of "blue", "purple", and "red", is necessarily not the same as how the Biblical audience would have thought of "tekheleth", "argaman", and "shani". In particular, I'm not sure that the "red+blue=purple" argument is particularly applicable here, since these colours ...


4

I don't see any support in the text for this translation, but the variation is much older than KJV. According to Rashi the targum renders this "and did not cease". (Relatedly, in Gen 38:26 the targum doesn't but another source does, leading to a rather different understanding of Yehudah and Tamar.) I am not fluent in Aramaic and can't evaluate the targum ...


4

The first answer: Numbers 9:15 states: "On the day that the Tabernacle was set up, a cloud covered the Tabernacle, the Ten of Meeting, and in the evening the Tabernacle appeared to be lit by the brightness of fire until morning..." That is, the cloud/fire miracle started when the Tabernacle was set up. In Exodus 40:18 we have "And it was in the first month ...


4

What Moses did wrong is exactly what the Hebrews did wrong when they sent the spies and they believed the pesimistic report given by the spies. In both cases, G-d told them that they could do something that in any other circumstance would be considered a miracle . . . and they didn't believe Him. Consider these facts. At Exodus 6:8 G-d promises to the ...


4

It should be noted that the numbers given in the census at the beginning of Numbers are also disputed (which would affect the numbers available for Midian's army here). The most probable solution at this point is to understand that the numbers given here are mixtures. Since the Hebrew word translated “thousand” (‘lp) looks the same as the word ...


4

The phrase here, as in many places in Exodus through Deuteronomy where God gives commands, is בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל. Literally this is "sons of Israel", though some translations say "children of Israel" instead. In Hebrew all nouns have gender (there is no neuter), so a masculine plural like בְּנֵי means either an all-male group or a mixed group. (You only ...


4

Analysis of Hebrew Text וַיִּצְבֹּר יוֹסֵף בַּר כְּחוֹל הַיָּם הַרְבֵּה מְאֹד עַד כִּי חָדַל לִסְפֹּר כִּי אֵין מִסְפָּר וַיִּצְבֹּר - a verb conjugated in binyan Pa'al, 3rd person, masculine gender, singular number, imperfect tense, with vav ha-hipukh, thus converting tense to perfect. It means, "and he gathered in a pile; he piled up." יוֹסֵף - a ...


3

If it meant "cow of soil," פרה would need to be in the genitive, and thus פרת. I don't think the genitive inflection of that word even occurs in scripture.


3

Sergey, you ask a very valid question, especially given what is stated in Matthew 6:7 about not using meaningless repetition ( “And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words." Mt. 6:7, NASB). Given this teaching, we can know that the repetition in Leviticus and ...


3

I am proposing two options, one obvious and one subtle. The obvious meaning of blue, purple and scarlet, would be that they are associated with precious fabrics and in some cases even royal colors. I think this is sometimes the meaning that they convey in the Bible. For example,  When Mordecai left the king’s presence, he was wearing royal garments of ...


3

I am not an expert in Hebrew but this seems simple enough for me. The Hebrew אָחִ֑יו is sometimes translated, to his brother, his brother, brother, his relative, another. In this particular verse it is translated as 'another' because אִ֣ישׁ (to one) אֶל־ (about) אָחִ֑יו (bother, or another) is the sentence fragment being considered. When combining these ...


3

Some classical Jewish commentaries describe Balaam as a worshiper of Gᴏᴅ, but in a pagan manner: rather than submitting himself to Gᴏᴅ’s will, he believed he could compel or bribe Gᴏᴅ to follow his wishes through sacrifices & sorcery. (Note that Jewish tradition does not see sorcery as inherently evil or forbidden to non-Jews.) In the Midrash, the ...



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