Numbers 1-20: A New Transaltion

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Baruch A. Levine has written a masterful study of the first half of the Book of Numbers for the Anchor Bible Commentaries. The Book of Numbers - from the numbering or census of the people in the opening chapters - is a much-neglected part of the Torah, the five books of Moses, which constitutes the heart of Holy Scriptures for Jews, while also forming an integral part of the Bible for Christians. The Book of Numbers is an account of the young would-be nation of Israel's wanderings in the Wilderness after the magnificent event at Sinai, where Moses speaks with God face-to-face and receives the Ten Commandments. Throughout this time of trial, the people complain, sensing the contrast between the relative security of slavery in Egypt, from which they have fled, and the precarious insecurity of freedom in the Wilderness. Numbers is a book filled with the power struggles, raising questions about who speaks for God, along with personal and communal crises of faith and rumors of revolt. Yet despite the people's blindness and rebelliousness, God remains faithful to the promises made to Israel's ancestors - Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and now Moses - and remains at Israel's side, guiding her slowly but surely to the Promised Land. In all, Numbers describes a terrific journey of discipline and dependence upon the God who liberated the Hebrews from bondage in Egypt: a journey to strengthen Israel for the challenge of a new and wondrous land and the battles she will have to fight in order to claim and keep it. Despite the importance of the Book of Numbers, its rich collection of stories is not easily assimilated, even by the most conscientious of readers. As such, it requires the help of an expert guide to thread one's way through this mixture of interesting episodes and anecdotes on the one hand, and the many lists, prescriptive rules, ritual regulations, and repeated admonitions on the other. Professor Levine shows us the way into this difficult and sometimes forbidding book

An internationally acclaimed scholar offers the very latest study of the biblical Book of Numbers, an account of Israel--as a young, would-be nation--wandering in the Wilderness after the magnificent events at Sinai. It is a book filled with power struggles and questions about who speaks for God--the story of a journey to strengthen Israel for the challenge of a new and wondrous land. Maps.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780300140774
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Publication date: 1/1/1993
  • Series: The Anchor Yale Bible Commentaries Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 544
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.70 (d)

Table of Contents

Translation of Numbers 1-20 1
Introduction to the Book of Numbers 45
A The Casting of the Wilderness Period 45
B The Literary Character of Numbers 72
C Texts, Versions, Translations, and Commentaries 84
D Numbers in Context 88
E The Context of the Priestly Source 101
Pt. I Numbers 1-4: Getting Organized 123
Pt. II Numbers 5: Aspects of Purity 179
Pt. III Numbers 6: The Vow of the Nazirite, with a Benediction Added 213
Pt. IV Numbers 7: The Consecration of the Tabernacle 245
Pt. V Numbers 8: The Dedication of the Levites 267
Pt. VI Numbers 9: Two Matters of Cultic Significance 291
Pt. VII Numbers 10: 1-28: The Israelites on the March 301
Pt. VIII Numbers 10:29-12:16: Encounters and Experiences in the Sinai 309
Pt. IX Numbers 13-14: Unsuccessful Attempts to Penetrate Canaan 345
Pt. X Numbers 15: Unfinished Cultic Business 383
Pt. XI Numbers 16-17: The Korah Incident 403
Pt. XII Numbers 18: The Duties and Perquisites of the Priests and Levites, a Summary Statement 433
Pt. XIII Numbers 19: The Impure Dead 455
Pt. XIV Numbers 20: The End of the Wilderness Period - Miriam and Aaron Pass Away 481
Maps 496
Index 499
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