Book of Numbers

4 April 2015
Exegesis of Old Testament book’s meaning, significance to Jewish history & faith, human-God relationship, critical analysis, importance of Torah, role of Moses.

The text of Numbers 13, begins, The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, ‘Send men to scout the land of Canaan . . . .’ Most commentators regard this event of the sending of the spies into the Promised Land to be a confusing part of Scripture. Indeed, Rashi’s exegesis on Numbers 13:1 begins with the question: Why is the section of the spies adjoined to the section of Miriam? Nachshoni admits that Hashem’s command that spies be sent out is puzzling, and it is only later, when we read Deuteronomy 1:22-23, that we discover the whole episode was instigated by the Israelites: Then all of you came to me and said, ‘Let us send men ahead to reconnoiter the land for us and bring back word on the route we should follow and the cities we shall come to.’ I [Moses] approved of the plan . . . . Ginzberg writes that this unseemly desire was presented to Moses not in the customary way…
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