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Wilderness, Complaints

Moses Strikes the Rock in Exodus and Numbers: One Story or Two?

In Numbers 20, when the Israelites are without water, God tells Moses to get water from a stone, which he does by striking it, and is punished. Yet in Exodus, Moses does the same thing and the story ends positively. What is the relationship between these two accounts? Remarkably, R. Joseph Bekhor Shor says that they are two accounts of the same story.

Prof.

Jonathan Jacobs

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The Double Quail Narratives and Bekhor Shor’s Innovative Reading

Exodus 16 and Numbers 11 each describe God miraculously bringing quail to the hungry Israelites in the wilderness. What is the relationship between these two accounts?

Prof.

Jonathan Jacobs

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The Grain and Pomegranates of Mei Merivah (מי מריבה)

Faced with a lack of water, the Israelites complain to Moses that they “have no grain or pomegranates.” This narrative discontinuity together with other textual anomalies suggest that interwoven into the Merivah story is the missing opening verses of the non-Priestly spies story.

Dr. Rabbi

David Frankel

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Were the Israelites Craving for Meat or Starving for Food?

“There is nothing at all, nothing but this manna” (Num 11:6): How the manna tradition overtook the suffering in the wilderness tradition.

Dr. Rabbi

David Frankel

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Biblical Theodicy & Why God Made Israel Wander in the Wilderness

Dr.

Shani Tzoref

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Israel's Development as a Nation: Form, Storm, Norm, Perform

The Torah often uses the repetition of certain terms and wordplay to underline important themes. Numbers uses the terms נשא (nas’a: “to carry”) and נסע (nas‘a; “to travel”) to highlight the development of Israel from independent clans to a nation in a way that fits well with the model of group formation first suggested by psychologist Bruce Tuckman.

Dr.

Shani Tzoref

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Preparing for Sinai: God and Israel Test Each Other

The opening of the wilderness-wandering story in Exodus uses the Leitwort נ-ס-ה to underline the process of reciprocal testing between Israel and God as preparation for the Sinai event. This testing parallels that of the wilderness-wandering story in Numbers, which uses the Leitworter נ-ס-ע and נ-ש-א to underline the process of preparation Israel goes through before entering the land.

Dr.

Shani Tzoref

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לכו נרננה From the Story of the Spies to the return of the Judahite exiles

A New Reading of Psalm 95

Dr. Rabbi

David Frankel

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