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Wilderness, Generation

The Story of the Anonymous Scouts, Modified by the Book of Numbers

Why do the Israelites try to stone Joshua and Caleb instead of Moses and Aaron? Why do Moses and Aaron remain on their faces throughout Joshua and Caleb’s speech? If the story takes place in Israel’s second year in the wilderness, and they are punished to wander for 40 years, shouldn’t the total duration in the wilderness be 41+ years?

Prof. Rabbi

David Frankel



Sin of the Spies: God’s Ruse to Keep Israel in the Wilderness

The Torah is clear that God refuses to allow the exodus generation to enter the land as a punishment for their sinful reaction to the spies’ report. Maimonides, however, argues that the punishment was a ruse; God never intended to allow that generation to enter the land.


Haim (Howard) Kreisel



Did the Exodus Generation Die in the Wilderness or Enter Canaan?

In the context of the Pentateuch, Deuteronomy is read as a continuation of Numbers, in which God decrees that the exodus generation must wander in the wilderness until they have all died, and that only their children may enter the land. Yet Deuteronomy’s core narrative presents Moses addressing the same Israelites who left Egypt and wandered forty years in the wilderness on the eve of their entry into the Promised Land.


Gili Kugler



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