The Books of Numbers (New International Commentary on the Old Testament)
They do, of course. But remembering that there was a strong oral tradition lends credence to the acceptance of many and, mostly, unknown authors.
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First and foremost, the book of Numbers is mostly a story about God and His relation to a people He had chosen for Himself. Even when these people grumbled, even when they engineered an outright rebellion, God remained faithful and loyal to them. He remained present with them in tangible ways and cared for them in practical ways. In return He asked for obedience -- which is exactly what they didn't do every time they faced some hardship. And let us not forget, that these were the people who had just been delivered out of bondage from Egypt.
They had witnessed many astounding saving events. But at the first sign of difficulty, they grumbled against God and Moses. Then they witnessed the theophany on Mount Sinai and agreed to the covenant of the Ten Commandments, which they immediately violated -- and then repented for doing so.
Such behavior gives us a glimpse of how things will unfold -- at least with the first generation. The book of Numbers picks up the story at Mount Sinai where they have been for fourteen months. As the narrative opens, they're instructed to prepare for the march to the Promised Land. They are so ready and expectations are so high, but Being in the wilderness is hard.
Trusting Moses and God is harder. Truthfully, they preferred to go back to Egypt, back to the time before Moses, before God, before any of this happened to them. They rebel, return, rebel, return, over and over again. God forgives, offers compassion, provides hope and finally judgment when they blatantly refuse to enter the Promised Land because the "spies" thought it too dangerous. As a result, the first generation was denied entry into the Promised Land: hence, the wandering for forty years.
After refusing the Promised Land in the first place, they would all be destined to die in the wilderness.
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The fulfillment of the promise would be experienced by the next generation. The second generation would be the ones to carry on. The book, then, offers a uniquely parallel design between the first or old generation and the second or new generation. The trials, tribulations, and sins of the old generation are told in chapters The new generation experiences many of these same events, but with a different outcome. Their restored story is told in chapters One generation is cursed; the other is blessed. A brief overview of this is presented in Dennis Olson's commentary on Numbers , as part of the Interpretation Series.
The repetition alone should sufficiently answer the first question about second chances, but as we explore the nuances of the book, we will see that they had many -- third, fourth, and fifth -- chances. Next month we will continue our overview of the Old Testament with a look at Deuteronomy. On the plains of Moab, Moses must hand over leadership to the second generation as they prepare for life in the Promised Land, a life in which Moses will not share.
Deuteronomy is comprised of Moses' last words to the new generation. Ashley, Timothy. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. Eerdmans, Farmer, William. The International Bible Commentary. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, McGrath, Allister. NIV Bible Commentary. Mills, Watson and Richard Wilson.
Zerubbabel, son of Pedaiah. Saul, King of Israel, son of Kish.
David, King of Israel, son of Jesse. Samuel, the prophet, son of Elkanah and Hannah.
Ezra, the scribe, priest. Eliashib, High Priest. Orpah, the Moabite, wife of Chilion. Boaz, husband of Ruth. Ruth, the Moabite, wife of Boaz. Naomi, wife of Elimelech. Cyrus the Great.
Artaxerxes I. Darius I, King of Persia. Related places Beyond the River. Elephantine, Egypt. Persian Empire. Related events Rebuilding of Jerusalem. Babylonian Captivity.
How do series work? Helpers markbarnes 23 , alex. Series by cover 1—7 of 30 next show all. The book of Genesis. Chapters by Victor P.
The book of Leviticus by Gordon J. The Book of Numbers by Timothy R.
The Book of Deuteronomy by Peter C. The Book of Joshua by Marten H. The Book of Judges by Barry G. The Book of Job by John E.