May 25, 2007

Breadcrumb: A few reminders

The census in Num. 26 is generally what we would expect: long lists of tribes, lineages, and head counts. However, there are a few references to earlier episodes in the text, just so that people might orient themselves. For example, Num. 26:9 refers to Dathan and Abiram, who were swallowed in an earthquake in Num. 16. Num. 26:19 refers to Er and Onan, Judah's sons who died in Canaan. This sordid incident, involving incest and deceit, took place in Gen. 38. Think of this as a Cole's Notes version of the earlier parts of the Pentateuch, reminding the Israelites of their history while presenting the dry numbers.

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