June 01, 2007

Breadcrumb: That was fast

In Num. 32:33-42, we read about the cities the tribes of Reuben and Gad built east of the Jordan river. The text seems to imply that the cities were built before the Israelites crossed the Jordan and invaded Canaan, since the Reubenite and Gadite women were supposed to be living in them while the men led the war campaign. However, the Gadites built seven cities and the Reubenites built six. How long, we must ask ourselves, did it take them to build these cities? Did they have time to build before they crossed the Jordan? Or is the text simply mixing things together, out of chronological order?

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