Making Scripture Relevant to Modern Readers
Numbers: Israel in the Desert
In this earliest version of Israelís desert sojourn, the Israelites did not spend forty years in the desert but rather only a few months. A much younger Moses actually led them into the land; they didnít have to wait for Joshua or for God. Balaam, the foreign magician hired by the Moabite king to protect him from Israel, is strong-armed by God into blessing Israel, instead of doing it voluntarily. In this and many other respects, this early version of the Israeliteís desert sojourn is very different from what those familiar with the canonical text may recall. Israel In the Desert traces the development of this uniquely divergent account and its slow development into the canonical text we have today.