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"Within the framework of the greater Pentateuch whole, Numbers is indispensable." This fourth book of the Bible is a strange mixture. It takes its name from the numerous census figures and lists which it contains, but there is more besides. Here in theme of the of the conquest of the Promised Land is introduced and the first victories of the Israelites take place. Toward the end of the book the figures of Balaam and Balak appear. "At the beginning, Israel is depicted as sojourning at how Israel arrived there or as to what happened to her there. The book of Numbers is part of the total narrative of the Pentateuch and must be looked at within that wider framework," writes Professor Noth.
In this examination of Numbers, Martin Noth explores the community of the twelve tribes, the organization of the Levites, various divine ordinances, and other important themes in the book of Numbers. Also included is an appendix on daughters' rights of inheritance.
The Old Testament Library provides fresh and authoritative treatments of important aspects of Old Testament study through commentaries and general surveys. The contributors are scholars of international standing.
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