Gilbert House Fellowship #304: Numbers 14-15; Psalm 90

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ACTIONS HAVE consequences. In the case of Israel, the decision to rebel against Moses after the “bad [or ‘evil’] report” of the spies sent into Canaan led to forty years of wandering in the wilderness.

We discuss the intercession of Moses for the people when God declared that He would “strike them with the pestilence,” and the possibility that “Pestilence,” the Canaanite pestilence-god Deber, was an angel sent to carry out His judgment.

The reaction of the Israelites to God’s alternate punishment, which was to keep Israel from entering Canaan until everyone over the age of 20 (except Joshua and Caleb), was about what you’d expect: They decided to go ahead and attack the Amalekites and Canaanites anyway, and were badly defeated in battle.

We also look at God’s reiteration of certain sacrificial laws, including sacrifices for unintentional sin, and a death penalty for a man caught gathering wood on the Sabbath.

Then we skip to Psalm 90, a psalm of Moses that appears to have been written about this time, with special attention to his prayer for wisdom and cry for the Lord’s return.

Some striking differences were noted in this week’s reading between the Masoretic Hebrew text, the basis for our modern English Old Testament translations, and the Septuagint, which was translated around 300 BC by Jewish scholars working with older Hebrew texts. Specifically, we noticed references to other aspects of the personhood of Yahweh (such as His Name, Right Hand, Spirit, and Glory) that are missing from our English Bibles, apparently because the Masoretes, Jewish scholars who completed their Hebrew Old Testament text by the 10th century AD, de-emphasized the “Second Power in Heaven” in scripture after Christians identified that figure as Jesus Christ.


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4 Comments

Filed under Bible Study, Old Testament

4 Responses to Gilbert House Fellowship #304: Numbers 14-15; Psalm 90

  1. Pingback: To die in the wilderness – Weapon of Mass Distraction

  2. Janie Tink

    For many years the tallit stripes were black in color until the blue dye was discovered. Only men in more Orthodox communities wore the tallit, not the women. This is because it is considered a man’s garment and the Torah forbids women from wearing men’s apparel (see Deut. 22:5).

    Men were buried in the tallit, with the neckband removed, and one corner of fringe is cut off, indicating that the deceased person is no longer required to follow the Torah obligations.

  3. Linnea Tipton

    Thank you for giving of your time to dig the scriptures and other writing to teach us.

  4. Mark Haynes

    While listening to the part about the man being stoned for gathering wood. Could it be possible that he was not just gathering to keep his fire going but gathering for the rest of the week? Or maybe that’s what he did for a living and was gathering to sell it? By the way I enjoy the Bible study very much.

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