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Israel’s Sojourn in the wilderness and the construction of the book of numbers

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Chapter Summary

The idea that a tenth century Yahwist created the narrative structure of the Pentateuch (or Hexateuch) starting with the creation of the world and ending with Israel's entrance into the Promised Land, or that he even inherited this structure in an oral form, has become a very difficult and dubious assumption. Archaeological, socio-historical and literary reasons no longer allow one to locate the edition of the first 'Pentateuchal narrative' at the beginning of Israelite monarchy. This chapter focuses on the question of the origin of the Pentateuchal or Hexateuchal narrative. This question may also be formulated in the following way: when were all the so-called major themes of the Pentateuch or Hexateuch combined for the first time. The chapter opens new perspectives on the formation of the book of Numbers.

Keywords: book of Numbers; Israel's sojourn; Pentateuchal narrative; Yahwist



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