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Chapter Summary

This is the introductory chapter of the book, which deals with the stories of murmuring in the wilderness belonging to the priestly stratum of the Pentateuch. Scholars have noted that these narratives constitute a "story type" of their own whose hallmark is the Israelite complaint. Scholarly attention has been given to the stories of complaint in the wilderness on two levels. First, scholars have attempted to trace the development of each particular tradition from its earliest to latest stages. Second, this information has been utilized to help reconstruct the development of the portrayal of Israel during the wilderness wanderings throughout the Hebrew Bible. Many of the stories of complaint belong to the priestly stratum (= P). According to the overwhelming majority of scholarly opinion, the priestly literature in the Pentateuch represents the latest stages of Pentateuchal material.

Keywords: Hebrew Bible; Israelite complaint; Pentateuchal material



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