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The Census of the Israelites on the Plains of Moab (Numbers 26): Sources and Redaction

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image of Vetus Testamentum

AbstractIn its present form, the census description in Numbers 26 can be identified as the product of a protracted literary process. Three principal stages of composition may be discerned as: a) close reliance on the list in Genesis 46 produced a census description and a list of the Israelite clans when they left Egypt ; b) the displacement of the original list from its original location to its extant position, wherein it serves as a “database” for the allocation of Canaan in accordance with the size of the tribes; c) the text reflected in the MT, in which the original form of the list was changed to better fit the new context, thereby establishing a greater similitude between Numbers 26 and other parts in its literary context.

Affiliations: 1: University of


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