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"Holy" land in the Old Testament: Numbers and Joshua

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image of Vetus Testamentum

Looking through the Numbers-traditions of the holy land one has to answer the question whether Joshua is thought of as the literary continuation of Numbers. The survey shows that the traditions of Numbers and Joshua seem to be quite different, though there are parallels in the dividing of the land among the tribes. Probably there is one real connection, because elements of Josh. xviii 1-10 are used in Num. xxvi 55f. All other affinities regarding the theme of the holy land seem to be redactional and quite late. In Numbers one finds awareness of Transjordan as being holy to YHWH, though xxxiv 1-12 excludes it. xxxii 4 remembers land that YHWH had smitten and that is therefore available for Gad and Reuben. Numbers xxxv mentions cities of asylum in Transjordan as much as in West Jordan, for an already existing population.


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