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Erklärung der wichtigsten “demographischen” Zahlen des Numeribuches aus ihrem kompositionellen Zusammenhang

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image of Vetus Testamentum

The “demographic” figures in Numbers are explained as an integral part of a numerical system, which keeps together the Pentateuchal composition. The figure of 79 explicitly named fathers of tribes and clans in Israel in Num 26 is crucial for this approach. Furthermore, one has to consider the history of reception in Qumran and in Rabbinic Judaism in which the officers according to Ex 18 and Dtn 1 are combined with the large number of Israelites or with the census itself. It is shown that Israel had to number exactly 603550 men in order to get an executive staff of exactly 79079 persons when departing from Mt. Sinai. Similarly, the figure 79 underlies the data concerning the death toll by reason of the mgph during the wanderings, the officers according to the second census, and, last not least, the global chronological system of the Pentateuch.

Affiliations: 1: Martin-Luther-Universität Halle (Saale) Germany


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