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WHEN THE ARK SET FORWARD / ויהי בנסע הארון
יוסף סלומון and Joseph Salomon
Beit Mikra: Journal for the Study of the Bible and Its World / בית מקרא: כתב-עת לחקר המקרא ועולמו
כרך יז, חוברת ד (נא) (תמוז-אלול תשל"ב), pp. 439-441
Published by: Bialik Institute, Jerusalem / מוסד ביאליק, ירושלים
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23502954
Page Count: 3
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The two verses in Numbers 10 : 35—36 are inserted between two inverted letters of nun (one of the oldest masoretic notes, equivalent to brackets) to indicate that they are out of place. According to the Talmud the purpose of this insertion is to separate between two narratives of Israel's sins, i.e. their joyous departure from the Mount of the Lord (Numbers 10: 33) and the murmuring against the Lord (Numbers 11: 1). However, the Bible does not state that the Israelites hurried joyfully from the Mount of the Lord. It is more likely that there is an attempt to cover here the sin of Moses, for he had asked Hobab's guidance in the desert (ibid. verses 29—33), thus showing his distrust in the divine guidance which had been promised to him two months before his request from Hobab. (Exodus 33: 14). The two aforementioned verses bear resemblance to Psalms 6 verses 2 & 18; but while Moses asks for the divine help against his enemies, the psalmist cries out against corruption and universal injustice. The psalmist, apparently, extended a well known formula to plead for everlasting justice, which will come when God will rule over all his enemies. It is noteworthy that one of the trumpets of the Sons of Light bore the inscription: "The mighty acts of God to scatter his enemies and to cause all haters of justice to flee and render embarrassment to the ones who hate God"1. Yigael Yadin assumes that the inscription is based on Numbers 10: 35—36 and finds difficulties with the last added phrase. However, it is more plausible that the inscription is in accordance with Psalms 6 & : 1 & which should be rendered: "The chariot of God will rule (or will conquer; thousands of enemies."
Beit Mikra: Journal for the Study of the Bible and Its World / בית מקרא: כתב-עת לחקר המקרא ועולמו © 1972 Bialik Institute, Jerusalem / מוסד ביאליק, ירושלים