christine's bible study

The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever. Isa 40:8

numbers 13:1-15:41, parashah shelah lekha (send for yourself)

I study the Torah every year using the teaching tools of Scripture. (Why?)

Today is the 35th Sabbath of the annual Torah cycle. The Torah reading is Shelah Lekha, Send for yourself, Num 13:1-15:41.

The paragraph divisions are as follows:

Num 13:1-14:10 p The twelve spies bring back an evil report
Num 14:11-25 p The generation who has tested the LORD ten times will not enter the Land
Num 14:26-45 p Those who were numbered will fall in the wilderness 40 years
Num 15:1-16 p Burnt offering: one law for Israel and the stranger who dwells with Israel
— Num 15:17-21 s Firstfruits heave offering when Israel comes into the land
— Num 15:22-26 s Unintentional sin: one law for the native + stranger
— Num 15:27-31 p Sin offering: one law the native + stranger + presumptuous sin
Num 15:32-36 p Man gathering sticks on the Sabbath stoned with stones
Num 15:37-41 p Law concerning tassels on the four corners of the garments

Traditionally, the Ten Tests referred to in Num 14:11-25 are thought to be:
1) Exo 5:20-6:9, Refusal to heed Moses when Pharaoh increased their labor
2) Exo 14:10-12, Complaint when Pharaoh pursued them at the Red Sea
3) Exo 15:22-24, Complaint of no water at Marah
4) Exo 16:2-3, Complaint of no food in the Wilderness of Sin
5) Exo 17:1-7, Complaint of no water at Massah and Meribah
6) Exo 32:1-6, The golden calf
7) Num 11:1, Unspecified complaint + fire of the LORD which consumed some
8) Num 11:4-6, Intense craving for meat
9) Num 12:1-2, Miriam + Aaron murmur against Moses
10) Num 14:1-10, Refusal to enter the land

Hmmm … the Lord gives Israel Ten Commandments, and Israel gives the Lord Ten Tests. That means something, I am sure. Perhaps the Ten Commandments of Exo 20 is a matching pair with the Ten Tests of Num 14:11-25. That would put Leviticus in the center. It is not Law, or Failure to obey the Law (or to heed the Word of YHVH, which is the same thing), which is the heart of Torah, but ATONEMENT.

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