Friday, December 4, 2015

The Self-Harmony of the Bible - 3 (Part Seven)

How Large Were the Levite Pastures?
            Numbers 35:4 (NASB) says: “The pasture lands of the cities which you shall give to the Levites shall extend from the wall of the city outward a thousand cubits around.” Numbers 35:5 (NASB) reads: “You shall also measure outside the city on the east side two thousand cubits, and on the south side two thousand cubits, and on the west side two thousand cubits, and on the north side two thousand cubits, with the city in the center. This shall become theirs as pasture lands for the cities.”
            To the skeptic this is a clear contradiction; he pays no heed to the traditional interpretation which resolves these two statements.[1] What is more, he ignores that the Greek text has 2,000 in both places. Therefore, if the skeptic will not accept the traditional interpretation, then let him accept that.

When was Joshua Called Joshua?
            Few know that Joshua (or Jehoshua) was first called Hoshea. Numbers 13:16 (NWT) records: “And Moses gave the name Joshua to Hoshea the son of Nun.” (Joshua means “Jehovah is salvation,” whereas Hoshea means “salvation.”) How, though, can this be reconciled with the many referenced to Joshua as Joshua before the name change in the book of Exodus, whose events predate those of Numbers? The simplest answer is that the events predate those of Numbers, but it is entirely possible that Exodus was changed to reflect the change of name of Moses’s successor. Joshua is only called Joshua about a half dozen times in Exodus, so it would not be inconceivable that Moses or Joshua amended the original, or a later scribe, such as Joshua himself, included Joshua over Hoshea as he transcribed the Torah. (Joshua 24:26) There is no contradiction.

[1] The traditional interpretation is that from the walls to 1,000 cubits were for a certain use, while from 1,000 to 3,000 were for another use. The first measured area was 1,000 cubits from the walls and they were for cattle, but the next measured area was 2,000 from the outer edge of the first and was for vineyards, or vice versa. Also, some interpret the two zones as each being measured from the city walls. That is, the first measured area is from the city walls to 1,000 cubits and the second measured area ends 2,000 cubits from the wall, starting where the first ended.

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