The Biography of Ancient Israel: National Narratives in the Bible

By Ilana Pardes | Go to book overview
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CHAPTER THREE
Suckling in the
Wilderness

The Absent Mother

Feeling the old horror come back—to want and want and not to have.

Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse

Here is no water but only rock Rock and no water and the sandy road The road winding above among the mountains Which are mountains of rock without water.

T. S. Eliot, “The Waste Land”

The story of the journey in the desert is punctuated by recurrent statements that chart the various stations Israel passed through on the way from Egypt to the Promised Land: vayis'u vayachanu, “and they journeyed from…and encamped in. The names of the stations and the time spent in each one—measured in rela

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