Reading Scripture in the Old Testament: Deuteronomy 9-10, 31, 2 Kings 22-23, Jeremiah 36, Nehemiah 8

By G. J. Venema | Go to book overview
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Chapter 6

Cross-References

(…Fidu présent de la mémoire, qui est mtemporelle!
Fi du passé simple du chroniqueur et de ses accumula-
tions routiniéres de faits semblables à des gouttes d'eau
tombant d'un robmet qui fuit! L'Histoire ne voulait plus
entendre rien d'autre que son glorieux imparfait, le temps
des anges, le temss du Livre. Elle avait été tenue trop
longtemps pour un amas de choses révolues, pour de la
vieille histoire, alors qu'elle n'était rien de moms que
l' Alliance l'arc-en-ciel qui avait uni le passé à I'avenir
et la terre au ciel. lci elle pouvait montrer à nouveau son
vrai visage, comme elle était apparue jadis a Noé audes-
sus des eaux de I'oubli…
.)

Frans Kellendonk, Corps Mysiique: Une histoire, transl.
Patrick Grillie, n.p. 1993, 130.

In the first chapter of the book of Numbers, Moses is commanded to take a census of the Israelite armies, to which end all tribes are gathered. Each tribe has its own camp, except for Levi they will take care of the tabernacle and thus are exempt from the census (Num. 1:1–54). Moses seceives YHWH'S command in the Sinai desert 'on the first day of the second month in the second year following the Exodus from the land of Egypt' (Num. 1:1). The ninth chapter starts in roughly the same way, with a command given by YHWH to Moses in the desert but this time it concerns the day on which Passover is to be celebrated and is given at a different moment, namely 'in the second year following the Exodus from the land of Egypt, in the first month' (Num 9:1). There is a discussion in the Talmud about this latter passage, prompted by the fact that we are not told on which day of the first month Moses receives the command. The question is also raised why the second month is mentioned first (Num. 1), and the first month only later (Num. 9): should this not have been the other way round? R. Menasia b. Tahlifa reacts by statine: 'This means that there is no [before] and [after] in the Torah'.1 Thus, although the chronological consistency of the texts in the Torah is important to the rabbis, they do not see it as an absolute

1 b. Pes. 6b:

cf. H.L. Strack, G. Stem-
berger, Einleitung in Talmud und Midrasch, München71982, 40.

-202-

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