Numbers 36,1-12: Innovation and interpretation

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The Priestly narrative in Num 36,1-12 recounts an event which complements the incident of Zelophehad's daughters related in Num 27,1-11. Despite the numerous and wide-ranging affinities, the two narratives were not penned by the same author and the evidence points to a later origin for Num 36. While according to Num 27,1-11 the concern relates to personal and familial inheritance, the emphasis in Num 36 lies on tribal inheritance. The author of Num 36 was aware of the innovation he was introducing in determining the tribal inheritances and, since he could find no authority for it in his sources, was compelled to employ a form of elaborative exegesis. By this means he presented the new idea as part of the ancient tradition of safeguarding personal and familial inheritance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)249-259
Number of pages11
JournalZeitschrift fur die Alttestamentliche Wissenschaft
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Religious studies


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