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The Book of Numbers is an account of how the Israelites wandered in the wilderness after receiving the Ten Commandments of Mount Sinai. Through this time of testing, while facing an uncertain future, the people complained repeatedly to Moses and to God. Though fraught with tension and power struggles, their pilgrimage led to the discovery that God is indeed faithful to His promises, regardless of how people behave.
In Numbers 21-36, world-renowned Bible scholar Baruch A. Levine unravels the complexity and confusing details in this Old Testament book. His lucid translation, based on thorough textual and linguistic research, including the ancient Deir Alla texts, opens the door for modern readers to understand and appreciate the richness of this intriguing book. Further, Levine examines the route of the wilderness wanderings, the ancient Near Eastern context of the laws, the social organization of early Israel, and the meaning of this biblical book for the contemporary world.
Destined to become a classic and to share the same glowing reception that greeted Numbers 1-20 and its publication, Numbers 21-36 also completes the Anchor Bible series' first multivolume commentary on a book of the Torah.
Baruch A. Levine is the Skirball Professor of Bible and Ancient Near Eastern Studies at New York University. Ordained early in his career, eventually he moved from the synagogue to the classroom, shaping a generation of future rabbis, clergy, and scholars. In his long and distinguished career, he has published widely on the books and themes of the Torah. He lives in New York City.
THE ANCHOR YALE BIBLE COMMENTARY SERIES is a project of international and interfaith scope in which Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish scholars from many countries contribute individual volumes. The project is not sponsored by any ecclesiastical organization and is not intended to reflect any particular theological doctrine.
The Anchor Yale Bible is committed to producing commentaries in the tradition established half a century ago by the founders of the series, William Foxwell Albright and David Noel Freedman. It aims to present the best contemporary scholarship in a way that is accessible not only to scholars but also to the educated nonspecialist. Its approach is grounded in exact translation of the ancient languages and an appreciation of the historical and cultural context in which the biblical books were written supplemented by insights from modern methods, such as sociological and literary criticism.