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2014-08-01

I know the comic is hard to read; just think of it as a metaphor for the bible! ;-)

The continuity of Numbers 32:34-39 can best be described, to borrow from Doctor Who, as wibbly wobbly timey wimey. First of all, the Gadites are said to have built several cities including Dibon and Jazer, but as was already mentioned, these cities were flourishing long before the Israelites arrived.

No big deal right, the authors literally wrote “built,” but I think we can all agree that they meant to write, “rebuilt.” After all, these cities were recent battle scenes, and no doubt several buildings were destroyed in the mêlée. Except that, the passage about the Reubenites uses the word “rebuilt,” indicating a difference between the two.

In the bible’s defense, this is the result of poor word choice on behalf of the NIV translators. The Biblical Hebrew and KJV translation use the same word which translates to, “built.” Although, this is still the wrong word.

Next, the Reubenites are said to have renamed some of their cities, as well as named some of their cities. Again, a little confusing, but I think what is meant is that the existing cities were rebuilt under new names, and the new cities were named. Not a major problem, but still less-than-perfect.

Finally, we’re told that the Manassites invaded Gilead and drove the Amorites from their homes so they could settle there, and it is for this reason that Moses gave Gilead to the Manassites. No amount of blaming the translators can fix this error. The land west of the Jordan was supposed to be awarded to the Reubenites and Gadities because they had the chutzpah to ask for it, but then Moses tacked on the Manassites for no apparent reason. Well, the reason has become apparent, only after the fact, when the Manassites murder all the innocent people living there so they can take control of the city that Moses already gave to them for no reason. Again, this is the trouble with retcons!

A whole bunch of cities are mentioned in this area, but two funny ones stand out, Dibon which means “wasting” and Aroer, which means “ruins.” And if you believe in a literal bible, you have to believe that, even prior to the invasion, when the cities were thriving, they were named “wasting” and “ruins”!

 

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Oh the irony!