Way back in Genesis we were told of some evil kings fleeing to the city of Dan, a city that doesn’t go by such a name until after the Danites conquer it, which doesn’t occur until after Moses is dead, but since Moses is supposed to have written Genesis, how did he know the city would be called Dan after his death? Was it just a really good guess? This passage in Numbers 13:23-25 isn’t quite as egregious, but is still worth noting. The spies enter a valley called Eshcol and steal a cluster of grapes. This gives the Israelites the idea to name the place Eschol, which translates to “cluster.” But if they didn’t name the place until after they stole the grapes, how could they possibly have entered Eshcol?
The simple answer is that bible should have said, they entered the place that would later be called Eshcol. Hey, don’t worry, nobody’s perfect, right (especially the bible)? But I don’t think the problem is entirely solved with that answer. Since the Israelites were still figuring out how to invade Canaan, they probably weren’t making any permanent names for every grape valley they came across, they would probably just refer to the area as, “that place where we stole grapes.” I realize that city names are often born organically, and I can see why future Israelites would use the name “cluster,” but it sure seems like such a name wouldn’t be used until after they genocided the existing inhabitants, which again, doesn’t take place until after the death of Moses, so why is he writing about it now?