lethargic_man: "Happy the person that finds wisdom, and the person that gets understanding."—Prov. 3:13. Icon by Tamara Rigg (limmud)
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In Deut. 1:8, God says:

See, I have set the land before you: go in and possess the land which the Lord swore unto your ancestors, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give [to them] and to their descendants after them. רְאֵה נָתַתִּי לִפְנֵיכֶם אֶת־הָאָרֶץ בֹּאוּ וּרְשׁוּ אֶת־הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר נִשְׁבַּע ה׳ לַאֲבֹתֵיכֶם לְאַבְרָהָם לְיִצְחָק וּלְיַעֲקֹב לָתֵת [לָהֶם] וּלְזַרְעָם אַחֲרֵיהֶם׃
But hang on a tick; isn't it God speaking here? Why is God speaking in the third person? The Documentary Hypothesis offers one explanation; the Samaritan Text resolves the problem by changing the text:
See, I have set the land before you: go in and possess the land which I swore unto your ancestors, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give to them [and] to their descendants after them. רְאוּ נָתַתִּי לִפְנֵיכֶם אֶת־הָאָרֶץ בֹּאוּ וּרְשׁוּ אֶת־הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר נִשְׁבַּעתִּי׳ לַאֲבֹתֵיכֶם לְאַבְרָהָם לְיִצְחָק וּלְיַעֲקֹב לָתֵת לָהֶם לְזַרְעָם אַחֲרֵיהֶם׃

(The bracketed word לָהָם is missing from the Masoretic Text in my MT/Samaritan text comparison chumash, but not elsewhere; I'm not sure what's going on here.)

In Deut. 1:28, Moses reports that the spies complained:

Where shall we go up? our brethren have discouraged us, saying, "The people is greater and taller than us; the cities are great and walled up to heaven; and moreover we have seen Anakites there." אָנָה אֲנַחְנוּ עֹלִים אַחֵינוּ הֵמַסּוּ אֶת־לְבָבֵנוּ לֵאמֹר עַם גָּדוֹל וָרָם מִמֶּנּוּ עָרִים גְּדֹלֹת וּבְצוּרֹת בַּשָּׁמָיִם וְגַם־בְּנֵי עֲנָקִים רָאִינוּ שָׁם׃
The Samaritan text has an interesting single-letter change:
Where shall we go up? our brethren have discouraged us, saying, "The people is greater and more numerous than us; the cities are great and walled up to heaven; and moreover we have seen Anakites there." אָנָה אֲנַחְנוּ עֹלִים וְאַחֵינוּ המיסו אֶת־לְבָבֵנוּ לֵאמֹר עַם גָּדוֹל וָרֹב מִמֶּנּוּ וְעָרִים גְּדֹלוֹת וּבְצֻרֹת בַּשָּׁמָיִם וְגַם־בְּנֵי עֲנָקִים רָאִינוּ שָׁם׃
Deut. 1:38:
But Joshua the son of Nun, who stands before you, he shall go there: encourage him, for he shall cause Israel to inherit it. יְהוֹשֻׁעַ בִּן־נוּן הָעֹמֵד לְפָנֶיךָ הוּא יָבֹא שָׁמָּה אֹתוֹ חַזֵּק כִּי־הוּא יַנְחִלֶנָּה אֶת־יִשְׂרָאֵל׃
The word translated "encourage him" in the KJV literally means "be strong". In the Samaritan text, it's not an imperative but first person indicative imperfect of the hiph`il:
But Joshua the son of Nun, who stands before you, he shall go there: I shall make him strong, for he shall cause Israel to inherit it. יְהוֹשֻׁעַ בִּן־נוּן הָעֹמֵד לְפָנֶיךָ הוּא יָבֹא שָׁמָּה אֹתוֹ אַחֲזִיק כִּי־הוּא יַנְחִלֶנָּה אֶת־יִשְׂרָאֵל׃
The following verse continues:
Moreover your little ones, who you said would be a prey, and your children, who in that day had no knowledge between good and evil, they shall go in thither, and unto them will I give it, and they shall possess it. וְטַפְּכֶם אֲשֶׁר אֲמַרְתֶּם לָבַז יִהְיֶה וּבְנֵיכֶם אֲשֶׁר לֹא־יָדְעוּ הַיּוֹם טוֹב וָרָע הֵמָּה יָבֹאוּ שָׁמָּה וְלָהֶם אֶתְּנֶנָּה וְהֵם יִירָשׁוּהָ׃
The words "who in that day had no knowledge between good and evil" are missing in the Samaritan text; maybe because it acknowledges that the generation condemned to die in the wilderness was of age twenty years and upward, and teenagers do not exactly have no knowledge of good and bad.

[Samaritan Torah] Samaritan Torah notes         Jewish learning notes index


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