Torah and the Book of Numbers

Ed. by Christian Frevel, Thomas Pola and Aaron Schart

[Die Tora und das Buch Numeri.]

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Published in English.
This volume, based on a correspondent symposium which took place at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum in 2011, contains articles on the composition and redaction history of the Book of Numbers by authors who represent different views on how the Pentateuch developed over time.
The Documentary Hypothesis, which in the 20th century was the standard theory to explain the development of the Pentateuch, has been challenged from different angles. One important text corpus where new proposals have been brought into the debate is the Book of Numbers. The articles in this volume address the formation of the Book of Numbers from the earliest to the latest strata. They focus on topics like the source-critical placement of the texts in Deuteronomy that retell events from Numbers, the status of the late priestly halakhic legal adaptations and their relation to the books of Leviticus and Deuteronomy, the search for the redactor(s) who combined the Priestly and the non-priestly material, the relation to the Book of Joshua, and the status of the very late additions that formed the Pentateuch as Torah for the community. Thus, the volume contributes to the discussion on the normative background and identity formation in the late Persian period. Special attention is also given to the composition of the final text of the Book of Numbers and its understanding of law and narrative.
The authors, among them outstanding researchers in the field, partially contributed to a symposium on the topic »Torah in the Book of Numbers« at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum, held on April 12–13, 2011.
Survey of contents
Christian Frevel: The Book of Numbers – Formation, Composition, and Interpretation of a Late Part of the Torah. Some Introductory Remarks – Thomas Pola: Back to the Future: The Twofold Priestly Concept of History – Thomas Römer: Egypt Nostalgia in Exodus 14-Numbers 21 – Horst Seebass: Numeri als eigene Komposition – Christophe Nihan: The Priestly Laws of Numbers, the Holiness Legislation, and the Pentateuch – Christian Frevel: Ending with the High Priest: The Hierarchy of Priests and Levites in the Book of Numbers – Aaron Schart: The Spy Story and the Final Redaction of the Hexateuch – Reinhard Achenbach: Complementary Reading of the Torah in the Priestly Texts of Numbers 15 – Joel S. Baden: Source Stratification, Secondary Additions, and the Documentary Hypothesis in the Book of Numbers: The Case of Numbers 17 – Adriane Leveen: »Lo we perish«: A Reading of Numbers 17:27–20:29 – Herbert Specht: Die Verfehlung Moses und Aarons in Num 20,1–13* P – Ludwig Schmidt: Sihon und Og in Num 21,21ff.* und Dtn 2,24ff.* – Ein Beitrag zur Entstehung des Buches Numeri – Jonathan Miles Robker: The Balaam Narrative in the Pentateuch / Hexateuch / Enneateuch – Olivier Artus: Numbers 32: The Problem of the Two and a Half Transjordanian Tribes and the Final Composition of the Book of Numbers – Eckart Otto: The Books of Deuteronomy and Numbers in One Torah. The Book of Numbers Read in the Horizon of the Postexilic Fortschreibung in the Book of Deuteronomy: New Horizons in the Interpretation of the Pentateuch

Christian Frevel Born 1962; 1994 PhD; 1998 Habilitation; 1999–2004 professor for Biblical Theology at the University of Cologne; since 2004 professor for Old Testament at the Ruhr-University Bochum and since 2015 also extraordinary professor at the Department of Old Testament Studies at University of Pretoria, South Africa.

Thomas Pola Born 1956; 1993 Dr. theol.; 2001 Habilitation; since 2002 Professor for Old Testament at Dortmund University (TU); since 2005 director of the Pnuel excavation in the lower Zarka valley in Jordan.

Aaron Schart Born 1957; 1989 Dr. theol.; 1996 Habilitation; since 1999 Professor for Old and New Testament at the University-Gesamthochschule Essen; since 2003 Professor for Old and New Testament at the University Duisburg-Essen.


The following reviews are known:

In: Orientalistische Literaturzeitung — 110 (2015), S. 367–371 (Ruth Ebach)
In: Biblische Notizen — 164 (2015), S. 132–133 (Thomas Hieke)
In: Zeitschr. f. d. Alttestamentl. Wissenschaft — 126 (2014), S. 472 (Jan C. Gertz)
In: Theologische Literaturzeitung — 141 (2016), S. 343–345 (Harald Samuel)
In: Recherches de Science Religieuse — 103 (2015), S. 114–116 (Olivier Artus)
In: Europ. Journal of Theology — 28 (2019), S. 10–12 (Torsten Uhlig)