Numbers 21:5

Hebrew Bible

3 The Lord listened to the voice of Israel and delivered up the Canaanites, and they utterly destroyed them and their cities. So the name of the place was called Hormah. 4 Then they traveled from Mount Hor by the road to the Red Sea, to go around the land of Edom, but the people became impatient along the way. 5 And the people spoke against God and against Moses, “Why have you brought us up from Egypt to die in the wilderness, for there is no bread or water, and we detest this worthless food.” 6 So the Lord sent venomous snakes among the people, and they bit the people; many people of Israel died. 7 Then the people came to Moses and said, “We have sinned, for we have spoken against the Lord and against you. Pray to the Lord that he would take away the snakes from us.” So Moses prayed for the people. 8 The Lord said to Moses, “Make a poisonous snake and set it on a pole. When anyone who is bitten looks at it, he will live.”

Pseudo Jonathan Numbers 21:5


And they journeyed from Mount Umanom, by the way of the Sea of Suph, that they might compass the land of Edom; and the soul of the people was wearied in the way. And the people thought (wickedly) in their heart, and talked against the Word of the Lord, and contended with Mosheh, saying: Why didst thou bring us up from Mizraim to die in the wilderness; for there is neither bread nor water, and our soul is weary of manna, this light food? And the bath-kol fell from the high heaven, and thus spake: Come, all men, and see all the benefits which I have done to the people whom I brought up free out of Mizraim. I made manna come down for them from heaven, yet now turn they and murmur against Me.

 Notes and References

"... Recall that in Targum Pseudo-Jonathan and Neofiti Numbers 21:5, 'the people spoke against the Word of the Lord' and complained against Moses. The fragmentary Targums of Numbers 21:6 say that 'the divine Word' let loose poisonous serpents. Targum Neofiti Numbers 21:7 describes the people confessing to Moses that 'we have spoken against the name of the Word of the Lord and against you;' Targum Neofiti Numbers 21:8 says that 'the Word of the Lord' told Moses to make a bronze serpent. In Targum Pseudo-Jonathan verses 8-9, the one who is bitten by a snake lives, 'if his heart is directed toward the name of the Word of the Lord' ..."

Ronning, John L. The Jewish Targums and John's Logos Theology (pp. 244-246) Baker Academic, 2017

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