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Numbers 14:13-16

Context

14:13 Moses said to the Lord, “When the Egyptians hear 1  it – for you brought up this people by your power from among them – 14:14 then they will tell it to the inhabitants 2  of this land. They have heard that you, Lord, are among this people, that you, Lord, are seen face to face, 3  that your cloud stands over them, and that you go before them by day in a pillar of cloud and in a pillar of fire by night. 14:15 If you kill 4  this entire people at once, 5  then the nations that have heard of your fame will say, 14:16 ‘Because the Lord was not able to bring this people into the land that he swore to them, he killed them in the wilderness.’

1 tn The construction is unusual in that we have here a perfect tense with a vav (ו) consecutive with no verb before it to establish the time sequence. The context requires that this be taken as a vav (ו) consecutive. It actually forms the protasis for the next verse, and would best be rendered “whenthen they will say.”

2 tn The singular participle is to be taken here as a collective, representing all the inhabitants of the land.

3 tn “Face to face” is literally “eye to eye.” It only occurs elsewhere in Isa 52:8. This expresses the closest communication possible.

4 tn The verb is the Hiphil perfect of מוּת (mut), וְהֵמַתָּה (vÿhemattah). The vav (ו) consecutive makes this also a future time sequence verb, but again in a conditional clause.

5 tn Heb “as one man.”



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