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Numbers 14:3-4

Context
14:3 Why has the Lord brought us into this land only to be killed by the sword, that our wives and our children should become plunder? Wouldn’t it be better for us to return to Egypt?” 14:4 So they said to one another, 1  “Let’s appoint 2  a leader 3  and return 4  to Egypt.”

1 tn Heb “a man to his brother.”

2 tn The verb is נָתַן (natan, “to give”), but this verb has quite a wide range of meanings in the Bible. Here it must mean “to make,” “to choose,” “to designate” or the like.

3 tn The word “head” (רֹאשׁ, rosh) probably refers to a tribal chief who was capable to judge and to lead to war (see J. R. Bartlett, “The Use of the Word רֹאשׁ as a Title in the Old Testament,” VT 19 [1969]: 1-10).

4 tn The form is a cohortative with a vav (ו) prefixed. After the preceding cohortative this could also be interpreted as a purpose or result clause – in order that we may return.



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