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Numbers 14:33-34

Context
14:33 and your children will wander 1  in the wilderness forty years and suffer for your unfaithfulness, 2  until your dead bodies lie finished 3  in the wilderness. 14:34 According to the number of the days you have investigated this land, forty days – one day for a year – you will suffer for 4  your iniquities, forty years, and you will know what it means to thwart me. 5 

1 tn The word is “shepherds.” It means that the people would be wilderness nomads, grazing their flock on available land.

2 tn Heb “you shall bear your whoredoms.” The imagery of prostitution is used throughout the Bible to reflect spiritual unfaithfulness, leaving the covenant relationship and following after false gods. Here it is used generally for their rebellion in the wilderness, but not for following other gods.

3 tn The infinitive is from תָּמַם (tamam), which means “to be complete.” The word is often used to express completeness in a good sense – whole, blameless, or the like. Here and in v. 35 it seems to mean “until your deaths have been completed.” See also Gen 47:15; Deut 2:15.

4 tn Heb “you shall bear.”

5 tn The phrase refers to the consequences of open hostility to God, or perhaps abandonment of God. The noun תְּנוּאָה (tÿnuah) occurs in Job 33:10 (perhaps). The related verb occurs in Num 30:6 HT (30:5 ET) and 32:7 with the sense of “disallow, discourage.” The sense of the expression adopted in this translation comes from the meticulous study of R. Loewe, “Divine Frustration Exegetically Frustrated,” Words and Meanings, 137-58.



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