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Numbers 9:6-10

Context

9:6 It happened that some men 1  who were ceremonially defiled 2  by the dead body of a man 3  could not keep 4  the Passover on that day, so they came before Moses and before Aaron on that day. 9:7 And those men said to him, “We are ceremonially defiled by the dead body of a man; why are we kept back from offering the Lord’s offering at its appointed time among the Israelites?” 9:8 So Moses said to them, “Remain 5  here and I will hear 6  what the Lord will command concerning you.”

9:9 The Lord spoke to Moses: 9:10 “Tell the Israelites, ‘If any 7  of you or of your posterity become ceremonially defiled by touching a dead body, or are on a journey far away, then he may 8  observe the Passover to the Lord.

1 tn In the Hebrew text the noun has no definite article, and so it signifies “some” or “certain” men.

2 tn The meaning, of course, is to be ceremonially unclean, and therefore disqualified from entering the sanctuary.

3 tn Or “a human corpse” (so NAB, NKJV). So also in v.7; cf. v. 10.

4 tn This clause begins with the vav (ו) conjunction and negative before the perfect tense. Here is the main verb of the sentence: They were not able to observe the Passover. The first part of the verse provides the explanation for their problem.

5 tn The verb is simply “stand,” but in the more general sense of waiting to hear the answer.

6 tn The cohortative may be subordinated to the imperative: “stand…[that I] may hear.”

7 tn This sense is conveyed by the repetition of “man” – “if a man, a man becomes unclean.”

8 tn The perfect tense with vav (ו) consecutive functions as the equivalent of an imperfect tense. In the apodosis of this conditional sentence, the permission nuance fits well.



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