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(0.18) (Jer 35:7)

sn Heb “where you are sojourning.” The terms “sojourn” and “sojourner” referred to a person who resided in a country not his own, without the rights and privileges of citizenship as a member of a nation, state, or principality. In the ancient Near East such people were dependent on the laws of hospitality, rather than the laws of state, for protection and provision of legal rights. Perhaps the best illustration of this is Abraham, who “sojourned” among the Philistines and the Hittites in Canaan and was dependent upon them for grazing and water rights and for a place to bury his wife (cf. Gen 20-24). What is described here is the typical lifestyle of a nomadic tribe.

(0.18) (Jer 25:9)

tn The word used here was used in the early years of Israel’s conquest for the action of killing all the men, women, and children in the cities of Canaan, destroying all their livestock, and burning their cities down. This policy was intended to prevent Israel from being corrupted by paganism (Deut 7:2; 20:17-18; Josh 6:18, 21). It was to be extended to any city that led Israel away from worshiping God (Deut 13:15) and any Israelite who brought an idol into his house (Deut 7:26). Here the policy is being directed against Judah as well as against her neighbors because of her persistent failure to heed God’s warnings through the prophets. For further usage of this term in application to foreign nations in the book of Jeremiah, see 50:21, 26 and 51:3.

(0.18) (Jer 10:16)

sn In the phrase the inheritance of Jacob’s descendants, “inheritance” could be translated “portion.” Applied to God here, the phrase has its background in Joshua’s division of the land of Canaan (Palestine), where each tribe received a land portion except the tribe of Levi, whose “portion” was the Lord. As the other tribes lived off what their portion of the land provided, the tribe of Levi lived off what the Lord provided, i.e., the tithes and offerings dedicated to him. Hence to have the Lord as one’s portion, one’s inheritance, is to have him provide for all one’s needs (see Ps 16:5 in the context of vv. 2, 6, and Lam 3:24 in the context of vv. 22-23).

(0.18) (Rut 1:1)

sn Some interpreters view Elimelech’s departure from Judah to sojourn in Moab as lack of faith in the covenant God of Israel to provide for his family’s needs in the land of promise; therefore his death is consequently viewed as divine judgment. Others note that God never prohibited his people from seeking food in a foreign land during times of famine but actually sent his people to a foreign land during a famine in Canaan on at least one occasion as an act of deliverance (Gen 37-50). In this case, Elimelech’s sojourn to Moab was an understandable act by a man concerned for the survival of his family, perhaps even under divine approval, so their death in Moab was simply a tragedy, a bad thing that happened to a godly person.

(0.18) (Deu 7:1)

sn Seven. This is an ideal number in the OT, one symbolizing fullness or completeness. Therefore, the intent of the text here is not to be precise and list all of Israel’s enemies but simply to state that Israel will have a full complement of foes to deal with. For other lists of Canaanites, some with fewer than seven peoples, see Exod 3:8; 13:5; 23:23, 28; 33:2; 34:11; Deut 20:17; Josh 3:10; 9:1; 24:11. Moreover, the “Table of Nations” (Gen 10:15-19) suggests that all of these (possibly excepting the Perizzites) were offspring of Canaan and therefore Canaanites.

(0.18) (Deu 2:11)

sn Rephaites. The earliest reference to this infamous giant race is, again, in the story of the invasion of the eastern kings (Gen 14:5). They lived around Ashteroth Karnaim, probably modern Tel Ashtarah (cf. Deut 1:4), in the Bashan plateau east of the Sea of Galilee. Og, king of Bashan, was a Rephaite (Deut 3:11; Josh 12:4; 13:12). Other texts speak of them or their kinfolk in both Transjordan (Deut 2:20; 3:13) and Canaan (Josh 11:21-22; 14:12, 15; 15:13-14; Judg 1:20; 1 Sam 17:4; 1 Chr 20:4-8). They also appear in extra-biblical literature, especially in connection with the city state of Ugarit. See C. L’Heureux, “Ugaritic and Biblical Rephaim,” HTR 67 (1974): 265-74.

(0.18) (Num 20:22)

sn The traditional location for this is near Petra (Josephus, Ant. 4.4.7). There is serious doubt about this location since it is well inside Edomite territory, and since it is very inaccessible for the transfer of the office. Another view places it not too far from Kadesh Barnea, about 15 miles (25 km) northeast at Jebel Madurah, on the northwest edge of Edom and so a suitable point of departure for approaching Canaan from the south (see J. L. Mihelec, IDB 2:644; and J. de Vaulx, Les Nombres [SB], 231). Others suggest it was at the foot of Mount Hor and not actually up in the mountains (see Deut 10:6).

(0.18) (Exo 20:12)

sn The promise here is national rather than individual, although it is certainly true that the blessing of life was promised for anyone who was obedient to God’s commands (Deut 4:1; 8:1, etc.). But as W. C. Kaiser (“Exodus,” EBC 2:424) summarizes, the land that was promised was the land of Canaan, and the duration of Israel in the land was to be based on morality and the fear of God as expressed in the home (Deut 4:26, 33, 40; 32:46-47). The captivity was in part caused by a breakdown in this area (Ezek 22:7, 15). Malachi would announce at the end of his book that Elijah would come at the end of the age to turn the hearts of the children and the parents toward each other again.

(0.18) (Exo 12:19)

tn Or “alien”; or “stranger.” The term גֵּר (ger) refers to a foreign resident, but with different social implications in different settings. The Patriarchs were foreign, temporary residents in parts of Canaan who abided by the claims of local authorities (see Gen 20, 23, 26). Under Mosaic law a גֵּר normally refers to a naturalized citizen who is part of the worshiping congregation of Israel and has entered into the covenant with the Lord (Deut 29:10-13). Mosaic law treats the גֵּר as a naturalized citizen with almost identical rights and obligations, both civil and religious, as natural born Israelites. This is one of two verses of Mosaic Law in which the LXX does not call the גֵּר a proselyte (προσήλυτος, prosēlutos), or “convert” (cf. Deut 14:21), though in this context (and probably in Deut 14:21) the גֵּר must be a convert.

(0.18) (Gen 23:4)

tn Heb “a resident foreigner (גֵּר; ger) and an immigrant (תּוֹשָׁב; toshav).” The term גֵּר (ger) refers to a foreign resident, but with different social implications in different settings. The Patriarchs were foreign, temporary residents in parts of Canaan, who abided by the claims of local authorities (see Gen 20, 23, 26). The noun toshav (תּוֹשָׁב) is less common. Under Mosaic Law it refers to someone of lesser standing than a resident foreigner (גֵּר; ger) since the ger had given full covenantal allegiance to the Lord. While not referring to a citizen, the precise nuance of toshav as an immigrant, resident, or (temporary) settler, is not clear. But in this case it may be a case of hendiadys, where the two terms together mean “an alien resident.”

(0.18) (Gen 9:22)

sn Saw the nakedness. It is hard for modern people to appreciate why seeing another’s nakedness was such an abomination because nakedness is so prevalent today. In the ancient world, especially in a patriarchal society, seeing another’s nakedness was a major offense. (See the account in Herodotus, Histories 1.8-13, where a general saw the nakedness of his master’s wife, and one of the two had to be put to death.) Besides, Ham was not a little boy wandering into his father’s bedroom; he was over a hundred years old by this time. For fuller discussion see A. P. Ross, “The Curse of Canaan,” BSac 137 (1980): 223-40.

(0.18) (Gen 6:4)

tn The Hebrew word נְפִילִים (nefilim) is simply transliterated here because the meaning of the term is uncertain. According to the text, the Nephilim became mighty warriors and gained great fame in the antediluvian world. The text may imply they were the offspring of the sexual union of the “sons of God” and the “daughters of humankind” (v. 2), but it stops short of saying this in a direct manner. The Nephilim are mentioned in the OT only here and in Num 13:33, where it is stated that they were giants (thus KJV, TEV, NLT “giants” here). The narrator observes that the Anakites of Canaan were descendants of the Nephilim. Certainly these later Anakite Nephilim could not be descendants of the antediluvian Nephilim (see also the following note on the word “this”).

(0.14) (Lam 5:2)

tn Heb “Our inheritance” or “Our inherited possessions/property.” The term נַחֲלָה (nakhalah) has a range of meanings: (1) “inheritance,” (2) “portion, share” and (3) “possession, property.” The land of Canaan was given by the Lord to Israel as its inheritance (Deut 4:21; 15:4; 19:10; 20:16; 21:23; 24:4; 25:19; 26:1; Josh 20:6) and distributed among the tribes, clans, and families (Num 16:14; 36:2; Deut 29:7; Josh 11:23; 13:6; 14:3, 13; 17:4, 6, 14; 19:49; 23:4; Judg 18:1; Ezek 45:1; 47:22; 48:29). Through the land, the family provided an inheritance (property) to its children, with the firstborn receiving pride of position (Gen 31:14; Num 27:7-11; 36:3, 8; 1 Kgs 21:3, 4; Job 42:15; Prov 19:14; Ezek 46:16). Here the parallelism between “our inheritance” and “our homes” would allow for the specific referent of the phrase “our inheritance” to be (1) land or (2) material possessions, or given the nature of the poetry in Lamentations, to carry both meanings at the same time.

(0.14) (Exo 16:1)

sn Exod 16 plays an important part in the development of the book’s theme. It is part of the wider section that is the prologue leading up to the covenant at Sinai, a part of which was the obligation of obedience and loyalty (P. W. Ferris, Jr., “The Manna Narrative of Exodus 16:1-10, ” JETS 18 [1975]: 191-99). The record of the wanderings in the wilderness is selective and not exhaustive. It may have been arranged somewhat topically for instructional reasons. U. Cassuto describes this section of the book as a didactic anthology arranged according to association of both context and language (Exodus, 187). Its themes are: lack of vital necessities, murmuring, proving, and providing. All the wilderness stories reiterate the same motifs. So, later, when Israel arrived in Canaan, they would look back and be reminded that it was Yahweh who brought them all the way, in spite of their rebellions. Because he is their Savior and their Provider, he will demand loyalty from them. In the Manna Narrative there is murmuring over the lack of bread (1-3), the disputation with Moses (4-8), the appearance of the glory and the promise of bread (9-12), the provision (13-22), the instructions for the Sabbath (23-30), and the memorial manna (31-36).

(0.14) (Exo 12:40)

sn Here as well some scholars work with the number 430 to try to reduce the stay in Egypt for the bondage. Some argue that if the number included the time in Canaan, that would reduce the bondage by half. S. R. Driver (Exodus, 102) notes that P thought Moses was the fourth generation from Jacob (6:16-27), if those genealogies are not selective. Exodus 6 has Levi—Kohath—Amram—Moses. This would require a period of about 100 years, and that is unusual. There is evidence, however, that the list is selective. In 1 Chr 2:3-20 the text has Bezalel (see Exod 31:2-5) a contemporary of Moses and yet the seventh from Judah. Elishama, a leader of the Ephraimites (Num 10:22), was in the ninth generation from Jacob (1 Chr 7:22-26). Joshua, Moses’ assistant, was the eleventh from Jacob (1 Chr 7:27). So the “four generations” leading up to Moses are not necessarily complete. With regard to Exod 6, K. A. Kitchen has argued that the four names do not indicate successive generations, but tribe (Levi), clan (Kohath), family (Amram), and individual (Moses; K. A. Kitchen, Ancient Orient and Old Testament, 54-55). For a detailed discussion of the length of the sojourn, see E. H. Merrill, A Kingdom of Priests, 75-79.

(0.14) (Gen 9:27)

sn There is some debate over whether God or Japheth is the subject. On the one hand, the brothers acted together and the refrain ending vv. 26 and 27 is the same, which suggests that v. 26 is about Shem and v. 27 is about Japheth. But it is not clear what it would mean for Japheth to live in Shem’s tents. A similar phrase occurs in Ps 78:55 where it means for Israel to occupy Canaan, but there is no reason in this context to expect Japheth to be blessed at the expense of Shem and occupy his territory. If this applies to Japheth, it would make more sense for it to mean that Japheth would participate in the blessings of Shem, but that is not clear for this phrase. On the other hand it is typical to keep the same subject if a new one is not explicitly introduced, suggesting that God is the subject here (see W. Kaiser, The Messiah in the Old Testament, 44-46). In addition, the phrase שָׁכַן בּ (shakhan b…, “to dwell in/among” is often used of the Lord dwelling among Israel, in Zion, making his name dwell there, or the Tabernacle dwelling among them. Referring to the “tents” (plural) of Shem looks ahead to tents of his descendants, not to the Tabernacle, though the Tabernacle being in the middle of the camp would seem to be a realization of the statement, as would Jesus’ presence among Israel.

(0.13) (Exo 12:37)

sn There have been many attempts to calculate the population of the exodus group, but nothing in the text gives the exact number other than the 600,000 people on foot who were men. Estimates of two million people are very large, especially since the Bible says there were seven nations in the land of Canaan mightier than Israel. It is probably not two million people (note, the Bible never said it was—this is calculated by scholars). But attempts to reduce the number by redefining the word “thousand” to mean clan or tribe or family unit have not been convincing, primarily because of all the tabulations of the tribes in the different books of the Bible that have to be likewise reduced. B. Jacob (Exodus, 347) rejects the many arguments and calculations as the work of eighteenth century deists and rationalists, arguing that the numbers were taken seriously in the text. Some writers interpret the numbers as inflated due to a rhetorical use of numbers, arriving at a number of 60,000 or so for the men here listed (reducing it by a factor of ten), and insisting this is a literal interpretation of the text as opposed to a spiritual or allegorical approach (see R. Allen, “Numbers,” EBC 2:686-96; see also G. Mendenhall, “The Census Lists of Numbers 1 and 26, ” JBL 77 [1958]: 52-66). This proposal removes the “embarrassingly” large number for the exodus, but like other suggestions, lacks completely compelling evidence. For a more extensive discussion of the large numbers used to describe the Israelites in their wilderness experience, see the note on “46,500” in Num 1:21.

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