"...the great feature of the book is that anyone can read it without excessive head scratching...You'll find plenty here to keep you occupied, amused, and informed. Buy, dip in, wallow." -IAN STEWART, NEW SCIENTIST "...a delightful look at numbers and their roles in everything from language to flowers to the imagination." -SCIENCE NEWS "...a fun and fascinating tour of numerical topics and concepts. It will have readers contemplating ideas they might never have thought were understandable or even possible." -WISCONSIN BOOKWATCH "This popularization of number theory looks like another classic." -LIBRARY JOURNAL
Ashley's study on the book of Numbers is part of The New International Commentary on the Old Testament. Like its companion series on the New Testament, this commentary devotes considerable care to achieving a balance between technical information and homiletic-devotional interpretation.
The newest book in Avivah Gottlieb Zornberg’s award-winning series of commentaries on the hebrew bible. The book of Numbers is the narrative of a great failure. What should have been for the Israelites a brief journey from Mount Sinai to the Holy Land becomes a forty-year death march. Both before and after the devastating report of the Spies, the narrative centers on the people’s desire to return to Egypt, to undo the miraculous work of the Exodus. At its heart are speeches of complaint and lament, expressing a profound existential skepticism. But by contrast, in the narrative of the book of Numbers that is found in mystical and Hasidic sources, the generation of the wilderness emerges as one of extraordinary spiritual experience, receivers of the Torah to the fullest extent, fed on miracles and nurtured directly by God: a generation of ecstatic faith, human partners in an unprecedented conversation with the Deity. Drawing on kabbalistic sources, the Hasidic commentators on the book of Numbers depict a people who transcend prudent considerations in order to follow God into the wilderness, where their spiritual yearning comes to full expression. This view of the wilderness history invites us into a different kind of listening to the many cries of distrust, lament, and resentment that issue from the Israelites throughout the book of Numbers. Is there a way to integrate this narrative of dark murmurings, of obsessive fantasies of return to Egypt, with the celebration of a love-intoxicated wilderness discourse? The question touches not only on the language the Israelites speak but also on the very nature of human utterance. Who are these people? Who are we who listen to them? What effect does the cumulative trauma of slavery, the miracles of Exodus, the revelation at Sinai, have on a nation that is beginning to speak? In Bewilderments, one of the most admired biblical commentators at work today posits fascinating answers to these questions through the magnificent literary, scholarly, and psychological analysis of the text that is her trademark. From the Hardcover edition.
Classical Pentateuch research mainly dealt with the books of Genesis, Exodus and Deuteronomy and it is only in recent decades that the literary and theological meanings of Moses' fourth book has been rediscovered. In this volume, Christian Frevel lets the interplay between narrative and legislative material - which is often not understood - emerge into new light, examining the texts of the Book of Numbers as inner-biblical interpretations and tradition-bound innovations. Cloaked in the Israelites' 40-year long sojourn in the desert, the Book of Numbers presents a tightly-woven fabric of texts which reflect the social and cultic orders, discuss questions of leadership and explore the meaning of the Promised Land to Israel's existence. The Book of Numbers is characterized in its entirety by transformations: for example, the exodus generation becomes the desert generation and leadership is transferred from Moses to Joshua, from Aaron to Eleazar. Important innovations such as the hierarchical organization of the cult, including the role of the Levites or the hereditary law concerning daughters, are cultivated within these transformations. The people's time in the desert (re)form their social frameworks and renders them sustainable for the existence in the Promised Land. Important themes such as community and cult organization, the enduring election of the Israelites, the meaning of the Promised Land for the collective identity, questions of hierarchical leadership and democratic participation, of collective guilt and individual liability, along with many other aspects, are dealt with in the texts. Without the literary traditions of the Book of Numbers, which were mostly set down around the 5th-4th centuries BCE, the formation of the Pentateuch as Torah would not have been conceivable. The studies of this volume reveal the thematic diversity of the book against a backdrop of its literary creation within the Penta- and Hexateuch.
The Book of Numbers is an "in between" book in the Biblical story of the Israelites' Exodus from Egypt. While Book of Exodus kicks off the story with Moses' dramatic showdown with the Pharaoh and the reception of the Ten Commandments, and the Book of Joshua finishes the tale with the successful occupation of the Promised Land, the Book of Numbers depicts the Israelites in transition as they wander the desert preparing for their conquest of Canaan. Despite its position as the uncertain middle portion of a trilogy, the book nevertheless contains some memorable events: Moses striking the rock at Meribah to bring forth fresh water, the bronze snake Moses made to relieve those afflicted by snakebite, and Balaam's donkey opening its mouth to prophesy. "Notes on the Book of Numbers" offers a careful analysis of the text, detailed maps and timelines for the events mentioned in scripture, and copious notes on the sacrifices and events of the Jewish calendar.
A long time rather neglected by biblical scholars, the books of Leviticus and Numbers have recently, after the breakdown of the traditional documentary models, shifted into the centre of the pentateuchal research. According to the new consensus the Torah came into existence during the Persian period as a founding document of nascent Judaism; the books of Leviticus and Numbers contain numerous texts which reflect the very last stages of the formation of the Pentateuch in the Persian period, revealing at the same time that an urge was felt for a continuing actualization and interpretation of the mosaic Law. This volume contains papers about the books of Leviticus and Numbers presented at the Colloquium Biblicum Lovaniense in 2006."
How should Christian readers of scripture hold appropriate and constructive tensions between exegetical, critical, hermeneutical, and theological concerns? This book seeks to develop the current lively discussion of theological hermeneutics by taking an extended test case, the book of Numbers, and seeing what it means in practice to hold all these concerns together. In the process the book attempts to reconceive the genre of "commentary" by combining focused attention to the details of the text with particular engagement with theological and hermeneutical concerns arising in and through the interpretive work. The book focuses on the main narrative elements of Numbers 11–25, although other passages are included (Numbers 5, 6, 33). With its mix of genres and its challenging theological perspectives, Numbers offers a range of difficult cases for traditional Christian hermeneutics. Briggs argues that the Christian practice of reading scripture requires engagement with broad theological concerns, and brings into his discussion Frei, Auerbach, Barth, Ricoeur, Volf, and many other biblical scholars. The book highlights several key formational theological questions to which Numbers provides illuminating answers: What is the significance and nature of trust in God? How does holiness (mediated in Numbers through the priesthood) challenge and redefine our sense of what is right, or "fair"? To what extent is it helpful to conceptualize life with God as a journey through a wilderness, of whatever sort? Finally, short of whatever promised land we may be, what is the context and role of blessing?
The Secret of Numbers and how They Changed the World
Author: Peter Bentley
Pubpsher: Firefly Books Limited
Category: House & Home
Unraveling the secrets of numbers, from the discovery of zero to infinity. In clear language, The Book of Numbers cuts through the mystery and fear surrounding numbers to reveal their fascinating nature and roles in architecture, quantum mechanics, computer technology, biology, commerce, philosophy, art, music, religion and more. Indeed, numbers are part of every discipline in the sciences and the arts. With 350 illustrations, including diagrams, photographs and computer imagery, the book chronicles the centuries-long search for the meaning of numbers by famous and lesser-known mathematicians, and explains the puzzling aspects of the mathematical world. Topics include: The earliest ideas of numbers and counting Patterns, logic, calculating Natural, perfect, amicable and prime numbers Numerology, the power of numbers, superstition The computer, the Enigma Code Infinity, the speed of light, relativity Complex numbers The Big Bang and Chaos theories The Philosopher's Stone. The Book of Numbers shows enthusiastically that numbers are neither boring nor dull but rather involve intriguing connections, rivalries, secret documents and even mysterious deaths.