Thursday, September 01, 2016


The major distinction between this speech [Num 14] and the one in Exod 32:11b-13 is Moses’s citation of YHWH’s attributes in Num 14:17-18. Here the formula becomes the basis of Moses’s two petitions: his plea in Num 14:17 that “your forbearance be great, as you promised” in the formula, and his petition for pardon in 14:19, which picks up the formula’s key word חסד [ḥesed] The version of the formula used here, like that in Exod 34:6-7, describes both YHWH’s mercy and his judgment on wrongdoers and their descendants. By using it, Moses acknowledges the deity’s freedom to pardon or to punish, although he stresses the deity’s clemency in his petitions, using the strategy of choice.—Forestalling Doom page 176 (emphasis original)

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