Today’s text starts with some highlights from the exodus. It reminds the reader that God commanded the Hebrews to leave Horeb. It recounts appointing of leaders–which is key because it establishes the authority of rulers, right? From a narrative point of view, how important is it to remember that God told Moses to get helpers?
It recounts sending spies and reminds the Israelites that because they were cowardly, God made them go back to wander in the desert. It also recounts the loss to the Amorites when some faction of God’s people ignored God’s punishment. No quick fixes.
Then, it tells about how they were granted passage through Edomite territory. Deut. 2:8. This reflects a changed attitude toward the Edomites as compared to that held with Numbers was written. in Numbers, the Edomites turn the Israelites away. Num. 20:21.
Those who worship the Bible as an idol and make claims of its inerrancy attempt to reconcile these two passages by claiming that at first the Edomites said no and then they said yes. There is no account of a reconsideration by the descendants of Esau. Instead, the Bible collects two accounts from God’s people about the exile. It will be a pattern that we see often, not just in myth like the two creation stories, but in historical accounts.
In service of the heresy of Bible-worship misnamed “literalists” weirdly ignore the text of the Bible. They create a third version of events to keep their made up contention that the words in the Bible are inerrant, instead of recognizing the Bible for what it is and considering the reasons for the differing accounts. There, I said it.
In their defense, the scientists maintaining the notions that heavenly bodies move in perfect circles worked really hard to maintain their silly notions too.