Once we get to the book of Deuteronomy, we are often asked, “Is There A Contradiction Between Deuteronomy 2 and Numbers 20?”. Today, we’re going to do a quick digging lesson in order to see that, upon closer inspection, there is not. 

In Numbers 20 we see that the Israelites were denied when they requested to pass through the land of the Edomites. However, in Deut 2:4, in some translations, we see language that says they are about to “pass through” the land of Edom. If we check out the original Hebrew here, we can see that another translation for the word translated as “pass-through” is also “Pass by”.

See: https://biblehub.com/hebrew/5674.htm 

Then in Deuteronomy 2:8 if you check out the different translations here you will see that many of them say “bypassed” or “passed by”.

See: https://biblehub.com/deuteronomy/2-8.htm

Now when we go back to Numbers 20:16 and we read this:

And when we cried to the Lord, he heard our voice and sent an angel and brought us out of Egypt. And here we are in Kadesh, a city on the *edge of* your territory.

This verse tells us that they communicated their desire to cross through the land from their position on the edge of their territory. They were denied passage through the land and so they traveled around the border of the land, passing them by. This position and communication would still allow them to purchase food and supplies from the people of the land. However, they were not allowed passage through and therefore had to take the long way around.

Just more understanding to add to our arsenal! 




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About the Seeking Scripture Team: We are a group of believers from all walks of the faith, saved by grace alone through faith in our Messiah. While we are of one accord in many things, we are all works in progress and lifelong learners. Therefore the opinions of one may not always represent the opinions of all.

Christy Jordan
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