Israel’s Journey – ATA

Did the Israelites pass through Edom or not? Did the Moabites help the Israelites or not? (Deuteronomy 2:4, 8, 28-29; 23:3-4; Numbers 20:18-21) Is there a contradiction?

Have you ever changed your mind? Maybe you started to do something, but then decided against it. Or, perhaps you said you wouldn’t do something, but after further consideration, you ended up doing it. If you have done so, does that make you a contradiction?

In Numbers 20, the Israelites were turned away from passing through Edom on the King’s Highway (entry from the South of the land). Israel turned away and went by Kadesh to Mount Hor. After going north from the mountain, God told His people they would pass through the land (Deuteronomy 2:3-8, 29), and this time they were given passage through the land. The records are about two different occasions.

After they passed through the land of Edom, the Israelites came to Moab. Deuteronomy 2:29 reveals that they passed through Moab as well, and were given provisions by the Moabites. The questioner tells us Deuteronomy 23:3-4 contradicts this. The text reads:

An Ammonite or Moabite shall not enter the assembly of the LORD; even to the tenth generation none of his descendants shall enter the assembly of the LORD forever, because they did not meet you with bread and water on the road when you can out of Egypt, and because they hired against you Balaam the son of Beor from Pethor of Mesopotamia, to curse you. (Deuteronomy 23:3-4)

Again, the initial actions of the people of Moab and what they eventually did are different. As the text says, they did not help Israel at the first, in fact, they hired a prophet to curse them. As Deuteronomy 2:29 records the eventual response of Edom, so it records the eventual response of Moab.

If these texts contradict one another, then every person to have every changed their mind is also guilty of being contradictory. There is no contradiction.

A response to 1001 Bible Contradictions.

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