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Herald Magazine

In the Beginning

The Fortieth Year The 40 year wandering of Israel in the wilderness is a well-known narrative. Following Israel’s miraculous deliverance from Egypt, Israel experienced nearly every kind of drama and emotion. They hoped to travel to and inherit the Promised Land spoken of to Abraham. Yet, for most, that was not to be. Scripture says much about the first two years of that wandering, but is silent on the intervening years until we come to the 40th year. This issue of the []

Thirty-Nine Years

A Brief Overview “The cloud of Jehovah was upon the tabernacle by day, and there was fire therein bynight, in the sight of all the house of Israel, throughout all their journeys” (Exodus 40:38). — David Stein Lack of faith has consequences. For ancient Israelites, the consequences were tragic. After being delivered in a miraculous and historically unprecedented way, the Israelites had every reason to confidently enter into the Promised Land. There was likely great excitement following the fear and uncertainty of []

The Life and Death of Miriam

Final Experiences “And the children of Israel, even the whole congregation, came into the wilderness of Zin in the first month: and the people abode in Kadesh; and Miriam died there, and was buried there” (Numbers 20:1, texts from ASV). In the 40th year of Israel’s wandering, the first event described was the death of Miriam, the sister of Aaron and Moses. Her earlier experiences have become part of Jewish history. It was Miriam, though not specifically named, who watched what would []

Judgment at Meribah

A Need for Water “There was no water for the congregation: and they assembled themselves together against Moses and against Aaron” (Numbers 20:2, ASV unless otherwise noted). The 40th year of wandering in Sinai began with behavior by the ancient Israelites that we might have thought had been excised by Jehovah earlier in their wilderness trek of the newly freed Israelites. Yet, astonishingly, many in this new generation did not heed the lessons of history. The immediate and recurring problem, one seen []