Stories are being retold
With some changes made
The final Book of Torah is a sort of summary of what's come before. But it often seems that in the retelling by Moses, some details have changed.
Early in this week's portion, the story of the scouts is recounted. Moses tells the people that "All of you approached me and said, 'Send men ahead of us to explore the land. Let them bring back a report about the way ahead of us and the cities that we shall encounter.'" (Deut 1:22).
But in the original, the suggestion to send scouts comes from a different source: "God spoke to Moses, saying, 'Send out men for yourself to explore the Canaanite territory that I am about to give the Israelites ... Moses sent them from the Paran Desert at God's bidding. (Num 13:1-3)
Has old age affected his memory? Or is Moses intentionally changing these details? If so, why?
Dr. Jonathan Cohen has more to say about this discrepancy in his essay this week for Ten Minutes of Torah. If you subscribe to this wonderful resource, you may have already seen Dr. Cohen's commentary. If you don't, you should subscribe right now. You won't regret it.