Gospel Doctrine Podcast- Lesson 15

Gospel Doctrine Podcast- Lesson 15 May 6, 2010

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Yes, I KNOW you’re all doing Malachi this week… I’m stubbornly posting my podcast on Lesson 15 anyway, because some people might still want to listen to it and I spent too much time re-recording after a system crash and data loss to just let it go. Next time, I’m combining several lessons and perhaps skipping one in order to get ahead. Right-click to download, or left-click to listen in your browser. LINK (about 11Mb, and 30 minutes long.)

Podcast Notes on Lesson 15, Numbers 11-14 and 21:1-9

(These notes go along with the podcast, and don’t make much sense without it.)

Septuagint =LXX =70, begun in Alexandria c.250-200 BCE. Bible Dictionary

Letter of AristeasWikipedia. Full text.


Chaim Potok, author of The Chosen, The Promise, My Name is Asher Lev, Davita’s Harp, and others. Highly recommended.

Moses= Moshe, Eve= chawwah (ch= a gutteral h sound) Judah= Yehudah, Isaiah= Yeshayah, Hezekiah=chizqiyyahu

Genesis= buh-ray-sheet/bereshit = “in the beginning of…”

Numbers= bemidbar sin-eye= “in the wilderness of Sinai”

Covenant and complaining

Pres. George Q. Cannon- “You can’t sin so cheap now as you could before you [made these covenants.]”- Heber C. Kimball: Mormon Patriarch and Pioneer (Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 1986): 118.
Israelites want meat “freely” as they did in Egypt, that is, they want it provided for them at no cost to themselves. (11:5)

KJV “flesh” =meat, like German fleisch BUT

KJV “meat”= food or solid food

Paul had to treat the Corinthians “as infants in Christ.2 I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for solid food. Even now you are still not ready..” NRSV 1 Corinthians 3:1-2 (A few blogposts and comments invoking this concept, see here and here)


Num 11:34  Kibroth-hatta’avah = “the graves of lust”

Caleb= “dog”; John Crawford, ByCommonConsent.com; “Caleb the Dog: How a Biblical Good Guy got a Bad name.” Bible Review 20:2 (2004)

Bible Review and Biblical Archaeology Review have now been combined, homepage at bib-arch.org

Anchor Bible Dictionary (once quoted in General Conference) says, “most scholars agree that Heb keleb [“dog”] is used in certain letters, hymns, etc., to express a servant’s faithfulness, like that of a faithful watchdog… with the primary connotation of self-abasement, and probably also a secondary connotation of “faithful servant.”


Numbers 13:6 Oshea=Hoshea= “salvation”; Renamed Joshua =” Jehovah [is] salvation”

Joshua= Hoshea +theophoric (“god-bearing”) element yo/yeho/ya

Hebrew mostly uses el (cf. elohim)as in DaniEL or NathaniEl or ya/yo/yahu (from Jehovah/yahweh) as in IsaiYAH or JeremiYAH.

Theophoric elements can come at the beginning or end of the name, so we have both NathaniEL and ELnathan, as well as JOnathan. The nathan part is the same, meaning “has given” but the theophoric element and placement varies.

Jesus= Greekized form of Joshua, hence KJV Hebrews 4:8 “If Jesus had given them rest…” when it’s actually talking about Joshua and the Israelites.

Land of Canaan and Giants

Canaan≠ Cain+an. Canaan= kena’an, kn’ whereas Cain= qayin, qyn. Kenites= tribe of qyn.

Nephilim≠ Nephi+ lim. Nephilim= root npl + masculine plural suffix im pronounced –eeym, not –im like “him.”

Semitic languages based on roots with 3 consontants. Nephilim= npl but Nephi = (presumably) npy. The last one is a “weak consonant”  meaning it’s sometimes w, sometimes y, and sometimes an “ah” sound.

Nephilim first appear in Genesis 6.

Miriam/Aaron complain against Moses

1) Is Cush = Ethiopia/Nubia? or the Cushan located in Midian of Hab. 3:7? One wife or two?

2) Why is only Miriam punished? Not sure, but the verb and order suggest Miriam took part in a way Aaron didn’t.

3) What’s leprosy?- Heb. tsara’ or tsara’at ≠ Hansen’s Disease.  See Leviticus 13:47-14 for regulations about leprosy on houses and fabrics.

IF there are two wives and IF the comparison to snow is meant to invoke the color, then there’s some irony in Miriam’s punishment. She complains about a black woman, and is turned white. If on the other hand, there is either no second wife or the comparison to snow is meant to refer to the flakiness, there’s no irony or humor in the punishment.

Snakes on a Plain

(Or, I coulda had Samuel L. Jackson on this podcast if I’d thought of it earlier. Settle for Indiana Jones instead.)

1 Nephi 17:41– “fiery FLYING snakes”


Rod of Asclepius (single snake on pole) ≠ caduceus (double snake)

On the duality of snake symbolism, see

  1. Andrew Skinner, “Savior, Satan and Serpent: The Duality of a Symbol in the Scriptures.” In The Disciple as Scholar: Essays on Scripture and the Ancient World in Honor of Richard Lloyd Anderson, ed. Stephen D. Ricks, Donald W. Parry and Andrew H. Hedges (Provo, UT: FARMS, 2000): 359-84.
  2. James H. Charlesworth, The Good and Evil Serpent: How a Universal Symbol Became Christianized (2010 Yale Press)

“bronze serpent” = Heb. nachash nechoshet, named Nechushtan in 2 Kings 18:4

On the snake = cobra, see Provençal, Philippe. “Regarding the Noun [saraph]  in the Hebrew Bible.” Journal for the Study of the Old Testament 29, no. 3 (2005): 371-79.

Thanks for listening!

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