This book provides a new reading of the biblical book of Numbers in a commentary form. Mainstream readings have tended to see the book as a haphazard junkyard of material that connects Genesis-Leviticus with Deuteronomy (and Joshua) and that has been composed at a late stage in the history of ancient Israel. In contrast, this book reads Numbers as part of a wider work of Genesis-Joshua, a carefully crafted programmatic settler colonial document for a new society in Canaanite highlands in the late second millennium BCE that seeks to replace pre-existing indigenous societies. In the context of the tremendous influence that the biblical documents have had on the world in the last two to three thousand years, the book also offers pointers towards reading these texts today.
Pekka Pitkänen is Senior Lecturer in the School of Liberal and Performing Arts at the University of Gloucestershire, UK. He is the author of Central Sanctuary and Centralization of Worship in Ancient Israel (2003) and Joshua (2010), and recent articles by him include “Reading Genesis–Joshua as a unified document from an early date: A settler colonial perspective” (2015) and “The ecological-evolutionary theory, migration, settler colonialism, sociology of violence and the origins of ancient Israel” (2016). His current interest remains in the study of Genesis–Joshua,together with the study of migration andcolonialism in the ancient Near East, ritual studies and other sociological and anthropological approaches to the study of the ancient world.
And he’s quite a lovely person as well.