This portion includes words that are found in the service, when the Torah is removed from the ark, “Vayahi binso’a ha-aron…“:

When the Ark was to out, Moses would say:
Advance, O YHVH!
May Your enemies be scattered,
And may Your foes flee before You!
And when it haled, he would say:
Return, O YHVH
You who are Israel’s myriads of thousands!
Bamidbar/Numbers 10:35-36

These two verses are set off from the rest of the text by a pair of inverted nuns, a device used in some ancient texts to indicate misplaced material that belongs elsewhere.

Some scholars suggest this text comes from a lost book, such as “The Prophecy of Eldad and Medad” or “The Battles of the Wars of the Lord.” Some believe that these inverted nuns actual create a separate book of the bible, making Bamdibar into three books and creating seven books of the Torah. See, e.g., “The Books of Bamidbar.”

Posted by vspatz

Virginia blogs on Jewish topics at "A Song Every Day" and manages the Education Town Hall and #WeLuvBooks sites. More at Vspatz.wordpress.com

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