So, I’ve decided that I’m going to start reading through the Deuteronomic History (that is, the books of Deuteronomy through 2 Kings) to see what things I discover. One thing popped out at me in the beginning of Deuteronomy just now as I was reading. This is the passage that I’m looking at:
ו יְהוָ֧ה אֱלֹהֵ֛ינוּ דִּבֶּ֥ר אֵלֵ֖ינוּ בְּחֹרֵ֣ב לֵאמֹ֑ר רַב־לָכֶ֥ם שֶׁ֖בֶת בָּהָ֥ר הַזֶּֽה׃ ז פְּנ֣וּ ׀ וּסְע֣וּ לָכֶ֗ם וּבֹ֨אוּ הַ֥ר הָֽאֱמֹרִי֮ וְאֶל־כָּל־שְׁכֵנָיו֒ בָּֽעֲרָבָ֥ה בָהָ֛ר וּבַשְּׁפֵלָ֥ה וּבַנֶּ֖גֶב וּבְח֣וֹף הַיָּ֑ם אֶ֤רֶץ הַֽכְּנַעֲנִי֙ וְהַלְּבָנ֔וֹן עַד־הַנָּהָ֥ר הַגָּדֹ֖ל נְהַר־פְּרָֽת׃ ח רְאֵ֛ה נָתַ֥תִּי לִפְנֵיכֶ֖ם אֶת־הָאָ֑רֶץ בֹּ֚אוּ וּרְשׁ֣וּ אֶת־הָאָ֔רֶץ אֲשֶׁ֣ר נִשְׁבַּ֣ע יְ֠הוָה לַאֲבֹ֨תֵיכֶ֜ם לְאַבְרָהָ֨ם לְיִצְחָ֤ק וּֽלְיַעֲקֹב֙ לָתֵ֣ת לָהֶ֔ם וּלְזַרְעָ֖ם אַֽחֲרֵיהֶֽם׃ ט וָֽאֹמַ֣ר אֲלֵכֶ֔ם בָּעֵ֥ת הַהִ֖וא לֵאמֹ֑ר לֹֽא־אוּכַ֥ל לְבַדִּ֖י שְׂאֵ֥ת אֶתְכֶֽם׃ י יְהוָ֥ה אֱלֹֽהֵיכֶ֖ם הִרְבָּ֣ה אֶתְכֶ֑ם וְהִנְּכֶ֣ם הַיּ֔וֹם כְּכֽוֹכְבֵ֥י הַשָּׁמַ֖יִם לָרֹֽב׃
Do you see the switch in subject without warning? Verse 6 (ו) has Moses speaking and saying what YHWH said at Horeb. What did YHWH say?
It is too great for you to dwell on this mountain. Turn, go on and come to the Emorite mountain and to all its neighbors in the Arabah, in the mountain and the foothills, in the desert and the shore of the sea – the land of the Canaanite and Lebonon, all the way until the great river, the Euphrates.
YHWH continues speaking in the next verse:
See, I have placed before you the land. Enter and inherit the land which YHWH swore to your fathers – to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob – to give to them and to their seed after them.
Do you see the oddness? It says “I have placed” (that is, YHWH has placed) the land before you, and then it switches to the third person – “which YHWH swore.” Even stranger is the next verse.
I said to you at that time: I will not be able to bear you on my own. YHWH your God has multiplied you, and today you are as numerous as the stars of the heavens.
Suddenly it is Moses who is speaking! So, we have YHWH speaking, then YHWH being spoken of while he is still speaking, and then Moses speaking – and there is no interruption at all between the sentences.
Do you think this is signiﬁcant? How common do you think such a thing is?