Pet Peeve the sale page describes the one volume New Interpreter's Bible (Condensed Single Volume). This is a concise single volume but is inspired by the 12 volume but not condensed from it.
GENESIS -- TERENCE E. FRETHEIM
EXODUS -- WALTER BRUEGGEMANN
LEVITICUS -- WALTER C. KAISER, JR.
NUMBERS -- THOMAS B. DOZEMAN*
DEUTERONOMY -- RONALD E. CLEMENTS
GENESIS -- DENNIS T. OLSON
EXODUS -- BRENT A. STRAWN
LEVITICUS -- BARUCH J. SCHWARTZ
NUMBERS -- THOMAS B. DOZEMAN*
DEUTERONOMY -- MARK BIDDLE
You notice that there are times when the same person contributed to both but this is rare and is again a new work not really a condensation in any respect :
1:48–53. In these verses, the Levites are separated out from the other tribes. The text divides into two parts. Verses 48–50a define the special role of the Levites. They are not to be numbered with the other Israelites, because they are assigned special duties in caring for the tabernacle. Three special functions are spelled out in vv. 50b–53. The Levites perform service in the tabernacle (vv. 50, 53); they carry the tabernacle and its vessels on Israel’s wilderness march (vv. 50, 51); and they must pitch their tents around the sanctuary, thus providing a buffer zone between the sanctuary and the congregation of Israel (v. 53).
The language in vv. 48–53 has given rise to different interpretations concerning the tasks of the Levites. The point of debate concerns the meaning of the concluding phrase in v. 53. The NRSV translation reads, “the Levites shall perform the guard duty of the tabernacle.” The Hebrew is more ambiguous: “the Levites shall keep [שׁמר šămar] the service [משׁמרת mišmeret] of the tabernacle.” Interpretation hinges on what the “service of the tabernacle” means.
One reading emphasizes the cultic and religious work required of the Levites. Baruch Levine follows this line of interpretation and concludes that the “service” of the Levites must be defined in the context of their religious duties to God. In performing these duties, they contain the rage (קצף qeṣep) of God, mentioned in v. 53. Levitical service stops the divine wrath, which might otherwise destroy the camp like a fire burning out of control. Thus they encircle the tabernacle in the camp, they carry the holy artifacts, and they care for both.51
Another reading emphasizes the relationship of the Levites to the congregation of Israel, rather than their service to God. This interpretation emphasizes more the role of Levites as protectors of the sanctuary. Jacob Milgrom follows this line of interpretation when he concludes that the phrase “to watch” or “to keep” (šămar) a “service” (mišmeret) means “guard duty.” The NRSV translation also reflects this interpretation. In this case, the service of the Levites is to keep Israel from coming too near to the divine. Divine rage results from encroachment by humans into the sacred space of God, which would be certain death.52 The levitical encampment represents a border, and their service is both border guard and customs duty. The reason for guard duty is that all non-Levites are “outsiders” to the sacredness of the tabernacle (v. 51).
Thomas B. Dozeman, “The Book of Numbers,” in Numbers-2 Samuel, vol. 2 of The New Interpreter’s Bible. Accordance electronic ed. (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1998), 36.
1:48–54. Separation of the Levites. The Levites are not included in the census. Verses 48–50a provide the reason. The Levites are not to be numbered because they are assigned special duties in caring for the tabernacle. Verses 50b–54 state three duties of the Levites: they perform service for the tabernacle, they carry the tabernacle and its vessels, and they provide a protective buffer around the tabernacle by pitching their texts between the sanctuary and the Israelite camp. Verse 54 concludes the account of the census by stating that all of the divine commands were completed. The Levites will also be separated out from the tribes in the promise land, where they will dwell in cities rather than receive an inheritance of land (Num 35).
Thomas B. Dozeman, Numbers, The New Interpreter’s Bible: One-Volume Commentary. Accordance electronic ed. (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2010), 85.
Edited by Daniel Francis, Yesterday, 04:11 PM.