After Forty Years in the Desert

Question

Parasha Chukat

Numbers 19:1-22 discusses the Red Heifer and purification.
Numbers 20:1
The entire congregation of the children of Israel arrived at the desert of Zin in the first month, and the people settled in Kadesh. Miriam died there and was buried there.

How is verse 20:1 interpreted to mean “AFTER FORTY YEARS of journeying through the desert” they arrived at Zin?

There is no mention of years.

 

 

3 months

Answers

  1. The Red Heifer being placed in Numbers is, according to all opinions, one of the places where the chronology of the Torah is not consistent. The laws of the Red Heifer were actually given to the Jewish People forty years earlier just before they arrived at Har Sinai.

    With regards to the forty years I apologize but I am not sure that I understand the premise of your question. The Torah is both a book of laws and also a narrative. The beginning of chapter twenty is teaching us that Miriam’s passing and whatever will occur from now on is in the fortieth year of the Jewish People’s journey through the desert.

    Best wishes from the AskTheRabbi.org Team

  2. How do you know that “Miriam’s passing and whatever will occur from now on” is in the fortieth year of the Jewish People’s journey through the desert?  Where does the parasha state that it is the 40th year?

  3. The Oral Torah makes the calculations and teaches that Miriam, Aharon and Moshe all died in the last year that the Jewish People were in the desert.

    Best wishes from the AskTheRabbi.org Team