The Fortieth Year of the Exodus
THE FIRST MONTH OF THE YEAR
And they departed from Etsyon Gever and camped again in the Wilderness of Tsin, which is Kadesh (Num 33:36). Israel came into the Wilderness of Tsin in the first month thirty-eight years later until all the generation of the men of battle was consumed from the midst of the camp (Deu_2:14). In Qadesh Miryam died and was buried there (Num 20:1-2). There was no water there and the people assembled against Mosheh and Aharon. The last time people complained that there was no water was forty years earlier: the old generation, Exo_17:6. Mosheh was commanded to speak to the rock which was giving water for all Israel for forty years, but instead he struck it. For this Mosheh and Aharon were prohibited from entering the Promised Land (Num_20:11-13). That place was called Merivah (strife, contention).
And Mosheh sent messengers from Kadesh to the king of Edom to allow a free passage (Num 20:14). When Edom refused to let Israel pass over through his border, they turned away and departed from Kadesh and came to Mount Hor on the boundary of the land of Edom where they camped (Num 20:21-22, Num 33:37).
THE FIFTH MONTH OF THE YEAR
Day 1, year 2493. At Mount Hor, Aharon the priest died there on the top of the mountain at the age of 123 in the fortieth year after the children of Israel had come out of the land of Egypt because of his rebellion against the will of YHVH (Num_20:24, Num_33:38-39). And all Israel wept for Aharon for thirty days (Num 20:28-29). His son El’azar became the High Priest.
THE SIXTH MONTH OF THE YEAR
Day 1. After the thirty days of mourning for Aharon, they departed from Mount Hor by the Way of Yam Suph, to go around the land of Edom. And the people rebelled against Elohim and Mosheh because of the long way and for the lack of food and water (Num 21:4-5). So they departed from Mount Hor and camped at Tsalmonah. And they departed from Tsalmonah and camped at Punon. From Mount Hor by the Way of Yam Suph, around the land of Edom where, most likely, the 35th and 36th camps were (Num_33:41-42).
From the sixth month to the tenth month Israel travelled from the 36th to the 41st camps, Punon, Ovoth, Iye Ha-Avarim, Dibon Gad, Almon Diblathayemah, the mountains of Abarim, before Nebo (Num_33:43-47), conquered, and dwelt in the land of the Amorites (Num 21).
And at the end of their journey in the wilderness, the children of Israel set out and camped in the desert plains of Mo’av on the east side of the Yarden of Yericho which was the last 42nd camps (Num 22:1, Num 33:48). And the people began to whore with the daughters of Mo’av and bowed down to their idols (Num 25:1-2). A plague burned among Israel and those who died in the plague were twenty-four thousand (Num 25:9). And after the plague a census was taken for those who would enter the land; 601,730 were numbered from twenty years old and above (Num 26:4):
After the census, the Israelites were commanded that the land was to be divided by lot only to those registered from twenty to fifty-nine years old according to the number of names (Num_26:51-53) for there were no older than sixty (Num_26:64-65) and not twenty years and older at the time of the dividing the land. By the time of the division of the land the nineteen year old Israelites would be thirty-three but they would not receive land because they were not counted in that census. At that time, Yehoshua son of Nun was commissioned to become the new leader of Israel after the death of Mosheh.
THE TENTH MONTH OF THE YEAR
Day 23. By the command of Elohim, 12,000 (1,000 from each tribe) armed themselves for a war campaign against Moa’v to take vengeance for the idolatry Moa’v committed against Israel (Num 31:3).
Day 24, the tenth month. After the war, whoever had slain any being in the war was to stay outside the camp for seven days and cleanse himself and his captives on the third day and on the seventh day (Num 31:19).
Day 26. Third day of cleansing.
Day 30. Seventh day of cleansing.
THE ELEVENTH MONTH OF THE YEAR
Day 1. Mosheh started leading the new generation of Israel into the Renewed Covenant, at Mount Nebo beyond the Yarden in the wilderness (Deu_1:1-5). This is how Mosheh began to teach the Covenant of Renewal to Israel beginning at Deu_4:2, “Do not add to the Word which I command you, and do not take away from it… (Deu_12:32, Pro_30:6, Rev_22:18-19) Why is this so significant not add to not take away from Torah? To answer this question we need to go back to the very beginning when the people first sinned: the story in Genesis 3.
The serpent went to the woman and said to her (Gen_3:1), Is it true that Elohim has said, ‘Do not eat of every tree of the garden’? Knowing that Elohim had not forbidden to eat every tree in the garden but only the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, he add in his question “every tree” which technically did not make him sin, because that was a question. However, the woman replied, And the woman said to the serpent, “We are to eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden, but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, Elohim has said, ‘Do not eat of it, nor touch it, lest you die.’” (Gen_3:2-3).
And this is the moment when the door was opened for the sin: she added two things. She said, of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, while Elohim had only said, “from the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil”. She also said, nor touch it, lest you die (Gen_3:3) while Elohim had only spoken of not eating it (compare to Gen_2:16-17). What contributed to the sin is that she did not differentiate between the two trees in the middle of the garden: the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, but also the tree of life. Thus, she added to the command, therefore, she came to diminish it. That is what is stated (Prov. 30:6): “Do not add to His words.” – [from Sanh. 29a]
However, that was not all the serpent would be satisfied with. The literal Hebrew of Gen_2:17says “you die let you die”; in Gen_3:3 the woman said “you will immediately die” as if like death from poisoning, probably she was under the fear that if she would eat it, she would die immediately. She again added to the Word of Elohim. In Gen_3:4 the serpent craftily used the situation when he said “you shall immediately die” repeating Elohim’s words. He was correct, nevertheless, he deceived her.
What did probably satan do? He went and touched the tree to assure her she would not die either. Thus, he pushed her until she touched it. He said to her, “Just as there is no death in touching, so is there no death in eating” (Gen. Rabbah 19:3). Why did he do all this scheme to deceive the woman? He might have been jealous of the first people whom the Creator had made stewards of His creation. So, he had to make sure that not only would the woman be included but also the man. That is why he constantly used the plural “you” urging her to share the fruit with Adam.
Most assume that serpent did lie to the woman, however, he did not. In fact, he told the complete truth. In Gen_3:2-3 we see that the woman changed the words of Elohim given to Adam in the garden. Once the woman added to the Creator’s words, the serpent took it from there and the rest is history. The serpent did not lie but he deceived the woman with the truth. How could that be possibly happen? Well, he is called master of deception for reason. He took advantage of the woman who added to the words of Elohim thus deceiving her. The Book of Jubilee 4:30 gives more information in the story:
And he lacked seventy years of one thousand years; for one thousand years are as one day in the testimony of the heavens and therefore was it written concerning the tree of knowledge: ‘On the day that ye eat thereof ye shall die.’ For this reason he did not complete the years of this day; for he died during it.
This is why Mosheh began to lead Israel into the Covenant of Renewal beginning with the words, “Do not add to the Word which I command you, and do not take away from it.” The address of Mosheh to the people was a solemn renewal of the covenant:
All of you are standing today before Yehovah your Elohim: your leaders, your tribes, your elders and your officers, all the men of Israel your little ones, your wives, and your sojourner who is in the midst of your camp, from the one who cuts your wood to the one who draws your water, so that you should enter into covenant with Yehovah your Elohim, and into His oath, which Yehovah your Elohim makes with you today, in order to establish you today as a people for Himself, and He Himself be your Elohim, as He has spoken to you, and as He has sworn to your fathers, to Avraham, to Yitzhak, and to Ya’akov. (Deu 29:10-13)
The Covenant of the Torah made at Mount Sinai was renewed at Mount Nebo in Mo’av. This Covenant in Mo’av was made besides the Covenant made at Sinai. This covenant was centered around:
1. YHVH would be Israel’s Elohim (Deu_29:13),
2. Repentance (Deu_30:2)
3. Promise of a re-gathering of Israel from among the nations (Deu_30:3-5),
4. A circumcised heart (Deu_10:12, Deu_10:16, Deu_30:6, Jer_4:4, Deu_30:6),
5. Torah observance (Deu_30:10),
6. Blessings and Curses (Deu_30:15-19).
THE TWELFTH MONTH OF THE YEAR
Day 1. And Mosheh went up from the desert plains of Mo’av to Mount Nebo to the top of Pisgah, which is opposite Yericho. And YHVH showed him all the land which He swore to his fathers (Deu 34:1). And Mosheh died there on his 120th birthday, the first of the twelfth month, having lived 120 years (Deu_34:7). Rashi has this to say making a comment on Deu_31:2, Today I am one-hundred and twenty years old. (see also Antiquities 4:8:49).
[That is to say,] today [is the exact day that] my days and my years have become complete; on this very day [the seventh of Adar] I was born, and on this day I will die. — [Sotah 13b]
Antiquities 4:8:49. Now Moses lived in all one hundred and twenty years; a third part of which time, abating one month, he was the people’s ruler; and he died on the last month of the year, which is called by the Macedonians Dystrus, but by us Adar, on the first day of the month. He was one that exceeded all men that ever were in understanding, and made the best use of what that understanding suggested to him. He had a very graceful way of speaking and addressing himself to the multitude; and as to his other qualifications, he had such a full command of his passions, as if he hardly had any such in his soul, and only knew them by their names, as rather perceiving them in other men than in himself. He was also such a general of an army as is seldom seen, as well as such a prophet as was never known, and this to such a degree, that whatsoever he pronounced, you would think you heard the voice of God himself. So the people mourned for him thirty days: …
After Mosheh’s death, the people wept for him thirty days (Deu_34:8) until the end of the twelfth month. Mosheh and his brother Aharon were the only ones who were mourned for thirty days.
In summary, Mosheh lived 120 years (Deu_34:7) and died on the first of the twelfth month (the 1st of Adar, the 12th month, Antiquities, Book 4:8:49). The people wept for him thirty days (Deu_34:8) and then entered the land on the first day of the first month of the following year. Per Exo_7:7 Mosheh was eighty years old before the beginning of the plagues in Egypt and forty years in the wilderness equals 120 years. Also, it is clear that at the time of Josephus the beginning of the year had not been changed to the seventh month.