The Torah Series- Still in Print after 3000 Years
The following story comes from one of our missionaries, Katie Peacock who together with her husband works with Wycliffe Bible Translations. Katie and her husband Wes are working on the translation of the Bible into Nkonya, the native language of southern Ghana.
Dear folks in Ethereal land,
Numbers is a truly maligned Old Testament book. People will say, “Isn’t it full of lists, and boring repetitions?” The easy answer to that is, “But what about the 12 spies that went to Canaan, Balaam’s talking donkey, a devastating earthquake that swallowed the bad guys, the look-and-live snake on a pole, and more?
However dipping into Numbers here and there just to excerpt interesting highlights is to cheat yourself of really entering into this extraordinary God-drama.
I have spend much of the last month working through Numbers in Hebrew. This significantly slows my pace of reading. You know what? We read too fast!. How many times I have come to a devotional time and just skimmed through a chapter or two, looking for one verse or phrase that will power me through the day, instead of trying to appreciate the interconnectedness of the whole?
Numbers is the fourth book in the Torah series. After God has called Abraham, taken the Israelites out of Egypt, given the Law, and supervised building the Tabernacle he is ready to move the people of Israel onto the goal, to possession of the Promised Land.
However, before this can happen a mob of refugees (equal to the population of greater Vancouver) has to be organized into a mobile military camp / fighting machine. The writer of Numbers describes this daunting task in some detail over 10 chapters. We often skim through, but it’s worth slowing down to appreciate that process, which builds to a devastating anti-climax. That anti-climax will not hit you between the eyes, as it is intended to, if you have sloughed the prep work.
Many Nkonya Christians have never read much of the Old Testament except for Psalms, and isolated passages here and there. It has been great to see it come alive for the translation project team-and to rediscover it myself. We pray that translating the Old Testament will also open it up to many other Nkonya believers.
More on my mind, but this first,