Is this a Gen 3 redo?

And your little children, who you thought shall become plunder, and your sons, who do not today know good or bad, shall themselves go there, and I will give it to them, and they shall take possession of it.
(Dt 1:39)

Is this a replay of the garden of Eden event … knowing good and evil.? ( both verses use the same word Hebrew word ra’ for evil and bad) Are these children and sons to be considered innocent? Was 40 years in the wilderness sufficient to purge the Hebrew from evil? Can we assume that the children in this verse are not held morally accountable for the sins of their parents? Or is this a particular sin evil that the children did not learn for they fallen parents?

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Hey @Jimmy_Sellers,

Caleb, Joshua son of Nun, and the younger generation were allowed to go to the promised land. We know that Caleb and Joshua were confident in the Lord’s promise. The younger children referenced here are too young to discern good from evil. In other words they were quite young and not accountable for the sins of their parents. God promised the Promised Land to Israel, but the ones who grumbled were told they would die in the wilderness. There is no implication or allusion to a pre-fall, Eden state.

This passage is also a quote from God’s words at the time of the rebellion, back in Numbers:

Numbers 14:28-33 NASB
[28] Say to them, ‘As I live,’ says the LORD, 'just as you have spoken in My hearing, so I will surely do to you; [29] your corpses will fall in this wilderness, even all your numbered men, according to your complete number from twenty years old and upward, who have grumbled against Me. [30] Surely you shall not come into the land in which I swore to settle you, except Caleb the son of Jephunneh and Joshua the son of Nun. [31] Your children, however, whom you said would become a prey-I will bring them in, and they will know the land which you have rejected. [32] But as for you, your corpses will fall in this wilderness. [33] Your sons shall be shepherds for forty years in the wilderness, and they will suffer for your unfaithfulness, until your corpses lie in the wilderness.

The people feared that God would not protect them or their children. Ironically, God carried them all as a man would carry a child (Deut. 1:31). But it was the faithful and those who were too young and innocent who would later go. Even though they were innocent, they still had to all wait another 40 years before they could even get into the Promised Land because of their parents.

Let me know if that helps any or if you have other thoughts. :slight_smile:


Thanks for the reply and I don’t disagree but I can’t help but see the Gen 3 story here in a slightly different order. In Gen 3 we go from the big house (Eden, purpose, fellowship) to the out house (evictions, confliction, conviction and resignation) all because of the knowledge of good and evil, in short the fall.

In Deuteronomy I see the innocent (those not knowing good and evil) gaining entrance to the big house (land of milk and honey). The question that came to my mine was what was it that the children did not learn from their dying parents? Unless I missed something, a very likely possibility, the old folks continued to grumble about their plight in the wilderness so wrestling with the obedience question was on display.

My thoughts on this is that the children didn’t know or see any worship of other God’s as was the case in Exodus with the golden calf that Aaron claimed just jump out of the fire and was just begging to be worshipped. :grinning:

Can you think of any examples of the wilderness folks every erecting any high place or making any idols? I know there were many warnings against idol worship and instruction to destroy the high places and Asherah poles when the Israelites took possession of Canaan but no idol worship in the wilderness wanderings.

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Hey @Jimmy_Sellers,

There was a time where Israel offered sacrifices to other gods in the wilderness. This was just before they entered the promised land, after Aaron died. As a part of the Balaam’s involvement with Israel (Num. 22-24), he gave counsel which led Israel astray (Num. 31:16). This incident occurred in Peor, when the people of Israel remained at Shittim, and bowed and worshipped their gods, namely Baal of Peor (Num. 25:1-3). The leaders were held accountable, though it’s not clear that the sentence (v. 4) was ever passed. Rather a plague broke out and killed many people (v. 9).

The people of Israel would continue to show their weakness in following God and staying away from other gods (Deut. 31:14-21), and after beginning conquest of Canaan under Joshua, they immediately showed their failure to follow directions (Josh. 7, 9). This generation for the most part seems to at least be better at knowing the Lord as compared to the next (Judges 2:10-11). I’m not sure if I follow the redo logic of the “innocent” as I’d hardly call any of Israel that. But we at least know that those who were persistent at being rebellious against God did not make it in and were held accountable, even Moses.

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