Numbers 6:6 – A dead person – a dead body
Throughout the period of their dedication to the LORD, the Nazirite must not go near a dead body … (Numbers 6:6)
A dead body is the translation of two Hebrew words in this verse, i.e. soul and the verb to kill – to die.
The Hebrew says literally:
… he shall not go near a dead soul (or deceased soul).
A second text:
If they fail to purify themselves after touching a human corpse, they defile the LORD’s tabernacle. … (Numbers 19:13)
Here too a corpse is the translation of the same two words in Hebrew and it says literally
Anyone who touches a dead soul (or deceased soul), any person, who has died …
The expression ‘a dead soul’ for someone who has died only appears in these two verses, both in the book of Numbers.
A theologian, who had also studied ancient Egypt, remarked in an article that this expression is typical of ancient Egypt.
For him, this was the confirmation that Moses¸ who had been brought up at the court of the Egyptian pharaoh from childhood, was the author of the first five books of the Old Testament.
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Numbers 6:6 – A dead person – a dead body.