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18 The Lord replied[a] to Moses, “Take Joshua son of Nun, a man in whom is the Spirit,[b] and lay your hand on him;[c] 19 set him[d] before Eleazar the priest and before the whole community, and commission[e] him publicly.[f] 20 Then you must delegate[g] some of your authority[h] to him, so that the whole community of the Israelites will be obedient.[i]

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  1. Numbers 27:18 tn Or “said.”
  2. Numbers 27:18 sn The word “spirit” probably refers to the Holy Spirit. This would likely be a permanent endowment for Joshua. But it is also possible to take it to refer to a proper spirit to do all the things required of such a leader (which ultimately is a gift from the Spirit of God). The Hebrew text simply says “in whom is a spirit.”
  3. Numbers 27:18 sn This symbolic act would indicate the transfer of leadership to Joshua.
  4. Numbers 27:19 tn This could be translated “position him,” or “have him stand,” since it is the causative stem of the verb “to stand.”
  5. Numbers 27:19 tn The verb is the Piel perfect of צִוָּה (tsivvah, literally “to command”). The verb has a wide range of meanings, and so here in this context the idea of instructing gives way to a more general sense of commissioning for duty. The verb in sequence is equal to the imperfect of instruction.
  6. Numbers 27:19 tn Heb “in their eyes.”
  7. Numbers 27:20 tn The verb is simply “give,” but in this context giving some of Moses’ honor to Joshua in the presence of the people is essentially passing the leadership to him, or delegating the authority to him with the result that people would follow him.
  8. Numbers 27:20 tc The Greek, Syriac, and Vulgate read “glory” for this form that occurs only here in the Pentateuch. Elsewhere it is rendered “majesty, splendor” (see Ps 96:6). It could even be “vitality” here. The authority being transferred here is both spiritual and civil.
  9. Numbers 27:20 tn Heb “hear.”