Deuteronomy 2:7—Were Israel’s conditions in the wilderness comfortable or destitute?

Problem: Many passages speak of Israel’s privations in the wilderness (cf. Ex. 16:2, 3; Num. 11:4–6). Yet here Moses declared that they “lacked nothing.”

Solution: The passages are easily reconciled if it is kept in mind that their general state was relatively comfortable. They had ample food and clothes at all times. However, their murmuring and complaining brought acts of judgment from God which could be described as occasions of destitution. So, while the wandering Israelites “lacked nothing” in daily necessities, they certainly did not lack in plagues and punishment from the hand of God.

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This excerpt is from When Critics Ask: A Popular Handbook on Bible Difficulties (Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books, 1992). © 2014 Norman Geisler and Thomas Howe. All rights reserved. Used by permission. Click here to purchase this book.