Numbers 14:29—If nearly all the men from twenty years up died in the wilderness, why have none of their graves been discovered?

Problem: According to Numbers 14:29, the corpses of all the men older than 20 years would fall in the wilderness. The total was over 600,000. But, if so many died in the wilderness, why do their grave sites not litter the landscape?

Solution: Because the people were condemned to wander in the wilderness, the conditions were such that they were not able to construct graves that could withstand the weather conditions or even the ravages of wild beasts. The graves were probably shallow burial places just beneath the sand or gravel. Consequently, neither the grave sites nor the skeletons of those who were buried could be preserved for any length of time.

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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.