Scholars usually agree that it is relatively simple to distinguish between the Priestly and non-Priestly materials in the story of the spies in Num 13–14. It is generally acknowledged that the passages in which Joshua and Caleb appear together do not belong to the non-Priestly thread, where Caleb appears alone. Yet to deduce from this that the passages in which both characters appear are therefore part of the Priestly thread is not so easy. A number of scholars have suggested that in some cases the references to Joshua together with Caleb are not part of the original Priestly account. There are good reasons to believe that this is indeed the case and that in fact all of the passages in which the two men appear together are secondary in their context. The question thus arises whether these passages are part of a late stratum in the Priestly source or whether they belong to a redaction of the combined account. This in turn has bearing on the portrayal of the figure of Joshua, the determination of his initial appearance in the Priestly source, and the assessment of the pentateuchal Priestly material.

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