MemberJanuary 17, 2021 at 8:01 pm
With or without punctuation, Deut 1:1-2 is a headache to interpret. It is safe to say that the scholars have given up on it.
Kallai, Zecharia. “Where Did Moses Speak? (Deuteronomy i 1-5).” Vetus Testamentum 45, no. 2 (1995): 188–97.
"The opening section of Deuteronomy (i 1-5) is of a markedly complex nature. The obvious problems that present themselves have been extensively studied — as yet, however, without convincing results….
All commentaries and numerous related studies have attended to the problems of this passage."
As with all the stalled problems of biblical history and geography, scholarship requires new information to make progress. Where will this new information come from? Archaeology, perhaps. William G. Dever is absolutely sure it won’t come from the Bible. See his lecture, from 16:20 – 17:05 min. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OtoLWWRjs90