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Bible: The Old Testament

Joshua

Leviticus, Numbers & Deuteronomy

Joshua, page 2

page 1 of 2

Summary

After the death of Moses, God calls on Joshua to lead the Israelites across the Jordan River and take possession of the promised land. God guarantees victory in the military campaign and vows never to leave the Israelites so long as they obey his laws. The people swear their allegiance to Joshua, and he sends two spies across the river to investigate the territory. The men enter Jericho, where a prostitute named Rahab hides them in her home and lies to the city officials regarding the spies’ presence. Rahab tells the spies that the Canaanites are afraid of Israel and its miraculous successes. Professing belief in the God of the Israelites, she asks for protection for her family when the Israelites destroy Jericho. The spies pledge to preserve Rahab and return to Joshua, telling him of the weakened condition of Israel’s enemies.

The Israelites cross the Jordan River, led by a team of priests carrying the Ark of the Covenant. As the priests enter the water, the flow of the river stops and the Israelites cross the river on dry land. Arriving on the other side, the Israelites commemorate the miracle with an altar of twelve stones from the river bed (representing the twelve tribes of Israel). The people begin to eat the produce of the new land—thus halting the daily supply of manna—and the Israelite men perform the ritual of circumcision in preparation for battle.

Approaching Jericho, Joshua encounters a mysterious man who explains that he is the commander of God’s army but that he is neither for nor against Israel. Joshua pays homage to the man and passes on. Following divine instructions, Joshua leads the Israelites in carrying the Ark around Jericho for six days. On the seventh day, the Israelites march around the city seven times. Joshua rallies them to conquer the city and kill everyone except for Rahab. They are to refrain from taking any of the city’s religious items. At the sound of the Israelite war cry, the walls of Jericho collapse, and the Israelites destroy the city and its inhabitants.

Joshua’s fame spreads throughout the land, but the Israelites are humiliated in their attempts to take the next city, Ai. God attributes the disaster to the disobedience of Achan, an Israelite who has stolen religious items from Jericho. After the people stone Achan, the renewed attempt against Ai is successful as Joshua masterminds an elaborate ambush against the city’s forces. The Israelites celebrate by erecting an altar to God and publicly reaffirming their commitment to God’s law.

Fearful of the marauding Israelites, the people of Gibeon visit the Israelite camp in disguise, claiming to be travelers in the land and requesting peace with Israel. Joshua does not inquire with God and makes a hasty treaty with the men, only to discover later that the Gibeonites are natives of the land to be conquered. The Israelites refrain from attacking the city, but five other local kings attack Gibeon for making peace with Israel. The Israelites come to Gibeon’s aid and destroy the five armies. Joshua helps by commanding God to make the sun stand still during the fight. God listens and stops the sun’s movement—the only time in history, we are told, when God obeys a human.

The Israelites continue to destroy the southern and northern cities of Canaan, killing all living inhabitants, as God has stipulated. While much of the promised land still remains to be conquered, the people of Israel begin to settle in the land, dividing it amongst the twelve tribes. After God gives Israel rest from its enemies for many years, an ailing Joshua makes a farewell pronouncement to the nation of Israel. Joshua goads the Israelites to be strong and to obey all of God’s laws, throwing away any idols and refraining from intermarriage with the native people. The people assure Joshua they will be faithful to the covenant, but Joshua reluctantly accepts this assurance, worried that obedience for Israel will prove quite difficult.

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not sure about the Analysis

by JEDI1016, September 01, 2012

The section that quotes 1:27-29 relies heavily on the use of the semicolon in the passage. however this is not punctuation that exists in Hebrew and would not have been in the original. in particular its not aplicable to "man and woman he created them" because the 'them' is actually singular in Hebrew and therefor should be translated "Man and woman he created it (humanity)" so its not even the same kind of binary described in the analysis.

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8 out of 14 people found this helpful

Physicality?

by GrammarJunkie18, July 11, 2013

You keep repeating that Gd appears in different forms and can be physical, while in fact the Old Testament itself says that He sent an angel, or made something appear, etc. Also, the Bible specifically says that He is not physical. In chapter 4 of Deuteronomy, Moses says to the Hebrews: "And you shall watch yourselves very well, for you did not see any image on the day that the Lord spoke to you at Horeb from the midst of the fire," then goes on to explicitly say not to make any image of Him because He doesn't have one! I just don't see how ... Read more

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18 out of 31 people found this helpful

song of solomon

by pastorluke, December 22, 2013

The bible states that you are not to focus on words of no value and look at the big picture 2 Timothy 2:14
[ Dealing With False Teachers ] Keep reminding God’s people of these things. Warn them before God against quarreling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen.. The reason for this was the attempted forced paganism of the church by deception. The Bible interprets itself as intended and todays false interpretations and nit picking are very troubling and indicative of corruption. Here, watch this for how the ... Read more

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25 out of 40 people found this helpful

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