Joshua 16 – 20 – Reading Note

  • The people of Ephraim could not dislodge the Canaanites living in Gezer so they just lived among them. But the Canaanites were required to do forced labor. (16:10)
  • As God had commanded Moses, the daughters of Zelophehad received shares of land because their father had no sons. (17: 3 – 6)
  • The Mannasites were not able to occupy some of their lands because the Canaanites were determined to live there. However, when they grew stronger, they subjected the Canaanites to forced labor and did not drive them out completely. (17: 12, 13)
  • The descendants of Joseph complained that the land they were given was too small for them (numerous as they were) so Joshua told them to clear some of the forested hill country, drive out the Canaanites there and take it. (17: 14 – 18)
  • After all the division that had gone on, 7 tribes still needed land, but there was no conquered land for them. So Joshua told them to spy out the rest of the land. Then he would divide it among them and they could conquer it. (18: 1 – 10)
  • After all the division was done, Joshua was given land from the Territory of the Ephraimites. He built a town and settled there. (19: 49, 50)
  • They set apart the cities of Refuge so that any one (Israelite or Foreigner) who killed someone accidentally could escape there. (20: 1 – 9)
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Joshua 3 – Reading Note

  • God wanted the people to know that he was with Joshua the way he had been with Moses. (3: 7)
  • Once again, God proceeds to give the Israelites proof that he was with them and would keep his promises. That was one of the things he hoped to achieve by drying the Jordan for them to pass (3: 9 – 13). It was a pretty awesome miracle.

The Conquest of Canaan: The Data From Duteronomy

This post is part of a series on the Conquest of Canaan. It is a list of points useful for understanding the conquest.

  • It was repeated said that God had given (and  was giving) the land of Canaan, to the Israelites, and instructed them to go in and take the land (1:8, 20, 21). Even though he had given them the land, they still had to take it.
  • There was a great deal of emphasis, on the land. It was the land that God had promised their fathers, the land that God was giving them.
  • In their first battle against some Amorites, the Israelites were badly defeated. They had refused to obey God when he told them not to fight that battle. (1: 43 -45)
  • God told them not to attack certain people, because he had not given them those lands: the descendants of Esau who lived in Seir, the Moabites and the Ammonites (2: 2 – 6; 9, 19). But he did require that their descendants not be allowed into the sanctuary and that they could never make treaties of friendship with Israel (23: 3 – 6)
  • There was a lot of conquest going on in those parts. The descendants of Esau drove out the Horites and took their land. The Ammonites drove out the Zamzummites and took their land too. (2: 10 – 12; 20 – 23). In fact, it was said that it was God who had helped the descendants of Esau drive out the Horites and given them their land.
  • Destroying a people is consistent with both killing them all and driving them out in the text. The descendants of Esau destroyed the Horites. They also drove them out of their land. (2:12, 22). The Israelites destroyed the towns of the Heshbon. They left no survivors.
  • God had a stated purpose to make all peoples fear the Israelites (2:25)
  • In their second (recorded) battle against the Amorites, the Israelites defeated Sihon, the king of Heshbon, killed every human being in his kingdom and took his land. But they took the livestock and plunder. (2: 32 – 37). They did the same to Og, the king of Bashan. (3: 3 – 7)
  • God promised that if the Israelites did not obey him but worship idols after he gave them the land, he would destroy them from the land. In clarification, he said he would scatter them among all the nations and only a few of them would survive (4: 25 – 27; 6: 13 – 15;
  • He also says he will not abandon or destroy them if they return to him (4: 30, 31)
  • 7:1, 2 has God promising to drive out the Canaanites while instructing the Israelites when they defeated them in war, they had to completely destroy the Canaanites. (The Hebrew term refers to the irrevocable giving over of things or persons to the Lord, often by totally destroying them. It is used repeatedly in Joshua and Deuteronomy when the Israelites defeat peoples and kill all of them).
  • God instructs the people not to make treaties with or marry the Canaanites because the Canaanites would teach them their outrageous practices (7: 3- 6, 16)
  • God promised to destroy even the surviving Canaanites who hid from the Israelites. It was either his intention to make sure they were all out of the land or it was his wish that they should all be dead. (7: 17 – 20)
  • They were not to take the gold and silver on the idols of the canaanites. They were to completely destroy them because they were detestable to God. (7: 25, 26)
  • God promised to do to the Israelites what he was doing to the Canaanites if they did not obey him after he had given them the land (8:19, 20). He said he was going to destroy them and scatter them all over the world. (28: 20, 21, 64; 30: 17, 18;
  • God wanted the Israelites to destroy, drive out and annihilate the Canaanites( 9:3)
  • God said he was not driving out the Canaanites because the Israelites were good, but because the Canaanites were wicked. (9: 4 – 6; 18:12; 12:31)

Joshua 1 – Reading Note

  • God’s promises to Joshua are of the same format as the promises he made to the Israelites frequently in Deuteronomy.
    • Keep my laws and I will make you prosperous and successful
    • Make sure you know my laws so you can be careful to keep them, so that you will be prosperous and successful. Don’t forget them. (1: 6 -9)
  • The change of leaders was smooth. Moses died, Joshua assumed leadership and the people accepted him without any obvious trouble.

Deuteronomy 32 – Reading Note – What we learn about God from Moses’ song

  1. God’s works are perfect. (I don’t know if ‘works’ there means ‘creations’ or ‘actions’).
  2. God never does wrong.
  3. God is/was the father of the Israelites
  4. God chooses people to use. Of all the nations in the world, he chose Israel, not because they were good.
  5. He really does not want his glory to be given to anything else. It is only just that those who deserve something get it, but the ferocity with which God pursues it strikes me as weird and scary.
  6. It is God’s right to give vengeance.
  7. There is no God besides the LORD and no one can save anyone from him.

Other things

  • Israel is called ‘Jeshurun’, the upright one, even while her sins are pointed out.
  • The idols the Israelites sacrificed to are called demons
  • God said he would make the Israelites jealous by those who are not a people and angry by a nation with no understanding because they made him jealous and angry by what is no god. Is that justice or something else?
  • Once a Bible passage starts with the hyperbole, I find it difficult to take it literally again. This passage becomes hyperbolic at verse 22.
  • God executed Moses’ and Aaron’s punishment as he said he would. Neither of them got to enter Canaan.
  • The story outlined in Moses’ song is repeated all over the old testament. God chooses and saves the Israelites, makes a treaty with them, they break the agreement and do not obey his laws, He lets another nation punish them, he eventually stops and then punishes the nation that punished them.

Deuteronomy 31 – Reading Note

  • I have long had misunderstandings about the meaning of the word ‘destroyed’ as it is used about people in the book of Deuteronomy, but verse 4 says that God ‘destroyed’ Sihon and Og, the kings of the Amorites along with their lands, so I have an example of what ‘destroyed’ means there.
  • Moses then wrote down the law, according to the writer of Deuteronomy and instructed the people to read it every seven years in front of everyone – men, women, children and aliens – so they could learn to fear God and keep his laws. (Deut 31: 10 -13). I certainly agree with the idea that learning God’s law helps you learn to fear and obey him.
  • God knew that the people were going to turn away from him in the future, so he let Moses know this, but he didn’t throw up his hands and quit. (31: 16 – 18).
  • Two things were given to the Israelites as a witness against them in case they ever turned away from God – the law was written in a book and places near the ark of the covenant; and Moses taught them a song that God has taught him.