Joshua

Opportunity knocks…

We just read the book of Joshua.  It went fast!  If you are looking for something to binge-watch on Netflix…I get it.  But if you have fallen behind in the Read-through….this recap video will get you to the start of Judges.  The book Judges contains shocking stories involving murder, human sacrifice, gang rape, killing their own brothers, dismemberment and even some “poop”.  Everything you might see on a Netflix show. So watch this….and jump into Judges tomorrow! (I will send Judges overview tonight.

 

Joshua

Joshua 22-24- The End!


An altar was built that caused quite a stir and almost led to civil war in the newly founded nation of Israel. God prohibited the building of altars other than those He had commanded (Deuteronomy 12). Yet the tribes on the east side of the Jordan River—Reuben, Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh—constructed an altar. As a result, the western tribes felt the Law had been violated and intended to go to war against their own people.

FreeBibleimages :: The altar of witness :: When the tribes east of ...

Deuteronomy 13 is dedicated entirely to making false altars.  But it does say “12 If you hear it said about one of the towns the Lord your God is giving you to live in that troublemakers have arisen among you and have led the people of their town astray, saying, “Let us go and worship other gods” (gods you have not known), then you must inquire, probe and investigate it thoroughly. And if it is true and it has been proved that this detestable thing has been done among you,  you must certainly put to the sword all who live in that town”

Thank heavens the western tribes investigated the situation before they went to war. As it turned out, the altar built by Reuben, Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh was a memorial to the Lord God. They had built the altar on the east side of the Jordan to show their connection to the rest of the Israelites who lived in the Promised Land. The altar was a sign of unity, not rebellion.

If you don’t realize how close the Transjordan tribes came to being killed then you may not remember the guy mentioned in verse 13: Phinehas.   Once I saw his name in the chapter I thought “Oh stars”.  He is the zealous priest who stabbed the couple having “fun” in the tent.  He put his spear through both of them at the same time!  Click here if you want to reread it)


Joshua’s Farwell Speech: Just like Moses’ speech there is a reminder of the blessings and curses. I try not to bring the current events of Covid-19 into the Blog…however…one of the key points I noticed was individual sins would bring down the whole community. So here are the instructions for America, Israel:

  • Be very strong; be careful to obey all that is written in the Book of the Law of Moses, without turning aside to the right or to the left. 
  • Do not associate with these nations that remain among you; do not invoke the names of their gods or swear by them. You must not serve them or bow down to them.  But you are to hold fast to the Lord your God, as you have until now.
  •  So be very careful to love the Lord your God.
  • But if you turn away and ally yourselves with the survivors of these nations that remain among you and if you intermarry with them and associate with them, then you may be sure that the Lord your God will no longer drive out these nations before you. Instead, they will become snares and traps for you, whips on your backs and thorns in your eyes, until you perish from this good land, which the Lord your God has given you.
  •  If you violate the covenant of the Lord your God, which he commanded you, and go and serve other gods and bow down to them, the Lord’s anger will burn against you, and you will quickly perish from the good land he has given you.”

Chapter 24:

  • “Now fear the Lord and serve him with all faithfulness. 
  • Throw away the gods your ancestors worshiped
  •  But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living.

“But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”

19 Joshua said to the people, “You are not able to serve the Lord. He is a holy God; he is a jealous God. He will not forgive your rebellion and your sins.  If you forsake the Lord and serve foreign gods, he will turn and bring disaster on you and make an end of you, after he has been good to you.”

Joshua

Joshua 19-21

Maybe you read this word for word, but if you skimmed some of these distributions,  the summary can be found on 19:51

51 These are the territories that Eleazar the priest, Joshua son of Nun and the heads of the tribal clans of Israel assigned by lot at Shiloh in the presence of the Lord at the entrance to the tent of meeting. And so they finished dividing the land.

Division of Promised Land to Israel Map

Click here for a printable copy


  • Chapter 20-Cities of Refuge.
  • Chapter 21- Towns for Levites

We talked about this in Numbers 35 but here is a quick recap.

They yellow dots are Levitical Towns, the red dots are the Cities of Refuge. The cities were divided 3 on each side of the Jordan River so that no Israelite would have to travel far to reach one of them.  These were safe cities so that they had protection from revenge or injustice from an accidental death.  (Today, Jesus is the High Priest that protects us from injustice at death.  He is our refuge)

  • – Kadesh– in Naphtali
  • – Shechem– in West Manasseh
  • – Hebron– in Judah
  • – Golan– in East Manasseh
  • – Ramoth – Gilead in Gad
  • – Bezer– in Rueben

The tribes also had to set aside 42 additional cities for the priests and Levites to inhabit.  In all, the Levites received 48 cities with their surrounding pasturelands, including the six cities of refuge. God arranged the distribution of the 48 Levitical towns in such a way that the Levites, whose responsibilities included the teaching and counseling of the other Israelites in the Law, were not far from anyone in Israel.

Today’s read ends with:

 So the Lord gave Israel all the land he had sworn to give their ancestors, and they took possession of it and settled there. The Lord gave them rest on every side, just as he had sworn to their ancestors. Not one of their enemies withstood them; the Lord gave all their enemies into their hands.  Not one of all the Lord’s good promises to Israel failed; every one was fulfilled.


Yesterday in comments, Crystal asked how big is the territoy.  Click here if you are interested.

 

Joshua

Joshua 16-18

If you did not print the coloring page for “the adult”, click here.

 

Who are Manasseh and Ephraim?  They are Joseph’s two sons that were adopted as equal tribe leaders of Israel.

The 12 sons of Jacob can be traced back to Terah, who in turn is ...

The eastern half-tribe of Manasseh had already received its inheritance, and the remaining “half-inheritance” would have been small compared with the other tribes. These one and one-half tribes together formed a large group of Israelites. Their lot fell in central Canaan, and their territory consisted of two parts: with Ephraim settling in the southern portion, and Manasseh in the northern. A single lot determined the inheritance of both Ephraim and Manasseh, which resulted in Ephraim complaining later (17:14-18).

Chapter 18.  Joshua is at Shiloh.  Find it on your land distribution map from last month.  (I don’t even know what day of the week it is right now so let me help you out)  Click here for a new copy.  Shiloh is in the Division of Ephraim.

 

 

The rest of the land is divided by the continuing process of “casting lots”.

CASTING LOTS IN THE BIBLE: What did it mean?

So you have all figured out how weird my brain is…I picture this scene like a Vegas Craps table….”C’mon, C’mon….give mamma a river or a coastline”….It WAS NOT LIKE THAT…just in my head!

BUT please pick up on:

18:3 So Joshua said to the Israelites: “How long will you wait before you begin to take possession of the land that the Lord, the God of your ancestors, has given you?

Uh oh…looks like they are losing steam now that they feel “comfortable” in the land with all the major kings destroyed. I wonder if they will get lazy and start to ignore God’s commands?  So what I am hearing is “When things are going my way, I tend to ignore God?” (This is the conversation in my head, just ignore me)

 

 

Joshua

Joshua 12-15

Many of us started this 86 days ago.  EIGHTY-SIX!  (And through some of the hardest to read parts of the Bible)  If you opened your BIble 87 days ago to these chapters many of us would not know who the names were,  where this land is, or why this is important.  So this might not be exciting to read, but it is pretty stinking cool that you could explain the overview of it to someone who has not read a Bible.

So as you read, listen or let’s be transparent…skim a little.  Here is a fun activity for you while doing it.  As you read them,  color them.

Click here to print.

Image result for the land of canaan black and white

Chapters 13—24 describe how Joshua divided the land, and the events following that division, including the settlement of the tribes and national rededication. Many, if not all, of the Israelite tribes, did not conquer or control all the land allotted to them.   At the end of the seven-year period of conquest, Israel occupied very little of the Promised Land. Consequently, dividing all the land among the tribes required great faith, that God would eventually give His people all of it. Joshua (well, the Lord) had removed the significant military threats to Israel’s existence. From now on, each tribe was responsible to conquer its own designated territory.


Tribes on the East side of the Jordan River-(Transjordan Tribes)-  Reuben, Gad, and half of Manasseh.  These tribes requested this land, and Moses approved AS LONG AS they joined the army and fought the battles and then returned to that land.


Eleazar the high priest, Joshua, and the heads of the tribes took the leadership in dividing the portion of the land by “casting lots”.  (The stones the High Priest used to confer with God when a decision was to be made. The stones were called the Urim and Thummim)


Moses had promised Caleb land in Canaan but had not specified its location. The reason for this special blessing was Caleb’s faithfulness to God.  The portion that Caleb requested was within the tribal allotment of Judah.

Caleb was from the tribe of Judah and he was given Hebron.  If you went back to Genesis 23, this was the land that Abraham purchased knowing one day they would claim the land.  He purchases Hebron to be a burial site for his wife.  Actually, Patriarchs: Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and the Matriarchs Sarah, Rebekah, and Leah, are buried there.  Hebron also will become King David’s first capital (before Jerusalem)


The tribe of Judah probably received first consideration in the text, because it was this tribe that had received Jacob’s blessing. It was also the largest tribe.  This part of Canaan contained four distinct regions: the southern
Negev, the lowland plain (Shephelah), the mountains (hill country), and the desert.

  • The “Negev” (“south” land)
  • The “Foothills” (“lowland”)
  • Five groups of cities stood in the mountainous “hill country” of
    Judah, north of the Negev, east of the Shephelah, and west of
    the wilderness of Judah
  • The “wilderness” of Judah was the northeastern part of the
    tribal inheritance.

“Othniel” (put his name in your pocket) later became one of Israel’s prominent judges.  He was Caleb’s younger brother.


To be continued:

Joshua

Joshua 9-11

The Gibeonites decided that if they could not defeat the Israelites, they would join them. Gibeon stood seven miles south of Bethel. It was one of the largest towns in the central part of Canaan, larger than Ai. The Gibeonites deceived the Israelites and pretended to fear the Lord, but their objective was to save their own lives.

King Adoni-zedek of Jerusalem sent messengers to several other kings: Hoham of Hebron, Piram of Jarmuth, Japhia of Lachish, and Debir of Eglon. They agreed to combine their armies to attack Gibeon. – Slide 3

So now the Israelites are stuck between a rock and a hard place when they find out about the deception.  It was their fault for getting into the mess because in 9:14 it states they did not inquire of the Lord.  However, they chose to honor their oath since in Numbers 30:2 God stated:

“This is what the Lord commands: When a man makes a vow to the Lord or takes an oath to obligate himself by a pledge, he must not break his word but must do everything he said.

In the end, they made the right choice:

  • The Gibeonites submit to the Israelites
  • The Israelites took necessary steps to keep them under their thumb by making them the workers to support the tabernacle (service to creating proper worship, not their own types of altars) 9:23
  • The Gibeonites are a large group of fighting men that can be used in the conquering of the land

(Unfortunately, our first King, Saul will break this treaty and attacks them in 2 Sam. 21, bringing a judgment of famine to the Israelites.  Why Saul???)

The news of the powerful Gibeonites treaty with the Israelites raises red flags to the other major cities and they ban together.  Look at the map above at the yellow dots: Kings of Jerusalem, Hebron, Jarmuth, Lachish, and Eglon (verse 10:5).  However, instead of attacking the Israelites, they target the Gibeonites.  The Lord honors the keeping of the oath and the Lord takes over this massive battle in 3 ways:

  1. Throws the enemy into confusion (10:10)
  2. The Lord hurled large hailstone (10:11)
  3. The sun stood still so they would have more time to fight in daylight.  (10:12)
    • First, let me say that I am warped and I thought of God throwing hail like snowballs in the scene in “Elf”
    • Also, for all my science people: we know that the sun does not move,  but that the Earth stood still.  (But Copernicus wasn’t born yet so we are good).  For those who don’t know me, I teach 6th, 7th, and 8th grade at the same time so I have to prove my worth at times 😉 In case one of my teachers reads this.

The battles we are reading appear to go quickly, but note that this is over a 7 year period.  After the victory over the Amorite Kings, the Israelites conquer the major cities in the South and the North.

 

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Image result for Joshua battles

Image result for Joshua battles

When you read about these battles, keep in mind ONLY the Lord could bring these victories to the Israelites.  We are in the midst of the Bronze age and cities like Havor are a city that had ramparts, horses, and chariots.  Joshua went back himself to burn this city. (this is, by the way, the largest archeological site in Isreal with 3 feet of ash to dig through.   We continue to find artifacts, weapons, tools, and cuniform tablets that affirm these events.)

 

Joshua

Joshua 5-8

Chapter 5.  Now that the Israelites are on the other side of the Jordan they are told to be circumcised.  I found it puzzling that for 40 years the Israelites did not do this,  however, now they are in enemy territory and they are told to do this.  Here are some of my random thoughts:

  • This must be done to celebrate in the Passover
  • When they are in Canaan, they must have the “sign” of the Abrahamic Covenant (if you jumped in late, message me and I will explain) so they are set apart
  • This is a true act of faith!  They will be vulnerable for days.  If they truly trust that God will protect them on that Land then,  they will do it!
  • The city is named after Gibeath Haaraloth “hill of the foreskin”.  Have mercy!

The Israelites celebrated the Passover and the Festival of Unleavened bread to commemorate their exodus from Egypt out of slavery.  On this day the Lord stopped providing manna.  To be transparent I totally forgot about the manna until I read this.  From here forward they will now eat from the land.


Jericho- Let’s start with some visuals for my new friend Crystal:

 

 

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Israel’s army had no siege engines, no battering rams, no catapults, and no moving towers like in Game of Thrones 😋 . Their only weapons were slings, arrows, and spears—which were like straws against the walls of Jericho.  While Joshua was approaching the city walls,  a “man” was standing there with a message from the Lord. I am looking for help on this.  Is this an Angel with a message from the Lord or an incarnate figure of the Lord?  Please let me know your thoughts.

Either way, this manifestation of this experience is humbling and Joshua takes off his sandals in reverence.

The instructions to prepare for battle are given:

  • march around the city with armed men.  The priests will carry their trumpets in front of the Ark.
  • Do this for 6 days
  • On the 7th day, something will be different (look at verse 6:5): a long blast!

Go back to Numbers 10:“The sons of Aaron, the priests, are to blow the trumpets. This is to be a lasting ordinance for you and the generations to come. When you go into battle in your own land against an enemy who is oppressing you, sound a blast on the trumpets. Then you will be remembered by the Lord your God and rescued from your enemies. 10 Also at your times of rejoicing—your appointed festivals and New Moon feasts—you are to sound the trumpets over your burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, and they will be a memorial for you before your God. I am the Lord your God.”

So if anyone wants to stay in their pajamas all day I could keep writing about the trumpets…We can talk about the Feast of Trumpets…let me put it to you this way…if you hear a loud trumpet sound, and people disappear, but you are still here…panic!  The Feast of Trumpets will occur at the Rapture.  Also, there will be 7 trumpet blasts in Revelation.  Oh my stars…can you imagine how great this read-through is going to be when we get to Revelation…STAY WITH IT!   Ok, Ok…back to Joshua!

The trumpets blasted and the men shouted and the Walls Collapsed.  By the way, archeologist have proven that the walls fell forward! Completely corroborating that the Lord won this battle.

Image result for jericho bible

Rahab and her family are ushered out just as promised

Image result for Rahab and her family bible

 

Chapter 6 ends with a warning “Cursed before the Lord is the one who undertakes to rebuild this city.” Have you ever heard of Ahab?  NO?  What about his wife Jezebel?   Guess who refortified the city??


Chapter 7- Achan’s sin- As the Israelites defeated Jericho,  Joshua said in 6:18

But keep away from the devoted things, so that you will not bring about your own destruction by taking any of them. Otherwise you will make the camp of Israel liable to destruction and bring trouble on it.

Joshua, after giving the Israelites this warning sent out only 3,000 warriors to take Ai.  After all, it was small potatoes compared to Jericho.  What Joshua did not know was Achan would bring destruction to the Israelites through his sin.

I am going to leave this story application between you and God.  I am sure He spoke to you about something in your life you have hidden that He sees.


Chapter 8- Ai (pronounced  “aye  eye” just like the 2 letters)

The Lord sets the Israelites out now to defeat the city of Ai in an ambush attack.  I picture Joshua using X’s and O’s like a football play, drawing it in the sand.

Image: Image:<br>صورة

This time they are given the command to take the plunder.  Jericho was to be destroyed but this city will be used as provisions for the Israelites.  Ai in Hebrew means “Ruin”, and that is exactly what happens to this city (to this day).  If you look at Bible maps you will usually see it with a question mark because it was destroyed and cannot be found to this day.

Image result for where is Ai map

The Israelites return to where the Blessings and Curses were read near Gilgal and read the commandments again.  They made an altar to the Lord and at this time were following the Law.

Joshua

Joshua 1-4

The first word of this book is a transition word, so you know it is a continuation of Deuteronomy.  Please be reminded that God uses His Words more than anything else to speak to use. When I became a Christian a few years ago, I would hear people talking about God speaking.  This freaked me out.  Not only did I not believe them,  but I never heard anything from Him (so I thought) either.  If you want to hear from God,  open your Bible, have a pen in hand, pray, and then see what God prompts you to underline.

I am going to stay “historical” not “applicable”.  I want God to speak to you directly.  But please share in the comments.


Chapter 1:  The book begins with a Command and  a Promise:

  • Command: set out from their camp at Moab, cross the Jordan (during the flood season) and enter Jordan.
  • Promise: God will give them the Land promised.  So be strong and courageous.

As they prepare to go into the land, Joshua addresses the Reubenites, the Gadites, and 1/2 the tribe of Manasseh.  Back in Numbers 32, leaders from the tribes fell in love with the land on the east side of the Jordan.  They asked Moses if they can have it.  Moses assumed they meant instead of going into the territory to fight with the other tribes.  But,  they told Moses they still planned on fighting with the family for the land, so Moses said they could have it.  So Joshua is just making sure that these Transjordan tribes still plan on keeping their word and joining the army.


Chapter 2-Rehab.   We could do a whole Bible study on the faith of Rehab!  Rehab is a prostitute that hides the 2 spies.  Even though she hid them, word gets out that the spies are in Jericho and she makes a deal with the Israelites. She asks that when they take the land (and she knows the Lord will give them this land) that the Israelites show her and her family kindness.  She professes her faith in God and God alone.  They agree.

Now technically they are to follow God’s command in Deut. 7 and 20 to destroy the population without mercy when they take possession of it.  However, that commandment was so that the people would not turn them away from their God.  But Rehab only strengthens their Faith and her and her family will be spared if she ties a scarlet cord to her window.

Image result for rahab jericho

In Genesis, we talked about the scarlet cord several times.  When twins were born they would tie a scarlet cord around the wrist of the baby that would inherit the Covenant birth line.  The scarlet cord has also been mentioned in the building of the tabernacle.  The Covenant will follow with the scarlet cord to the birth of the Messiah.  So why does Rehab tie a scarlet cord to her window?  Through faith we are saved.  Rehab’s faith in the covenant saves her.  If you flip to the genealogies of the Gospel, you will see that Rehab is now in the Covenant line, she is the Great-great-grandmother of King David!  What? You don’t believe me that God could use a prostitute?  He already used Moses the murderer-fugitive! Flip to Matthew 1:5-6.


Chapter 3 and 4-Crossing the Jordan.  We think of the sea parting as the Red Sea. Well, look at this:

Image result for Crossing the JOrdan

(GOD GOES FIRST and makes the path!)

During flood season, God stops up the water and the Israelites keep God in the middle of the open river until everyone gets on the other side.

Image result for bible jordan river stones        Image result for where is Gilgal

They carry 12 stones, representing the 12 tribes of Israel that have crossed, to Gilgal to set up a memorial to God.

“When your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, ‘What are these stones?’ then you shall inform your children, saying, ‘Israel crossed this Jordan on dry ground.’  For the Lord your God dried up the waters of the Jordan before you until you had crossed, just as the Lord your God had done to the Red Sea, which He dried up before us until we had crossed;  that all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the Lord is mighty, so that you may fear the Lord your God forever.”


You have the time to read these 4 chapters twice.  I encourage you to be still and let God take over to encourage you on anything you bring before him today.   It might be about Covid 19 or something bigger in your life.  Pray about your circumstances and let God speak to you today.

Book Overviews · Joshua

Joshua Overview

This is it.  If you are behind, we are ABOUT to enter the Promised Land.  PLEASE Open your Bibles and begin RIGHT HERE.  At Joshua.

We have completed 5 books of the Law, 1 book of Poetry (Job), and now we are at the History section.  The poetry and prophet books will be embedded throughout the history books.

About 500 years ago God made a Covenant with His people:

On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram and said, “To your descendants I give this land, from the river  of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates-the land of the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites,  Hittites, Perizzites, Rephaites,  Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites and Jebusites.” (Genesis 15:18-20)

“I give this land”.  We are not taking it, it is not ours to take.  It is His to give.  That all still holds true today.

So who is Joshua?    Joshua was born in Egypt, he was born into slavery.  We mentioned him back in Numbers 13:8 as Hoshea, from the tribe of Ephraim.  He was the personal assistant to Moses throughout the 40 years of wandering and was appointed one of the 12 spies to “check out” the land promised to them. The Promise Land:  Canaan, or sometimes called the land of the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites,  Hittites, Perizzites, Rephaites,  Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites and Jebusites, or a version of that.  Out of almost 3 million people, only 2 had faith in the Lord to take the land (Caleb was the other one).

  • Joshua,  in Hebrew,  means “salvation”   
  • Joshua translated to Greek is the name Jesus: Jesus in Greek means “Lord is Salvation”.

Here is our outline:

Taking the Land (Ch 1-12)

Distributing the Land (Ch 13-21

Staying in the Land (Ch 22-24)

Death and Burial (End of 24)

This book is going to go fast!  Don’t get behind!  If it will help, stand up and walk over to your calendar and write them on it.  I am thinking your schedule is pretty open this week. (you can click on them and get ahead for the week if you want)

Mar 23: Josh 1-4
Mar 24: Josh 5-8
Mar 25: Josh 9-11
Mar 26: Josh 12-15
Mar 27: Josh 16-18
Mar 28: Josh 19-21
Mar 29: Josh 22-24