Israel Crosses the Jordan River

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					The Book of Joshua

The Lord will fight for
  23:10: “One man of you puts to flight a
thousand since it is the LORD your God who
   fights for you just as he promised you”
     a.    Historical Scope: about 20 years
     b.    As the book of Joshua begins:
          1.   Where is the nation of Israel? On the east side of the
               Jordan river
          2.   What is the basic spiritual condition of the nation?
               Bold and courageous: they are a new generation!
     c.    The twofold responsibility God sets before
          1.   To destroy the population of the land
          2.   To divide and inhabit the land

2. Outline of Joshua

I. Entering the Land of Canaan (1-5)
II. Conquering the Land of Canaan (6-12)

III. Dividing the Land of Canaan (13-22)
IV. Joshua's Final Charge to Israel (23-24)

3. Purpose of Joshua

To display God’s power by giving Israel the
 promised land, thereby dividing it equally
 among the tribes, and to reaffirm his
 covenant with the new generation.
4. The “Former Prophets” (or “Historical Books”)
    Hebrew Bible (Former    English Bible (Historical
    Prophets)               Books)

    Joshua                   Joshua
    Judges                  Judges
    Samuel (both 1 and 2)   Ruth
    Kings (both 1 and 2)    1   Samuel
                            2   Samuel
                            1   Kings
                            2   Kings
                            1 Chronicles
                            2 Chronicles
       A. Joshua is commissioned by YHWH
                      (Josh 1)

several themes laid out in 1st chapter
1. Divine sovereignty (1:2-5; 24:1-13)

2. Human responsibility (1:6-9; 24:14-15)

3. Tribal Unity (1:10ff; cf. ch. 22)

4. Leadership
  1.   Leaders in Judges?
  2.   Prophecy of a leader in Ruth
  3.   Leaders in Samuel?
B. Jericho is spied out (2)

a. Theological Significance of Rahab?

     First significant non-Israelite to express faith in Israel’s
        Cf. Gen 12:3 “through you all the nations will be blessed”

        God’s intention is to reach the nations through Israel (not
         reach Israel instead of the nations).

  b. inclusion of “outsiders/nations” in Joshua

C. The nation of Israel crosses the Jordan
  River (3-4)

     Clearly, the ark and priests are the focus.
     What’s the point?
          Power of God emphasized: 3:9-13; 4:5-7; 4:21-24;
        The power of having a “God-with-ness”

     Evokes the Exodus
      The "Captain of the Host" appears to
               Joshua (5:13-15)
What is the theological
 point being

   God will fight for the
    Israelites if they obey,
    and against the
    Israelites if they don’t
    obey (i.e. treat Him as
The Three Campaigns of

           1.    Central campaign
                 (Josh 6-8)
                1. Jericho
                2. Ai

           2.   Southern campaign
                (Josh 9-10). triggered by
                the treaty with Gibeon.

           3.   Northern campaign
                (Josh 11). Jabin of Hazor
                assembleS a large army
                for war.
The conquest of Jericho (Josh 6)
             1.   Small city
             2.   God’s the one fighting
             3.   The walls fell “flat” (lit. “in
                  its place”)
             4.   Test of obedience (Josh
          The conquest of Ai (7:1-
   Achan contrasted with Rahab
   Why the severe punishment of Achan
       Kherem regulation (kherem = “under the ban” or
        “devoted to destruction”)
       Ma’al (“break faith”)
 Corporate solidarity (Achan)
 The Battle (ch. 8)

“God works through miracle; God works through
  human planning and strategizing” (Hamilton, 44)
   SOUTHERN campaign (9-10)
Deut 20:10-12, 15-16, “When you approach a city to
fight against it, you shall offer it terms of peace. And it
shall come about, if it agrees to make peace with you
and opens to you, then it shall be that all the people
who are found in it shall become your forced labor and
shall serve you…Thus you shall do to all the cities that
are very far form you, which are not of the cities of
these nations nearby. Only in the cities of these peoples
that the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance,
you shall not leave alive anything that breathes”
         The NORTHERN Campaign
a)   Not much “ink” for the northern
b)   Did Joshua and the Israelites Conquer
     the Land or Not?
        Comprehensive defeat? (i.e. “No one left standing”)
         (11:23; Josh 21:43-45; 23:14)
        No comprehensive? (Cf. 13:1-2; 16:10; 17:12-13;
         18:2-4 [Judges 1-2])
        Historical hyperbole.
III. Dividing the land of Canaan (13-22)

Significance of the land division?
    The fulfillment of God’s Land Promise (Gen 12:1-3)
    Complete fulfillment?

    Different views on Land fulfillment
1.   Literal Fulfillment in Joshua.
2.   Spiritual Fulfillment in Jesus
3.   Literal fulfillment in 1948.
4.   Partial Fulfillment in Joshua, complete fulfillment in all
     creation at the end of time.
          Joshua's Final Charge to
              Israel (23-24)
a)    24:1-28: God’s sovereignty and human
     a)    24:1-13 = past indicative of what God has done
           for them
          a) cf. 23:10:

     b)    24:14-15 = imperative flowing from God’s great
          a) Cf. 23:11-12
       Excursus: The Ethics of “Holy War”

1.   Common grace extended to the Canaanites (Gen
                            "Have not commanded you?
     15), and some responded Iandthis graceDo notBeRahab; cf.
                                    to courageous. (i.e. be
     Gibeonites)            terrified; do not be discouraged, for the
                            LORD your God will be with you
2.                          not “ethnic cleansing”
     Divine punishment, wherever you go” (D. Rumsfeld, 3 April
                            2003 in reference to America's invasion
     1. “There is a huge moral difference between arbitrary
                            of Iraq)
         violence and violence inflicted within the moral
         framework of punishment” (Wright, OT Ethics, 476)
     2. Capital punishment vs. random murder

3.   Fulfillment of a covenant promise, not arbitrary
4.   God’s people as a theocratic nation
5.   OT as an unfolding drama

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