This Week’s Reading Schedule
Today’s (Tuesday’s) Bible reading is Joshua 6-10.
Wednesday’s is Joshua 11-15.
Thursday’s is Joshua 16-20.
Friday’s is Joshua 21-24.
Next week we will read Judges.
The overall year’s plan is here.
Temporary New Bible Translation
Someone referred me to a Bible called the NET Bible. I haven’t had a chance to review it much, but I’m going to use it for this blog for a while.
I thought I’d give you the link in case you wanted to look at it, though.
What I liked about it, and the reason that someone recommended it to me, is that it actually lets you know that the Seraphim in Isaiah 6 are serpents. I have a page explaining why it’s a problem that most translations refer to these creatures as Seraphim in Isaiah 6, but then translate the word "seraphim" as serpents or snakes everywhere else it occurs in the Bible.
This is the story of the conquest of Jericho.
Some interesting points:
- The priests blew ram’s horns all the way around the city, but the people were required to be silent until the final lap around the city on the seventh day.
- Israel actually walked around Jericho a total of thirteen times. One time each for six days, then seven times on the seventh day.
- The whole wall fell down. The warriors were all told to run straight ahead into the city. The exception was the portion of the wall where Rahab lived.
- Ancient Jericho was about 10 acres. It looks like it was about 3/4 of a mile around the city at the wall. Adding some distance to stay out of sling or bow shot from the wall would make the march at least a mile. So Israel attacked Jericho after walking at least 7 miles on the seventh day. There’s some interesting information here.
- Apparently, they marched on the Sabbath, too.
Rahab and her family were not only spared, but Rahab turned out to be King David’s great great grandmother (Matt. 1:5).
Joshua pronounced a curse on the site of Jericho, lest it be rebuilt (v. 26). This curse came to pass on a man named Hiel, from Bethel (1 Kings 16:34).
Achan didn’t take the Lord’s warnings seriously concerning laying hands on Jericho’s riches. We’d do well to heed this, as one day we will all be judged by Jesus Christ. The great King is not an American, and merciful though he is, he will judge according to his word, not change it out of leniency.
It appears as well that the spies who spied out Ai hadn’t learned that strength is in the Lord, either. They decided that only 2 or 3,000 men were needed to take Ai. What they found is that no amount of people is enough when the Lord is against you.
That truth is worth meditating on. What are we able to do? Everything when Christ is with us (Php. 4:13), but apart from him we can do nothing (Jn. 15:5).
Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go into this or that town and spend a year there and do business and make a profit." You do not know about tomorrow. What is your life like? For you are a puff of smoke that appears for a short time and then vanishes. You ought to say instead, "If the Lord is willing, then we will live and do this or that." But as it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. (Jam. 4:13-16, NET Bible).
Notice that God disagrees with the spies of chapter 7. He thinks the Israelites need 30,000 warriors, including 5,000 in ambush, to defeat the city of Ai.
It’s good to consult the Lord before you decide something is easy to do.
Joshua also has the people complete the ceremony of blessing and curses on Mt. Ebal and Mt. Gerizim that Moses had mentioned in Deut. 27. (I misread Deut. 27 … and have misread it for 30 years! I thought the pronouncing of blessings and curses happened there in Deut. 27.)
Joshua 9 drives home the point that we ought to consult the Lord in everything and not just trust what our eyes see.
This chapter describes Joshua’s conquest of the rest of the land. Apparently, it wasn’t every city in the land because, as we will see tomorrow, there are more battles and more cities to take.
You can’t ever assume that all-inclusive language ("all the land"; v. 40, NASB) is all inclusive, as I’ve pointed out before. Very often, all-inclusive language concerns things that are just generally true.