Joshua 4:1-18, The Rest of the Story: 7. The Battle Begins (10/2/12)
The Rest of the Story -
The Battle Begins
Joshua 1:1-15, 3:1-17, The Rest of the Story: 7. The Battle Begins
Joshua 4:1-18, The Rest of the Story: 7. The Battle Begins
Joshua 5:1-15, The Rest of the Story: 7. The Battle Begins
Joshua 9:1-27, The Rest of the Story: 7. The Battle Begins
Joshua 10:1-15, 40-43, The Rest of the Story: 7. The Battle Begins
More of the Rest of the Story
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Joshua 1:1-15, 3:1-17, The Rest of the Story: 7. The Battle Begins (10/1/12)
Where are we? We’ve spent 40 years wandering around in the desert because we refused to follow God into Canaan when we got here the first time. Except for Joshua and Caleb, the whole generation who came out of Egypt has died. The new generation, while not any more obedient or less complaining, is at least free of the ties to Egypt and slavery. My husband pointed out to me this morning that for 40 years we’ve been sitting around the campfire every night, hearing about the plagues God inflicted on the Egyptians, hearing about the promises God has made, and getting used to the presence of God in our midst. We were born and bred in the desert, and we’re ready to enter the land of milk and honey.
Previous comments on Joshua 3:7-17.
Just as the waters of the Red Sea parted when the children of Israel left Egypt and entered the desert under the leadership of Moses, so the waters of the Jordan parted when the children of Israel entered the Promised Land under the leadership of Joshua. This similarity was not lost on the people, who from that day on went in awe of Joshua, just as they had of Moses.
Also notice the emphasis on the number twelve: twelve men, twelve tribes, and twelve stones are mentioned four times each in verses 2 through 9. Twelve is one of the richly symbolic numbers in the Bible, nearly always evocative of the twelve tribes and the twelve sons of Jacob.
Joshua 5:1-15, The Rest of the Story: 7. The Battle Begins (10/3/12)
The people of Canaan were alarmed when Joshua’s army emerged from the desert and appeared on their eastern borders. As well they might be. Palestine is a little place, and the Israelite army was enormous, even if you allow for some boasting and inflation of the numbers.
This part of the world has several names:
- “Canaan” refers to all the Canaanite tribal nations or sometimes to those particular nations called by the same name (don’t ask me why).
- “Palestine” refers to a particular group of Canaanites, the Philistines, who lived mostly along the coast. You’ve probably heard of the Phoenicians, and these are more or less the same folks, although it’s a complicated story of invasion and assimilation that scholars argue about and that doesn’t concern us yet anyway.
- “The Promised Land” refers to the promise made to Abraham and Sarah.
- “The Holy Land” refers to God’s repeated assertion that this is holy ground.
Additional comments on Joshua 5:9-12
Joshua 9:1-27, The Rest of the Story: 7. The Battle Begins (10/4/12)
The Gibeonites saw the way things were going in the battles between the Israelites and the nations of Canaan, and they wanted no part of it. They knew that if they told the truth, “Hey, we’re from a little place 10 miles down the road,” that they were toast. So they tricked the Israelites into having lunch with them – which in that part of the world was (and in many areas still is) equivalent to a peace treaty. Joshua made the best of the situation by saying, “okay, but you have to be servants.” The Gibeonites were happy to be live servants instead of dead enemies.
Joshua 10:1-15, 40-43, The Rest of the Story: 7. The Battle Begins (10/5/12)
The Amorites, neighbors of the Gibeonites, took offense at the Gibeonites' treaty with the Israelites and decided to attack Gibeon. The Gibeonites appealed for help from the Israelites, their masters or allies depending on how you look at it. Joshua and the Israelites came out in force and defeated the Amorites in a surprise attack.
Here’s our picture
of the battle.
Now, the artist has gotten a little carried away, because scholars are nearly unanimous in saying that Joshua’s troops and his enemies were all in the bronze age, not the iron age. The armor that they are shown wearing is from a much later time. Horses aren’t mentioned as part of Israelite history until the time of the kings, so the chances that Joshua was mounted on a beautiful warhorse are about zero. What I really like about this picture, however, is the chaos of the battle. That is certainly an accurate depiction of what we read about today.
More of the Rest of the Story
Week 1. Beginning of Life As We Know It
Week 1. More on the Beginning of Life As We Know It
Week 2. God Builds a Nation – Abraham … But Not Lot
Week 2. God Builds a Nation – Isaac…But not Ishmael or the sons of Keturah
Week 2. God Builds a Nation – Jacob…But not Esau
Week 3. Joseph Preserves Two Nations
Week 4. Deliverance
Week 4. More on Deliverance
Week 5. New Commands and a New Covenant
Week 6. Wandering
Week 6. More on the Wandering
Week 7. The Battle Begins
Week 8. A Few Good Men...and Women
Week 9. The Faith of a Foreign Woman
Week 10. Standing Tall, Falling Hard
Week 11. From Shepherd to King
Week 12. The Trials of a King
Week 13. The King Who Had It All
Week 14. A Kingdom Torn in Two
Weeks 15 and 16. God's Messengers and The Beginning of the End
Week 17. The Kingdoms' Fall
Jeremiah, Prophet of the Exile
Story 19. The Return Home
in the Old Testament
Story 21. Rebuilding the Walls
Story 22. The Birth of the King
Story 23. Jesus’ Ministry Begins
Story 24. No Ordinary Man
Story 25. Jesus, the Son of God
Story 26. The Hour of Darkness
Story 27. The Resurrection
Story 28. New Beginnings
James, Brother of the Lord
John and Jude
Story 31. The End of Time
Copyright 2009, 2011, 2012 by Regina L. Hunter. All rights reserved. This page has been prepared for the web site by RPB.
The map showing the seven nations of Palestine is from a Bible in a family collection.
Opinions expressed on this page are solely those of the
author, Regina Hunter, and may or may not be shared by the sponsors or the
Bible-study participants. Thanks to the
Holy Spirit for any useful ideas presented here, and thanks to all the readers
for their support and enthusiasm. All
errors are, of course, the sole responsibility of the author.
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