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Posts Tagged ‘Joshua’

The early chapters of the book of Joshua twist together twin threads. First, there is Joshua’s assumption of the dead Moses’ leadership of Israel. Then, the occupation of the land promised to the Israelites a very long time ago.

Twin threads. The emerging nation, in this literary history, is required to ’embrace change’—as we say a little too often today—in two important ways.

First, they must choose whether they will follow YHWH’s newly anointed leader, who is very much unlike his famous predecessor. Second, they must learn to provide for themselves in a land that seems poised to cooperate with the effort. (more…)

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Just as the book of Joshua begins with a renewal of the covenant that binds Israel to YHWH and his chosen leader, so it ends. Joshua received the baton from the hand of Israel’s aged lawgiver Moses. He now prepares to hand it on to those largely unnamed Israelite leaders who will carry it forward. Joshua, in his own words, has grown old and ‘advanced in years’.

The time for another wrenching change has arrived. Israel will survive because of the strong glue that is covenant. (more…)

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The Book of Joshua leaves traces of a prejudice that was to die hard in Israel. When two and a half of the dozen tribes that populate this narrative of Israel’s entrance into the ‘promised land’ lay claim to an inheritance on the east side of the Jordan River, a breach is opened up between them and the tribes that crossed over to the western side. It was a chasm that would run deeper than mere topography. (more…)

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Unlike its pious custodians, biblical narrative that revolves around prostitutes and beggars rarely condemns its protagonists. At times they appear almost to be seers, people who glimpse what scowling passersby miss entirely. (more…)

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