Day 84 (March 25): Israel defeats southern towns, Joshua kills five southern kings, Southern towns destroyed, northern armies destroyed, kings east of Jordan defeated

Welcome to BibleBum where we are exploring the entire Bible in one year to better learn how to follow God’s instructions and discover the purpose for our lives.  The BibleBum blog uses The One Year Chronological Bible, the New Living Translation version.  At the end of each day’s reading, Rob, a cultural history aficionado and seminary graduate, answers questions from Leigh An, the blogger host, about the daily scripture.  To start from the beginning, click on “Index” and select Day 1.  Take the challenge.  You won’t regret it.

Joshua 10-12:6

Questions & Observations

Q. (Joshua 10:9-10): So, although the Gibeonites had tricked Israel into giving them favor and thus protecting them, the Lord, through Joshua, showed them grace because they acknowledged His power?

A. Once the oath of allegiance had been sworn, the matter was settled, and Israel would at that point be responsible for the safeguarding of their servants.  That is likely why the Gibeonites had the expectation of Israel coming to their rescue.

Q. (10:26): Is there anything more discuss about impaling the kings other than it’s a sign of victory and warning to the Israelites’ enemies?

A. The execution involved being hung on a tree, even though technically they were impaled (isn’t the Bible fun!), which would have been a demonstration of their cursed nature, as mentioned in Deuteronomy 21:22.

Q. (10:28-42): This is a lot of bloodshed.  Were these towns’ residents evil or was the destruction just part of God’s wishes to clear the area and give it to the Israelites?  Are any of the towns that were destroyed connected to any Biblical character we have studied thus far?

A. The implication is that the people in this area had grown evil and corrupt.  God is telling Israel, “here’s the deal: your job is to purify this land for me, and then it is yours. Just be careful, because if you become corrupt (and they will), I’m going to bring an invading force to destroy you just like you destroyed these people.”  The areas mentioned, such as Jerusalem, have some passing reference: Jerusalem is where Abraham met with Melchizedek (Genesis 14), and will be the future capital under David and the subsequent kings.  Some of the tribes have been referred to in previous lineages, but there is nothing that is especially important for us to note.

Q. (11:20): So the Lord hardened the hearts of the kings in order to bring out rivalries, and, in turn, battle with them so the Lord can show His power?

A. It appears He did not want the other kings making terms of surrender in order to stay in the land.  It actually gives some credence to the idea that you suggested yesterday, that God desired the Gibeonites to be Israel’s servants, because otherwise He would have hardened their king’s heart as well.

Q. (11:21): Why is mentioning Anak important?   I don’t remember him mentioned from any previous reading.

A. There were references to them in Deuteronomy (1, 2, and 9).  They were the people who were, according to the 12 spies, so huge that they could not be conquered which caused Israel to flee instead of trusting God.  There are references to Genesis 6:4 here, and the creation of some sort of half human giants, for which we don’t exactly know what they mean.  But the Genesis account and these verses indicate that their descendant was Anak, which is probably the reason that he is mentioned here.

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