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Random Thoughts on the Book of Joshua

Recently one morning I read the entire book of Joshua in one sitting while my wife slept in (being with child is a unassailable excuse to sleep as late as you want).  As I was reading, I had a few random thoughts that aren’t really “full post worthy.”  Hence, this random thoughts post.

Dating Joshua (not that kind of dating)

It seems to me that the book of Joshua must have been completed shortly after Joshua’s death.  I say “completed” because I’m sure there were folks recording these events as they happened, but the entire book as we know it was compiled after Joshua died.  Two things stand out (and I’m sure I missed more).  First, is the note that Israel “stood in awe of him [Joshua] all the days of his life, just as they had stood in awe of Moses” (4:14), a comment that makes most sense if it was written after Joshua had died.  Second, is the comment that Rahab “lives among the Israelites to this day” (6:25).  Seeing as how Jericho was the first city taken by the Israelites, she would have been one old lady if this was written long after Joshua’s death.

Um, a little help?

Wouldn’t it be nice to know what the Book of Jashar (10:13) was? 

Along the same lines, I don’t know who this “Arba” dude was, but he must have been something special because he’s mentioned a number of times, always in passing.  We can surmise that he was a giant (descendent of Anak) and probably a ruler since there was a city named after him (14:15).  Other than that, I’m not sure what else we can say.

Ouch

“At that time the Lord said to Joshua, ‘Make flint knives and circumcise the Israelites again.’  So Joshua made flint knives and circumcised the Israelites at Gibeath Haaraloth.”  (5:2-3)

Still kickin’ after all these years

Couldn’t you see an 85-year old Caleb challenging the younger men of his clan to arm wrestling matches and various other feats of strength?  And winning.  Imagine being an 18-year old stud in the tribe of Judah, impressing the young ladies with your warrior skills, only to have Grandpa Caleb walk by and give you a nice spanking in front of everybody.

The Greatest Generation

I’m convinced that this generation, the Conquest Generation, is the greatest generation in the Old Testament.  When you compare them with their parents, the Exodus Generation, it’s easy to see that where they had failed, the Conquest Generation succeeded, other than a few hiccups along the way (Achan’s sin, the stupid vow with the Gibeonites).  For instance, after making the vow with the Gibeonites (chapter 9), the Israelites began grumbling against the leaders (9:18).  Those who paid attention to Numbers will notice that “grumbling” led to all sorts of problems for their parents.  However, in this case, Joshua stepped in and handled the problem well.  Nothing more is heard about it.

You can also see how great the Conquest Generation was when you compare them to what followed.  Judges 2:10-11 states, “After that whole generation had been gathered to their ancestors, another generation grew up who knew neither the Lord nor what he had done for Israel.  Then the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord and served the Baals.”  When juxtaposed with the previous and subsequent generations, the Conquest Generation proves themselves to be the greatest generation.

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