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Outline of Joshua. Introduction—speeches by Yahweh and Joshua 1:1-18 Comprehensive conquest of the land 2:1-12:24 Crossing the Jordan chaps 3-5 “What do these stones mean to you?” Victories at Jericho (5:13-6:27), Ai (7:1-8:29), and Gibeon (9:3-27)

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Outline of joshua
Outline of Joshua

  • Introduction—speeches by Yahweh and Joshua 1:1-18

  • Comprehensive conquest of the land 2:1-12:24

    • Crossing the Jordan chaps 3-5 “What do these stones mean to you?”

    • Victories at Jericho (5:13-6:27), Ai (7:1-8:29), and Gibeon (9:3-27)

    • Altar at Shechem inscribed with blessings and curses 8:30-35 (cf. Deut 11:29-30; 27:1-8)

    • Battle reports

      • Kings of the south 10:28-43

      • Kings of the north 11:1-23

      • Entire land—list of kings 12:1-24

Outline continued
Outline continued

  • Israel’s settlement in the land—boundary and province lists

    • Reuben, Gad and ½ Manasseh in Trans-jordan 13:8-33

    • Judah 14:1-15:63 (15:20-63 is a list of provinces within Judah)

    • Joseph tribes 16 Ephraim;17:1-13 western Manasseh

    • Benjamin 18:11-28

    • Simeon 19:1-9

    • Zebulun 17:10-16

    • Issachar 17:17-23

    • Asher 17:24-31

    • Naphtali 17:32-39

    • Dan 19:40-48

    • Cities of refuge and Levitical cities 20:1-21:42

    • Yahweh gave entire land 21:43-45

      • But see 13:1-7; 15:63; 16:10; 17:12-13; 19:47 that admit that not all the land was taken

Outline continued1
Outline continued

  • Final episodes 22:1-24:33

    • Reuben, Gad, and half Manasseh go home—altar to link them with Cis-Jordan ch. 22

    • Joshua’s farewell discourse 23:4-16

    • Covenant making at Shechem 24:1-28

      • Intermarriage and apostasy would lead to loss of the land

    • Death of Joshua (24:29-30) and Eleazar (24:33); burial of Joseph (24:32)

Josh 21 43 45
Josh 21:43-45

Joshua 23:15 But just as all the good things that the LORD your God promised

concerning you have been fulfilled for you, so the LORD will bring

upon you all the bad things, until he has destroyed you from this good land

that the LORD your God has given you.

23:16 If you transgress the covenant…and go and serve other gods…then the anger of the LORD will be kindled against you, and you shall perish quickly from the good land he has given to you.

Joshua the conquest model
Joshua: the Conquest Model

  • apparently faithful to the Bible—some advocates of this theory tried to force evidence to reinforce the Bible’s reliability/authority

  • What caused the destruction: Israelites? Philistines? natural catastrophes, such as prolonged drought?

William Foxwell Albright

More on conquest model
More on conquest model

  • archaeological “confirmation:” Lachish, Bethel, Hazor, Tell Beit Mirsim show destruction layers

  • 40 cities mentioned in Joshua—only a few seem to attest 13c destruction—but there was some military action in 13 c BCE

Hazor, in northern Israel

Conquest model problems
Conquest Model: Problems

  • Jericho--no city from 1300-1100 BCE

  • Ai--gap between 2400-1200 BCE

  • Gibeon--no Late Bronze city 1550-1200

  • also Hebron, Heshbon, Dibon (latter two in Transjordan), Hormah (Num 21:3), and Arad did not exist at the time of Joshua


Conquest model presuppositions
Conquest Model: Presuppositions

  • Radical discontinuity between Israel and its Canaanite neighbors

  • Cultural change is caused by invasion of new people

  • No booty for soldiers (Achan stoned for infidelity)

  • Relationship between this theory and imperialism/colonialism in Europe and USA?

Stoning of Achan

Problems with the conquest model
Problems with the conquest model:

  • Yahweh as a divine warrior

  • The land was taken from Canaanites.

  • Archeology shows continuity in material culture before and after Israelite presence

  • A number of cities simply were not destroyed.

  • Are the historical problems with this model good news or bad?

  • “If Jericho was not razed, is your faith vain?”

Peaceful immigration model
Peaceful Immigration Model

  • Israel settled in areas between older cities—nomadic ideal

  • Israel possessed Shechem (8:30-35; chap. 24), but no conquest account of this city.

  • Arameans and Philistines also wandered in.

  • Little continuity of this model with the biblical tradition; stories of conquest are etiological (Ai = “ruin”)

  • Move into land is without theological significance; emphasis in Bible is on promise of land to matriarchs and patriarchs

  • Embarrassing Holy Wars were not fought

Albrecht Alt

Martin Noth

Peaceful immigration model presuppositions
Peaceful Immigration Model: Presuppositions

  • Early Israel was nomadic according to this model; but early Israelites actually raised crops and livestock; had sophisticated ceramics

  • camel not domesticated until 1200

  • Hence those who entered the land from Transjordan were not true nomads.

  • Caricature of Bedouin life by armchair European scholars

  • Amphictyony?

Peasants revolt model for early israel
Peasants’ Revolt Model for Early Israel

  • Amarna (14c) Palestine ruled by city kings in class conscious society. Forced labor; taxes

  • These kings complained about lawless “Apiru” or “habiru”

  • Israelites in the book of Exodus described as “mixed multitude” (12:38)

Peasants revolt
Peasants’ Revolt

  • Fugitives from Egypt galvanized Palestinian peasants into full-scale revolt (70 families became 250,000 people; treaty with Gibeonites)

  • archaeological continuity between Late Bronze and Iron ages explained

  • Rahab the prostitute (lower class); Rahab is saved because of her fidelity. cf. Judg 1:22-26 (an informer from Bethel helps them find way into the city)

Rahab and two Israelite spies

Marc Chagall

Results of peasants revolt
Results of Peasants’ Revolt

  • democratization of housing

  • equality of land distribution

  • hostility to kingship and hierarchy of every kind; harboring of runaway slaves encouraged

  • but this model is least like biblical picture and is a caricature of Canaanite life.

Four Room House

Theological implications of revolt model
Theological implications of Revolt Model

  • The battles in early Israel were not imperialism or invasion but a mighty blow for justice

  • Connection of Yahweh with justice is central and original, not peripheral or secondary

  • unity of Israel is ideological or theological, that is, covenantal, not ethnic

More theological implications of revolt model
More Theological Implications of Revolt Model

  • Yahweh is the one who puts down the mighty from their thrones (See Magnificat, Song of Hannah)

  • “Conquest” was more political than religious

  • Crimes against property are not capital crimes in the Bible; no class distinctions in biblical law

  • People of Israel were largely indigenous

Revolt model weaknesses
Revolt Model: Weaknesses

  • Was covenant unity so early?

  • Why does the Bible indicate that the majority of people came from outside the land

  • Are the Apiru really Hebrews?

  • Israelites settled in hill country because they were unable to defeat royal strongholds

  • Egalitarian villages also exist outside the confines of premonarchic Israel, i.e., in Transjordan

  • Philosophies of Mendenhall (quietistic Lutheran) and Gottwald (strong Marxist influence)

Gradual emergence model
Gradual emergence model

  • Many new, unwalled settlements in hill country.

  • Merneptah stela (right)

  • Collar-rim storage jars

  • Similar, but poorer pottery to previous centuries

  • No pig bones

  • Israel originated in Canaan

Plundered is Thehenu [Libya], Khatti is at peace;

CANAAN is plundered

Ashkelon is conquered; Gezer is seized; Yanoam is

non-existent. Israel is laid waste, his

seed is no more.

KHARU has become a widow because of Egypt

Gradual emergence continued
Gradual emergence continued

  • How does this model square with the biblical account?

  • Why did people migrate to highlands from lowlands?

  • What ideology, if any, lies behind this model? (anti-Zionist? Denigration of Bible?)

  • This model offers no explanation for the most distinctive qualities of Israel, such as the God who liberates people from slavery or even the background of Yahweh

Hill country population explosion
Hill country population explosion

  • 14th century 12,000; 12th century 55,000; 10th century 75,000

  • This growth leads us to infer there was some migration from outside, not just the settling down of nomads.

  • This migration from outside explains not only the population growth, but also why these hill country people became Yahwists.

Hyperbole and reality
Hyperbole and reality

  • A Blitzkrieg Joshua 1-12; Num 21:21-35; 32:39-42

  • Entry of Hebrew tribes slow and variegated; much land remains to be conquered Josh 13:1-7; Judg 1:1-2:5

  • Peaceful settlement (Num 32:1-38) and coexistence (Judg 1:21 Benjaminites did not drive out Jebusites from Jerusalem)

  • Military action by some Israelite tribes (Judges 5)

Joshua 24
Joshua 24

  • Joshua and his household were Yahweh worshippers (as for me and my household we will serve Yahweh), who had embraced Yahwism in the desert. Two Egyptian texts from the 14th and 13th centuries mention a place yhw’ in southern Transjordan

  • The group Joshua met in Canaan were “Israel” who originally worshipped other gods (the gods your ancestors served in the region beyond the River)

An alternate scenario
An Alternate Scenario

  • Early “Israel” was mainly composed of various groups of hill country, indigenous villagers

  • A small group of “Hebrews” joined these villagers after having picked up Yahwism in the desert areas south-east of Canaan. They entered peacefully, but also took part in military attacks. Not every attack leaves archeological evidence

  • No single model can do justice to the emergence of Israel in Canaan.

Theology in joshua
Theology in Joshua

  • Deut 31:7 The promise of the gift of the land is to be carried out through Joshua

  • Joshua 2-12 this promise was fulfilled to a “T.” Hence the land is Yahweh’s great gift

  • Josh 21:45 None of the promises failed

  • Josh 23:15-16 But judgment is certain if covenant transgressed, or if Israel would serve other gods

Theology in joshua1
Theology in Joshua

  • 24:31 Israel served Yahweh all days of Joshua

  • Judg 2:10-11 The next generation did what was evil in the eyes of Yahweh

Group or ethnic identity
Group or ethnic identity

  • Possession of the land—also reports of unoccupied lands

  • Obedience to the commands of Moses—also disobedience to commands

  • Annihilation of peoples—peoples remain

  • Only the covenant in which the people choose the God who has chosen them is life as a defining characteristic of the people 24:1-27

Translations of josh 21 45
Translations of Josh 21:45

  • Not a word of the LORD’s promises to the house of Israel went unfulfilled; they all came true NEB

  • All of the good promises that the LORD had given Israel came true. NLT

  • The LORD kept every one of the promises that he had made to the people of Israel. TEV

  • Not one of all the good promises that the LORD had made to the house of Israel had failed; all came to pass. NRSV

Joshua 10 20
Joshua 10:20

  • When Joshua and the men of Israel had slain them with a very great slaughter, until they were wiped out, and when the remnant which remained of them had entered into the fortified cities, all the people returned to Joshua at the camp of Makkedah.

  • Historical texts will be ideologically slanted, but ideological texts will commonly contain historical material

  • “Joshua” may be a metaphor for Josiah, but that does not mean that all the data are untrue