Dr. Ted Hildebrandt, OT History,
Lit., and Theology, Lecture 19
Copyright © 2012, Ted Hildebrandt
This is Dr.
Ted Hildebrandt in his Old Testament, History, Literature, and Theology course.
Lecture number 19 on the book of Joshua, The walls of Jericho, the problems at Ai,
and the treaty made with the Gibeonites, as well as the concept of war and herem
in the book of Joshua.
A. Quiz Preview and Demo of Get Lost in Jerusalem [0:00-13:13]
Let’s come to order. Let’s run through what we’re working on for Thursday. I’ll have the study guide ready tomorrow morning, first thing, and I’ll email it to everybody. Is that alright? And then I’ll also post it online. So, it’ll be up online and also you should have it in your email. The reading for next Thursday is 2 Samuel which is largely 24 chapters. It’s all about David. Do you guys know a lot of the stories of David? This is about David and Bathsheba. These are the stories you probably grew up knowing about David, David and his son Absalom. So 2 Samuel and then 1 Kings chapters 1 to 11 that’s largely about Solomon. So, basically what you’re reading for this coming week is David and Solomon. Those stories are fairly well known to everybody. The exploring Jerusalem in Get Lost in Jerusalem, we’re going to be going over that next. Okay? So just give me a second with that. There are some memory verses from Psalm 51. There are one, two, three, four memory verses. These are “Create in me a pure heart, O God.” They’re basically verses that are songs that many of you have sung. They are very, very famous verses out of Psalm 51, which is David’s psalm reflecting his sin with Beersheba. So, there is the reading of 2 Samuel, the reading of 1 Kings 1-11, these memory verses, and then the Get Lost in Jerusalem.
What I would like to do is to show you Get Lost in Jerusalem now. It’s on any of the machines that are networked at Gordon here and on the Internet. For example, I go in the Science building. Are any of you guys aware of the first floor of the science building? If you go in from the Frost side there and you take an immediate left. There’s a room there full of these beautiful, large monitors and you can use them. The only problem is you have to boot up in Windows [although as of 2012 it is on the Internet and can be accessed on both PC and Mac platforms]. We only use the best in this class. So you have to boot up in Windows. Then you go to all programs. Are you guys familiar with Windows? You go up and you boot up in Windows and there’s this little button on the side, lower left side. You basically press that and you go to all programs and you Get Lost in Jerusalem and you’ll pull it up from there.
So, let’s look at that now and I want to go over it a little bit here. So I’m going to call up this program from here. Get Lost in Jerusalem full screen and just kind of run through some of it with you. So, here we call the program up, this will be the same thing you’ll get. When you see these initial things here, basically you can click the button to click through all this stuff. So I’m going to click this button and jump into the program. Now the first thing you need to know with this program is how to turn the music off. It is the day the music died. Here’s how you kill the music. Right here do you see that little music note button? So let’s kill that and bam the music is gone. No more music. Now what we’re going to do here is go through this program. There’s a gaming section. Actually my son wrote the gaming section when he was 16 years old. I taught him how to program and he did the games and so there are the games here.
Well, we’re going to explore virtual Jerusalem. Now, let me say before we jump in. There are three sites that I want you to know. These are the important ones. One is going to be what’s called Area G. Area G is an archeological excavation. You’re going to see a bunch of rocks, and you should know what those rocks mean. And I’ll show you how you can find out what they mean. Area G will be your first one.
Hezekiah’s tunnel is the second one. I want you to go through Hezekiah’s tunnel. So Hezekiah’s tunnel. Start on the east side, go through it, come out the other side and then go back through it. Okay? So, Hezekiah’s tunnel you should be on the outside of it, walk in it, through it, out the other side and then come back through--Hezekiah’s tunnel.
The other one that I would like you to look at is what’s called Warren’s shaft. Here is Warren’s shaft. And then just read some stuff on it. Warren’s shaft, Hezekiah’s tunnel, and this Area G, those are the three things I want you to look at. Take you about a half hour to look through these panoramas.
Okay, let me, actually let’s look for that and then we’ll go to Warren’s shaft. So I’m going to go in. Now how do you go into the program explore virtual Jerusalem? It has all this other stuff but we’re just going to explore virtual Jerusalem. So I’m going to click here. Then you can see there’s a map or there’s a list of sites. The list of sites will be able to tell exactly where we’re going to. So I’m going to go to the list of sites, if you go to the map, let’s see if this works. You see how this is a map of Jerusalem with all those red dots? If you roll over the red dot, it comes up and shows you kind of where it is. If you click, you go there. Now, I don’t want to go there, so I’m going to go to the list of sites. Here’s the list of sites and they’re listed, alphabetically. You can see here it says area what? Area G is right there. Under area G, actually I don’t want to go there. I’m going to do Warren’s Shaft. But let’s just see here, if we got Warren’s Shaft. I’m going to have to click over one. And there it is right at the entrance of Warren’s Shaft.
Okay, there’s a little arrow, arrow thing here, over on the side. That’s how you get back. Do you guys want to go to the Wailing Wall? Let’s go to the Wailing Wall. Now, the Jews call it the Western Wall and so here I click here, and now we’re at this Western or Wailing Wall. I spin around a little bit and here we are. Can you see? Here is the Western Wall. There’s the Dome of the Rock by the Western Wall. Then if you can look around to see what’s up here, because we’re kind of overlooking it, if you look over here, there he is. That woman’s leg is faked, that’s all Photoshopped. So anyway, these are the people we’re with. See the people looking down.
Now, if you actually want to go down to see the Western Wall, do you see that the cursor turns into an arrow? It turns into an arrow, and then you click, and now we’re down here. I want to get closer, so I’m going to get an arrow that gets closer, and now we’re closer, and here’s the Western Wall. This is called the Western Wall. By the way, do you see these are all men, and the women are on the other side of these screens. They worship in separate communities: okay? So the women are over there, the men are over here, and you have to wear a kippah on your head when you go there.
I always like taking women in here because you’ll never get to see this. This program will show you something that women will not be able to see in real life. Now I want to get closer to the Western Wall. This is actually really close to it. You can see that they tuck their prayers in the crevices of the rock. By the way, you can send in an email from America and they will put it in here. Now when they put your prayers in the wall that means it goes directly up, do not pass goal, it goes right up and so it’s quick. This is really quick, it goes directly to heaven. You put them in here and you only have to pay fifteen dollars or whatever it is.
Now, I’m going to turn over here. What I want to do is take you in, there’s this little place in the side on the left here to go in there. Women are not allowed in there at all. The honest truth is I didn’t know if I was allowed in there. So my son and I went in here and this is what it looks like. I wanted to see what’s called Wilson’s arch. Wilson’s arch is right here. Herod built that. Remember King Herod with Jesus? Herod rebuilt the temple, that arch goes back to Herod’s temple and Jesus. Herod didn’t want to walk down in the valley and up, because he was too lazy. So he wanted to build something straight across so he wouldn’t have to walk down into the Central Valley and up. Wilson’s arch was built so that Herod could walk directly over to the temple. You can see the Jewish folks here reading their books, and rabbis and various things. You see this guy with his prayer shawl on and things. This is kind of what it looks like and there’s Wilson’s arch. He kind of just doesn’t fit in, does he? Anyway that’s my son. I put him out over here to scout because I wasn’t sure whether I was allowed to take pictures and there, and so I’m snapping the pictures and he’s supposed to keep his eyes on these guys in case we have to make a fast get-away because they’ll bust your camera if they don’t like you taking pictures. I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to be there or not. Nobody messed with me. But he was over on the side, keeping his eye out so I can take pictures.
So then we can go back out. We’ll go back and then we’re here back at the Wailing wall. You can see here there are some guys with their prayer shawls coming up to the wall. So do you see how to get around in the program? Just kind of spin and look for these arrows.
Now, by the way, if you don’t know what you’re looking at, what do you do? Then come down here and over on the far side there or right here, if you click on this icon, do you see what it says? It gives text explaining the panorama. So you click on this and all of a sudden there’s an explanation on the Western Wall, the Jews don’t like it if you call it the Wailing Wall. It should be called Western Wall as it’s the Western Wall of the temple.
Now, if you don’t want to read through this, then it has a button here, where there’s a speaker. These are actual sounds from the site. And so then it will talk to you and tell you what you’re seeing. By the way, you can still go over here and you can still mess with the picture. So this is the western wall. If you want to hear the music, does anyone recognize this? Is anybody Jewish? That was the Jewish national anthem.
Now, by the way, if you want to get to another site, you can either pick these arrows and walk between sites or you can come up here. This is really important: this is a list of sites. You go back and then you just click down here, and we’re back to the list of sites. Do you see how this works? So you can kind of jump in wherever you want and just look on the alphabet here, and you can jump into the site or roll over over here and you can kind of see them on the side. Then when you click on them, you can actually jump into them. This is available then on all the network computers and the Internet. So it’s just go down to the Windows icon there bring up, click all programs. It will list a gazillion programs go down and Get Lost in Jerusalem. Then you can go in and explore it and read about it or have it read to you. Spend some time in each one of those three sites. Those were the three sites. Now that’s Get Lost in Jerusalem.
Let me just say, I used to have this project that I did with kids, students that I would walk them through Jerusalem. They would follow the back of my head. When they got all through Jerusalem did they know where they were? No. All they knew is kind of like if you’re the second elephant the view is always the same. I’m walking through Jerusalem, these kids are following me and they had no clue where they were. So what I did was I started this exercise called Get Lost in Jerusalem. I’d walk them into the middle of Jerusalem and then I’d say, “Oh, I’m lost. I don’t know how to get out of here. I’m not going to lead you anywhere. You’re going to lead, and find your way home because we got to be back to the school for lunch in three hours. So then we would basically wander in Jerusalem for three hours. By the way, would they usually, eventually find their way back? Yes! And question, when they were leading and they had to make the decisions, did they actually learn Jerusalem then? Yes. And so that’s, why I call the program Get Lost in Jerusalem as a result of that. You can actually learn your way through Jerusalem based on this program.
Let me kill it. To kill it you can either do the ‘x’ thing or you can just hit the escape. We’re out of there and let’s get into Joshua. So let’s Get Lost in Jerusalem. Hope you have fun playing with it. If you ever go to Jerusalem, I think, it’s very similar to being there.
B. Joshua: Crossing the Jordan River [13:14-15:18]
Last time we were talking about the book of Joshua. Joshua was coming into the land and crossing the Jordan River. We talked about the Jordan River being about sixty feet wide to three feet deep in normal season but we said that this was in the spring. The Jordan River is at flood stage during the spring. We said that the river probably collapsed north of where they crossed, about ten miles, and the Bible even, in chapters 3 verse 16 tells us the river actually was dammed up, up at Adam. That has happened twice what we know of in history. In 1927 and I think was 1200 AD that they have record of this canyon wall collapsing, damming up the Jordan River. We said it was a miracle of timing because the canyon collapsed exactly when they went across.
Now, we’ve got to buzz through quite a bit of stuff to finish up in Joshua. Now when they crossed the river, God had them pick up twelve stones. These stones then are taken and put up as a memorial so that they can remember from the presence of these twelve stones. Now why are the twelve stones significant? What do the twelve stones stand for? Twelve tribes of Israel that are going into the promised land. But question: Were there really twelve tribes going into the promise land or were there two and a half; Reuben, Gad and half the tribe of Manasseh, already settled over here in Transjordan? So, actually, only nine and a half of the tribes got to enter the land over here. The other two and a half tribes were over here. So Joshua says no, no you guys can’t sit by because you got you’re land already. You’ve got to come and help us fight the Canaanites. So the two and a half tribes had to agree to send their fighting soldiers over to fight for the land.
When they go across they go across as what? All Israel. So this is a very special time in history for Israel when all of Israel is together. Later on they are going to split north and south. There’s going to be tribal tensions later on. But at this point they are all together and they go into battle together.
C. “Until this day” [15:19-18:19]
Now, in Joshua chapter 4:9 it says this: “Joshua set up the twelve stones, that had been in the middle of the Jordan at the spot where the priest who carried the Ark of the Covenant stood. They are there till this day.” I have been in Israel and they are there till this day just like the Bible says. The stones are still there--piled up, everywhere. There are stones, piled up, hundreds, thousands of them. Okay? When this says that these stones are there “till this day,” does it mean to the twenty first century? No. It means “till this day” meaning when the book was written.
Critical scholars pull this statement out and they say, “wait a minute, what Joshua is saying is the events of history happened here with Joshua but yet this book seems to have been written hundreds and hundreds of years later. So that the writer of the book says the stones are still there “till this day,” hundreds and hundreds of years later. When you write history do you want events and the writing of history to be close to each other? Or, do you want the historical event and then hundreds of years later, the event to be written? You want it close together. So critical scholars say no, no this book was written hundreds of years later and that the stones are there still till this day means hundreds of years later. Then you have time for legends to grow up and all these miraculous stories to be accreted. The only problem with that is that this is written hundreds of years later. If you go to Joshua chapter 6 verse 25 it says this, “But Joshua spared Rahab the prostitute, with her family and all who belonged to her, because she hid the men Joshua had sent as spies to Jericho—and she lives among the Israelites to this day.” “She lives among the Israelites to this day.” Question: Is this “to this day,” hundreds of years later or is this within her lifetime? How old was Rahab when the guys entered the city? Was she one or two years old? No, she was a Canaanite prostitute. So this is probably within 50-60 years at max, and probably less. “She is alive to this day.” What’s Joshua saying? Joshua’s saying, “Hey, you want to know about these stories? If you want to know about these stories you can go ask Rahab, she’s still alive till this day. You can go ask her and she’ll tell you about these stories, she’s still living.”
So is the historical value of the book confirmed? Yes, in a lot of a ways. So this statement then with the stones and Rahab is interesting because Rahab being there tells us that this wasn’t being written hundreds of years later. It was being written in a lifetime of Rahab the harlot.
D. Gilgal [18:20-22:18]
Now Gilgal. When they crossed the Jordan River and let me just kind of map this out. Israel’s over here on the plains of Moab. It is here. They’re going to come down into the Rift Valley and they’re going to cross over the Jordan River. When they cross over the Jordan River, Jericho’s right here, they’re going to cross over the Jordan River and they’re not going to Jericho at first. However, they’re going to go to a place called Gilgal just north of Jericho to set up camp. It’s probably a mile away from Jericho or so. So they’re going to go to Gilgal and set camp at a place called Gilgal
At Gilgal three things happen and these are important things. First of all, they celebrate their third Passover. They hadn’t celebrated Passover when they were wandering in the wilderness for forty years. They didn’t celebrate every year, the Passover. They celebrated it when they came out of Egypt. There was one other time and then now this is the third time. But why is that important that when they cross the Jordan River, the first thing they do is celebrate Passover? What does that tell us? They’re remembering the Lord. Does it tell us what time of the year it is? It’s in the spring. It’s at our Easter time. So they’re crossing at Easter time. By the way, that is exactly when the river floods. It mentioned the fact that the river was flooding during the flood stage during Passover. That is also when they harvest their wheat and barley. This is the spring growth of the wheat and barley. So they cross over, and the third Passover is celebrated there. This tells us then that it was in the spring when they crossed over. Let me skip circumcision for a minute.
The manna stopped once they got into the promised land. God says no more manna. Manna was for the wilderness. You guys now are to eat the fruit of the land. You’re supposed to eat the crops of the land, the wheat and barley harvest was going on and the crops were there. Basically you eat from the produce of the land now, no more special product from heaven. The manna stopped.
Now the third one was circumcision. They’ve been wandering in the wilderness for forty years and apparently they hadn’t circumcised their males. That’s a problem. So God says, before you go into battle against Jericho you have to circumcise all the males. Question: Is that a problem? Do you guys remember what happened at Shechem. They’re going to be going into battle with the Canaanites. Would you want to have all your people circumcised just before you go into battle? No, so that’s a problem. Nevertheless did Israel do it because God commanded it? They did it. Did that weaken them because they had to be circumcised just before they are going into the battle? I often thought, now this is just a kind of a Hildebrandt weirdity kind of thing, but God has them circumcised and then command them to walk around Jericho and be silent. You see these guys all walking around Jericho remember they walk around seven days once each day. It’s terrible but my brain does go there.
So then remember on the seventh day they walk around Jericho how many times? Seven times in one day. You saw Jericho. Could you walk around seven times in one day? Yes. You know what I’m saying. It’s from here to Lane; approximately, as far as size. You know the length of it. Could you walk around this seven times in one day? And then they yell, play the trumpets, the walls come down, and they go in and take the city. So this is what happened in Gilgal. Are they going make it a holy site then? Is Gilgal a special site for Israel? Yes. Samuel is going to later on offer up sacrifices as is Saul unfortunately for Saul. Remember Saul offered sacrifices that he shouldn’t have offered. That was at Gilgal. It was special, it was considered a holy site down by Jericho. So there are three things, at Gilgal before they actually embark on taking on the land and attacking of Jericho. God sets them aside at Gilgal and they kind of get their bearings straight.
E. Archaeology and Jericho [22:17-28:32]
Now what happened? The walls of Jericho come tumbling down. They walk around Jericho seven times, they yell, the trumpets are blown and the walls fall down. In the 1930s there was an archaeologist called John Garstang who went over and he was an excavator at Jericho and excavated for many, many seasons there. He found the Late Bronze walls. Yes, he found the walls of Jericho falling outward just like the Bible said. When I grew up in Sunday school class they quoted Garstang, the major excavator of the archeology of Jericho. They told us, look at that Garstang found the walls of Jericho fallen out just like the Bible said. Archeology proves the Bible. Garstang found the walls falling outward.
All of a sudden in the 1960s and 70s there was a woman named Kathleen Kenyon. Actually, they call her Dame Kenyon, she’s British you know British they’re always a little smarter than everybody else. So they call her Dame Kenyon and she excavated at Jericho for many, many seasons. Actually for 20 years she excavated there. She is the chief excavator of Jericho. She wrote many books Digging up Jericho etc. She discovered that what Garstang called his Late Bronze walls that would have been in the time of Joshua, she determined that those walls were misdated by Garstang and he missed it like by eight hundred years. So instead of those walls being there when Joshua went through, those walls would have been back in the time of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. So she said that the walls were misdated and that during the time of Joshua she concluded there were no walls around Jericho. She concluded there were no walls around Jericho during the Late Bronze period but that the walls that were found date were from the Early Bronze which is back in the time of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
So, does archeology prove the Bible? Now archeology does what? Here it disproves the Bible. Does archeology prove the Bible or disprove the Bible and this raises the question.
Lo and behold there is a guy named Bryant Wood and he comes from the 1990s. Now when you’re more current like in the 90s, is that going to be better information than something from the 60s or 70s? Anything from the 60s and 70s got to be wrong, right? It’s old, really old. So anything old has got to be wrong. Just ask Al Gore. By the way, Kathleen Kenyon died.
When I was in college, I was in an Electronic Engineering program and we did all these labs. Have you ever been in a lab context where you know mathematically what your data should turn out to be. You know what you just did in the experiment and you know what your experiment did turn out to be. Do you guys know what fudge factors are? These are things we got very good at this. I don’t know what you guys call them today. We called them fudge factors and basically, you went into the lab knowing what it should be and you know what you got and you say, “man, we messed up. We’ve got to make this thing work.” And so what you did is you did these fudge factor and you made your lab work. Our lab hit right on every time. People don’t do that in science do they? No, no, it’s electrical engineering, it’s not really science. But anyway, I’m just being factitious here. Did you ever do data to support your theory and ignore other data that doesn’t support your theory? It turns out that Bryant Wood, now that Dame Kenyon had died, got in to examine her data and found out that when she said there were no walls there and the wall’s date was from the wrong period, she was only citing data that was supporting her theory. Was there a whole host of data that contradicted her theory that she ignored? Yes. He found that data and said, “O, look at this, she’s just ignored this, pottery, this cemetery around there where people were buried. The cemetery around there does that tell when people died and when that happened? So basically Bryant Wood has shown that some of this is all wrong. He goes back and says this wall was dated correctly by Garstang, or there abouts, and it should be a Late Bronze age.
So question, does archeology prove the Bible, disprove the Bible, or are these things debated? Every ten or twenty years do the “scientists” change their mind on this? There is this big debate on this thing. All I’m saying is, you’ve got to be really careful when somebody gets up and says, “Archeology proves the Bible.” You’ve got to be really careful about that because I could show you a number of places where archeologists says “No, archeology disproves the Bible.” So what I’m saying is, there are scientists who are working with historical stuff, do they have all the data? They don’t have all the data. Do they have their own theories? Are certain archeologists working almost purposely to disprove the Bible? Are other ones arguing trying to prove the Bible? So all I’m saying is be careful, archeology is an art and a science. So you got to be careful about the data. If you want good archeology what do you do? You take Dr. Wilson’s course on archeology and he will tell you the truth. Dr. Wilson teaches archeology here.
Does the archeology give us truth then? All I’m doing is putting question marks beside them then. Be careful about putting too much weight on archeology. Archeology changes over the periods. We get more and more data. We learn to interpret things differently over a period of time. They have become much more scientific, carbon 14 dating has become much, much more accurate than it was twenty years ago.
F. Ebal Atlar discovery [28:33-33:56]
Here’s one that happen, I believe it was in the 90s. I think this is a really cool. In Israel, they have this place called Mt. Ebal. Some people call it “Mt. He-Bald” but I don’t like that. So it’s called Ebal. Mt. Ebal and Mt. Gerizim and these are two mountains. The Jews when they went in with Joshua the people reciting the curses on Mt. Ebal and the blessings were on Mt. Gerizim. Between Mt. Ebal and Mt. Gerizim there’s a valley and in that valley is where Shechem is. Does anyone remember Shechem? It’s where the woman at the well took place in John 4. Does anyone remember Jesus and the woman at the well? That was at Shechem. So between Mt. Ebal and Mt. Gerizim there’s this place called Shechem where the patriarchs went and where Jesus went later on.
I was at Shechem. Last time I was at Shechem, I was taking pictures. Now what’s the problem when I take pictures? Do I take pictures in three dimensions? They’re 360 degrees. Normally people go up and there’s a stone monument there, and they take a picture of the stone monument. But because I do panoramas, do I do 360s? So I took pictures of the stone thing there and then I took pictures around. But while I was taking pictures around I was taking a picture of these woods over here and little did I know that there were a bunch of Arab soldiers sitting in those woods watching me take pictures. I just took a picture of them hiding in the woods. Is this cool? This is not cool. So all of a sudden I finish my 6 pictures around with my wide angle lens and all of a sudden, out of the brushes and the woods on the sides these six guys that are Arab dudes carrying machine guns come out. This is trouble. And so they come up and you’re taking pictures. You took pictures and they’re freaking out about my camera. I’m thinking “I hope they don’t steal my camera or bust my camera.” Do you know what I’m saying? I come all the way over to take pictures. Luckily for me or better providentially for me, there was a missionary from Ammon. He had spent ten years in Ammon Jordan. He knew how to speak Arabic fluently. My buddy jumps in the way with these guys and starts Arabic, you know mahasalami kind of stuff. So he starts doing his thing and he talks to them. He tells him it’s okay this guys just a dumb American. He’s just taking pictures. He doesn’t know what he’s doing. I say that’s right. I was really grateful for him. He talked, as a missionary, he talked to them in Arabic, in fluent Arabic and did you know I was assuming what they would have done was rip the film out of the camera. Rip the film out and do that. I was assuming, I was just hoping that they wouldn’t take my camera. They did not even open my camera. They let me go. He talked through that. I got the camera and we’re “let’s go back to the bus right now.” We’ve had had enough of Shechem.
Now, up on Mt. Ebal, this is in the 90s, the archeologists on the mountain where the curses were read. There was an altar, there was a hill there, and the archeologists start digging down and when they started digging down they found a huge altar. Not one of these little altars like at Beersheba, you know this high and this big. This is a huge altar made of uncut stone and there’s a ramp that goes up to it. Now what does that tell you? Made of uncut stone with a ramp? Did the Canaanites make their altars out of uncut stones or cut stones? This is uncut stone. Were the Jews to make altars out of uncut stones? Were the Jews to make steps up to their altar? No steps. They were to make ramps up to the altar. Guess what, this had a ramp with uncut stones. Question: is this a Jewish altar? They would later find it dated it back to Joshua. What they’re suggesting is that this altar is from chapter 8 verse 30 where it says this: “Joshua built on Mount Ebal an altar to the LORD, the God of Israel as Moses the servant of the Lord had commanded the Israelites.” What they were suggesting is that they actually found the altar that Joshua built. Now, soon as somebody says they found the altar that Joshua built showing that the Bible is historically accurate, what happens the next day? Other archeologists get there and attack this thing saying, “Oh it was misdated to the wrong period. They missed it by 300 years and therefore it’s not the altar of Joshua. We don’t know whose altar it is but it’s some big old, honking altar up there.” So is there going to be debate over this? Is there debate over this to this day they go back and forth on the debate. So all I’m going to do is say, now do I think it’s Joshua’s altar? This is one I think is from Joshua, I think they got it right. But there’s a lot of controversy over this and this is what happens in archeology.
All I want you to do is get a sense for archeology. Does archeology prove the Bible? Yes. But you’ve got to be real careful with that. Otherwise, you get archeology disproving the Bible at certain points and you’ve got to sort through this. Everybody’s got their theories and things get misdated, there are all sorts of problems. So you’ve got to be careful. They’re learning more about the culture, archeology is one of the great sciences of the world. Things that we’ve learned about the ancient Near East, but you’ve got to be real careful. It’s really debated a lot.
G. Gibeonite deception and alliance [33:57-34:47]
Now, Joshua’s down at Jericho. You can see the Dead Sea there, Salt Sea, and then just up from there is Jericho. Joshua made an alliance with the Gibeonites. Let me hit the button here for the Gibeonites, the city of Gibeon. Do you remember the Gibeonites dressed up in old clothes, they brought old food, and they said, “we’ve come from thousand miles away. Look at all this stuff, these sandals were good but now they’re all worn out. We want to make an alliance with you because we’ve been hearing about your God. We want to make an alliance with you.” Question? Are they from very far away? No. They are from dead center in the middle of Israel. Dead, smack dab, straight center of Israel that they came from. The Jews did not know. The Jews by the way never consulted with God and made an alliance with the Gibeonites.
H. Southern League [34:48-35:26]
Now when they make an alliance with the Gibeonites, what happens? Jerusalem, Hebron, Lachish, some other cities of the south, five cities, gathered together and they say, “We’re going to attack the Gibeonites because they made an alliance with Israel.” So these five southern cities gather together and they come up to attack Gibeon. Gibeon screams out to Joshua. They send men down to Joshua saying, Joshua come and help us. Joshua’s going to march his troops all night and this is where the sun is going to stand still. Do you remember that? This is where it happens. This is the context for the sun standing still--the five southern cities coming up against Gibeon, Joshua marching all night.
I. Desert walk from Jericho up to Michmash [35:27-42:29]
Now, when I was in Israel I was about 25 years old at the time. And I had two friends, they were both Daves, we had called ourselves DDT, Dave, Dave, and Ted, and basically we would go out for walks in the desert. So this is desert here. Once you get pass this road, do you see this road here? This is called the Ridge Route. Once you get over to the other side east of the Ridge Route, this is all desert. Now all the water gets dropped off here from the Mediterranean Sea which is down here. Once you get over the ridge this is desert. It’s like California, on the front side of the mountain there’s water, but on the back side of the mountain there’s what? Desert. So the desert is here and we usually walked out on the Judean desert from Jerusalem down to Jericho. But we decided one day that any wimp can go from Jerusalem down to Jericho. It’s all downhill for 20 miles or so. So we decided we’re going to be like Joshua’s men. We’re going to start at Jericho, we’re going to climb these cliffs and we’re going to march the 20 miles across here. We’re going to go up to Mickmash just like Joshua’s men. By the way, it’s uphill. Jericho’s about 800 feet below sea level, this is up about 2500 feet above sea level. So you got about a 3300 feet climb and then you’re like climbing 1800 feet first and then setting off across the desert. So we were, how should I say this, I was in really, really good shape. At that time I was an athlete, I played basketball for college and other things like that. But I was in top shape. We were used to walking in the desert so we were all tanked up with our water.
We started our climb this first set of cliffs to come out of this Rift Valley. We climbed the first set of cliffs. As we get up, the temperature starts rising and it gets hotter and hotter and the desert starts getting up to 110. All of a sudden we’re walking across this desert and, by the way, do you walk on the valley or do you walk on the ridge? You always walk on the ridge. We did this when we came out of Bethlehem when we walked in the valley, and there was some 12 year old kid, and this is the honest truth, 12 year old Arab kid is sitting up on the top, we were down about 300 feet in this gorge. He starts chucking rocks at us. So we’re looking down and bam, bam! These rocks so we look up, this kids laughing his head off, throwing these rocks, rocks big enough to knock off your head. They’re falling 300 feet they hit you guess what? You’ve got a problem. So here’s this kid laughing and three big American guys, he’s got us pinned down. He’s chucking rocks, and, we take off running because we couldn’t get back up to him. There are cliffs there and so we took off. We learned a lesson from that: you don’t walk in the valleys. You walk on the ridges. So now we’re walking on the ridges across the desert. When you’re walking on the ridge that means that you can’t get across, you can’t just jump onto the road.
All of a sudden we start running out of water. When you start running out of water and it’s a 110, 115, 120 degrees all of a sudden you’re getting dehydrated. What happens when you get dehydrated? Do you guys know, have any of you guys fainted and just before you faint you start seeing white stars and everything starts getting white closing in on you? All of a sudden we’re walking in the desert and things are going awful white and the vision is going, closing in. You look up and when you look up you see that there are these critters above with a wing span of 6 feet circling overhead. It turns out, you probably know why they’re circling overhead. Then you look up and all of a sudden from my day and age, you remember a movie that you saw when you were a kid called “The Birds.” Is it still out? That thing is old! Anyways and so I’m seeing these birds. So Dave says, “We just have to get over of this mountain 394 and we’re marching. Yeah, we’re out of water, and it’s getting really bad. We walk up mountain 394 we’re climbing this mountain, we get up and he says, “If we just get over the mountain, Michmash will be on the other side and then we can go down into town and go get something to drink.” So we’re marching up this mountain. We get up to the top of the mountain and we come over the ridge, he’s talking about milkshakes, it was terrible. I was about ready to kill him. We get up over the top of the mountain, we come up over the ridge and there’s no Michmash. He read the map wrong. Then we just about did kill him.
When you look out it’s a sickening feeling. Do you guys have respect for the ocean? Here you bend down over the ocean, no seriously, you look out over the ocean and you see it’s massive. If I ride out in the ocean, I would be a speck and it would just gobble me up. I had the same respect for desert. Have you ever been in a desert context when you look out and everywhere you can see is just desert far as the eye can see. And you feel as a human being like you are so puny. All of a sudden you know you’re dehydrated and you know you’re in trouble and he just read that stupid map wrong and then it means you got to go down into the valley and climb the next mountain and hope that the Michmash is on the other side. We went down the valley climbed the next mountain got over the top. When we came into Michmash and we’re beet red. All the people in the Michmash asked, “Where did you come from?” We came from Jericho. “Oh! You don’t go through desert in days like this. It’s hot today.” Yeah, we know it’s hot. Jericho? “You know nobody comes up from Jericho. You just don’t do that.” The guy invites us in to his store and he says, “anything you want to drink my friends, anything you want to drink, free, it’s on me.” So we thought man this is great, I never had an Arab do something free like that. You always have to barter. This guy said free. We’re like heroes of the town. All these people came and they’re like these Americans, you know we go out to the desert. They don’t tell you so then you start drinking this stuff.
Your brain is mostly made of is water. Okay. Some people may say air but mostly water. What happens is when you get dehydrated, your brain actually shrinks because it’s got a lot of water up there. That’s why you have a lot of trouble seeing. Because your brain actually is collapsing and also when it pulls in from the cavity of your head, you get the worse, I don’t have migraine headaches, I never have, but you get a headache that is so strong that it almost takes you off your feet. It hurts so bad and you can’t see. It’s just basically because your brain has caved in the cavity of your brain is still out there your brain’s freaking out.
Then you start chugging this stuff right? They don’t tell you that every time you chug this stuff your body goes down, you’re dehydrated and it can’t accept the water because you’re drinking too much. So everything that goes down, guess what? It comes back up. Now that is really, I would say the worst feeling, because you’re dying because you need something to drink. Everything you put down comes back up. When you’re retching your guts out and you wonder, “what’s going on here?” I just need something to drink but I can’t hold anything down. So meanwhile we got a free ride, we were the heroes of the town, it was terrible. But anyway, we get home and we end up doing warm milk on a spoon. A spoonful at a time, you have to rehydrate slowly. Some of you guys probably know more about this than I do. We didn’t know what we were doing, all we knew was none of us could get anything to stay down. So you had to take it in real, real slow so your body won’t up-chuck. So this is my experience with the desert.
J. Sun Standing Still at Gibeon [42:30-44:32]
Now you say, “Why, Hildebrandt, do you tell all these stupid stories?” Well, I want you to think about Joshua’s men. They travel from Jericho up to Gibeon, which is about another 10 miles across here. All night they march. You guys ever pull an all-nighter marching 30-40 miles uphill about 3300 feet difference over 20 miles and your marching all night. Question, are you ready to fight the next day? We’re talking hand to hand combat the next day. You haven’t gotten any Red Bull or Monster to drink. Question, are you going to be ready to fight? Joshua then prays for what? Joshua then prays as they’re fighting here, Joshua says, “Lord, we’ve got to beat these guys. Give us another 24 hour day period.” Have any of you pulled a two 24 hour periods like that? Now I want to ask you about the sun standing still. That’s where we’re going. They march all night and then Joshua asks for another 24 hours. Does that seem to make sense or does that raise more questions?
Are there other ways to look at that 24 hour day lengthening thing? I’m saying I’m not sure it fits the context. If I were Joshua I would be asking for a shorter day because we just marched 30 miles. By the way if you march at night in the desert what’s the problem? Do you go out in the desert at night like that? The answer is, No. They tell you, by the way you learn pretty soon, do you listen to the traditions? When they tell you, you don’t walk in the valley do you walk in the valley? Well, we ignored that and we just about got our heads knocked off. They told us you don’t go out there at night because what happens at night you can’t judge well and people have walked off cliffs. And next day they find them dead in these canyons. You don’t walk at night. By the way, do our troops fight at night purposely? Our troops fight at night because we have the advantage at night because of these night goggles. I know my son was in Afghanistan, both in Afghanistan and Iraq, they would go out on night patrol because we have the advantage at night because of night goggles. If you don’t have those night goggles are you in trouble? And so that’s what they’re saying.
K. Sun Standing Still Options [44:33-52:54]
So anyway with Joshua and this southern campaign then. The Gibeonites their slickness dress up in these old clothes and they bring old food with mold, their wine skins are all cracked and they say, “O, you know we took this bread fresh from the oven. Look now it’s all moldy. We’re from far away, so make a treaty with us. Joshua, make a treaty with us.” They make a treaty with them. Then they call out: “we need some help now this southern league Jerusalem, Hebron, Lachish, these other cities are attacking us.”
So Joshua marches his troops all night and in chapter 10 verse 11 he describes then the sun standing still. As they fled before Israel, Israel marches all night gets up there and attacks helping to protect Gibeon. As they fled before Israel on the road down from Beth Horon to Azekah, the LORD hurled large hailstones down on them from the sky, and more of them died from the hailstones than were killed by the swords of the Israelites. Does that make sense? “More of them were killed by the hailstones then by the Israelite swords. That day the LORD gave the Amorites over to Israel, Joshua said to the LORD in the presence of Israel:” and this is what he says, “Oh, Sun, stand still over Gibeon.” So the sun stood still over one horizon “and moon, over the Valley of Aijalon,” which is the other horizon. So sun stand still over there, moon stand still over there. “So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, till the nation avenged itself on its enemies, as it is written in the Book of Jashar.”
Have of any of you read the book of Jashar? It’s assigned for next week. Where’s the book of Jashar? Is it part of the Bible? By the way does Joshua cite the book of Jashar? This story, if you want an elaboration on this story see the book of Jashar. Where is the book of Jashar? Nobody knows. The book of Jashar has been lost. By the way does the Bible site many books that have been lost, from the past? Was the Bible the only book running around the ancient world? No, here he mentions the Book of Jashar which is long gone. Nobody’s seen it in the last three thousand years. But Joshua apparently recorded this story from it.
“The sun stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed from going down a full day. There has never been a day like it before or since, a day when the Lord listened to a man.” This is a very interesting statement here. So the sun standing still, what does this mean? Some people say this is Joshua’s missing day. This is a 24 hour period when the sun stood still. By the way, I ask you, does the sun stand still or does the earth spin? The sun goes up because of the spinning of the earth. So, actually you’ve got to stop the earth from spinning. Question: does that cause problems? The oceans would go whosh. So the earth’s spinning. Could you do light bending? Could he do bending the light and make the earth look like the sun’s standing still.
So I don’t know how God did it but still some people say, “Hey, they put this into a computer and the computer has found that there are 24 missing hours. My problem with computers is, do you know the GIGO principle for computers? Garbage In, Garbage Out. Do computers tell you out what you put in? And so all I’m saying is be careful about using computers to prove the Bible. So on the sun’s standing still be cautious on the computer solution.
Does Joshua want 24 more hours for his troops to fight? What I’m going to tell you is that I think his troops are dead tired. He’s asking for relief and some people suggest that what he’s really asking is for the word for is that “stand still” can also be translated as “silenced.” So what he’s asking is the sun to be silenced. His troops are getting beat on by the sun, the sun is intense over there, and the sun is beating down and he says, “Lord, silence the sun.” By the way, do the clouds come in with the hailstones, and do the clouds silence the sun? So some people think what this is calling for is silencing of the sun. The hailstones when the clouds come in silence the heat of the sun. The hailstones get the Canaanites out and things cool down. This is what Joshua asked for.
Now, by the way, does the text really say here in the NIV that the sun stands still. So this doesn’t fit. I want to give this thing a 20% possibility or less. Or maybe about a 15% possibility.
There’s a guy named John Walton. He teaches at another school, I don’t like to mention the name, it’s a place called, I think it’s called, it’s in Chicago. It’s a place called Wheaton. Anyway, John Walton teaches there. Walton is a crazy man, that’s why I like him so much and he comes up with the most interesting, fascinating, well-researched ideas that are creative. He’s an incredible scholar and I like him because of he’s creative and all sort of other things. But anyway, John Walton was examining old Babylonian omen texts. This is no joke--Babylonian omen texts. Now what are Babylonian omen texts? Omens are when you put a curse on somebody or something like that. The omens are bad omens. Did you guys ever hear of bad omens and good omens? Actually, you guys are around Salem so you probably know about this--bad omens and good omens. What he’s suggesting is that what’s going on with Joshua is that God put the sun over here on one horizon, the moon on the other so that the Canaanites would see that and realize this is a bad omen. This is a very bad day to fight. The Canaanites would freak out because of the sun and moon position and they would read that as that the gods had spoken against them and that they are fried because the gods are saying that it’s a bad omen against them. His insight is based on these omen texts. By the way, so what Joshua is saying is put the sun here and the moon there is: “give them a bad omen so that they will run and our guys will get relief.” In other words, our guys won’t have to go out and fight. Then God takes them out with the hailstones. Does this make sense? This could possibly be an omen, he says the sun over Gibeon, the moon over Aijalon and he sets this up as a bad omen. I really like this suggestion, its sounds half crazy and it probably is but so am I. So I just I want to give this a shot. I’m not saying that’s the way it is, I’m saying that I’m probably going to go with the sun stood still. But I like this because it explains so many things about his troops being tired and asking for relief. So can we give this a 5-10%? Anyway, I think this is an interesting interpretation. I think it’s possible it’s based on these ancient omen texts and he may be onto something.
Hannah? No, no, no. I’m saying this first one, this is a standard one, most people hold. This is 80%. And I want to do this one about 15%. I want to do this one about 10%. What did I just do, 80, 20, 15…it doesn’t add up, it adds up to more than 100. I’m just messing with you. Anyway, but it’s just, what I’m trying to say is that this one’s probably the standard, and this one’s probably unlikely, but I just think it’s fascinating because it explains things. To be honest it explains stuff that I have never been able to explain before and that’s why I like his suggestion.
L. Power of Prayer [52:55-54:08]
Check this out. Chapter 10:14, “the sun stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed going down a full day. There’s has never been a day like it,” What is so unique about this day? “There has never been a day like this before or since.” What is so unique about this day? “A day when the Lord listened to a man.” Did Joshua pray and God have the heavens set up according to Joshua’s prayer? This is incredible and what I’m trying to say is, what does this verse tell us? Does prayer matter? Does prayer change things? Does prayer make a difference? It says this day has been like no other day. God listened to the voice of a man and set the heavens according to Joshua’s request. We’re coming up to the day of prayer, does prayer matter? Yes! You can address almighty God, God listens. He listened to the voice of a man. That is incredible. Like I said, I’ve got four kids. My kids don’t listen to me. God listens to me, and that’s incredible. So it’s something to think about. This is a big passage.
M. Book of Jashar [54:09-54:47]
Now what about the book of Jashar? It’s found in Joshua 10:13, the book of Jashar. I’m just trying to say there were other books in the ancient world that were running around, other historical records. Joshua cites the book of Jashar apparently on the record of the sun standing still. He says, “go over and see the foot note here, on this book of Jashar.” The book has been lost, it’s not an inspired book, but does it tell the truth? Apparently, Joshua said that this book was telling the truth about how the battle went down. But, are all books that tell the truth inspired by God? Not necessarily. Joshua just cites this book and I think it’s interesting.
N. Northern Campaign: Jabin King of Hazor [54:48-57:47]
Now, the northern campaign, we saw the southern campaign, now there’s going to be a northern campaign. They defeated the five southern kings and now they’re going to go up north and they’re going to run into this guy, Jabin King of Hazor. They are going to defeat Jabin. Now you’re going to see a couple Jabins. There’s like Jabin 1, Jabin 2, Jabin 3, and Jabin 4. There’s probably 20 Jabins in a row up at Hazor and in the book of Judges you’re going to see another Jabin King of Hazor. Here’s a map and I’m just going to put a circle around Hazor. By the way what’s this? Sea of Galilee. Can anybody see, does that look like a little harp? Does it look like a harp a little bit? They actually call it Lake Kinneret. Kinneret in Hebrew means “harp.” So they actually call it Lake Kinneret--harp. It later became known as the Sea of Galilee or the Sea of Tiberias. Tiberias is that a Roman name? Bad. Okay who hangs out at the Sea of Galilee? If you’re in the Bible and you don’t know what the answer is, what name do you give? Jesus. So remember, Jesus hangs out fishing in the Sea of Galilee, storms in the Sea of Galilee, feeding people by the Sea of Galilee. The Sermon on the Mount is beside the Sea of Galilee, right here probably. So Jesus is at the Sea of Galilee. Now Hazor is a little I don’t know, 5 or 6 miles up here. Hazor is the biggest archeological site in all of Israel. It’s about 250 acres I think. Is that a lot of land, 250 acres? That’s big. I mean by American standards it’s not big you say Americans. We’ve got these thousand acre fruit farms now and things like that but 250 acres for a city like that, in ancient world is huge. How big was Jericho? I said from here to Lane [ca. 400 yards]. Jericho you march around 7 times. Hazor, 250 acres. It is much much bigger than Jericho (ca. 11 acres). So they’re going to have iron chariots up here. The guy at Hazor, Jabin, gets his chariot and comes up here and where are they going to fight? They’re going to fight right here. There’s a huge wide open valley where the chariots will run well. That valley is called the valley of Har Megiddo. The valley of har, har means “hill of Megiddo.” The valley of Har Megiddo you say that real fast in English and you get the valley of Armageddon, har megiddo, the valley of Armageddon. This where Armageddon is right here. Now we’ll look at this more closely later. This is the valley of Armageddon. Megiddo’s right here.
So this is where they come down to do the battle. Joshua goes up, does he win? Joshua always wins, well not always. But he defeats them. They go up to Hazor, they burn the city down, Joshua takes Hazor down. Hazor’s the big city in the north.
O. 2 Problems: Ai Defeat [57:48-59:17]
So they did the south, they did the north, and now what? You got two problems. Joshua’s going to face two problems. These are significant problems. He’s going to go to Ai. Ai is the little town, Joshua’s going to be down here near the Gilgal-Jericho area, down in the bottom of the canyon here. Ai is going to be located right about there. He’s going to go up, fight Ai, but what happens? He sends his spies up there and the spies say, “The city of Ai, they only have 200-300 men up there, this is no big deal. Don’t take the whole army of Israel up there Joshua, just send a couple thousand men up there and we’ll blow Ai out. It’s no problem there’s only 200-300 men up there. Give us 2,000 men and we’ll take it easy.” Did you see the arrogance there? Who’s winning the battle? We’re winning the battle, we’re good enough, we’ve got this under control.
They send their 2000-3000 men up to Ai and guess what happens? They suffer their first loss. Have any of you guys played sports? You go into your season and you have your first loss? Is the first lost a killer? It just takes the wind right out of the team. You know you’re psyched up, you’re going to go out there and blow them out and then you do your first loss, it’s devastating. So anyway, they go up, they get their first loss from Ai, a small town that defeats them. Ai is so small, when you go to Ai you can about throw a stone over the top of it, it’s that small. I mean, I’m talking the quad, I’m talking less than the quad. It’s a small, small, very small city, Ai although we’re not sure exactly where it is. There’s a big debate on its exact location.
P. Achan’s sin [59:18-66:14]
What was the problem? Achan sinned. Achan sinned and there was sin in the camp. Do you remember Achan? He went into Jericho and he stole some gold and he stole a Babylonian garment, a Babylonian robe. A Babylonian robe and gold, and he did what? He took it into his tent and what did he do? He buried it under his tent and hid it. What was to happen to all the stuff from Jericho? All the stuff from Jericho was herem, it was to be devoted to the Lord. All of it was to be burned up to the Lord. The wealth of Jericho, the gold and silver, was to be taken into the treasuries of the Lord. Jericho was Israel’s first what? It was their first victory in the land and God said, “from your first victory, I get all the stuff.” The first victory was Jericho, that’s why Jericho was so special. It was the first victory in the promise land and God says Jericho is mine, the whole thing comes to me. Achan stole some of the goods and so basically there’s sin in the camp. God knows there’s sin there. They go up to fight against Ai. God says I’m not with you anymore, you’re on your own. And so you lose. Now notice, they cast lots to find out who did it. They come back and they say, “God, what’s going on here?” Joshua’s comment is very interesting.
Let me just work with this thing with Achan. They cast lots and the lot falls on Achan. Achan says, “Okay, I stole the robe, I stole the gold, and I sinned.” They kill Achan but they also kill Achan’s family. Again as Americans we do everything as individuals. We are individuals and everything is done individually. Some people try to mitigate that, why the family was killed by saying the family knew that he had buried these stolen objects in the ground. So the family was partially responsible because they didn’t tell anybody. These other guys went up and got killed for this and so the family was partially culpable because they knew what their father had done. That’s part of it.
Another way of looking at this is through the lens of corporate personality. In American culture is everybody is individualized. I do, everything is I and self-focused. In other cultures, it’s a very “we” culture. You look at the units, in other cultures are not individuals, units in other cultures are family groups, or clans or tribes. So this is called: corporate personality. There’s a kind of a corporate-ness to it. It’s very foreign to our thinking as Americans but it’s very important if you’re going to understand other cultures who see themselves as a group. So that’s possibly what’s going on here. Just talking about Achan getting stoned and the family it helps seeing the family as a unit. Now that’s not saying, notice what I’m saying is there’s a relationship between individuality and corporateness. What I want to do is kind of back off the individuality and say that there’s corporateness involved in this. Now that doesn’t mean every time and in every situation it’s always corporate. What I’m saying is it’s not always one way or the other but as Americans do we even have the notion of corporateness. That’s what I’m trying to work with. Although as Americans do we have the notion of corporate-ness? Did the Americans fight the Germans in World War 2? And so, we label this as a group kind of thing. So this is individual versus corporateness. That’s not saying it’s always one way or the other. But you have to work between the two of them.
I think one of the other problems when they headed Ai was this notion of habituation. They assumed that God was on their side and that God was predictable. God is always on our side. We’re the Jewish people. We’re the chosen people. God is always on our side, he’s always against the Canaanites. Therefore God becomes predictable. This became a real problem. Rather than realizing each situation is an individual choice and so committing each individual choice to God rather they said, “Oh, yeah, of course.” This is the assumption that God is with us. Have you ever been in churches that have this concept that God is with us in this church. They always assume that God is with them as opposed to others. I think you’ve got to be really careful about this assumption that God is with us. Using that in this case they went up to fight against Ai and God was not with them. Why was he not with them? Because they had sin in the camp. They had sin in the camp and so God says, “No.”
What’s interesting the people sin and then Joshua blames God. Joshua says, “O, God, why did we ever come across the Jordan River? I wish we hadn’t come across the Jordan River.” Who said something like that by the way? I wish we didn’t come across the Jordan River that we stayed on the other side. Isn’t that exactly what the Israelites said when they came out of Egypt? We want to go back to Egypt where there were leeks, melons, food, and water. Joshua verbalizes the same thing and the problem is, does the sin of one person affect the whole community?
Have you ever seen that happen? Let me use an illustration of a pastor. I had a pastor friend who actually was one of my students. I taught the book of Psalms to him and he was my pastor then years later. He was a really great guy. He had five kids. He got into a compromising situation and basically committed immorality with someone in the church. Is that a problem? So now he is caught with this other women, he’s got five children and a wife. Did that affect the whole church? So what I’m saying is does sin affect corporately? Here Achan did the sin and it affected the corporate group. The sin of one person affects others. So this is just the Achan sin, you’ve got to be aware of that. How should I say, we’re not just individual marbles going through life. We’re connected to one another and the sin of one person affects and impacts the group. Do the sins of your parents affect you? Did you’re sins affect your parents? So there is this relationship back and forth between the individual and the community and we still get that even today.
Q. Gibeonite Deception [66:15-68:25]
Now, there is the Gibeonite deception. Here’s the second situation that was a problem. Ai was one of the big problems. Second one was the problem of the situation with Gibeon. Gibeon had this ruse that they came from very far away. They wore old clothes, they wore sandals that were worn out, all their food was moldy. They came to Israel and they said we want to make a treaty with you guys. Israel thought that they were from very far away, when they were actually from what? They were dead center in the middle of Israel.
So this is what I get out of this. Be careful about no-brainers. In other words, you don’t have to ask God because the answer is so obvious that you don’t have to ask. Then chapter 9 verse 14 here’s what it says, it’s an interesting comment. “the men of Israel sampled their provisions but did not inquire of the Lord.” They sampled their provisions and saw that they were all moldy and old but they did not inquire of the Lord. When they did not inquire of the Lord, they made a big mistake, they made a treaty with the Gibeonites. They didn’t ask God about that. Something that seemed so obvious turned out to be a really big problem for them. So what I’m saying is you need to trust God in the uniqueness of each moment, and in each decision. Have any of you made decisions that actually were going to be a total disaster and they turned out to be one of the best things that has happened to you? Have you ever made a decision where you thought it was obvious what to do and when you got in the situation it turned out to be really terrible? What I’m saying is we don’t know the future. We don’t know when something that looks so good can turn out to be the most ugly thing in the world. Something that looks terrible can turn out to be good. We depend upon God because we don’t know the future. Each decision needs to be put that way.
The Gibeonites, made a treaty with Israel. Israel made them woodcutters and water carriers. So they said, okay, we made a mistake here but you guys have got to serve us now. So the Gibeonites were the adopted into Israel as woodcutters and water bearers. They became kind of servants to Israel, cutting their wood and carrying their water.
R. Division of the Land [68:26-73:07]
Now, we’ve got about twelve minutes left and we’ve got to do this land division. I’ll just hit this quickly. And there’s four tribes I want you to know. There are six cities you want to know. Now, by the way, where do you find these maps? Theses maps are all on the PowerPoints. Download them. So these are basically four tribes and six cities and then I just want to go through them. First of all, do you see the Dead Sea, the Salt Sea? Draw a line right from the top of the Dead Sea and what city do you hit right here, right across from the top of it? Jerusalem. Okay that’s how you can picture Jerusalem. North of Jerusalem is what tribe? Benjamin. Why is Benjamin important? Who is going to come from Benjamin? King Saul. The first king of Israel is from Benjamin. So Jerusalem is right on the border just west of the top of the Dead Sea. Benjamin’s to the north.
This tribe is Benjamin what tribe is to the south? Judah. Why is Judah important? Who’s from Judah? David. So David’s from down here, Saul’s from up here Benjamin. So what’s the relationship of Judah and Benjamin? Judah is in the south, Benjamin sits right on top of it. Jerusalem is on the border between the two, north and south.
Let me just jump over to another map here. There’s Jericho, as far as cities go you see Jericho’s north of the Dead Sea just a little bit. Another city is Gibeon. Do you see Gibeon just north of Jerusalem a little bit to the west? So you’ve got Jericho and Gibeon. Gibeon’s a city of the Gibeonites. And then lastly, Jerusalem and Jerusalem’s over here. I just want you getting used to these major cities in Israel? Jerusalem, Jericho, Gibeon, these are major cities. You also know these two tribal areas are Judah and Benjamin. Here’s the tribe of Judah. Do you see the Dead Sea here and where is Judah? Judah is right next to the Dead Sea. So it lines up with the Dead Sea on the east. This is the tribe of Judah to the west of the Dead Sea.
Up in the North here’s where Jerusalem is just right across from the head of the Dead Sea just about 20 miles or so. What’s south of Jerusalem? The city of Bethlehem. Bet-Lehem, Bet means “house of,” lehem means “bread,” House of bread, Bethlehem. Who’s from Bethlehem? Don’t give me Jesus this time. Who’s from Bethlehem? David. David’s home town is in Bethlehem. Jesus will be born in Bethlehem according to Micah 5:2. David’s from Bethlehem. David will capture Jerusalem, by the way. Then Hebron is down here. She’s queen of the south. This is like Atlanta. Hebron is like Atlanta, the queen of the south. Hebron was be the place where Abraham buried Sarah. Remember all that with Abraham who is in Hebron.
Then there is only one more city and then I think we got it circled and that’s Beersheba (sounds like Beer-sheva). Beersheba is down here. It says beer. Has anyone ever heard it said as Beer-sheba? Beersheba, that’s when I was younger, that’s how it was pronounced. Beersheba. Beer means “well of,” sheva means “seven.” So it means seven wells. So Beersheba is the southern boundary of Israel. So this city down here is the southernmost point in Israel. Beersheba’s the south in the Negev.
By the way, do you see that these line up on a route? This is a major route running through the north and south. There is a major ridge route there. And so there’s Jerusalem, Bethlehem, down to Hebron, and down here there’s a road that runs like Route 1A in Wenham.
So, now, north of Benjamin is the tribe of Ephraim. Ephraim is like Judah in the south. Ephraim is in the north. It’s the major tribe. This is the schematic that you probably need to learn okay? Judah’s next to the Dead Sea, Benjamin is on top of Judah, Ephraim is on top of Benjamin. Does that make sense?
Now, where is the tribe of Dan. Dan is out here, but who’s out here along the coast? Philistines. What do Philistines do to Jews? Kill them. So Dan moved to the north, the northern most point. The tribe of Dan which was here collapses. The tribe collapses into a single city. That becomes the northern most city. The tribe of Dan moves north because they don’t want to get beat on by the Philistines.
S. War [73:08-76:12]
Now, we’re going to buzz through this. This next discussion is going to have to do with war. This has got to go quickly. I know there’s a lot of stuff that could be discussed for days with this but… We talked about the Holy War or herem. Herem meaning “devoted to the Lord,” destroyed, burned up to the Lord, dedicated to the Lord. This is what happens. The herem, the destruction, the men and women, children and animals is what happened in Jericho. Israelites were told to give them a chance of peace. They were to come to the city and say, you guys can submit to us, and we won’t destroy you. You have peace. Basically, the question is for a lot of people, and this is really a hard thing, how can God destroy these cities when men, women, and children, even the animals get killed. I’m not sure that I’ve got the answers for all of this but one of the principles is that God is judging the land of Canaan. For 400 years God says he let the iniquity of the Amorites kept rising up and God spared them for 400 years. After that 400 years then God sends Israel in to destroy them. So, Israel becomes an instrument of God to destroy this culture because this culture was so wicked. God says basically it’s a judgment. In other words, Israel is going in there destroying this culture as a judgment on the Amorites because of their sin. So that’s number one. This isn’t just Israel fighting a war with somebody. No, this is Israel executing God’s judgment on them.
The second point that comes up here is the consequences of leaving them in the land. If Israel left the Canaanites in the land, the Canaanites would do what to the Israelites? They would get them to worship their pagan gods. That’s actually what happened. Israel didn’t destroy them all in the land and some of those Canaanite people then taught Israel their idolatry for which Israel would be judged later on. So God said, “Wipe them out because I don’t want them contaminating you guys and teaching you idolatry.” Israel did not do that so this is a problem. So this is the second reason for total extermination, so that none of them would teach Israel about their gods.
By the way, ultimately it comes down to this. Who has the prerogative of life and death? I walk out and fall dead on the front of the Library or something like that. God has the right for life and death and you just have got to admit it at a certain point. You have just got to kind of back off. We humans don’t have that call.
This herem was rarely practiced. It was practiced at Jericho, Ai, and Hazor. Maybe one or two other places but it was rarely practiced in Israel. So you’ve got to be careful. Now, some people think the herem was practiced, Israel herem-ed everything and destroyed everything. No, actually it was only three places really and so you got to be careful about magnifying it too much.
T. 3 Views of war: Non-resistance [76:13-81:07]
Now, I want to hit next, war what is it good for? I want to talk about when would you ever think about is war as legitimate? Is war ever legitimate? What would you be willing to die for? Then another question, what would you be willing to kill for? Would you actually kill somebody? On what basis would you kill somebody and how do you feel about war? Can academics decide these questions? Usually in academic settings are they people that approve of war or disapprove? They usually push peace? Academics, are they usually capitalists or socialists? The university I went to was mostly socialists. So what I’m saying is that I think these things are very complicated.
Let me just hit these quickly. Jesus said what? What is the non-resistance position? The non-resistance position says basically this: you go into the army as a medic or chaplain. I won’t pick up a gun to hurt somebody but I will go in as a medic or chaplain to heal. So they join the military as a medic or chaplain. Based on this statement Jesus said turn the other cheek. If someone slaps you on one cheek turn the other. Peter picked up the sword and what happened? He lopped off that guy’s ear. What did Jesus say? Did Jesus rebuke Peter for taking off that guy’s ear? By the way what did Jesus do to that guy’s ear? He put it back on. Jesus said to do what? Hate your enemies or love your enemies? Very interesting statement Sarah. Love your neighbor. If you love your neighbor as yourself are you going to be killing your neighbor? So how do you work with this? There are verses that support this kind of approach using the separation of the church and state. Jesus said, “if my kingdom were of this world, my servants would fight.” What is the implication of this statement? My kingdom, is it of this world? No, it’s not. So my servants won’t fight. And many of the early Christians died not defending themselves against the Roman Empire. So Jesus said these types of things. Christ dies and this is an example for others. He doesn’t defend himself. He dies without defending himself.
This is the non-resistance position now, what I want to do is show you the other side, and then we’ll call it a day. Dualism. Can we say we’re of God’s kingdom and we’re not of the Kingdom of this world? Do most of us live in this world? Do we eat? Do we do other things in this world? So do we have dual citizenship? Do I have responsibilities to America? Do I have responsibilities to America? As well as being a Christian am I also an American? What are my responsibilities as an American?
Here’s another passage Jesus said, “I did not come to bring peace, I came to bring the sword.” Jesus said in Luke chapter 22, “I did not come to bring peace, but the sword.” What did Jesus mean there? Did Jesus mean we should pick up the sword and go after it? No, this passage has been taken out of context. Jesus said, “I did not come to bring peace, but the sword.” In other words, is the sword going to be used on you disciples? It was not that the disciples were to use the sword, but the sword would be used on them. Did most of the disciples die a violent death? So Jesus, when he says that. Then what if you saw somebody being raped? Would you actually physically hurt the person that was raping the person? Now, you’re doing violence to that person but the person is doing violence to them. Do you just stand by and say, “Sir, I’m a conscientious objector and I don’t want to hurt you. I will tell the police on you so you better do this fast.” Or would you go pounce on the guy and knock his lights out? So what I’m saying is, when one country’s doing something to another, what would happen if America hadn’t gotten involved against Hitler? Is it possible that Hitler would be ruling all of Europe by now? So what type of war does non-resistance have to face, and what are some of these questions?
We didn’t talk about pacifists, and we didn’t talk about just war. We better get out of here. Okay. All right let’s go. See you on Thursday.
This is Dr. Ted Hildebrandt in his Old Testament, History, Literature, and Theology course. Lecture number 19 on the book of Joshua: the walls of Jericho, the problem at Ai, and the treaty made with the Gibeonites as well as the concept of war and herem in the book of Joshua.
Transcribed by Hannah Jang
Rough edited by Ted Hildebrandt 2