(Here are pages 229 – 241. The PDF which includes Joshua to Esther will not be created till this section or digit is completed, which should be during this month of April. mjm.)
JOSHUA – ESTHER: Historical Books of the Early Prophets:
JOSHUA: 24 Chapters:
Moses death initiates the period of the Judges commencing with Joshua and terminates with Samuel, who in turn initiates the Monarchy or the period of the Kings. We will follow God as He moves both visibly and hidden during some 400 years of moving in His People to test and save them. As with the Creation, then with Adam, and with Noah and his three Sons, then with the three Patriarchs with the House of Jacob-Israel, so with Moses and Israel God continues to work out His eternal purpose and the counsels of His own heart. The Covenant by Abraham and Moses, in the tokens of Circumcision with Promises, and the Ten Commandments or the Law with Conditions (as the tokens of Two Trees in the Garden, and the Rainbow after the Flood) are now to be tested and judged to redeem and establish a new people. The Lord must needs extend and enlarge the lessons and pictures of His glorious redemptive work of His People. We have moved from the books of the Bible or the Old Testament and First Covenant to a new Division of the Book which we call the Historical Books, but the Jews call them the Prophetical Books, composed of the Early and the Later Books, and the Major and Minor Prophets. No doubt it is due to the Writers of these Books being Prophets, Joshua and Samuel, that this designation has come about. We repeat again that God is concerned with the Land or the Place, and with the People or the Man, and with the Book or the Word; and these three things and thematic doctrines must continue to unfold. Our Reflections will follow the Bible Divisions as they have come down to us in English or the Latin and the Greek, but admitting the Hebrew order has its own peculiar and special place, both for Israel and Christians. As with the Five Books of Moses we will survey in a synoptical way these Books as we find them in their order. Our object and goal are to reach the Psalms of David in the Poetical Books, as the next step of our manual-symbol of the Hands of God. The Legal Books of Genesis and Deuteronomy will reach the high point or the highest place in the Psalms, which then will advance to the Prophetical Books proper, with Isaiah and Daniel concluding the Old Testament, taking with them all the other Books. The Historical Books tell us a Story, ours and His, both are witnesses to each other, or as we say, the lesser reflects the greater, or the image mirrows the real. As we read the Divine and Inspired History we see the greater and truer Story of the Lord God in His creation and world and are nurtured by Him as the Shaddai of the Patriarchs, till we mature as a creation of mankind to value Him in a new and better relations. In one sense He moves from a Garden to a Tent and then to a House, but it is one and the same: God dwells with man. We have said as a principle that there are countless types and shadows in hidden mysteries in the words of Scripture, and the Text embodies the soul as the soul the spirit.
JOSHUA opens with the death of Moses the Lord’s Servant, and the Lord speaks to Joshua ben-Nun, Moses’ Minister to lead Israel across the Jordan River into Canaan, their new Home. The Land of Promise and Oath, the sworn word of God, must be taken by their feet and swords in conquest of war. The Land or Country is some 100 miles wide and 200 miles long from the South to the North and from the East to the West or from Southern Deserts to Northern Mountains of Lebanon and from the Eastern Euphrates River (bordering the Land of the Hittites) to the Western Great Mediterranean Sea. The Jordan divides the Land, with the two smaller seas, Galilee and Dead Sea, irrigating the land. The War and the Conquest is of the Lord Who goes with Joshua and Israel to fulfill His Word of settling them in Canaan. As Moses represented the People to God as the collective man, the greater man, the corporate man or company, so here and now Joshua stands as the Man and the People. The conquest and the success of possessing the inheritance must be faithful obedience to His Word commanded in the Law of Moses; in which Joshua must daily read and speak, meditate and reflect, to observe all things written. It is to the faithful and fearless obedience to words of God, that the Lord God promises to be with Joshua in this mission. The Elders and Officers of the People are delegated to prepare the People in three days for the invasion. The 2 ½ tribes are admonished to leave their families to stay in their new country in Trans-Jordan, but the fighters must march with the other 9 ½ tribes to war, till Canaan is conquered, then they may return home. They agree to obey with oath, and they warn against refusal to obey Joshua means death. They exhort him to be strong and brave that Lord may be with him as He was with Moses. Joshua, at Shittim west of the Jordan, here commissioned two spies to gain intelligence of the Land and of Jericho. They came and hid in the house of Rahab the harlot or prostitute, and she lied to the King of Jericho as to the two spies having left the city in the dark. She then concealed them on the rooftop under straws till safe; she told the spies that she believed the Lord has handed the city over to Israel; and that all Jericho were in fear and despair; having heard that the Lord dried up the Red Sea for Israel in the Exodus from Egypt; and that Israel utterly destroyed the two Kings of the Amorites, Sihon and Og; for the Lord the God of Israel is the true and only God. She made them pledge by Him to show her and her family kindness in return and to give a token or sign for salvation from death. They agreed mutually by oath; and she let them down from her house on the rooftop by a cord down the wall; and they instructed her to tie this scarlet thread or rope to the window, and to gather all her family inside the house, or the oath will be voided; and if she keep her promise to not disclose their business; and she agreed; and spies safely escaped, hiding in the mountains for three days. They returned to Joshua and reported all the matter. Joshua led Israel to the Jordan from Shittim to cross over, the Officers and Captains after three days they ordered the People to set out marching following the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant, at distance 2,000 cubits or 3,000 feet or 3/5th a mile. They must not come too close to the Ark leading them in a new way. The People must sanctify themselves, for the next day the Lord will work wonders. The Priests are to carry the Ark of Covenant and cross ahead of the People; and so did they. The Lord magnified Joshua to Israel that He will be with him as with Moses. The Priests must stand carrying the Ark of the Covenant at the brink in the Jordan; and Joshua must tell Israel the words of the Lord God; that they may know that He is among them, and He will drive out the 7 Nations in Canaan. The Ark of the Covenant of the Lord of all the earth passes over before them into the Jordan; and 12 men, one man for each tribe, after the Priests with the Ark step into the Jordan’s waters, and the running waters stop as one heap (although Jordan overflows all it banks during harvest season), and the People leave their tents and cross the Jordan on dry ground, and the dammed waters from distant city Adam near Zarethan, and the waters flowing toward the Sea of the Arabah, the Salt Sea, were cut off , that the People pass over across from Jericho on dry ground, and the Priests with the Ark standing on dry ground till all the Nation crossed over; the 12 men took 12 Stones near the Priest’s feet in Jordan, and carried them out on their shoulder to the lodging-place of the Camp. This was a sign and a witness for a perpetual memorial to future generations in Israel, that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant. Israel, along with the 2 ½ tribes, some 40,000, armed men of war, for the Lord’s battle, came to the plains of Jericho. The Lord magnified Joshua to Israel, that they might fear Joshua as they did Moses, all his life. The Jordan waters again flowed as before and overflowed its banks. This was on the 10th day of the 1st month (Abib), and encamped at Gilgal east of Jericho west of the Jordan. Joshua set up the 12 Stones of the Jordan at Gilgal; and instructed Israel to tell their children that Israel crossed the Jordan on dry ground, when the Lord God dried up the waters for them, as He did to the Red Sea (Yam Suf); that the peoples of the earth may know the Lord’s mighty Hand; and Israel to fear the Lord God for ever.
When the Kings of the Amorites west in Trans-Jordan, and the Kings of the Canaanites by the Sea, heard the news of all this their heart melted, and their spirit vanished. The Lord told Joshua to make sharp flint knives and circumcise Israel a 2nd time; at the Hill of Foreskins (Gibhath-ha-Araloth) he did so; because the generation of the adult male fighters of the Exodus died circumcised, as sworn, within the 40 years of wandering, for disobedience; but the new generation of the Desert were uncircumcised. They stayed in camp till they healed; thus, the Lord rolled-away the reproach of Egypt: and they named the place Gilgal to this day. On the 14th of Abib they kept the Passover in the plains of Jericho; the next day they ate of the produce of the land, with unleavened cakes and parched grain; the next day the manna ceased in Canaan. While Joshua was near Jericho a man appeared with drawn sword in hand opposite him, and he asked him if he was a friend or foe; he replied, neither, but he came as Prince of the Lord’s armies; Joshua fell prostrate and worshipped, asking what the Lord says to His servant. The Prince of the Lord’s host demanded the removal of his shoe or sandal for the ground is holy. Jericho was secure against Israel. The Lord told Joshua that He has handed over Jericho and its King and warriors; and the fighters must circle the city once a day for 6 days. The 7 Priests with 7 Trumpets of Ram’s Horns before the Ark; and on the 7th day to circle the city 7 times, then the Priests must blow the Trumpets; at the sound of the trumpets all the People must shout: and the wall of the city will collapse, and the People will go straight in. Joshua had 7 Priests with 7 Trumpets carry the Ark of Covenant following the People and the armed men ahead of the Lord’s Ark; they did as they were instructed for 6 days, and on the 7th day after the 7th time the wall of Jericho collapsed. The city of Jericho must be devoted to destruction, banned and condemned, entirely to the Lord; only Rahab and her family to be spared for helping the spies or messengers. Nothing of the devoted or banned things must be taken or Israel will be accursed and troubled. The silver, gold, and vessels of brass and iron are holy to the Lord and must be put into His Treasury. They destroyed Jericho and killing everything; but spared Rahab and her family (who resides in Israel to Samuel’s time); and burnt the city and put the dedicated metals in the Treasury. Joshua at that time charged Israel with an oath and curse: may the man be cursed who rebuilds Jericho, to lose his first-born in its foundations and to lose his youngest son in setting up its gates. The Lord was with Joshua, and his fame spread in all the Land.
Israel trespassed in the devoted thing by Achan ben-Carmi ben-Zabdi ben-Zerah of Judah taking of it and angered the Lord against them. Joshua sent spies to Ai near Beth-aven east of Bethel; the spies return and recommend only a few thousand (3,000) men to attack Ai; but in the battle 36 Israelites died, and Israel fled in terror from Ai, from the city-gate to Shebarim’s descent. Joshua and the Elders mourn and complain to the Lord, that He betrayed them to the Amorites, and regretting crossing the Jordan. The Lord tells him to get up, for Israel has sinned in the contraband, and transgressed His Covenant; Israel will fall before their foes as accursed without His help till the devoted thing is destroyed. Joshua calls Israel to surrender the devoted thing for destruction: Israel comes by tribe, and Judah is taken; by family, and the Zerahites taken; by man, and Zabdi taken; by his household and Achan is taken. Achan confesses his sin of coveting and stealing spoils: a Babylonian mantle of Shinar, 200 silver shekels, a gold wedge weighing 50 shekels; and hiding them in his tent. Joshua retrieves the contraband; then takes Achan (the trouble-maker) and the stuff and his possessions to the Valley of Achor, and troubles him by stoning and burning him to death, along with all his belongings. A heap of stones was piled up, and the place called Achor’s Valley. Then the Lord’s wrath was appeased and deflected. Now the Lord orders Joshua to attack and destroy Ai as they did to Jericho, for He has given them to Israel to conquer. Joshua ambush Ai by a clever maneuver (between Beth-el and Ai on the west) and the men of Ai is drawn away from the city, the city is burnt in accord with the Lord’s word. Early next morning Joshua and the Elders mustered the people, and they went to Ai on the north side, a valley between. 5,000 fighters ambush Ai on the north, the others were hiding in ambush on the west. Joshua enters the Valley, the King of Ai rose early to pursue Israel as before; Joshua retreats to entice them out into the Arabah desert, leaving Ai and Beth-el defenseless. The Lord tells Joshua to extend his javelin towards the city, and then those hidden rushed into the city and captured it, torching it. The men of Ai turned around to see Ai on fire, and they were immobilized; Israel turned from their retreat to pursue the men of Ai, and those of Israel in the city returned to pursue the men of Ai, now trapped between two divisions of Israel. Israel destroyed all of them, in the field, the desert, and the city, total 12,000 men and women. Joshua withdrew his extended javelin after Ai was destroyed. Israel took for themselves only the cattle as spoil. The King of Ai they hanged on a tree till sunset, then threw his body outside the gate, and piled a heap of stones on it. Joshua erected an Altar of unhewn stones to the Lord at Mount Ebal as Moses commanded in the Book of the Law (Deuteronomy); and offered sacrifices to Him. He wrote on the Stones a copy of the Law of Moses (Deuteronomy) in the sight of Israel. Israel and the leaders and rulers and all non-Israelis in two companies stood on opposite sides of the Ark of Covenant before the Levitical Priests; 1/2 at Mount Gerizim and 1/2 at Mount Ebal as Moses commanded. He read all the words of the Law, the blessings and curses, all the words to every Israeli and non-Israeli.
The Kings of the 6 nations in Canaan from all directions united to fight Joshua and Israel. Gibeonites heard of conquest of Jericho and Ai, in fear and wit presented themselves as strangers from a distant country to seek a covenant or treaty with Israel at Gilgal; for we, they said, heard what the Lord did to the Egyptians, and to the Amorites’ kings, Sihon of Heshbon and Og of Bashan at Ashtaroth, so we were delegated to seek an alliance. Joshua with the rulers of the people covenanted a peace pact by oath with the Gibeonites, without seeking the Lord’s counsel. 3 days later they discovered the Gibeonites were locals and neighbors. Israel continued to advance in the Conquest and arrived at the cities of Gibeonites (Gibeon, Chephirah, Beeroth, & Kiriath-jearim); and did not destroy them in keeping with the oath, of which the Israelites complained; Joshua made the Gebeonites wood-choppers and water-carriers for Israel, and for the Lord’s Altar at His chosen place. King Adoni-zedek of Jerusalem united a confederacy of 4 Kings: Hoham of Hebron, Piram of Jarmuth, Japhia of Lachish, and Debir of Eglon, to attack Gibeon (a great city) for alliance with Joshua and Israel. These 5 Amorite Kings and their forces besieged Gibeon; the Gibeonites sent to Joshua at Gilgal for help against the Amorite Kings. Joshua and the warriors went out for war; the Lord promised victory to Israel by Joshua. The Lord discomfited them before Israel, and they slaughtered them at Gibeon; chased and slew them to the ascent of Beth-horon, to Azekah, to Makkedah; and those who escaped to the descent of Beth-horon; the Lord rained great hailstones on them destroying some more than Israel slew by sword. During the battle against the Amorites Joshua commanded that the Lord to halt the Sun over Gibeon, and the Moon over the Valley of Aijalon; and He did it, for an entire day; never or since, was it heard, that the Lord obeyed the voice of a man. Joshua returned to Gilgal, and the 5 Kings had fled and hid themselves in the Cave of Makkedah; Joshua sealed it with a great stone and set a watch till the war was over; leaving only a terrified remnant secured in the fortified cities. Joshua returned to the Cave of Makkedah, and had the 5 Kings brought before him, and ordered the chief warriors to put their feet on their necks; he then put them to death, and hung them on 5 trees till sunset, and then took them down and threw them in the Cave Makkedah and sealed it. Joshua took and destroyed Makkedah, as he did to Jericho, leaving none alive. Thence they passed from Libnah to Lachish, and the Lord delivered it for destruction by Israel; the second day they destroyed it utterly as at Libnah. King Horam of Gezer came to help Lachish, but Joshua destroyed him and his people. From Lachish they passed on to Eglon and they destroyed it completely as with Lachish. From Eglon to Hebron and destroyed it. Thence returned to Debir and destroyed it as with Hebron and Libnah. Joshua smote and destroyed all the land, the hill-country, the South, the lowland, the slopes, with all their kings as the Lord God commanded. Joshua conquered them from Kadesh-barnea to Gaza, to Goshen, to Gibeon, with all their kings and land; for the Lord God of Israel fought for Israel; then Joshua and Israel returned to the Camp at Gilgal.
King Jabin of Hazor allied with 3 Kings, Jobab of Maon, of Shimron, and of Achshaph, along with the Kings in the north, in the Arabah south of Chinneroth, in the lowland, and in the heights of Dor on the west; and with the Canaanite on the east and west, and the Amorite, Hittite, Perizzite, Jebusite in the hill-country, and the Hivite under Hermon in the land of Mizpah. All these as a mighty army without number with many horses and chariots gathered and encamped for battle at Merom against Israel. The Lord promised victory to Israel for the next day, and that their horses will be hocked, and their chariots burnt. Joshua and his warriors surprised the encamped hosts by the waters of Merom and routed them, chasing them to great Sidon, to Misrephoth-maim, through the Valley of Mizpeh eastward; destroying them, hocking their horses and burning their chariots as the Lord commanded. Joshua turned back to Hazor (which was the head of all those kingdoms) and destroyed them and burnt the city. He destroyed all the cities of those kings as Moses the Lord’s servant commanded. The fortified mound cities he did not burn except for Hazor; and Israel took all the livestock as spoil and prey, but killed all the men, as the Lord commanded Moses, and Moses commanded Joshua. Joshua conquered and captured all the land: the hill-country, the South (Negev), Goshen, the lowland (Shephelah), the Arabah (Desert), the hill country of Israel and its lowland, from Mount Halak towards Seir, to Baal-gad in the Valley of Lebanon under Mount Hermon; with all their kings he put to death. He warred a long time against those kings, making no peace treaty with any of them, except the Hivites of Gibeon; conquering all the others. The Lord hardened the hearts of those nations to destroy them, as He commanded Moses. Joshua cut off the Anakim from the hill-country, Hebron, Debir, Anab, and from the hill-country of Judah and Israel; destroying their cities; leaving no Anakim except those remaining in Gaza, Gath, and Ashdod. Joshua conquered the whole country as the Lord spoke to Moses, and he gave it to Israel as inheritance by their tribal divisions. And the Land had rest from war.
The two Kings of Canaan were already defeated and conquered east of the Jordan, and Israel took possession of their lands as an inheritance; from Trans-Jordan eastward toward the sunrise, from the Valley of the Arnon to Mount Hermon, and Arabah eastward: Sihon of the Amorites, with all their lands from Heshbon and Aroer, edge of the Valley of Arnon to half of Gilead, to Jabbok River, the border of Ammonites; the Arabah to the Sea of Chinneroth (Galilee) eastward, to the Sea of Arabah (Dead Sea, Salt Sea) eastward towards Beth-jeshimoth, and the south under the slopes of Pisgah; and Og of Bashan of the Rephaim, at Ashtaroth and Edrei, in Mount Hermon, in Salecah, Bashan, border of Geshurites and Maaccathites, half of Gilead, the border of Sihon of Heshbon. Moses had conquered and allotted their lands to the 2 1/2 tribes as inheritance. The Kings of the land west of the Jordan that were defeated and conquered, and the lands partitioned to the tribes of Israel by Joshua were from Baal-gad in the Valley of Lebanon to Mount Halak, to Seir; the hill-country, lowland, Arabah, the slopes and desert, in the South. 6 Nations: Hittite, Amorite, Canaanite, Perizzite, Hivite, and Jebusite; 31 Kings in 31 Cities: Jericho, Ai, Bethel, Jerusalem, Hebron, Jarmuth, Lachish, Eglon, Gezer, Debir, Gedir, Hormah, Arad, Libnah, Adullam, Makkedah, Beth-el, Tappuah, Hepher, Aphek, Lassharon, Madon, Hazor, Shimron-meron, Achshaph, Taanach, Megiddo, Kedesh, Jokneam in Carmel, Dor in height of Dor, Goiim in Gilgal, and Tirzah.
Now Joshua was old (over 100) in years; the Lord tells him that there still remains much land to be possessed: the regions of the Philistines, the Geshurites; from Sihor near Egypt to Ekron northward, reckoned to the Canaanites; the 5 Lords of the Philistines, the Gazites, Ashdodites, Ashkelonites, Gittites, Ekronites, and Avvim, in the south; the land of Canaanites, Mearah of the Sidonians, to Aphek, to the border of the Amorites; the land of Gebalites, of Lebanon, towards sunrise-east, from Baal-gad under Mount Hermon to entrance of Hamath; all the inhabitants of the hill-country, from Lebanon to Misrephoth-maim, all the Sidonians; these he allotted to Israel as commanded. The 9 1/2 tribes were allotted lands on the west of the Jordan, the 2 1/2 tribes on the east of the Jordan; from Aroer next to Arnon through the Valley and Plain of Medeba to Dibon in Trans-Jordan, captured from Sihon and Og. But the Geshurites and the Maachathites remained. The Levites received no tribal lot as commanded. The 2 1/2 tribes in Trans-Jordan with all the cities in the plain and 12 other cities: the 5 Princes or Chiefs of the Midian Sihon, which Moses killed: Evi, Rekem, Zur, Hur, and Reba; and the soothsayer Balaam ben-Beor, who Israel slew with them. Israel settled in all those regions from Jordan to Jazer to Gilead to Aroer to Heshbon to Ramath-mizpeh & Betonim to Mahanaim to Debir to Beth-haram & Beth-nimrah, Succoth, Zaphon to Jordan to the Sea of Chinnereth eastward; to Mahanaim, Bashan, with 60 Cities, to Gilead & Ashtaroth, and. Edrei. All these Moses distributed as inheritance to the 2 1/2 tribes in the Plains of Moab; but Levi was the Lord God’s inheritance.
The 9 1/2 tribes inherited in Canaan from Eleazer the Priest and Joshua ben-Nun and the tribal Princes by lot, as the Lord commanded Moses. Joseph’s two sons received each an inheritance; but Levi received only cities and suburbs to live and have substance; and the land was divided by lot. Judah’s lot and borders: Caleb the Kenizzite (now 85) reminded Joshua that Moses the Man of God promised them in Kadesh-Barnea (2 years after the Exodus) when he was 40 years old when he spied out the land and returned with a good report against the 10 spies with a bad report; Moses promised that the land he would tread he could inherit forever, now 45 years later, still strong and brave as he was earlier, desires the hill-country of the Anakims, with its great and fortified cities; for with the Lord’s help, I will drive them out. Joshua blessed him with Hebron, formerly called Kiriath-Arba the Great of the Anakim. Then the Land rested from war.
Judah’s Partition: 1st: south lot, portion, border, and division was from Edom to the Desert of Zin southward, to further south; to upper Salt Sea and southward to the ascent of Akrabbim through Zin to south of Kadesh-Barnea near Hezron to Addar to Karka to Azmon, to the brook of Egypt to the seacoast. The east border was the Salt Sea to Jordan River. The north quarter was the bay of the Sea at the end of Jordan, up to Beth-Hoglah, along north Beth-Arabah, to the Stone of Bohan ben-Reuben; up to Debir from Valley of Achor, north to Gilgal across the Ascent of Adummim, south side of the River, along the Waters of En-Shemesh to En-Rogel, up by the Valley of Ben-Hinnom near the Jebusite southward (Yeru-Shalom, Jerusalem), up to the top of the Mountain near the Valley of Hinnom westward, the uttermost part of the Vale of Rephaim northward; thence to fountain of the Waters of Nephtoah, to the cities of Mount Ephron, on to Baalah (Kiriath-Jearim), thence westward to Mount Seir, on to the side of Mount Jearim on the north (Chesalon), down to Beth-Shemesh, along Timnah; thence beside Ekron northward, thence to Shikkeron, along Mount Baalah to Jabneel, on to the Sea; west to the Great Sea coast. Caleb drove out the 3 sons of Anak: Sheshai, Ahiman, and Talmai; thence against Debir (Kiriath-Sepher); he promised his daughter Achsah in marriage to one who took the city; Othniel ben-Kenaz, Caleb’s brother, took it and married her. She desired a blessing of springs of water also, so Caleb gave her the upper and lower springs. Judah’s Inheritance in their outermost cities South border to Edom: 29 Cities and villages: Kabzeel, Eder, Jagur, Kinah, Dimonah, Adadah, Kedesh, Hazor, Ithnan, Ziph, Telem, Bealoth, Hazor-Hadattah, Kerioth-Hezron (Hazor), Amam, Shema, Moladah, Hazar-Gaddah, Heshmon, Beth-Pelet; Hazar-Shual, Beer-Sheba, Biziothiah, Baalah, Iim, Ezem, Eltolad, Chesil, Hormah, Ziklag, Madmannah, Sansannah, Lebaoth, Shilhim, Ain, and Rimmon. In the lowland were 14 Cities and villages: Eshtaol, Zorah, Ashnah, Zanoah, En-Gannim, Tappoah, Enam, Jarmuth, Adullam, Socoh, Azekah, Shaaraim, Adithaim, Gederah, and Gederothaim. Again 16 Cities and villages: Zenan, Hadashah, Migdal-Gad, Dilean, Mizpeh, Joktheel, Lachish, Bozkath, Eglon, Cabbon, Lahmam, Chitlish, Gederoth, Beth-Dagon, Naamah, and Makkedah. Again 9 Cities and villages: Libnah, Ether, Ashan, Iphtah, Ashnah, Nezib, Keilah, Achzib, and Mareshah. In addition to these were other Cities with their towns and villages: Ekron, Ashdod, Gaza, to the Brook of Egypt and the Great Sea. In the hill-country 11 Cities and villages: Shamir, Jattir, Socoh, Dannah, Kiriath-Sannah (Debir), Anab, Eshtemoth, Anim, Goshen, Holon, and Giloh. And 9 Cities and villages: Arab, Dumah, Eshan, Janim, Beth-Tappuah, Aphekah, Humtah, Kiriath-Arba (Hebron), and Zior. And 10 Cities and villages: Maon, Carmel, Ziph, Jutah, Jezreel, Jokdeam, Zanoah, Kain, Gibeah, and Timnah. And 6 Cities and villages: Halhul, Beth-Zur, Gedor, Maarath, Beth-Anoth, and Eltekon. And 2 Cities and villages: Kiriath-Baal (Kiriath-Jearim), and Rabbah. In the wilderness desert 6 Cities and villages: Beth-Arabah, Middin, Secacah, Nibshan, City of Salt (Ir-hamMelach), and En-Gedi. The Jebusites remained in Judah at Jerusalem till now (Samuel’s day), because they could not be driven out. ((110 plus Cities in all))
Joseph’s Partition (Manasseh & Ephraim: 2nd and 3rd: From Jordan River to the waters of Jericho (east of Jericho but west of Jordan) in the desert up to hill-country of Beth-El to Luz, along border of Archites to Ataroth, down west to the Japhletites, to Beth-Horon the nether, to Gezer, and along the coasts of the Sea. Ephraim’s borders: eastward at Ataroth-Addar to Beth-Horon the upper, westward at Michmethath on the North, eastward to Taanaqth-Shiloh, along east of Janoah, down to Ataroth, to Naarah, to Jericho to the Jordan; from Tappuah westward along Brook of Kanah, and to the Sea; besides the Cities and villages of Manasseh designated for Ephraim. They drove out the Canaanites at Gezer, but elsewhere in Ephraim the Canaanites continued to this date (Samuel’s day), serving as laborers.
Manasseh’s lot, Joseph’s firstborn, in Machir Manasseh’s firstborn, Gilead’s father, a man of war and had Gilead and Bashan. The other sons of Manasseh: Abiezer, Helek, Asriel, Shechem, Hepher, Shemida; Hepher’s 5 daughters claimed from Eleazar, Joshua, and the Elders 5 parts of the inheritance as promised by Moses. Manasseh had in all 10 parts not counting the lot of the 1/2 tribe in Trans-Jordan. The borders were from Asher to Michmethath, before Shechem, along the right hand to En-Tappuah (Tappuah of Manasseh, but its border belonged to Ephraim); and down to Brook of Kanah, and south of the brook; sharing borders and cities, out to the Sea: Ephraim south, and Manasseh north; from the Sea to north to Asher, and east to Issachar and Asher Beth-Shean with its towns, also Ibleam, Dor, En-Dor, Taanach, Megiddo, and the three heights. They could not drive out these Canaanites; instead, later when they were able they made them task workers. The children of Joseph complained that their lot was too small, and the Canaanites have iron-chariots in Beth-Shean and its towns, and in Valley of Jezreel. Joshua bid them to take the hill country, cut down its forests, and drive out the strong Canaanites.
The Assembly of Israel set up the Tent of Meeting at Shiloh: and Canaan was subdued but partly conquered; but 7 tribes had yet no inheritance. Joshua reproved Israel for delay to conquer the rest of Canaan. He sent 3 men from Shiloh from each tribe to survey the unconquered land to the north, and describe it in a book, partitioned into 7 Partitions to be parted by cast of lots; they did and returned to Shiloh. (The Levites being excluded as the Lord’s Inheritance); Judah and Joseph excluded, also the 2 1/2 tribes in Trans-Jordan having received their inheritance. At Shiloh Joshua cast lots and partitioned thus: 1st Lot: Benjamin (4th) were to be between Judah and Joseph: north from Jordan beside Jericho thru the hill-country west, thru the Desert of Beth-Aven; thence along to Luz (Beth-El), south, to Ataroth-Addar, near the mountain south of Beth-Horon the nether; thence west and south, from the mountain before Beth-Horon south, out to Kiriath-Baal (Kiriath-Jearim) of Judah; thence its south border went west to the Waters of Nephtoah; down to uttermost part of the mountain before the Valley ben-Hinnom, being the Vale of Rephaim north, thence beside the Jebusite south, down to En-Rogel; north to En-Shemesh, to Geliloth, against the ascent of Adummim, down to Stone of Bohan ben-Reuben; along against Arabah north into Arabah, alongside of Beth-Hoglah north, to Salt Sea at south Jordan, its east quarter. Their 12 Cities and villages: Jericho, Beth-Hoglah, Emek-Keziz, Beth-Arabah, Zemaraim, Beth-El, Avvim, Parah, Ophrah, Chephar-Ammoni, Ophni, and Geba. Also 14 Cities and villages: Gibeon, Ramah, Beeroth, Mizpeh, Chephirah, Mozah, Rekem, Irpeel, Taralah, Zelah, Eleph, the Jebusite (Jerusalem), Gibeah, and Kiriath.
2nd Lot: Simeon (5th): Their inheritance was in Judah (which had a large territory) : 13 Cities and villages: Beer-Sheba (Sheba), Moladah, Hazar-Shual, Balah, Ezem, Eltolad, Bethul, Hormah, Ziklag, Beth-Marcaboth, Hazar-Zusah, Beth-lebaoth, and Sharuhen, Also 4 Cities and villages: Ain, Rimmon, Ether, and Ashan; all around them to Baalath-Beer, and Ramah of the South (Negev). 3rd Lot: Zebulun (6th): 12 Cities and villages: Sarid west to Maralah to Dabbesheth to the brook before Jokneam; from Sarid east to Chisloth-Tabor, to Daberath, to Japhia, thence east to Gath-Hepher, to Eth-Kazin, out to Rimmon out to Neah; turning north to Hannathon, out to Valley of Iphtah-El, Kattath, Nahalal, Shimron, Idalah, and Bethlehem, 4th Lot: Issachar (7th): 16 Cities and villages: Jezreel, Chesulloth, Shunem, Hapharaim, Shion, Anaharath, Rabbith, Kishion, Ebez, Remeth, Engannim, En-Haddah, and Beth-Pazzez; bordering to Tabor, Shahazumah, Beth-Shemesh, out to Jordan. 5th Lot: Asher (8th): 22 Cities and villages: Helkath, Hali, Beten, Achshaph, Allammelech, Amad, Mishal, to Carmel west, to Shihor-Libnath, down to sunrising to Beth-Dagon, Zebulun, Iphtah-El north to Beth-Emek, and Neiel; out to Cabul on the left hand, Ebron, Rehob, Hammon, Kanah, to great Sidon, turning to Ramah, and the fortified City of Tyre; out to Sea by Achzib, Ummah, Aphek, and Rehob. 6th Lot: Naphtali (9th): 19 Cities and villages: From Heleph, from the Oak in Zaanannim, Adaminekeb, Jabneel, Lakkum, out at Jordan; west to Aznoth-Tabor, thence to Hukkok, to Zebulun on the south, to Asher on the west, and to Judah toward the sunrising. The fortified Cities were Zidim, Zer, Hammath, Rakkath, Chinnereth, Adamah, Ramah, Hazor, Kedesh, Edrei, En-Hazor, Iron, Migdal-El, Horem, Beth-Anath, and Beth-Shemesh. 7th Lot: Dan (10th): From Zoar, Eshtaol, Ir-Shemesh, Shaalabbin, Aijalon, Ithlah, Elon, Timnah, Ekron, Eltekeh, Gibbethon, Baalath, Jehud, Bene-Berak, Gath-Rimmon, Me-Jarkon, Rakkon, opposite Joppa; their borders went out further, they fought Leshem and captured it and exterminated them, and settled in their place, and calling it Dan. Thus, Israel partitioned the rest of Canaan to the 7 tribes. They gave Joshua his inheritance, according to the Lord’s command, in Timnath-Serah, which he asked for, in the hill-country of Ephraim; and he built the City and lived there. (Eleazar the Priest, Joshua ben-Nun, and the tribal heads at Shiloh partitioned the land by lottery.) ((In all there were 100 plus Cities, in addition to the 110 Cities of the 3 tribes, making some 200 plus Cities; not counting the 60 Cities of the 2 1/2 tribes: in all some 260 Cities and villages.))
Then the Lord tells Joshua to tell Israel to assign or designate the Cities of Refuge as He commanded Moses, for those who cause unintentional death, to seek refuge and protection from the blood-avenger; exactly as Moses had written. They set apart Kedesh in Galilee in the hill-country of Naphtali; Shechem in hill-country of Ephraim; Kiriath-Arba (Hebron) in the hill-country of Judah; in Trans-Jordan opposite Jericho eastward they appointed Bezer in the desert in the plain of Reuben; Ramoth in Gilead in Gad; and Golan in Bashan in Manasseh. (6 Cities of Refuge in all.)
In like manner the leading Levites petitioned them at Shiloh for their Cities and suburbs promised by the Lord by Moses, to live in and for their livestock. Israel gave them by lot: 1st Lot: Kohathites of Aaron: Cities combined in Judah, the Simeonites, and Benjamin: Kiriath-Arba Abi-haAnak (Hebron) with suburbs in the hill country, because Caleb inherited the fields and villages of the City belonged to Caleb ben-Jephunneh. Merarites had 12 Cities in Reuben, Gad, and Zebulun. The Aaronic priests got 9 Cities from 2 tribes: Hebron, suburbs, and City of Refuge; Libnah and suburbs, same with Holon, Debir, Ain, Juttah, Beth-Shemesh. From Benjamin, they got 4 Cities with suburbs: Gibeon, Geba, Anathoth, and Almon: (13 Cities and suburbs in all). The other Kohathites got Cities by lot in Ephraim, 4 Cities and suburbs: Shechem, City of Refuge, Gezer, Kibzaim, and Beth-Horon. 4 Cities and suburbs in Dan: Elteke, Gibbethon, Aijalon, Gath-Rimmon. 2 Cities and suburbs in Manasseh: Taanach, and Gath-Rimmon. (10 Cities and suburbs in all) The Gershonites got 2 Cities with suburbs in Manasseh: a City of Refuge and Be-Eshterah. From Issachar 4 Cities with suburbs: Kision, Daberah, Jarmuth, and En-Gannim. From Asher 4 Cities with suburbs: Mishal, Abdon, Helkath, and Rehob. From Naphtali 3 Cities with suburbs: Kedesh in Galilee, City of Refuge, and Kartan: (13 Cities with suburbs in all.) The Merarites got from Zebulun 4 Cities with suburbs: Jokneam, Kartah, Dimnah, and Nahalal. From Reuben 4 Cities with suburbs: Bezer, Jahaz, Kedemoth, and Mephaath, From Gad 4 Cities with suburbs: Ramoth-Gilead, City of Refuge, Mahanaim, Heshbon, and Jazer: (12 Cities with suburbs in all.) (All the Levitical Cities with suburbs in Israel were 48 in all.) The Lord thus gave to Israel all the land of Canaan He promised; He gave them rest and subdued all their enemies.
Joshua praised the 2 1/2 tribes for their obedience in helping the 9 1/2 tribes conquer Canaan. He then dismissed them to return to their possession in Trans-Jordan; warning them to obey the commandment and law of Moses the Lord’s Servant, to love the Lord God, walk in His ways, keep His commandments, cling to Him, and serve Him with all their heart and soul. Joshua blessed them and sent them away; with wealth, livestock, silver, gold, brass, iron, and much raiment from the spoil of their enemies. They departed from Shiloh in Canaan and returned to Gilead. But the 2 1/2 tribes built a great altar near the Jordan in the Land of Canaan. Israel heard and gathered at Shiloh to wage an attack on the Trans-Jordanians, and they sent Phinehas ben-Eleazar the Priest and 10 tribal Princes to know why they have trespassed against God and turned away from the Lord in rebellion, as in the iniquity of Peor still defiling Israel; the Lord will now be enraged against Israel; if the land in Trans-Jordan is unclean, then pass over to the Lord’s Possession, His Tabernacle dwelling-place; do not setup another altar against the Altar of the Lord God; don’t forget Achan ben-Zerah in his trespass against the devoted things and many perished. The 2 1/2 tribes strongly replied that the Mighty-God, God, the Lord (El, Elohim Yehowah) knows and Israel will know, and spare us not, if we built an altar for offerings and sacrifices may He require it. Rather it is a Witness (Ed) to prevent in future generations that the Israelites on west of the Jordan not to disown the Israelites on the east of the Jordan, saying the Jordan River is a border between us and you. On hearing this Phineas, the Priest and the Princes were pleased and blessed them; and they returned averting war.
Now the Lord gave Israel rest from war; and In time Joshua became very old and he summoned all Israel with their tribal elders and heads or princes, judges, and officers, and exhorted them that the Lord has left the remaining nations or Gentiles as Israel’s inheritance, from the Jordan to Great Sea in the west; and He will drive them out also that you might possess their land; and to take courage to obey all that is written in the Book of the Law of Moses (Deuteronomy), not to intermix with these nations, or mention the name of their gods, or to serve and worship them; but to cling to Him; but if you intermarry with them and they with you, He will no longer drive out these Gentiles, but they shall be a snare and a trap to you, a scourge in your sides, and thorn in your eyes; till ye perish from this good land He gave you, for transgressing His Covenant, to commit idolatry, thus igniting His anger against you unto quick destruction.
Joshua then gathered all the tribes of Israel to Shechem, with all their leaders and rulers, and he said to them: Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: your fathers long ago dwelt beyond the River (Euphrates, in the east , in Mesopotamia), Terah the father of Abraham and Nahor, and they served other gods; and I took Abraham thence and brought him to Canaan, and multiplied his seed, and gave him Isaac; and I gave to Isaac Jacob and Esau; I gave Esau Mount Seir to possess; but Jacob and his children went down into Egypt; I sent Moses and Aaron, and I plagued Egypt as I did, and brought you out. I brought your fathers out of Egypt unto the Sea (Yam), the Egyptians pursued your fathers with chariots and horsemen to the Red Sea (Yam Suph); and they cried out to the Lord, and He put darkness between you and the Egyptians, and brought the sea to cover and bury them; ye saw it, and ye dwelt in the desert many days (40 years). I brought you to the land of the Amorites in Trans-Jordan, and he fought with you; I delivered them into your hand, and ye possessed their land; I destroyed them before you. Then Balak ben-Zippor, King of Moab, waged war against Israel, and sent for Balaam ben-Beor to curse you; but I refused to listen to Balaam, therefore he blessed you still, and I delivered you from his hand. Ye went over the Jordan and came to Jericho, and they fought against you: the Amorite, Perizzite, Canaanite, Hittite, Girgashite, Hivite, and Jebusite (7 Nations, Gentiles), and I delivered them into your hand; I sent the hornet before you to drive them out, the 2 kings of the Amorites; not by thy sword or bow; and I gave you a land you did not cultivate, cities ye built not, to dwell in them; vineyards and oliveyards ye planted not, to eat of them. Therefore fear the Lord, serve Him in sincerity and truth; remove or abolish the gods or idols your fathers served beyond the River (Euphrates), and serve Him; and if it is evil to serve Him, then chose today whom ye will serve, the gods of Mesopotamia, or the gods of the Amorites, where you dwell; but as for me and my house we will serve the Lord. They answered that they would not forsake the Lord to serve other gods; for He brought us from Egypt the house of bondage by great signs and preserved us along the way, He drove out the Amorites; therefore, we will serve the Lord our God. Joshua said they could not serve Him, for He is a holy God, and a jealous God; He will not forgive your transgression or your sins. If ye forsake Him to serve foreign gods; then He will turn on you to consume you. They replied no, they will serve the Lord. Joshua said ye are witnesses against yourselves that you have chosen to serve Him; they said they are witnesses. Remove then the foreign gods among you and incline your heart to the Lord the God of Israel. They said to Joshua we will serve Him and listen to His Voice. Joshua made a Covenant with the People that day; and set them a statute and an ordinance in Shechem. Joshua wrote these words in the Book of the Law of God, and took a great stone, and set it up under the oak-tree near the Lord’s Sanctuary, as a witness against Israel; for it has heard all the Words of the Lord which He spoke as a witness; less ye deny your God. Joshua sent the People away to their inheritance. Joshua died being 110 years old; they buried him near his inheritance in Timnathserah, in the hill-country of Ephraim, on the north of the mountain of Gaash. Israel served the Lord all the days of Joshua, and the elders that outlived him, who knew the Lord’s work for Israel. The bones of Joseph which Israel brought out of Egypt they buried in Shechem, in the parcel Jacob bought from the sons of Hamor the father of Shechem for 100 pieces of money; and they became the inheritance of the children of Joseph. Eleazar the son of Aaron died and was buried in the hill of Phinehas his son, which was in the hill-country of Ephraim.
Before we continue our reading and come to Judges, we will reflect on Joshua in some matters. The Lord’s words directly spoken and expressed will continue to become less frequent, the Book of the Law must become the Revelation and Inspiration for Israel. The first words in red are these: Joshua 1:2-9: “Moses My servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel… Only be strong and very courageous, to observe to do according to all the law, which Moses My servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest have good success whithersoever thou goest. This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth, but thou shalt meditate thereon day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of good courage; be not affrighted, neither be thou dismayed: for Jehovah thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest. Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, to you have I given it, as I spake unto Moses.” Here we see and learn that a new relation has come about between the Lord and Israel and Joshua. As Moses was the Prophet and Leader by whom God would accomplish His purpose with the People for the Land by the Book, so too Joshua is the new Prophet for the same end. In these words (verses 2, and 5-9), and the charge, to Joshua the Lord is speaking to him personally as the corporate and national head, the you and your is the yu and yur, or the archaic thou and thee and thine, and not the plural you or ye of the people proper (which is used in verses 3-4). The standard of measurement and judgment for both Joshua and Israel is the Torah Moses or the Sepher, the Book; for the Book is now enlarging and soon will contain the history and generation of Joshua and the Judges and the Kings, along with the Priests and Prophets and the People, individually and nationally. It will lead to the content of the Psalms and other poetic books of the Old Testament. It is essential and requisite that we understand the Book as related to the Land and the People. The promised land was not yet possessed by the people, the man was not yet planted in the land, though the patriarchs walked up and down and all around in it. The river was there but the people did not live by it, but rather it was a border that must pass over, and through, to the good land. The land on the other side of the Jordan was possessed and dominated by nations or Gentiles opposed to the Lord and His word contained in the Book. They must be dispossessed by warfare, by driving them out and destroying them in every way they ruled, used, and defiled the land. The words of the Book of Joshua are the details and history of that warfare of conquest from Gilgal to Shiloh to Shechem, from the capture of Jericho to the death of Joshua, and many things relative to the land. The circumcision of Israel of the new generation born in the wilderness after the exodus from Egypt, corporate or national guilt and sin as in Achan, treaty with the Gibeonites, the wars and conquests of southern and northern Canaan, the partition of the land to the 12 tribes, their cities and suburbs, with villages and pastoral lands, and many more things. About 50 years transpire in Joshua, after all the tribes were assigned their lands and borders on both sides of the Jordan, after warning them and instructing them, and at the end, before he dies, Joshua in his final words to the people cites the Lord’s words in red, chapter 24: 2-13 in His review of their history and His involvement from Abraham and the idolatry of beyond the flood to Canaan to Egypt to the Desert to the Promised Land; then he renews the Covenant between Israel and the Lord. The Land is still far from conquered or occupied which leads to the Book of Judges for 400 years of history of the struggles and conflicts of subjugation of Canaan or the Land of the Canaanites, and the transformation to Israel, the land of Israel, Eretz Israel, and not Palestine or the Land of the Philistines.
The Book of Joshua, Sepher Yehoshua, is divided into two divisions: chapters 1-12 and 13-24, first part concerns the conquest of Canaan and to things relating to the past, and the second part concerns the partition and allotment of Canaan to the tribes of Israel, and those matters relating to its conquest and division for the future. There are some 200 hundred cities involved in the Book, and there were 31 Kings and their cities that were conquered on the west of the Jordan River, and 2 Kings on the East of the Jordan or Trans-Jordan. The conquest was never complete, and Israel was to continue till complete and full dominion was attained, which is the Book of Judges with its account of the history and state of the nation.
The typical significance of Joshua as the Savior Lord is clear and strong, of Canaan as the heavenly home, of the spiritual warfare of this life and of the world, are abundant. The recurrent themes as with Moses is followed and extended in Joshua. Shiloh was prophesied of by Israel in his dying blessings on his sons with its Messianic significance, but it must first develop in Israel as a nation in the Land as its first center of conquest, in chapter 18-22, and we follow it as the center in Judges and 1st Samuel till it was captured by the Philistines, then had temporary residence in Israel for more than 20 years till David (2nd Samuel) brings it into Jerusalem, the city of David. The principles by which God acted in the removal of the evil nations of Canaan, and of the use of war and violence to accomplish the possession of Canaan and Palestine, are both profound and perplexing. That Israel must drive out the Gentiles of Canaan by armed force, and even complete extermination of people and animals alarms us with fear and dread. We cannot soften or sanitize the record of these wars; and we cannot ignore the human execution of the Divine will, that God intended to pass judgment and sentence upon wickedness. The land is defiled by shed blood, whether murder, violence, rape, or abortion, the land is polluted and becomes sick and unhealthy. The earth is God’s creation, He owns every speck of sand, and every drop of water, but He has given it to man to care for in His stead, and in a manner honorable to Him. Man was made of the earth to elevate nature to a higher and better level, and in the perfection of the noble dirt, make it holy ground. For the larger context of the historical-prophetical books I cite Keil-Delitzsch commentary on Joshua:
“The thorah, or five books of Moses, which contains an account of the founding of the Old Testament kingdom of God, and the laws which were given through Moses, is followed in the Hebrew canon by the writings of the “earlier prophets,” „YNŠJR „YJYBN, (nbiim r’shim), prophetae priores. This collective name is given to the four historical books of Joshua, Judges, Samuel, and Kings, which trace, in the light of divine revelations, and of the gradual unfolding of the plan of salvation, the historical development of this kingdom of God from the death of Moses, the mediator of the old covenant, or from the entrance of the people of Israel into the land of Canaan promised to their fathers, till the dissolution of the kingdom of Judah, and the Babylonian captivity; the whole embracing a period of nearly nine hundred years. The names given to these books are taken from the men whom the God-king of Israel called and appointed at different times as the leaders and rulers of His people and kingdom, and indicate, very suitably on the whole, the historical periods to which the books refer. The book of Joshua describes the introduction of the people of Israel into the promised land of Canaan, through the conquest effected by Joshua, and the division of the land among the tribes of Israel. As Joshua only completed what Moses had commenced but had not been permitted to carry out, on account of his sin at the water of strife (Num. 20:12); and as he had not only been called by the Lord, and consecrated by the laying on of the hands of Moses, to accomplish this work, but had also been favoured with direct revelations from God, and with His miraculous help in the execution of it; the book which is named after him, and contains the account of what he did in the power of the Lord, is more closely related to the Pentateuch, both in its form and contents, than any other book of the Old Testament. In this respect, therefore, it might be regarded as an appendix, although it was never actually joined to it so as to form part of the same work, but was from the very first a separate writing, and simply stood in the same dependent relation to the writings of Moses, as that in which Joshua stood to Moses himself, of whom he was both the servant and successor….These four historical writings have been very justly called prophetical books of history: not, however, because they all, but more especially the books of Samuel and the Kings, give very full accounts of the labours of the prophets in Israel; nor merely because, according to the early Jewish tradition, they were written by prophets; but rather because they describe the history of the Old Testament covenant nation and kingdom of God in the light of the divine plan of salvation, setting forth the divine revelation, as it was accomplished in the historical development of Israel, or showing how the Almighty God and Lord of the whole earth continued as King of Israel uninterruptedly to fulfil the covenant of grace which He had concluded with the fathers and had set up at Sinai, and built up His kingdom, by leading the people whom He had chosen as His own possession, notwithstanding all the opposition of their sinful nature, further and further onwards towards the goal of their divine calling, and thus preparing the way for the salvation of the whole world. These books, therefore, do not contain a general history of the natural development of the Israelitish nation from a political point of view, but trace the history of the people of God, or Israel, in its theocratic development as a covenant nation, and as the channel of that salvation which was to be manifested to all nations in the fulness of time. Their authors, therefore, by virtue of prophetic illumination, have simply selected and described such events and circumstances from among the rich and plentiful variety contained in the accounts handed down by tradition, whether relating to families, tribes, or the nation as a whole, as were of importance to the history of the kingdom of God; that is to say, in addition to the divine revelations in word and deed, the wonders wrought by God, and the prophetic declarations of His counsel and will, they have recorded chiefly such points in the life and conduct of the nation and its more prominent members as affected advantageously or otherwise the development of the divine kingdom in Israel. Whatever had no inward connection with this higher aim and peculiar calling of Israel, was, as a rule, passed over altogether, or, at all events, was only touched upon and mentioned so far as it served to exhibit the attitude of the nation generally, or of its rulers and leaders, towards the Lord and His kingdom. This will help to explain not only the apparent inequality in the treatment of the history, or the fact that here and there we have long periods merely referred to in a few general remarks, whereas, on the other hand, the adventures and acts of particular individuals are depicted with biographical minuteness, but also another distinctive peculiarity, viz., that the natural causes of the events which occurred, and the subjective motives which determined the conduct of historical personages, are for the most part left unnoticed, or only briefly and cursorily alluded to, whilst the divine interpositions and influence are constantly brought into prominence, and, so far as they were manifested in an extraordinary manner, are carefully and circumstantially described.”