Victorious Conquest (1:1 - 12:24)
The mention of the Amorite and Canaanite kings and their response to the miraculous crossing of the Jordan further indicates that all of the land of Canaan was laid at the feet of Israel by the Lord. They had only to physically conquer those who were already defeated mentally, but they lost the advantage the Lord gave them when they began to forsake their covenants with Him. Israel had wandered forty years in the wilderness because they were not faithful in their covenant with God. It is not surprising, then, that during that period they had failed to continue the practice of circumcision, which was the symbol of their covenant.
This event marks a major turning point for Israel. For the first time in forty years the children of Israel were on their own. The Israelites had been tenderly nursed with manna during that time, but now they were to stand forth in maturity and, from their own labor, eat the bread of the land.
Considering that the manna had appeared every day but the Sabbath for forty years, or more than twelve thousand times, it truly was the end of a remarkable era. Although there is a noticeable lack of detail in this account, what is recorded suggests a miraculous vision shown to Joshua. Most commentators assume either a mortal servant of God or an angel came to strengthen Joshua and Israel as they prepared for their first battle.
Two things, however, suggest that Joshua may actually have seen Jehovah, the premortal Jesus Christ. First, when Joshua fell down to worship him, no attempt was made to stop him.
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Yet the mortal servants of God are quick to prevent others from worshiping them, even when they have demonstrated great power see Acts —26 ; —18 ; Alma — But no attempt was made to prevent Joshua from falling down to worship this being. But, since this account in Deuteronomy is very scant on details, it can only be surmised that the being may have been the Lord. The inhabitants of Jericho knew full well of the powerful destruction that Israel had directed against the kingdom of the Amorites east of Jordan.
Therefore, it is no surprise that they shut up their walled city against Israel. Throughout the law of Moses, seven was used numerous times to signify the covenant. By patterning the conquest of Jericho in sevens, the Lord taught Israel that their success lay in the covenant with Jehovah; His perfect power brought conquest, not their own.
Scholars are generally agreed that the shofar was the oldest musical instrument in Israel. After being flattened by heat, the horn of a ram was forced to turn up at the ends.
This shape thus created a most unusual and easily recognizable sound. In early times the horn was used to warn of approaching armies, to give the signal for attack, or to dismiss troops from the field. This was not a mere mortal conflict: Canaan was to be destroyed by the very God of Israel. This truth was impressively taught to Israel by the presence of the ark. Great care was given to honoring every detail of the oath that had been given to Rahab.
Men have argued this question for ages.
Did the marching feet, the blaring trumpets, and the final shout weaken the walls in some way so that they tumbled in accordance with natural law? Or was some other principle in operation? Did the Lord simply, at a convenient point in time, level the walls by His power? Talmage discussed this question in these words:. The possibility of such would not have been received with credence before their actual accomplishment.
Nevertheless, these and all other miracles are accomplished through the operation of the laws of nature, which are the laws of God.
Old Testament Studies
For further discussion of the significance of this loss, see Points to Ponder in this chapter. It was a token of great remorse, true humility, and deep repentance. It also symbolized the unworthy station of man compared to deity see Genesis ; compare Job ; Lamentations Some offenses of men are of such consequence that the payment of the life of the offender is required for the expiation of the sin.
It is apparent from his voluntary confession that Achan understood this truth see Joshua — See the tables of weights and measures in Maps and Charts to better understand the value of a shekel of silver. More than Jericho, Ai, the second city conquered after Israel crossed the Jordan, became a model for the conquests of other cities.
Bible prophecy - Wikipedia
Once Ai was taken, Joshua moved Israel to Mount Ebal and fulfilled the instructions of Moses to build an altar there and pronounce the blessings and cursings of the Lord from Mount Ebal and Mount Gerizim see vv. Although the subtle alliance manufactured through deceitful means saved their lives, the people of Gibeon became the perpetual slaves of Israel.
Moses had warned Israel not to make any covenants with the Canaanites see Deuteronomy , and this warning may explain why Joshua was so upset when he discovered the deception. Since the oath had been made, however, he honored it, placing the people of Gibeon in slavery instead of having them killed. He was the chief of the confederacy of five kings that made war against Gibeon.
Mormon, discoursing on the might and power of God, wrote:. And since on the occasion in question he was fighting to bring victory to Israel, this was one of his means of doing so. And they shall behold blood, and fire, and vapors of smoke. And before the day of the Lord shall come, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon be turned into blood, and the stars fall from heaven.
Some power will darken the sun and make the moon refuse to give its light.
Revell Company, , p. Like numerous other books mentioned in the Old and New Testament but not contained within their pages, the book of Jasher appears to have been a source that contained accounts of heroic deeds in ancient Israel. It is thought by many to have been written in verse, but it likely contained some prose as well. A book with this title is currently available, but it is of doubtful origin, according to most scholars, and probably is not the one mentioned in the Old Testament.
One had then been literally trodden underfoot. The destruction of the five nations of the Canaanites was accomplished over a period of days rather than on the same day as the battle at Gibeon. When the children of Israel see this, they start complaining to Moses. They end up getting stuck before the Red Sea. They have no where else to go. They are literally at the end of their rope. If they try and move forward, they will drown in the Red Sea. If they try to move backwards, they will be caught by the Egyptian army that is moving in on them.
The only thing that can save them now is a powerful miracle from God Himself. Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever. The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace. And the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea. The Red Sea is literally parted by dry ground!
The Israelites then proceed to cross over the Red Sea onto this dry ground mass that God has now miraculously provided for them in order for them to escape from the Egyptians. Moses then proceeds to stretch out his hand over the sea and then the sea returns to its full depth while the Egyptians were fleeing into it.
The Bible says that the Lord overthrew the Egyptians in the midst of the sea! The waters then returned and covered the chariots, the horsemen, and all of the army of the Pharaoh and not one of them was left standing! After the Israelites had crossed over and saw this miracle take place right before their very eyes, they then saw all of the Egyptians lying dead on the shore. The Bible says that all of the children of Israel now believed in Moses and the Lord after having witnessed all of these incredible supernatural events.