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Book of Joshua
| Light iron-age reading|
|Gabbin' with God|
The book of Joshua is all about Joshua. Joshua was Moses's successor, after the big guy in the sky told Moses he couldn't enter the holy land because he had a hissy fit (so much for the "merciful God"). One of the first cool things to happen is that when the Jews approach the river Jordan with the Ark of the Covenant, the river just stops flowing for a while, and dries up. Then the Jews cross the river.
The next thing they do is circumcise all the male Jews who were born in the desert during the Exodus from Egypt. This probably would have been really, really painful.
God then tells the Jews to commence with the killing of everybody who lived in the holy land, not because they were inherently bad or evil, but because they were "in the way" of the Jews. This poses a sort of ethical question, as it is ostensibly a direct order by God to commit genocide.
The Captain of the LORD of hosts
Moses was dead, but the real grunt-work of carving out a holy land for the chosen people was just beginning. Joshua was appointed to replace Moses as the leader of the Israelites. On the plains of Jericho before battle was given, the following scene took place:
And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, there stood a man over against him with his sword drawn in his hand: and Joshua went unto him, and said unto him, Art thou for us, or for our adversaries? And he said, Nay; but as captain of the host of the LORD am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my lord unto his servant? And the captain of the LORD's host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy. And Joshua did so.
No one knows who this Captain of the host of the Lord really was. He was at least as holy as the burning bush, because the voice in the burning bush told Moses to take off his shoes too. He was holier than a mere angel, since Joshua worshipped him and did not receive the same rebuke St. John received from an angel he tried to worship in Revelation 19:10. At the same time he was not the LORD of Hosts Himself, for what sovereign calls himself his own subordinate officer?
Of all the cities on the campaign list, only four were inhabited during the usual claimed time period for the events. As we cannot dig in Jerusalem, let's talk about the other three:
- Jericho - while it was a walled city in the stone age, in the bronze age, it was just a small town. There is no evidence on anything happening there.
- Lachish - This city was destroyed during the late bronze age.
- Hazor - also destroyed during the same time frame.
So, at best, 3 cities, and one was rebuilt in the Egyptian style. Not a good showing.