Tuesday, June 22, 2010

JOSHUA: Chapter 1

Chapter 1
Summary:After the death of Moses, God spoke to Joshua, Moses' minister, saying, "Moses, my servant is dead; now therefore arise and cross the Jordan River. You, and all the people of Israel must enter the land that I have given to you.

"Evey place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, I have given to you, as I had promised to Moses. From the wilderness to Lebanon, even unto the Euphrates river. All the land of the Hittites toward the Mediterranean Sea to the east will be your coast.

"No one shall be able to stand before you for as long as you shall live. As I was with Moses, so shall I be with you - I will not fail nor forsake you. Be strong and courageous, and divide up the land amongst the people for their inheritance, as I had promised to their forefathers. Be strong and courageous, so that you observe the laws which Moses commanded; do not turn from it either to the right hand or to the left, so that you may prosper wherever you go. Do not merely speak these laws, but meditate upon them day and night, that you may observe to obey them according to all that is written therein; for then you shall be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous; do not be afraid nor dismayed - for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."

Joshua then instructed the people of Israel to prepare themselves to cross the Jordan River, telling them that within three days time, they will possess the "promised land".

He then addresses the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the "half-tribe" of Manasseh reminding them of their promise to Moses in exchange for their land east of the Jordan River. Joshua reminds them that although their wives, children, and cattle may remain in the land that Moses gave them, they themselves are to arm themselves and lead their brethren across the Jordan River; adding that they are not to return until the other tribes have possessed the "promised land". They in return answer that they will do everything they are commanded to do, and will go wherever they are sent; adding that as they had obeyed Moses in the past, they will now obey Joshua, reasoning that God will be with Joshua just as he had been with Moses. They also add that anyone who rebels against Joshua and refuses to obey him will be put to death.
Notes:1.) In 2003, Donald Rumsfeld sent this verse (Joshua 1:9) to American soldiers to "inspire them" during the invasion of Iraq.
Summary:This initial chapter of the book of Joshua simply introduces the change of leadership after Moses' death from Moses to Joshua.

God assures Joshua that he will "be with him" just as he was with Moses, and tells him to prepare the Israelites to invade and conquer Canaan within three days time, obey all of the commandments without alteration, and to be strong and courageous.

Joshua then makes sure that the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and Manasseh will hold up their end of the bargain of leading the armies across the Jordan River and into Canaan in exchange for their land outside of the "promised land". Not only do they reaffirm that they'll hold to their bargain, they also promise to kill anyone who rebels against, or refuses to obey Joshua.

Essentially Joshua has become a dictator over the people of Israel.

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