Friday, September 16, 2011

JOSHUA: Chapter 12

Chapter 12
Summary:This chapter lists the kings and kingdoms that the Israelites slaughtered and whose land they took east of the Jordan River, from the Arnon River to Mount Hermon, and all the plains to the east:
  • Sihon, King of the Amorites: Dwelled in Heshbon, ruled from Aroer, which is upon the bank of the Arnon River; to the Jabbok River bordering the Ammonites; to the plains bordering the Chinneroth Sea on the east; to Bethjeshimoth to the east; and Ashdothpisgah to the south.
  • Og, King of Bashan: A remnant of the giants that dwelled in Ashtaroth and Edrei. He reigned in Mount Hermon, in Salcah, all of Bashan to the border of the Geshurites and the Maachathites, and half of Gilead to the border of Heshbon under reign of King Sihon.
These were the kings that were conquered under Moses's leadership, and were given as possessions to the Reubenites, Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh.

The following are the names of the kings which Joshua and the Israelites slaughtered on the west of the Jordan River, from Baalgad in the valley of Lebanon toward Mount Halak, going toward Seir. Joshua divided these lands amongst the Israelites by their tribes. These lands included the mountainsides, valleys, plains, wilderness, and south country where lived the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites, and the Jebusites.It's noted that 31 kingdoms were conquered and their kings executed under Joshua.
Notes:1.) The kingdom of Geder (meaning "stone wall") is mysteriously only referenced twice in the bible - both in this chapter and in 1 Chronicles 27:28. It is unknown where this place may have existed, with some scholars believing that it may in fact be an error, or perhaps the misspelling of a similar city. (Reference:
2.) Another mysterious unknown city referenced by the bible in a handful of passages: Numbers 14:45, Numbers 21:3 (where it is named), and in Judges 1:17 (where the city is also referenced by its Canaanite name of Zephath). However, the city's name and destruction as it is referenced in Numbers: Chapter 21 happened under Moses's leadership, not Joshua's as this chapter implies.
3.) While there is no prior account of the city of Arad being conquered by Joshua, there is a reference to a King Arad in Numbers: Chapter 21. However, the destruction of King Arad's cities occurred under Moses's leadership, not under Joshua's as this chapter seems to imply.
4.) No prior account of the conquering of this city is referenced.
5.) Yet another mysterious unknown city referenced only a handful of times throughout the bible. It may or may not be the cities and places referenced in Joshua 15:34, 15:53, 16:8, 17:8.
6.) Yet another mysterious unknown city. It's not clear if there may be any relation to the city Gath-Hepher referenced in Joshua 19:13. Additionally "Hepher" is also the name of the youngest son of Gilead (Numbers 26:32), the second son of Asher (1 Chronicles 4:6), and a hero of David (1 Chronicles 11:36).
7.) Yet another mysterious unknown city. Although it is referenced several times throughout the bible under various different spellings, it's believed that these may refer to several distinct places, some of which may simply be fortresses or encampments and not actual cities. (Reference:
8.) Yet another mysterious unknown city. It's possible that this may not refer to a city in its own right, but perhaps is meant to serve as a qualifier to the preceeding city of Aphek to distinguish it from other Apheks, however this theory seems unlikely as the final verse totals the conquered kingdoms at 31. (Reference:
9.) Yet another unknown city, Taanach appears seven times in the bible, in addition to here in Joshua 12, it is mentioned mostly in lists and can be found in Joshua 17:11, 21:25, Judges 1:27, 1 Kings 4:12, and 1 Chronicles 7:29. It is also referenced in Judges 5:19 as the site of a battle against the Canaanites.
10.) Interesting of note is the role that this city will play much later in the book of Revelation. The Greek translation of Mount Meggido (Har Megiddo, in Hebrew) is Armageddon, referring to the site where it is predicted that the "end times" will occur.
11.) It's assumed that "Kedesh" may be an alternate spelling for "Kadesh-Barnea", the site where the Israelites had stayed for the majority of the thirty-eight years after leaving Mount Sinai. (Reference:
12.) Believed to be the modern city of "Kaimon", 12 miles south-west of Nazareth. (Reference:
Thoughts:This chapter essentially serves as a list of the kingdoms that the Israelites had annihilated. While prefaced with the massacre of the kingdoms of King Sihon and King Og - once again noting that King Og was apparently a remnant from a race of giants - under Moses's leadership, the chapter goes on to list 31 kingdoms conquered by Joshua.

Of the 31 kingdoms listed, only about half of the conquests are depicted in the bible. It's possible that in some cases this may be due to ancient cities sometimes having alternate names, and in other cases it may be that the conquest might perhaps have been recorded in a "lost book" of the bible. Even more curious is how little is known about half of these cities that are unaccounted for.

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