Week #33; Wed, 8/15/18, Joshua 20-Judges 1
It appears tight controls were placed over the “cities of refuge” as directed by God through Moses and Joshua. Also, the risk of war broke out at Shiloh between the tribes on the east and on the west of the Jordan due to construction of the altar of “Witness” by the two and one-half tribes that live on the east side of the river. Upon engaging in battle with the inhabitants of the land, many could not be completely overthrown and driven out, but they were ultimately made subject of forced labor.
JOSHUA 20: The Cities of Refuge
1. A manslayer who strikes any person without “intent” or “unknowingly” may flee there.
2. They shall be a refuge from the avenger of blood.
3. One who flees to one of these cities must explain his case to the elders of that city at the gate before entering.
4. The individual will not be turned over to the avenger.
5. He shall be given a place and remain with them until he has stood before the congregation for judgment, until the death of him who is high priest at the time.
6. Then the manslayer may return to his own home, to the town from which he fled.
7. Kedesh, Shechem, Kiriath-arba, Bezer, Ramoth, and Golan were designated as cities of refuge for all of the people of Israel and sojourners.
JOSHUA 21: Allotments of cities and pastures to Levi
1. The Lord commanded through Moses to give the Levites cities and pasture to live in along with their livestock.
2. Lots were cast for the clans of the Levites, the descendants of Aaron, to receive 48 cities as the Lord had commanded through Moses.
3. Not one word of all the good promises that the Lord had made to the house of Israel had failed; all came to pass.
JOSHUA 22: The tribes from east of the Jordan return home
1. Joshua summoned the Reubenites, Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh to instruct them to go to the lands east of the Jordan that Moses promised them.
2. They were faithful in keeping their promise to cross over the Jordan and fight alongside their brothers in taking the lands promised to the people of Israel.
3. Joshua commanded them to observe the commandment and the law the Lord commanded them through Moses.
4. Joshua blessed them and sent them on their way back across the Jordan.
5. But, they built an altar on the side of the Jordan belonging to the people of Israel (the other nine and one-half tribes).
6. The people of Israel gathered at Shiloh to make war against them because of this apparent breach of faith by the two and one-half tribes.
7. The two and one-half tribes denied accusations of rebellion and breach of faith, but instead claimed the altar was built in fear that their children may cease to worship the Lord.
8. The altar was built to be a “witness” between the two sides of the Jordan.
9. When this explanation was heard by the nine and one-half tribes, it was good in their eyes and war was averted.
JOSHUA 23: Joshua’s charge to the leaders of Israel
1. After much rest to Israel, Joshua, in his old age, promised the people of Israel that the Lord will push back the nations that remain in the land and drive them out.
2. Joshua commanded them to possess their land and to keep and do all that is written in the Book of the Law of Moses.
3. Joshua commanded them to not mix with the remaining nations among them or to mention their gods.
4. One man of you puts to flight a thousand, since it is the Lord your God who fights for you, just as he promised you.
5. The people of Israel were not to marry, associate with them, or worship their gods.
6. If so, the Lord will no longer drive out these nations before them; they will become a snare and a trap for the people of Israel.
7. And, the Lord will make the people of Israel perish quickly from the land he gave them.
JOSHUA 24: The renewal of the covenant at Shechem
1. Joshua summoned the leaders of Israel reminding them, the Lord took Abraham from beyond the Euphrates while they served other gods, bringing him through the land of Canaan and giving him many offspring.
2. Isaac had Jacob, who went down to Egypt and Esau, who went to the hill country of Seir.
3. The Lord sent Moses and Aaron to Egypt to ultimately bring the people of Israel back to the land of Canaan via the crossing of the Red Sea and the wilderness.
4. The Lord gave the Amorites, who lived on the far side of the Jordan, into the hands of the people of Israel to possess their land.
5. He also gave all peoples in the land into the hands of the people of Israel by sending “hornets” before them not by their sword or their bow.
6. Joshua told the people to therefore fear the Lord and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness.
7. Joshua told them to put away all other gods and serve the Lord.
8. Joshua told them to choose who they will serve, the God of Israel or the other gods.
9. Joshua told them, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
10. The people of Israel said, “. . . we also will serve the Lord, for he is our God.”
10. Joshua again, told them the consequences of worshiping other gods and said that they are a witness unto themselves and he sent them away to their inheritance.
11. Joshua then died at 110 and was buried at his own inheritance at Timnath-serah in the hill country of Ephraim.
JUDGES 1: The conquest of Canaan continues
1. The people of Israel inquired of the Lord as to who will go up to meet the Canaanites, to fight.
2. The Lord said Judah should go up.
3. Judah and Simeon, his brother, agreed to go together to fight.
4. They defeated 10,000 of the Canaanites at Bezek.
5. Adoni-bezek fled, but they caught him and cut off his thumbs and big toes; they took him to Jerusalem where he died.
6. The men of Judah fought against Jerusalem and captured it setting it on fire.
7. Continuing to Debir via Hebron, Caleb said, “He who captures it, I will give him Achsah my daughter as wife.”
8. The conquest failed when battling the inhabitants of the plain because they had chariots of iron; likewise, at Jerusalem, the Jebusites could not be removed and they remained.
9. The Canaanites persisted in dwelling in the land because Manasseh could not drive them out; however, eventually they put them to forced labor.
10. Ephraim, Zebulun, Asher, Naphtali, and Dan did not drive out the inhabitants completely also, but eventually they used them under forced labor.