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Joshua - Jericho and Ai

Bible presentation given at Laindon Old Paths Christadelphian Ecclesia on 21st December 2016, as part of a series on the Life and Times of Joshua. This study focussing on the conquest of Jericho and Ai (as well as the connected symbology and types)

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Joshua - Jericho and Ai

  1. 1. The lifeand time of Joshua L a i n d o n B i b l e S t u d y , 2 1 s t D e c e m b e r 2 0 1 6 Jericho and Ai
  2. 2. Our secondstudy, afortnight ago • “The life and time of Joshua – preparation and crossing of Jordan” • Many reasons for the people to doubt, but clear instruction to “Be strong and of a good courage” • God elevated Joshua at the banks of the Jordan, as he would later do Elisha and (most significantly) the Lord Jesus Christ • Just two spies with a focussed mission vs. twelve spies previously, with much broader assignment (only two were faithful, Jo. & Ca.) • Rahab, the harlot, a remarkably faithful converted Gentile (who demonstrated the intermingling of faith & works) • Miraculous and highly typical events in crossing the flooded Jordan • Stones of remembrance taken and a faithful circumcision at Gilgal • In the promised land at last… but with significant further obstacles! Preparation and crossing of Jordan 2
  3. 3. This evening’sthreechapters Preparation and crossing of Jordan 3 Chapter 6 – Jericho taken, Rahab saved Chapter 7 – Defeat at Ai, Achan’s sin Chapter 8 – Fall of Ai, Ebal covenant
  4. 4. Confrontedby a formidablehurdle! •Invaders immediately met a challenge (FORTRESS JERICHO): •Based on the archaeological findings of Kathleen Kenyon, there was a great twin-walled defence around Jericho •Largely immune to siege given recent harvest (3 v 15) and perennial spring (17¾ gallons a sec)/oasis location •How could all of this have affected the invading Israelites? Preparation and crossing of Jordan 4 Joshua 6 1 Now Jericho was straitly shut up because of the children of Israel: none went out, and none came in. Rahab?
  5. 5. Preciseinstructionsgiven byGod •A 7-day ‘campaign’, initially without a single weapon involved! •Why such an unorthodox approach? • For seven days the children of Israel (trumpets sounding, no voices heard v.9-10) were repeatedly shown the scale of the challenge • The eventual victory clearly came from the LORD God Almighty! Preparation and crossing of Jordan 5 Joshua 6 2 And the Lord said unto Joshua, See, I have given into thine hand Jericho, and the king thereof, and the mighty men of valour. 3 And ye shall compass the city, all ye men of war, and go round about the city once. Thus shalt thou do six days. 4 And seven priests shall bear before the ark seven trumpets of rams' horns: and the seventh day ye shall compass the city seven times, and the priests shall blow with the trumpets.
  6. 6. “On theseventh day” victory! • The final climax of the methodical sequence • No credible alternative (non- miraculous) explanation to these events (e.g. sound resonance) • Seven the number of completeness (seven trumpets blown by seven priests, seven circuits on seventh day) • The importance of the ark of the covenant (in figure, Christ our ‘mercy seat’, Romans 3 v 25 (Gk.)) • Future significance/echoes in the putting down of the land’s occupiers Preparation and crossing of Jordan 6 Joshua 6 15 And it came to pass on the seventh day, that they rose early about the dawning of the day, and compassed the city after the same manner seven times: only on that day they compassed the city seven times. 16 And it came to pass at the seventh time, when the priests blew with the trumpets, Joshua said unto the people, Shout; for the Lord hath given you the city. […] 20 So the people shouted when the priests blew with the trumpets: and it came to pass, when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city. 21 And they utterly destroyed all that was in the city, both man and woman, young and old, and ox, and sheep, and ass, with the edge of the sword.
  7. 7. An aside: unconventionalwarfare! •Why trumpets and voices – as opposed to battering rams and armour/weaponry? •Not according to man’s wisdom (1 Corinthians 3 v 19), this victory was very clearly from God •Representative things: • Trumpets – pronouncing God’s judgement (e.g. Joel 2 v 1-3) • Voices shouting – declaring God’s greatness (e.g. Isaiah 12 v 6) Preparation and crossing of Jordan 7 2 Corinthians 10 4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Turn up passage: Psalm 47 v 1-5
  8. 8. Rahab,with her family,is saved •The Gentile who had risked her life is preserved alive… •Why “messengers” (Heb. malak)? Because as well as spying out the land they had a message of hope for Rahab, a Gentile •Emphasis of this passage is that nothing was lost of all of hers Preparation and crossing of Jordan 8 Joshua 6 17 And the city shall be accursed, even it, and all that are therein, to the Lord: only Rahab the harlot shall live, she and all that are with her in the house, because she hid the messengers that we sent. […] 22 But Joshua had said unto the two men that had spied out the country, Go into the harlot's house, and bring out thence the woman, and all that she hath, as ye sware unto her. 23 And the young men that were spies went in, and brought Rahab, and her father, and her mother, and her brethren, and all that she had; and they brought out all her kindred, and left them without the camp of Israel. […] 25 And Joshua saved Rahab the harlot alive, and her father's household, and all that she had; and she dwelleth in Israel even unto this day; because she hid the messengers, which Joshua sent to spy out Jericho.
  9. 9. Archaeologyconfirmsthe Bible Preparation and crossing of Jordan 9 •Some remarkable things (based on a comparison of the Biblical record and the work of Kenyon and others): Fortifications Huge collapsed walls of a great city discovered at Tell es- Sultan Height A mound excavated, evidencing the need to ‘go up’ into the city to capture it Nosiege,sudden Proof of destruction by fire and charred remains of grain stores Notrebuiltinera No resettlement until several centuries later (at the very least) Ageconfirmed Carbon dating suggests destruction ~1410 BC +/- 40 years
  10. 10. TheBibleis History: Jerichotoday Preparation and crossing of Jordan 10
  11. 11. But, ahiddenproblem… •Despite God’s clear instruction, a trespass was committed: Preparation and crossing of Jordan 11 Joshua 7 1 But the children of Israel committed a trespass in the accursed thing: for Achan, the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took of the accursed thing: and the anger of the Lord was kindled against the children of Israel. …not all of the spoils were devoted to God…
  12. 12. Thenext stage of the conquest •Ai in the hill country, to the west of Jericho… Preparation and crossing of Jordan 12 Possibly Khirbet el-Maqatir as is suggested by Bryant G. Wood, excavations 1995 onwards… Ai Hill Ambushes
  13. 13. Aiis spiedout, battleplansdrawn •An opportunity to continue the success of the conquest? •The LORD was seemingly not consulted(?) •Confidence in the victory, “they are but few” (7 v 3) •Decision to send just 3,000 men (7 v 4) Preparation and crossing of Jordan 13 Joshua 7 2 And Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai, which is beside Beth-aven, on the east side of Bethel, and spake unto them, saying, Go up and view the country. And the men went up and viewed Ai.
  14. 14. Defeatat Ai •Children of Israel “fled before the men of Ai” and 36 men killed (v 4-5) •“Hearts of the people melted” (v 5) and “Joshua rent his clothes” (v 6) before importuning God (v 7-9) Preparation and crossing of Jordan 14
  15. 15. Achan’s sin is uncovered •Joshua is told by God the cause of the defeat: Preparation and crossing of Jordan 15 Joshua 7 10 And the Lord said unto Joshua, Get thee up; wherefore liest thou thus upon thy face? 11 Israel hath sinned, and they have also transgressed my covenant which I commanded them: for they have even taken of the accursed thing, and have also stolen, and dissembled also, and they have put it even among their own stuff. 12 Therefore the children of Israel could not stand before their enemies, but turned their backs before their enemies, because they were accursed: neither will I be with you any more, except ye destroy the accursed from among you. The lot is cast, to identify the offender Achan is identified (did not give self up)
  16. 16. Achan ispunished •Having been found/singled out, Achan makes his confession: •An appropriate punishment: • Had wilfully disobeyed God (cp. Ch. 6 v 18, 24) • Only confessed his sin when it was discovered (far too late) •Achan and all of his destroyed, to put away the sin from Israel (a little leaven affects whole lump, cp. Galatians 5 v 9) Preparation and crossing of Jordan 16 Joshua 7 20 And Achan answered Joshua, and said, Indeed I have sinned against the Lord God of Israel, and thus and thus have I done: 21 When I saw among the spoils a goodly Babylonish garment, and two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold of fifty shekels weight, then I coveted them, and took them; and, behold, they are hid in the earth in the midst of my tent, and the silver under it.
  17. 17. Representativethings: Achan/Rahab Achan Rahab A Jew (of tribe of Judah) A Gentile (and a harlot) Saved a forbidden bounty from Jericho Personally saved from Jericho Unfaithful, breaking God’s commandment Faithful, fulfilling her vow Tried unsuccessfully to hide his sin Confessed her sin (scarlet cord) Whole family destroyed Whole family saved Preparation and crossing of Jordan 17 25 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. Romans 11 11 I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy.
  18. 18. Learningfrom Achan’ssin (7 v 21) •“Saw… coveted… took”, process of sin illustrated (Jas. 1 v 14-15) •“They are hid in the earth”(!) •Very clear that these riches did the owner no good, were actually damaging (fatal) Preparation and crossing of Jordan 18 Ecclesiastes 5 13 There is a sore evil which I have seen under the sun, namely, riches kept for the owners thereof to their hurt. 14 But those riches perish by evil travail: and he begetteth a son, and there is nothing in his hand. 15 As he came forth of his mother's womb, naked shall he return to go as he came, and shall take nothing of his labour, which he may carry away in his hand. 16 And this also is a sore evil, that in all points as he came, so shall he go: and what profit hath he that hath laboured for the wind?
  19. 19. Theplan to takeAisummarised Preparation and crossing of Jordan 19 [Ambush army alone was 30,000 men!]
  20. 20. A wonderful victoryovertheAites •Having dealt with the wrong-doer, victory comes from God Preparation and crossing of Jordan 20 Joshua 8 18 And the Lord said unto Joshua, Stretch out the spear that is in thy hand toward Ai; for I will give it into thine hand. And Joshua stretched out the spear that he had in his hand toward the city. 19 And the ambush arose quickly out of their place, and they ran as soon as he had stretched out his hand: and they entered into the city, and took it, and hasted and set the city on fire. 20 And when the men of Ai looked behind them, they saw, and, behold, the smoke of the city ascended up to heaven, and they had no power to flee this way or that way: and the people that fled to the wilderness turned back upon the pursuers. 21 And when Joshua and all Israel saw that the ambush had taken the city, and that the smoke of the city ascended, then they turned again, and slew the men of Ai.
  21. 21. Thecovenantat Ebal(cp. Deut.27) Preparation and crossing of Jordan 21 Joshua 8 30 Then Joshua built an altar unto the Lord God of Israel in mount Ebal, 31 As Moses the servant of the Lord commanded the children of Israel, as it is written in the book of the law of Moses, an altar of whole stones, over which no man hath lift up any iron: and they offered thereon burnt offerings unto the Lord, and sacrificed peace offerings. 32 And he wrote there upon the stones a copy of the law of Moses, which he wrote in the presence of the children of Israel. 33 And all Israel, and their elders, and officers, and their judges, stood on this side the ark and on that side before the priests the Levites, which bare the ark of the covenant of the Lord, as well the stranger, as he that was born among them; half of them over against mount Gerizim, and half of them over against mount Ebal; as Moses the servant of the Lord had commanded before, that they should bless the people of Israel. 34 And afterward he read all the words of the law, the blessings and cursings, according to all that is written in the book of the law. 35 There was not a word of all that Moses commanded, which Joshua read not before all the congregation of Israel, with the women, and the little ones, and the strangers that were conversant among them.
  22. 22. Twokey battles, two keylessons Preparation and crossing of Jordan 22 No battle is too difficult, no obstacle is too great for God Success in battle is conditional, learning from failure
  23. 23. Our spiritualwarfare Preparation and crossing of Jordan 23 2 Corinthians 10 3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: 4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
  24. 24. A future day of restin store (Gw) Preparation and crossing of Jordan 24 “For if [Joshua] had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day. There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.” (Hebrews 4 v 8-9)