Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Israelites Under Joshua Continue Their War (Joshua 11) - So, it's not over. Apparently, there's still a few more people still alive in the surrounding regions, and they've decided to retaliate against the Israelites. Haven't these people learned their lesson? I guess it's hard to learn when the Creator of the Universe tricks you into dying.
King Jabin of Hazor called on many different kingdoms comprising of Canaanites, Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, and Jebusites. The Book of Joshua says, "And they went out, they and all their hosts with them, much people, even as the sand that is upon the sea shore in multitude, with horses and chariots very many."
But Joshua, of course, is comforted by Yahweh, who apparently "hardened the hearts" (Josh. 11:20) of all these people with the explicit intent that the Israelites, and Him, will completely annihilate them.
And they do. It is such a slaughter that it is described in Josh. 11:11 like this, "they smote all the souls that were therein with the edge of the sword, utterly destroying them: there was not any left to breathe: and he burnt Hazor with fire."
Only Hazor was burnt with a fire, though. Because it was Hazor who started this attack, after Yahweh hardened their hearts, which lead them to go to battle against the Israelites. The other cities were looted.
"And all the spoil of these cities, and the cattle, the children of Israel took for a prey unto themselves; but every man they smote with the edge of the sword, until they had destroyed them, neither left they any to breathe." (Josh. 11:14)
Thursday, September 09, 2010
The Israelites Go On a Rampage! (Joshua 10) - Wow, so now the storytellers who wrote Joshua have turned up the volume on their maniacal war tales!
Joshua 10 is basically a tale of the Israelites defending their ally in Gibeon from five Amorite armies. "Quick, Joshua! Hurry and bring your army, because we need help badly!" That was basically the message from the Gibeons to Joshua.
And Joshua went up to the city of Gibeon with his army, and with the help of Yahweh throwing heavy hailstones at the soldiers, OBLITERATE all the of Amorite armies. Joshua actually told the Gibeons that the slaughter would be finished before nightfall. However, because not even Yahweh can kill the armies in all five kingdoms in the time allotted, Yahweh does what can only be described as a cosmic Daylight Savings!
After this, perhaps just to prove a point, the Israelite armies go to each of the five Amorite kingdoms and wreak havoc on their cities, killing EVERYONE!!! Literally, he "utterly destroyed all that breathed, as the Lord commanded."
So, what do you think? Do you think it's a good idea to completely annihilate entire populations (young and old, men and women, children, livestock, etc.) if God says it's okay to do so?
Thursday, September 02, 2010
Among these people are the Hivites (the stone carving above depicts a Hivite), who - like the others - asked if they can be included among the tribes of Israel. The leaders of the tribe were against this, and suggested to Joshua that they take these people as slaves. In their words, "hewers of wood and carriers of water", meaning "Let's keep these guys to do all the dirty work." And that's what Joshua decided to do.
Imagine. A lot of these people traveled a long, long, looooooooooongg time. One of the travelers said they left with clean clothes and now there clothes are falling apart, they had wine and now the wine is rank, they had bread and now it was moldy; he offered this as evidence for their long trek. So, these people traveled long and far under the hopes they could be in the good graces of the Israelites, and then they become their slaves.
Whether or not this is true, the mere fact that someone would write this down is proof of how alien a world these people lived in.