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Conquest and Settlement
Joshua, 24 chapters

 The book is structured in two roughly equal parts:
 1. the story of the campaigns of the Israelites in central,
southern and northern Canaan and the destruction of
their enemies
 2. the division of the conquered land among the
twelve tribes
Sources for the Book of
Joshua

Book of Jashar

 A collection of war songs and poetry that is quoted
in Joshua. The original does not exist.
“’Sun, stand still over Gibeon, and, moon, you also over
the Vale of Aijalon’. And the sun stood still, and the
moon halted, till the people had vengeance on their
enemies.”
D and P

 The “D” writers contributed the main narrative story
of the conquest of Canaan by Joshua
 After the exile, “P” writers added genealogies
Joshua sources, cont.

 The sources for the Book of Joshua extend over a
long period of time, from war songs and poetry from
oral traditions through commentaries written and
added after the exile in Babylon.
Who was Joshua?

 Moses’ military assistant in charge of the Tabernacle
 One of two spies to returned to the Israelites
encouraging them on to Canaan
 Chosen to succeed Moses
 Led the Israelites across the Jordan River in Canaan
 Conquered Jericho and Ai
 Allotted land to various tribes
 Made covenant with Yahweh at Shechem
In the south, land
later occupied by the
tribe of Benjamin and
near Gilgal;
And The conquest of
Galilee and the
capture of Hazor
Conquest
manna

 Miraculous “bread” from heaven that ceased to
appear when the Israelites entered Canaan
 It nourished Israelites as they wandered in the Sinai
desert
Jericho

 The walls of
Jericho crumble at
the sound of the
“mighty war cry”
and the horns of
the Israelites.
Rahab

 A prostitute of Jericho
who hid Israelite spies
 She was spared in the
destruction of Jericho
Entrance into Canaan

 First city captured by
the Israelites upon
entering the land of
Canaan following their
40 years of wandering
in the desert after the
exodus from Egypt.
 Ironically, Jericho
(along with the Gaza
Strip) was the first
territory given to the
Palestinians by Israel as
part of the Oslo peace
agreement in 1994
tel

Walls

 Archaeological
evidence neither proves
nor disproves the
Biblical account of
Joshua
Jericho today

Book of Joshua

 According to Joshua, Israel became a political entity
when it militarily conquered Canaan.
 Some passages in Joshua indicate a fast and furious
conquering of Canaan.
 Yet long after Joshua, much of the Promised Land
remained Canaanite
Ai

 A city that according to the Book of Joshua was
destroyed by Joshua’s men
 Ai means “the ruin” in Hebrew
 According to archaeologists, Ai had been destroyed
by the time the Israelites came into Canaan
Shechem

 An Ancient Canaanite city and holy shrine
 Joshua held a covenant-renewal ceremony here to
unite the tribes of Israel
 Some scholars say other non-Israelite peoples were
also welcomed here by Joshua to join in a covenant
with Yahweh
Canaanites

 People native to Canaan of various backgrounds
 Polytheistic peoples populating Canaan
 Sometime allies of the Israelites
Baal, one of the
Canaanite gods

Historic Origins of Israel

Three Models
Conquest Model

Jericho
Ai
Joshua and
Israelites
Infiltration Model

Proto-Israelites
and Canaanites
Israelites
Peaceful
and gradual
A new
people
Social Revolution Model

Habiru
peasants
farmers
Urban
elite
Israelites
Habiru

 A term designating clans outside of the urban or
legal social structure
 Nomads who raided settled populations in Palestine
circa 1300 BCE
 Scholars speculate that Biblical Hebrews may have
been part of this group
Manasseh

 Head of one of Israel’s twelve tribes
 This tribe was divided into two sections when land
was allocated
 Condemned for encouragement of Baalism,
astrology, and human sacrifice
 Historically considered an effective king
Tribes and Land

Prophets

 Navi (Nabi), Hebrew word for “Prophet”
 A spokesperson for Yahweh
 One who delivers God’s judgments on contemporary
society
 One who proclaims or preaches the word or will of a
deity
 A true prophet is believed to be divinely inspired
Purpose of Prophets

 Prophets were role models of holiness, scholarship
and closeness to God. They set the standards for the
entire community.
 A prophet is not necessarily a man.
 A prophet is not necessarily a Jew.
 Prophecy is not an arbitrary gift; rather, it is the
culmination of a person's spiritual and ethical
development.
Judges


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