Tag: Hebrew Bible

Joshua 10 and 11: Genre and the focus on the leader

Over the course of the last few posts we’ve considered a number of aspects of Joshua 10 and 11 that mark them out as not being ordinary history writing. The final feature we’re going to look at is the chapters’ focus on Joshua, the divinely appointed leader of the conquest of Canaan. Continue reading

Who shall go up first for us against the Canaanites?

In a previous post in the series on Joshua 10 and 11 I pointed out that it’s difficult to reconcile the conquest accounts in Joshua with other parts of scripture. Examples of irreconcilable passages were given, one of them being the first couple of verses of the book of Judges which read:

After the death of Joshua, the Israelites inquired of the LORD, “Who shall go up first for us against the Canaanites, to fight against them?” The LORD said, “Judah shall go up. I hereby give the land into his hand.” Jdg 1:1–2 (NRSV)

I pointed out that this passage implies that the Israelite conquest of Canaan began only after Joshua died, flatly contradicting most of what we read in the book of Joshua in which he led the campaign.

A few people have taken issue with this interpretation of Judges 1:1. Here’s an example of the sort of pushback I’ve received: Continue reading

Joshua 10 and 11: Genre and Annihilation

In the previous post we looked at some features that we saw were common to both Joshua 10 and 11. We concluded that those features mark the chapters out as being something quite different to ordinary war reports or historical narrative. Instead of military history we found two highly formulaic accounts that follow a definite and distinct pattern. In the next few posts we’ll look at what these features tell us about the genre of these chapters by investigating comparative literature. Continue reading

Joshua 10 and 11: A closer look

In the previous post we saw that as well as being flatly contradicted by the archaeological evidence the Southern and Northern Campaigns of Joshua 10 and 11 don’t line up with the rest of the conquest accounts in Joshua, Judges, and Samuel.

We concluded that before trying to understand how the archaeological evidence fits with the text, we first need to understand why the texts don’t fit each other. Continue reading

Ezer, Elead, and Exodus

The first few chapters of Chronicles are a real slog to read through. Name after name; genealogy after genealogy; tongue-twister after tongue-twister. If we force ourselves to read the chapters our eyes quickly glaze over and we tune out. But if we do that, we’ll miss out. No, seriously. In this instance we’ll see the Chronicler subtly remove both Israel’s sojourn in Egypt and the Exodus from their history. Continue reading

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