Saturday, July 16, 2011

Joshua 9-12: Unusual biblical conciseness

Just an aside... I don't know if anyone reads this, but if someone does and has been wondering where I've been, the length between posts here varies depending on how much free time I have, and my interest. Sometimes, I need or want to do other things besides read the bible, shocking I know. Anyway, my point is that even though there's big long gaps with no updates, I will not give up!

Anyway, onwards.

The people of Gibeon decide to trick the Israelites into making a peace treaty with them. They dress up like they've been traveling for a long time, and say, "We're from really far away, and we've heard of how great your god is. We want to join you! Look, our worn out clothes and moldy, stale bread proves our story!" The Israelites buy their lame story for some reason, and make a treaty. 3 days later, they find out the Gibeons were from nearby. They apparently can't kill them now, because they promised not too! They're all sad about it. But they get to turn them into slaves forever.

The king of Jerusalem is freaked out that Gibeon is allied with Israel now, because apparently Gibeon is big and powerful. So he gets a bunch of other cities to team up with him to attack Gibeon. The Israelites come to Gibeon's rescue; they kill a bunch of people, then God kills all the rest with hailstones as they run away. Fantastic.

For some random reason, on this day Joshua asks God to make the sun and the moon stand still for the whole day. There's no context or reason for it, really. It's not supposed to help them with the battle or anything. Apparently it's just to glorify God some more. Is anyone surprised.

Anyway, after the battle, they hang the kings' corpses up on poles for the day, then threw them in a cave.

Next, in a rare bit of biblical relative conciseness, Joshua and the Israelites utterly destroy all the cities in the south in only half a chapter, and all the cities in the north in the next chapter. And there you have it, the promised land totally destroyed in only 1 1/2 chapters.

Concise time is over! Now we get a big chapter long list of all the kings and territories they conquered.