By Rachel M. Billings
Topics have ruled scholarly interpretation of the ebook of Joshua in the previous century: the literary “discovery” of the Deuteronomistic heritage and the archaeological detection of facts concerning Israel’s profession of Canaan. during this most recent quantity within the sequence examining the Scriptures, Rachel M. Billings addresses the fragmentation frequently led to by means of those advancements and provides a extra holistic examining of Joshua, which joins theological sophistication with an emphasis on its that means and goal as a literary work.
Through a hermeneutical and literary lens, Billings analyzes the tale of Rahab and Achan, the tales of the Gibeonites and the Transjordanian altar, and the subject matter of the completeness of Israel’s taking of the land of Canaan. She argues that the way the ebook of Joshua provides those fabrics reminds Israel of the dynamic nature of its identification as YHWH’s people—an identification that calls for a persisted reaction of obedience parallel to YHWH’s ever-unfolding paintings on Israel’s behalf. The booklet of Joshua portrays Israel’s obedience as no longer only an not possible excellent or a specific thing of the previous, yet a residing truth that unfolds whilst YHWH’s humans recognize His declare upon them and try to serve Him.
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Extra info for "Israel Served the Lord": The Book of Joshua as Paradoxical Portrait of Faithful Israel
Interestingly, critical scholars express more distress about the potential conflict between the oath that the spies make to Rahab and Deuteronomic law than did early Jewish and Christian readers. 11 Rather, it seems implicitly to be relegated to the realm of literary contradictions, which for historical-critical readers often serve as little more than red flags signaling disparate sources. Another possible explanation of why it is so easily forgotten is the lack of a punitive divine response following the oath.
34), and the final two occur in the covenant ceremony at the end of the book (23:6, 24:26). This first occurrence, positioned so early in the book of Joshua, has a programmatic character, calling the reader’s attention to specific (yet unspecified) written material present and available at the time when "Isra e l se rved th e l o r d " 22 the Lord speaks to Joshua across the Jordan. Remarkably—no less so because it is common for Dtr—it situates the written word of the Lord as guide alongside the presently spoken word of the Lord.
66 Here Israel finds itself responding in a manner appropriate to YHWH’s enemies rather than His elect. This reaction is particularly appropriate in light of Joshua’s interpretation of the situation in his complaint to YHWH. From his cry of distress, we can deduce that he sees the place of the Israelites and the inhabitants of the land as having been reversed. While elsewhere in the book, the Canaanites are consistently delivered into Israel’s hand,67 Joshua complains that Israel has instead been delivered into the hands of the “Amorites” (7:7).