Tag Archives: Ancient Israel

1.2 Moses and Joshua and the History of Ancient Israel

In this episode we look at Moses just a little more. Moses has to be considered the greatest leader in the history of Israel. Raised as an Egyptian and with all the privileges of royalty he still recognized the suffering of the Israelites and sought to free them from their Egyptian oppressors. Of course, Moses was actually born into a Hebrew family but ironically because the Pharaoh ordered Hebrew baby boys to be murdered he came to be raised by the Pharaoh’s daughter.

Though Moses has gone down in history as one of the most iconic leaders of all time history for the most part does not recognize him. His name does not appear in any ancient source outside of the Bible. Historians and archeologist believe that Moses most likely represents a number of leaders who did or did not actually lead a contingent of Hebrews out of Egypt and was developed by many generations of oral tradition.

Nevertheless, in this podcast we take the biblical writers at their word and compare that with what history can actually tell us. Per the biblical writers Moses was a great man and the Hebrews actually owe existence to him since the LORD offered to wipe them out and start over with Moses. Moses’ greatness and humility can be seen in the fact that he did not accept the LORD’s offer and pleaded with the LORD to spare his people, in spite of them wanting to fire him and go back to Egypt.

However, in the eyes of the LORD, Moses messed up big time at Meribah and was told he would not be able to enter Canaan. His mess up came due to, once again, the complaining of the Israelites. Moses died in the wilderness and the LORD himself buried him at an undisclosed location.

Before he died Moses appointed Joshua as his successor. There was no drama in this change of leadership. There were no other rival factions. The people accepted Joshua as the leader and he would be the man to lead them into Canaan. And who is Joshua. In today’s episode I will introduce you to the man we’ll get to know better over the next several weeks.

Thank you for listening. Be strong and courageous. Have I not commanded you?

Ken Lanning
Clinton, MO
June 27, 2015

1.1 Background and History

In this episode we look at the background and history of Israel that brings them to the banks of the Jordan River. This is the inaugural JoshauJudgesRuth podcast. Through this podcast I’ll look at the history of ancient Israel through the eyes of the Old Testament writers, beginning at the book of Joshua. Though I’m beginning at Joshua, we’ll be referencing and going back to Genesis through Deuteronomy in many episodes.

We don’t know a lot about ancient Israel, and in fact the Bible is our only source of information for much of the Israelites’ early history. But the Bible wasn’t written as a history book and so it can be difficult to establish a narrative that reconciles with modern day archeology based on Hebrew scripture alone. Very little, if any, archeology corroborates specific stories from the books of Moses and Joshua and so many historians and archeologists see the Pentateuch and Joshua as an origin myth. The stories are set in the general milleue of ancient Palestine but the details are largely legend.

I’d like to look at these stories and explore what we do know about the people and places described in the Old Testament, assuming that the biblical writers are telling the truth, but also letting history and archeology tell us their side of the story as well. Sometimes they agree, sometimes they don’t, but that’s what makes it interesting.

Thank you for listening and, as always, be strong and courageous. Have I not commanded you?