Tag Archives: Bible

1.3 The Book of Joshua and The LORD

Knowing when a book was written and who wrote it can help us understand the contents of the book. We don’t have the luxury of knowing these things about the book of Joshua from the Bible. We have traditions that tell us who might have written it, but there is nothing definitive. The Bible itself doesn’t even tell us who wrote it.

When it was written is a little bit of a mystery as well. It describes events that most historians say didn’t happen. However, we’ve determined that there was a group of people in Canaan by around 1200 BC because the name for these people, Israel, appears on a stele that dates from around that time. So though we’ve yet to empirically prove that the Israelites took Canaan by force as described in Joshua, we do know they did come to occupy and live in Canaan by 1200 BC, we just don’t have any copies of Joshua that date to this time.

The oldest known copies we have were found among the Dead Sea Scrolls, and they date to somewhere around 250 BC to 70 AD. Scholars generally agree that Joshua wasn’t compiled and recorded in its present form until after the fall of Jerusalem in 586 BC. However, there are hints in the text itself that indicate the book is much older, perhaps just a few years removed from the events in the book. No matter when the book was compiled, we know these stories must have been handed down to succeeding generations orally, just as the Israelites were commanded to do.

And we covered Moses and Joshua in previous episodes, but today we talk about another prominent character, the LORD. The LORD’s involvement cannot be overlooked. Indeed, he’s really the center of our story.

I hope you enjoy episode three. Thank you for listening and bearing with me as I tweak the format and the audio. Be strong and courageous. Have I not commanded you?

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┬áthem 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
11:14