ABRAHAM’S DISTRESS at being childless was caused by his understanding of the afterlife. In the Amorite culture that dominated his world, it was believed that one’s quality of life after death depended on your descendants performing a monthly ritual to provide your food and drink.
WE BEGIN our study of the second of the Historical Books, Judges. It chronicles Israel’s slide into apostasy and chaos, showing the need for a godly king to lead them.
THE ISRAELITES have crossed the Jordan and defeated the giant clans in two separate campaigns through the hill countries of Judah and Israel. Today we look at the division of Canaan among the 9-1/2 tribes still waiting to occupy their inheritance.
WE ALL remember the song: Joshua fit the battle of Jericho, and the walls came tumbling down. Today, we study the conquest of Canaan by the Israelites, examining what appears to be military campaigns that specifically targeted the giant clans known as the Anakim.
THE CONCEPT of holy war is developed in the passages we read today (specifically Deut. 20:16-18), where the Hebrew verb kharam is translated “devote to complete destruction”. The concept relates to the coming war between Israel and enemies who served — and were spawned by — lesser gods.