JOSHUA NEARS the end of his life and the tribes of Israel still have not taken possession of the land west of the Jordan River. To complete the task, he sends a surveying team to divide Canaan into seven portions (Judah and Ephraim had already claimed theirs), which are then assigned to tribes by casting lots.
We also look at what was almost a civil war between the tribes divided by the Jordan, and the final instructions from Joshua before his death which include the memorable declaration, “As for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”
Here is the link Sharon promised to a page devoted to the biblical city of Shiloh.
JUST AS Israel seemed to be on a spiritual high, the people found a way to squander the blessings of God. Again.
Last week, we looked at the effort of Balak, king of Moab, to curse the Israelites through Balaam, a pagan prophet-for-hire. Instead, Yahweh pronounced three blessings on Israel. But before Balaam left, he apparently counseled Balak on ways to entice the Israelites to curse themselves, which led the Israelites “to whore with the daughters of Moab.”
The Israelites began to worship Baal of Peor, whose rites were apparently sexual. This provoked the wrath of Yahweh, who sent a plague that killed 24,000.
If that wasn’t bad enough, Zimri, a prince from the tribe of Simeon, brought a princess from Midian into the camp and had relations with her–possibly inside the Tent of Meeting itself. (Remember, Baal was a fertility god.) Phinehas, the grandson of Aaron, grabbed a spear and killed the couple in the act, which turned back God’s wrath.
This is an incident identified by skeptics as proof of the murderous nature of Yahweh. That shows only that they don’t understand the spiritual war being fought by the rebellious bene elohim or the high stakes involved–no pun intended.