Read 74.) Joshua 22:1 thru 24:28. Chapter 22 relates a story, much like one we saw in Numbers 32; which also involved these very same people. There, the Reubenites, Gadites, and half of the tribe of Manasseh, were so pleased with the land Israel had taken on the east side of the Jordan, that they requested it of Moses for their inheritance. But, beginning with verse 6 of Numbers 32, Moses totally misunderstood their request, and “flipped out” on them for the next 10 verses, until verse 16, when they then sought to correct Moses’ perception of them, and smooth the situation over. Here, in the very same manner, these 2 and a half tribes erected a large altar at the border between them and the rest of Israel, who would be situated to the west of the Jordan River; and Joshua and all Israel “flipped out” on them, and were ready to go to war and destroy them all! Obviously, we can learn the lesson about jumping to wrong conclusions. Fortunately, Israel sent their high priest to learn from them of the intent of their misunderstood action. In the end, everything was cleared up, and no harsh words or actions were taken. No such thing like this has ever happened to you, has it? We’re all good-hearted and well-intentioned at all times, aren’t we? Chapter 23 is of some years later, and we don’t know when, or how many. Like Moses before him, Joshua makes 2 farewell addresses; one in chapter 23, and another in chapter 24. Key to the content here is all the words concerning the peoples that remained among them. Why were they there? Why were there still any? These people were to be all gone! This will ultimately result in Israel’s downfall. This is the beginning of the fulfillment of a 4th Prophecy, of the 7, concerning Israel.
Joshua 24:1-28 is very beneficial to us here. In it, Joshua takes us through, by way of a brief review, all that has transpired to date; since Genesis 12, now a little more than 700 years! Note that in verses 3 thru 13, Joshua relates the fulfillment of the first 3 Promises and Prophecies; those being 1. many descendants, 2. their enslavement and deliverance, and 3. their taking of The Promised Land. After that, Joshua urges faithfulness unto the Lord, knowing that their failure to do so is coming next. But, hear the words of Israel here, as they vow fidelity unto the Lord their God. Joshua even reiterates to them, by way of stern warning in verses 19 and 20, what constitutes the 4th and 5th Prophecies about them. Israel will break faith with God, and He will bring disaster on them. With our very next reading, these things will become the themes of the ongoing story of God, and His bringing Messiah into the world through Israel. The next reading, Joshua 24:29 thru Judges 2:9, will plainly demonstrate, in a most clear manner, just where things are headed next, as well as why. And, the means by which we are to clearly understand this will be made so evident that no one can miss it! More people would read and appreciate the Bible, if they only knew something of its outline, and watched for it while they read. It’s what the Book is all about!
Harold F Crowell