Joshua and Genocide: Three Views in One Book
Further evidence that Jesus was right when he said, "On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets." (Matthew 22:40)
"These people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men." When He had called the multitude to Himself, He said to them, "Hear and understand: Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man." (Matt 15:8-11 NKJ)
"Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name? And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'" (Matt 7:22-23 NKJ)
1. Throughout the world today, there are many Christians and Jews who still reverently view Joshua as being a "great hero." Likewise, there are many Arabs today who view Joshua as being a "Hebrew Hitler." In this article we'll examine how Jesus Christ viewed Joshua and the Levites. Among other things, you'll learn:
1a. WHY Jesus Christ came to the conclusion that one should NOT assume that all those who claim to represent God (or Jesus) do in fact represent God (as illustrated by the quotations above).
1b. HOW to use peaceful means to prevent future "holocausts" and acts of terrorism.
2. Like Genesis through Deuteronomy, the book of Joshua was designed to educate its readers regarding the dangers of various attitudes, emotions, and values which are still widely shared in the Middle East (and elsewhere) and which can still lead to the triggering of a nuclear holocaust, perhaps involving the United States. World War II occurred in part because the lessons which the authors of Joshua intended to convey went largely unrecognized (or ignored) in the 1920s and 1930s. Hopefully, that won't happen again.
2. As shown my articles "How Jesus Christ viewed Moses and the Levites (Parts I and II)", although Moses started out serving God and the children of Israel quite well, once they entered the "Wilderness of Sin", Moses began to yield to the less-than-Godly (financially motivated) desires of his Levite brethren (attitudes symbolized by the golden calf). Once Moses accepted the idea of placing restrictions on his definition of "neighbor", further restrictions followed which "logically" led him to stray FAR AWAY from following the true Will of God. After Moses died, some the authors of the book of Joshua claimed that God began to speak directly to Joshua, often giving him instructions which were, quite frankly, genocidal in nature. Other authors of the book of Joshua added stories, details and quotes which were deliberately designed to raise serious doubts in the reader's mind that such instructions really came from God. Before we look at the details in that regard, let's consider who actually wrote the book of Joshua.
3. Most biblical scholars today recognize that the book of Joshua had multiple authors. It appears to have been compiled from the writings of Joshua, his Levite priests, and later priests and scribes possibly as late as the Babylonian exile. As you will see, this book includes numerous "second-heaven" (love-your-neighbor-as-yourself-based literal) observations and some "third heaven" (love-your-neighbor-as-yourself-based allegorical) stories which ridicule the "first heaven" (national-sovereignty-based literal) attitudes and actions of Joshua and his Levite priests. In effect, the second-heaven and third-heaven authors were "quoting" the ungodly literal writings of their first-heaven predecessors in order to illustrate and prove their second-heaven and third-heaven points!
4. Joshua came from the tribe of Ephraim (the younger son of Joseph). His original name was Hoshea ("a savior"), but Moses called him Joshua ("the salvation of Yahweh"). Joshua first appears in the scriptures in Exodus 17:9. "Moses said to Joshua, 'Choose us some men and go out, fight with Amalek. Tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in my hand'". As pointed out in last month's article, this marked the subtle beginning of Moses' downfall in the eyes of God; it was the point where Moses began to put his faith in the "hands of men" rather than in the "hand of God." Although Joshua was almost certainly a real-life Hebrew general, the biblical story of Joshua, which began at this point, shows symbolically (among other things) how the "children of Israel" began straying AWAY from following the Will of God when they decided once again to begin excluding OTHERS (including other descendants of Abraham) from their definition of "neighbor." By doing so, they started following a logical "branch" in their "tree of knowledge of good and evil" which ultimately led to disastrous consequences for themselves (and their descendants) as well as their non-Israelite neighbors. Joshua was indeed a "savior", but not of Yahweh; he was a "savior" of the Levites' definition of what Israelite "national sovereignty" should be.
5. In Chapter 1, the FIRST-heaven authors claim that God spoke directly to Joshua, instructing him to gather most of the children of Israel, cross the Jordan river, and seize the "promised land" by force. In Joshua 1:5-6, the Lord added, "No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and of good courage, for to this people you shall divide as an inheritance the land which I swore to their fathers to give them." When Joshua announced his plans, the men of Israel responded (Josh 1:18), "Whoever rebels against your command and does not heed your words, in all that you command him, shall be put to death. Only be strong and of good courage." That sounds rather dictatorial, does it not?
6. In chapter 2, the SECOND-heaven authors describe how Joshua sent two spies across the river to check out the fortifications at Jericho. Apparently, they had no problem entering the city, but when the King of Jericho heard rumors of their presence and started searching for them, they found shelter in the house of a harlot named Rahab. Rehab had heard how the Israelites had annihilated all of the inhabitants of the cities of Shion and Og (which had been populated by the Amorite descendants of Ham), so in exchange for providing them with a place to hide, she obtained a commitment from them to secure safety for herself and her relatives in the event of a Hebrew attack. According to those second-heaven authors of Joshua, the two spies responded (in Joshua 2:19) with a typical example of the (Satanically inspired) Levite mentality, "So it shall be that whoever goes outside the doors of your house into the street, his blood shall be on his own head, and we will be guiltless. And whoever is with you in the house, his blood shall be on our head if a hand is laid on him."
7. Most biblical commentaries tend to portray the children of Israel at that time as being "peaceful nomadic shepherds" who had a "lot of help from God" to defeat the "fiercely militaristic Canaanites." If you examine those commentaries (nearly all of them), you can see for yourself that their statements are ideologically reminiscent of the highly dishonest Nazi propaganda statements regarding the "protection of Germany from the militaristic Poles" which accompanied the German invasion of Poland, thereby officially starting World War II!
8. As pointed out in last month's article (and as pointed out in the second-heaven portions of the book of Numbers), during their forty years in the wilderness the Israelite men became quite a "brutal breed" under the leadership of Moses and the Levites. Most of them had probably acted at least one or more times as "avengers of blood" participating in the stoning to death (or burning) of fellow (male and female) Hebrews who had committed real or perceived violations of the "Laws of Moses." The census totals taken at the beginning and end of the wilderness period indicate that during that period over half of the (expected) Israelite male population fell victim to the "Laws of Moses" and it's prescribed "avengers of blood"! And throughout that period, the Levites kept assuring the Israeli men that their "victims' blood would be on their own heads", and that they would be "guiltless", because they were "obeying God's commands" as presented to them by the Levites. So when the Levites (apparently fearful of potential Canaanite religious competition) claimed that God wanted Joshua and his soldiers to utterly destroy every man, woman, child, and animal in the cities throughout the "promised land", it didn't require much of a "stretch" in their logic to carry out such genocidal orders.
9. Some may argue that "utterly destroying" the inhabitants of cities and towns was a common practice among conquering armies in those times, but that's not true. Conquering armies in those times did engage in rape, pillaging, and plunder, but they normally took large numbers of captives to serve as slaves, as did the Babylonians who destroyed Jerusalem later on. The instructions of the Levites were UNUSUALLY brutal for that age and were apparently the origin of the concept that we refer to in this age as "genocide." Since that time, numerous other religious and political organizations have adopted similar Satanic attitudes and practices to "stamp out" religious competition; some of the them even quoted the Levites to "morally justify" their actions.
10. In Europe during the 1930s and 1940s, a similar sequence of gradual "logical stretches" led step by step to the development and implementation of Hitler's "Final Solution" to annihilate ALL European Jews. A relatively small number of European Jewish (or Christian) theologians in the early 1930's could have prevented such an ungodly "logical progression" from ever getting started if they had recognized (as Jesus did) the lessons which the second-heaven authors of Numbers and Joshua were REALLY attempting to convey. Unfortunately, such "logical progressions" are still occurring today! The bombing of a government building in Oklahoma City, the bombing at the World Trade Center in New York, the assassination of an Israeli prime minister, the killing and wounding of 130 tourists near Luxor in Egypt are all current examples of what happens when such ungodly "logical progressions" are allowed to develop unchecked. THIS is one of the most important LESSONS which the authors of the first seven books of the Holy Bible attempted to convey!
11. It's unfortunate that they had to convey their lessons in such a "cryptic" manner, but evidently they discovered that such an approach was the only way they could bypass the establishment-serving censorship practices of their contemporary and future scribes. The consequences of such censorship practices have also proven to be disastrous throughout the ages.
12. In Chapter 3, the THIRD-heaven authors of the book of Joshua (who may have been the same people as the second-heaven authors) either wrote or embellished the story of how Joshua instructed the Levites carry the Ark of the Covenant out into the Jordan River, thereby causing river's upstream waters to "pile in a heap" and permitting the Israelites to cross into Jordan "on dry land." This is reminiscent of the incident when Moses used the "Rod of God" and "Hand of God" to part the waters of the Red Sea, thus enabling the children of Israel to escape their Egyptian pursuers. However, this time it was the Israelites who where intent on doing the deadly pursuing. It's interesting to note that whereas before God was represented as a pillar of smoke and fire leading the children of Israel, now the Israelites were being led by physical ark (used as if it were an idol or a banner). According to the allegorical scheme developed by the third-heaven authors of the Bible (as shown in earlier articles on this web site), waters which "come from heaven" (like rain) symbolically represent unrestrained teachings or perceptions from God. Waters that are confined in a river (like the four rivers which leave the Garden of Eden), represent teachings or perceptions from God which have been restrained by placing restrictions on the first, second, or both of God's two most fundamental commandments (Matthew 22:37-40). So the third-heaven authors were attempting to show that by using the Ark of the Covenant (which represents the Ten Commandments which do NOT place any restrictions on one's definition of "neighbor") to interrupt the restrained flow of (Levite) teachings from God represented by the Jordan river, God was showing the children to Israel once again how they could successfully enter the "promised land" without having to inflict violence on anyone. Unfortunately, the children of Israel chose instead to follow the Levites' FIRST-heaven interpretation of this event (i.e. that it confirmed that Joshua had the same "supernatural" support from God which Moses had).
13. In chapter 4, Joshua ordered that 12 stones be set up in the midst of the Jordan to commemorate this event. When the Levites brought the ark up out of the riverbed, the Jordan's waters started flowing again. Since everything had taken place as Joshua had predicted, the children of Israel perceived him as being "exalted by the Lord" just as Moses had been.
14. In chapter 5, at a place called Gilgal, the Lord instructed Joshua to have all of the male Israelites circumcised. For some reason (even though Exodus 12: 44 and 48 clearly make circumcision a requirement for participation in celebration of The Passover), the children of Israel had apparently abandoned the practice of circumcision during their forty years in the wilderness. Now they apparently revived that practice to make it easier for Joshua's soldiers to distinguish between Israelite men and Canaanite men. Although the hearts of the Canaanites "melted" with fear when they heard that the Israelites had crossed the Jordan on dry land, it's interesting to note that they did NOT take advantage of the Israelites' self-inflicted weakness (while healing from their circumcisions) as Levi had done to the men of Shechem. Anyhow, after the circumcising was completed, the Lord said in Joshua 5:9, "This day I have rolled away the reproach of Egypt from you." Therefore the name of the place is called Gilgal to this day. Again, this was a third-heaven affirmation that God was willing to let the children of Israel start over again "with a clean slate." Thereafter, as the children of Israel began eating the produce of the promised land, the "manna from heaven" ceased.
15. When Joshua was standing near Jericho, he saw a mysterious man with a sword in his hand. And in Joshua 5:13-15, "Joshua went to Him and said to Him, 'Are You for us or for our adversaries?' So He said, 'No, but as Commander of the army of the LORD I have now come.' And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshipped, and said to Him, 'What does my Lord say to His servant?' Then the Commander of the LORD's army said to Joshua, 'Take your sandal off your foot, for the place where you stand is holy.'" And Joshua did so.
16. And the LORD said in Joshua 6:2-5: "See! I have given Jericho into your hand, its king, and the mighty men of valor. You shall march around the city, all you men of war; you shall go all around the city once. This you shall do six days. And seven priests shall bear seven trumpets of rams' horns before the ark. But the seventh day you shall march around the city seven times, and the priests shall blow the trumpets. It shall come to pass, when they make a long blast with the ram's horn, and when you hear the sound of the trumpet, that all the people shall shout with a great shout; then the wall of the city will fall down flat. And the people shall go up every man straight before him." [Note that the mysterious swordsman did NOT instruct Joshua to kill every man, woman, and child in Jericho.] So Joshua ordered his Levites and soldiers to do accordingly, and miraculously (perhaps) a city wall did fall down when they all shouted. Some may argue that an earthquake caused the wall to fall, or perhaps the defenders were so startled by the sudden shouting that their simultaneous reactions caused a poorly built wall to fall down. Or perhaps some of the inhabitants of Jericho broke the wall down themselves in an attempt to flee or surrender. In any case, once that wall fell down as predicted (apparently without any casualties suffered on either side), Joshua's soldiers stormed into the town and in Joshua 6:21, "they utterly destroyed all that was in the city, both man and woman, young and old, ox and sheep and donkey, with the edge of the sword." They honored their promise to the harlot Rahab, sparing her and her relatives, but then in Joshua 6:24, "they burned the city and all that was in it with fire. Only the silver and gold, and the vessels of bronze and iron, they put into the treasury of the house of the LORD." [Thus ended the children of Israels' second opportunity to "start with a clean slate."]
17. In chapter 7, Joshua sends some spies to check out the fortifications of a city called Ai. When they returned, they reported that the "people of Ai are few" and that only two or three thousand soldiers would be needed to take the place. So Joshua sent three thousand soldiers to attack Ai (which turned out to have about 12,000 people), but the attack was repulsed, the Israelites lost 36 men, and "the hearts of the people melted and became like water." At this point, we get two different explanations as to what happened next:
18. THE FIRST-HEAVEN (Levite) EXPLANATION (Joshua 7:6-15): Then Joshua tore his clothes, and fell to the earth on his face before the Ark of the LORD until evening, both he and the elders of Israel; and they put dust on their heads. And Joshua said, "Alas, Lord GOD, why have You brought this people over the Jordan at all-- to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us? Oh, that we had been content, and dwelt on the other side of the Jordan! O Lord, what shall I say when Israel turns its back before its enemies? For the Canaanites and all the inhabitants of the land will hear it, and surround us, and cut off our name from the earth. Then what will You do for Your great name?" So the LORD said to Joshua: "Get up! Why do you lie thus on your face? Israel has sinned, and they have also transgressed My covenant, which I commanded them. For they have even taken some of the accursed things, and have both stolen and deceived; and they have also put it among their own stuff. Therefore the children of Israel could not stand before their enemies, but turned their backs before their enemies, because they have become doomed to destruction. Neither will I be with you anymore, unless you destroy the accursed from among you. Get up, sanctify the people, and say, `Sanctify yourselves for tomorrow, because thus says the LORD God of Israel: There is an accursed thing in your midst, O Israel; you cannot stand before your enemies until you take away the accursed thing from among you. In the morning therefore you shall be brought according to your tribes. And it shall be that the tribe which the LORD takes shall come according to families; and the family which the LORD takes shall come by households; and the household which the LORD takes shall come man by man. Then it shall be that he who is taken with the accursed thing shall be burned with fire, he and all that he has, because he has transgressed the covenant of the LORD, and because he has done a disgraceful thing in Israel.'"
19. So the next morning Joshua began questioning the men of Israel, and when he approached a man named Achan from the tribe of Judah, he said, "My son, I beg you, give glory to the LORD God of Israel, and make confession to Him, and tell me now what you have done; do not hide it from me." So Achan confessed that he had kept some of the "spoils" of Jericho for himself. So Joshua had Achan, his spoils, his sons, his daughters, his oxen, his donkeys, his sheep, his tent, (and all that they had) taken out to a nearby valley where "all of Israel" stoned them and burned them to death. So, according to the Levites, the Lord "turned from the fierceness of his anger" and handed them a victory over the city of Ai.
20. THE SECOND-HEAVEN EXPLANATION (Joshua chapter 8:1-2): Now the LORD said to Joshua: "Do not be afraid, nor be dismayed; take all the people of war with you, and arise, go up to Ai. See, I have given into your hand the king of Ai, his people, his city, and his land. And you shall do to Ai and its king as you did to Jericho and its king. Only its spoil and its cattle you shall take as booty for yourselves. Lay an ambush for the city behind it." So although Joshua's execution of the family of Achan may have helped restore the "fear of God" in his soldiers, evidently that act was not well received by many of his soldiers, so this time Levites claimed that God had authorized the soldiers to keep the "spoils" for themselves (rather than handing it all over to the Levites). Thus the very same kind of conduct that was used to justify the execution of the entire family of Achan was now religiously "authorized" to help motivate the troops (the authors of Joshua were HOPING that hypocrisy would not go unnoticed). So this time, Joshua sent thirty thousand soldiers (ten times more than before) to take the city of Ai. And, as recommended by the Lord (?), they used some clever military tactics to ambush the defenders of Ai outside of their city walls. They then proceeded to slaughter all of the remaining inhabitants of the city of Ai (the authors' revelation of the ungodliness of such acts was intentional).
21. Then Joshua and his troops returned to their camp to celebrate, "and afterward he read all the words of the law, the blessings and the cursings, according to all that is written in the Book of the Law. There was not a word of all that Moses had commanded which Joshua did not read before all the congregation of Israel, with the women, the little ones, and the strangers who were living among them." It's interesting to note that the children of Israel allowed "strangers" to dwell among them (for a while as least), as long as they didn't own some of the land that they wanted. It also appears that "reading the Laws of Moses" helped to relieve any feelings of guilt they may have had regarding what they had done to the people of Ai.
22. So WAS THE REASON the Israelites succeeded the second time around due to the execution of the family of Achan as the Levites claimed? Or was it due to the fact that Joshua sent ten times as many soldiers the second time, outnumbering the entire population of Ai by a ratio of nearly 3 to 1? These are PRECISELY the kind of questions the authors of Joshua were hoping you would ask! The authors' encouragement of free thinking questions like these was also one of the main reasons the Roman Catholic Church vehemently opposed the translation of the Holy Bible into local languages for many centuries.
23. In chapter 9, we learn that the inhabitants of the city of Gibeon were cleverer than most of their Canaanite neighbors. Evidently (probably from talking to some of those "strangers" who sat in on the scriptural readings mentioned above), they learned that their city was among those on the Israelites' "hit list", and that the Israelites were willing to "cut a deal" with cities that were beyond their envisioned "promised land." So the Hivites in Gibeon sent ambassadors to Joshua dressed in worn out clothing with gifts of stale bread and bad wine to make it appear that they had traveled a long distance. They promised to honor the Lord, so the elders of Israel negotiated a covenant "sworn to them by the Lord God of Israel" with the Gibeonites and of some towns around Gibeon. Three days later, when the Israelites discovered that they had been deceived, they decided that in light of their mutual covenant, they could not annihilate the Gibeonites, so they decided to make slaves of them instead. More likely than not, some of those Hivites eventually became part of the Hebrew "bloodline".
24. When the remaining Canaanites learned that the Hivites in Gibeon had negotiated a covenant with the Israelites, five of the Canaanite kings, decided to attack the Gibeonites to punish them for "making peace" with the Israelites (a really dumb thing to do!). The Gibeonites set messengers to Joshua appealing for help, so Joshua marched his troops all night to launch a surprise attack on them the next day. Then, as described in Joshua 10:11-14 , "And it happened, as they fled before Israel and were on the descent of Beth Horon, that the LORD cast down large hailstones from heaven on them as far as Azekah, and they died. There were more who died from the hailstones than the children of Israel killed with the sword. Then Joshua spoke to the LORD in the day when the LORD delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel: 'Sun, stand still over Gibeon; and Moon, in the Valley of Aijalon.' So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, till the people had revenge upon their enemies. Is this not written in the Book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and did not hasten to go down for about a whole day. And there has been no day like that, before it or after it, that the LORD heeded the voice of a man; for the LORD fought for Israel."
25. Perhaps it just seemed like a very long day, and perhaps many of those fleeing Canaanites actually "disappeared" into a hail storm rather than being killed by it. History does record that some areas in Egypt were populated by Canaanites fled there to escape Joshua's army. The above account of the sun and moon standing still was evidently borrowed from the book of Jasher (as credited by the authors), but apparently the book of Jasher failed to survive the ravages of time. Anyhow, the Israelites later found those five (dumb) kings hiding in a cave. Joshua ordered that they be brought to him, whereupon he killed them himself.
26. After that, the Joshua's soldiers engaged in further battles and (with only a few exceptions) utterly destroyed the inhabitants of each city they captured. As the Levites had decreed, "There was none left breathing". They did this to thirty-one cities and towns in all (the authors take to time to list each city and its king, so that human memory of their existence will not perish forever). Finally, the children of Israel apparently got sick and tired of all that killing and decided it was time to officially partition the "promised land" among the twelve tribes. The rest of the book of Joshua is primarily devoted to describing who got what.
27. It's important to note that the Canaanites were not totally wiped out by all of this. Joshua 15:63: "As for the Jebusites, the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the children of Judah could not drive them out; but the Jebusites dwell with the children of Judah at Jerusalem to this day." Joshua 16:10: "And they did not drive out the Canaanites who dwelt in Gezer; but the Canaanites dwell among the Ephraimites to this day and have become forced laborers." Joshua 17:12: "Yet the children of Manasseh could not drive out the inhabitants of those cities, but the Canaanites were determined to dwell in that land." So some of the Israelites (the descendants of Judah and Joseph in particular) obviously decided to disobey the Levites' genocidal instructions (and evidently lived to tell about it).
28. After describing the 48 "cities of refuge" and "common lands" that were to be given to the Levites, the authors of Joshua include the following statement (apparently made by the Levites) in Josh 21:44-45: "The LORD gave them rest all around, according to all that He had sworn to their fathers. And not a man of all their enemies stood against them; the Lord delivered all their enemies into their hand. Not a word failed of any good thing which the LORD had spoken to the house of Israel. All came to pass."
29. Then, to make sure you didn't overlook such false claims, the authors referred to such claims again during Joshua's farewell address shortly before he died. Josh 23:14 "Behold, this day I am going the way of all the earth. And you know in all your hearts and in all your souls that not one thing has failed of all the good things which the LORD your God spoke concerning you. All have come to pass for you; not one word of them has failed."
30. "The Lord delivered all their enemies into their hand?" "Not a word failed?" "All had come to pass?" NONE of those statements were true at that time (i.e. they lied). The Lord didn't "deliver" that land to them; they took that land with their own hands (brutally)! Even when Joshua partitioned the "promised land", he included areas which had yet to be conquered, so they still had much more fighting ahead of them. And as for God's promises to Abraham, the Lord said in Genesis 12:2-3 "I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed." The children of Israel could hardly be considered a "blessing to all the families of the earth" back then.
31. In Josh 24:13-15, the Lord said (according to Joshua), "I have given you a land for which you did not labor, and cities which you did not build, and you dwell in them; you eat of the vineyards and olive groves which you did not plant. Now therefore, fear the LORD, serve Him in sincerity and in truth, and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the River and in Egypt. Serve the LORD! And if it seems evil to you to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD."
32. Evidently, it actually did "seem evil" to at least some of the children of Israel to serve kind of "LORD" which was being presented to them by Joshua and the Levites. What kind of "righteousness" do you have when you murder large numbers of men, women, and children to obtain "a land for which you did not labor, and cities which you did not build" and "vineyards and olive groves which you did not plant"? And why do you suppose the authors of Joshua would portray such a Satanically inspired statement coming out of the mouth of Joshua? Right! You guessed it! The "LORD" which Joshua and the Levites were serving by then was not God at all; it was Satan!
33. THIS is how Jesus Christ viewed the teachings of Joshua and the Levites! It is also how Jesus viewed many of the teachings and activities of the Jewish religious leader of his own time, as demonstrated by his statements at the beginning of this article. So the MAJOR LESSONS which the authors of the book of Joshua sought to convey were:
33a. You should NOT automatically assume that when a priest (or anyone) claims to represent God, that they do in fact represent God (they may in fact be representing Satan). How do you tell the difference? By observing (with your own eyes and ears) whether or not they are seeking and following the TRUTH relative to Cod's commandment to love our neighbors as ourselves (with no restrictions on their definition of neighbor or on the truths which are thereby revealed). When you seek the TRUTH relative to the commandment to love your neighbors as yourself (a.k.a. when you seek the "Living Word of God"), you'll personally experience what St. Paul was taking about when he said,
"For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account." (Hebrews 4:12-13 NKJ)
33b. When you see people placing restrictions on their definition of "neighbor", watch out-especially if they are following PROGRESSIVE restrictions of their definition of neighbor. History and the Holy Bible have clearly shown that such people can become VERY DEADLY! The Godly way to deal with such people is to destroy the credibility of their original and subsequent restrictions on their definition of neighbor (the sooner, the better).
34. So it is quite appropriate at this time to point out that those "right-wing" Christian and Jewish religious leaders who reverently portray Joshua as a "great hero" are only telling HALF of the story provided to us by the authors of the book of Joshua, and they are COMPLETELY IGNORING the major lessons which those authors were attempting to convey!
35. In January, when we examine the book of Judges, we'll see how the Satanically inspired teachings of the Levites bore even more disastrous "fruits" for the Israelites themselves.
(one grain of salt)
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Last modified on Friday, May 03, 2002