It is difficult to overstate the importance of the book of Joshua in the Old Testament. It is the story of Israel’s conquest of the Promised Land and the beginning of the nation’s occupation of that land.
The Mesopotamian Conquest
In the third millennium BCE, the first empires began to take shape. Around 2700 BCE, the Akkadian Empire, centered in the city of Akkad, rose to power in Mesopotamia. Sargon of Akkad, Akkad’s first king, conquered all of Mesopotamia and parts of the Levant. He placed his daughter Enheduanna in charge of temple affairs at the city-state of Ur. The Akkadian Empire was short-lived; it fell around 2150 BCE owing to a multitude of factors, including over-expansion, drought, civil unrest, and military pressure from neighboring peoples.
The Israelite Conquest
The Israelite Conquest of Canaan was the Iron Age conquest of the land of Canaan by the Israelite tribes, traditionally dated to have occurred between 1400 and 1200 BCE. This event is also known as the Exodus. TheArchaeology of Israel suggests that the Bronze Age date of this event is closer to 1550-1400 BCE, during the Late Bronze Age collapse.
In order to interpret Scripture, we must first consider the literary context in which it was written. In the case of Joshua 6, this includes understanding the historical context and the book of Joshua as a whole. With this in mind, let’s take a closer look at Joshua 6.
The Structure of Joshua
The book of Joshua is structured around two main events: the conquest of the Promised Land and the division of the land among the tribes of Israel. The conquest is described in Joshua 1-12, while the division of the land is recounted in Joshua 13-21.
The structure of Joshua can be seen as a chiastic, or inverted, parallel. This means that the first event (the conquest) is paralleled by the second event (the division of the land), and vice versa. The center point of this chiasm is the crossing of the Jordan River in Joshua 3-4. This event symbolizes both the beginning and the end of the Israelites’ journey to the Promised Land.
The Theology of Joshua
When approaching the book of Joshua, it is important to keep in mind the literary context in which it was written. Joshua was likely written during or shortly after the Babylonian Exile, a time when the people of Israel were facing significant challenges to their religious and national identity. The book of Joshua is thus a statement of faith for a community in crisis, affirming that God is faithful to his covenant promises and will ultimately bring his people into the promised land.
In terms of its theology, Joshua affirms that God is sovereign over all creation and his purposes will be accomplished despite human resistance. The book also emphasizes the importance of obedience to God’s commands and the need for whole-hearted devotion to him. Ultimately, Joshua points to God as the one who gives victory in battle and brings about His people’s salvation.
Theology of Joshua 6
When we think about the book of Joshua, the first thing that usually comes to our minds is the account of the Israelites entering the Promised Land. But the book of Joshua is much more than that. In Joshua 6, we see God’s miraculous power at work in the Israelites’ victory at the Battle of Jericho. This event is significant not only for what it reveals about God’s character, but also for what it teaches us about His methods of working in our world.
God’s Sovereignty over Creation
In the book of Joshua, we see God’s sovereignty on display in His victory over the city of Jericho. The people of Israel had been wandering in the desert for 40 years and were finally about to enter the Promised Land. But first, they had to take Jericho – a seemingly impenetrable fortress.
God instructed Joshua to have the people march around the city once a day for six days, and on the seventh day, to march around it seven times. Then, He promised that the walls of the city would fall down flat.
The people obeyed, and God kept His promise. The walls of Jericho came tumbling down, and the Israelites were able to enter the city and claim it as their own.
This story is a reminder that God is sovereign over all of creation. He is not bound by our human limitations, and He can do whatever He pleases. We may not always understand His ways, but we can trust that He is in control and that He will ultimately triumph over all evil.
God’s Promise to His People
When the Israelites crossed the Jordan and entered the land of Canaan, they were fulfilling God’s promise to them. Joshua 6 tells the story of how the Israelites conquered the city of Jericho, which was the first step in taking possession of the land.
Theology of Joshua 6
God’s Promise to His People
The Israelites were about to enter the Promised Land, but before they could do so, they had to conquer the city of Jericho. The Lord had promised them that He would give them victory over their enemies, and He was faithful to His word. The Israelites were able to take Jericho because they obeyed God and did what He told them to do. This is a powerful reminder that when we are obedient to God, He will give us victory over our enemies.
God’s Faithfulness to His Covenant
In Joshua 6, we see God’s faithfulness to His covenant with Israel as He miraculously enables them to defeat the city of Jericho. This event is a powerful reminder of God’s goodness and His faithfulness to His people. As we read this passage, we see that God is a covenant-keeping God who is always faithful to His promises. He is a God who is worthy of our trust and obedience.