Tag Archive: Canaan

Civil War with Benjamin

“Religious apostasy is somewhat understandable in an age of idolatry and pagan practices, so it is not surprising to see the Israelites repeatedly lapse into spiritual unfaithfulness.  What is surprising, however, is the extent to which immorality has grown, particularly among the Benjamites.  A grim example is seen when certain lewd men demand that a hospitable old man turn over a visiting Levite so that they can have homosexual relations with him.  The Levite instead sends out his concubine to be sexually abused.  When the Levite discovers his concubine dead the next morning, he suddenly feels resentment and sends a part of his concubine’s body to each tribe.

Once again, sin leads to broken relationships and civil strife.”

Read: Judges 19, 20, 21:1-24

Period of Judges Summarized

“This entire period of the Canaan conflict is a sad testimony to the relationship between God and man.  From a pinnacle of adherence to law under Moses (as imperfect as their obedience was, even then), the nation of Israel has sunk to a low ebb in which moral authority is no higher than self-will.”

Read: Judges 21:25

All quotations taken from The Daily Bible.

Deborah and Barak

“One of the areas which Joshua’s forces had never been able to fully take over was the Valley of Jezreel.  When local Canaanite forces now unite under Jabin and Sisera, it falls to a courageous woman named Deborah to take the initiative in repelling the Canaanites.  Deborah is able to persuade a cautious general named Barak to lead the northern tribes to victory.  Another woman (Jael) also shares in the glory of victory when she bravely kills Sisera.”

Read: Judges chapters 4 and 5

All quotations taken from The Daily Bible.

Apostasy and the Judges

“Politically and militarily, there is need for a more complete conquest of the promised land.  Spiritually, there is still a great lesson for a new generation of Israelites to learn — namely, that with obedience comes prosperity; with disobedience, adversity.  It is a lesson which the older Israelites had learned through the wilderness wanderings and the initial conquest of Canaan, but the passing of the older generation leaves a vacuum of any real dedication to God or his laws. 

As they begin to evolve into a more agricultural society, the Israelites will become increasingly attracted by the Canaanite cult of Baal, which is associated with fertility and crops.  A strong spirit of compromise leads to intermarriage, idolatry, and immorality.  During this time the Israelites go through repeated cycles of sin and oppression, but, fortunately, of repentance as well.  And for each time the people come to their senses God raises up a leader to deliver them.  Each of these ‘judges’ leads only a few tribes within the now-loose federation of Israel.”

Read: Joshua 24:31/Judges 2:7, 10-23 and 3:1-6

Othniel, Ehud, and Shamgar

“Othniel, a nephew of Caleb, leads Judah and Simeon in victory over the Mesopotamians.  Ehud personally assassinates the leader of the Moabites.  It is by Ehud’s courageous act that the tribes of Ephraim and Benjamin are thus liberated from occupation by a nation which Israel had once defeated soundly.  Finally, brief mention is given to Shamgar, who will be the first of several Israelites to do battle with the warlike Philistines in the southern coastal area of Canaan.”

Read: Judges 3:7-31

All quotations taken from The Daily Bible.

General Conquest of Canaan

“The Israelites will now engage in two sweeping campaigns.  In battle against the Amorites in the south, Israel receives miraculous support from God.  God not only causes hailstones to fall on enemy forces, but, upon Joshua’s request, God also miraculously prolongs the day so that the fleeing enemy may be pursued.

Though it affords little comfort to the modern mind, it must be remembered that extermination of defeated enemies is expected of victorious armies at this time.  The record further hints that God is using the Israelites as his instrument in punishing the pagan Canaanites for their continual wickedness.  Some of this wickedness is seen when the men of Gibeon trick Joshua into making a forbidden covenant with them, and thus play upon Joshua’s failure to consult God in the matter.”

Read Joshua chapters 9, 10, 11, 12

All quotations taken from The Daily Bible.

Joshua Named as Successor

“Aware that his death is imminent, Moses is quite naturally concerned about the future leadership of Israel and asks for God’s guidance in the selection of his replacement.  It must be gratifying for Moses to learn that God has chosen Joshua, who has been Moses’ faithful protégé for over 40 years.”

Read Numbers 27:15-23

Two-and-a-Half Tribes East of Jordan

“Moses is approached by the men of Gad and Reuben, who have decided that they prefer to settle east of the Jordan River.  Moses is at first skeptical, thinking that perhaps the men are making the request in order to avoid fighting for Canaan.  When assured that the men will help conquer the promised land, Moses agrees to their request.”

Numbers 32 and Deuteronomy 4:41-43

Preparations for Conquest and Settlement

“God warns the Israelites in advance that when they enter Canaan they must drive out all of its inhabitants and completely destroy the idolatry rampant in the land.  (Needless to say in light of their past experience, the Israelites will not wholly comply with God’s directive and will therefore fall repeatedly into religious apostasy.)

The land which God has for centuries promised to give to his people is the land of Canaan, the borders of which God carefully delineates.”

Numbers 33:50-56, Deuteronomy 25:17-19, Numbers 34 and Numbers 35:1-8

All quotations taken from The Daily Bible.

Israel’s Second Numbering

“In anticipation of conquering the land of Canaan, it is once again a good time for Israel to determine its military strength by taking a census.  The census will also provide the basis for dividing the land of Canaan once it is occupied by the Israelites.”

Read Numbers 26

All quotations taken from The Daily Bible.

Moses Rebuked by Miriam

“While the Israelites are encamped at Hazeroth, it appears that Moses has married a Cushite woman.  Moses’ sister, Miriam, has become an influential prophetess among the Israelites, is clearly upset by Moses’ choice of a spouse.  Her reasons are not stated and do not appear to be of any particular religious significance, but her opposition to Moses draws God’s judgment nevertheless.”

Read Numbers 12:1-16

The People Lack Courage

“Spies are sent out to determine the strength of the Canaanites where they find impressive armies and fortifications.  Ten of the twelve spies bring back a dismal report, and the Israelites become discouraged.

When two of the spies encourage them to put their faith in God, the people become vocally antagonistic.  For their disbelief, the judgment of God is that none of the fearful Israelites will enter into the promised land, and that the nation of Israel will wander in the wilderness for 40 years, letting death take its natural toll.”

Read Numbers 13, 14

All quotations taken from The Daily Bible.
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