Joshua 21-22

?#?OTin52? Our reading today is Joshua 21-22:

XXI. Levitical Cities (Joshua 21).

• The Levites, though receiving no land inheritance of their own, are still
able to build Levitical towns and cities among the lands of other tribes.
• The provision of pastureland (a word found many times in this chapter)
for their own cattle was very important to them.
• There are 48 such cities.
• After all the land was distributed the writer declares that God keeps His

XXII. The Transjordan Tribes Build an Altar and Almost Start a War (Joshua

• Joshua commends the Gadites, Manasseh, and Reubenites for fulfilling
their promise to fight for the other tribes. They now return to their
allotted lands with additional plunder.
• The three Transjordan tribes build an imposing altar on the western side
of the Jordan.
• Their fellow Israelites are unhappy about them building an alternate
altar and are prepared to make war with them.
• Phinehas, the priest, and ten tribal leaders try to resolve the dispute.
• They accuse the three tribes of blasphemy and rebellion by building an
• They also refer to Achan whose whole family and belongings were destroyed
for his sins.
• The three tribes reply that the altar was only built as a memorial and
not as a site for sacrifice.
• The proper place to sacrifice to God is at the Tabernacle.
• Phinehas and the other tribal leaders accept their explanation and return
home, managing to avert a civil war.

Jesus in the Old Testament

• As a whole, chapter 22 reveals the weakness of the old covenant and the
glory of the new covenant because Christ now dwells in us and who by His
Spirit, seals our redemption and guarantees our final inheritance.

Joshua 19-20

?#?OTin52? Our reading today is Joshua 19-20.

We will be exploring the region around the Sea of Galilee today. One of the
cities of refuge,(i.e. Kedesh) mentioned in our reading today is in Upper
Galilee, just a little to the north of where we’ll be. Kinda’ cool.

Pics to follow!

XIX. Land Allotment for Six Tribes (Joshua 19).

• The distribution of more land for the six remaining tribes.
• Joshua cast lots in this order: (1) Benjamin, (2) Simeon, (3) Zebulun,
(4) Issachar, (5) Ashar, (6) Naphtali, and (7) Dan.
• Finally, Joshua is given the town of Timnath-serah in the hill country of
Ephraim, which he rebuilds.

XX. Cities of Refuge and Joshua’s Own Inheritance (Joshua 20).

• God directs Joshua to set aside cities of refuge for those guilty of
involuntary manslaughter.
• God sets down the rules for the cities of refuge.
• If a fugitive is pursued by an avenger of blood, they are safe from harm
in a refuge city.
• A trial should be held to prove that the death was accidental. If proven,
the killer is deemed innocent. However, they can’t return home until the
death of the high priest.
• Refuge cities are established in Kedesh in Galilee, Shechem in Ephraim,
and Kiriath Arba in Judah.

Joshua 15-16

?#?OTin52? Our reading today is Joshua 15-16:

XV. Boundary of Land Allotted to Judah (Joshua 15)

• God distributed the land according to His will.
• This chapter is mainly devoted to the land given to the tribe of Judah.
• The geography is described counter-clockwise, moving south, east, north,
then west.
• Caleb is part Hebron and he drives out the three sons of Anak before
marching on Debir, the city known as Kiriath-Sepher.
• Instead of taking Debir himself Caleb offers his daughter, Achsah, to
whoever conquers the city.
• Caleb’s nephew, Othniel, takes the city and they are married.
• Achsah asks her father for land with springs of water. Caleb gives her
the land with upper and lower springs (vv. 13-19).
• The chapter includes list of the towns of Judah (vv. 20-62).
• The chapter ends explaining that the people of Judah could not drive the
Jebusites out of Jerusalem (vv. 63).

XVI. Land Allotted to Joseph/ Ephraim (Joshua 16).

• This chapter deals primarily with land that is given to the tribe of
Joseph or the Ephraimites (vv. 1-9). They were given choice land in the
heart of Canaan.
• The Ephraimites were unable to drive the Canaanites out of the land. They
forced the Canaanites to become servants instead (v. 10).

Jesus in the Old Testament

• Just as Israel was given victory over their enemies to possess the land,
Jesus has promised us spiritual victory over our enemies (cf. Luke 10:19).

Heading for Israel today. The next week and a half my summaries will be
written from the Promised Land itself!

Joshua 13-14

?#?OTin52? Our reading today is Joshua 13-14:

XIII. More Land Yet to be Conquered (Joshua 13).

• The next twelve chapters are about how the land was distributed.
• Joshua is advancing in years and there is still more he needs to
• There is more land to conquer but it is also time to begin distributing
the land among the twelve tribes.
• The Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh have already
received their land east of the Jordan, detailed in vv. 15-33.
• The nine other tribes and the half-tribe of Manasseh have yet to receive
their land.
• The Levites are given no land but the offerings to the Lord are their
• 13:15-14:15 indicates the tribe allotments of Israel.
• But all is not well. Other nations still remain in the land (vv. 29-33)
and their presence would haunt Israel for years to come.

XIV. The Division of the Land and Caleb Joshua 14

• The High Priest Eleazar, Joshua, and the heads of the tribal families
oversee the allotment of the Promised Land among the twelve tribes.
• Since the Levites do not receive any land the people of the tribe of
Joseph are divided into two tribes: Manasseh and Ephraim.
• The people of Judah, led by Caleb, come to Joshua first.
• Caleb is one of the early heroes of the nation. He was one of the
original twelve spies sent into Canaan. He is still going strong at 85.
• Because he wholly followed the Lord through all the wilderness years,
Joshua blesses him and gives him the territory of Hebron (vv. 13-15).

Jesus in the Old Testament

• When we read about the Joshua and the people of Israel entering the land
and enjoying peace, (“The land had rest from war”) we are reminded of the
inheritance we have received in Christ through His death and resurrection.

Joshua 10-12

?#?OTin52? Our reading today is Joshua 10-12:

X. The Conquest of Southern Canaan (Joshua 10).

• King Adoni-zedek of Jerusalem is terrified after learning about Israel’s
total victories over Jericho and Ai, along with their treaty with the
Gibeonites, since Gibeon was an impressive city.
• He forms an alliance with the five kings of Hebron to fight against
Gibeon for making peace with Joshua.
• The Gibeonites send word to Joshua that they are going to be attacked.
God assures Joshua of victory as his army, including men of valor, march
through the night.
• The opposing army panics before the Israelites. As the enemy forces flee
they encounter a hailstorm that kills more of them than died in battle.
• In a miraculous event, the sun stands still providing more daylight to
finish the battle as recorded in the Book of Jasher.
• The Israelites return to Gilgal where they were originally camped.
• Word reaches Joshua that the five kings are hiding in a cave at Makkedah.
• He orders a large stone to be rolled in front of the cave to block them
• The Israelites chase down the remaining soldiers and defeat them.
• When Joshua orders the cave to be opened and the kings brought before him.
• Joshua hanged all five on five trees.
• Near sunset, Joshua removes their bodies and places them in the cave and
covered it with large stones.
• Joshua went on to lead conquests and subduing the entire region of
southern Canaan.

XI. The Conquest of Northern Canaan (Joshua 11).

• King Jabin of Hazor hears of the Israelites conquests he forms an
alliance with the kings of Madon, Shimron, and Achshaph, along with the
wandering tribes of the Chinneroth, Naphoth-dor, Canaanites, Amorites,
Hittites, Perizzites, Jebusites, Hivites and Mizpah.
• This very large army gathers at Merom to fight Israel.
• God tells Joshua not to be afraid because their enemies will be
• Israel’s victory is total.
• Joshua personally strikes Jabin because he formed the alliance against
• The Israelites take the plunder.
• Joshua is the new Moses (v. 15).
• Only the Gibeonites and some Hivites make peace with Israel. The Lord
prevents the remaining Canaanites from making peace with Israel so that
they could be destroyed.
• The war of Canaan ends and Joshua gives the tribes their allotted land.

XII. Joshua 12

• This chapter retells the conquest of Canaan.
• A few battles are mentioned and some battle narratives not mentioned
before to highlight additional theological and ideological ideas.
• If this count is correct, God gave Israel victory against thirty-one
kings and claimed their land.

Jesus in the Old Testament

• Joshua is a picture of Jesus who by His death on the cross defeated every
spiritual enemy and ascended to heaven in complete victory (cf. Colossians

Joshua 7-9

?#?OTin52? Our reading is Joshua 7-9:

VII. The Sin of Achan (Joshua 7)

• Up to this point the Israelites were able to conquer the land by God’s
power but now they break faith.
• This chapter uses the Hebrew word herem multiple times to refer to things
devoted to destruction.
• As the Israelites are occupying the land any property of the Canaanites
they gain as spoils of war should be destroyed.
• Achan, a soldier in the Israelite army, decides that he doesn’t want to
participate in the herem.
• His actions displease the Lord.
• Joshua sends spies into Ai (pronounced “eye”) and they report back that a
smaller force will be all that is necessary to defeat Ai.
• However, thirty-six soldiers are slaughtered and the rest if the fighters
flee in fear.
• The sin of one man affects the entire nation.
• Joshua tears his clothes, prays before the Ark, and puts dust on his head
along with the elders as an expression of grief.
• Joshua asks God why they came into the land only to be destroyed?
• God informs him that someone in the camp has sinned.
• In a search that takes place tribe by tribe, clan by clan, household by
household and man by man, Joshua discovers that Achan is the reason why
Israel was defeated.
• He confesses his covetousness.
• He is brought to the Valley of Achor (“trouble”) with his sons and
daughters and are stoned to death and all his possessions are burned.

VIII. The Defeat of Ai (Joshua 8).

• The Israelites prepare to fight Ai a second time.
• Joshua sends a force of 30,000 men who are to set an ambush to Ai from
behind while Joshua will lead a contingent at the front.
• The king of Ai and his fighting force come out to meet Joshua and his
force in battle.
• The men of Ai are drawn out of the city to chase the Israelites, leaving
the city unprotected.
• God tells Joshua to stretch out his javelin toward the city.
• The Israelites stop running, turn around, and charge.
• The soldiers of Ai see their city burning and the other half of the
Israelite army charging toward them.
• The Israelites kill 12,000 men and women. They capture the king and
hanged him outside the city.
• Joshua then builds an altar to God on Mount Ebal just as God had
instructed to Moses.
• Joshua, as the new Moses, reads the Book of the Law to everyone.

IX. The Deception of the Gibeonites (Joshua 9).

• The kings of the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizites, Hivities, and
the Jebusites unite their forces to fight against Joshua and the Israelites.
• The Gibeonites (Hivites) plan to deceive the Israelites through disguise.
• They dress up in worn out clothing with old sacks as if they are
travelers from a distant country.
• They come to Joshua and describe how they have heard of the God of Israel
and His great power, and presenting themselves as Israel’s servants wich to
make a covenant with them.
• Joshua accepts the terms of peace (i.e. dry and crumbly bread, old
wineskins, and old clothing).
• Joshua fails to ask God for His direction on this treaty.
• Three days pass and the Israelites discover it was all a disguise.
• But because of their covenant Joshua and the Israelites doe not kill the
Gibeonites but allow them to become woodcutters and drawers of water.
• The inclusion of the Gibeonites into the people of Israel reveals God’s
heart for the nations when one day all the nations will be blessed (cf.
Genesis 12:3).

Jesus in the Old Testament

• Both Achan and Jesus were put to death to bear the judgment of God. But
unlike Achan, Jesus never sinned. We deserved the death of Achan but Jesus
put Himself in our place and absorbed God’s wrath for us.
• For Joshua, he leads the people into battle, defeats the enemy and then
sacrifices to the Lord. In the NT, Jesus is sacrificed for us, defeating
the enemy and now leads us in battle against the enemy based on His already
accomplished victory.

Joshua 4-6

?#?OTin52? Our reading today is Joshua 4-6:

IV. A Twelve-Stone Memorial of the Miracle (Joshua 4)

• The Israelites select one man from each tribe to choose a stone from the
middle of the Jordan River (i.e. where the priests stood when the river
opened) to build a memorial on the side to where they crossed.
• When their children ask what the stone monument means, they will be able
tell them how God parted the waters of the Jordan and allowed the
Israelites to cross over into the Promised Land.
• The best sense of verse 9 seems to be that a second memorial was built in
the middle of the river to also serve as a reminder of the power of God.
• Now the Israelites cross the river Jordan while the priests hold the Ark,
keeping the water at bay.
• The tribes of Reuben, God and half of the tribe of Manasseh (they had
settled west of the Jordan) also cross over with 40,000 men armed for
• Once the priests reach dry ground, the water returns its original place.
• God exalted Joshua by giving him such an amazing miracle.
• The people are also as pleased with Joshua as they were with Moses.

V. Circumcision, Passover, Fear of Other Nations, and the Commander of the
Lord’s Army (Joshua 5).

• The kings of the Amorites and Canaanites hear about the miracle of
crossing the Jordan and they become terrified.
• God orders Joshua to circumcise the Israelites a second time.
• God orders this second circumcision because during all those years
wandering in the wilderness no one had been circumcised.
• Once all the circumcising is done, the Israelites rest at a place called
Gilgal (“to roll” away the reproach).
• The Israelites observe Passover in the plains of Jericho.
• The next day they eat the produce of the land, unleavened cakes, and
parched grain.
• Their days of subsisting on a manna diet have ended.
• Joshua nears Jericho and encounters a man with a drawn sword.
• Joshua asks him whose side is he on?
• He replies that He is the commander of the Lord’s armies.
• He then commands Joshua to remove the sandals from his feet for the place
where he was standing was holy ground.
• Joshua’s encounter with the Commander of the Lord parallels God appearing
to Moses in the burning bush.

VI. The Conquest of Jericho (Joshua 6).

• The people of Jericho are in fear of the Israelites. They closed the
gates so that no one cold get in or out.
• God gives Joshua very specific instructions.
• The Israelite warriors are to march around the city of Jericho for six
days with seven priests carrying trumpets made from rams’ horns.
• On the seventh day, the warriors should march seven times around the city
blowing on the trumpets. When they make a long blast, then all the people
should shout and the walls of the city will fall so Israel can charge
forward (3-5).
• Joshua gives these orders to the Israelites, making it clear that they
are not to make any sound for six days.
• The Israelites do as God commands and they march around Jericho for six
• On the seventh day Joshua gives the Israelites specific commands and to
carry the Are around the city one time.
• Joshua then tells the Israelites not to harm Rahab or her family.
• The Israelites must destroy everything as a sacrifice to God and keep
nothing for themselves.
• At Joshua’s command, the Israelites shout and the walls of Jericho come
tumbling down.
• Once the walls are down, the Israelites charge and completely destroy
Jericho and everything in it.
• Then the Israelites fulfill their promise to Rahab and they bring her and
her family out so they can be free among the Israelites.
• Joshua then curses the land to make sure no one can build on it again.

Jesus in the Old Testament

• Just as the Israelites celebrated the mighty deeds of God by crossing the
Jordan, we celebrate the mighty deeds of God today accomplished through the
life, death and resurrection of Jesus.
• The Commander of the Lord’s Army may have been the angel of the Lord who
could be the second Person of the Trinity, the Son of God.
• Today, because of Christ, we can say that God is for us – so who can be
against us (cf. Romans 8:31).
• The Lord conquered Jericho on behalf of His people and Jesus conquered
our enemy, Satan, at the cross on our behalf.

Joshua 1-3

?#?OTin52? We finish reading Deuteronomy today and begin reading Joshua,
chapters 1-3. Well done all those who read through the first five books of

(Sorry for the late posting. I was up early today for meetings and other
obligations all day and this was my first opportunity to post).

XXXIV. The Death of Moses (Deuteronomy 34).

• Moses is eulogized as an extraordinary leader and a great prophet who
knew the Lord face to face.
• As the book of Deuteronomy closes, God shows Moses the boundaries of the
land of promise.
• Moses dies in Moab but no one knew where he was buried.
• Upon his death, Moses was 120 years old, his eyesight was undimmed and he
was in excellent health.
• The people of Israel mourned his death for 30 days.
• What the text is saying is that Moses’s moisture had not abated when he
• Joshua is given the leadership of the nation of Israel.

The Book of Joshua

The book of Joshua opens with the dedication of the nation, which leads to
the defeat of the enemy nations and the division and occupation of the land
of promise.

I. Joshua Is Commissioned as the Nation’s Leader (Joshua 1).

• As the Book of Joshua opens, Moses has passed and Joshua assumes the
mantle of leadership.
• God equips and prepares Joshua for the mission He has been assigned.
• Joshua’s success is rooted in his commitment to God’s Word.
• Joshua’s first task is to lead the Israelites to cross the Jordan River.
• God promises Israel that the nation will flourish as long as they keep
the covenant.
• Joshua passes through the camp and commands the people to get ready
because in three days they will be crossing the river.
• After Joshua directs everyone in what to do, the people of Israel agree
in unison to follow Joshua as they followed Moses.
• The Israelites appeal to Joshua to be strong and courageous. This phrase
occurs three times in chapter one (vv. 6, 7, 18).

II. Rahab and the Spies in Jericho (Joshua 2)

• Joshua sends two spies over the Jordan to survey the land but especially
to scout out the city of Jericho.
• Upon entering Jericho, the spies enter the home of Rahab, a prostitute,
and spend the night there.
• If the Israelite spies wanted to stay hidden while gathering information,
her home was the perfect place to stay concealed.
• The king of Jericho learns that there are spies in his city and orders
Rahab to surrender them immediately.
• Rahab hides the spies on her roof and then covers for them, stating that
they had been there but fled.
• She then makes an agreement with the two spies.
• Rahab lets the spies down a rope through her window.
• Rahab swears her loyalty to Israel for the protection of her family.
• She agrees to tie a scarlet cord in her window so that she and her family
will be protected on the day of battle.
• The Israelite spies report back to Joshua all that has happened.

III. Crossing the Jordan (Joshua 3).

• Joshua rose early, instructed the Israelites to pack up and head toward
the Jordan as they prepare to cross.
• They set up camp for the night and Joshua tells Israel that they must
sanctify themselves.
• As Israel is preparing to cross the Jordan, one man from each tribe is
selected to carry the Ark into the water which is at flood stage.
• When the feet of the priests who carry the Ark enter the water, the
Jordan begins to form a wall to their right and to their left.
• Joshua is the new Moses and the crossing of the Jordan is like the Read
Sea parting.
• Once everyone has made it to the other side, the priests carrying the Ark
step out of the Jordan and its waters return to normal.

Jesus in the Old Testament

• Moses was a great leader but he remained a servant of God. Jesus is the
Son of God, who superior to Moses, was crucified and raised so that the
grace of God might now flow backward to Israel, allowing them to enter the
Promised Land.
• Rahab is commended for her faith (cf. Hebrews 11:31) which resulted in
her becoming an ancestor of Jesus (cf. Matthew 1:5).

Deuteronomy 32-33

?#?OTin52? Our reading is Deuteronomy 32-33:

XXXII. The Song of Moses (Deuteronomy 32).

• This chapter records the Song of Moses that he spoke before the people.
As a result, most of this chapter is written in verse.
• The theme of the song is the greatness of God and the faithlessness of
• A catalogue of God’s character and acts.
• He is the “Rock” (v. 4, 15, 31) a father (v. 18) and a deliverer (vv.
• It is noteworthy that Israel is cast as a male rather than a female (cf.
Ezekiel 16).
• God guarded Israel as the apple of His own eye. “The Lord alone guided
• Israel became fat on His blessings (v. 15). “Jeshurun” is a poetic name
for Israel.
• Israel is compared to a young eagle who must leave the nest and learn how
to fly.
• But Israel forsook God and scoffed at Him.
• It had the potential to be a really bad breakup, but God relented. He
couldn’t allow the other nations to defeat Israel because it would make
them think God wasn’t super powerful.
• Moses discusses how the other nations are fools who produce venom and
• Israel is God’s treasure and He will protect His people.
• Moses reminds them to not forget their beginning and discern their latter
end (v. 29).
• Overall, this song is a warning to Israel not to forget what God has done
and to stay faithful to Him (which they didn’t).
• Moses finishes the song and encourages them to obey; ‘For it is no empty
word for you, but your very life” (v. 47).
• The chapter ends as God reminds Moses that he will not enter the Promised
Land but only be able to view it from afar.

XXXIII. The Blessing of Moses (Deuteronomy 33).

• Following the song of Moses, the Israelites receive the blessing of
Moses. Some form of the word bless/blessing/blessed occurs seven times.
• Moses lays out the blessings of the future for the tribes.
• There are blessings for Reuben and Judah as Moses asks God to help Judah
defeat his enemies.
• There is a blessing for the Levites, who judge the people and teach the
• There are blessings for the tribes of Benjamin and Joseph, whom is
blessed with fruitfulness.
• The blessings continue for Zebulun, Isaachar, Gad, Dan, Naphtali, and
Asher (vv. 18-25).
• The tribe of Simeon does not receive a blessing because they have become
part of the tribe of Judah.
• There is no one like God, who rides across the sky to help Israel, who is
their dwelling place and underneath are His everlasting arms.
• Israel was given such a special place. They were to be a happy people
under God with nothing to fear.

Jesus in the Old Testament

• The book of Genesis ends with Jacob blessing Israel and Deuteronomy ends
with Moses blessing Israel. The gospel also ends with blessing in Jesus’
very last action before His ascension was to bless His disciples (cf. Luke

Deuteronomy 28

?#?OTin52? Our reading today is just one chapter, Deuteronomy 28.

XXVIII. Blessings and Judgments (Deuteronomy 28).

• The covenant renewal ceremony continues.
• There are blessings for the Israelites in every area of life when they
obey God (vv.1-14).
• God will bless their political process (v. 7, 13), grant them their
victory over enemies, and esteem by other nations for Israel’s power and
prosperity (vv. 9-10).
• God will open up His storehouse of rain them and their crops (vv. 8,
• God will make them the lender to nations and not the borrower.
• God will bless them to be a light to the nations.
• If they fail in their mission, God will send various curses, mostly the
opposite of the blessings, just mentioned.
• These curses include a punishing drought for an agrarian society.
• He will send curses, confusion, and frustration in all that they
• The metaphors used to depict these curses are graphic and horrifying (vv.
• In Israel’s future a foreign king will rule over them, and this nation
will eat the fruit of Israel’s labors because of Israel’s disobedience.
• Their misery will be compounded by crop failure, and their children
enslaved. They will act with desperation and horror just to survive.
• The Lord will bring the diseases of Egypt upon them. Although God
promised that they would be as numerous as the stars, their numbers will
• These curses eventually came upon Israel because they turned from God and
followed idols.

Jesus in the Old Testament

• This chapter is a powerful and even haunting read that has value for our
personal lives as well as a helpful national assessment. I am most grateful
today that because of Christ we have been blessed with every blessing in
the spiritual realm and that Jesus absorbed all the curses for us on the