Thursday, April 1, 2010

Joshua, Chapters 1-3

Chapter 1

God starts talking to Joshua, now that Moses is dead. The Israelites are to invade Canaan in 3 days' time. Meanwhile, Joshua is to spend those days reading the Torah and absorbing its laws.

Chapter 2

Joshua sends two spies into Canaan, and in the grand tradition of dudes on vacation, they go to a whorehouse. This isn't just any old whore, though, this is Rahab, an ancestor of King David and Jesus. So that makes two Canaanite prostitutes in the Messianic line. So much for all those laws in Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy about mixing with the heathens and not visiting hookers.

Clearly, Rahab's place is well known, because pretty soon the king of Jericho comes along and demands she turn them over. She lies, which again, is condemned, and says they left, but really they're on the roof. After they leave, she comes up to them and explains that she has heard about all the great deeds the Israelite god has done for them (when, exactly? They've been wandering around in the desert telling stories for 40 years, not making conquests) and asks them to ask god to spare her and her family when they take over. They agree. She lets them out onto the city wall, which she lives on, and advises them to go and hide on the mountain for three days. They tell her that if she keeps their secret, they won't harm her or her family. They give her a piece of red thread and tell her to gather her family inside the house and hang the thread out the window. They won't harm anyone inside.

Huh. The prostitutes' union in the Netherlands is called 'De Rode Draad', or in English 'The Red Thread.' Now I know where that comes from.

Chapter 3

Time to cross the Jordan! First, 12 men have to stand in the river, which will cause it to stop flowing. Then the priests have to go through with the Ark of the Covenant, then the rest of the Israelites. Yup, it's that exciting!

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