Sunday, April 4, 2010

Joshua, Chapters 9 & 10

The story of the Gibeonites. Also, god makes the sun stand still! Oh and there's killing. Lots and lots of killing.

Chapter 9

The Amorite, Canaanite, Perizzite, Hivite and Jebusite kings all make a pact to fight the Israelites. The Gibeonites, another people living nearby, try a different tactic. They dress themselves in rags and show up with moldy bread and worn wine sacks and pretend they've come a long way to make a peace treaty with them. In return, they'll indenture themselves to the Israelites. The Israelites don't ask what god thinks, but swear a treaty in his name nonetheless. Of course, three days later they find out the Gibeonites are actually their neighbours, but they can't destroy them because of the treaty! So they make them hewers of wood and drawers of water unto all the congregation (v. 21).

Joshua calls them to him and asks why they made such a bargain? They reply that it was better to be enslaved than slaughtered. Fair 'nuff.

Chapter 10

Five kings make a pact to wage war against the Israelites and the Gibeonites. Joshua hears of the plan and marches his army all night to defeat them, then god finishes off the stragglers with a giant hailstorm. Then Joshua asks the sun and moon to hold still while he makes sure they're all dead. We are told this is the only time god listened to a human voice. So who was talking to Abraham and Moses, then? That would be mass slaughter number one.

Somehow, the five kings escape to a cave, and Joshua again hears about it. He orders them brought to him, then tells his generals to stand on their necks. Joshua slits their throats and hangs them from trees. If that isn't a barbaric act, I don't know what is. And it's also the second mass slaughter.

Next, he goes to Makkedah and leaves no survivors. Number three.

The same fate befalls Libnah. Number four.

Lachish becomes mass murder number five.

Horam, king of Gezer, tries to help, but is also killed on a grand scale to bring the numbers up to six.

Hebron and Debir become victims number seven and eight.

Mmm, genocide. I feel numb.

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