Some Interesting Stuff from Deuteronomy
- 3:9 - These same names for the same mountain have been found in ancient Canaanite and Assyrian documents. What we are reading is a factual history that connects with the surrounding culture of that day.
- 11:10-12 - Did you notice how God described the land of Egypt as land irrigated by foot and the Promised Land as land watered from heaven? This is an interesting insight into agricultural practices and the shifts the Israelites had to make. All their lives they had watered their crops “by foot”, using their foot to open and close irrigation channels allowing Nile River water to flow to the crops. In the future they will have to trust God to send the rain.
- 16:21 - A collection of inscriptions was found a little more than 30 miles south of Kadesh Barnea that speak of a blessing by Yahweh (the personal Name of God) “and his Asherah.” Deuteronomy 12:4 commands, “You must not worship the LORD [Yahweh] your God in their way.”
The Archaeological Study Bible states that “the use of this term [“and his Asherah”] here provides firsthand evidence for an idolatrous merging of orthodox Yahwistic faith and is a reference, not to an idol, but to a goddess, a supposed consort of Yahweh.” This “idolatrous merging” is the Canaanite paganism that God was trying to protect His people from through His laws.
Some Interesting Stuff in Joshua:
- The Canaanites practiced a trial by water where, to prove innocence or who was right, a person would be thrown into the water to see what happened to them. If their god came to their rescue, then they were declared innocent or right. How do you think the Canaanites interpreted the moment when Israel’s God (as represented by the Ark) stepped into the Jordan and the river stopped flowing so that all the people could pass through and not even get wet?
- So, if Rahab’s home was actually built into Jericho’s wall, why was it not destroyed when the walls came a tumblin’ down? Archaeologists found that one section of this massive wall did not fall. This was part of the lower wall and it happened to have homes built into it! Was this Rahab’s house?
- And speaking of dear Rahab, did you notice that an alternative translation for “prostitute” is “innkeeper”? Hmm, that could change the color of the story a bit! If anyone wants to research why prostitute has been the preferred translation for so many years, please let me know what you find.
- I encourage you to take special note of the seemingly insignificant fact in Joshua 19:47. The impact of this one act will eventually contribute to the apostasy and exile of the 10 northern tribes in the divided kingdom…but we will get to that in due time.
Keep on reading and I’ll see you next week.