Wednesday, January 10, 2007

The Rest of Joshua

Joshua 2 and 13-24

I saw that Rich of Brooklyn Quaker has started a blog on Pondering the Gospels, and I was struck by his quoting a passage suggesting that Rahab is mentioned in the geneology at the beginning of Matthew. Notes in the edition of the Bible I am reading confirm that the Rahab mentioned in Matthew is taken to be the same Rahab described in Joshua 2!

While we cannot quite say that Jesus is descended from Rahab (since Joseph is not supposed to be Jesus' actual father), I still find this extraordinary! One source of my astonishment is the clear note back in Deuteronomy: "Do not intermarry with them" (Deut 7:3). Of course we do not know whether Salmon and Rahab were married as such, but still...

So now we know why the story of Rahab was included!

The rest of Joshua tells of distributing the land that has been conquered so far amongst the tribes of Israel. There was some land east of the Jordan that had already been distributed. Now the remaining tribes get land as well, except the Levites, who get some towns to settle in and some grazing land for their livestock. The eastern tribes have helped with the conquest of this land west of the Jordan, and now they return home.

Joshua himself recounts all that has happened, and urges the people to stay faithful, and then he dies at 110 years old. The people settle in their new land. A new era in their lives begins.

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