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by , 2 Weeks Ago at 09:09 PM (57 Views)
Joshua's strategy for conquering the promised land was pretty simple. His orders to his men of war were to kill every man, woman, and child. Some of the cities that Joshua fought against were burnt and leveled to the ground. Others he left standing but all of the people in them were slaughtered (Joshua 6:21). This was Mose's commandment to the people (Deut. 20:16-18) and Joshua followed it faithfully.
The first city that Joshua fought against in Canaan was Jericho. It's commonly believed that the walls of Jericho miraculously "fell down flat" as written in Joshua 6:20. "So that the people went up into the city (Joshua 6:20)."
There are some problems with this interpretation. Rahab, the harlot, who hid the scouts that Joshua sent to assess Jericho lived on the town wall (Joshua 2:15). She made a deal with the scouts that she would not reveal them to the searchers if they agreed that she and her family would be spared in the event the city was taken (Joshua 2:6,13-14).
They accepted her offer only if all of her family were brought to her house and if the cord she let them escape by through her window on the wall was there when they returned (Joshua 2:15-21). She agreed and the plot was set. Rahab in truth, gave up the city to the Israelites.
The marching of the people around Jericho was a strategic form of distraction in order to allow Joshua's men to gain access into the city (Joshua 6:3-16). Many of Joshua's men were able to climb up that cord through Rahab's window to secretly enter Jericho in the seven days that the others were blowing the trumpets and drawing away the attention of the defenders. When it's written that the walls of Jericho fell, what's really meant is that the defenses of Jericho fell because the enemy was already within the gates.
Another problem with the walls of Jericho falling down flat is that Rahab who lived on the wall was taken out of the city along with her family after Jericho was defeated (Joshua 6:22-23). Jericho was burnt and its walls thrown down after they were removed. All the others in the city were killed (Joshua 6:23-24).
The next city taken by the Israelites was Hai. It's name was changed to Ai which means heap of ruins after it was destroyed by Joshua and his men (Joshua 8:8). It was a fortified city with walls and gates. Joshua's strategy here was to lure the defenders out of the city by feigning fleeing from them. The men of Hai opened the gates and pursued after them to kill as many as they could just as they had done days before (Joshua 7:5). But this time Joshua had men in hiding behind the city. When the men of Hai left the city to pursue Joshua and his men, the men in hiding rose up and entered the city through the open gates and set the city on fire (Joshua 8:15-21).
"Joshua 8:28 And Joshua burnt Ai, and made it an heap for ever, even a desolation unto this day."

"Joshua 10:1 Now it came to pass, when Adonizedec king of Jerusalem had heard how Joshua had taken Ai, and had utterly destroyed it; as he had done to Jericho and her king, so he had done to Ai and her king;"

"Joshua 11:11-12 And they smote all the souls that were therein with the edge of the sword, utterly destroying them: there was not any left to breathe: and he burnt Hazor with fire. And all the cities of those kings, and all the kings of them, did Joshua take, and smote them with the edge of the sword, and he utterly destroyed them, as Moses the servant of the Lord commanded."

Another city that was totally destroyed by the Israelites was Zephath. After they had taken the city, they killed everyone in it and reduced the city to a ruin. The city was renamed Hormah by the Israelites which means laid waste.
It was not unusual to destroy a city after it was defeated. The people who survived the assault fled because there was nothing to return to. The destruction of the city was a strategy of war to utterly defeat the enemy.

"Jer. 50:15 Shout against her (Babylon) round about: she hath given her hand (was defeated): her foundations are fallen, her walls are thrown down: for it is the vengeance of the LORD:"

Jericho's walls did not fall down. They were thrown down. Hai was not a ruin. It was made a ruin and renamed Ai just like Zephath was laid waste and renamed Hormah.

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  1. Waggles's Avatar
    Are you making a point about all of this history?

    The real tragedy is that the Israelites failed to eradicate
    all of the inhabitants of Canaan and mingled with
    these unbelievers and were in the end vanquished by
    the false gods of the Philistines and others.
  2. nddreamer's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Waggles
    Are you making a point about all of this history?

    The real tragedy is that the Israelites failed to eradicate
    all of the inhabitants of Canaan and mingled with
    these unbelievers and were in the end vanquished by
    the false gods of the Philistines and others.
    As a kid I heard these amazing biblical tales. I wasn't brought up in the church and the reality of my life caused me to have a doubt. So the workings of my mind concluded that if that isn't true, none of it is. I scorned the believers of the impossible for decades until God intervened. There are many in the world like I used to be. They don't need fairy tales and God needs no enhancement of his works. I love God and I love the truth and that will prevail.