Old Testament Survey
Lesson 5Joshua (Chaps. 5-9)
This week we will continue our Old Testament survey with the book of Joshua. As we discussed near the end of class last week, Joshua’s first military campaign was against the city of Jericho. It is important to note that at the time God’s people prepared to enter the land of Canaan, it was populated with an array of city states, like Jericho, spread across the land -- most of them loosely controlled in those days by the Pharaohs of Egypt. As the book of Joshua will reveal, Joshua will eventually defeat 31 kings of these city states through three major campaigns.
To better understand both the victory at Jericho and the type of warfare Joshua and his men will fight, we need a fundamental knowledge of siege warfare and the defenses used by these city states. So, let’s begin our study this week with a look at siege warfare and then consider some additional information on Jericho that we did not cover last week. From there, we’ll quickly cover the first nine chapters in this week’s lesson.
Here’s your assignment for this week:
- Define how siege warfare was conducted and describe some of the city defenses and strategies used to defend against it. (Also read 2 Samuel 11:14-21 for an example.)
- Define what a "bulwark" is.
- Define what a "glassy" is in siege warfare.
- How were gates used in the defense of a city?
- Examine the campaigns that Joshua led in order to capture the Promise Land and describe the methods that God used to fight these battles and to show everyone that it was His war and His victory. List some of the many things God did to make it clear to the Israelites that He was their God and that He was fighting for them all through Joshua’s campaigns.
- Consider for a moment when God dried up the Jordan River in order to allow Israel to cross on dry ground. List some reasons why God did this miracle?
- When did Manna cease to be provided? (Joshua 5:7-12)
- What happened in Joshua 5:13-15? Who is speaking, and how does this compare with Exodus 3:1-5?
- What happened to the spoils from the battle at Jericho -– who got them? (Joshua 6:17-19)
- Discuss the sin of Achan and the impact of his actions on the nation of Israel. (Joshua Chapter 7)
- Discuss the circumstances surrounding the treaty with the Gibeonites. (Joshua Chapter 9) How does 2 Samuel, chapter 21, relate to this treaty? How many of Saul&rsquo:s innocent descendants were killed?
We see again this week that God will not tolerate sin, and that a community that condones it -- even without its knowledge -- has sin within it, and is quickly and severely punished. We also see that when God is allowed to lead, there is always victory; but when man depends on his own will, follows his own lusts, and ignores God, defeat lies at the doorstep. Praise God we also see displayed in Joshua His infinite mercy and His unchanging faithfulness, as He leads Israel deeper and deeper into the Promise Land.
Let’s commit this week to follow God’s plan for our lives and not to follow our own desires. Let’s also commit this week to tell someone else about His great love for us and the gift of eternal salvation that He provides to everyone through His one and only son Jesus.
Thanks for studying with us,