Jun 20, 2010

Joshua June 6 2010 – Chaps 14 - 15

Sources are in bold (if any) and described at end.
Think about Num 14:44 where people defied YYVH and went to battle and were routed with Ai.
Caleb and Joshua represent those who are willing to fight for their land.  The 10 spies who died of plague showed themselves willing to fight – but not sure about the need to do so, and not trusting in God.

14:1------------- Eleazar the priest  ELEAZAR (Heb. אֶלְעָזָר; "God/El-has-aided"), high priest after *Aaron . Eleazar was Aaron's third son (Ex. 6:23); his older brothers Nadab and *Abihu perished after offering strange fire before the Lord (Lev. 10:1–7; Num. 3:4). During his father's lifetime Eleazar served as the "head chieftain of the Levites" (Num. 3:32) and performed some of the functions of the high priest (ibid. 19:4). After Aaron's death, Eleazar was appointed high priest in his father's place (ibid. 20:28; Deut. 10:6).  "Eleazar." Encyclopaedia Judaica. Ed. Michael Berenbaum and Fred Skolnik. 2nd ed. Vol. 6. Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA, 2007. 298. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 13 May 2010.
------------------ Moses can invest Joshua, but priest has to seek instructions from Unim.  In Num 34:17: Eleazar is priest, not prophet – he carries on Aaronic tradition while Joshua carries on Mosaic.
14:6------------- Caleb is a Kenizzite, but also seemingly referred to as of the tribe of Judah.  Kenizzites were related to Edomites (Gen 36:11, 15, 42..) and listed with Canaanites who preceded Israelite settlement (Gen 15:19) “It would seem that it was only with the advent of the monarchy that the Calebites were completely integrated into Judah and became one of its major family groups. (EJ)  Does this story undermine Judah (Isreal’s) supremacy, ie foreigners do what Judah could not do?  (J&M – Fewell, pg 139)
14:7-8---------- Caleb speaks as if he were the only spy
14:11----------- Caleb is strong for war – then and now
14:9,13-14---- Joshua gave Hebron to Caleb because he wholly followed YHVH.  Num 14:24 – God says “my servant Caleb” was loyal etc.   Deut 1:16: Same idea, reported about God by Moses.  Num 14:6 – Joshua and Caleb rend their garments because of community’s complaints
14:14----------- Repeat “Kenizzite
14:15----------- Land had rest from war.  See 11:23 for same statement.  [formula?]

15:1------------- Judah’s lot extends to Edom
15:13----------- Joshua give’s Caleb a portion “among the children of Judah” 
15:15----------- Kiriath-sepher = “City of writing” or “city of books” – to spell out that the city to be destroyed is a city of books puts conquest in a different light – though Joshua and Judges foreground trumphalism, this remnant suggests that the place to be destroyed may be center of learning where history and texts are valued.  (J&M – Fewell, pg 131-2)
15:16----------- Caleb will give Achsah his daughter to whomever will smite Kiriath sepher.  Achsah subordinate to father and husband.  Achsah means bangle or Anklet. (J&M – Fewell, pg 133)
15:17----------- There is no body count, no herem.  Was this a peaceful capture?
15:18----------- Is dismounting a sign of submission or an emphatic gesture whereby Achsah plants herself firmly on the ground in order to confront her father? (J&M – Fewell, pg 137)
15:19----------- Achsah becomes vocal, active.  Her direct speech emphasizes the importance of this encounter (J&M Bowman pg 22). 
------------------ Achsah requests a blessing as is normally given to first born (daughters of Zelophehad ask for land -  Num 27:1-11 and Jos 16:3-6) (AFC-J Bowman pg 22).  Why would her father have given her only arid land?  Caleb’s motive is not shown.  From a narrative point of view, this stresses Achsah’s assertiveness  (J&M Bowman pg 24).  “Does the fact that the bargaining chip turns bargainer render the original bargain somewhat ironic?”  (J&M – Fewell, pg 134)
------------------ Achsah gains her wishes through appeals to men who have authority over her – ideal woman in patriarchal society.  She demonstrates both constraints of patriarchy and the power women may have within those limitations. (AFC-J– Klein: pg 60)
------------------ In Joshua this episode brings to conclusion Moses’ promise to Caleb = end of Caleb’s story, communicating the reward to the faithful.
------------------ In Judges this is not an end but a beginning – introduces first Judge = Othoniel (outsider or insider undermines Us vs Them ideology that drives conquest) (J&M – Fewell, pg 140)
------------------ Women shown as owners of property rare, repeated in daughters of Zelophehad (Jos 17:3-6) (J&M – Fewell, pg 140)
------------------ Achsah – male vision of what is necessary for survival and prosperity is limited – the women knows that land is dry and must have water. (WBC – Fewell)
15:20-62------- Inheritance of Judah by families
15:63----------- Jebusites – inhabitants of Jerusalem – their king was Adoni-Tzedek who led the charge against Gibeon (Jos 10:1) who was slaughtered (Jos 10:22-27).  They were reduced to serfdom by Solomon (I Kings 9:20, 21).  Occupied Palestine at time of Israelite invasion. Spies saw them (Num 13:29 “powerful”, Jos 11:3)

AFC-J = A Feminist Companion to the Bible, Ser 1, Judges, Athalya Brenner, ed.
EJ = Encyclopaedia Judaica, 2007
J&MJudges and Methods: Gale Yee ed.
WBC = Women’s Bible Commentary: Dana Nolan Fewell: “Joshua.”

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