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Thursday, February 20 2014

Joshua 24: The Covenant Of Shechem

"So Joshua made a covenant with the people that day, and set them a statute and an ordinance in Shechem"

Joshua had completed the task that the LORD (Who was and is Jesus Christ - see Genesis 1: In The Beginning Was The Word and The Kingdom Of The LORD God) had given to him (see Joshua 1: Joshua's Commission). With the Israelite national capital encampment (i.e. the Tabernacle) at Shechem (see the map below), Joshua, who was in effect the Prime Minister under the LORD, the King of the Kingdom of God., called an assembly of "the elders of Israel, and for their heads, and for their judges, and for their officers; and they presented themselves before God."

"24:1 And Joshua gathered all the tribes of Israel to Shechem, and called for the elders of Israel, and for their heads, and for their judges, and for their officers; and they presented themselves before God." (Joshua 24:1 KJV)

Joshua then gave them, first a history lesson (see the Fact Finder question below) for the why, and then a reiteration of the Covenant that the LORD made with those who broke it (see Deuteronomy 2: The Israelite Wanderland). Unlike the generation that failed itself, those in the time of Joshua declared that they would obey the LORD. It was a promise that they kept, in the time of Joshua.


"24:2 And Joshua said unto all the people, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Your fathers dwelt on the other side of the flood in old time, even Terah, the father of Abraham, and the father of Nachor: and they served other gods. 24:3 And I took your father Abraham from the other side of the flood [see The LORD's Seed Covenants With The Two Men Of Iraq and A Biography Of Abraham: The Genealogy Of AbraIsaac: Rising From The Ashes]. 24:4 And I gave unto Isaac Jacob and Esau [see Genesis 25: The Birth of Jacob and Esau]: and I gave unto Esau mount Seir, to possess it; but Jacob and his children went down into Egypt [see Genesis 46: The First Census Of Israel].

24:5 I sent Moses also and Aaron [see The Meeting Of Moses And Aaron], and I plagued Egypt, according to that which I did among them: and afterward I brought you out. 24:6 And I brought your fathers out of Egypt: and ye came unto the sea; and the Egyptians pursued after your fathers with chariots and horsemen unto the Red sea [see Exodus 12: The First Passover, Exodus 11: The Passover Moon At Midnight and Exodus 14: Crossing The Sea]. 24:7 And when they cried unto the LORD, he put darkness between you and the Egyptians, and brought the sea upon them, and covered them; and your eyes have seen what I have done in Egypt: and ye dwelt in the wilderness a long season [see Numbers 14: Why 40 Years In The Sinai?].

24:8 And I brought you into the land of the Amorites, which dwelt on the other side Jordan; and they fought with you: and I gave them into your hand, that ye might possess their land; and I destroyed them from before you. 24:9 Then Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab, arose and warred against Israel, and sent and called Balaam the son of Beor to curse you: 24:10 But I would not hearken unto Balaam; therefore he blessed you still: so I delivered you out of his hand [see Numbers 22: Balak and Balaam, Numbers 23: Balaam's Parables and Numbers 24: Balaam's Blessing Of Israel].

24:11 And ye went over Jordan [see Joshua 3: The Crossing Of The Jordan and Joshua 4: Beachhead In The Promised Land], and came unto Jericho [see Joshua 6: The Fall Of Jericho]: and the men of Jericho fought against you, the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Girgashites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites; and I delivered them into your hand. 24:12 And I sent the hornet before you, which drave them out from before you, even the two kings of the Amorites; but not with thy sword, nor with thy bow. 24:13 And I have given you a land for which ye did not labour, and cities which ye built not, and ye dwell in them; of the vineyards and oliveyards which ye planted not do ye eat.

24:14 Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the LORD. 24:15 And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.

24:16 And the people answered and said, God forbid that we should forsake the LORD, to serve other gods; 24:17 For the LORD our God, he it is that brought us up and our fathers out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage, and which did those great signs in our sight, and preserved us in all the way wherein we went, and among all the people through whom we passed: 24:18 And the LORD drave out from before us all the people, even the Amorites which dwelt in the land: therefore will we also serve the LORD; for he is our God.

24:19 And Joshua said unto the people, Ye cannot serve the LORD: for he is an holy God; he is a jealous God; he will not forgive your transgressions nor your sins. 24:20 If ye forsake the LORD, and serve strange gods, then he will turn and do you hurt, and consume you, after that he hath done you good.

Shechem 24:21 And the people said unto Joshua, Nay; but we will serve the LORD.

24:22 And Joshua said unto the people, Ye are witnesses against yourselves that ye have chosen you the LORD, to serve him.

And they said, We are witnesses.

24:23 Now therefore put away, said he, the strange gods which are among you, and incline your heart unto the LORD God of Israel.

24:24 And the people said unto Joshua, The LORD our God will we serve, and his voice will we obey.

24:25 So Joshua made a covenant with the people that day, and set them a statute and an ordinance in Shechem. 24:26 And Joshua wrote these words in the book of the law of God, and took a great stone, and set it up there under an oak, that was by the sanctuary of the LORD.

24:27 And Joshua said unto all the people, Behold, this stone shall be a witness unto us; for it hath heard all the words of the LORD which he spake unto us: it shall be therefore a witness unto you, lest ye deny your God." (Joshua 24:2-27 KJV)

The bones of the patriarch Joseph had been carried out of Egypt at the time of the Exodus (see Joseph's Bones; also Bones In History and Prophecy) and were buried in the Promised Land. Joshua was a descendant of Joseph's son Ephraim (see Genesis 48: The Adoption Of Ephraim and Manasseh), so when Joshua died, he too was buried in "the inheritance of the children of Joseph" (see Joshua 16: Ephraim's Inheritance; see also Joshua 17: West Manasseh).

Aaron's son and successor Eleazar (see From Moses And Aaron To Joshua and Eleazar) also died in that time. The Levites were given a physical inheritance throughout the other tribes (see Joshua 21: Cities and Suburbs Of The Levite Clans and Numbers 18: The Inheritance Of The Levites), so, as it happened, Eleazar too was buried in the land of Ephraim.

"24:28 So Joshua let the people depart, every man unto his inheritance. 24:29 And it came to pass after these things, that Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died, being an hundred and ten years old. 24:30 And they buried him in the border of his inheritance in Timnathserah, which is in mount Ephraim, on the north side of the hill of Gaash.

24:31 And Israel served the LORD all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that overlived Joshua, and which had known all the works of the LORD, that he had done for Israel.

24:32 And the bones of Joseph, which the children of Israel brought up out of Egypt, buried they in Shechem, in a parcel of ground which Jacob bought of the sons of Hamor the father of Shechem for an hundred pieces of silver: and it became the inheritance of the children of Joseph.

24:33 And Eleazar the son of Aaron died; and they buried him in a hill that pertained to Phinehas his son, which was given him in mount Ephraim." (Joshua 24:28-33 KJV)

Fact Finder: Why was it that Joshua, not Moses, led the Israelites across the Jordan River?
See Deuteronomy 1: Why A Book Of Deuteronomy In The Bible?; also Deuteronomy 3: What Did Moses Pray For At The Jordan River?

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This Day In History, February 20

1339: The Battle of Parabiago between the Milanese army and the St. George's (San Giorgio) Mercenaries of Lodrisio Visconti.

1547: Edward VI was crowned King of England at Westminster Abbey.

1579: Sir Nicholas Bacon died at age 70. He was a high official in the government of Queen Elizabeth I (reigned 1558-1603) and the father of the philosopher Francis Bacon.

1685: Rene-Robert Cavelier established Fort St. Louis (St. Louis was named after French King Louis IX), thereby establishing the "New France" claim to Texas.

New France

1653: During the first English-Dutch War, the Dutch fleet under Van Tromp fought the British at the Battle of Portland.

1707: Aurangzeb died at age 89. He was the last of the great Mughal emperors of India (1658-1707). Under him the Mughal empire reached its greatest extent, although his policies helped lead to its end.

1790: Holy Roman emperor Joseph II died at age 49 (see The Holy Roman Empire Of The German Nation).

1811: Austria declared itself bankrupt.

1831: Polish revolutionaries defeated the Russians at the Battle of Growchow.

1862: William Lincoln, age 11, son of President Abraham Lincoln, died at the White House.

1895: Frederick Douglas, escaped slave and U.S. antislavery leader, died at age 78.

1920: At the end of the First World War (listen to our Sermon The European World Wars), when Britain inherited the Middle East nations that had been under the Ottoman Empire for centuries (see A History Of Jerusalem: The British Mandate and listen to our Sermon The Ottoman Empire), Britain recognized the government of Trans-Jordan (listen to our Sermon The Balfour Declaration).

1938: British Foreign Minister Anthony Eden resigned in protest because of Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain's appeasement of Adolf Hitler (see Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion).

1943: During the Second World War, U.S. movie studio executives agreed to allow the Office of War Information to censor movies and integrate nationalistic and political propaganda in "entertainment" films (a practice that has never stopped).

1947: Louis Mountbatten was appointed the last British Viceroy of India.

1959: "Black Friday" for the Canadian aviation industry of the 1950s.

Prime Minister John Diefenbaker ended the CF-105 Arrow project - one of the fastest, most advanced fighters in human history (fighter aircraft designed and built over 40 years later are still inferior to the Arrow in some performance characteristics). With a top speed of over 1,500 miles per hour and a service ceiling of 58,500 feet (the modern-day U.S. McDonnell Douglas F-18 Hornet, that Canada uses today, has a top speed of only 1,300 mph and service ceiling of 50,000 feet - an Arrow could literally fly circles around a full-throttle present-day F-18), the Arrow was designed for the Royal Canadian Air Force to intercept and destroy Soviet nuclear bombers, and their fighter escorts, on route to targets in Canada and the United States, as they were entering the vast Canadian air space over the remote Arctic (Canada spent the "Cold War" years "sandwiched" between the 2 superpowers, with the U.S. on its southern border and the U.S.S.R. on its northern border).

Five Arrows were flying (two and a half times the speed of sound in the 1950s), five more were near completion, and another twenty six were on order when Diefenbaker cancelled the project. The stated reasons: high cost per aircraft (which would have been greatly reduced in full production) and a decision to use a proposed by U.S. President Eisenhower missile-based defense (which was never delivered, or even produced - in 2012, over 40 years later, the U.S. is still trying to create an effective "missile defense shield").

Diefenbaker also ordered (for which many Canadians to this day are still struggling to forgive him, even though Diefenbaker died in 1979) every completed and in-production Arrow cut into pieces and scrapped - despite a persistent, but fanciful, legend that a defiant Canadian air force Arrow pilot rescued one, just hours before it was scheduled to be cut up, by flying it out of the base in Toronto, without authorization, in the middle of the night, to a private air field somewhere in Canada (at low altitude so that it could not be tracked on radar, and no other aircraft in existence could catch it) where it remains today, after a supersonic low-level "buzzing" of Canada's capital city, Ottawa, including the Prime Minister's residence in which Diefenbaker was reportedly awakened by the thundering, plaster-cracking sonic booms of the legendary "Arrow that got away."

All prototypes and blueprints were also deliberately destroyed. 15,000 production jobs were lost, plus another 35,000 jobs in spinoff industries. Many of the Canadian Arrow engineers left Canada, never to return. They found work all over the world, with several going to NASA where some elements of Arrow technology were successfully used in the Apollo moon landings and various other projects of the US space program including the Space Shuttle.

1962: John Glenn became the second U.S. astronaut in space (after Alan Shepherd in May 1961) and the first U.S. astronaut to orbit the earth. Although almost totally ignored and unreported by the U.S. news media (leaving many of the U.S. population with a very limited and distorted view of history and present-day reality), Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin was actually the first man in space, in April 1961.

1965: Charles Woolley died at age 80. The British archaeologist spent over 40 years in the field; he excavated Ur of the Chaldees (birthplace of Abraham; see The Journey From Ur Of The Chaldees) and discovered the ancient Sumerian civilization.

1984: Harris Shoerats, the oldest man in Britain, died at age 111.

1986: The Soviet space station Mir was launched into Earth orbit.

1990: Soviet Parliamentary leaders proposed a draft law which would allow the republics the right to break away from the Soviet Union.

2005: Spain became the first European nation to hold a referendum on ratification of the Constitution of the European Union.


Copyright © Wayne Blank