Jericho On the seventh time that the Israelites circle the walls of Jericho, the priests blow their trumpets and the walls come tumbling down.

Day 82 (March 23): Israelites cross Jordan, Ark parts waters, memorial, circumcision renewed, Joshua bows, Jericho march, walls crumble, Rahab saved

Sweet Publishing / FreeBibleimages.org

Welcome to Livin’ Light’s Bible-In-A-Year challenge of discovering God’s love for us and His purpose for our lives. Here is the format for this great adventure: The daily reading assignment is posted at 5 a.m. After each day’s reading, Leigh An Coplin, the blog host, shares observations and poses questions about difficult passages to Rob Fields, who studied Christian Education at Asbury Seminary and currently teaches Biology in the Orlando area. To start from the beginning, click on 365 Bible Readings and scroll down to Day 1. The reading schedule is taken from The One Year Chronological Bible NLT. 

Today’s Reading
Joshua 3-6
(1406 BC) Click here for a timeline of the entire Bible.

Questions & Observations

Q. (3:13): I like how God uses a parting of the waters again to enter into a new land.  The Israelites who witnessed this miracle at the Exodus are no longer living.  So, it is wonderful that the new generation can see the power of God parting water.

A. Water was an ancient symbol of life giving deities.  By turning the Nile to blood, parting the Red Sea, and the Jordan River, God is demonstrating His power of these other false gods.

Q. (3:17): I thought the Israelites were told to stay a half mile back because of the holiness of the Ark, but here, they are passing by it.  Can you explain?

A. They were told to stay back until the Ark got to the middle of the Jordan and the water receded.  Then they could cross by it.

Q. (4:12): I notice that the warriors from the tribes that asked for the land east of the Jordan instead of west of the Jordan are asked to go first.  Is this sort of a payment of these tribes for asking for the land on the east side of the Jordan River, sort of rejecting the land that God had promised them?

A. As we mentioned yesterday, that was the bargain that Moses struck with the tribes: your leadership in battle in exchange for this good land.  As far as I know, the land on the east side of the Jordan is Canaan as well, so it was part of what God intended for Israel.

Q. (5:2): We have discussed the Lord’s requirement of circumcision of the Israelite males in Day 5’s reading (Jan. 5).  Anything to add here?

A. Yes, this passage indicates that exception had been made for this generation of Israel: those born in the wilderness (i.e. the generation who would take the Promised Land, as opposed to those who died out) were not circumcised, for reasons that are not explained.  The rite is simply suspended for 40 years.  This passage indicates that when Israel crossed the Jordan, the religious observances were reestablished.  Note that after the covenant is reaffirmed by circumcision, they celebrate Passover.  It also tells us that the manna disappears, indicating a closure to that chapter of God’s provision for His people.  My notes also tell me that it was in Canaan that Abraham and his family members were first circumcised, so doing this ceremony in the Promised Land is a way of renewing the covenant relationship that he established.

O. (5:9): I had never thought about any shame the Israelites would have carried from being former slaves.  I guess that would have been a burden to carry and now God somehow took that feeling away.

O. (6:1-5): Remember the discussion about the importance of certain numbers in the Bible?  Seven signifies completeness and fulfillment, and traces its roots back the seven days of creation.  To see other important numbers Rob told us about, see the first answer on Day 3.

Q. (6:25): Will Rahab or her descendants come up again?

A.  I don’t think so, but Rahab’s faith does get her two mentions in the NT: in Hebrews 11 (the hall of fame passage) and James 2.  Not a bad consolation, right?

Song: If you grew up going to church, you probably know this song, Joshua fought the battle of Jericho, https://www.google.com/search?q=battle+of+Jericho+song+video&sca_esv=ba2f71a3923bd7cb&ei=gIDFZfI11NeS9A_l0Zi4Dg&ved=0ahUKEwjy9YSgjp2EAxXUq4QIHeUoBucQ4dUDCBA&uact=5&oq=battle+of+Jericho+song+video&gs_lp=Egxnd3Mtd2l6LXNlcnAiHGJhdHRsZSBvZiBKZXJpY2hvIHNvbmcgdmlkZW8yBRAhGKABMgUQIRigAUjlSVCyC1iJRXAEeACQAQCYAaQBoAHNGKoBBTE3LjEzuAEDyAEA-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&sclient=gws-wiz-serp#fpstate=ive&vld=cid:05a46718,vid:wfPOHQOc3uI,st:0

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Tomorrow’s reading: Joshua 7:1; 1 Chronicles 2:7; Joshua 7:2-9:27