I Samuel 6: The Philistines Return the Ark

The Philistines only had possession of the Ark for seven months before they got sick of its apparent toxicity and voted to send it back to Israel. Their priests told declared that each of the five Philistine lords should offer up  a golden tumor and a golden mouse represented the plagues (apparently there were rodents too?), placing them in a box on a new cart along with the Ark and to hitch two milking cows that where unbroken to the yoke to it and then let it go. If the cows headed toward Israel, then everyone would know that indeed the Hebrew God had caused the plagues, but if the cows went off like normal, then it had all been bad luck. Continue reading “I Samuel 6: The Philistines Return the Ark”

Judges 1

After Joshua died, no central leader arose to unite the tribes. However, Judah and Simeon did take the lead in fighting the remaining Canaanites in their territories.

Moses’s father-in-law, who is now a Kenite (and not a Midianite as he was in Exodus) and is still sojourning with the Hebrews (and alive?), helps out the Judeans.

The Benjaminites were unable to drive out or kill all the Jebusites in Jerusalem and ended up making peace and cohabiting with them, violating God’s rules. Continue reading “Judges 1”

Joshua 24: Joshua Dies

Joshua reminded the Hebrews of their history, that their ancestor Abraham had been chosen  by God to abandon his ancestral gods to worship God and that God had promised him and his descendants Isaac and Jacob the Promised Land. And also the whole Egypt adventure, and the wandering through the desert, and the recent wars of empire and genocide. And because of all that, everyone needed to swear to always be true to God and to follow Its rules.

So everyone swore to always be faithful to God.

Then Joshua had new copies of all the rules made and a large stone set up as a monument to this most recent oath, near Shechem. Continue reading “Joshua 24: Joshua Dies”

Joshua 14

So Eleazar the Priest and Joshua told everyone it was time to draw lots to set out territorial boundaries among the remaining eight tribes. Reuben, Gad, and Manasseh had gotten theirs on the other side of the Jordan and  Judah and Ephraim had already gotten their allotments.

See, Caleb of Judah came to Joshua was and was all, bro, you remember what Moses said to me all those years ago when you and I and those other dudes were first sent as spies to Canaan, right? That this land, the land on which I trod would be mine? So this hill country should be Judah’s and I want Hebron to my city and the capital of the territory.

Joshua 13

By this time, Joshua was old and worn out, and God was all, look, bro, I think it’s about time for you to retire. You humans wear out so fast! There is still so much to do, because there are still Philistines, Geshurites and Canaanites alive. But whatever. I guess it’s my fault really. Anyway, you need to finish divvying up the land among the Hebrews even though it isn’t all conquered yet before you die.

Joshua 11: Conquering Northern Canaan

By this time, the folk in northern Canaan were beginning to freak out a bit about the Hebrew threat. So Jabin, King of Hazor and the high king of the area, parlayed with Jobab, King of Madon and the kings of Shimron and Achshaph, and well, just about every other king or warlord in the area to convince them to join forces to defend themselves against the encroaching Hebrews.

The resulting army was huge, with many divisions of charioteers and cavalry. But God whispered to Joshua not to worry, that the Hebrews would burn the chariots and hamstring the horses. Continue reading “Joshua 11: Conquering Northern Canaan”

Joshua 10: The Battle of the Five Kings

Lo, when Adoni-Zedek, King of Jerusalem, heard what had come to pass at Ai and Jericho, and that Joshua had executed both kings, and that the Gibeonites had made peace with the Hebrews and accepted enslavement, he became really freaked, because he had always thought of Gibeon as a city equal in strength and power as his own. So Adoni-Zedek King sent forth messengers to Hoham, King of Hebron; Piram, King of Jarmoth; Japhis, King of Lachish; and Debin, King of Elgon, treating them to band with him to attack Gibeon for betraying them all.

Then the army of Five Kings marched forth toward Gibeon, and the Gibeonites send word to Joshua, praying for the mighty warrior to save his vassals. Joshua was all, No one but me fucks with my bitch! and he and the Hebrews marched forth to defend Gibeon. Continue reading “Joshua 10: The Battle of the Five Kings”