What an amazing document! Yes, it’s kind of boring to read, but it says so much. For one, it may be the only living document that records these kingdoms and their one-time existence. I can’t help but compare this document to a little note I received this morning from a student/newspaper friend of mine. This young man introduced himself to me via Facebook and has completely brightened my year! He’s a newspaper guy through and through, and it’s refreshing to see his wisdom and passion in such a young person. Anyway, he’s asked if he can write a profile about me for a class assignment. How honored I feel! Before reading this chapter, I was thinking that this profile might be the only document ever written about me. It’s small, and for people who don’t know me or don’t care to know anything about me, it will be a boring read, but maybe my kids can save it and those great-great-great-grandbabies might enjoy it one day. Who knows. But one of the main purposes of writing is to remind us of moments, and that’s exactly what this chapter does. We may not be able to fathom this moment completely, but this document reminds us that it happened. (And Hollywood has made sure we can better imagine the gruesome battles, planning and negotiations that took place right along with it.)
We don’t have a real timeline for this conquest, but common sense tells us these battles didn’t just happen overnight. I think we’ll learn more later on about the timeframe. For now, though, if you’re wondering how much territory the Israelites conquered according to modern-day countries, here’s a little map from my Life Application Study Bible (NLT) to get your nerdy heart pumping today.
Writing prompt: all the kings
Go a little further than Joshua did and try to write about the number of people in each of the 31 kingdoms the Israelites defeated. See if you gain a new perspective about what God’s army actually accomplished.