Joshua records for us again the allotments of land for the tribes of Reuben, Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh. Moses already outlined these lands for us in previous books, but we can consider this documentation by Joshua a recap, much like a follow-up story in journalism. In fact, I was reading a story about other stories just today. A newspaper friend of mine researched how the current paper at which he works reported a historical event in the 1930s. He then took that information and wrote a column about the story and the coverage of it. Journalists do this a lot. We see the rewriting of information as a reminder of how things came about in the first place. It’s tedious business as a reporter but totally worth the effort in terms of preserving facts and confirming information. This chapter is a perfect example of why it’s so important. Even though Moses already had recorded much of the details of the land allotments in previous documents, Joshua probably needed to do the same as a reminder, or recap, of past events. It’s helpful, isn’t it? Even though we’re sometimes like, heyyyyy, I already read all this, we can also admit: but I had forgotten most of it. Repeating it in detail like this also helps us to see just how much land God conquered and how much more He intended on conquering. Wowzers. He was going for it! I don’t really know where a lot of these places are, and there is no map in my Bible to tell me, but it sounds like God was establishing borders clear to Egypt, east through present-day Jordan and possibly Saudi Arabia and north to Syria and Lebanon. We can see why wars might rage on today from this chapter alone. We can also see because it’s repeated information how important these lands are to the Kingdom of God.
Writing prompt: the story within the story
Shakespeare was famous for weaving “the story within the story” in many of his plays. The Bible is like that in many ways, and like we talked about above, so is journalism. Can you think of a story within a story? It’s hard to do when met with the task on the spot! Try to think of one today, though, and make that your writing goal.