Old testimony Essays
On-line version ISSN 2312-3621Print version ISSN 1010-9919
Old testam. Essays vol.26 n.2 Pretoria Jan. 2013
Prevention the civil battle in Joshua 22: Guidelines for African country groups
University that the western Cape
Have you ever before jumped come a conclusion prior to hearing both political parties of a story? have actually you ever failed to offer someone the advantage of the doubt, also though they had actually never wronged you? "There space Two sides to Every Story." Joshua 22 shows that civil wars can be avoided if suitable measures are taken. The Cisjordanian tribes resorted to conversation to avoid what could have to be a bloody polite war. Their willingness to move along the route of patience brought about peace and joy. Afri ethnic teams can protect against civil battles if they learn the class of managing allegations the proper method through representation, dialogue and also trust.
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Africa has actually experienced polite wars and also continues to endure them. Unfortunately, to prevent them, we have actually spent sources that otherwise might have been supplied to boost the lives of the people. There is much less talk around the avoidance of future civil wars. The target of this article is to display that polite wars deserve to be prevent if cautious steps space taken. The post uses josh 22:9-34 to investigate the process by i beg your pardon a potential civil war was escaped to display that Africa have the right to prevent civil war on the continent in a similar way.
The purpose of selecting this old text is twofold. First, the text deals with ethnic groups that misunderstood the attitude of the other, i beg your pardon generated an effort to fight against brother ethnic groups. Robert Boling rightly refers to this chapter together "How to protect against Civil War"1 and also so does man Hamlin calling it "A Peacemaking Society."2 Ethnicity is main to Africans and also many of the civil wars on the continent are dealt with along ethnic lines. Secondly, afri cherish the bible as God"s word, not just for Israel but additionally for them. For this reason, the holy bible is the finest book to use in appeal to Africans around any facet of their beliefs and also practices.
B straightforward COMPOSITIONAL and also CONTEXTUAL ISSUES
Before any type of attempt to analyse the message under consideration, there space two concerns that need clarity: (1) even if it is Josh 22:9-34 defines actual events, and (2) the literary role of mock 22:9-34 in its current location.
A scholar such together Donald Schley says that over there is no actual classic basis because that the events explained in mockery 22:9-34. For him archaic features have actually been to work in the composition of a so late text, in order to offer the figure of an early provenance.3 that bases his discussion on the fact that the passage transaction not only with the two-and-a-half tribes, but also with just the Reubenites and Gadites (vv. 25, 31, 32, 33, 34). That asserts the the association through the Reubenites and Gadites alone through the Transjordan is contradictory to the later formation of both Dtr and also P, according to whom the strata adhered to the department of the people of Israel into the nine-and-a-half people in Palestine, and the 2 and-a-half tribes in Transjordan.4 because that him, this later on formulation is present in vv. 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 15, 21.5 yet as Carl F. Keil and Franz Delitzsch show, the is feasible that the half-tribe of Manasseh is skipping in vv. 33 and also 34 for the services of brevity6 and also therefore does not imply that an older tradition has been maintained within the context of a later narrative text, together Schley would certainly want united state to believe.
Another important worry is the place and role of Joshua 22 within the circulation of the whole storyline found within the Primary background (GenesisKings). On the surface ar it would appear the story has actually no clean parallel in the major History.7 however there room evidences the the passage"s connect with the major History.
First, as Lyle Eslinger shows, the whole publication of Joshua forms a mirror picture to the exodus story; both re-publishing a framework of relocating out the Egypt and into Canaan.8 I recognize that the thrust of the book of Joshua typically may winter that the the Exodus story in general, yet ch. 22 particularly does not. However, the chapter might be taken into consideration as a prelude come the intertribal strife the Judges,9 other than that the stories of the Judges move from cooperation toward increasing conflict, conversely, Joshua 22 move in the opposite direction, from dispute to resolution.
Secondly, over there is a an ext convincing structural parallel between Joshua 22 and also Numbers 32. Somehow, Joshua 22 serves together the conclusion to numbers 32 in which Reuben, Gad, and also the half-tribe that Manasseh receive land in Transjordan, but only ~ they meet a pledge to assist in the occupation of the Cisjordan. The altar has actually one parallel: simply as Moses forced the people of Transjordan come cross right into Cisjordan because that military sirhenryjones-museums.organization (Numbers 32), Phineas would require them come cross right into Cisjordan for religious service (Joshua 22).10
Thirdly, the literary role of Joshua 22 is an instance of "substan-tively reasonable legal exegesis" and much more specifically, an "analogical exegesis of concrete cases."11 The Cisjordanian team invokes two examples, Achan and also Baal-peor (vv. 13-20), in which cultic treachery
Finally, the number and duty of Phineas in the Hexateuch (Exod 6:16-25; Num 25:6-13, and also Num 31:1-12) and some incidents (at Baal Peor and Ai) in the Hexateuch that are described in mock 22:9-34 show the passage"s link with the Hexateuch. Together Schley posits, the passage serves together the final cultic injunction to the Israelites settling in Palestine. The erection that the wilderness cultus and also the distribution of the lack inheritances carry out not end the priestly narrative. Rather, Joshua 22 provides the last priestly word on the vital theme that the legitimate YHWH cultus, which rectal the tent shrine and its altar developed at Shiloh, in Palestine. P"s account that the beginnings of Israel ends v the establishment of legitimate establishments of the worship of YHWH in ~ Shiloh, and also with the meaning of the single legitimate place of sacrifice in the Promised Land together the altar prior to YHWH"s tabernacle at Shiloh. The exclusive legitimacy of the wilderness cult in Shiloh carried divine sanction, and any breach endangered the whole Israelite community. In effect, Joshua 22 plays critical role in the priestly legacy of the Hexateuch.
As a result, this essay is based upon the knowledge that josh 22:9-34 describes an actual classic event in the background of ancient Israel. Hence it rejects the id that mock 22:9-34 is a literary construct. In addition, the essay is based upon the idea the Josh 22:9-34 has links through the Primary background of the Hebrew Bible and also that the conceives that a single legitimate location of sacrifice because that the Israelites in the Promised Land.12 v these in mind, we now turn come a short exegesis that the text.
C short EXEGESIS of JOSHUA 22:9-34 1 building of an Altar (vv. 9-12)
As Trent servant notes, v. 9 repeats the departure note the v. 6b, but now has Manasseh. The narrative starts by distinguishing in between the Transjordan tribes and also the boy of Israel and also between the land of Canaan and also the soil of Gilead.13 In v. 9 the MT reads bene Reuben and bene Gad.14 However, in vv. 1-8 the gentile forms "Reubenites" and also "Gadites" are used. Robert Boling thinks this reflects that native v. 9 we have actually moved onto literature terrain the is unique from vv. 1-8.15 He suggests that the usage of the gentile develops in vv. 1-8 might be that these verses to be the hand of a redactor.16 This debate is weak in the authors might use associated expressions.17
Shiloh has been the assumed setting for everything since Josh 18:1. It to be an out-of-the-way rallying point. It ended up being the Yahwistic rallying point that is idealized in 18:1 and depicted in the opening chapters of 1 Samuel, throughout the period after Abimelech"s devastation of Shechem (mid-twelfth century). The expression "which is in the floor of Canaan" is a distinct means of locating the venerable ar of the tent and, presumably, the Ark of the Covenant. A variation of the formula occurs in 21:2, "Shiloh in the floor of Canaan." The full form of the formula appears in Judg 21:12. The an interpretation appended to Shiloh, "in the land of Canaan," highlights the parallel phrase "in the floor of Gilead," through which we are to understand the whole of the country east that the Jordan (cf. E.g., Num 32:29; Deut 34:1; Judg 5:17).18 verse 10 claims that on come at the border that Canaan, the Transjordan tribes developed a big conspicuous altar
Scholars are split over the location of the altar, because the MT does not cite its location. Alberto Soggin says that
in commitment with Syriac versions. Because that him the story offers Gilgal together a legitimate place of praise for the Transjordanian tribes, as with Bethel to be to be because that the north tribes. Inter-textually, Snaith suggests that the altar had to be situated in Cisjordan because YHWH could only it is in worshipped correctly in Canaan. The buttresses his allude by citing the case of Naaman (2 monarchs 5) who lugged soil native Canaan to Syria to enable him praise Yhwh. The problem with Snaith"s watch is the while an altar in ~ Gilgal may have actually existed in ~ some point in history, the extant story enables no sacrifice - and therefore no actual praise - at the altar. Rather, a non-sacrificial altar has been successfully woven right into the towel of the extant text, a fact which Snaith fully overlooked. The story together it stands denies the right of the Transjordanian group to praise at your home-made altar and also supports sacrifice at the Tabernacle"s altar in ~ Shiloh alone. Thus, it indicates a location for the altar in Transjordan.
While scholars are split on even if it is the altar was located in Transjordan or Cisjordan, they agree that it was situated close come the Jordan River. But as Gordon McConville and also Stephen Williams show, "exactly where the altar was put in relation to the flow is tantalizingly difficult to determine."23 The phrase "in the soil of Canaan" (vv. 10, 11) seems to assure that the altar is in Cisjordan. But, the phrase
Although the exact location of the altar is uncertain, that is border
Verses 11-12 define the reaction the the Cisjordanian tribes once they heard around the structure of the altar. In v. 11, the hatchet sons the Israel advert strictly to the west-bank tribes.26 The exact same term was supplied of those who composed the militia arrayed against one of the tribes in Judges 20. The expression the whole congregation
The decision to walk to war suggests they ignored YHWH"s duty as the chef commander; it to be premature. But their action corresponds come the presumptuous action of the militia against the Benjamites in Judges 20, where the sirhenryjones-museums.organising vital to the story seems to be fight first and inquire that YHWH later.
2 Delegation to investigate (vv. 13-20)
2a composition of the Delegation (vv. 13-14; cf. Deut 13:12-18)
Before waging civil war, the Cisjordanian tribes sent a delegation come those in Transjordan to get to the bottom the the explosive instance as Deut 13:14 stipulates; the delegation to be to find out the reason and also purpose for structure the altar. The delegation was created of the priest Phineas, son of Eleazer, and also rulers the the Cisjordanian tribes. Eleazer was head that the Bethel priesthood at an early stage in the pre-monarchic period. He commissioned Joshua (Num 27:21). Phineas, the leader the the delegation, was the one who won a "perpetual priesthood" since of his zeal to honour YHWH concerning the crisis around the god of Pe"or. YHWH make a commitment of tranquility with Phineas because that his action (Num 25:6-18). The is not to be perplexed with the child of Eli (see 1 Sam 1:3; 2:34; 4:4, 11, 17) who served at Shiloh. Phineas ben Eleazer was a predecessor of the ranking priest at Bethel who the young of Israel would consult in the warfare against Benjamin (Judg 20:27-29) to receive a dependable oracle. So as soon as the congregation gathered at Shiloh they appointed as their negotiator the cook Aaronite monk of Bethel that would conserve the bigger league. The is essential to note that the point out of this Phineas in Num 25:6-13 and also 31:1-12, as Schley notes, 28 has crucial implications for knowledge his duty here. Phineas appears in this pericope in much the same role as the does in the 2 passages in Numbers: he is a priest, boy of Eleazar, and as together ministers prior to the time shrine (Josh 22:19, 29) in connection with an incident which at the very least threatens holy war. Thus, Phineas the child of Eleazar in the current passage is the same classic figure as he is in the publication of Numbers. Both Num 25:6-13 and also Josh 22:9-34, seem come reflect a bike of elevation traditions concentrating upon Phineas, the child of Eleazar, which encountered his exploits in preserving the purity the the YHWH cultus.
The various other delegates with Phineas are described as chiefs of ancestral houses, the residences of their fathers in village-units the Israel. An genealogical house literally method "household of a father." The unit is based on patriarchal rule, every the offspring - including the adult - being subjects to the father"s authority, and also all together creating a compact social unit. ~ above his death, "the father"s house" disintegrates. The role of these chiefs can be viewed in 17:4 where they hear the petition that the daughters of Zelophehad together Eleazar the priest and also Joshua and administer a solution.
2b The Delegates at work-related (vv. 15-20)
In these verses Phineas functions in a function analogous come the Judges and the prophets. Like the Judges, his function can be compared specifically with Jeph-thah"s negotiations through the king the the Ammonites in Judg 11:12-28. He functions like the prophets in the era the the monarchy. The prophet to be an ambassador, a representative that the court of YHWH, transferring the communiqué the brings the sovereign"s indictment because that breach of treaty. In Joshua 22, Phineas goes right into the breach to face the rebellious ones and bring about peaceful settlement.
Assuming in ~ the outset that the altar was intended to serve as a second place of sacrifice in opposition to the command the God, the delegates, v Phineas no doubt as their speaker, started by reproaching them for falling away from the LORD.29 "What faithlessness is this (
The delegation native the western people warned the eastern people not to change the sample of prayer that YHWH had actually ordained. To display the greatness that a sin that apostasy against YHWH, the speak reminded castle of 2 previous acts of sin ~ above the component of the nation that had brought severe judgments ~ above the congregation.31 "Have we no had sufficient of the sin in ~ Pe"or indigenous which even yet we have actually not cleansed ourselves, and for i beg your pardon there come a plague upon the congregation the the LORD?"
That plague, in i m sorry 24,000 Israelites died, was quit through the zeal of Phineas because that the honour the the YHWH (Num 25:4-9, 11). The guilt linked with the prayer of Peor had thereby to be avenged ~ above the congregation, and the congregation itself had actually been conserved from any type of further penalty in repercussion of the sin. When Phineas, therefore, affirmed the the congregation had actually not yet been cleansed from the crime, the did not mean that they to be still bearing or experiencing from the penalty of the crime, but that lock were no yet cleansed from that sin, inasmuch as plenty of of them were still attached come idolatry in your hearts, also if they had actually hitherto desisted from the outwardly from fear of the infliction of fresh judgment.
The speaker lastly reminded them of the sin of Achan, exactly how that had carried the wrath the God top top the entirety congregation (Joshua 7); and also moreover, Achan was not the only male who had perished on account the the sin, however thirty-six men had actually fallen on account the it at the an initial attack top top Ai (Josh 7:5). The allusion come this truth is come be taken as an debate a minori advertisement majus. Thus, if Achan did no perish alone once he committed sacrilege, as soon as YHWH was angry with the entire congregation, what execute the Israelites think will certainly be the consequence if they, so great in number, commit so grievous a sin versus YHWH? keep in mind that in the phrase, "the treachery i m sorry you have actually committed" (v. 16), the MT offers the verb
3 solution of the Eastern people to the Allegation (vv. 21-29)
In utter amazement in ~ the hesitation expressed by the Cisjordanian delegates, the Transjordanian tribes affirm through a solemn oath that it never entered their mental to build their altar as a ar of sacrifice, to autumn away from YHWH. The combination of the three magnificent names that the God the Israel:
In vv. 24-27, the Transjordanian tribes made recognized their intention of building the altar. It was not for
Here the altar is called a "witness"; thus, a place of watching fairly than action. But in the Hebrew holy bible an altar associated sacrifice nevertheless of who built it or come which divine being the altar was dedicated.38 hence the Cisjorda-nian people assumed the the Transjordanian tribes erected the "altar" because that sacrificial purpose. Evidently, in other texts, parties erected stones or pillars to serve as witnesses in between them, which were not intended for sacrifice (Gen 31:44-48; josh 4:1-24; 24:27). In this instances, a "witness" was required to work out a conflict or seal a relationship. But these structures were not dubbed "altars." because of this if the Transjordanian tribes had erected any kind of structure other than an "altar" the ensuing conflict may have actually never happened. Actually, in the Hebrew scriptures this is the only circumstances in which an "altar" does not duty as an altar.
In vv. 28-29 the altar is explained as a "pattern" of the main altar at the Tabernacle. This is clear from v. 11, where the Cisjordanian people announce the their Transjordanian brothers have built a pattern of "the altar"
4 results of the Arbitration (vv. 30-34)
Phineas and also his delegation were satisfied through the explanation offered by the Transjordanian tribes. V this Phineas, as the head of the team, gave his rul- ing - the various other party did no act treacherously in the matter and so have rescued the entire Israelite nation from God"s wrath and judgment. Phineas and his team then went earlier to report their findings come the Cisjordanian tribes. The allegation was no true. They to be glad come hear the report and praised God. This ended their plan to walk to battle - a potential polite war has actually been averted through delegation, consultation and investigation.
D GUIDELINES because that AFRICAN ethnic GROUPS
The story of Joshua 22 serves an important lesson for African countries and their ethnic groups. It shows how a potential polite war can be escaped to conserve lives and also properties and fsirhenryjones-museums.orge unity among ethnic groups. The following are several of the lessons from Joshua 22.
Uninvestigated allegations can lead to polite wars. To avoid dispute we require to understand what an allegation is. Allegation is "an assertion, especially an unproved one; one accusation."42 it is to declare something to be the case, specifically without proof. Once the Cisjordanian people heard the news, their an initial reaction to be to walk to war. But on 2nd thought, they cure the news as an allegation that necessitates investigation. African ethnic teams should find out to take it hearsay together allegation. Jumping to uninvestigated conclusions leader to unwarranted war.
2The use of Delegation
To find the fact of one allegation, a delegation is needed. A delegate is an elected or appointed team of world who offer as representatives through the job of detect the reality or falsity of an allegation. In our context, these people serve to mediate between factions. In Joshua 22, the task of the delegation to be to inquire right into the reality of what lock heard, and also the reason for it. A appropriate delegation is important if Africans want to protect against civil conflicts. First, a delegation must be representative. Various clans or ethnic groups should it is in represented once investigations are conducted. This allows individual groups to gain first-hand details so that they deserve to properly advice the allegations before them.
Secondly, much consideration should be offered to the identification of the mediators if they room to make any impact. In Joshua 22, the delegation was consisted of of people of authority among the tribes. They to be rulers of various family members units. An ext importantly, the delegation was led by Phineas, the kid of Eleazer, the priest. He was a male zealous because that the LORD, and his glory (see Num 25:7), and so qualified to deal with this matter. He would be faithful, bold, and also zealous, and capable of giving advice and also counsel come both parties, together needed. He led the group, since he hosted authority. He to be the top priest over the whole nation, consisting of the two and one-half tribes on the east side that the Jordan. He no only had actually the authority, he additionally had the love of a wise shepherd. He wanted to exactly the erring, to defend the nation, and also to drive the end the dangerous. Israel reaction according come God"s character. Their assembling for war demonstrated God"s holiness, however their personal confrontation prove God"s love.
3 Dialogue: the method of conflict Prevention
Most disputes arise and also escalate because of the unwillingness to communicate into dialogue. Africans have to resort to dialogue to avert conflicts. The western people resorted to dialogue based on communality. They experienced the eastern tribes as brothers whose actions would influence them. Similarly, the western people saw that their activity against the eastern tribes will influence them. They were also willing to compromise for the sake of peace; they to be willing to share their land v their east brothers fairly than permit a schism to take place. Thus, castle showed great concern for the honour and also glory of God, his worship, your love for your brethren, and affectionate to the for their brothers" spirituality welfare over their own private, personal, and also temporal good. Often, warring factions are not ready to do sacrifices for the benefits of peace. Selfish ambitions and hunger for dominance prevent dialogue and conflict.
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Joshua 22 reflects that polite wars can be avoided if we take the course of non-violence. To do our method along this path needs both commitment and direction. We require a feeling of direction and also dedication to monitor the path of peace. We need to cultivate patience to engage into dialogue. We have to respond come misunderstanding in the exact same manner as the Cisjordanian tribes in accordance with the following principles:
(i)Respond through a issue for God"s holiness;
(ii)Respond with the ship to confront in love;
(iii)Respond with an attempt to reconcile prior to one fights;
(iv)Determine willingness to sacrifice to help; perform not face unless ready to help;
(v)Determine readiness to see the case from the view of the various other person;
(vi)Resolve to think the finest of one another.
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