Warnings to the Israelites. This time the desert wandering is characterised as discipline.
Again the fear is that they will grow lazy in the promised land and lose their love of God.
The chapter ends with warning that they will go the same way as the people they replaced if they don’t love the lord.
A family of five daughters gets the inheritance rules changed so that the family name doesn’t only pass though the male line.
Not only another example of the Israelites being one of the more progressive ancient cultures as regards women, it shows how much the family stake in the promised land meant to them.
Their parents, as punishment for being faithless after the Exodus, could not see the promised land. But they had enough of a journey in belief that they believed their children would, and it was important to them that their family name continued to be part of that.
Moses commissions Joshua to lead the people. We are set for reaching the holy land!
In the aftermath of the civil war, there is a real risk that Benjamins tribe will die out all together. There is a remnant.
The people arrange for them to get brides. This is done by the most horrific of means, more slaughter, kidnapping. I was reminded very much of boko haram’s virgin stealing in the modern day.
The final chapters of judges have shown the utter failure of God to make a people of the law. Its in a way the story of two priests. First we had the Levite who was a mercenary, then the Levite who left his bride to be ravished and then stirred up a war over it.
In exodus, Sodom and Gomorrah was the symbol of how far man fell from the garden. We see a similar story play out in Israel, to show that god’s chosen people, in his chosen land have fallen further.
I have grown to accept the decreasing influence of the church in my world in my lifetime. God has not left Israel because of it sin, nor will he leave us.