BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 4, Day 3: Skim Joshua 15-19

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Summary of Joshua 15:

The allotment of land for the tribe of Judah is laid out, which includes Hebron, the land Joshua gave to Caleb as his reward. Caleb drove out the Anakites from Hebron. He gave his daughter in marriage to whoever captured Kiriath Sepher in Debir. This was Othniel, son of Caleb’s brother. Judah cannot drive out the people in Jerusalem.

Summary of Joshua 16:

The allotment of land for Ephraim and Manasseh is laid out. However, they could not dislodge the Canaanites living in Gezer who became forced labor for the Israelites instead.

Summary of Joshua 17:

A continuation of the allotment of the land for the tribe of Manasseh. The daughters of the tribe of Manasseh also received an inheritance because there were no male heirs born. Again, the Israelites were unable to drive out the Canaanites in a few pockets, but did eventually force them into labor. Here, we see the first complaint as the people of Joseph (whose sons were Ephraim and Manasseh) claimed their portion of land given was too small. Joshua said to go and clear the forests then in the land of the Perizzites and Rephaites.Image result for map of promised land tribes land

The people complained again about how these people were superiorly armed with iron chariots. Joshua told them to quite underestimating their power. They have a huge army and can easily drive out the Canaanites in the forested hill country.

Summary of Joshua 18:

A gathering took place at Shiloh at the Tent of Meeting to divide up the rest of the land amongst the remaining tribes. Joshua appearing a bit aghast, asks those remaining why they haven’t taken over their share yet? Joshua is dividing the land into 7 parts once surveys are taken and will cast lots before God to divide them up. The tribe of Benjamin receives their lot.

Summary of Joshua 19:

The allotment of the land for the tribes of Simeon, Zebulun, Issachar, Asher, Naphtali, Dan, and Joshua are assigned. The Simeon’s inheritance was taken from Judah’s since Judah’s portion was huge and more than they needed. The Danites had trouble defeating the Canaanites in their territory alloted so they took Leshem instead, thus dividing themselves in the land.

Finally, Joshua himself received his inheritance–the town of Timnath Serah in Ephraim.

BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 4, Day 3: Skim Joshua 15-19:

6) God includes these detailed lists of land boundaries, so there would be no doubt and no disputes amongst the Israelites in the future. It shows how God keeps His promises to His people by giving them the land He promised hundreds of years before. We see God reward both Caleb and Joshua with land for being the only two men of faith.

7) Caleb gives his daughter to the strongest warrior, ensuring a strong husband and her protection in the future. His daughter, Acsah, asked Caleb for land, and he gave it to her as well. The Lord also put in provisions for when a man does not have a son (see also Numbers 27:1-11 & Numbers 36), which would ensure the father’s name would not vanish. The daughters also had to marry within the clan so the land would stay within the original tribe’s hands. This ensures that every Israelite will possess the inheritance of his fathers. The Lord provides for those who ask and seek Him (Matthew 7:7).

8 ) The Manassites’ complained that their portion of land given was too small. Joshua said to go and clear the forests then in the land of the Perizzites and Rephaites. The people complained again about how these people were superiorly armed with iron chariots. Joshua told them to quite underestimating their power. They have a huge army and can easily drive out the Canaanites in the forested hill country. In essence, they did not want to fight for the land; all they wanted was a free hand out.

Caleb, on the other hand, wanted to fight for his inheritance and his land and instead of asking for an unoccupied piece of land, Caleb asked for the hill country where the feared Anakites dwelled so he could drive them out himself. He relied on the Lord to do whole-heartedly what God said He would do.

Nothing is impossible with God. Have faith. He will guide you through the impossible every step of the way like He did with Caleb. God wants us to choose the good fight for Him and use God’s strength to spread the word and give God the glory. If we do, our rewards will be riches.

Conclusions: BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 4, Day 3: Joshua 15-19:

We see God keep His promises, but the people still must do their part and continue to kick out the Canaanites. We see the difference in gratitude and ingratitude to what the people have been given with Caleb’s example and the example of the tribe of Manasseh and the tribe of Dan. Great reminder for us that although God provides, He doesn’t want us to sit idly by and not do anything.

[Note on “Skim”]: I believe this is the first time ever I have seen BSF tell us to “skim” a passage of the Bible. I don’t believe God wants us to just “skim” His word ever. If it’s in the Bible, it’s important, it’s there for a reason, and it’s for us from God. Please don’t “skim” anything. You may miss that one phrase that is exactly what God wants you to hear. Save skimming for the news.

End Notes BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 4, Day 3: Joshua 15-19:

Joshua 15:

Caleb was not only a man of great and bold deeds (the driving out of the children of Anak), but also a man who encouraged others to great and bold deeds as we saw with the giving of his daughter in marriage. Anyone bold enough to conquer a city for a woman is in love indeed. Caleb’s daughter inherited his boldness. We see her asking for blessing and choice springs. You cannot receive unless you ask. (Matthew 7:7)

We begin to see and in Judges 1 how pockets of Canaanites remain. Albeit Jerusalem is on a hill, Judah should have been able to drive them out if they had had faith in God. Instead, David must do so (2 Samuel 5:6-10). These unconquered tribes will become thorns in Israel’s side.

Joshua 16:

We see again how within the Promised Land important work remains to be done and battles still to be fought (like in our own lives) as the Canaanites live in the land of Ephraim. Perhaps the Israelites wanted forced labor (to be lazy and not do the work themselves in essence). This does not justify their disobedience to God. If you can subject people to work for you, you can certainly conquer them completely, especially since Gezer was a city that Joshua had already conquered (Joshua 10:33 and Joshua 12:12).

Compromising God’s word and picking and choosing what to obey and not to obey is a sin. It’s the beginning of so much more and worse sins such as idolatry and immoral worship. This came to the people of Israel and the Canaanites are the reason why we see so many struggles in the days of the Judges.

Why did the Israelites allow some Canaanites to stay?

  • They wanted peace at any cost. Remember it took 7 long years to conquer the Promised Land. I’m sure many are weary of fighting.
  • They wanted wealth.

What do we Learn from the Israelites’ incomplete possession of the Promised Land?

  • Obeying God is a marathon. It’s hard. It’s unglamourous. It’s a lot of work.
  • The Israelites fell short of what God had for them – Will you fall short as well?

Joshua 17:

It was highly unusual for women to receive an inheritance and why it’s mentioned here. It was more important that the land remain in the ancestral families than it was to follow this custom. Therefore, the daughters of Zelophehad could inherit their father’s land. This is a decision arrived at by Moses (Numbers 27:1-11) and expounded on by God (Numbers 36).

Manasseh failed like Ephraim to drive out the Canaanites (Joshua 16:10). The Israelites lacked determination and fortitude to do so.

Manasseh and Ephraim, large tribes, complain about the amount of land allotted to them. They have plenty of land, Joshua says. You just have to go and work to have it (clear the forests, etc). Joshua was a direct descendant of Joseph and one of them, so perhaps they thought he would show them favor.

Theme of Joshua 17: If you desire more, have faith first in where God has placed you and in what He has given you. More will surely come if you do so.

Joshua 18:

Why would the Israelites hesitate to take the Promised Land?

Note the hesitation on the Israelites part to go and take the land. Probably they are afraid; afraid of change. Maybe even a bit incredulous: really?  This is all ours? Also, remember these people have been wandering the wilderness for 40 years with never a real home, living out of tents and nomadic, so the idea of living in a real “home” is a foreign (and perhaps scary) concept for them.

Joshua 19:

Joshua received his share but at the very end. He received humbly and after everyone else was taken care of–just like Christ.

BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 4, Day 2: Skim Joshua 13-14

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WHAT’S AHEAD: This is the dividing point in the book of Joshua.

The rest of Joshua tells about what happened 5-7 years after the crossing of the Jordan River. Chapters 13-22 give a kind of land-title record for the nation. Genesis 48-49 and Deuteronomy 33 provide background material. For example, Reuben’s tribe forfeited the right to first choice because of sexual sin, and Simeon and Levi lost their rights because of their violent past.

Summary of Joshua 13:

God tells Joshua there is still much land to be taken, and that He’ll drive out the Sidonians. The land east of the Jordan River is divided up amongst all the tribes except the Levites who were set aside as priests of the nation.

Summary of Joshua 14:

Caleb approaches Joshua and demands what God had promised him for his work 40 years prior as a spy who wholeheartedly followed God’s orders. At age 85, Joshua blessed Caleb and gave him Hebron as his inheritance. The land had rest from war.

BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 4, Day 2: Joshua 13-14:

3) All kept their word/promises. God rewarded Caleb with land for faithfulness (as most leaders do). The Israelites did not argue, but settled their portion of the land without question, nor were they greedy.

4) Personal Question. My answer: Caleb is rewarded for not following others and obeying God instead. He had faith the Israelites could take the land, and he had no fear as he encouraged the Israelites to do so. In the end, the bad report won out and God cursed His people because of it, dooming them to die in the desert–all except Joshua and Caleb. Caleb was promised land by Moses as his reward, and he asks for it. This inspires me to buck the trend and follow Jesus and be bold and ask for things from God.

5) Personal Question. My answer: He has always provided no matter what and always led us to the next step in His  journey for us. My whole family is flourishing and for that I am extremely grateful.

Conclusions: BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 4, Day 2: Joshua 13-14:

I love the cooperation amongst the Israelites because what could have been a very ugly situation with the allotment of land was peaceful and faithful. I love Caleb’s reward–not only with seeing the Promised Land but with gaining a portion of it for himself. The whole process is very organized–impressive for such a monumental task.

[Note on “Skim”]: I believe this is the first time ever I have seen BSF tell us to “skim” a passage of the Bible. I don’t believe God wants us to just “skim” His word ever. If it’s in the Bible, it’s important, it’s there for a reason, and it’s for us from God. Please don’t “skim” anything. You may miss that one phrase that is exactly what God wants you to hear. Save skimming for the news.

End Notes BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 4, Day 2: Joshua 13:

Age does not define you. Even though Joshua is old, God still has work for him to do.

The Israelites were meant to possess the Promised Land. We were meant to possess Jesus. How much of him do you have? How much of his words? How much of his heart for others?

God gave all the tribes the land, yet they still had to take it. We are to walk in God’s promises, not lie down and rest.Image result for joshua 13

Only two small tribes of peoples were not replaced by the Jewish tribes settling on the east side of the Jordan: the Geshurites and the Maachathites.

We see these tribes show up later in the Bible: David marries a princess from Geshur and had a son, Absalom, with her (2 Samuel 3:3). Absalom returned to Geshur and used it as a place to plot against his father, David (2 Samuel 13:37-38, 14:23, and 14:32). What a son to be proud of.

The Maachathites may have come from the Maachah mentioned in Genesis 22:24 who was a nephew of Abraham. Later, when Sheba rebelled against David and he fled, David may have taken refuge in one of the cities of the Maachathites (2 Samuel 20:14-15).

The Levites as priests would survive off of what the other tribes gave them for administering to the spiritual duties of the nation; they had no need of land to grow food. In fact, their inheritance was the greatest of them all since they were closest to God.

We are like the Levites as well.  We are called priests (1 Peter 2:5) and have a special inheritance in God (Ephesians 1:11Colossians 1:12, and 1 Peter 1:4).

Themes of Joshua 13:

Be happy with where God has placed you. He is our inheritance. Your lot in life is nothing in comparison.

Math Challenge: Just How Long Did the Capture of Canaan Take?

We can deduce this from what’s recorded in the Bible. Caleb was 40 when Moses first sent him to explore the land. Israel spent 38 years in the desert (Deuteronomy 2:14), making Caleb 78 at the beginning of the invasion. Caleb tells us here he is now 85, so for the last 7 years, the Israelites were fighting. Him and Joshua were the only old people still left.

Answer: 7 years.

Joshua 14:

Caleb was one of the only two spies to come back with a good report, a report of faith, believing that God had given Israel the land and would enable them to conquer it (Numbers 13:26-14:9). The other ten spies believed that Israel would be destroyed in the attempt to take Canaan, and Israel believed the ten doubting spies.

The other faithful spy was none other than Joshua. The ten faithless spies measured the giants against their own strength, but Joshua and Caleb measured the giants against God’s strength.

This was the cause of Israel’s forty years of wandering in the wilderness; God would not allow that generation of unbelief to enter in, so He waited for them to die in the desert (Numbers 14:26-38). The only ones of age at the time of the rejection who actually entered the Promised Land were Joshua and Caleb, the two faithful spies.

Caleb asks for the land of the Anakim (the giants). He knows these enemies of God must be faced and defeated and he has the faith to do it. He did not pick the easy way out as he easily could have. The work is his, and he boldly claims it.

What if all of Israel had the heart of Caleb? What if no one in Israel had the heart of Caleb?

Theme of Joshua 14:

God rewards faith.

God rewards the wholly giving yourself over to Him.

BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 29, Day 3: Deuteronomy 33:6-25

Summary of passage:  Moses takes one tribe at a time and blesses them.  Let Reuben live and grow.  Judah help with his foes.  Levi bless him and his skills and strike his foes.  Benjamin rest in Him.  Joseph (Ephraim and Manasseh) bless him in all ways.  Zebulun and Issachar rejoice for they will prosper.  Blessed is Gad. Dan is a lion’s cub.  Naphtali is blessed.  Asher is blessed.

Questions:

5)  Simeon is missing in Moses’s blessings.  Moses’s blessings is out of birth order.

6)  Let Reuben live and grow. Judah help with his foes. Levi bless him and his skills and strike his foes. Benjamin rest in Him. Joseph (Ephraim and Manasseh) bless him in all ways. Zebulun and Issachar rejoice for they will prosper.  They will feast on the abundance of the seas and on the treasures hidden in the sand. Blessed is Gad. Dan is a lion’s cub. Naphtali is blessed. Asher is blessed.

7)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I’d take any blessings to be quite honest especially if they were pronounced by Moses.  I liked Levi’s to have his skills blessed and for the Lord to be pleased with his work.  I liked Benjamin’s to rest secure in Him.  Peace is hard to come by in this world.  And I want to do the Lord’s work in this world and I constantly wonder if I am or not.  That is what I want for my family as well–to do His will and not theirs.  That is so very hard in today’s culture.  Fighting selfishness.

Conclusions:  I liked BSF brought in the Genesis 49 passage.  Interesting to see God’s love for his people.

End Notes:  Verses 6-25 is the blessing of the 12 Tribes.

Reuben:  Jacob said “you shall not excel” (Genesis 49:4).  This blessing is similar.  Reuben produced no leaders nor anything beyond the normal.

Judah:  The name Judah means “praise”.  Moses prays God hears the cry of praise.  Moses knew the Messiah would come from Judah (Genesis 49:10) and prays for them to survive.

Levi (and Simeon not mentioned here):  Moses recounts the favored status of the Levites.  Genesis 49:7 says the tribe will be scattered.  Levi’s was a blessing–they spread the Good News.  Simeon was a curse–they disappeared as indicated here when they are not mentioned (although they are given a portion of the promised land–this prophecy was still many centuries to come).

Scholars debate whether Simeon was originally mentioned here or not.  Some ancient manuscripts have Simeon here; some don’t, which say “Let Judah live and not die and let the men of Simeon be few.”  Recall Simeon lost the most men in the second census (63%), which seems to support the idea Simeon was mentioned here.

Benjamin:  As the only surviving son of Rachel when Jacob thought Joseph had died, he was sheltered, protected, and favored.  This is echoed here when he is called “the beloved of the Lord”.  Benjamin was blessed with the city of Jerusalem as their inheritance, which became the center of the nation.  Genesis 49:27 called them “a ravenous wolf”.  They were fierce and loved.

Joseph:  Joseph’s two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, which received a double inheritance when Jacob adopted both as his own in Genesis 48 were the most numerous tribes.  This was Jacob’s prophecy as well in Genesis 49:22.

“Him who dwelt in the burning bush” refers to the covenant God made with Moses.

Zebulun and Issachar:  They were given land by the Sea of Galilee and thus became fishermen. Jacob said this as well in Genesis 49:13.

Gad:  Gad turns into a war-like tribe with many soldiers.  1 Chronicles 12:14 says they have many good soldiers.  Genesis 49:14 says Gad will attack.

Dan:  Bashan is in northern Israel but if you look at a map of where the tribes ended up, Dan is in the South.  Judges 18 tells us that the tribe immigrated to the North centuries later.

Dan was a troublesome tribe.  They were the tribe to introduce idolatry into Israel (Judges 18:30).   Jeroboam set up an idolatrous golden calf in Dan (1 Kings 12:26-30).  Dan became a center of idol worship in Israel (Amos 8:14).  Jacob predicts this of Dan in Genesis 49:17, “Dan will be a serpent by the roadside, a viper along the path that bites the horse’s heels so that its rider tumbles backwards.”

Naphtali:  Naphtali was also given land around the Sea of Galilee.  Here Jesus would do a lot of his teachings.  Jacob describes Naphtali as “a doe set free, bearing beautiful fawns”(Genesis 49:21) as we were set free by Jesus.

Asher:  Jacob describes Asher in Genesis 49:20 as “food will be rich and he will provide delicacies fit for a king”.  Moses echoes this saying his feet shall be bathed in oil–something reserved for the rich of the time.

Map of 12 Tribes of Israel:  http://www.biblestudy.org/maps/large-map-of-division-promised-land-to-israel.jpg

BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 30, Day 3: Genesis 49:8-21

Summary of passage:  Judah’s brothers will praise him and bow down to him.  The scepter will not leave Judah’s hand until it comes to whom it belongs and obedience is his (reference to Jesus).  His (Jesus) robes will be washed in blood, his eyes darker than wine, his teeth whiter than milk.

Zebulun will live by the seashore and become a haven for ships.  Issachar will submit to forced labor.  Dan will provide justice for his people.  Gad will be attacked but he will attack back.  Asher will have rich food.  Naphtali is free.

Questions:

5)  “Your brothers will praise you; your hand will be on the neck of your enemies; your father’s sons will bow down to you.  You are a lion’s cub; you return from the prey…like a lioness who dares to rouse him?”

“The scepter will not depart form Judah nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet until he comes to whom it belongs and the obedience of the nations is his.”

6a)  The obedience of the nations is his.  His colt is the choicest branch.  His robes will be washed in blood.  His eyes will be darker than wine.  His teeth whiter than milk.

b)  Revelation 5:5 “The Lion of the tribe of Judah has triumphed.”

c)  Personal question that has nothing to do with this passage.  My answer:  He is my Lord and Savior.  I am unworthy.  He is ruler over all and in control of all things.

7)  Zebulun lay by the sea and the lake along the Jordan.  It settled between the Sea of Galilee and the Mediterranean Sea so Zebulun could see both seas.

8 )  Personal Question.  My answer:  Issachar was the third largest tribe (Numbers 26).  Hence, they were often targets for the enemy.  Eventually, they were put into servitude.

9)  Two possibilities:  Samson (Judges 13) or Jeroboam (1 Kings 12:26-33).  Some scholars believe the “serpent by the roadside” might even be referring to the Antichrist coming from the tribe of Dan (Daniel 11:37; Jeremiah 8:16).  Of course, we are not sure who Jacob is referring to here.

Conclusions:  Didn’t like this lesson.  Feel like Genesis 49 is being drawn out for filler purposes.

Most people would not know the answer to these questions unless they used a commentary (which is what I did).  This is what irks me about BSF.  They ask these questions that only someone intimately familiar with the Bible (which is not me) would know and then they tell us not to use outside sources.  Ridiculous.  And borderline hypocritical to me.  Don’t ask if 95 % of us will miss it.  It only creates doubts about the level of our faith and whether or not we should know this.  It does nothing for our understanding of the Bible UNLESS we do use outside sources.

Map of 12 Tribes Showing Zebulun’s Location:  http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:12_Tribes_of_Israel_Map.svg

End Note:  “He will tether his donkey to a vine” emphasizes the richness of Judah’s land as well.  They were wine growers.