"Israel Served the Lord": The Book of Joshua as Paradoxical Portrait of Faithful Israel

by Rachel M. Billings

Paperback(1st Edition)

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Two themes have dominated scholarly interpretation of the book of Joshua within the past century: the literary "discovery" of the Deuteronomistic History and the archaeological detection of evidence related to Israel's occupation of Canaan. In this newest volume in the series Reading the Scriptures, Rachel M. Billings addresses the fragmentation often brought about by these developments and offers a more holistic reading of Joshua, which joins theological sophistication with an emphasis on its meaning and purpose as a literary work. Through a hermeneutical and literary lens, Billings analyzes the story of Rahab and Achan, the stories of the Gibeonites and the Transjordanian altar, and the theme of the completeness of Israel's taking of the land of Canaan. She argues that the way in which the book of Joshua presents these materials reminds Israel of the dynamic nature of its identity as YHWH's people—an identity that demands a continued response of obedience parallel to YHWH's ever-unfolding work on Israel's behalf. The book of Joshua portrays Israel's obedience as not merely an unattainable ideal or a thing of the past, but a living reality that unfolds when YHWH's people acknowledge His claim upon them and strive to serve Him.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780268022334
Publisher: University of Notre Dame Press
Publication date: 06/28/2013
Series: Reading the Scriptures
Edition description: 1st Edition
Pages: 192
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Rachel M. Billings is an independent scholar in Holland, Michigan.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction: The Fragmentation of the Book of Joshua 1

1 "Israel Served the Lord": A Hermeneutical Key 11

2 The Stories of Rahab and Achan 25

3 The Gibeonites and the Transjordanian Altar 53

4 The Extent of Israel's Occupation of the Land 95

Conclusion: Israel Did Serve the Lord in the Book of Joshua 125

Notes 133

Bibliography 163

Index 173

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