Joshua 12 (NRSV)
The Kings Conquered by Moses
Psalm 138:4-5 (NIV)
May all the kings of the earth praise you, O LORD,
when they hear the words of your mouth.
May they sing of the ways of the LORD,
for the glory of the LORD is great.
Now these are the kings of the land, whom the Israelites defeated, whose land they occupied beyond the Jordan toward the east, from the Wadi Arnon to Mount Hermon, with all the Arabah eastward:
2King Sihon of the Amorites who lived at Heshbon, and ruled from Aroer, which is on the edge of the Wadi Arnon, and from the middle of the valley as far as the river Jabbok, the boundary of the Ammonites, that is, half of Gilead, 3and the Arabah to the Sea of Chinneroth eastward, and in the direction of Beth-jeshimoth, to the sea of the Arabah, the Dead Sea, southward to the foot of the slopes of Pisgah;
4and King Og of Bashan, one of the last of the Rephaim, who lived at Ashtaroth and at Edrei 5and ruled over Mount Hermon and Salecah and all Bashan to the boundary of the Geshurites and the Maacathites, and over half of Gilead to the boundary of King Sihon of Heshbon.
6Moses, the servant of the Lord, and the Israelites defeated them; and Moses the servant of the Lord gave their land for a possession to the Reubenites and the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh.
The Kings Conquered by Joshua
Psalm 33:16-19 (NIV)
No king is saved by the size of his army;
no warrior escapes by his great strength.
A horse is a vain hope for deliverance;
despite all its great strength it cannot save.
But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him,
on those whose hope is in his unfailing love,
to deliver them from death
and keep them alive in famine.
7The following are the kings of the land whom Joshua and the Israelites defeated on the west side of the Jordan, from Baal-gad in the valley of Lebanon to Mount Halak, that rises toward Seir (and Joshua gave their land to the tribes of Israel as a possession according to their allotments, 8in the hill country, in the lowland, in the Arabah, in the slopes, in the wilderness, and in the Negeb, the land of the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites):
9the king of Jericho one
the king of Ai, which is next to Bethel one
10the king of Jerusalem one
the king of Hebron one
11the king of Jarmuth one
the king of Lachish one
12the king of Eglon one
the king of Gezer one
13the king of Debir one
the king of Geder one
14the king of Hormah one
the king of Arad one
15the king of Libnah one
the king of Adullam one
16the king of Makkedah one
the king of Bethel one
17the king of Tappuah one
the king of Hepher one
18the king of Aphek one
the king of Lasharon one
19the king of Madon one
the king of Hazor one
20the king of Shimron-meron one
the king of Achshaph one
21the king of Taanach one
the king of Megiddo one
22the king of Kedesh one
the king of Jokneam in Carmel one
23the king of Dor in Naphath-dor one
the king of Goiim in Galilee, one
24the king of Tirzah one
—thirty-one kings in all.
These descriptions are also important because they make it clear that these things happened in real time, and in real space. These are not fairy tales that begin with “once upon a time,” this is history that begins with specific places and people and rulers.
As well, it was a way that Israel could forever remember the great things God had done for them. “Sometimes in the course of human experience it is good to sit down and reflect on what has been conquered by the grace of God.” (Redpath)
Revelation 19:11-16 (New International Version)
The Rider on the White Horse
KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.
HERE is “O Worship the King!” I love this hymn for its many names of God, its vivid imagery, its listing of many of God’s attributes.
With this portion, we finish the first half of Joshua. It has been an account of action: of preparation (chapters 1-5) and of conquest (chapters 6-12). Reading it as a military campaign, we can certainly see Joshua as a great commander. But Scripture makes it clear that his wisdom came from God. Joshua lived his life in the full obedience that Paul advised to Timothy:
1 Timothy 6:12 (NIV)
Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.
The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.