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09/14/2022 03:52:52 PM

Sep14

Forty years of wandering

Forty years our ancestors spent in the wilderness and then it was time for them to enter the Promised Land. (CBSW has spent forty years in The Woodlands, but it seems like a much friendlier place than the Sinai desert.) We were supposed to enter the Promised Land much sooner, but the people were not ready for the responsibility. Easier to take the slave out of Egypt than Egypt out of the slave. The spies sent to check out the land could not see themselves as free agents. They would always be victims. Thus, the forty years of wandering is not so much a punishment as a positive time for community formation.

We are given little in the Bible regarding the bulk of these forty years. It seems it was mostly waiting for the grown-ups to die off so the children could assume the responsibility. As far as the actual conquest, the Book of Joshua presents a straightforward invasion of the land. The Book of Judges, however, offers a more nuanced account. Many of the towns were not actually conquered. The invasion was far messier than the Book of Joshua suggests. Even the account of Jericho‚Äôs destruction, supported by archeological evidence, is suspect in that the actual destruction happened far earlier than 3,200 years ago. 

So, what really happened? Stay tuned.

Sun, February 5 2023 14 Sh'vat 5783