THE JOSHUA MONOLOGUES.
THE COMMANDER OF ADONAI’S ARMIES.
THE COMMANDER OF ADONAI’S ARMIES: Of course I knew he’d be startled when I stepped from the molecules of the atmosphere that the Almighty maintained for His human beings. He had been looking towards the city of Yerach, and when he sensed my presence he turned, jumped back and drew his sword. “Who are you? How come you here? Are you a friend or an enemy?” “Be not afraid, Joshua. I bear arms for I AM who has made me Commander of His armies.” Had I not prevented him from doing so he would have prostrated himself before me. “You come to me from ADONAI? What does He want from me?” “That in faith you trust yourself to His will.”
“As for me and my house we serve ADONAI.” “Give me then your ears. The war in Heaven is ended and the evil that raised its head there was driven out, but that same evil established itself of the Earth that ADONAI created for His human creatures. “That evil has corrupted the peoples of the Earth and through them it rules. ADONAI loves His humans and would have them love Him, so he has chosen a people from the seed of Abraham to overthrow that evil. These people you are about to lead into the land promised to Abraham, Isaac and Israel, but the peoples of that land do not worship ADONAI the Almighty. They worship Yerach, the moon god and have named that city after him; they worship also his consort Nikkal, the sun goddess. While God’s army is fighting that evil in the realm you cannot see, you must on His behalf fight those people who espouse that same evil in this land. The city of Yerach must fall for it is the centre of Moon and Sun worship throughout all of Canaan. You have sent spies into the city. They have returned. Go and hear their reports. He went to his tent and I with him although he was unaware of my presence. There were two spies: Sachar and Hoshea. Joshua asked about the walls of the city for the villages without were deserted as the people expecting the Children of Israel to attack had gone within the walls for safety.
“The walls are of mud bricks set upon a stone base,” said Sachar. “ They are wide for upon the walls there are dwellings. It was at one of these we stayed at a public caravansary run by a woman called Rahab. She recognized us for what we were but seems a woman who fears we will destroy the city and kill her mother, father and herself. She saved us from being taken by the guards of King Keret, on condition that she and her mother and father will be saved. She hid us and then lowered us from the walls.” “We agreed and have given our word,” said Hoshea. “Your word will be upheld. On which wall is her caravansary?” “The North.” “When we attack Yerach you two along with Zalmon will make sure that this woman and her family get to safety. Now, what kind of people are these Canaanites?” “They are the foremost of the tribes of the land and hold sway over about sixteen other tribes in political and religious ways. The King of Yerach is Keret and he is also High Priest and is regarded as divine,” said Sacher. “He is immoral,” said Hoshea, “as are his people, for he and the men lie with men, and the women embrace women and some women pervert themselves with animals. They have idols and to these they sacrifice their children.” “These are indeed evils that God cannot abide,” said Joshua. “This city must
fall.” “They are expecting an attack,” said Sacher. “We discovered no weakness in the walls and they have double gates and the city is shut up tight so that none can now get out or come in.” “We have no weapons to break through such walls,” said Hoshea. “Send Caleb to me,” Joshua said as he dismissed the spies. I let him see again my presence. I said: “The walls of Yerach shall not prevail against the will of ADONAI who created the heavens and the earth. He it is who will bring down the walls.” “I doubt it not, but how is it to be done?” “It will happen if you follow the instructions I now give you from Almighty God.” And as Commander of ADONAI’S Armies I gave him the orders which would ensure the downfall of Yerach.
2. RAHAB. RAHAB: I find myself of the mind that there has to be something more to life than the way it is lived in Yerach under the rule of Keret. Of course there was a time when I thought there was nothing wrong in the manner in which I had been brought up to behave.
However the consequences of that behaviour leads to sickness, illness, and disease and I was lucky not to contract any ill health I got from selling my body. With money I had accumulated I took a house on the North wall of the city and became successful as a hotelier for caravaneers with girls and young men to entertain them. I was uneasy in myself for doing this and I had a definite conviction within me that what I am doing is wrong so I stopped employing them. When word came that a people had come from the South and had crossed the Jordan and had made a camp in the hills surrounding Yerach there was great consternation for it was said that there were millions of them. People from villages fled before them into the city and King Keret sent messengers for help throughout the land. “Who are these people?” I asked. “Habiru,” was the answer from one of my travellers. “Many years ago a man called Abram passed through this land saying that his God had promised it to his children, but at that time he had no children and his wife was past the age of child-bearing.” “Go on,” I said because I wanted to hear more. “It is said that Abraham lay with his wife’s maid and had a son called Ishmael, but then what seemed to be a miracle occurred; his wife conceived
and bore a son whom they called Isaac.” “Impossible!” “Nevertheless they say the God of Abram had waited until then.” “Why?” “To show his power and his glory. To show that He could do what they could not do for themselves. “Such a god as this I have not heard of.” “Well from Isaac sprang twin boys. Esau and Jacob, with Esau leaving the womb of their mother just ahead of Jacob. From what I am told the God of Abraham and Isaac reversed the order preferring Jacob whom he renamed Israel. This Israel had twelve sons one of whom was sold into Egypt by his brothers. There he became a great man, and when a famine hit Canaan his family were united in Egypt where they lived in peace and comfort until the reign of Pharaoh Khaneferre Sobekhotep who ordered all their male children to be killed at birth, but one, Moses, escaped this fate and was brought up by Pharaoh’s daughter. Moses had to flee for killing an Egyptian. Later when Khaneferre Sobekhotep journeyed to the stars, Pharaoh Dudimose enslaved all the Children of Israel, but their God freed them from bondage and they journeyed first of all to Midian. It appears that their God has promised them the land in which your people live, and there they are at your front door with
their chariots, their arms and their multitude of people. No doubt they have come to claim the land their God promised them.” “Their God seems powerful?” “They say He is the only God, and when there was nothing he made the heavens and the earth and all living things.” “Did he make the sun and the moon?” I wanted to know because I had been taught to worship the moon god and his consort the sun god. “They say he made the sun, moon, and stars.” “Will they attack Yerach?” “Without doubt.” “Will they win?” “With such a powerful God how can they lose?” Well, I said to myself it would be better for me to worship the maker of the sun, moon and stars instead of the sun and the moon gods. I also knew, knowing the way of armies that my life and the lives of my family would be in jeopardy should the walls of Yerach be breached. All the villagers had come into Yerach for protection, but I thought it would be safer in the hills, but the gates of the city had been shut tight and no-one could now enter or leave. The man who had informed me of the Children of Israel and of their God
was in the same fix. He and another who had joined him were anxious to leave the city. They sat on in my tavern until all had gone home and my girls and boys had retired to their quarters. “Haven’t you got a home to go to?” I asked “We have if we could get out of this accursed city.” “And where might that be?” Neither answered, and then it struck me. “You are Israelites. Spies.” One jumped up and produced a wicked looking knife, grabbed me and held it to my throat. “No,” said the one who was seated. “She will betray us.” Just then there was a loud hammering on the door. “Open in the king’s name.” “We are betrayed already,” said the sitting one jumping up. I slipped from the other’s grasp as he relaxed the blade at my throat. “Come, I will hide you.” There was a pause and then they trusted me and I led them to the roof where I hid them under a mound of flax. Then feigning someone who had been rudely awakened I opened the door to the king’s guard.
“There are Habiru men here.” “There are only the usual travellers here.” They searched, awakening my sleeping travellers and taking away with them two Amorites who could not prove themselves to be anything other than Habiru. When they had gone and I was sure they would not come back I took a long rope and went to the roof “Use the rope to go over the wall.” “I’m sorry about the knife. How can we thank you.” “I will bring my family to this house and if you and your God defeat this city I ask that you spare our lives.” “It shall be done.” “Go then.” To prepare for what I believed was to come I closed down my business because I wanted none but my family in it. Dealing with my family proved difficult. They believed that Keret was an immortal god beloved of Yerach the Moon god. Keret and I had been children together but his family had the influence while mine were the servants. Keret became priest and king and I became the High Madam of all organized Prostitution. From that position I soon realized that all men were mortal.
I knew it would be useless to try and convince them that there was a God greater than the sun and the moon that they worshipped. So, in order to get them to stay with me in my home on the North wall I feigned illness sending a message that I was in extremis. This being so the law demanded that they were obliged to be with the dying until he or she was taken to be part of the moon if male, or the sun if female. Two days after the spies had escaped over the wall they came bringing with them all their belongings. I lay among them on my pallet. After another two days one of my two brothers reported movement without the walls. “It is very strange,” he said. “There seems to be a group of men approaching carrying some sort of box.” “Please,” I pleaded. “Take me to the roof where I can see.” Of course they did for every request of the dying is carried out. The walls of Yerach were lined with people curious to see. I could hear their remarks: “Their army has withdrawn back to the river where the rest of their people are. “Who then are these who approach?” “They have the look of priests.” “What are they carrying?”
“Perhaps they have come to make our king a present and make peace.” “I doubt they want to make peace, but our walls are strong and our king will prevail against them.” I kept my thoughts to myself because I have a strong conviction that the opposite was true.
KERET. KERET: I, Keret, son of the Moon god Yerach and his consort Shamash the Sun god have named this city after my father. There are in Canaan two cities wherein the people worship the Moon and Sun gods. One is my own – Yerach – and the other lies to the north and is known as Beit Yerach, the Temple of the Moon. The priest and king there is like myself a son of the Moon god, and between us we control all the peoplels of this land through our religious practices. We have established fortresses throughout Canaan and each fortress has surrounding villages. During times of war the people come into these fortresses for protection. My city is such a fortress, the strongest of the lot, and now that the Habiru have crossed the river in their millions, Yerach is filled to capacity and I have ordered the gates to to shut tight so than no
more can enter and that none may leave. My soldiers guard the gates and line the walls and the rest of my army stands ready to fight when the Habiru army appears on the plain before Yerach. We are adequately prepared for a long siege. My intelligence is that the Habiru women, children, and the non-combatant men have stayed near the river, while the fighting men have camped at Gilgal. This army outnumbers my own but I have sent for help to other cities, especially from Udum from whence came my consort Hurriya who is daughter to the Sun god. She stands beside me on the walls of my impregnable city watching as I do the procession of priests carrying a chest of elaborate design, and I think of how she came to be the one who has given me my heir. One night I had a dream and my god appeared to me saying I was to sacrifice a child on his altar and then make a journey to seek a consort who would provide me with an heir. So I sacrificed and gave a great feast for all the people, then I set out at the head of my men of war, followed by the people, and lastly the trumpeters. When we came to the city of Udum wherein king Pabel had his throne I asked for his daughter Hurriya. He shut the gates against my face, so I besieged his city for two periods of six days, and upon the seventh day after
the second six I had the trumpets blown, and Pabel came with tears in his eyes offering me silver and gold not to take from him his daughter. However this was the woman my god wanted for me, and who would give me an heir, and I was adamant. Pabel finally consented and I had my consort and he had my protection and I have my son and heir. The priestly procession came to a halt, and the foremost priest took three steps forward declaring: “I am Eleazar, High Priest of the Almighty, the one and only living God.” I stepped forward so that he could see me plainly. “And I am Keret, Priest and King of Yerach, my god and my city. For what reason are you here?” “I come on behalf of I AM who would have you accept His terms and His word.” “And I answer for Yerach. What terms?” “Our God does not wish that any should perish, but that all should live. Give your city over to His rule and cease the practices associated with your gods who are no gods. I AM will permit you to lead a worthy life more abundantly among His people if you will cease to worship your futile gods and bow down before Him. “That would make us your vassals.” I said.
“Our God offers you peace and mercy. You would be free tributaries feeding into the great river of our God.” “We are not flies to be caught with such honeyed words.” I looked out over the plain. I could see neither their army nor those who were coming to our aid if we were besieged. “I implore you to take the peace and mercy offered by our God.” “Otherwise?” “Otherwise we will make war against you and you will experience His great power and might.” “Should you besiege our city we are well prepared to withstand the power and might of your god, for our gods are powerful both by night and by day.” “Accepting our God will be your only salvation, for he can save or destroy you. Submit to Him and you shall live.” “Let me make you a counter offer,” I said. “Bow down before our gods and have your people renounce your god and I will open the gates of my city and you can come in and enjoy all the pleasures we have for being flesh. All of Canaan will be open to your people if they bow down before Yerach and Shamash and accept the rule of myself and of the King of Beit Yerach. “Our God would not wish us to live in such a manner. If we lived according to such perversions of both life and flesh He would destroy us.”
“Well,” I said. “I in my turn do not wish to fall down and worship any other gods but those of our own. What have you in that chest?” “It is the word of our God. Written on the tablets within are His commands for how we should live under his rule.” “I thought you were bringing me a gift?” “It is the gift of God that will bring you life if you accept Him.” “I enjoy the life I live. Take away your casket and go and prepare to face the wrath of Yerach and Shamash.” “Please, reconsider. You will regret falling into the hands of our living God.” “Go and prepare for your future failure.” The Habiru High Priest turned away and the other priests picked up the poles on which the casket hung and they retired, only to come to a halt at a distance outside the range of an arrow. Then this procession of priests began to walk around my citadel city chanting: “Thou shalt have no other gods before I AM. “Thou shalt not make any graven image. “Thou shalt not take I AM’s name in vain.” There were seven more chants and this circular procession and chanting
went on for six days and when I came to the battlements on the seventh there was silence and the priests with their casket seemed to be gone. As I stood I felt in my feet a tremor. It was slight at first, but it increased with a noise that became louder until the earth shook and quaked. People were running and screaming and I beheld with horror that the walls of my city were crumbling into dust.
ZALMON. ZALMON: There was no arguing with Joshua. I wanted to be in the forefront of the fighting men of Judah, but he assigned me to being with Sachar and Hoshea on some kind of rescue mission. We were to bring out of Yerach a woman named Rahab and her family and ensure that no harm befell them. They would be in an inn on the northern wall of the city. “What’s so important about this woman?” I asked. “She saved Sachar and Hoshea from capture, but more important she believes in our God.” “And for this you want her saved?” “I want her saved because ADONAI does not want her to be killed. She
must be brought to safety. I have had His word from the Commander of His Army.” “You are the commander of His Army, Joshua.” “Understand this, Zalmon: I command an army made up from the Children of Israel, but there is a realm that you cannot see and in that realm there is a heavenly host that is under the commander God has appointed and it is He who has ordered that this woman Rahab and her family is to be saved. I trust God and obey even though he has not told me why he wants this done.” So I resigned myself to this rescue mission. As well as Sachar and Hoshea and myself, there were four others and we stood with our backs to the river watching and wondering how we were ever to get into the city to rescue this woman. We watched for six days as Eleazar and the other priests carried the Ark of the Covenant around the city. On the seventh day they encompassed Yerach seven times and upon the culmination of the seventh time the earth shook under Yerach and and the walls broke up and we saw, when the dust settled, the city laid bare leaving the people of Yerach at our mercy. Our army rushed to take the city. “Come,” said Sachar, and we ran towards the north wall which to my surprise was in part intact. That part turned out to be the house of Rahab and
her family. We did not arrive there without opposition. We fought our way through pockets of a disordered army. We were now within the walls and our main concern was to get to Rahab before others of our army who would put them to the sword, for already there was much overthrowing of idols and of killing of priests and of the people of Yerach. We were held up for some time by a group of Canaanite guardsmen who had formed a redoubt, and it was not until we had been joined by a group of our own men that the redoubt was stormed and we were able to continue. Blood ran like water after rain in the runnels of the streets and women and children screamed before they died before men who seemed oblivious to all but their own bloodlust. We came to the house of Rahab and found it surrounded by such men all shouting for the blood of those inside. “They are of your tribe,” Hoshea said to me. “Go and disperse them.” “But how? What can I say?” “You’ll think of something.” He pushed me forward. I recognized one man who was a Captain and I made my way to him. “Captain, Noah,” I said. He turned to me but there was barely recognition in his eyes. “You know me, I am Zalmon.”
“Yes I know you. Those people in that house are mine. We will kill them all.” “Later,” I said. “Joshua sent me to you, and has given me orders for you and your men.” “Orders? What orders?” “Keret is king of this city. Joshua wants you to bring him to him. Take your men and go to the palace and drag him out. Joshua wants it done quickly.” He saluted me, spoke to two others who in turn ordered the rest of the squad. “To the palace!” he shouted. He then thanked me for bringing him this honour. When they had gone Sachar and Hoshea made themselves known to those within the house. They had to call out several times until finally a woman came out and addressed them. “I have told my family you are here to bring them to safety, but they are afraid and believe you will kill them.” “Zalmon,” said Sachar. “Go in with Rahab and explain to them that we mean them no harm. Then bring them out as quick as you can, for we must quit this place.” The woman and I looked at each other. She was a fine-featured woman with red hair and my eyes found her figure attractive.
“Come with me,” she said turning back into the house, the only one left standing on that city wall. I followed and found myself in the usual tavern room where four other Yerachites were grouped together. “You saw,” said Rahab, “how these men sent the others away. These men have come to take us to safety.” “That is true,” I said. “Perhaps you lie,” said one of the younger men. I shrugged. “Let me tell you something in truth. :For some reason our God – and you have seen his might in bringing down the walls of Yerach without any help from our army wishes the woman Rahab to be saved from the slaughter that is taking place. “She has pleaded for you her family to be saved with her. So be it. That was agreed, but if you do not wish to come with us we will take the woman Rahab and leave you to the mercies of our armed men. “Come with me now and we will lead you to safety; or stay here as you will. Come Rahab.” “I will not go without my mother, father, and brothers.” “It is up to them, for if they refuse to come, I will carry you from here, unconscious if necessary.”
It was the father who said: “We must trust this man with our lives. We will go with you. What is your name?” “Zalmon.” He acknowledged that and spoke sharply to his sons telling them not to be so discontented with the gift of life. He herded his wife and sons out to where Sachar and Hoshea were awaiting with the rest of the men. As Rahab passed before me through the doorway she said: “Zalmon, indeed.” We made a hasty departure from there and from glancing back I saw that the walls on either side of the house we had just left collapse as did the house itself. There were no gates to pass through but we had to climb over piles of rubble as we made our way from the city. We were making good progress and felt it would not be long before we had these people within the camp of Israel. It was not to be that easy. We encountered a contingent of men who had come from the other side of the Jordan where they had chosen to settle. These were men from the half tribe of Mennasseh and they more or less stopped us in our tracks demanding to know why we had not killed these Yerachites.” “We have not killed them because the Commander of ADONAI’S Army wants them to live,” said Sachar. “What is your name?”
“I am Simeon and I know that the Commander of ADONAI’S army is Joshua and he has ordered that all within this city should be put to the sword. “Joshua is the Commander of the Habiru army, but he takes orders from the Commander of ADONAI’S Heavenly Host, and it is He who wants these people to live.” “And I say you are speaking nonsense. These people must die and if you will not kill them then we will.” “Then you will die before you can do that,” said Sachar. “Ha! There are only seven of you. You cannot stop us from killing them, and if you try you will die yourselves.” “You are in the power of ADONAI’S enemy,” Sachar said. “So, step aside. Heed me Simeon all your men will suffer if you persist in this unholy desire to to kill these people for whom God has a purpose,” With that Sachar ordered us to step aside leaving :Rahab and her family exposed. I continued to stand beside Rahab my hand upon my sword. “Zalmon, stand aside and let God protect these people with his power. Did He not tumble the walls of Yerach without our help?” Rahab grabbed my arm. “You cannot let them do this to us,” she said. “We must trust ADONAI,” I said only half believing. I stood aside. “Draw swords men,” Simeon yelled. “Fall upon them!”
Simeon and his men surged forward, and then fell into confusion with cries of pain. They staggered around bumping into one another and in doing so hacking each other with their swords. Sachar rallied us, and those we were protecting. “Let’s go and leave these blind men to their own devices.” After that our path to the camp of Israel was unimpeded.
ELEAZAR. ELEAZAR: I am the son of Aaron the brother of Moses. My father is dead and I am High Priest over the people of Israel under Joshua. The city of Yerach has fallen and the Children of Israel are triumphant and while the people celebrate we their leaders are gathered in conference. I opened the meeting by giving thanks to God for His greatness and power. Joshua followed by thanking the leaders of Gad, Reuben and the leader of half the clan of Manasseh for their help in crossing the Jordan from the east to help in the destruction of Yerach. They each replied that it was only their duty to do so and that they would be going with their people back across the Jordan to take the Amorite land of Sihon and the Bashan lands of Og.
“Do you think you will be able to accomplish that? I would ask you in the name of ADONAI to remain with us until the conquest of Canaan is complete and we will help each other overcome our enemies.” “Perhaps you are right. We are stronger when we stick together.” “Good.” Joshua paused before going on. “Now let us consider what we must do.” He would have said more but for my interruption: “Let us first consider what we have already done.” “We have achieved a great victory,” Joshua said. “All on our own?” “With the help of ADONAI.” “And what did ADONAI do?” And before he could answer: “Let me tell you. He held your armies back at the river, then without any help from us he brought down the walls of Yerach. We did not bring down the walls.” “Of course that was ADONAI’S doing. It was also His will that the false gods of the Canaanites should be destroyed; and destroy them we did.” “Which was only right.” “Then what was wrong?” “You slaughtered every man, woman, and child in Yerach.” “That was what ADONAI told me to do.” “Is it your intention then to slaughter every man, woman and child in
Canaan?” “It is what ADONAI has told me to do.” “ADONAI speaks to both of us, Joshua. Do you think He would tell you one thing and me another?” The leader of the Napthali clan said: “What did ADONAI say to you, High Priest?” “ADONAI wants these Canaanites to live and to worship Him. Did not God say to Father Abraham that we, his seed would be a blessing to all nations? “Are you all so blind that you cannot see that ADONAI has provided in this land He has given us, peoples he wishes us to be a blessing to; Are we blessing them by killing them?” “And I say unto you, Eleazar,” said Joshua, “that when ADONAI spoke to me he said we must rid this land of all these peoples. And that is what we shall do, for when these peoples are no more there will be peace in the land of Canaan.” “And I say that is not what ADONAI wants.” “ADONAI said to me that just as the people obeyed Moses they would obey me.” “Moses, on numerous occasions did that which displeased ADONAI, and for doing these things ADONAI denied him entrance into the Promised Land.
Be careful, Joshua that this does not prove to be one of the occasions when you will displease ADONAI. There are better ways of subduing this land and these people to the will of ADONAI.” “Name one.” “I will do better. I will give you and example. Zalmon has come requesting marriage to the Canaanite woman Rahab, whom ADONAI wished preserved.” “I hope you explained to him the Laws of Moses regarding marriage to foreign peoples, and refused his request.” “He already knew the Law, but I prayed before the Ark of the Covenant and ADONAI spoke to me saying I was to grant Zalmon permission to marry Rahab, for He said from their union would come much blessing. “I gave him permission and I will officiate at the ceremony. Rahab has repented of her false gods and worships only the living ADONAI.” “You’re saying that we should allow our peple to intermarry with these heathens?” “I’m saying that ADONAI has shown us a way that when these people repent of their false gods and of their sinful behaviour, they too become ADONAI’S people, no different in His eyes than ourselves.” Those listening broke into cries of dissent with most arguing for Joshua and
this went on for some time until Joshua spoke again putting forth his argument in even stronger terms for the obliteration of all the peoples of Canaan, He concluded by saying that as all had already heard what I had to say it was not necessary for me to speak again, and that a vote was necessary to decide upon the future strategy that would make the land of Canaan secure for the Children of Israel. Two tribal leaders supported me; Judah and Benjamen, but not even the Levites were in my favour. It was to my mind the beginning of a disastrous campaign.
CARMI. CARMI: My father Akhan has done for us. Because we knew nothing of his wrongdoing we were seized and held prisoner. And now the sentence has been passed and we have no chance of escape. Circumstances could and should have been other than what they are but now our fate is sealed, even though we prostrate ourselves, and cry unto ADONAI to save us. The trouble my father has got us into began, some say, with Joshua sending out spies to assess the strength of the city of Ai and the army of its king, but
my own belief is that the trouble began before that when it became known that Eleazar our High Priest gave permission to Zalmon to marry the foreigner Rahab. My father was insensate and fulminated against that permission. “It is not right,” he said. “Are we to ignore what Moses laid down in his laws, forbidding marriage with foreigners. And such a foreigner as this. Why, the woman is a harlot and a Madam of harlots. The whole thing is against what ADONAI would have us do and be.” I said at the time: “But father, has not Rahab been purified and accepted according to our rituals?” “Purified! Believe me; once a harlot always a harlot. “Joshua and Eleazar see this marriage as the will of ADONAI. ADONAI has ordained this marriage for His purposes.” “Of course they would say that for their purposes.” “You must be careful of what you say.” “I am an honest man and I say what I think.” “It would be wiser to exercise some forethought in all circumstances. “It is better to be a man and speak your mind.” “Will you listen if I speak mine concerning Rahab?” “Speak. I will listen.”
“I’ll be speaking against a closed mind.” “Go ahead. Speak.” “Rahab is one of us now….” “Hah!” “She has given her being into the hands of ADONAI, and she has cleansed herself.” “How can a harlot ever be clean? “She has brought all her possessions including her household gods and graven images; all the clothes she possessed and those she stood in when rescued, and all of these things she devoted away to be destroyed by fire. She is now devoted the one true God and has given herself to be an instrument of His will.” “In other words she recognizes the hands that will feed her.” “She has sincerely given up and turned away from her old beliefs and behaviours.” But father would not be convinced that Rahab was now one of us and upon that Eleazar’s permission for Zalmon to marry her was justified. Not long after that conversation Akhan was commissioned by Joshua to be one of the spies sent to assess the strength of Ai. When they returned they told Joshua that Ai was not fortified and could be
easily taken with a small force of men for the army of these Amorites was not great. Akhan was the spokesman and flushed with the success of the victory over Yerach, he presented Joshua with a report that our army could not suffer defeat. Joshua also buoyed up with the defeat of Yerach sent only thee thousand of our army to take Ai. My father and I were on that campaign. We went out thinking it would be another glorious victory, but our three thousand were defeated by a much smaller force that chased us from the gates of the city. We returned to Joshua with our tail between our legs, and when he heard of our failure he was greatly agitated. “Why? Why has this happened? Have we come into this Promised Land only to be defeated by a handful of Amorites? Eleazar, have you nothing to say?” “I have this to say,” spoke Eleazar. “I said it before we went against Ai, but what words I said fell upon deaf ears. You ask why we have been defeated. I tell you truly that we were defeated because we fought against the men of Ai in our own strength and our flesh was not enough to overcome them. We did our own will, not the will of ADONAI. It was our own flesh that defeated us.
“What is more, in many tents of our army are the accursed things of the Canaanites taken at Yerach. These things should have been devoted away by fire, but they were not because the flesh coveted them and kept them and the flesh marched on Ai hoping to get more such booty. “Their minds were on the things of the flesh and not upon the things of ADONAI. The flesh must give up these things for destruction and repent of these sins and turn to ADONAI for His direction.” “All these things must be destroyed,” Joshua said. “Let it be so. Then we will hold a day of repentance and atonement, so that we can revive and return to God.” My father, ever argumentative stepped forward. “It is nonsense to say that we lost the battle because of these things. I for one have no intention of giving up what I have rightfully gained in battle. For years in the desert we lived frugally and had nothing and now we have gold and silver and raiment that you would have us destroy. We will need these riches to live in this land.” “I say we need ADONAI in this land more than gold or silver all of which will be later added onto us,” said Joshua. “I pray you, Akhan give glory to ADONAI and confess to Him your wrongdoing.” “What I have taken and hid in the earth in the midst of my tent will remain
there for I will need them.” Joshua sent men to my father’s tent and they brought back the booty my father had taken from Yerach; all the gold, silver and raiment. “Do you repent of your sin?” Eleazar said. “I see it not as a sin.” “Repent and return to ADONAI.” Three times Eleazar implored him. But father was a stubborn man and did not repent and all our belongings were seized and burned before the eyes of the whole congregation of Israel who will tomorrow stone Akhan and his whole family connection.
ZUR. ZUR: I am the king of Gibeon’s ambassador. Our people have and hold the surrounding country within a fifty-mile radius. Thirty miles from our city the intruders have made a stronghold on our land at Gilgal. Canaan is a land which has numerous tribes; Hittite, Amorite, Perizite,
Hivite, Jebuusite, Canaanite and ourselves Gibeonite. Each has a king and before the coming of the Israelites we raided each other’s territories for cattle, grain, women, and plunder. Now with the coming of the Israelites the tribes in conference have decided to gather together to fight against the one who is called Joshua, the destroyer of the peoples and the cities of Yerach and Ai. Ours was the dissenting voice to this coalition. I stood alone in the midst of the tribal leaders and declared my king and his council thought it would be better to make a peace treaty with Joshua whose God had proved more powerful than the gods of Yerach and Ai. We had no wish for our king and people to perish like Melosh king of Ai. It was pointed out to me that the men of Ai had put the Israelites to flight proving they were not invincible. “They are invincible,” I said, “whenever they are in the will of their God. Our spies report that they lost the first battle against Ai because they had transgressed the will of their God, but when they had sanctified themselves their God was with them when they moved against Ai and destroyed it a second time.” It took their entire army to do so, I was told and with the amalgamation of all the tribes they would be outnumbered.
“We doubt,” I said, “that even if you had all the armies of the kings of the North with you as well, you would be able to overcome the God of the Israelites and the army of Joshua.” I sat down and there followed a barrage of scathing and scoffing remarks casting doubts upon the courage of our people. I reported to my king who called a meeting of our Generals. He asked the question: “Do we join with the other tribes to fight the Israelites or do we send Zur to make a treaty with Joshua that will save and preserve our people?” Of our five Generals two wanted to fight, and three were in favour of making a treaty and there was much heated argument but with the pointing out of what the God of the Israelites had done for them in Egypt and to the kings of the Amorites and to the kings of Heshbon and Bashan, the two came to fear like the other three, the power of the God of the Israelites. “Very well,” said my king. “Now let us discuss the manner in which Zur will approach Joshua.” In seven days we gathered all the information we could about the Israelites who were the seed of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob who had been renamed Israel by their God. Israel had twelve sons and as a people they had sojourned in Egypt and had been made slaves there, but their God had
prepared a man – Moses – to lead them from their captivity. Moses took them to Midian and they camped on a plain at the foot of Sinai mountain. We learned of their time in the wilderness before their entry into what they conceived as their promised land. When I came to Gilgal I was well prepared. I was not dressed in any rich apparel but had on old worn-out garments and old shoes well scuffed upon my feet. The bread and provisions we had brought were stale and the wine skins were old and rent. All was to give the impression that we had come from afar instead of Gibeon thirty miles away. Naturally they were suspicious of our coming. There were three of us. “We seek Joshua,” I said. “We would have words with Joshua.” We waited until summoned to the tent of Joshua who invited us to sit. He waited for us to speak. “Joshua,” I said. “Your name means ‘He who saves.” “Indeed. Heed me. If you are a people who dwell in this land, for you there is no salvation.” “I am the Ambassador of a people who have travelled from a far country; from the place from which your ancestor Abraham came, and we come in the name of the God who called him to leave Ur of the Chaldees. We believe that your God is all powerful and we would ask for our people His
protection and protection from you His army. Will you make a peace treaty with us and spare us from destruction in the name of the God of Abraham while we dwell in this land? “We will consider all you have said.” “We brought gifts of bread and wine but he bread has become stale and the wine somewhat soured, so please forgive our paltry gifts.” “You will share in our bread and wine while you are here.” We waited two days and on the morning of the third day Joshua and the High Priest, Eleazar declared that in the name of the almighty ADONAI of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, there would be a covenant between the Israelites and our people. I returned with this good news to my king, but within a week the Israelites discovered our cities of Gibeon, Chephirah, Beeroth, and Kirjathjeerim, and Joshua arrived at the gates of Gibeon with his army. My king and I went forth to meet him without the walls of our city. “Zur, your are much better dressed than when last we met.” “True, Joshua.” I introduced my king. “Your Ambassador lied to us.” “On my instruction, for I did not want my people to perish.” “You seem sure of your salvation.”
“Is it not assured?” “Your cities and people are safe for we dare not sin by harming you after making a covenant with you in the name of ADONAI. There will be peace between us, but you will serve us in this land and we will protect you.” “That is right and good for us,” my King said.
YASHER. YASHER: Following the peace pact made with the Gibeonites there was much disquiet among the Israelites. It was not that any one tribe was responsible for the murmuring against Joshua and Eleazaer and the other leaders of the tribes, it was the generalized opinion of the people that the Gibeonites should have been exterminated regardless of the pact. Such men were not to be reasoned with, and even though the Gibeonites had had made a thorough job of destroying their altars to the false gods and were
strict converts to the worship of ADONAI, these men still cried out for their destruction. Eleazar and Joshua prayed in the Tabernacle and when they came out with faces livened by he Spirit of ADONAI, they declared that those opposing them should be permitted to rant until the time when ADONAI would reveal His hand. They were not alone in thinking that the pact – obtained by deception as they pointed out – was a wrong done thing. Adonizadek, king of Jerusalem was made wroth by what the Gibeonites had done and he gathered unto him four other kings: of Hebron, Jarmut, Laclush, and Eglon and they marched against Gibeon. According to my friend Zur, ADONAI forewarned the Gibeonites telling them to send for Joshua who with the fighting men were again at Gilgal, and it was there that Zur arrived asking for help. “Five armies of the Sun and Moon gods are on their way to attack our city and to take our lives and lands because we have devoted ourselves to ADONAI who sent me here to enlist your help.” Such is what Zur said to Joshua and Eleazar who saw this as the prelude to the revelation of ADONAI’s hand. Accordingly Joshua assembled all the Israelite army and made haste to assist the Gibeonites.
We marched a day and a night and in the morning we came upon the gathered armies of the king of Jerusalem that were on their way to besiege Gibeon. At first it was a running battle with us in pursuit and one in which Adonizedek fought a rearguard action until they reached a place called Bethheron and it was there that ADONAI showed His hand. The sky darkened and we had lightening, thunder, and hail. As we fought we heard Joshua shout at the top of his voice calling upon the power of ADONAI and reviling the gods of the Amorites. “Why does your sun god not shine upon you? Look how our God has obliterated the light and prolonged the day that the night cannot come. Look how He has overcome your moon god who cannot bring forward the night.” And ADONAI delivered these armies into our hands. The five kings fled leaving their army to die in the Valley of Ajalon. When it was discovered that the five kings were not among the dead on the battlefield, a search was made but they were not found until a man who was among us from Gideon said he had seen the kings take flight. With the storm passed and with the coming of night Joshua took us back to Gilgal. The following day Eleazar held a service of thanksgiving to ADONAI who had given us victory over the false gods. He addressed those who had raised their voices against Joshua and himself: “You need to cleanse yourselves
and repent of calling for the death of those who even though they came to ADONAI through deception, adhere to His will and His ways. When you call for their deaths you are speaking against ADONAI and for that you need to ask for His forgiveness.â€? Many were chastened but some still had a hardness of heart. Zur had sent Gibeonite scouts to track the five kings and they were found hiding in a cave at Makkedah. When the five kings were brought to Joshua, they showed hatred for ADONAI and because of their hardness of heart Joshua had them put to death.
9. LILA. LILA: I am wife to Ari, a foot soldier in the army Joshua. We are of the tribe of Judah and Ari is Zalmonâ€™s nephew. It was Zalmon who married the woman from Yerach. It is we women who watch as our men go out to war from Gilgal, and wait until they return from fighting the tribes of Canaan. We tend the wounded and when it is safe we go to the battlefields to bring in our dead for burial. It has been a long war and the people are tired of it and Ari tells me there is
much muttering discontent in the ranks as the war drags on. ADONAI has preserved Ari and I thank Him for that. There was little loss among us at Yerach, but when it came to fighting the confederate forces of the south our losses were greater. It was during that southern campaign that I got to know Rahab better. At first we women treated her with a distant hostility, but when Ari said, “Lila, Zalmon would deem it a favour if you would befriend his wife, Rahab so that the other women would accept and respect her.” I argued with him saying, “She is foreign. She comes from the people of this land, the people you fight against and whom Joshua would have you wipe out completely.” “Not completely,” he said. “The Gibeons, like Rahab are under God’s protection and will be spared.” “Spared indeed! Because of their lying they are spared to be slaves to us.” “Rahab is not a Gibeonite. She did not lie to us but for us, and ADONAI ordained that she should be saved.” “A lie is a lie whether it is for us or against us. If she wants respect let her earn it.” “Has she not earned it? Does she not, like you, exhaust herself looking after our wounded? And it has reached the ears of Joshua that she shows as much respect if not more for our dead than some of our own women.”
“It is only because of their weariness.” “Has she not the same weariness as she weeps over our dead and wounded? Befriend her as my uncle wishes.” So when the opportunity arose I spoke with Rahab. I reckoned if she was under ADONAI’s protection then I too would be under that protection and should not fear what the other women’s disapproval, “I am Lila, the wife of Ari who is nephew to your husband.” “I know who you are. I also know than none of you women trust me.” “I do not deny that. We do not know when you will betray us to our enemies.” “You think then I will do that?” “Can you honestly say you will not?” “Yes.” “How can you be so sure?” “Because I can say in all truth that ADONAI – tsid – Kenu. The LORD God is our righteousness.” It was as though ADONAI had rebuked me and was prompting some response, which in my own being I was fighting against. Phrasings of different kinds came into my head but the one that reached my tongue was: “Oh Rahab, forgive me for I have not been righteous towards you in thought
or in deed.” “It seems, Lila, that by the grace of ADONAI we are related.” And it came to pass that others of the women came and spoke to Rahab and she became accepted as one who loved ADONAI. After the southern campaign the conquest of the north began and I feared each time that Ari marched out he would be killed, for the kings of the north had formed themselves into a confederacy that outnumbered our army. I got it from Ari that all the enemy tribes with their chariots and horses were camped at a place called Morom Spring and as they slept Joshua with the power of ADONAI had his army surprise them during darkness and those that were not killed fled to the Mitzapeh Valley where they fought until there was none left. Again I was grateful to ADONAI for sparing Ari, for we had many casualties and deaths. “We destroyed their chariots and hamstrung their horses,” Ari said. “Whatever for? Surely our army could have used the chariots and horses.” “The horses can still be used for ploughing.” “But the chariots?” “What need have we for chariots when we have ADONAI fighting for us.” “True, but a chariot or two would go to loss.” “What use are chariots in hill country. We took Hatzor without chariots. We
burned it to the ground, and there were other hill cities we took and defeated.” “Did none of the people in those cities come to accept ADONAI?” “None.” “What happened to them?” “They perished.” “Men, women and children?” “Yes.” “Oh dear!” “What’s wrong? They would not give up their false gods.” “I just hope that there never comes a future time when some people stronger than we are, comes to commit genocide against us.” “That will never be, woman, ADONAI – tsid – Kenu remember that.” For a long time that thought bothered me as the war went on and Joshua captured more and more of the land and destroyed more and more cities and killed more and more people. The war lasted seven years but as Ari said the conquest remained unfinished because the people had tired of war and wanted to enjoy a peace and the fruits of the land instead of having to be content with plunder of cities. So Eleazar the High Priest and Joshua son of Nun and the head men of the
tribes divided the land as it had been apportioned by Moses. No doubt the record of that division will come to be recorded so I will only say that we of Judah received the city of Hebron and a total area of land extending from the border at Gibeon to the border at Kadash Barnea and from Bersheba in the west to the salt sea in the east. Ari and I settled along with Zalmon and Rahab at a place called Bethlehem and it was there on the day that Joshua died that I helped Rahab deliver a son whom they called Boaz.
BEEL ZEBUB. BEEL ZEBUB: I am on my way to speak with the Prince of this world created by our enemies the Lord of Heaven, His Son, and His Holy Spirit. We, in dubious battle, failed to wrest the Kingdom of Heaven from their unity and were cast out to roam the expanses of the heavens they created. We came upon this world made for creatures formed little less than angels whom they love, and seeing how much they delighted in the creation of these beings we determined to pervert and corrupt this race made from the elements of the stars contained in the dust of the ground. Corrupted they will
never be able to come into their perfect righteous presence. It is said that we outcasts of the Heavenly Kingdom dwell in some horrible dungeon in which one great furnace flames and where there is no light but only darkness visible, in regions of sorrow and where there is torture without end, amidst the smell of sulphur. It is not like that at all. We, the fallen, reside in a world of great beauty, for indeed they did create such a world; a world of many wonders created for their human beings. What makes them human is the fact that they were given free will. In that lies their downfall. That free will is the seed of their destruction and which each of them carries within them. Why did the Lords of Heaven create them with free will? Because of love; love is a big thing with the unity. When introduced to the angels in Heaven, some of us, led by our Prince Lucifer rebelled against such a concept, and we waged war, and although weâ€™re no longer in Heaven we continue to wage war in the hope that we will eventually overcome the will of the triune creator. Lucifer caused that first disobedience to the will of their creator who used to walk in the world with their humans and delighted in doing so. They had to test the love of their humans so they gave them the test of obedience, and for a while the humans trusted and obeyed. They thought that if these humans
loved them they would keep their commandments, and they probably would have, had it not been for Lucifer who put doubt and an alternative in their minds. They chose the alternative and the world became a different place and we are able to wage war on earth as we had in Heaven. I am always remindful of Heaven. The light of Earth is dim whenever I recall the realms of light in those numerous heavenly spheres, and what I have since my casting out is something I never had before, and when it comes upon me and I experience a great feeling of depression I wish I was still in those heavenly realms with those of our rebellion who repented and were forgiven and who stayed with our creator. My Prince, whose presence I have now reached, tells me that there is nothing to be done about longing for times past, and to dispel our depressions we must engage in warfare to ensure our future. And now he speaks: “The Chosen People are divided, and in dividing them we have brought their war of seven years to an unpredictable conclusion.” “They want to enjoy the fruits of their conquest such as it is,” I said. “Not since the time when I tested Job have I been permitted access to any part of Heaven, so I, nor any of you can find out what they have in mind, I need to know of their battle plan against us.” “We could capture one of their angels.”
“I’m sure they would know nothing. No, they only one who would know is the Commander of their army.” “The Son.” “His strength is greater than ours. We found that out to our cost.” “You have something in mind?” “We cannot yet overcome their heavenly host, so we must concentrate our efforts on their chosen people, for I have a hunch that through them he will hope to overcome us.” “Our forces are stronger than those puny humans.” “True, but we are only able to possess some and not others. Those who call upon the Lord of Heaven whom they call ADONAI are protected. So we must alienate them from ADONAI.” “How do we do that?” “Most of the tribes in Canaan have been subdued, but there is one tribe that is strong in opposition to the Israelites – the Philistines. We will use them. You will see that that is done. I leave the ways and means in your hands, but you must create yourself as a god, so do a few wonders for them and organize an priesthood.” “I have already been working towards that end. The god is Baal and they have made images of him. I will allow him some wonders. But tell me
Lucifer, is this going to be a long campaign and will we ever be able to regain that which we have lost.” “Do you doubt it?” “Sometimes I think we are eternally lost.” “You are my second in command, Beel Zebub. You need to understand that eternal life for the humans and everlasting loss for us is still in the future, and we need to ensure that neither takes place, for if we can prevent humanity from having an eternity with them, then we will not be erased from the memory of Heaven and Earth which will happen if we do not fight successfully. “So, Beel Zebub, in Canaan there is a herd of cows living among the flies of the Philistines and others. You must become Lord of the Flies for if I conjecture correctly our everlasting loss will come from these cattle. And while you do that, I will corrupt the Judges they have made to rule over them.” I went from his presence with what seemed to be a great responsibility; to continue an enterprise the success or failure of which would determine our return in triumph to Heaven or our everlasting loss.
BOAZ. BOAZ: I grew up in and around Bethlehem on land allocated to the tribe of Judah by the law-giver Moses while the Children of Israel were still in the wilderness. The day of my birth was one of mourning for that was the day in which Joshua died. As I grew up my father and mother told me stories of the conquest of the Promised Land and of the times when I was so young as to have no memory of them. My father said: “Joshua knew that the time of his death was near so he called the people together. ‘Listen to me,’ he said, ‘and take heed for although it has taken seven years to possess this land, that possession remains incomplete. “’We have plundered and burned many of the enemy’s cities and have destroyed their gods, but not all. Many remain where the god they call Baal holds sway. Therein lies the danger to you for I know that many of you are attracted to the rituals of Baal and Astarte that pleasures the flesh. These gods have attracted your minds and many of you desire them. “’I have allotted to you land according to your tribes, land on which you hope to settle down on in peace. There will be no peace because the peoples from whom we took this land will sting you as gadflies sting cattle and horses.
“’Take care that their women do not seduce you so that their men may kill you while you sleep with them. You must be diligent in keeping and in doing all that ADONAI commanded. Do this and you will overcome the peoples remaining in this land. Forget their gods and do not serve them or worship them, but cement yourself to ADONAI who will if you remain righteous fight on your behalf. “’If you are unfaithful to Him, if you make marriages with these people and have children with them let me tell you that ADONAI will not strengthen your arm and will allow these people to ensnare you, whip you, and prick out your eyes until you perish from this land. “’Ask yourselves this: has not any of the good things ADONAI promised you failed to come about? No; they have all come to pass. Do not grieve ADONAI to the extent that He withdraws from you his protection for if that happens you will suffer much. Do not violate His covenant. Obey Him and keep His commandments and remember from the time of Abraham until now what ADONAI has done for you. “’Be in awe of ADONAI and serve him truly and sincerely. Put away the foreign gods you have gathered unto yourselves and turn your hearts to ADONAI our God, the One and Only. You have a choice as I do and as for me and my house we will serve ADONAI.’”
Father said that on that day there were many who giving up their idols, renewed their covenant they had broken with ADONAI. “And what of you, father, did you renew your covenant then?” “No, Boaz, your mother and I had remained faithful to ADONAI.” When Joshua died he was buried at Tinnat Serach, his estate, which is in the hills of Efrayim north of mount Ga’ash. Also buried at that time were the bones of Joseph that had been brought from Egypt. They were buried at Shokem. Father also told me of Eleasar, son of Aaron, the High Priest, who before he died had installed thirteen judges to oversee ADONAI’s will for Israel in the Promised Land. When Eleasar died his son, Pinchas succeeded him as High Priest. Of course as I grew I asked more questions and not always of father. He had told me what Joshua had said about marrying and having children with the inhabitants of Canaan, and it perplexed me and annoyed me that companions of my own age and tribe did not consider me to be a full Habiru, but a halfcast, telling me that mother was a Canaanite from the city of Yerach. “Why do they say such things to me?” I asked mother. “You need not be afraid of the truth, Boaz. Yes, I am a Canaanite from the city of Yerach, but I was saved by the grace of ADONAI when the people of
that city were killed and their gods destroyed.” “But you married my father, who by the Laws of Moses should not have married you.” “That too was the will of ADONAI.” “So it is not wrong to marry and have children with the people of this land?” “Some think so, others do not. There are those like your father and Eleazar do not hold with the total extermination of the people of this land but think they should be won over by peaceful means to the worship of ADONAI.” There were times when father took me into some cities of those who had not ADONAI as their god. These people worshipped a god called Baal and his female mate Astarte. We always went accompanied by a cohort of Gibeonites who had truly and sincerely converted to the worship of ADONAI. Father would stand in the public square and tell the people of the city of ADONAI and of the benefits they would have if they gave up their false gods and rituals and bowed before ADONAI. However, with a rising tide of opposition and a stoning in which I was rendered unconscious, father did not permit me to accompany him on these efforts to seek converts. Such converts who were not beaten and intimidated into giving up their new found belief in ADONAI were cast out and afterwards found it difficult to
secure a place among the Children of Israel. Father welcomed such converts and gave them land to live on. When our homelands were attacked they helped in our defence, and in Judahâ€™s attack upon Jerusalem they participated in the downfall of Bezek the king who was killed when his city was fired. Unfortunately during the time of the Judges there was much falling away from the commands of ADONAI who oversaw a famine throughout Canaan.