Genesis Through Joshua- Dueteronomy: Preamble and Historical Prologue

We are looking at chapters one through four.

1:5-4:43 functions like a historical prologue. This acts as an ancient near-eastern treaty working to remind the people of all a King has done to cultivate respect, loyalty and obedience to that King.

1:5 = An introduction to a prologue. Before this we see a recital of the history of Israel.

God has Moses recite what happened to the Israelites in order to call Israel to respond with loyalty. On the basis of His gracious benefits God expects His people to respond in worship.

The Prologue begins with the time at Sinai and ends with Joshua as a leader.

The Recital of History (1-3)
1) Literary Structure
1:6-8 The call of God to leave Sinai,
1:9-46 Establishment of leaders, spies sent into the land
2:1-23 the wanderings of the first generation
2:24-3:20 the victories of Israel across the Jordan
3:21-4:43 Joshua is established as leader to replace Moses

2) Overview
God assures Israel that He will give them the land
1:9-18 the establishment of leaders
1:9-11 = the blessing of leader. God increased Israel’s number showing the blessing previously promised. V15 shows that God commands justice for Israel.

1:19-46 The land is described as God. God became angry because the people refused to trust God.
1:35-36 God gives promises that one will enter the land as a blessing of obedience. God blesses despite sin.

2:1-23 we see the wanderings
2:2 God forgives
2:7 God provides
2:16-18 God calls to Israel to the land again

God reminds the people of the victories over Sihon and Og.

Joshua is raised up as a leader. The Lord will fight not just Joshua in his own power.

3) The Original Meaning
The purpose of these stories was to show Israel that God was gracious despite rebellion. The readers of the book should gain grateful hearts for the past blessings.

The Call to Obedience (4)
The content of this intended to instruct Israel to be careful to obey all that God commanded.

1) Literary Structure
4:1-2 = Israel are taught to keep the commands to gain the land
4:25-31 = A threat of exile and hope of return from exile
4: 32-33 = A Review and re-statement of Israel’s purpose and call

4:3-9 indicates that the unfaithful are destroyed and the faithful live. Follows God’s law shows wisdom and understanding demonstrating the wonder of God’s nearness.

4:10-20 is remembering the days at Sinai. Moses teaches that God appeared not in the form of an idol. Israel is not to turn to idolatry of any kind when they go into the land.

Moses speaks about the future of Israel in 4:25. If idolatry comes in the future God promises to exile Israel.

4:29-31 we see a word of hope. If the Israelites were to seek God then God would bless them.

4:30 ‘in latter days’ becomes a technical term that the Prophets use. These days are the days after the exile.
Moses speaks about creation, Sinai and the plagues and says that these events happened to show the people that there is only one true God. Moses exhorts Israel to obey this one true God (v39).


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