Joshua the Conqueror and the Allotment of the Land of Canaan. Judges and Ruth: Israel’s Moral Crisis

At its onset, the lecture seeks to present the four major units of the book of Joshua, namely the crossing into Canaan (1,1-8,35), further victories (9,1-12,24), the allotment of the Promised Land (13,1-21,45) and conclusion (22,1-24,33). Further topics to be discussed include: the link between archaeology and the book of Joshua, the bearing of the Amarna Letters and the Merneptah Stele on the book of Joshua, the concept of devoted things (ḥerem) and Achan’s sin, Joshua 1-12, the nations of Canaan, ancient near eastern conquest accounts, and the concept of the land that remains and the historicity of the capture of Jericho and Ai. Key themes are also elaborated in some detail. In what follows, the content of the book of Judges is surveyed by focusing on the two major blocks of the book, that is the introduction to the period of the rise of judges (1,1-3,6) and narratives concerned with the judges of Israel (17,1-21,25). Further topics to be discussed include: the vow of Jephtah and narrative technique and the message of Judges 19. Key themes are also mentioned. The third part of the lecture explores the book of Ruth. Further topics to be discussed include: widows in Ancient Israel and the role of women in the book. Finally, the lecture also addresses the key themes that are to be found in it.