Monday, August 8

Jehovah your God is with you wherever you go.Josh. 1:9.

Jehovah God really was with Joshua wherever he went. For instance, consider what happened as the Israelites were encamped near the Canaanite city of Jericho. In 1473 B.C.E., Joshua sent two men to spy out Jericho, and there they met the prostitute Rahab. She hid them on the roof of her house, concealing them from potential captors sent out by Jericho’s king. Rahab told the Israelite spies: “I do know that Jehovah will give you the land . . . , for we heard how Jehovah dried up the waters of the Red Sea before you . . . and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites.” She added: “Jehovah your God is God in the heavens above and on the earth beneath.” Because Rahab aligned herself with Jehovah’s organization of that time, God saw to it that she and her household were spared when the Israelites conquered Jericho. Rahab exercised faith, had reverence for Jehovah, and showed respect for his people.

COMMENTARY

After wandering in the vast wilderness for 40 years, until the entire generation of the faithless had died off, Jehovah’s angel led the Israelite camp to the banks of the Jordan River. On the other side lay the Promised Land. It was at that point that Joshua was commissioned by God to lead the people into the country that Abraham had traveled through approximately 500 years before. But before the people would inherit a land described as flowing with milk and honey, they would have to fight.

The first city they encountered was Jericho. Every kid who has ever gone to Sunday school knows the story. The Israelite warriors were instructed to march around the city following a solemn procession led by seven priests with seven rams horns, followed by the priests carrying the golden ark of the covenant. On the seventh day they were to march around the city seven times and then the priests were to blow their rams horns and the warriors were to shout a mighty war cry. At that the walls of Jericho came tumbling down —all except for the portion of the wall where the house of Rahab was, the prostitute who had faith in Jehovah.

But this is not merely a bedtime Bible story. It is a portent – a pattern of things to come, of deeply hidden sacred secrets to be revealed during the Revelation of Christ.

The name Joshua is the shortened form of the name Jehoshua, which is the Hebrew name we pronounce in English as Jesus. Does that mean Joshua typifies Jesus? Yes and no. Joshua, as you likely know, along with Caleb, were the two faithful spies who had gone into the land of Canaan with the 10 others. It was because of his faithfulness that he was appointed to lead Jehovah’s people after Moses died. So, in that respect Joshua symbolizes the faithful and discreet slave whom Christ said would be appointed over all of his master’s belongings.

The appointment of the faithful slaves will take place when the master comes to inspect his household at a time his slaves think not to be it. Conversely, the coming of the master results in the condemnation of the unfaithful slave.

The 40 year trek of the unfaithful Israelites disallowed them from entering the Promised Land. In that respect this typifies the removal of all persons doing lawlessness by Jehovah’s powerful angels as a precursor to the establishment of the new heavens and the the new earth.

Christ’s coming to judge his slaves then results in his coming alongside the faithful, which is what the Greek word “parousia” means.

Now, here is where it gets interesting. Prior to the Israelite army marching around Jericho Joshua had a close encounter with a supernatural being. Here is what the account says: When Joshua was near Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with a drawn sword in his hand. Joshua walked up to him and asked: “Are you on our side or on the side of our adversaries?” To this he said: “No, but I have come as prince of Jehovah’s army.” With that Joshua fell with his face to the ground and prostrated himself and said to him: “What does my lord have to say to his servant?” The prince of Jehovah’s army replied to Joshua: “Remove your sandals from your feet, because the place where you are standing is holy.” At once Joshua did so. Joshua 5

According to the 12 chapter of Daniel the great prince who stands in behalf of God’s people is Michael. And as we know the designation of God’s people passed from the Israelites to the Christians, so that the prophecy really applies to Jesus standing up for God’s people during the tribulation.

Interestingly, the prince of Jehovah’s army appeared to Joshua immediately after all of the Hebrews had been circumcised, which was immediately followed by the Passover on Nisan 14, when the daily-appearing manna from heaven stopped. According to Christ he himself is the true manna, the bread from heaven that gives life. Paul said that Christ is our passover. So, the cessation of the manna typifies that Christ’s sacrifice will be completed as regards those who are in the new covenant —those who have finally had the hearts circumcised by God. And this occurs before the end of this world, at the coming of Christ.

Paul confirmed that when he wrote to the Corinthians regarding the end of the observance of the evening meal involving the bread representing Christ’s flesh, and the cup, saying: “For whenever you eat this loaf and drink this cup, you keep proclaiming the death of the Lord, until he comes.

But the significance of Joshua’s experience with the prince of the army is that he portrayed the holy ones who will see Christ during his glorious presence, when he manifests himself to them. It is at that point the holy ones become Christ – or rather the brothers of Christ, through whom Christ lives vicariously. The fact that the Israelites were required to show deep respect for Joshua and obey him as if he were God foreshadows the judging of the sheep and the goats based upon their support of Christ’s brothers during the conclusion. 

Having seen the prince of the army Joshua typifies the chosen ones who will see Christ and who will then be given the assignment of witnessing again —announcing Jehovah’s judgments upon the doomed world. As Jehovah was with Joshua, Christ will be with his brothers everywhere they go. 

Of note, the work of the two witnesses leads to the blowing of the seventh trumpet and the great earthquake that flattens a tenth of the city and ultimately brings to ruin those ruining the earth.

The final witness is what was enacted upon the plains of Jericho, when the holy assembly marched around the city seven times and the walls came crashing down.

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