Was Joshua justified in attacking Jericho? I don't like that story in the Old Testament


4 Answers

Didge Doo Profile
Didge Doo answered

Of course he was justified, Z. God told him to do it.

Mind you, if he tried that sort of stunt in the 21st century and said, "God told me to kill all those people" he'd either be shot as a terrorist or incarcerated in an asylum for the criminally insane.

AnnNettie Paradise Profile

Yes. Joshua was under orders from God to vanquish the Canaanite inhabitants in the Promised Land, because they practiced extremely degraded sex worship and idolatrous, demonistic rites, and were polluting the land with immorality, disease and bloodshed. (Deut. 20:15-18; Lev. 18:24-30) Jericho was the first city that the army of Israel encountered in the land.

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ZombieE Lee
ZombieE Lee commented
I can understand what you are saying. But that is the same kind of logic that went behind every act of terror or genocide since the dawn of time. Joshua claims divine sanctioning when he killed the women and children of Jericho, but so did Osama when he issued the attack on 9/11. I mean no disrespect but Joshua seems to have the same mindset as a modern-day terrorist.
AnnNettie Paradise
No disrespect taken :) However, I begged the difference. It is interesting to note that Joshua was able to entered the Promise Land. He lived to be 110 years old. He is written down in the bible as a faithful servant of Jehovah who had absolute trust in him and his promises. Joshua definitely has a record of remarkable faith. There is no comparison to the terrorists today, or those in the past. Will they ever live again? (John 5:28,29) Their final judgement lies with Jehovah.
ZombieE Lee
ZombieE Lee commented
I'm sure he's a faithful guy. I can't argue with that (: But I'm worried that his actions weren't that different from that of a tyrant. I mean many men such as Cortez or Hitler committed genocide but remained faithful. I'm not knocking the faith though(because I'm Baptist so that would be hypocritical) and I'm sure Joshua went to heaven, but while on earth he seems to have committed atrocities regardless of how divinely sanctioned he was. If I was in his shoes I don't think that I'd have been able to destroy Jericho like that /:
Darik Majoren Profile
Darik Majoren answered

Let’s examine “justified”.

Being “Just”, is a point of control and a point being
right (or righteous).

“Based on or behaving according to what is
morally right and fair.”

If one assigns being just when regarding
God, it is a small part of characteristics.

These stem from Omniscience, Omnipotence,
and Omnipresent. It flows from the understanding that God is supposed to have a
. Since God is All Knowing, His plan is always Correct, Right or Righteous. If God can see clear through into infinity and His plan has a Purpose, then not
only is every action, Perfect, and Righteous, but it is also Justified. The
actions of the “now”, are in conjunction with His Perfect Purpose . . .

So when you ask “ Was God’s Actions
Justified?” . . . The answer lies within the concept of God’s sovereignty. God
has to have a reason (purpose) for all He asks or Does, and man is not to

Of course this means all is Predestined,
Chosen, and Preordained . . . By Him as part of His Just, Righteous Perfect
Purpose . . . So if it has already been decided for us . . . Why bother living?

Thus, is one of the main reasons, WHY the
concept of God regarding his Biblical characteristics (Imagined and written by
) is a self-defeating religious belief.

If you are asking “why” . . . You have
already begun to see the Bible as fallible . .

Hope This Helps Profile
Hope This Helps answered

As Ann pointed out, Joshua was following Jehovah's express directions, which were intended to reduce long-term suffering in the region, and- if followed to the letter (which they were not)- would have prevented the widespread suffering that has perpetually troubled the region, to this very day.

I appreciate the fact that you are troubled by such accounts, that is not a bad indication, but is the sign of a considerate, sensitive spirit.

Making a competent judgment about the events surrounding the activity in ancient times, is not always easy, however.  Looking around at events in our own time, and how they affect us, today, and what leads us toward agreeing with certain actions that take place, can help us, however.

In Joshua's day, a number of recorded events involving interventions by Jehovah, were present in Joshua's mind.  Moving forward to the record at 2 Kings chapter 19, another example is recorded, when King Sennacherib of Assyria, laid siege to Jerusalem.  2 Kings 18:3 sates that King Hezekiah of Judah "kept on doing what was right in Jehovah's eyes", even though a series of disobedient kings, had previously caused many problems, in the region.

However, when the Assyrian king began trampling over his enemies, Hezekiah faltered, and made an alliance with a corrupt Pharaoh, in Egypt, rather than depending on Jehovah.  Thus Jehovah did not act on Hezekiah's behalf, not until Hezekiah finally admitted his mistake, and humbled himself. 

Jehovah remembered the good that King Hezekiah had done, and remembered that Hezekiah "was the one who removed the high places, smashed the sacred pillars and cut down the sacred pole" (2 kings 18:4) that had been used for wicked religious practices.

So once Hezekiah displayed a humble attitude, Jehovah responded, and: "On that very night, the angel of Jehovah went out and struck down 185,000 men in the camp of the Assyrians."- 2 kings 19:35

...and the king of Assyria fled for his life- which wasn't long, as his own sons murdered him, when he returned to Nineveh.

So Joshua had a relationship with a clean, understanding "Father" who had a long record of acting on behalf of those who followed his directions- unlike the nations that exist, today. 

Since we are actually strangers to the people, times and mindsets that existed in Joshua's day... To better understand Jehovah, consider the encouragement and direction he gives to those living in the 21st-century. These are times we live in, thus we are aware of contemporary human attitudes and world events.

"And many nations will go and say: “Come, let us go up to the mountain of Jehovah, He will instruct us about his ways, And we will walk in his paths.”

"...Nor will they learn war anymore, For the mouth of Jehovah of armies has spoken."- Micah 4:2-7, Isaiah 2:2-5

It is very close to what we see at 2 Chronicles 20:17: "You will not need to fight this battle. Take your position, stand still, and see the salvation of Jehovah in your behalf."

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