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After the Walls came down at Jericho - Achan takes of the accursed thing

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posted on Dec, 19 2005 @ 02:04 PM
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I would venture to say that the story of the seven trumpets bringing down the walls of Jericho is one of the best known stories of the OT worldwide, right up there with Moses parting the Red (or reed) Sea.

The Book of Joshua takes up where Moses leaves off in the Bible, after giving the admonitions and blessings contained in Deuteronomy, he sees the promised land he will not enter from Pisgah at the top of Nebo, then dies "there in the land of Moab." Deut. 34:12

Joshua starts off with the crossing of the River Jordan, "And the priests that bare the ark of the covenant of the Lord stood firm on dry ground in the midst of (the River) Jordan," Josh 3:17 Then in Joshua 6 they bring down the walls of Jericho with the trumpets and utterly destroy the city save the harlot Rahab and her family.

Up to this point, east of the Jordan, and now at Jericho, the Israelites have laid waste to the occupants of the promised land before them, utterly destroying and capturing the spoils of every tribe that dared stand in their way. The forty years spent wandering in the desert have reared a generation of hardened warriors, "mighty men of valor". It has also eliminated all those of the old guard that had come out of Egypt with Moses. "For the children of Israel walked forty years in the wilderness, till all the people that were men of war, which came out of Egypt, were consumed," Josh. 6:6

But now, something goes wrong. Joshua sends some scouts over to the city of Ai, near Bethaven, and they report at it can be taken with three thousand men. The men are sent, but they are routed with the loss of about thirty six men, "for they chased them from before the gate even unto Shebarim.... wherefore the hearts of the people melted and became as water." Josh. 7:5

What has caused this unprecedented defeat? "But the children of Israel committed a trespass in the accursed thing." Josh. 7:1 Joshua falls on his face wishing he'd never crossed the Jordan. "O Lord, what shall I say, when Israel turneth their backs before their enemies!" The people will lose heart because their soldiers have lost courage in the face of the enemy. The Lord answers Joshua, telling him to get up off his face, that "Israel hath sinned...... for they have even taken of the accursed thing, and have also stolen, and dissembled..." Josh. 7:11

Apparently, a major transgession against the covenant has been committed, and it must be redressed before Josh and the Iraelites can get right with the Lord again and finish the conquest of the promised land. "for thus saith the Lord God of Israel, There is an accursed thing in the midst of thee, O Israel, thou canst not stand before thine enemies, until ye take away the accursed thing from amongst you." Josh. 7:13

This transgression is traced back to Achan and the sacking of Jericho. Joshua asks for a confession, and Achan admits to sinning, "and thus and thus have I done." Josh. 7:20 "So Joshua sent messengers, and they ran into the tent, and behold, it was hid in his tent, and the silver under it." Josh. 7:21 It is not made clear what exactly the "accursed thing" is, but I assume it is an idol of some sort. Maybe it is some other thing, I don't know. It must be very, very powerful, whatever it is, to derail the Israelites like this in their conquest of the promised land.

Achan is really in for it now, and all his family and livestock, and everything he owns, too. "And Joshua said, Why hast thee troubled us? the Lord shall trouble thee this day. And all Israel stoned him with stones, and burned them with fire, after they had stoned them with stones." Josh. 7:25 Nothing like that OT justice, huh? They weren't satisfied until they had "raised over him a great heap of stones unto this day."

It cured them of the affliction of the "accursed thing", though. "So the Lord turned from the fierceness of his anger." Josh. 7:26 After this, the children of Israel resume their conquest of the promised land by first ambushing the city of Ai, burning it to the ground and putting twelve thousand to the sword.

So, why have I gone to such lengths to tell this story? Because I see a historical parallel between this story and the current situation facing the US. Imo, we seem to have some kind of an "accursed thing" of our own in our midst, and it is stopping us from achieving a complete, righteous victory in our efforts to bring freedom to the oppressed.

What is this "accursed thing"? Anybody who follows my posts knows what I think the answer is. What is corrupting our efforts? What is holding us back? Does this OT example of the power of corruption to stand in the way of righteous victory even apply as I have opined? What do you think?




posted on Dec, 19 2005 @ 05:41 PM
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This is taken from the book Patriarchs and Prophets (1890) Chapter 45 [495.2]


To establish his guilt beyond all question, leaving no ground for the charge that he had been unjustly condemned, Joshua solemnly adjured Achan to acknowledge the truth. The wretched man made full confession of his crime: "Indeed I have sinned against the Lord God of Israel. . . . When I saw among the spoils a goodly Babylonish garment, and two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold of fifty shekel's weight, then I coveted them, and took them; and, behold, they are hid in the earth in the midst of my tent." Messengers were immediately dispatched to the tent, where they removed the earth at the place specified, and "behold, it was hid in his tent, and the silver under it. And they took them out of the midst of the tent, and brought them unto Joshua, . . . and laid them out before the Lord." [PP 495.2]




"The Israelites had not gained the victory by their own power; the conquest had been wholly the Lord's; and as the first fruits of the land, the city, with all that it contained, was to be devoted as a sacrifice to God."


Icarus Rising wrote:


So, why have I gone to such lengths to tell this story? Because I see a historical parallel between this story and the current situation facing the US. Imo, we seem to have some kind of an "accursed thing" of our own in our midst, and it is stopping us from achieving a complete, righteous victory in our efforts to bring freedom to the oppressed.

What is this "accursed thing"? Anybody who follows my posts knows what I think the answer is. What is corrupting our efforts? What is holding us back? Does this OT example of the power of corruption to stand in the way of righteous victory even apply as I have opined? What do you think?


I do not agree completely with the parallel, but the moral of your statement I do agree with and that being corruption or transgression will not profiteth good results; only hinders.



posted on Dec, 20 2005 @ 11:15 AM
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I get the impression you think the



Babylonish garment, and two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold of fifty shekel's weight


is all the loot Achan had stashed when



Messengers were immediately dispatched to the tent, where they removed the earth at the place specified, and "behold, it was hid in his tent, and the silver under it.


And



the conquest had been wholly the Lord's; and as the first fruits of the land, the city, with all that it contained, was to be devoted as a sacrifice to God."


this is what angered the Lord God of Israel, that Achan held back this loot, and had



stolen, and dissembled...


But is that what is labelled "the accursed thing"? Is it the transgression itself which is the accursed thing? Probably not, imo. Again, the KJV of the OT isn't clear on what exactly it is. Joshua 7:11 and 7:13 point to more of a transgression than the theft of a Babylonian garment and 250 shekels of gold and silver.

The transition isn't complete as to what Achan admits to Joshua he took and what is found buried in his tent, either. Does the 'it' found buried in his tent refer to the Babylonian garment or to the "accursed thing"? I don't believe they are one and the same. Could the 50 shekel gold wedge be 'it'. It isn't described in any detail as being an idol or forbidden object.

Everything Achan owns is then taken and stoned and burned and piled with more stones. The strictest possible penalty. Is this his punishment for breaking the commandments against theft and the first fruits dedication? And his whole family and all his livestock and possessions are destroyed too? That's harsh even by OT standards. Too harsh, imo.

Maybe there is some thing more to it.



posted on Dec, 20 2005 @ 12:08 PM
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does this OT example of the power of corruption to stand in the way of righteous victory even apply as I have opined? What do you think?

The OT story has nothing to do with corruption. It looks like the nomadic hebrews had some problems defeating the people of a city, ransacked their own populace, and found someone who had an idol. Accursed thing is often an idol in the bible, often either to Baal or Asherah, for asherah its often a plank or pole of wood. Then they killed the guy with the different beleifs, and were so pepped up by this that they were able to kill the people in the city. The burning of his stuff jives with how asherah poles are dealt with, they are accursed and burned.

Not much of a moral there.


[edit on 20-12-2005 by Nygdan]



posted on Dec, 20 2005 @ 02:02 PM
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The story absolutely points out the power of corruption to stand in the way of righteous victory. Aschan has corrupted the entire tribe by taking of the accursed thing, whatever it is, and it must be taken away from amongst them before they can stand before their enemies. That is the whole point of this story in the OT - as shown in Joshua 7:13.



Up, sanctify the people, and say, Sanctify yourselves against to morrow: for thus saith the LORD God of Israel, [There is] an accursed thing in the midst of thee, O Israel: thou canst not stand before thine enemies, until ye take away the accursed thing from among you.


Thanks for the info on what the 'accursed thing' might be.



posted on Dec, 20 2005 @ 04:06 PM
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Icarus Rising,

In stead of me trying to re-tell in my own words. I think Ellen G. White tells it better than I can. The following link is from her book Patriarchs and Prophets (1890) Chapter 45 where I referenced her writings earlier.

I think you will enjoy this.
The chapter is short; Half the chapter is about Achan's transgression.

NOTE: I was interested if "The valley of Achan" was it still called this today. Interesting enough it is by the locals. It is known as part of Wady Kelt of today; or Wady-el-Kelt writen as akor.



posted on Dec, 20 2005 @ 04:35 PM
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Thanks for the link, and I did enjoy reading it. It makes the point I've been trying to here with this quote, more or less.



Achan's sin brought disaster upon the whole nation. For one man's sin the displeasure of God will rest upon His church till the transgression is searched out and put away. The influence most to be feared by the church is not that of open opposers, infidels, and blasphemers, but of inconsistent professors of Christ. These are the ones that keep back the blessing of the God of Israel and bring weakness upon His people.


And again,



Imo, we seem to have some kind of an "accursed thing" of our own in our midst, and it is stopping us from achieving a complete, righteous victory in our efforts to bring freedom to the oppressed.


Thanks for your interest in and posts on this topic.



posted on Dec, 21 2005 @ 01:27 PM
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Originally posted by Icarus Rising
The story absolutely points out the power of corruption to stand in the way of righteous victory. Aschan has corrupted the entire tribe

I thought you were saying corruption like a corrupt politician or a corrupt businessman, etc, rather than, say, a pollution of the people, etc.


Thanks for the info on what the 'accursed thing' might be.

Another intersting thing that I just read is that these idols were sometimes called 'ephods', and that the term might ultimately mean a wooden engraved image, covered with molten metal plates, layered with it and what not, and that the words for this can also be taken as 'presitly garments', so perhaps the babylonish garments here is also refereing ot the idol, and that its a carved image that has been plated with gold, or, i beleive, they mention silver here too.

As far as one guy screwing things up for everyone, its apparently understood that the worship of asherah poles and bull-idols was very popular amoung the israelites, and this custom was every so often suppressed. This might, infact, be a story about supressing that custom, not perhaps just amoung one particular guy. It could be interpreted as this tribe of nomads being unified with religious fervor and than ransacking and destroying one of their neigbhors.



posted on Dec, 21 2005 @ 04:42 PM
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You provide excellent perspective on this story. Thanks for your input. I'm curious why the KJV of the OT would dance around plainly stating what is found buried in Achan's tent. It appears form your comments it may have been something that was lost in translation and ended up being hinted at as a garment or wedge of gold.



posted on Dec, 21 2005 @ 05:25 PM
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Originally posted by Nygdan
Another intersting thing that I just read is that these idols were sometimes called 'ephods', and that the term might ultimately mean a wooden engraved image, covered with molten metal plates, layered with it and what not, and that the words for this can also be taken as 'presitly garments', so perhaps the babylonish garments here is also refereing ot the idol, and that its a carved image that has been plated with gold, or, i beleive, they mention silver here too.

As far as one guy screwing things up for everyone, its apparently understood that the worship of asherah poles and bull-idols was very popular amoung the israelites, and this custom was every so often suppressed. This might, infact, be a story about supressing that custom, not perhaps just amoung one particular guy. It could be interpreted as this tribe of nomads being unified with religious fervor and than ransacking and destroying one of their neigbhors.


The only thing I could find on the contents referred to the robe was a robe of Shinar.
From Patriarchs and Prophets (1890) Chapter 45; page 496


Of the millions of Israel there was but one man who, in that solemn hour of triumph and of judgment, had dared to transgress the command of God. Achan's covetousness was excited by the sight of that costly robe of Shinar; even when it had brought him face to face with death he called it "a goodly Babylonish garment." One sin had led to another, and he appropriated the gold and silver devoted to the treasury of the Lord--he robbed God of the first fruits of the land of Canaan.


I do not think it matters if the accursed things where not out lined in detail. The fact is they where told to NOT take anything...


The Israelites had not gained the victory by their own power; the conquest had been wholly the Lord's; and as the first fruits of the land, the city, with all that it contained, was to be devoted as a sacrifice to God. It was to be impressed upon Israel that in the conquest of Canaan they were not to fight for themselves, but simply as instruments to execute the will of God; not to seek for riches or self-exaltation, but the glory of Jehovah their King. Before the capture the command had been given, "The city shall be accursed, even it, and all that are therein." "Keep yourselves from the accursed thing, lest ye make yourselves accursed . . . and make the camp of Israel a curse, and trouble it."

All the inhabitants of the city, with every living thing that it ontained, "both man and woman, young and old, and ox, and sheep, and ass," were put to the sword. Only faithful Rahab, with her household, was spared, in fulfillment of the promise of the spies. The city itself was burned; its palaces and temples, its magnificent dwellings with all their luxurious appointments, the rich draperies and the costly garments, were given to the flames. That which could not be destroyed by fire, "the silver, and the gold, and the vessels of brass and of iron," was to be devoted to the service of the tabernacle. The very site of the city was accursed; Jericho was never to be rebuilt as a stronghold;




posted on Dec, 22 2005 @ 09:32 AM
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Another good point. The entire city of Jericho was accursed, according to the Lord God of Israel. Any thing taken from the doomed city would bring that curse upon the children of Israel. Save Rahab and her family, it all had to be destroyed.



posted on Jul, 21 2011 @ 06:44 PM
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I believe an earthquake broke down the walls of Jericho.



posted on Jul, 21 2011 @ 09:21 PM
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The word is "ha·che·rem" and the exact same spelling of the word is also in Joshua 6:18
But be careful when you are setting apart the riches for the Lord. If you take any of it, you will make the Israelite camp subject to annihilation and cause a disaster.

It means an offering that has to be destroyed.
There are different ways of making offerings and that is one.
Somehow if no one can use it, the value of it is transferred to god.
That goes back to the oldest worship in that region, where they would find a really big rock and cut a groove in it so the blood from the sacrificed animal on top of the rock would be directed to under the rock where no one could get at it.
Maybe why Jerusalem was so sacred because of the rock formation to where any number of animals could be slaughtered in a day and no lack of room for the blood to go.



posted on Jul, 22 2011 @ 01:47 AM
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This is a very interesting thread that I have stumbled on here. Thank you all for the wealth of information.

Leaving aside exactly what was taken for a moment, that the point here seems to me to be that if one takes of something reserved or intended for God, there will be punishment. I think this theme comes up many times in the Bible (sorry, I can't whip out any quotes for you), but there is always a special sort of wrath when a human takes something for himself that was intended for the Lord. I assume this is another such case, so I assumed firstoff that the thing that was taken was something intended for the Lord. But then why would it be "accursed?" Because the act of taking it defiled it? Or am I barking up the wrong tree, and should we be looking for idols or something more "essentially" acccursed?

Either way, nice little gem of a thread you got going here.



posted on Jul, 22 2011 @ 02:44 AM
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reply to post by silent thunder
 

But then why would it be "accursed?" Because the act of taking it defiled it?
Another example of one of those wonderful King James'isms.
A good reason to read the Hebrew whenever dealing with the Old Testament because of all the wild attempts at translation.



posted on Jul, 22 2011 @ 11:31 PM
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reply to post by Icarus Rising


So, why have I gone to such lengths to tell this story? Because I see a historical parallel between this story and the current situation facing the US. Imo, we seem to have some kind of an "accursed thing" of our own in our midst, and it is stopping us from achieving a complete, righteous victory in our efforts to bring freedom to the oppressed.

What is this "accursed thing"? Anybody who follows my posts knows what I think the answer is. What is corrupting our efforts? What is holding us back? Does this OT example of the power of corruption to stand in the way of righteous victory even apply as I have opined? What do you think?

A thread chock full of irony!


Beginning with your user name: The story of Icarus and and his rise and fall are probably better known than the story of Jericho. I've been anxious to quote a verse from Ovid's Metamorphoses for some time now:

By Phoebius, Immortal driver of the Sun across the sky, to his human son, Phaethon, after he asked to drive his chariot for one day:


Mortal your lot--not mortal your desire;
This, to which even the gods may not aspire,
In ignorance you claim.

-Ovid's Metamorphoses, Book II, 33-64

The very notion that the U.S. is engaged in some grand righteous endeavor to liberate the oppressed is patently absurd. That may be the rhetoric spewed out in speeches for the benefit of people convinced a priori of their own self-righteousness and the righteous motives behind their every project, but it doesn't stand up to scrutiny.

It is domination of hearts and minds and body and sweat that the U.S. is after; with liberation from life to all who refuse to put the interests of neocolonial ambitions above their own interests.

The purpose of war is to destroy resources which could have been better used for human purposes. Take the US debate over the national debt: the debt run up by unfunded invasion and occupation. No resources left for a decent education or medicine, or even to pay the wages of Federal employees. War has succeeded already in the U.S. toward lowering standards of living for average Americans.

Ironic to link the US foreign adventures with the story of Achan! The abomination was the holding back of what that god wanted completely destroyed. What Achan saw as something which could have benefited him and his family was forbidden from benefiting anyone. Out of all the looters among the army, (7:11) the one man gets singled out, and sacrificed to destruction, along with his family and livestock, and afterward, looting is then permitted. (8:2) Wonderful! The whimsical changeable demands of a god bent on depopulation of real estate!



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