Monday on the Mount — Entering and Settling the Land of Canaan

DLRLTB10_400The books of Joshua and Judges describe Israel’s entrance into and settlement in the Land of Canaan.  As Israel, led by priests carrying the Ark of the Covenant, crossed into the Land of Canaan, they were entering the Land promised to their ancestors and to which the Lord was guiding them:

13 “In your unfailing love you [the Lord] will lead
the people you have redeemed.
In your strength you will guide them
to your holy dwelling . . .
17  You will bring them in and plant them
on the mountain of your inheritance
the place, O LORD, you made for your dwelling, the sanctuary, O Lord, your hands established.  18  The LORD will reign for ever and ever.”

This movement was more than a group of people merely moving into a land and conquering it, as often happened in the ancient world.  These were God’s people moving into The Land the He had promised them.  I previously wrote that part of the “Patriarchal Promise” was

that the descendants of Abraham would occupy the Land of Canaan.  See Genesis 12:7; 13:15–17; 15:18; 17:8—about 12 times in Genesis and especially Numbers 34.  From a earlier post.

This was the land where God would place His Name (= His Presence; Deuteronomy 12), the land where they would gather around His sanctuary, and potentially where they could live their lives in “worshipful obedience” in His Presence.  In a very real way, this could potentially be considered a movement back to Edenic conditions where humanity had been purposefully placed (by God)  in the Garden of Eden to live their lives in His Presence in “worshipful obedience”  (Genesis 3:15).

540_ShilohAs part of Israel’s movement into, and settlement in, the Land of Canaan Jerusalem was conquered (Joshua 12:10; Judges 1:7-8, 21; 19:10), but not settled by them—that would not happen until the days of David.  Instead, the Tabernacle was set up at Shiloh, 20 mi. to the north of Jerusalem, on the way to Shechem, and it was to there that the tribes went up to worship—remember Eli the priest, Elkanah the father of Samuel the prophet (1 Samuel 1:3), etc


View looking north from the summit of Shiloh down on to a rectangular open area (about the size of the courtyard of the Tabernacle) where many believe the Tabernacle was actually set up (under excavation at the time the photo was taken — Click on Image to Enlarge and/or Download

Next Monday — David Conquers Jerusalem.


2 responses to “Monday on the Mount — Entering and Settling the Land of Canaan

  1. Your use of the word “edenic” reminded me of John Sailhammers book, Genesis Unbound, in which he argues that the Temple Mount may, in fact, be Eden. Not sure of the validity of it, but would love to get your take on it if you have read it.

    • Ward – thanks for your note. I would not place the Garden of Eden in Israel, let alone in Jerusalem—this in spite of the “Chapel of Adam” being located in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher (wink). A location somewhere in the area of the Tigris and Euphrates seems more probable to me. However, as Beale argues, the tabernacle and temple are “reflections and recapitulations of the first temple in the Garden of Eden”—he offers 10+ parallels/analogies. Beale The Temple and the Church’s Mission, pp 66–80.

      I view the whole as concentric circles with the Land of Canaan as the outer circle and working inward to Jerusalem, the Temple, the Holy Place, the Most Holy Place, and the Ark of the Covenant.

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