The 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).
As 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
Next Monday — David Conquers Jerusalem.