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JOSHUA CHAPTER 22 ~ 24

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JOSHUA CHAPTER 22 ~ 24

Post  Jude on Sun 05 May 2013, 14:52

JOSHUA 22


1 And Joshua called the Reubenites,
The Gadites, and half the tribe wights
Of Manasseh, 2 and said to them,
“You have kept all the stratagem
That Moses the servant of YHWH
Commanded you, obeying due
My voice in all I said to do.
3 “You have not left your brothers these
Many days, up to this day’s ease,
But kept the charge of YHWH’s command,
Your God. 4 “And now YHWH at your hand
Your God has given rest to your band
Of brothers, as He promised them,
Now therefore, return to the hem
Of your tents, also to the land
Of your possession, and the stand
Which Moses servant of YHWH gave
You on the Jordan’s further wave.
5 “But diligently take you heed
To do the commandment indeed
And law which Moses YHWH’s servant
Commanded you, to love with cant
YHWH your God, walk in all His ways,
To keep His commandments in blaze,
To hold fast to Him, and to serve
Him with all your heart not to swerve
And with all your soul to observe.”
6 So Joshua blessed them and sent
Them away, to their tents they went.

When comes to fighting men are willing and
Quick to obey the slightest of command,
To leave their farms and meadows and the land
East of Jordan to turn toward the band
Of sunset and nightfall, the gore and sand
Run crimson. So the fighting men that stand
For the two and a half tribes rose and manned
The armies of invasion to the store
Of Canaan as far as the western shore.
Beloved, I too pretend to love Your peace,
But rise up willing to the fray and cease
Repeating Your names merciful and just
To call on the destroyer and the dust.
Look on a brave world here and its release.

7 And to Manasseh’s half a tribe
Moses had given to describe
A possession in Bashan, but
To half of them Joshua gave rut
Among their brothers on this side
Of the Jordan, westward in pride.
And indeed, when Joshua sent
Them away each to his own tent,
He blessed them, 8 and spoke to them, saying
“Return with much riches inlaying
To your tents, and with much livestock,
With silver, gold, bronze poppy-cock,
With iron, and very many clothes.
Divide the spoil of all your foes
With your brothers.” 9 So Reuben’s folk,
The children of Gad to a bloke,
And half the tribe of Manasseh
Returned, and left from Israel’s stay
At Shiloh, which is in the land
Of Canaan, to go to the band
Of Gilead, and to the land
Of their possession, on the strand
Which they obtained and by the hand
Of YHWH also by Moses’ hand.

Who fight for Israel on David’s score,
Or on that of Joshua for the gore,
Are commanded to give the spoils in store
Some to the ones remaining in the camp
To guard the docks and herds and to revamp
The courage of the ladies and the scamp
Of children and the aged by the lamp.
The share in wealth is always what’s behind
To get the young women to have a blind
Eye to the killing. Price of oil alone
For three cents will send armies against stone
To bomb Baghdad. Beloved, give me no share
In any of the fortunes they’ve laid bare.
I bow in peace before Your sacred throne.

10 And when they came to the place of
The Jordan which is in land of
Canaan, the children of Reuben,
The children of Gad, and the den
Of half the tribe of Manasseh
Built an altar there by the way
Of Jordan, great for eye astray.
11 The folk of Israel heard one say,
“Indeed, the children of Reuben,
The children of Gad, and the half
Of Manasseh have built a gaff
Of an altar on the frontier
Of the land of Canaan for fear,
In the region of the Jordan,
On folk of Israel’s side by plan.”
12 And when the folk of Israel heard,
The whole assembly of them stirred
Together at Shiloh to go
To war against them as a foe.
13 Then the children of Israel sent
Phinehas Eleazar’s son bent
As priest to the folk of Reuben,
To the children of Gad, and half
The tribe of Manasseh in staff,
Into the land of Gilead,
14 And with him ten rulers in pad,
One ruler each from the chief house
Of every tribe of Israel’s spouse,
And each one was his dad’s house head
Among Israel’s divisions led.

I go to war against the evil brood
That worships in another way and crude
From what I do myself. I raise a cry
“There is no god but God up in the sky”
And rush to the attack of those who shout
“The Lord God is but One”. The demons’ rout
Is sure for all the clash of arms and call
Of curses on the fast black-listed brawl.
Beloved, who hear the prayers of men and son
Of angel on the torrid earth begun,
Choose Your own side, but fail not to include
The flailing arms and houses of the rude,
And I shall reinforce Your choice in vying
Against the prim and proper ones who’re lying.

15 Then they came up to Reuben’s folk,
To the children of Gad, and spoke
To half the tribe of Manasseh,
In the land of Gilead’s way,
Saying 16 “Thus says the whole folk’s sway
Of YHWH, ‘What treachery is this
That you’ve committed, done amiss
Against the God of Israel,
To turn away this day a spell
From following YHWH, in as well
That you have built for yourselves this
Altar, that you might on this day
Rebel against YHWH, yes, rebel?
17 ‘Is then the iniquity not
Enough for us in Peor’s plot,
From which we are not cleansed till now,
Although there was a plague and row
In the congregation of YHWH,
18 ‘But you must turn away this day
From following YHWH gone astray?
And it shall be, if you rebel
Today against YHWH, that as well
Tomorrow He’ll be wroth with all
The assembly of Israel’s stall.
19 ‘But if the land of your plot’s foul,
Then cross over both cheek and jowl
To the possession land of YHWH,
Where YHWH’s tabernacle’s in view,
And take possession among us,
But do not rebel with a fuss
Against YHWH, nor against us, by
Building yourselves an altar high
Besides the altar of YHWH our
God. 20 ‘Did not Achan in his power
The son of Zerah commit sin
In the accursed thing, and wrath’s din
Fell on all Israel’s assembly?
And that man did not perish free
Alone in his iniquity.’”

On slightest provocation everyone
Rushes out with alarm to jump the gun
With conclusions unkempt and without sight
Of reason, like a monkey in the night.
They might as well have understood the frame
In positive and righteousness’ acclaim
As in the light, or darkness that they did.
Instead they mustered army for the bid.
An army is gathered always on such
A false requirement and in evil touch.
What’s amazing here yet is that they sent
Ambassadors to find out why they spent
Their earnings on an altar to prevent
Attack. Most times diplomacy is rent.

21 Then the children of Reuben, and
The children of Gad, and half band
Of Manasseh answered and said
To the heads of divisions led
Of Israel, 22 “YHWH God of gods,
YHWH God of gods, He knows our pods,
And let Israel itself know too,
If in rebellious treachery
Against YHWH, do not save us free
This day. 23 “If we have built ourselves
An altar to turn following elves
From YHWH, or if to offer on
It burnt offerings or grain at dawn,
Or if to offer peace offerings
On it, let YHWH Himself in stings
Require. 24 “But in fact we have done
It for fear, for a reason won,
Saying ‘In time to come your sons
May peek to our descendants’ stuns,
Saying “What have you to do with
YHWH God of Israel in myth?
25 “For YHWH has made the Jordan here
A border between you appear
And us, you children of Reuben
And children of Gad in the glen.
You have no part in YHWH at all.”
So your descendants would make all
Our descendants cease fearing YHWH.’
26 “Therefore we said ‘Let us now do
This building ourselves now and here
An altar, not for burning gear,
Nor for sacrifice, 27 ‘but appear
A witness between you and us
And generations after us,
That we may do service to YHWH
Before Him with burnt offerings too,
With our sacrifices, and our
Peace offerings, that your sons in power
May not say to our descendants
In time to come, “You have no chance
In YHWH.”’ 28 “Therefore we said that it
Will be, when they say this to fit
Us or to our generations
In time to come the thing that stuns,
That we may say, ‘Here is the set
Model of the altar of YHWH
Which our fathers made when they met,
Though not for burnt offerings to do
Nor sacrifices, but it’s for
A witness between you in score
And us.’ 29 “Far be it from us that
We should rebel against YHWH’s hat,
And turn from following YHWH now,
To build an altar for burnt cow,
For grain offerings, or sacrifice,
Besides the altar of YHWH nice
Our God which is before His tent
And tabernacle where it’s sent.”

How often is the motive opposite
Of what the ill-informed expect of it!
Perhaps the fact these people speak the same
Language will keep them from the war’s acclaim.
The speeches are too long for those today
To understand in peace and justice’ way.
In those days people could sit down upon
The ground around a campfire and till dawn
Patiently hear the carriage of the wrong
And find out what is what the whole night long.
Now the transmission of message in sight
Is but a click of button on the right,
And once the word is set, so is the fight.
Yet then and now right is defined by might.

30 And when Phinehas the priest heard,
And the assembly’s rulers, word,
And the heads of divisions led
Of Israel with him, what said
The children of Reuben, the folk
Of Gad, and Manasseh who spoke,
It pleased them. 31 Then Phinehas son
Of Eleazar the priest won
Said to the children of Reuben,
The children of Gad in their glen,
And the children of Manasseh,
“Today we see YHWH’s with our play,
Because you’ve not done treachery
Against YHWH. Now you have in fee
Taken the folk of Israel
Out of the hand of YHWH in spell.”
32 And Phinehas Eleazar’s son,
The priest, and the rulers begun,
Returned from Reuben’s folk and Gad,
And from the land of Gilead
To the land of Canaan, and to
The children of Israel and crew,
And brought back word to them as due.
33 And the thing pleased Israel’s folk well,
And so the children of Israel
Blessed Ælohim, they spoke no more
Of going against them in war
And battle, to destroy the land
Where the children of Reuben and
Gad lived. 34 The children of Reuben
And the children of Gad in glen
Called the altar a witness gleam
Among us that YHWH’s Ælohim.”

Praise You, Beloved, that on a day gone past
The people heard the motives that were cast,
And found capacity to change their view,
Despite the fact they were a hardened crew
And out for blood. One time in history
You penetrated kingly pageantry
With Exodus to set Your people free.
And since then as we march into the place
Of slaughter without mercy, without grace,
We remember that once You showed Your face.
And so now once in history it seems
A folk was not chained to its broken dreams,
But through the fragile senses’ openings
Saw truth in other, and peace took to wings.

WEEK 43 JOSHUA 23


1 And so it came to pass, a long
Time after YHWH had given song
Of rest to Israel from all
Their enemies round house and stall,
That Joshua was old, advanced
In years. 2 And Joshua entranced
Called for all Israel, and for
Their elders, for their heads, and for
Their judges, for their officers,
And said to them as many fers,
“I’m old, and I’m advanced in age.
3 “You have seen all the great rampage
That YHWH your Ælohim has done
To all these nations under sun
Because of you, for YHWH your God
Has fought for you upon the sod.
4 “See, I have divided to you
By lot these nations that in crew
Remain, to be inheritance
For your tribes, and from the advance
Of Jordan, with all peoples that
I have cut off, as far as sat
The Great Sea westward of your flat.
5 “And YHWH your God will expel them
From before you and drive from hem
Out of your sight. And you’ll possess
Their land, as YHWH your God’s address
Has promised you. 6 “Therefore be of
Great courage to keep and to love
To do all that is written in
Book of Moses’ Law to begin,
Lest you turn aside from it to
The right hand or the left to do,
7 “And lest you go among these folks,
These who remain among your spokes.
You shall not make mention of name
Of their gods, nor cause any shame
To swear by them, you shall not serve
Them nor bow down to them with verve,
8 “But you’ll hold fast to YHWH your God,
As you’ve done to this day to plod.

Beloved, let me hold fast to You my God
As Joshua upon the barren sod
Of Hebron in the days when age took slack
And dimmed his eye and bent his tired back.
Though I am still young as it seems to me,
I’ve more than forty years repentantly
Read the Hebrew scroll through again, again,
To find Your word to me and to all men.
The one thing that is clearly stated there
Is to hold fast to You alone and bear
Witness that You alone are God Almighty
Among the heathen priests and rulers flighty.
Beloved, again I raise my voice to sing
Your oneness to the jackdaws on the wing.

9 “For YHWH has driven out before
You great and strong nations to roar,
But as for you, no one has been
Able to stand against you seen
To this day. 10 “One man of you shall
Chase a thousand in the canal,
For YHWH your Ælohim is He
Who fights for you, as faithfully
He promised you and set you free.
11 “So take careful heed to yourselves,
That you love YHWH your God, not elves.
12 “Or else, if indeed you go back,
And cling to the remnant in slack
Of these nations, these that remain
Among you, and marry profane
With them, and go in to them and
They to you, 13 “know sure out of hand
That YHWH your Ælohim no more
Will drive these nations from your shore.
But they’ll be snares and traps to you,
And scourges on your sides and thorns
In your eyes, until all your bourns
Perish from this good land which YHWH
Your Ælohim has given you.
14 “Indeed, this day I go the way
Of all the earth. And you can say
In all your hearts and all your souls
That not one thing has failed the goals
Of all the good things which YHWH your
God told you on you to outpour.
All have come to pass for you, not
One word of them has failed when sought.
15 “Therefore so it shall come to pass,
That as all the good things en masse
Have come upon you which YHWH your
God promised you, so YHWH’ll restore
On you all evil till He’s brought
Destruction on you from this plot
Of good which YHWH your God gave you.
16 “When you’ve transgressed the covenant
Of YHWH your God, which He in due
Command gave you, and gone to rant
Serving other gods, and bowed down
To them, then the anger and frown
Of YHWH will burn against you, and
You’ll perish quickly from the land
Of goodness which He’s given you.”

It is surprising that two generations
Of the faithful can abide in the rations
Of consequence and still keep the same story
Of faith before the tempting of earth’s glory.
After all Joshua stands to bear witness
To Your oneness like Moses and with fitness.
As soon as Muhammad died, there were those
Who came together his work to oppose
And chose vain leaders to wear prophet’s clothes.
Although that was the quickest fall from grace
Known in the story of the human race,
It’s still more typical those following
Forget the song their fathers used to sing.
Beloved, You are my heritage and ring.

JOSHUA 24


1 And so Joshua gathered all
The tribes of Israel by his call
To Shechem and called for the elders
Of Israel, and for their head welders,
For their judges, and deputies,
To come before Ælohim’s ease.
2 And Joshua said to all the folk,
“Thus says YHWH God of Israel’s oak,
‘Your fathers, including Terah,
The father of Abraham’s awe
And father of Nahor, lived on
The other side of river drawn
In olden times, and they served there
Other gods. 3 ‘Then I took your fair
Father Abraham from that side
Of the river, led him in pride
Through all the land of Canaan’s ride,
And his descendants multiplied
When I gave him Isaac. 4 ‘To him
Isaac I gave Jacob and grim
Esau. To Esau I gave hills
Of Seir to possess for his thrills,
But Jacob and his children went
Down to Egypt. 5 ‘Also I sent
Moses and Aaron, and I touched
Egypt with plagues and hard as smutched
In what I did among them clutched.
Afterward I brought you all out.
6 ‘And then I brought your fathers out
Of Egypt, you came to the sea,
And Egyptians ferociously
Pursued your fathers with chariots
And horsemen to the Red Sea’s butts.
7 ‘So they cried out to YHWH, and He
Put darkness between you and the
Egyptians, brought the sea on them,
And covered them by stratagem.

It’s getting to be too old as a story,
This victory over Egyptians’ glory.
A smart clamp on the Hitlerites would be
A tale of a more recent victory
Had You but intervened as in the myth.
Beloved, remember that we’re dealing with
Time and place in our human limitation.
It’s hard for us to find the divine station.
What You did long ago may well be true
To You a present and eternal hue,
But history to us is meant to show
How limited we humans on the go
Must be. Beloved, bear in this century
Witness to letting Your people go free.

And your eyes saw in Egypt what
I did. Then you lived in the shut
Desert a long time. 8 ‘And I brought
You into the land of the sot
Amorites, who lived on that side
Of the Jordan, who came to ride
Against you. But I gave them in
To your hand, that you might begin
To possess their land, I destroyed
Them from before you as employed.
9 ‘Then Balak the son of Zippor,
King of Moab, arose to war
Against Israel, and sent and called
Balaam son of Beor appalled
To curse you. 10 ‘But I would not hear
Balaam, therefore he had with fear
To bless you. So I saved you from
His hand. 11 ‘Then you went frolicsome
Over the Jordan and came to
Jericho. And fought against you
All the men of Jericho and
The Amorites, also the band
Of Perizzites, the Canaanites,
The Hittites and the Girgashites,
The Hivites, and the Jebusites.
But I gave them up to your power.
12 ‘I sent the hornet in an hour
Before you which drove them out from
Before you, and the two kings come
From the Amorites, but not with
Your sword or with your bow in myth.

Beloved, Your servant Joshua’s a prude,
Or else very polite instead of crude
When he reminds of Baal Peor and nude
Princesses that came out to tempt the boys
To join in idol worship and the noise.
He mentions not a word of failing to
Keep Your law before Balak and his crew.
He only says You came to save the day,
Giving You all the glory in the sway,
And saying naught about the wicked way
The people served the gods of sex and men.
Give me a voice like Joshua’s and pen
To gloss over the failures of the weak
And uncover Your oneness for a peek.

13 ‘I’ve given you a land for which
You did not even work a stitch,
And cities which you did not build,
And you live in them and you tilled
To eat of the vineyards and groves
Of olives you did not plant droves.’
14 “Now therefore, fear YHWH, serve Him in
Sincerity and in truth win,
And put away the gods which your
Fathers served on the other shore
Of the river and in Egypt.
Serve YHWH alone from crèche to crypt!
15 “And if it seems evil to you
To serve YHWH, choose today for you
Whom you will serve, whether the gods
Which your fathers served under rods
On the other side of the stream,
Or the gods of Amorites’ dream,
In whose land you live. But for me
And my house, we will serve freely
YHWH.” 16 So the people answered and
Said “Far be it from us to stand
Forsaking YHWH to serve such gods,
17 “For YHWH our God is He whose rods
Brought us and our fathers up out
Of the land of Egypt in rout,
From the house of bondage, who did
Those great signs in our sight, and hid
Us safe in all the way that we
Went and among all the folk through
Whom we passed on our way with you.
18 “And YHWH drove out from before us
All the people and numerous
Amorites who lived in the land.
We also will serve YHWH in band,
For He is our God to withstand.”
19 But Joshua said to the folk,
“You cannot serve YHWH at a stroke,
For He’s a holy Ælohim.
He is a jealous Ælohim,
He will not forgive your sins nor
Your transgressions upon the shore.
20 “If you forsake YHWH and serve gods
Of strangers, then He with His prods
Will turn and do you harm devouring,
After He’s done you good in scouring.”
21 And the people said to the man
Joshua, “No, it is our plan
To serve YHWH!” 22 So Joshua said
To the folk, “You’re witnesses led
Against yourselves that you have chosen
YHWH for yourselves, to serve Him frozen.”
And they said “We are witnesses!”
23 “Now therefore put away in whiz
The foreign gods from among you,
And incline your heart unto YHWH
The Ælohim of Israel.”

This man Joshua talks like Baptist preacher
Who says a man cannot keep every feature
Of Your law holy, but must have the fife
Atonement of death sentence for his life.
Is it truly impossible to bow
To You alone, and serve You anyhow?
Despite the divine guidance of his word,
I think Joshua’s here some overstirred.
The people are right in the choice to make
You only their rejoicing at the stake.
There’s none to force a man to bow down to
The golden image of Babel in view,
And only flaming furnaces are filled
With those like Joshua himself instilled.

24 And the people said for a spell
To Joshua, “YHWH our God we
Will serve, and His voice we only
Will obey!” 25 So Joshua made
A covenant with the folk stayed
That day, and made for them a law
And ordinance in Shechem’s straw.
26 And Joshua wrote down these words
In the Book of God’s Law in sherds.
And he took a large stone, and set
It up there under the oak met
Beside tabernacle of YHWH.
27 Joshua told all the folk true,
“Indeed, this stone shall be witness
To us, for it has heard address
Of all the words of YHWH which He
Spoke to us. It shall therefore be
Witness to you, lest you deny
Your God and make me wonder why.”
28 So Joshua let the folk go,
Each to his own garden to grow.

The Decalogue was written in that place
Upon a stone for every passing face
To read the ten words of Your divine law
And go on by to live by them in awe.
Some now despise the word because in stone
It once was written and not hearts alone
Bear up the scattered phrases and in love.
I see no ill in having stone to shove.
The stone does not detract from what my heart
Tells me to love of You and from the start.
The heart is evil that would shed the cut
Of letter on the stone and shake a butt.
Beloved, let Your word everywhere be shut
Within the inner temple and on strut.

29 And it came to pass after these
Things that Joshua son of Nun,
The servant of YHWH, died at ease,
Having one hundred ten years run.
30 And they buried him in the plot
Of his inheritance he got
At Timnath Serah, which is in
The mountains of Ephraim’s din,
On the northern side of Mount Gaash.
31 And Israel served YHWH all the gash
Of Joshua’s days, and the stash
Of all the days of elders who
Outlived Joshua from his crew,
Who had known all the works of YHWH
Which He had done for Israel.
32 The bones of Joseph, which as well
The children of Israel had brought
Up out of Egypt, they were caught
Burying at Shechem, in plot
Of ground which Jacob once had bought
From the sons of Hamor the father
Of Shechem for one hundred rather
Pieces of silver, and which had
Become a heritage not bad
Of Joseph’s children. 33 Eleazar
The son of Aaron died a star.
They buried him upon a hill
Of Phinehas his son to fill,
Given in heritage to him
In the mountains of Ephraim.

Phinehas was the man that wielded spear
And taught Balak’s priestesses what to fear.
As soon as Moses and Aaron gave word,
His noble heart and righteous became stirred,
And he thrust through the royal harlot turd
As well as Israelite prince to the heart
And killed them both for idolatrous part.
Such a man got the heritage to start.
Beloved, I have raised neither spear nor gun,
I have no war cry to shout under sun,
Nor arrow to print over life when done.
Yet grant me with Phinehas heritage
To cantillate Your name upon the page
Of Torah, Psalm, Gospel and Qur’an’s stage.


AUTHOR: THOMAS G. MCELWAIN


Copyright © 2007 Adams & McElwain Publishers and Thomas McElwain First Published in two volumes, The Beloved and I 2005, and Led of the Beloved, 2006. Second Edition, 2010 Third and revised edition, 2012 All rights reserved. No part of this verse commentary on the sacred Scriptures may be reproduced, transmitted, or stored in a retrieval system, in any form or by any means, without permission in writing from publisher.

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