Achan for a Breakin’!

2010 March 5

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The Bible is a Book of Tales (Narrative Theology)

I have been implying that Jesus’ parable of the minas is a picture taken out of the allotment of cities in Joshua 10-21.

What is a mina/minah?

According to Wikipedia, here a mina is a measure of weight equal to 50 shekels.

I don’t know if I had noticed it already, but today I noticed that the mina in Luke 19.20  was one “which I kept laid away in a handkerchief.”

A 50 shekel weight wrapped in a cloth…

So back to Joshua 7.

And Achan answered Joshua, “Truly I have sinned against the LORD God of Israel, and this is what I did:21when I saw among the spoil a beautiful cloak from Shinar, and 200 shekels of silver, and a bar of gold weighing 50 shekels, then I coveted them and took them. And see, they are hidden in the earth inside my tent, with the silver underneath.

See the old info leading up to this new find….


Who Did Not Want Me to Reign Over Them?

2010 February 9

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The Bible is a Book of Tales (Narrative Theology)

The whole of Luke 19 is directed at an extended metaphor – Jerusalem is Jericho, and Jesus is calling for the shouting that brings down the walls.

The first post in this set [HERE] showed the similarities between Zaccaeus and Rahab.

The second post [HERE] showed the similarities between the Parable of the Ten Minas and the allotment of  the land in Josh 11-20.

What does seeing  this pattern buy for us by way of interpretation now?  It helps us to see that Jesus is threatening the City of Jerusalem and its leaders.  The rest of Luke 19 confirms this theory.  Let’s begin with the parable, and work down to the end of the chapter.  And unlike Achan, we can keep any treasure we find along the way.
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Jesus Allots the Land Like Joshua

2010 February 8

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The Bible is a Book of Tales (Narrative Theology)

Okay, so Zacchaeus in Luke 19 is Rahab (see previous post), and the next thing is from Joshua too:

Remember that Joshua/Jeshua is the same name and that this narrative is on the heels of the Triumphal Entry (Receiving a Kingdom).

The Rahab/Achan — Jericho/Ai story is Joshua 2, and 6-8.

What happens in Joshua 11-20?

Conquest of cities…Dividing up Allotment of cities.

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Plundering the Hearts of the Gentiles [Part 1 of 4]

2010 January 28

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The Bible is a Book of Tales (Narrative  Theology)

Salt and Light (Public Glory)

Plunder = Harvest = Missions

I had a professor I liked, but who insisted that N T Wright was wrong about the Matthew 13 Seed and Sower parable (in JVG).  What is the Seed and Sower parable about?  The traditional sermon says it is about evangelism.  This is with good reason, because Jesus gives an explanation of the parable.  But N T Wright points to Exile and Return language and says Israel was being brought out of Exile by Jesus and that his program of language and actions throughout his ministry keep portraying this message.  Wright says that by using these terms in Mt 13, Jesus is calling people into that Return from Exile.  Wright doesn’t say it is unevangelistic, but that there is a deeper meaning.

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Shut the Door [Part 1 of 3]

2010 January 27

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The Bible is a Book of Tales (Narrative Theology)

Union and Communion (Covenant)


A key phrase in Rahab’s story  in Joshua 2 tipped me off to looking, and I was able to fit the story into the recapitulative structure of the Noah/Lot stories. 

In Jericoh the gate is shut and men are safe in the house.

This reminded me that in Noah’s ark, the people are shut safely inside, and that in Lot’s house the angels pull in Lot and shut the door, and safety exists from the madding crowd of wicked sexual sinners on the outside.

Rahab is a wicked sexual sinner who is SAVED on the INSIDE of the house.  More on that in Part 2, also more about covenant identity and passover in these passages.  For now, Keep Reading>

Instead of Inventing Subversive Subtexts

2009 December 9

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The Bible is  Book of Tales (Narrative Theology)

To the Pure All Things Are Pure (Fidelity)

A friend sent me this good question on Facebook, and I want to answer it here too:

Did the spies go to sleep w/ Rahab? Puperi contends they did. Also, did Rahab give up her “business”?

See Joshua 1-6:

Absolutely NOT (to the first question), and yes she MUST HAVE given up prostitution for the story to make sense as a foil to Achan.

There is NOTHING in the text that suggests that she slept with the spies:

“But she had brought them up to the roof and hid them with the stalks of flax that she had laid in order on the roof.” That’s what it says she DID, out of “fearing Yhwh”. The fact that SHE is a Canaanite Prostitute but BECOMES faithful is in contrast to Achan who though a male Hebrew warrior is unfaithful as an idolator. He and his whole family are damned for his unrighteousness (idolatry = adultery), and She and her whole family are saved for her righteousness, and she becomes a grandmother of David and ultimately of Jesus. Her repentance is the major thing highlighted, but it is highlighted by “turning to Yhwh” as a former idolator. Leave idolatry, leave adultery. The red cord on her house is the blood of the passover lamb, and they passover her house in the destruction of Jericoh. We have to assume the bible means what it says, instead of inventing subversive subtexts. She actually becomes a foil of even David later… Luke

Wasn’t the First Son of God

2009 November 24

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The Bible is a Book of Tales (Narrative Theology)

Do You Hear What I Hear? (Psalms)


Compare Psalm 23 to the Exodus Narrative – what results do we yeild?

 1The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
 2He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
 3He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
   for his name’s sake.

 4Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
   I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
   your rod and your staff,
   they comfort me.

 5You prepare a table before me
   in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
   my cup overflows.
6Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
   all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD
    forever.  (ESV)

The shepherd is being followed (he is leading) to a green land of still waters.  The Spirit leads the people past the moving waters of the Reed Sea and the Jordan to the still (that is, wells?) waters, like Jacob’s Well and the Seas of Canaan.

Even in the valley (figurative) between Sinai and Zion there is no fear, Aaron’s Staff, and the Rod of the Law are a comfort.

They were called to feast at the mountain, but their enemies would not let them away, so the LORD prepared a table in the presence of their enemies.

Their neighbors had a God-given favor and loaded them down with gold, silver and clothing… their cups overflowed.

I am not saying that the Psalm is written with this as the major emphasis, or away from the kingly motif of David on the run.  I am just saying that David wasn’t the first Son of God to be on the run from an evil king…Or the last (Ex 4.21-23, Hos 11.1, Mt 2.15).  So the pattern is present earlier, and is useful to our ears today.