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YT 20 Joshua part 15 Chapter 7

The Book of Joshua

Part 15

Joshua 7

Israel having conquered Jericho, returns to camp and they are unaware of the
trespass the children of Israel have committed in the accursed thing, with the exception
of the household of Achan, the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah of the
tribe of Judah. The nation started preparing for the next task at hand~ the conquering of
the city of Ai.

God views Israel as a community, which is why the anger of the LORD is kindled
against the children of Israel. Corporately they are His chosen servants of
righteousness. The emphasis of the defeat of chapter 7 for Israel at Ai, with the loss of
life for the 36 men of Israel, is the trespass of the children of Israel in the accursed
thing. Which is why they cannot stand before their enemies and why the loss of life. Sin
affects everyone it touches.

The Four Cities

Joshua 7:2-5:

“And Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai, which is beside Bethaven, on the east
side of Bethel, and spake unto them, saying, Go up and view the country. And the men
went up and viewed Ai. And they returned to Joshua, and said unto him, Let not all the
people go up; but let about two or three thousand men go up and smite Ai; and make
not all the people to labour thither; for they are but few.”

“So there went up thither of the people about three thousand men: and they fled
before the men of Ai. And the men of Ai smote of them about thirty and six men: for they
chased them from before the gate even unto Shebarim, and smote them in the going
down: wherefore the hearts of the people melted, and became as water.”

There is no rebuke of the LORD in the number of men that went out to fight. The
issue at hand is the accursed thing.

In chapter 7:2 there are four cities that are specifically named ~ Jericho, Ai, Beth-
aven and Bethel. Each city named provides not only a location but a figurative pictorial.

Names within the Scriptures have significance. The persons and places are
given names in the Scriptures because of the figurative meaning and/or the significant
prophetic pictorial.

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Every nation under the sun has the same witness of the Eternal Covenant of God
in the heavenly revelation; but with that also comes man’s perversion of God’s witness.
What the heart of humanity does is take the figurative picture and worships it instead of
the Covenant Son ~ which is what Jericho did.

Jericho ~ Jericho has the meaning of “city of the moon” in Arabic and “the place
of fragrance” in Hebrew.

Ai ~ Ai “heap of ruins.”

Beth-aven ~ Beth-aven has the meaning of the “house of vanity”: beth meaning
“house” and aven “perverseness.”

Bethel ~ Bethel has the meaning “house of God”: beth meaning house and el
meaning God. Ai and Bethel are first mentioned in the scripture in connection to the
altar Abram built unto the LORD when he called upon the name of the LORD. Ai is also
known as Hai “the heap of ruins” in Genesis 12:7,8.

This territory of land is very familiar to the nation Israel. It is the first location
recorded that the father of the nation, Abram, called on the name of the LORD ~ as his
covenant keeping God.

In chapter 7:5 there is only one city that is named ~ Shebarim. Shebarim ~ has
the meaning of “breaches.” A breach is a natural opening within a rock.

Figurative Pictorial

The figurative pictorial of the 5 cities are divided into two parts as is the text
(verses 2 and 5); giving the reader a near and far fulfillment of prophecy concerning the
covenant people of God ~ the nation Israel.

As are the ways of God and as the scripture confirms, God’s order of the plan is
always to show the end of the plan first: the 4 cities ~ the far fulfillment (Kingdom age);
and then He fills in the details to the end: figuratively the 1 city in connection to the
transgression of the covenant ~ near fulfillment (Jacob’s time of trouble).

Part 1 ~ Far Fulfillment

In the figurative pictorial of the heavenly revelation of the Eternal Covenant the
moon who receives her source of light from the sun is figurative of the nation Israel.

In figure Israel is the Queen, not of heaven, but as the head nation in the
kingdom age. She will be the place of fragrance for those inhabitants of the creation
who are invited into the kingdom; who survive the heap of ruins ~ the house of vanity ~
the house of perverseness ~ by coming into the house of God.

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Thus, the first section with the 4 cities is the figurative future prophetic pictorial of
the kingdom age ~ the far fulfilment as is understood in the definitions in the names of
the 4 cities.

However, before the establishment of the kingdom age of peace and

righteousness is the “near” pictorial.

Part 2 ~ Near Fulfilment

Israel in the near future fulfillment will commit a trespass in the accursed thing.
She will as a nation, make an allegiance with the man of lawlessness, thereby
transgressing the covenant of God and committing folly in Israel.

When the man of sin reveals himself by desecrating the temple, the Jews will
have their eyes opened as to who he is; making it extremely dangerous to be them ~
especially in Jerusalem and the surrounding areas. Like Hitler, the intent of the man of
lawlessness is to destroy them and totally wipe them out as a people.

Once the man of lawlessness has the capital city, the Jews know they are
doomed because the world, who hates them, will not help them. Some will stay and fight
but for those who didn’t get out earlier, they will be fleeing with little time to prepare
because during Jacob’s time of trouble, they had been lulled into thinking the man of
lawlessness was going to solve all their problems.

The nation will flee the heap of ruins, the house of vanities, and perverseness
set in motion by the man of lawlessness to the breaches (the gap) of her safety. The
breaches are figurative of the visible pictorial of the city of Petra (“stone”).

Petra, the well-known and famous rock city of Jordan is hidden in the rocks and
has only one narrow way into the city (Isaiah 26:20-21, Daniel 11:30-35, Revelation

While there is no mention of the Jews fleeing to Petra in Scripture, and although
totally uninhabited to this day, it is believed to be one of the places those fleeing
Jerusalem during the Great Tribulation will flee to, because the city is close to the
border of Israel.

According to the scripture, due to the uprising in the land from other world
leaders, when the man of sin reveals himself, that area of Jordan will be bypassed by
the willful king who is also known as the man of lawlessness, the son of perdition who
we call the Antichrist (Dan.11:36-41).

As a result, because Petra is nearby, there will be no need to chase after those
fleeing because the willful king knows exactly where they are, and there is no escape.
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Thus figuratively, Israel’s flight from Ai in Joshua 7 figures the result of the art
of the deception of enmity of the collaborative plan of the inner circle of Jewish
leaders in the last days with the man of lawlessness. Those leaders in the last days do
not realize the treachery of their own heart or that of the man of lawlessness; much like
Achan doesn’t know the treachery of his own heart.

The Overthrow of Israel

With the combination of the fear of the enemy and the loss of life (36 men killed)
~ Israel has experienced what the nations of the land have experienced ~ the hearts of
the people were melted. For the first time since crossing the Jordan, the nation Israel is

With God on her side Israel is undefeatable; and throughout Israel’s history the
nations of the earth have experienced this reality beginning with all the kings of the
Amorites and all the kings of the Canaanites. The nations knew God was on Israel’s
side before they ever crossed the Jordan.

As God’s people He has set them above all peoples upon the earth because God
made them a nation for Himself. Israel is Jehovah’s servant and He is the power behind
their victories.

For example:

When taken into captivity to be scattered throughout the world in 70 A.D the
nation was dispersed off their land one final time. Their hope of returning back to their
homeland never died but their opportunities and abilities did for almost 2,000 years.
During those years numerous attempts have been made to destroy them, the greatest
in modern history was Hitler’s “The Final Solution” ~ also known as the Holocaust.

What makes Israel so unique is the day after she became a nation, May 14, 1948
~ which should have been a Sabbath rest, Israel was attacked on all sides by an Arab
League comprised of the same nations that would attack again in1967 and 1973.

This Arab coalition confident of their sheer numbers and superior armament
thought they would quickly overwhelm the Jews and that the conflict would be over in a
few weeks, with Israel being totally annihilated. However, the reverse happened.

Israel’s total force of men and women: 30,000 from the Jewish remnant of
650,000 ~ were up against armies of Arab nations with a combined population of

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It took several truces ~ the first being on June 11, with Israel having the upper
hand, which is why the Arabs agreed to a truce; however, each truce was broken by the

As a matter of fact, even before the first truce ended, Egypt renewed her assault
on Israel, followed quickly by her allies.

Israel responded with launching her new air force, bombing Cairo, Damascus,
and Amman (capital cities of Egypt, Syria and Jordan). On the ground and on all fronts,
Israeli troops gained ground, capturing both Nazareth and all of Galilee.

The Arabs were on the run and only the quick intervention of the British
delegates in the Security Council, which brought about a second truce, saved the

Had it been a few more days, not only would the old city of Jerusalem been
captured by Israel, but the League would almost certainly had been driven back across
the Jordan.

This second truce was called by the Security Council on July 18. This was also
broken, but finally, the fighting officially ended in December and an armistice was
signed on February 24, 1949 with all the Arab nations, but Iraq. (Historic facts taken
from Stanley Ellison’s Who owns the Land? The Arab-Israeli Conflict)

Only God can settle the conflict. All this conflict is working together after the
council of God’s own will for the establishment of His Kingdom. Through the Woman
Israel would come the Seed of the Life Eternal. Israel is God’s nation through which His
Eternal Covenant for a kingdom of sons of God on earth will be realized. Israel is God’s
face to the world.

Formed, redeemed and called by His name, Israel is precious in God’s sight.
Honorable, they are His witnesses, His servant whom He has chosen. What are they
witnesses of, and what is their service that the LORD has chosen?

Isaiah 43:12 “Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD that I am God.” I have
chosen you as my servant “That ye may know and believe me, and understand that I
am He: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after Me. I, even I
am the LORD; and besides me there is no Savior” (see Isaiah 43).

Clearly the nation of Israel, who is the face of God to the world, brings the issue
of worship to the forefront; and as God’s face to the world, they are the testament that
there is a God with whom all men have to deal.

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Joshua 7:6:

“And Joshua rent his clothes and fell to the earth upon his face before the Ark of
the LORD until the eventide, he and the elders of Israel, and put dust upon their heads.”

The Ark isn’t in the Holy of Holies, all the elders and Joshua couldn’t be in there.
The Ark continues to be in the midst of the camp. The Ark goes from battle to battle
leading the way. Israel has been defeated, they are unaware of the trespass of the
children of Israel; they are on their faces with dust on their heads.

Rending of the Clothes

Thus, the question is, what is going on? Which is why Joshua rent his clothing
and falls on his face before the Ark. They have just had this amazing victory with
Jericho ~ what happened? Such expressions of grief pre-date the existence of the
nation of Israel and is not necessarily a predominantly Jewish practice. The earliest
recorded case in the Scripture on the rending of clothes is found in the Book of Job (Job

Sometimes, the rending of clothes is a religious requirement as in the case of

leprosy (Leviticus 13:45). Other times, rending of clothes is an outward expression due
to a sudden turn of events with serious consequences impacting those people alive at
that time (Numbers 14:6).

Such a symbol of the rent of one’s clothing made one’s change of heart visible
and demonstrated the sincerity of one’s humility, grief and/or repentance before God.

Later (in the days of the kings) sackcloth and ashes were used as the outward
demonstration ~ the public sign of one’s inward condition. Thus, although Joshua does
not wear sackcloth, the rent of his clothing and putting dust upon his head carries the
same significance of grief. Joshua is crushed.

Hence, with Joshua’s face as well as all the elders face down before the Ark is
the description of not only their sorrow but seeking the direction of the LORD in their
time of confusion.

Remember, this is Israel’s first defeat in the land promised her, and unknown to
Joshua and the elders is the transgression of the trespass. So, Joshua pours out his
heart to the LORD God.

Joshua 7:7-9:

“And Joshua said, Alas, O Lord GOD, wherefore hast thou at all brought this
people over Jordan, to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us? Would to
God, we had been content, and dwelt on the other side Jordan! O Lord, what shall I say,
when Israel turneth their backs before their enemies! For the Canaanites and all the

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inhabitants of the land shall hear of it, and shall environ us round, and cut off our name
from the earth: and what wilt thou do unto thy great name?”

Pouring out of the Heart of Joshua

Joshua as the leader of the nation is clearly in distress, but not because He
doesn’t know what the LORD said “and ye in any wise keep yourselves from the
accursed thing, lest ye make yourselves accursed, when ye take of the accursed thing
and make the camp of Israel a curse and trouble it” (Joshua 6:18).

Joshua wants to know, what is happening here LORD? Did you bring us over to
deliver us into the hand of the Amorites? If so, we should have been content to stay put
on the other side of the Jordan.

Oh master ~ Lord ~ what is going to happen if Israel should turn her backs before
her enemies? If the Canaanites and the other inhabitants of the land hear about this
they will close in on us and cut off our name ~ kill off the seed of Israel. And what about
your great Name?

Joshua is not thinking that Israel would have sinned before the LORD! Surely,
they would not transgress His covenant by taking of the accursed thing, nor steal from
the LORD’S booty and then lie about it; with the final perversity of putting the treasure of
the LORD and the accursed thing among their own stuff! No way! Not after all they

The LORD’s Response

Joshua 7:10-12:

“And the LORD said unto Joshua, Get thee up; wherefore liest thou thus upon
thy face? Israel hath sinned, and they have also transgressed my covenant which I
commanded them: for they have even taken of the accursed thing, and have also
stolen, and dissembled also, and they have put it even among their own stuff. Therefore
the children of Israel could not stand before their enemies, but turned their backs before
their enemies, because they were accursed: neither will I be with you any more, except
ye destroy the accursed from among you.”

That was the last thing Joshua expected to hear. He thinks, the people to be
such a one as himself. Surely, after all the nation has gone through there would be none
that would do such a thing. Right? Since Israel has crossed the Jordan, there has been
one act of obedience after another.

However, Man looks at the outward appearance; God looks at the heart. Joshua
and the elders have their first lesson with this generation in the art of the deception of

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Israel has one tribe set apart ~ the Levites ~ as the tribe of the priests
representing the theocracy of the government of the Godhead. There is as yet no tribe
of the kings. However, in light of Israel’s understanding of the Eternal Covenant in the
heavenly revelation the nation is expecting to have a king. How can you have a
kingdom without a king?

As was previously mentioned last lesson, there is never an excuse as to why

someone does something, but there is always a reason. Achan is from the tribe of
Judah from whence the line of kings will be established.

From the prophecies concerning the sons of Israel given by their father Israel
(Jacob), and the blessings of the tribes given by the man of God, Moses, Israel
undoubtedly was thinking that from the tribe of Judah, the king would come.

However, from the figurative pictorial of the messages of the stars with their
signs in the Eternal Covenant is the understanding that the king would also be a priest.

And next time when we consider the two men Hiel and Achan we will also be
considering the figurative pictorial of each man and the art of the deception of enmity:
the skill, talent and the knack of ability of deception.

Enmity is not the enemy. I mean it is and it isn’t. Man is a creation. A creation is
not responsible for the way it is created. A creation ~ any creation will be other than the
Creator ~ meaning that the creation will be at enmity with the Creator.

It is the art of the deception of enmity that is the enemy. The deceitfulness of
the heart is the problem. The problem of deceit is that there is no understandable
definition of it. Deceitfulness is an experience and therein lies the treachery to both
one’s self and others.

Man is not responsible for his enmity ~ he is a creation. He is however at fault for
staying at enmity and not ruling over enmity when provided the power of righteousness
through the gift of Eternal life. There is no way to rule over the deceitfulness of enmity
within oneself. We need to wake up to our righteousness (stop sleeping).

Conquering requires following the leader, and sanctification ~ following the

Leader of Holiness, and Sanctification unto holiness. Holiness is key to Israel’s victory.

Sanctify the People

Joshua 7:13-15:

“Up, sanctify the people, and say, Sanctify yourselves against tomorrow: 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
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among you. In the morning therefore ye shall be brought according to your tribes: and it
shall be, that the tribe which the LORD taketh shall come according to the families
thereof; and the family which the LORD shall take shall come by households; and the
household which the LORD shall take shall come man by man. And It shall be, that he
that is taken with the accursed thing shall be burnt with fire, he and all that he hath:
because he hath transgressed the covenant of the LORD, and because he hath
wrought folly in Israel.”

The fundamental idea of holiness is separation. Holiness is speaking of God.

Sanctification is about God.

Sanctification is for the purpose of holiness and for the glory of God.
Sanctification is the separating of oneself unto God, thereby separating one’s self from
the world.

Sanctification is the setting apart to be made holy. Whereas holiness speaks of

God, Sanctifying oneself to be made holy is ongoing ~ it is a continual setting apart.

The continual setting apart of one’s self from the world unto God begins in the
thinking. The setting apart of sanctification is not a behavior modification but a
transformation of the mind. Man wants to make the issue one of do’s and don’ts, which
is exactly what Achan did.

Sanctification has to do with the engaging of the mind in the thinking of God’s
thoughts after Him ~ thus, making God the topic of the separation and not man.

If the mind ~ the thinking; and the will ~ the choosing; and the emotions ~ the
feelings ~ of the being of man are set apart unto God and sanctified, the actions of the
conduct of behavior will be holy.

As we have been learning, order is everything. We think there must first be the
separation from the world which will result in a separating of ourselves unto God ~ in
reality it is the other way around.

There is no separation from the world and the lust thereof without first turning to
God (1 Thessalonians 1:9). Without the sanctifying of ourselves unto God, there is no
transformation of the person.

Hence, the exhortation of the LORD God to Joshua that the book of the law not
depart out of his mouth but rather that he should mediate day and night (Joshua 1:8).

Joshua 7:15 is very informative. It reveals the end of the son of Israel who insists
upon taking of the accursed thing thereby transgressing the covenant of the LORD.
Burning with fire is a symbol of judgment as we learned from the lesson with the

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inhabitants of Jericho. There is a difference between the corporal punishment of the

nation of the sons of Israel and the just recompense of the sons of Adam.

God deals with His nation as a nation ~ thus the just recompense of the
individual of the sons of Israel is dealt with corporately. The just recompense of a son of
Israel being put to death is done corporately with the nation carrying out the sentence of
death with the stoning of stones.

Whereas, for the sons of Adam, their death sentence is with “the edge of the
sword” (Joshua 6:21). However, the end of both those manners of dying is the “second
death” as is figuratively revealed with the burning with fire.

Tribes, Families and Households, Man by Man

Joshua 7:16-18:

“So Joshua rose up early in the morning, and brought Israel by their tribes; and
the tribe of Judah was taken: And he brought the family of Judah; and he took the family
of the Zarhites: and he brought the family of the Zarhites man by man; and Zabdi was
taken: And he brought his household man by man; and Achan, the son of Carmi, the
son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, was taken.”

As mentioned God views Israel as a community ~ corporately they are His

chosen servant of righteousness in the kingdom age ~ His instrument of justice.

However, God deals with each and every individual heart as it pertains to Him as
the Creator. Thus, in a display of impartial and righteous equity, God starts with the
tribe, then the families of the tribe, then the households of the tribe taken and finally,
man by man in order to single out the man who has brought folly upon the nation.

Confession is not Repentance

Joshua 7:19-24:

“And Joshua said unto Achan, My son, give, I pray thee, glory to the LORD God
of Israel, and make confession unto him; and tell me now what thou hast done; hide it
not from me. And Achan answered Joshua, and said, Indeed I have sinned against the
LORD God of Israel, and thus and thus have I done: When I saw among the spoils a
goodly Babylonish garment and two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold of
fifty shekels weight, then I coveted them, and took them; and, behold, they are hid in the
earth in the midst of my tent, and the silver under it.”

“So Joshua sent messengers, and they ran unto the tent; 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 unto all the children of Israel, and laid them out before
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the LORD. And Joshua, and all Israel with him, took Achan the son of Zerah, and the
silver, and the garment, and the wedge of gold, and his sons, and his daughters, and
his oxen, and his asses, and his sheep, and his tent, and all that he had: and they
brought them unto the valley of Achor.”

The first thing needed to consider in light of the text is the understanding that
confession is not repentance. If we consider Achan’s confession in light of traditional
Christendom we are inclined to think Achan should have been spared the sentence of
death. He confessed right? Doesn’t confession equal forgiveness? He said “I have
sinned” ~ that means he’s sorry.

And what about his sons and daughters, why are they under the death sentence
and finally, all his earthly possessions ~ his oxen, asses and sheep why are they

Confession is the acknowledgement or concession of yes ~ “thus and thus have I

done.” Repentance is sorrow, shame and contriteness for that which was done with a
change of mind not to do it again.

Now the reason we know that Achan’s confession was a confession without
repentance is twofold. First because of the judgement passed on the man that is
“taken” with the accursed thing from the LORD ~ signifying no repentance. “…he that is
taken with the accursed thing shall be burnt by fire…” Obviously the LORD already
knew there was a confession but no repentance.

Second is Joshua’s response ~ “the LORD shall trouble thee this day.”

Repentance is Godly Sorrow

Joshua 7:25-26:

“And Joshua said, Why hast thou 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. And they raised over him a great heap of stones unto this day.
So the LORD turned from the fierceness of his anger. Wherefore the name of that place
was called, The valley of Achor, unto this day.”

Repentance is Godly sorrow. Achan had made a confession but had shown no
sign of repentance ~ neither had his household. As a matter of fact, the children are
complicit with their father’s actions: the robbery of God’s treasury and the hiding of the
accursed thing in the earth under the tent. That is a little difficult to hide from ones’ own

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Not one member of the family spoke up concerning the deceitfulness of Achan’s
treachery. God is not unjust. He is not willing that any should perish. The fact that the
whole household is under a death sentence tells the reader they all knew of Achan’s
plan and were all in on the plan. We need to get our thinking lined up with Who God is;
and recognize how Just He is.

Stoned with Stones and Burned with Fire

With justice served, the LORD turned from the fierceness of His anger. It’s not
just a question of Achan’s sin, Israel is God’s covenant people. Jericho was destroyed
because of the very thing that Achan desired to take for himself ~ the accursed thing.
Why would God destroy Jericho but not deal and chastise Israel?

Israel is the face of God to the world and the issue is one of worship; as God’s
face to the world they are the testament that there is a God with whom all men have to

God’s covenant plan is to have man in His image, after His likeness: a kingdom
of sons, a kingdom of priests. The Covenant is all of God’s doing ~ as the heavenly
revelation declares.


Can you imagine the relief of Rahab’s heart? Rahab saw the judgment on
Jericho, then the defeat of Ai, and now the discipline of the nation with Achan. That
would encourage Rahab’s heart to believe God for more. Israel’s God ~ Rahab’s LORD,
is a just God ~ a good God ~ a Righteous and Holy God. He is not a respecter of
persons. He does not look on the outward appearance ~ but at the heart (1 Sam.16:7).

What a confidence booster! Israel’s God ~ her God ~ is the LORD God in heaven
above and in earth beneath. He is the Judge of all the earth to do right ~ the Son of
Righteousness ~ God’s Seed, with healing in His wings (Malachi 4:2).

The Covenant Son will be the door of hope for any who willingly receives of the
gift of the Eternal life offered.

The Valley Achor

The Valley of Achor: the meaning of the name is “to trouble”; trouble became the
door of hope to Israel because in the valley the “tide” turned and the nation was
reconciled to God ~ “neither will I be with you anymore except ye destroy the accursed
from among you” (Joshua 7:12,24).

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Both the prophets Isaiah and Hosea make reference to the valley of Achor in
connection to the coming of the Covenant Son with His work of redemption as the door
of hope.

Isaiah 65:9-10: “And I will bring forth a seed out of Jacob, and out of Judah an inheritor
of my mountains: and mine elect shall inherit it, and my servants shall dwell there. And
Sharon shall be a fold of flocks, and the valley of Achor a place for my people that have
sought me.”

Hosea 2:15: “And I will give her her vineyards from thence, and the valley of Achor for a
door of hope: and she shall sing there, as in the days of her youth, and as in the day
when she came up out of the land of Egypt.”

Thus, the lesson ends with the same figurative pictorial it began with. God’s
kingdom will come and His will, will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Israel the Queen, not of heaven, but as the head nation in the kingdom age, will
be the place of fragrance for those inhabitants of the creation invited into the kingdom.

Those who survive the heap of ruins ~ of the house of vanity ~ the house of
perverseness ~ will be invited into the kingdom followed with the second invitation to
come to the house of God through His Seed, the Covenant Son.

This concludes the lesson. If you’d like to prepare for the next lesson please review the
texts of Joshua 6:26; 1 Kings 16:34; and Joshua 7:21.