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LESSONS FROM

THE BOOK
OF JOSHUA

SENIOR DIVISION
FIRST

QUARTER

1984

Lesson Titles for This Quarter

LESSONS FROM
THE BOOK OF JOSHUA
1. Joshua, the Successor of Moses
2. Rahab and the Two Spies
3. Crossing the Jordan
4. The Fall of Jericho
5. A Forced Retreat
6. Achan's Sin
7. The Blessings and' the Curses
8. The Stratagem of the Gibeonites
9. The Confederacy Against Gibeon
10. Wars of Conquest
11. The Division of Canaan
12. The Cities of Refuge
13. The Last Words of Joshua

Sabbath School Lesson Quarterly, Lessons From the Book ofJoshua, for January-March, 1984, is
published by the Seventh Day Adventist Reform Movement General Conference Sabbath School
Department. It is printed and distributed by Reformation Herald Publishing Association, P.O.
Box 312, Blackwood, NJ 08012, U.S.A.
PRINTED IN

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U.S.A.

FOREWORD
The present quarterly-LESSONS FROM THE BOOK OF
JOSHUA-shows how the Lord is ready to use men or women
who are entirely consecrated to Him.
Joshua, the man whom the Israelites sought to stone because
he dared to contradict the testimony of the unfaithful spies, is
shown in the Bible as a successful, courageous, resolute, and
steadfast leader who served the Lord unflinchingly. This quarterly will bring to our attention, also, some other qualities of
Joshua which are often overlooked-Joshua as a man of faith, a
man given to meditation and prayer, whose faithfulness to a
"Thus saith the Lord" stands as an example before us. "No stain
rested upon the holy character of Joshua: He was a wise leader.
His life was wholly devoted to God" (The Story of Redemption,
p. 181). The blessings of God which increased the prosperity of
the nation during the days of Joshua, to a great extent were due
to his competent administration.
The wonderful exp.eriences that the people of Israel gained
with the Lord in the days of Joshua have never grown obsolete.
They have a special application today in the lives of those who
are on the borders of heavenly Canaan. Although, as the title indicates, this quarterly is based on the book of Joshua, correlated
verses from other books of the Bible have also been used.
May the Spirit of God enlighten the minds of teachers and
students as they study these lessons!
The General Conference Sabbath School Department

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An SDA Reform Movement
Church in Soweto
SOWETO (the name was coined from the first two letters of the words
SOuth WEst TOwnships), a 26 square mile area, is one of Africa's largest
cities and is a sister city to Johannesburg, South Africa's largest. Its inhabitants number over a million. Soweto is poor by white western standards, even
if infinitely better than 90% of third world cities.
Soweto is, with a mayor and a city council democratically elected, is selfgoverning with powers which surpass those of South Africa's white municipalities. The largest hospital in the southern hemisphere is in Soweto.
Baragwanath, with 2,700 beds and 450 resident doctors (80 of whom are
black), is world famous as a training center for students as far away as
Kenya. The township has 300 schools, 11 post offices and 50,000 cars.
Although the city has 300 churches, our three groups of believers meet
regularly in rented premises. There is no church building as a witness for the
present truth. Until lately it has not been possible to own land in African
townships, but recent moves by the government have now made it possible
to lease land for a period of 99 years. An application has been made for a lot
suitable to build a church in Jubilani, one of the subdivisions of Soweto. It
has tentative approval if the remaining conditions are met.
Before the authorities will grant final permission to build, they require
that more ready cash is in hand for the erection of the building. The authorities want to ensure the lack of funds will not leave an uncompleted building
that may become an eyesore. Already some funds are in hand to start the project and many business houses have promised to assist with the donation of
materials. However, the authorities require that the funds available be increased before they will grant their approval to start the building:
We believe that the Lord has instructed His people to proceed with such
works and that He is counting on those to whom He has entrusted means, be
it in larger or smaller amounts to assist in this project. He takes account of
the "widows' mites," as well as the gifts of those who can give of their greater
abundance that they may be able to sacrifice. Let us all cooperate to make
this one of the biggest Thirteenth Sabbath offerings ever. As the Lord has
blessed us, let us share our God-given blessings with others in a tangible way,
and be a witness for Him. Perhaps we already have a place of worship and
our local church has been able to develop quite well. We now have the opportunity to help our Sowetan brethren and sisters in a practical way. Actions
speak louder than words! A generous offering will help to erect a church
building to witness for God's work.
May the Lord bless your liberality!
The General Conference Sabbath School Department

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Sabbath, January 7,1984

Lesson 1

JOSHUA, THE SUCCESSOR OF MOSES

"Joshua had long attended Moses; and being a man of wisdom, ability, and faith,
he was chosen to succeed him."-Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 462, 463.

KEY TEXT:

"And Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom; for Moses
had laid his hands upon him" (Deuteronomy 34:9).

Joshua Appointed to Succeed Moses

D Sunday
January 1

1.

Who was appointed to be the visible leader of Israel after the death of Moses?
Joshua 1:1. How do we know that he was qualified for his new responsibility?
Deuteronomy 34:9.

"Joshua was now the acknowledged leader of Israel. He had been known chiefly
as a warrior, and his gifts and virtues were especially valuable at this stage in the history of his people. Courageous, resolute, and persevering, prompt, incorruptible, unmindful of selfish interests in his care for those committed to his charge, and, above
all, inspired by a living faith in God-such was the character of the man divinely chosen
to conduct the armies of Israel in their entrance upon the Promised Land. During the
sojourn in the wilderness he had acted as prime minister to Moses, and by his quiet,
unpretending fidelity, his steadfastness when others wavered, his firmness to maintain
the truth in the midst of danger, he had given evidence of his fitness to succeed Moses,
even before he was called to the position by the voice of God." -Patriarchs and Prophets, pp.
481,482.

2.

What instruction did the Lord give to Joshua concerning the conquest of Canaan? Joshua 1:2-4. Why was he a wise general?

••Joshua was a wise general because God was his guide. The first sword that Joshua
used was the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God. Will the men who are handling large
responsibilities read the first chapter of Joshua?"-The SDA Bible Commentary [E.G. White
Comments], vol. 2, p. 993.

Words ofEncouragement

D Monday
January 2

3.

What promise did God make to Joshua? Joshua 1:5,9. Why was God's servant
charged, repeatedly, to be of good courage?

"Do you think that all these charges [see Joshua 1:1, 5, 7] would have been given
to Joshua if there had been no danger of his being brought under misleading influences?
It was because the strongest influences were to be brought to bear against his princi-

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pIes of righteousness that the Lord in mercy charged him not to turn to the right hand
or to the left. He was to follow a course of strictest integrity. [Joshua 1:8, 9 quoted.] If
there had been no peril before Joshua, God would not over and over again have charged
him to be of good courage. But amid all his cares, Joshua had his God to guide him.
"There is no greater deception than for man to suppose that in any difficulty he
can find a better guide than God, a wiser counselor in any emergency, a stronger defense under any circumstance."- The SDA Bible Commentary [E.G. White Comments], vol. 2, p. 993.
4.

What work was to be done by Joshua upon the conquest of the Promised Land?
Joshua 1:6.

o Tuesday

The Book of the Law

January 3
5.

On what condition would Joshua be successful? Joshua 1:7,8. How can we
be victorious?

"The Lord has a great work to be done in our world. To every man He has given
His work for man to do. But man is not to make man his guide, lest he be led astray;
this is always unsafe. While Bible religion embodies the principles of activity in service,
at the same time there is the necessity of asking for wisdom daily from the Source of
all wisdom. What was Joshua's victory? Thou shalt meditate upon the Word of God day
and night. The word ofthe Lord came to Joshua just before he passed over Jordan. . . .
[Joshua 1:7, 8 quoted.] This was the secret of Joshua's victory. He made God his
Guide."-The SDA Bible Commentary [E.G. White Comments], vol. 2, p. 993.

6.

What proves that Joshua followed all the instructions received from the Lord?
Joshua 6:27. How can we ensure the presence of God with us?

"Those holding the positions of counselors should be unselfish men, men of faith,
men of prayer, men that will not dare to rely upon their own human wisdom, but will
seek earnestly for light and intelligence as to what is the best manner of conducting
their business. Joshua, the commander of Israel, searched the books diligently in which
Moses had faithfully chronicled the directions given by God,-His requirements, reproofs, and restrictions,-lest he should move unadvisedly. Joshua was afraid to trust
his own impulses, or his own wisdom. He regarded everything that came.from Christ,
who was enshrouded by the pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night, as of
sufficient importance to be sacredly cherished."-The SDA Bible Commentary [E.G. White Comments], vol. 2, pp. 993, 994.

o Wednesday

Planning for Success

January 4
7.

What shows that Joshua was a man who would plan things ahead and give
adequate instructions to the people in due time? Joshua 1:10. What is one of
the essential elements of success in the work of God?

"It is essential to labor with order, following an organized plan and a definite object. No one can properly instruct another unless he sees to it that the work to be done
shall be taken hold of systematically and in order, so that it may be done at the proper
time." -Evangelism, p. 94.
8.

What plans were made for the tribes of Reuben and Gad and for half the tribe
of Manasseh? Joshua 1:12-15.

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Winning the United Confidence and Support of the People

D Thursday
January 5

9.

How did the tribes on the east side of the Jordan assure Joshua that he had
their united confidence and support? Joshua 1:16, 17. How does the Spirit of
Prophecy emphasize the importance of union and confidence?

"Union and confidence are essential to the prosperity of the church. If each member of the church feels at liberty to move independently of the others, taking his own
peculiar course, how can the church be in any safety in the hour of danger and peril?
The prosperity and very existence of a church depend upon the prompt, united action
and mutual confidence of its members. When, at a critical time, one sounds the alarm
of danger, there is need of prompt and active work, without stopping to question and
canvass the whole subject from end to end, thus letting the enemy gain every advantage
by delay, when united action might save many souls from perdition.
"God wants His people to be united in the closest bonds of Christian fellowship;
confidence in our brethren is essential to the prosperity of the church; union of action
is important in a religious crisis. One imprudent step, one careless action, may plunge
the church into difficulties and trials from which it may not recover for years. One
member of the church filled with unbelief may give an advantage to the great foe that
will affect the prosperity of the entire church, and many souls may be lost as the resuIt."- Testimonies, vol. 3, pp. 445, 446.
10. How did the people speak encouragement to Joshua? Joshua 1:18. How important is it to speak words of encouragement to one another?

"Let us not discourage one another. Let us take hold unitedly to make every line
of the Lord's work a success. If someone comes to you and talks discouragingly about
the work in one or another of our institutions, telling you that they are extravagant beyond measure, say to them, 'I am sorry if that is so, but let us help them out if they are
in difficulty.' If you will speak thus you may avoid much of the evil that might result
were you to withdraw your sympathy, and should you refuse to help those who, possibly, may have been misrepresented. Let us never discourage even those who have
done wrong, by treating them as if they had committed against us an unpardonable
sin." -COll1lSets on Health, p. 243.

D Friday

Recapitulation

January 6
a.
b.
c.
d.
e.

Mention the most important attributes of Joshua.
What would the Lord not have done if there had been no peril before Joshua?
As far as counsel and guidance is concerned, what is the safest procedure
prescribed for those who hold positions of responsibility in the work?
What are the evidences that Joshua was a good organizer and administrator?
Mention two conditions that Joshua knew how to promote and that are essential to the success of the work.

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Lesson 2

Sabbath, January 14, 1984

RAHAB AND THE TWO SPIES
"In wicked Jericho the testimony of a heathen woman was, 'The Lord your God,
He is God in heaven above, and in earth beneath.' Joshua 2: 11. The knowledge of
Jehovah that had thus come to her, proved her salvation."-Prophets and Kings, p.
369.

KEY TEXT:

"By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not,
when she had received the spies with peace" (Hebrews 11:31).

D Sunday

Two Spies in Jericho

January 8
1.

What did Joshua do to ascertain the strength of the city of Jericho? Joshua 2:1
(first part). Where did Jericho stand and what strategic position did it hold?

"A few miles beyond the river, just opposite the place where the Israelites were
encamped, was the large and strongly fortified city of Jericho. This city was virtually
the key to the whole country, and it would present a formidable obstacle to the success
of Israel. Joshua therefore sent two young men as spies to visit this city and ascertain
something as to its population, its resources, and the strength of its fortifications."Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 482.

2.

To what danger were the two spies exposed and who sheltered them? Joshua
2:1 (second part), 2.

"The inhabitants of the city, terrified and suspicious, were constantly on the alert,
and the messengers were in great danger. They were, however, preserved by Rahab,
a woman of Jericho, at the peril of her own life." -Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 482, 483.

D Monday

Rahab's Faith

January 9
3.

According to the woman's report, how did she and her family members react
when news about the power of God reached Jericho? Joshua 2:8-11.

"The terrible judgments of God which were visited upon the idolaters in the lands
through which the children of Israel passed caused a fear and dread to fall upon all
people living on the earth. "-The SDA Bible Commentary [E.G. White Comments], vol. 2, p. 994.
4.

What supplication did the woman make to the two messengers? Joshua 2: 12,
13. To what divine provision does her supplication point? Give examples.

"God has always given men warning of coming judgments. Those who had faith
in His message for their time, and who acted out their faith, in obedience to His com-

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mandments, escaped the judgments that fell upon the disobedient and unbelieving. The
word came to Noah, 'Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen
righteous before Me.' Noah obeyed and was saved. The message came to Lot, 'Up,
get you out of this place; for the Lord will destroy this city.' Gen. 7:1; 19:14. Lot placed
himself under the guardianship of the heavenly messengers, and was saved. So Christ's
disciples were given warning of the destruction of Jerusalem. Those who watched for
the sign of the coming ruin, and fled from the city, escaped the destruction. So now
we are given warning of Christ's second coming and of the destruction to fall upon the
world. Those who heed the warning will be saved." - The Desire 0/ Ages. p. 634.

D Tuesday

A Solemn Commitment

January 10
5.

What promise did the two men make to the woman who had sheltered them?
Joshua 2:14.

"In return for her [Rahab's] kindness they gave her a promise of protection when
the city should be taken." -Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 483.
6.

What instructions did they give her? And what condition did they add? Joshua
2:17-20. What lesson should we learn from the efforts of the two messengers
to save Rahab and her household?

"Those who are watching for souls, who devote themselves most fully to the salvation of the erring, are most surely working out their own salvation."-Testimonies, vol. 5,
p.607.

D Wednesday

Cooperation and Caution

January 11
7.

What did the woman say and do to signify her agreement? Joshua 2:21. How
important is cooperation in the work of God?

"In the work of salvation there is a co-operation of human and divine agencies.
There is much said concerning the inefficiency of human effort, and yet the Lord does
nothing for the salvation of the soul without the co-operation of man. The word of God
is clear and distinct on this point, and yet when so much depends upon our co-operation
with the heavenly agencies, men conduct themselves as though they could afford to
set aside the claims of God, and let the things of eternal importance wait their convenience." -Fundamentals 0/ Christian Education, pp. 217, 218.
8.

How did the two spies escape from the city? Joshua 2: 15, 16. What precaution
did they take so they would not be detected by their pursuers? Joshua 2:22.
What lesson does their caution teach?

"There are those who have a reckless spirit, which they term courage and bravery.
They needlessly place themselves in scenes of danger and peril, thus exposing themselves to temptations out of which it would require a miracle of God to bring them unharmed and untainted....
"God's precious promises are not given to strengthen man in a presumptuous
course or for him to rely upon when he rushes needlessly into danger. The Lord requires us to move with a humble dependence upon His providence. 'It is not in man
that walketh to direct his steps.' In God is our prosperity and our life. Nothing can be

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done prosperously without the permission and blessing of God. He can set His hand
to prosper and bless, or He can turn His hand against us. 'Commit thy way unto the
Lord; trust also in Him; and He shall bring it to pass.' Weare required, as children of
God, to maintain a consistent Christian character. We should exercise prudence, caution, and humility, and walk circumspectly toward them that are without."-Testinwnies,
vol. 3, p. 482.

o Thursday

Words ofEncouragement

January 12
9.

When the two messengers returned to the camp of Israel, what did they report
to Joshua? Joshua 2:23,24. How important is it to use words of encouragement?

"The bright and cheerful side of religion will be represented by all who are daily
consecrated to God. We should not dishonor our Lord by a mournful relation of trials
that appear grievous. All trials that are received as educators will produce joy. The
whole religious life will be uplifting, elevating, ennobling, fragrant with good words
and works: The enemy is well pleased to have souls depressed, downcast; he desires
unbelievers to gain wrong impressions regarding the effect of our faith. But God desires the mind to take a higher level. He desires every soul to triumph in the keeping
power of the Redeemer."-The SDA Bible Commentary [E.G. White Comments], vol. 4, p. 1183.
10. When Jericho was destroyed, how did the Isra'elites treat Rahab and her close
relatives? Joshua 6:21-25. What mention is made of Rahab in the New Testament? Hebrews 11:31; James 2:25. What was God's plan for all who should
turn from idolatry to the worship of the true God?

"The children of Israel were to occupy all the territory which God appointed them.
Those nations that rejected the worship and service of the true God were to be dispossessed. But it was God's purpose that by the revelation of His character through Israel
men should be drawn unto Him. To all the world the gospel invitation was to be given.
Through the teaching of the sacrificial service Christ was to be uplifted before the nations, and all who would look unto Him should live. All who, like Rahab the Canaanite,
and Ruth the Moabitess, turned from idolatry to the worship of the true God, were to
unite themselves with His chosen people." -Christ's Object Lessons,_ p. 290.

o Friday

Recapitulation

January 13
a.

Mention three things that the spies were instructed to find out.

b.
c.

What lesson should we learn from Rahab's faith and obedience?
What proves that the two spies were actually interested in the salvation of
Rahab and her family?
How did Rahab's works cooperate with her faith?

d.
e.

What privilege was extended to Rahab and all others who turned to God and
accepted the truth?

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Sabbath, January 21,1984

Lesson 3

CROSSING THE JORDAN
"Study carefully the experiences of Israel in their travels to Canaan. Study the
third and fourth chapters of Joshua, recording their preparation for and passage
over the Jordan into the promised land. We need to keep the heart and mind in
training, by refreshing the memory with the lessons that the Lord taught His an·
cient people."-The SDA Bible Commentary [E.G. White Comments], vol. 2, p. 994.

KEY TEXT:

"And the priests that bare the ark of the covenant of the Lord stood
firm on dry ground in the midst of Jordan, and all the Israelites passed
over on dry ground, until all the people were passed clean over Jordan"
(Joshua 3:17).

The Waters ofJordan Are Divided

D Sunday
January 15

1.

What precise and clear instructions were given to the people as to the crossing
of the Jordan? Joshua 3:2-5.

"God willed that the passage of Israel over Jordan should be miraculous. Joshua,
by divine direction, commanded the people to sanctify themselves; they must put away
their sins and free themselves from all outward impurity; 'for tomorrow,' he said, 'the
Lord will do wonders among you.' The 'ark of the covenant' was to lead the way before
the host. When they should see the token of Jehovah's presence, borne by the priests,
remove from its place in the center of the camp, and advance toward the river, then
they were to remove from their place, 'and go after it.' The circumstances of the passage were minutely foretold." -Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 483, 484.
2.

With what manifestation of supernatural power did the people of God cross
the Jordan? Joshua 3:14-17.

"At the divine command the priests advanced to the middle of the channel and
stood there while the entire host descended and crossed to the farther side. Thus was
impressed upon the minds of all Israel the fact that the power that stayed the waters
of Jordan was the same that had opened the Red Sea to their fathers forty years before.
When the people had all passed over, the ark itself was borne to the western shore.
No sooner had it reached a place of security, and 'the soles of the priests' feet were
lifted up unto the dry land,' than the imprisoned waters, being set free, rushed down,
a resistless flood, in the natural channel of the stream." -Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 484.

D

A Memorial Is Set Up

Monday

January 16
3.

What memorial were the twelve representatives of the twelve tribes instructed
to set up? How? Joshua 4:1-8.

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"Coming generations were not to be without a witness to this great miracle. While
the priests bearing the ark were still in the midst of Jordan, twelve men previously
chosen, one from each tribe, took up each a stone from the river bed where the priests
were standing, and carried it over to the western side. These stones were to be set up
as a monument in the first camping place beyond the river. The people were bidden to
repeat to their children and children's children the story of the deliverance that God
had wrought for them." -Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 484.
4.

Where did Joshua set up a similar memorial? Joshua 4:9, 10.

Purpose and Effect of the Miracle

o Tuesday
January 17

5.

For what purpose did the Lord work a great wonder in the crossing of the
Jordan? Joshua 4:21-24.

"Through His people Israel, God designed to give to the world a knowledge of
His will. His promises and threatenings, His instructions and reproofs, the wonderful
manifestations of His power among them, in blessings for obedience, and judgment
for transgression and apostasY,-all were designed for the education and development
of religious principle among the people of God until the close of time. Therefore it is
important that we acquaint ourselves with the history of the Hebrew host, and ponder
with care the dealings of God with them." - The SDA Bible Commentary [E.G. White Comments],
vol. 2, p. 994.

6.

What effect did the report about that remarkable miracle have upon the kings
of Canaan? Joshua 5:1.

"Heathen nations had reproached the Lord and His people because the Hebrews
had failed to possess the land of Canaan, which they expected to inherit soon after leaving Egypt. Their enemies had triumphed because Israel had wandered so long in the
wilderness, and they proudly lifted themselves up against God, declaring that He was
not able to lead them into the land of Canaan. The Lord had now signally manifested
His power and favor by leading His people over Jordan on dry land, and their enemies
could no longer reproach them."- Testimonies, vol. 4, pp. 158, 159.
"When the tidings that God had stayed the waters of Jordan before the children
of Israel, reached the kings of the Amorites and of the Canaanites, their hearts melted
with fear." -Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 485.

o Wednesday

Circumcision and the Passover

January 18
7.

What rite was renewed soon after the crossing of the Jordan? Joshua 5:2,3,

5.
8.

What commemorative feast was restored? Joshua 5:10, 11. What was the
meaning of the suspension of circumcision and the discontinuance of the
Passover? When and why did the manna stop falling? Joshua 5:12.

"A short distance from Jordan the Hebrews made their first encampment in Canaan. Here Joshua 'circumcised the children of Israel;' 'and the children of Israel encamped in Gilgal, and kept the Passover.' The suspension of the rite of circumcision
since the rebellion at Kadesh had been a constant witness to Israel that their covenant

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with God, of which it was the appointed symbol, had been broken. And the discontinuance of the Passover, the memorial of their deliverance from Egypt, had been an evidence of the Lord's displeasure at their desire to return to the land of bondage. Now,
however, the years of rejection were ended. Once more God acknowledged Israel as
His people, and the sign of the covenant was restored. The rite of circumcision was
performed upon all the people who had been born in the wilderness." -Patnarchs and Prophets, p. 485.

o Thursday

The Captain a/the Lord's Army

January 19
9.

While Joshua was near Jericho, meditating and praying, whom did he see,
and what question did he put to Him? Joshua 5:13.

"As Joshua withdrew from the armies of Israel to meditate and pray for God's
special presence to attend him, he saw a Man of lofty stature, clad in warlike garments,
with a drawn sword in His hand. Joshua did not recognize Him as one of the warriors
of Israel, and yet He had no appearance of being an enemy. In his zeal he accosted Him,
saying: 'Art Thou for us, or for our adversaries?' "- Testimonies, vol. 4, p. 159.
10. Who was the armed warrior of lofty stature and commanding presence that
stood before Joshua? What was the first thing He told him to do? Joshua 5:14,
15.

"It was the Son of God who stood as an armed warrior before the leader of Israel.
It was the One who had conducted the Hebrews through the wilderness, enshrouded
in a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. In order to impress the mind of
Joshua that He was no less than Christ, the Exalted One, He said: 'Loose thy shoe
from off thy foot.' He then instructed Joshua what course to pursue in order to take
Jericho."-Testimonies, vol. 4, pp. 159, 160.

o Friday

Recapitulation

January 20
a.
b.

What was required of the people of Israel before the Lord could do wonders
among them?
What were the people of Israel instructed to do for the benefit of their descendants, in connection with the twelve stones set up as a monument?

c.

Why is it important for us to be acquainted with the history of Israel and the
dealings of God with them?

d.

Through what celebration were the Israelites to express their loathing at their
former bondage in Egypt?
When the Captain of the Lord's army told Joshua to take off his shoes, what
did He mean by this command?

e.

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Lesson 4

Sabbath, January 28, 1984

THE FALL OF JERICHO
"The Majesty of heaven, with His army of angels, leveled the walls of Jericho before His people.... All was done through the power of God. Let the people give
up all desire for self-exaltation, let them humbly submit to the divine will, and God
will again manifest His power, and bring freedom and victory to His children."The SDA Bible Commentary [E.G. White Comments], vol. 2, p. 995.
KEY TEXT:

"By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed
about seven days" (Hebrews 11:30).

o

Horror ofIdolatry
1.

Sunday
January 22

Describe the city of Jericho. Why were the gates of Jericho kept shut during
those days? Joshua 6: 1. What assurance and instruction did the Lord give to
Joshua regarding the overthrow of the city? Joshua 6:2-5.

"One of the strongest fortresses in the land-the large and wealthy city of Jericholay just before them, but a little distance from their camp at Gilgal. On the border of a
fertile plain abounding with the rich and varied productions of the tropics, its palaces
and temples the abode of luxury and vice, this proud city, behind its massive battlements, offered defiance to the God of Israel. Jericho was one of the principal seats of
idol worship, being especially devoted to Ashtaroth, the goddess of the moon. Here centered all that was vilest and most degrading in the religion of the Canaanites. The people of Israel, in whose minds were fresh the fearful results of their sin at Beth-peor,
could look upon this heathen city only with disgust and horror." -Patriarchs and Prophets,
p.487.

2.

What instruction did Joshua convey to the priests, the armed men, and the
people? Joshua 6:6-8, 10. What lesson do we learn from the fact that the people were prepared to take united and disciplined action?

"Would those who today profess to be God's people conduct themselves thus,
under similar circumstances? Doubtless many would wish to follow out their own plans,
would suggest ways and means of accomplishing the desired end. They would be loth
to submit to so simple an arrangement, and one that reflected no glory upon themselves, save the merit of obedience. They would also question the possibility of conquering a mighty city in that manner. But the law of duty is supreme. It should wield
authority over human reason. Faith is the living power that presses through every
barrier, overrides all obstacles, and plants its banner in the heart of the enemy's camp."
-The SDA Bible Commentary [E.G. White Comments], vol. 2, p. 995.

o Monday

The City Is Compassed

January 23
3.

How was Jericho compassed? Joshua 6:11-14. What effect did that mysterious display have upon the inhabitants of the city?

-14 -

"In obedience to the divine command, Joshua marshaled the armies of Israel. No
assault was to be made. They were simply to make the circuit of the city, bearing the
ark of God and blowing upon trumpets. First came the warriors, a body of chosen men,
not now to conquer by their own skill and prowess, but by obedience to the directions
given them from God. Seven priests with trumpets followed. Then the ark of God, surrounded by a halo of divine glory, was borne by priests clad in the dress denoting their
sacred office. The army of Israel followed, each tribe under its standard. Such was
the procession that compassed the doomed city. No sound was heard but the tread of
that mighty host and the solemn peal of the trumpets, echoing among the hills and resounding through the streets of Jericho. The circuit completed, the army returned in
silence to their tents, and the ark was restored to its place in the tabernacle.
"With wonder and alarm the watchmen of the city marked every move, and reported to those in authority. They knew not the meaning of all this display; but when
they beheld that mighty host marching around their city once each day, with the sacred
ark and the attendant priests, the mystery of the scene struck terror to the hearts of
priest and people." -Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 488.
4.

What happened on the seventh day? Joshua 6:15, 16,20; Hebrews 11:30.

"How easily the armies of heaven brought down the walls that had seemed so formidable to the spies who brought the false report! The word of God was the only weapon
used."- Testimonies, vol. 4, p. 161.

Doomed

D Tuesday
January 24

5.

What did God pronounce upon Jericho, and what command did He give to
Joshua and to the people of Israel concerning the city, its inhabitants, and
their possessions? Joshua 6:17,18. What was the purpose of that instruction?
And why did it not conflict with God's love and mercy?

"It was to be impressed upon Israel that in the conquest of Canaan they were not
to fight for themselves, but simply as instruments to execute the will of God; not to
seek for riches or self-exaltation, but the glory of Jehovah their King." -Patriarchs and
Prophets, p. 491.

"To many these commands seem to be contrary to the spirit of love and mercy enjoined in other portions of the Bible, but they were in truth the dictates of infinite wisdom and goodness. God was about to establish Israel in Canaan, to develop among them
a nation and government that should be a manifestation of His kingdom upon the earth.
They were not only to be inheritors of the true religion, but to disseminate its principles
throughout the world. The Canaanites had abandoned themselves to the foulest and
most debasing heathenism, and it was necessary that the land should be cleared of what
would so surely prevent the fulfillment of God's gracious purposes."- Ibid., p. 492.
6.

What were the Israelites instructed to do with the gold, silver, brass, and iron,
which could not be destroyed by fire? Joshua 6:19.

Doomed (continued)

D Wednesday
January 25

7.

How did the Israelites act, in obedience to God's command, after the walls of
the city had collapsed? Joshua 6:21,24.

"All the inhabitants of the city, with every living thing that it contained, 'both
man and woman, young and old, and ox, and sheep, and ass,' were put to the sword.
-15 -

Only faithful Rahab, with her household, was spared, in fulfillment of the promise of
the spies. The city itself was burned; its palaces and temples, its magnificent dwellings
with all their luxurious appointments, the rich draperies and the costly garments, were
given to the flames." -Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 491.
8.

What prohibition was involved in the curse that God pronounced upon the
doomed city? Joshua 6:26.

"The very site of the city was accursed; Jericho was never to be rebuilt as a stronghold; judgments were threatened upon anyone who should presume to restore the walls
that divine power had cast down." -Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 491, 492.

o Thursday

A Lesson and a Warning

January 26
9.

For what purpose was this wonderful experience recorded in the Scriptures?
Romans 15:4. What lesson should we learn from the trust that the people of
Israel placed in the Lord?

"They [the Israelites] were to become thoroughly impressed with the idea that
their strength was not in the wisdom of man, nor in his might, but only in the God of
their salvation. They were thus to become accustomed to putting themselves out of
the question and relying wholly upon their divine Leader."- Testimonies, vol. 4, p. 163..
"God will do marvelous things for those who trust in Him. It is because His professed people trust so much to their own wisdom, and do not give the Lord an opportunity to reveal His power in their behalf, that they have no more strength. He will
help His believing children in every emergency if they will place their entire confidence
in Him and implicitly obey Him."-Ibiii.
10. What happened in the days of Ahab and Jezebel, when the word of the Lord
regarding Jericho was forgotten or simply ignored? 1 Kings 16:34.

"Five centuries passed. The spot lay desolate, accursed of God. Even the springs
that had made residence in this portion of the valley so desirable suffered the blighting
effects of the curse. But in the days of Ahab's apostasy, when through Jezebel's influence the worship of Ashtoreth was revived, Jericho, the ancient seat of this worship,
was rebuilt, though at a fearful cost to the builder." -Prophets and Kings, p. 230.

o Friday

Recapitulation

January 27
a.
b.
c.
d.
e.

With what feelings did the people of Israel look upon Jericho? Why?
Describe, with as many details as possible, the army that made the circuit of
Jericho.
Why did the destruction of Jericho and the Canaanites become necessary?
What was to rest upon the site where Jericho had stood? And what judgments
were pronounced upon anyone that should begin the restoration of the city?
Why is it that we do not have more strength? On what condition will the Lord
do marvelous things for us?

-16 -

Sabbath, February 4, 1984

Lesson 5

A FORCED RETREAT

"A concealed golden wedge and a Babylonish garment troubled the entire camp
of Israel. The frown of God was brought upon the people because of the sin of one
man. Thousands were defeated upon the field of battle because God would not
bless and prosper a people among whom there was even one sinner, one who had
transgressed His word."-Testimonies, vol. 3, p. 239.

KEY TEXT:

"Israel hath sinned.... Therefore the children of Israel could not stand
before their enemies" (Joshua 7:11, 12).

D Sunday

Planning a New Attack

January 29
1.

What promise did the Lord make to Israel concerning the land of Canaan?
Genesis 48:4; Leviticus 14:34. What decision and plan did Joshua make soon
after the fall of Jericho in harmony with God's promise?

"Soon after the fall of Jericho, Joshua determined to attack Ai, a small town among
the ravines a few miles to the west of the Jordan Valley." -Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 493.
2.

Whom did Joshua send to Ai and what instruction did he give them? Joshua

7:2.

D Monday

A Serious Mistake

January 30
3.

What report did the spies bring back from Ai, and what was their advice?
Joshua 7:3.

"Spies sent to this place [Ai] brought back the report that the inhabitants were but
few, and that only a small force would be needed to overthrow it." -Patriarchs and Prophets,
p.493.

4.

Based on the report of the spies, how many soldiers did Joshua send to attack
Ai? Joshua 7:4 (first part). What mistake did the Israelites make?

"The great victory that God had gained for them had made the Israelites selfconfident. Because He had promised them the land of Canaan they felt secure, and
failed to realize that divine help alone could give them success. Even Joshua laid his
plans for the conquest of Ai without seeking counsel from God.
"The Israelites had begun to exalt their own strength and to look with contempt
upon their foes. An easy victory was expected, and three thousand men were thought
-17-

sufficient to take the place. These rushed to the attack without the assurance that God
would be with them. They advanced nearly to the gate of the city, only to encounter
the most determined resistance." -Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 493, 494.

The Israelites Are Smitten

D Tuesday
January 31

5.

What did the Israelites do as they met strong resistance before the gate of Ai?
Joshua 7:4 (last part).

6.

Describe the defeat suffered by the Hebrew military force. Joshua 7:5 (first
part).

"Panic-stricken at the numbers and thorough preparation of their enemies, they
[the 3,000 Israelites] fled in confusion down the steep descent. The Canaanites were in
hot pursuit; 'they chased them from before the gate, ... and smote them in the going
down.' "-Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 494.

Discouragement and Fear

D Wednesday
February 1

7.

What effect did the defeat have upon the congregation? Joshua 7:5 (last part).

"Though the loss was small as to numbers-but thirty-six men being slain-the
defeat was disheartening to the whole congregation. 'The hearts of the people melted,
and became as water.' This was the first time they had met the Canaanites in actual
battle, and if put to flight before the defenders of this little town, what would be the
result in the greater conflicts before them?" -Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 494.
8.

How did Joshua react when he saw what had happened? Joshua 7:6. What
did he say in his prayer to the Lord? Joshua 7:7-9.

"Joshua looked upon their ill success as an expression of God's displeasure."Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 494.

"Joshua manifested a true zeal for the honor of God, yet his petitions were mingled
with doubt and unbelief. The thought that God had brought His people over the Jordan
to deliver them up to the power of the heathen was a sinful one, unworthy of a leader
of Israel. Joshua's feelings of despondency and distrust were inexcusable in view of
the mighty miracles which God had wrought for the deliverance of His people, and
the repeated promise that He would be with them in driving out the wicked inhabitants
of the land."-The SDA Bible Commentary [E.G. White Comments], vol. 2, p. 996.

D Thursday

God's 1nswer

February 2
9.

What were the first words of God's answer to Joshua? Why were the children
of Israel unable to stand before their enemies? Joshua 7:1, 12.

[See Joshua 7:6-10.] "It was a time for prompt and decided action, and not for despair and lamentation. There was secret sin in the camp, and it must be searched out
and put away before the presence and blessing of the Lord could be with His people.
'Neither will I be with you any more, except ye destroy the accursed from among you.'''
-Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 494.

-18 -

10. How do we know that the nation was held responsible for Achan's sin? Joshua
7:11.

"God's command had been disregarded by one of those appointed to execute His
judgments. And the nation was held accountable for the guilt of the transgressor: 'They
have even taken of the accursed thing, and have also stolen, and dissembled also.' "Patn'arc/IS and Prophets, p, 494.

Recapitulation

D Friday
February 3

a.
b.
c.
d.
e.

When planning a new attack, how did the Israelites obtain secret intelligence
of enemy countries and cities?
What had led to the presumption that caused Israel's defeat before Ai?
What did the armed men of Ai do when they saw that the military force of
Israel began to flee?
How do we know that Joshua was able to correctly interpret the cause of
Israel's defeat?
Besides prayer, what else was required of Joshua and the other leaders in that
emergency situation?

-19 -

Lesson 6

Sabbath, February 11, 1984

ACHAN'S SIN

"Achan's sin brought disaster upon the whole nation. For one man's sin the displeasure of God will rest upon His church till the transgression is searched out
and put away. The influence most to be feared by the church is not that of open opposers, infidels, and blasphemers, but of inconsistent professors of Christ."Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 497.
KEY TEXT:

"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" (Joshua 7:11).

Instructions for the Removal of the Curse
1.

o

Sunday
February 5

What instruction did the Lord give to Joshua for the removal of the curse?
Joshua 7:13. Why was that instruction so necessary?

"Here the Lord gave expression to His abhorrence of idolatry. Those heathen nations had turned from the worship of the living God, and were paying homage to demons. Shrines and temples, beautiful statues, and costly monuments, all the most ingenious and expensive works of art, had held the thoughts and affections of the
veriest slavery to Satanic delusions.
"The human heart is naturally inclined to idolatry and self-exaltation. The costly
and beautiful monuments of heathen worship would please the fancy and engage the
senses, and thus allure the Israelites from the service of God. It was to remove this
.temptation from His people that the Lord commanded them to destroy those relics of
idolatry, on penalty of being themselves abhorred and accursed of God."- The SDA Bible
Commentary [E.G. White Comments], vol. 2, p. 996.

2.

How was the criminal to be found out? Joshua 7:14. Why was he not pointed
out directly?

"Instruction was given to Joshua for the discovery and punishment of the criminal.
The lot was to be employed for the detection of the guilty. The sinner was not directly
pointed out, the matter being left in doubt for a time, that the people might feel their
responsibility for the sins existing among them, and thus be led to searching of heart
and humiliation before God." -Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 494, 495.

-20-

.•

D Monday

Punishmentfor Disobedience

February 6
3.

What punishment was to be meted out to the culprit? Joshua 7:15. Why is it
that many cannot understand the righteousness of God in the sentence pronounced upon Achan?

"There are many in this day that would designate Achan's sin as of little consequence, and would excuse his guilt; but it is because they have no realization of the
character of sin and its consequences, no sense of the holiness of God and of His requirements. The statement is often heard that God is not particular whether or not we
give diligent heed to His Word, whether or not we obey all the commandments of His
holy law; but the record of His dealing with Achan should be a warning to us. He will
in no wise clear the guilty."-The SDA Bible Commentary [E.G. White Comments], vol. 2, p. 998.
4.

Mention another example where, under similar circumstances, the command
of God was also ignored. 1 Samuel 15:6-9. What was the consequence of king
Saul's disobedience? 1 Samuel 15:23. Why must his presumption be attributed to witchcraft?

"Saul had had the most ample proof that Samuel was divinely inspired. His venturing to disregard the command of God through the prophet was against the dictates
of reason and sound judgment. His fatal presumption must be attributed to satanic
sorcery. Saul had manifested great zeal in suppressing idolatry and witchcraft; yet in
his disobedience to the divine command he had been actuated by the same spirit of
opposition to God and had been as really inspired by Satan as are those who practice
sorcery; and when reproved, he had added stubbornness to rebellion. He could have
offered no greater insult to the Spirit of God had he openly united with idolaters."Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 635.

Finding out the Troublemaker

D Tuesday
February 7

5.

How did Joshua follow God's instruction, carrying out the investigation step
by step? Joshua 7:16-18. What lesson does this experience teach us?

"The history of Achan teaches the solemn lesson that for one man's sin the displeastire of God will rest upon a people or a nation till the transgression is searched out and
punished. Sin is corrupting in its nature. One man infected with its deadly leprosy may
communicate the taint to thousands. Those who occupy responsible positions as guardians of the people are false to their trust if they do not faithfully search out and reprove
sin. Many dare not condemn iniquity, lest they shall thereby sacrifice position or popularity. And by some it is considered uncharitable to rebuke sin. The servant of God
should never allow his own spirit to be mingled with the reproof which he is required
to give; but he is under the most solemn obligation to present the Word of God, without
fear or favor. He must call sin by its right name. Those who by their carelessness or
indifference permit God's name to be dishonored by His professed people, are numbered with the transgressor,-registered in the record of heaven as partakers in their
evil deeds."- The SDA Bible Commentary [E.G. White Comments], vol. 2, p. 996.
6.

When the troubler of Israel was pointed out, why did Joshua still extort a
public confession from him? Joshua 7:19.

- 21-

"To establish his guilt beyond all question, leaving no ground for the charge that
he had been unjustly condemned, Joshua solemnly adjured Achan to acknowledge the
truth." -Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 495.

Evidences Placed Before the People

D Wednesday
February 8

7.

What confession did Achan make? Joshua 7:20, 21. What warning should
we take from his confession?

"Achan acknowledged his guilt, but when it was too late for the confession to benefit himself. He had seen the armies of Israel return from Ai defeated and disheartened;
yet he did not come forward and confess his sin. He had seen Joshua and the elders of
Israel bowed to the earth in grief too great for words. Had he then made confession,
he would have given some proof of true penitence; but he still kept silence. He had
listened to the proclamation that a great crime had been committed, and had even heard
its character definitely stated. But his lips were sealed. Then came the solemn investigation. How his soul thrilled with terror as he saw his tribe pointed out, then his family
and his household! But still he uttered no confession, until the finger of God was placed
upon him. Then, when his sin could no longer be concealed, he admitted the truth. How
often are similar confessions made. There is a vast difference between admitting facts
after they have been proved and confessing sins known only to ourselves and to God."
-Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 497. 498.

8.

What step did Joshua take after Achan's confession, in order to confirm the
wrongdoer's guilt beyond all question? Joshua 7:22.

A Lesson for Us

D Thursday
February 9

9.

When there was no more doubt in the minds of the people, how was the
prescribed punishment applied? Joshua 7:23-26. How did "all Israel" stone
Achan? Why did the death sentence passed upon Achan include 'his relatives?

"As the people had been held responsible for Achan's sin, and had suffered from
its consequences, they were, through their representatives, .to. take part in its punishment." -Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 495.
"Have you considered why it was that all who were connected with Achan were
also subjects of the punishment of God? It was because they had not been trained and
educated according to the directions given them in the great standard of the law of
God. Achan's parents had educated their son in such a way that he felt free to disobey
the Word of the Lord, the principles inculcated in his life led him to deal with his
children in such a way that they also were corrupted. Mind acts and reacts upon mind,
and the punishment which included the relations of Achan with himself, reveals the
fact that all were involved in the transgression."-The SDA Bible Commentary [E.G. White
Comments]. vol. 2. p. 998.

10. What sin caused Achan's ruin and that of his family? Luke 12:15. What
other examples of covetousness stand as a warning before us? Isaiah 14: 1214.

"The deadly sin that led to Achan's ruin had its root in covetousness, of all sins
one of the most common and the most lightly regarded. While other offenses meet with

- 22-

detection and punishment, how rarely does the violation of the tenth commandment
so much as call forth censure. The enormity of this sin, and its terrible results, are the
lessons of Achan's history." -Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 496.
"Everywhere its slimy track is seen. It creates discontent and dissension in families; it excites envy and hatred in the poor against the rich; it prompts the grinding
oppression of the rich toward the poor. And this evil exists not in the world alone, but
in the church. How common even here to find selfishness, avarice, overreaching,
neglect of charities, and robbery of God 'in tithes and offerings.' Among church members 'in good and regular standing' there are, alas! many Achans."-Ibid., p. 497.

Recapitulation

D Friday
February 10

a.

l

,
f

b.
c.
d.
e.

How were the people of Israel led to feel their responsibility and search their
own hearts in connection with Achan's sin?
What examples in the Bible refute the idea that God is not particular whether
or not we give diligent heed to His Word?
How is the church as a whole affected so long as individual sins are not
searched out and removed?
How were the evidences of Achan's sin produced before the people? Why was
this necessary?
What education had Achan received from his· parents? What characters had
his children developed under his pernicious influence?

1

.

.~

- 23-

Lesson 7

Sabbath, February 18,1984

THE BLESSINGS AND THE CURSES

"More than fourteen centuries before Jesus was born in Bethlehem, the children
of Israel gathered in the fair vale of Shechem, and from the mountains on either
side the voices of the priests were heard proclaiming the blessings and the curses'a blessing, if ye obey the commandments of the Lord your God: ... and a curse,
if ye will not obey.' "-Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, p. 1.
KEY TEXT:

"Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse" (Deuteronomy
11:26).

D Sunday

A Solemn Choice

February 12
1.

What choice did the Lord set before His people when they had reached the
borders of the Promised Land? Deuteronomy 11:26-28. On what occasion
and through whom was a similar choice put before them? Isaiah 1:19,20.

"Obedience is required; and unless you obey you will stand on worse than neutral
ground. Unless you are favored with the blessing of God you have His curse. He requires you to be willing and obedient, and says that you shall eat the good of the land.
A bitter curse is pronounced on those who come not to the help of the Lord."- Testimonies,
vol. 2, p. 166.

2.

Give the names of the two mountains selected for the pronouncing of the
blessings and the curses. Deuteronomy 11:29. How were the tribes of Israel
to be divided for the performance of this sacred duty? Deuteronomy 27:1113.

"The place appointed for this solemn service was one already sacred from its association with the history of their fathers. It was here that Abraham raised his first
altar to Jehovah in the land of Canaan. Here both Abraham and Jacob had pitched their
tents. Here the latter bought the field in which the tribes were to bury the body of
Joseph. Here also was the well that Jacob had dug, and the oak under which he had
buried the idolatrous images of his household.
"The spot chosen was one of the most beautiful in all Palestine, and worthy to be
the theater where this grand and impressive scene was to be enacted. The lovely valley,
its green fields dotted with olive groves, watered with brooks from living fountains,
and gemmed with wild flowers, spread out invitingly between the barren hills. Ebal
and Gerizim, upon opposite sides of the valley, nearly approach each other, their lower
spurs seeming to form a natural pulpit, every word spoken on one being distinctly
audible on the other, while the mountainsides, receding, afford space for a vast
assemblage." -Patriarchs and Prophets, 'pp. 499, 500.
-24 -

o Monday

Teaching the Law

February 13
3.

What was to be erected on Mount Ebal and for what purpose? Deuteronomy
27:2-4,8.

4.

What else was to be done for the purpose of inculcating the law in the minds
of the people? Deuteronomy 6:6-9; 31:19-22.

"In the days of the wilderness wandering the Lord had made abundant provision
for His children to keep in remembrance the words of His law. After the settlement in
Canaan the divine precepts were to be repeated daily in every home; they were to be
written plainly upon the doorposts and gates, and spread upon memorial tablets. They
were to be set to music and chanted by young and old. Priests were to teach these holy
precepts in public assemblies, and the rulers of the land were to make them their daily
study. 'Meditate therein day and night,' the Lord commanded Joshua concerning the
book of the law, 'that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein:
for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.'
Joshua 1:8."-ProphetsandKings, pp. 464, 465.

Carrying out Previous Instructions

o Tuesday
February 14

5.

How did Joshua carry out the instructions received from Moses? Joshua 8:32.

"According to the directions given by Moses, a monument of great stones was
erected upon Mount Ebal. Upon these stones, previously prepared by a covering of
plaster, the law was inscribed-not only the ten precepts spoken from Sinai and engraved on the tables of stone, but the laws communicated to Moses, and by him written
in a book. Beside this monument was built an altar of unhewn stone, upon which sacrifices were offered unto the Lord. The fact that the altar was set up on Mount Ebal,
the mountain upon which the curse was put, was significant, denoting that because of
their transgressions of God's law, Israel had justly incurred His wrath, and that it would
be at once visited, but for the atonement of Christ, represented by the altar of sacrifice." -Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 500.
6.

How did Joshua station the people and the leaders for the ceremony to be performed on that great day? Joshua 8:33-35.

"Six of the tribes-all descended from Leah and Rachel-were stationed upon
Mount Gerizim; while those that descended from the handmaids, together with Reuben.
and Zebulun, took their position on Ebal, the priests with the ark occupying the valley
between them." -Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 500.

o Wednesday

A Special Gathering

February 15
7.

Describe the climax of the ceremony. Joshua 8:34,35.

"Silence was proclaimed by the sound of the signal trumpet; and then in the deep
stillness, and in the presence of this vast assembly, Joshua, standing beside the sacred
ark, read the blessings that were to follow obedience to God's law. All the tribes on
Gerizim responded by an Amen. He then read the curses, and the tribes on Ebal in like
-25 -

manner gave their assent, thousands upon thousands of voices uniting as the voice of
one man in the solemn response. Following this came the reading of the law of God,
together with the statutes and judgments that had been delivered to them by Moses.
"Israel had received the law directly from the mouth of God at Sinai; and its sacred
precepts, written by His own hand, were still preserved in the ark. Now it had been
again written where all could read it. All had the privilege of seeing for themselves
the conditions of the covenant under which they were to hold possession of Canaan.
All were to signify their acceptance of the terms of the covenant and give their assent
to the blessings or curses for its observance or neglect. The law was not only written
upon the memorial stones, but was read by Joshua himself in the hearing of all Israel.
It had not been many weeks since Moses gave the whole book of Deuteronomy in discourses to the people, yet now Joshua read the law again." -Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 500503.

8.

How often was this ceremony to be repeated? Deuteronomy 31:10-13.

"The writings of Moses were taught by Joshua to all Israel. 'There was not a
word of all that Moses commanded, which Joshua read not before all the congregation
of Israel, with the women, and the little ones, and the strangers that were conversant
among them.' Joshua 8:35. This was in harmony with the express command of Jehovah
providing for a public rehearsal of the words of the book of the law every seven years,
during the Feast of Tabernacles." -Prophets and Kings, p. 465.

Blessings and Curses

D Thursday
February 16

9.

Mention some of the blessings pronounced at Mount Gerizim. Deuteronomy
28:1-13.

10. Mention some of the curses pronounced at Mount Ebal. Deuteronomy 27:1426.

Recapitulation

D Friday
February 17

a.
b.
c.
d.
e.

What is the result of obedience to the commandments of God? What is the
consequence of disobedience?
What provision was made by divine direction for the people of Israel to keep
in remembrance the commandments of God?
What was denoted by the fact that the altar was set up beside the monument
upon which the law of ten commandments was inscribed?
For what purpose was the law of God written on memorial stones and read
periodically before the people of Israel?
Name the mountains at which the blessings and the curses were pronounced.
Mention some of the blessings and curses.

- 26-

Lesson 8

Sabbath, February 25, 1984

THE STRATAGEM OF THE GIBEONITES

~

"The advancing hosts of Israel found that knowledge of the mighty workings of
the God of the Hebrews had gone before them, and that some among the heathen
were learning that He alone was the true God.... In the midst of the land a numerous people-the Gibeonites-renounced their heathenism and united with
Israel, sharing in the blessings of the covenant."-Prophets and Kings, p. 369.

KEY TEXT:

"This we will do to them; we will even let them live, lest wrath be upon
us, because of the oath which we sware unto them" (Joshua 9:20).

o Sunday

Craft of the Gibeonites

February 19
1.

To what stratagem did the Gibeonites resort when they saw the victories of
Israel? Joshua 9:3-6.

"From Shechem the Israelites returned to their encampment at Gilgal. Here they
were soon after visited by a strange deputation, who desired to enter into treaty with
them. The ambassadors represented that they had come from a distant country, and
this seemed to be confirmed by their appearance. Their clothing was old and worn,
their sandals were patched, their provisions moldy, and the skins that served them for
wine bottles were rent and bound up, as if hastily repaired on the journey.
"In their far-off home-professedly beyond the limits of Palestine-their fellow
countrymen, they said, had heard of the wonders which God had wrought for His people, and had sent them to make a league with Israel." -Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 505.
2.

As the leaders of Israel doubted the truthfulness of the explanation just given
by the strange deputation, what questions did they ask? Joshua 9:7, 8. What
did the Gibeonites say? Joshua 9:9-13.

"The Hebrews had been especially warned against entering into any league with
the idolaters of Canaan, and a doubt as to the truth of the strangers' words arose in the
minds of the leaders. 'Peradventure ye dwell among us,' they said. To this the ambassadors only replied, 'We are thy servants.' But when Joshua directly demanded of them,
'Who are ye? and from whence come ye?' they reiterated their former statement."-

~.

Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 505.

o Monday

League With the Gibeonites

February 20
3.

Why did Joshua and the leaders of Israel fail in this particular, allowing themselves to be deceived? Joshua 9:14.

4.

What agreement did Joshua make with the Gibeonites? Joshua 9:15.

- 27-

"The Hebrews 'asked not counsel at the mouth of the Lord. And Joshua made
peace with them, and made a league with them, to let them live: and the princes of the
congregation sware unto them.' Thus the treaty was entered into." -Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 505.

o Tuesday

The Deception Is Discovered

February 21
5.

What did the Israelites find out three days after the treaty had been made?
Joshua 9:16, 17.

6.

How did the people of Israel react when they learned that they had been deceived? Why did they spare the Gibeonites? Joshua 9:18-20.

"Great was the indignation of the Israelites as they learned the deception that had
been practiced upon them. And this was heightened when, after three days' journey,
they reached the cities of the Gibeonites, near the center of the land. 'All the congregation murmured against the princes;' but the latter refused to break the treaty, though
secured by fraud, because they had 'sworn unto them by the Lord God of Israel.' 'And
the children of Israel smote them not.' The Gibeonites had pledged themselves to renounce idolatry, and accept the worship of Jehovah; and the preservation of their lives
was not a violation of God's command to destroy the idolatrous Canaanites. Hence the
Hebrews had not by their oath pledged themselves to c.ommit sin. And though the oath
had been secured by deception, it was not to be disregarded. The obligation to which
one's word is pledged-if it do not bind him to perform a wrong act-should be held
sacred." -Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 506.

Provision for Those ConvertedFrom Paganism

o Wednesday
February 22

7.

What evidence shows that it would have fared much better with the Gibeonites
if they had been honest, telling the whole truth? Leviticus 19:33,34; Numbers
15:15.

"God had made provision that all who would renounce heathenism, and connect
themselves with Israel, should share the blessings of the covenant. They were included
under the term, 'the stranger that sojourneth among you,' and with few exceptions this
class were to enjoy equal favors and privileges with Israel." -Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 507.
8.

What proof do we have in the case of the Gibeonites, in the after-history of
Israel, that the Lord is jealous when an oath is made in His name? 2 Samuel
21:1,2.

o Thursday

The Final Decision

February 23
9.

What decision did Joshua announce to the Gibeonites? Joshua 9:21-23. What
was their answer to Joshua? Joshua 9:24,25.

"It was no light humiliation to those citizens of a 'royal city,' 'all the men whereof
were mighty,' to be made hewers of wood and drawers of water throughout their generations. But they had adopted the garb of poverty for the purpose of deception, and it
was fastened upon them as a badge of perpetual servitude. Thus through all their gen-

- 28-

erations their servile condition would testify to God's hatred of falsehood."-Patriarchs
and Prophets, p. 507.

10. To what service were the Gibeonites appointed? Joshua 9:26, 27.
"The Gibeonites were permitted to live, but were attached as bondmen to the
sanctuary, to perform all menial services. 'Joshua made them that day hewers of wood
and drawers of water for the congregation, and for the altar of the Lord.' These conditions they gratefully accepted, conscious that they had been at fault, and glad to
purchase life on any terms." -Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 506.

o

Recapitulation
a.
b.
c.
d.
e.

Friday
February 24

How did the Gibeonites disguise their identity? Why did they do that?
What mistake did Israel make in not consulting the Lord when the Gibeonites came to them?
In spite of the deception practiced by the Gibeonites, what pledge did they
take, and how did they benefit by it?
What favors and privileges were extended, by divine command, to all who
would renounce idolatry and turn to the living God?
How were the Gibeonites punished for their d~ception?

-29 -

Lesson 9

Sabbath, March 3, 1984

THE CONFEDERACY AGAINST GIBEON

"Those who achieve the greatest results are those who rely most implicitly upon
the Almighty Arm. The man who commanded, 'Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon;
and thou, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon,' is the man who for hours lay prostrate
upon the earth in prayer in the camp at Gilgal. The men of prayer are the men of
power."-Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 509.

KEY TEXT:

"And there was no day like that before it or after it, that the Lord
hearkened unto the voice of a man: for the Lord fought for Israel"
(Joshua 10:14).

Five Kings at War Against Gibeon

D Sunday
February 26

1.

What did the five kings of the Amorites do when they found out that the Gib·
eonites had made peace with Israel? Joshua 10:1-5.

"The submission of Gibeon to the Israelites filled the kings of Canaan with dismay.
Steps were at once taken for revenge upon those who had made peace with the invaders. Under the leadership of Adonizedek, king of Jerusalem, five of the Canaanite
kings entered into a confederacy against Gibeon. Their movements were rapid."Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 507.

2.

When the Gibeonites saw their danger, what message did they send to Joshua?
Joshua 10:6.

"The Gibeonites were unprepared for defense, and they sent a message to Joshua
at Gilgal: 'Slack not thy hand from thy servants; come up to us quickly, and save us,
and help us: for all the kings of the Amorites that dwell in the mountains are gathered
together against us.' The danger threatened not the people of Gibeon alone, but also
Israel. This city [Gibeon, the chief city of the Hivites] commanded the passes to central
and southern Palestine, and it must be held if the country was to be conquered." -Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 507.

The Confederated Kings Are Defeated

o Monday
February 27

3.

What steps did Joshua take when the Gibeonites appealed to him for help?
How did the Lord encourage His servant? Joshua 10:7-9.

"Joshua prepared to go at once to the relief of Gibeon. The inhabitants of the
besieged city had feared that he would reject their appeal, because of the fraud which
they had practiced; but since they had submitted to the control of Israel, and had ac-

- 30-

cepted the worship of God, he felt himself under obligation to protect them. He did not
this time move without divine counsel, and the Lord encouraged him in the undertaking. 'Fear them not,' was the divine message; 'for I have delivered them into thine hand;
there shall not a man of them stand before thee.' 'So Joshua ascended from Gilgal, he,
and all the people of war with him, and all the mighty men of valor.' "-PatriarchsandProphets, pp. 507. 508.

4.

What was the result of the Lord's intervention in that crisis? Joshua 10:10,
11.

The Sun and the Moon Stand Still

D Tuesday
February 28

5.
..

When Joshua saw that the day would not be long enough for the accomplishment of his task, what petition did he make to the Lord? Joshua 10:12.

"While the Amorites were continuing their headlong flight, intent on finding refuge
in the mountain strongholds, Joshua, looking down from the ridge above, saw that the
day would be too short for the accomplishment of his work. If not fully routed, their
enemies would again rally, and renew the struggle." -Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 508.
6.

What report was made on the miraculous event that took place on that memorable day? Joshua 10:13, 14; Habakkuk 3:1.1.

D Wednesday

The Key to Success

February 29
7.

What was the secret of Joshua's success? What is the secret of our success? 2
Chronicles 20:20; Jeremiah 7:23.

"The Spirit of God inspired Joshua's prayer, that evidence might again be given
of the power of Israel's God. Hence the request did not show presumption on the part
of the great leader. Joshua had received the promise that God would surely overthrow
these enemies of Israel, yet he put forth as earnest effort as though success depended
upon the armies of Israel alone. He did all that human energy could do, and then he
cried in faith for divine aid. The secret of success is the union of divine power with human effort." -Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 509.
8.

What had Joshua done before commanding the sun to stand still? What will
our effectual and fervent prayers accomplish? Give an example. James 5: 1618.

"The greatest victories to the church of Christ or to the individual Christian are
not those that are gained by talent or education, by wealth or the favor of men. They
are those victories that are gained in the audience chamber with God, when earnest,
agonizing faith lays hold upon the mighty arm of power." -Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 203.

D Thursday

Victory Within Our Reach

March 1
9.

Describe the final victory over the five confederated kings and their armies.
Joshua 10:15-21.

- 31-

10. What assurance did the Lord give to His people through His servant? Joshua
10:25. What shows that God's promises are conditional? Isaiah 59:1, 2. How
was this proven in the early days of the judges? Judges 2:16-23.

"The assurance was given [to the Israelites] that so long as they remained obedient, God would subdue their enemies before them." -Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 543.

o Friday

Recapitulation

March 2
a.
b.
c.
d.
e.

Why was it very important to defend the chief city of the Gibeonites against
the confederated kings?
Why did the Israelites feel themselves under obligation to protect the Gibeonites?
When Joshua entreated the Lord to work a miracle, why was it important to
utterly defeat the enemy on that same day?
Mention the combination of two elements that assure success in the work of
God.
What will the Lord do in our behalf so long as we remain obedient to His commandments?

- 32-

Sabbath, March 10,1984

Lesson 10

WARS OF CONQUEST

"The Lord promised Joshua that He would be with him as He had been with
Moses, and He would make Canaan an easy conquest to him, provided he would
be faithful to observe aU His commandments."-Testimonies, vol. 4, pp. 156, 157.

KEY TEXT:

"As the Lord commanded Moses his servant, so did Moses command
Joshua, and so did Joshua; he left nothing undone of all that the Lord
commanded Moses" (Joshua 11:15).

o Sunday

Confederacy ofNorthern Tribes

March 4
1.

What happened to southern Canaan soon after the victory at Beth-horon?
Joshua 10:40-43.

"The victory at Beth-horon was speedily followed by the conquest of southern
Canaan." -Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 510.
2.

What did the tribes of northern Canaan do when they heard of the success
obtained by the Hebrew armies? Joshua 11:1-4.

"The tribes of northern Palestine, terrified at the success which had attended the
armies of Israel, now entered into a league against them. At the head of this confederacy was Jabin, king of Hazor, a territory to the west of Lake Merom."-Patriarchs and
Prophets, p. 510.

God Gives Victories to His People

o Monday
March 5

3.

How did the Lord encourage Joshua, and how did He give the Israelites victory
over Jabin and his allies? Joshua 11:5-8.

"Near Lake Merom he [Joshua] fell upon the camp of the allies and utterly routed
their forces. 'The Lord delivered them into the hand of Israel, who smote them, and
chased them ... until they left them none remaining.' The chariots and horses that
had been the pride and boast of the Canaanites were not to be appropriated by Israel.
At the command of God the chariots were burned, and the horses lamed, and thus
rendered unfit for use in battle. The Israelites were not to put their trust in chariots or
horses, but 'in the name of the Lord their God.' "-Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 510.
4.

What was the fate of Hazor, the stronghold of the confederacy? Joshua 11:10,
11.

- 33-

God Gives Victories to His People (continued)

o Tuesday
March 6

5.

What treatment was given to the confederated kings and their cities? Joshua
11:12.

"One by one the cities were taken, and Hazor, the stronghold of the confederacy,
was burned." -Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 510.
6.

What were the Israelites permitted to do with the valuables and livestock
taken from these doomed cities? Joshua 11:14.

D Wednesday

Hostility of the Wicked Cities

March 7
7.

What is reported about all the cities of Canaan in contrast to the Gibeonites
(or Hivites)? Joshua 11:19.

8.

What cities were not destroyed at the very beginning? Joshua 11:13.

o Thursday

A Cautious Plan

March 8
9.

When the Lord promised to rid Canaan of all the wicked nations that dwelt
therein, what plan did He put before the Israelites? Against what danger did
He caution them? Deuteronomy 7:21-23. How long did the war last before
the Israelites became masters of Canaan? Joshua 11:18.

"The war was continued for several years, but its close found Joshua master of
Canaan....
"But though the power of the Canaanites had been broken, they had not been fully
dispossessed. On the west the Philistines still held a fertile plain along the seacoast,
while north of them was the territory of the Sidonians. Lebanon also was in the possession of the latter people; and to the south, toward Egypt, the land was still occupied
by the enemies of Israel." -Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 510, 511.
10. What did Israel enjoy when a large part of Canaan was under their control?
Joshua 11:16,23. Whose plan and instruction had joshua actually followed
in the conquest of Canaan? Joshua 11:15.

D Friday

Recapitulation

March 9
a.
b.

What is written about the new confederacy that was formed against the
Israelites after their victory in southern Palestine?
Describe in a few words the victory of the Hebrew armies over the northern
confederation.

c.

What was the name of the stronghold of the northern confederation? What
happened to that city?

. d.

What contrast was seen between Gibeon and the other cities in Canaan, in
their attitude toward God, His law, and His people?
Why would it have been strategically wrong for Israel to conquer all Canaan
at once?

e.

- 34-

Lesson 11

Sabbath, March 17,1984

THE DIVISION OF CANAAN
"Notwithstanding God's promise, they [the faithless and rebels] had declared that
it was impossible to inherit Canaan, and they did not possess it. But those who
trusted in God, looking not so much to the difficulties to be encountered as to the
strength of their Almighty Helper, entered the goodly land."-Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 513.

KEY TEXT:

"As the Lord commanded Moses, so the children of Israel did, and they
divided the land" (Joshua 14:5).

o Sunday

A New Task Before Joshua

March 11
1.

When the people of Israel were able to rest from war, before the whole land
was conquered, what command did the Lord give to Joshua? Joshua 13:1,6
(last part). What did he do with the help of his assistants? Joshua 14:5.

"Joshua was not ... to continue the war. There was another work for the great
leader to perform before he should relinquish the command of Israel. The whole land,
both the parts already conquered and that which was yet unsubdued, was to be apportioned among the tribes. And it was the duty of each tribe to fully subdue its own inheritance. If the people should prove faithful to God, He would drive out their enemies
from before them; and He promised to give them still greater possessions if they would
but be true to His covenant." -Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 511.
2.

To whom had the division of the land been entrusted? Numbers 34:17, 18;
Joshua 14:1.

"To Joshua, with Eleazar the high priest, and the heads of the tribes, the distribution of the land was committed, the location of each tribe being determined by lot."Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 511.

Plans and Instructions Handed Down in Advance

o Monday
March 12

3.

Who had fixed the borders of the land in advance? Numbers 34:1-12.

4.

How was the location of each tribe to be determined? Numbers 26:55,56.

Plans and Instructions Handed Down in Advance (continued)

o Tuesday
March 13

5.

In the distribution of the land, what rule was to be followed respecting the
size of each tribe? Numbers 26:54.

- 35-

6.

What inheritance was assigned to the Levites? Numbers 18:20,21; 35:1,2,
7,8.

"The tribe of Levi, being devoted to the sanctuary service, was not counted in
this allotment; but forty-eight cities in different parts of the country were assigned the
Levites as their inheritance." -Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 511.

Territorial Distribution

D Wednesday
March 14

7.

What claim did the children of Joseph make in consideration of their numbers? Joshua 17:14. What answer did Joshua give them? Joshua 17:15-18.

"In consideration of their superior numbers, these tribes [Ephraim and the half
tribe of Manasseh] demanded a double portion of territory. The lot designated for them
was the richest in the land, including the fertile plain of Sharon; but many of the principal towns in the valley were still in possession of the Canaanites, and the tribes shrank
from the toil and danger of conquering their possessions, and desired an additional
portion in territory already subdued. The tribe of Ephraim was one of the largest in
Israel, as well as the one to which Joshua himself belonged, and its members naturally
regarded themselves as entitled to special consideration. 'Why hast thou given me
but one lot and one portion to inherit,' they said, 'seeing I am a great people?' But no
departure from strict justice could be won from the inflexible leader." -Patriarchs and
Prophets, p. 513.

"Their evident desire to shun hardship and danger was firmly met by Joshua. 'Thou
art a great people, and hast great power,' he said; 'thou shalt drive out the Canaanites,
though they have iron chariots, and though they be strong.' Thus their own arguments
were turned against them. Being a great people, as they claimed, they were fully able
to make their own way, as did their brethren. With the help of God they need not fear
the chariots of iron." -Ibid., p. 514.
8.

Which tribes were located: (a) on the east side of the Jordan; (b) on the west
side of the Jordan? (For the division of Canaan among the twelve tribes, see
map in the back of your Bible.) Numbers 34:14, 15; Joshua 13:7, 8.

"Two of the tribes of Israel, Gad and Reuben, with half the tribe of Manasseh,
had received their inheritance before crossing the Jordan. To a pastoral people, the
wide upland plains and rich forests of Gilead and Bashan, offering extensive grazing
land for their flocks and heards, had attractions which were not to be found in Canaan
itself, and the two and a half tribes, desiring to settle here, had pledged themselves to
.furnish their proportion of armed men to accompany their brethren across the Jordan
and to share their battles till they also should enter upon their inheritance. The obligation had been faithfully discharged." -Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 517.

o Thursday

The Headquarters

March 15
9.

What place was the headquarters of the nation for some time? Joshua 4:19;
9:6; 10:6 (first part).

10. After the claim of the children of Joseph was settled, to what location was
the tabernacle moved? Joshua 18:1. Why? How long did it remain there?

- 36-

"Heretofore Gilgal had been the headquarters of the nation and the seat of the
tabernacle. But now the tabernacle was to be removed to the place chosen for its permanent location. This was Shiloh, a little town in the lot of Ephraim. It was near the
center of the land, and was easy of access to all the tribes. Here a portion of country
had been thoroughly subdued, so that the worshipers would not be molested. 'And
the whole congregation of the children of Israel assembled together at Shiloh, and set
up the tabernacle of the congregation there.' The tribes that were still encamped when
the tabernacle was removed from Gilgal followed it, and pitched near Shiloh. Here
these tribes remained until they dispersed to their possessions.
"The ark remained at Shiloh for three hundred years, until, because of the sins of
Eli's house, it fell into the hands of the Philistines, and Shiloh was ruined. The ark
was never returned to the tabernacle here, the sanctuary service was finally transferred
to the temple at Jerusalem, and Shiloh fell into insignificance. There are only ruins to
mark the spot where it once stood." -Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 514.

o Friday

Recapitulation

March 16
a.
b.
c.
d.
e.

What important work was to be done before the rest of Canaan should be
conquered?
What plans and instructions had been handed down in advance for the division
of Canaan?
Since no land was assigned to the Levites, what compensation was given them?
What was their occupation?
On which side of the Jordan were the tribes of Reuben and Gad and half the
tribe of Manasseh located?
Mention the three successive centers of worship of the Israelites in conquered
Canaan.

- 37-

Lesson 12

Sabbath, March 24, 1984

THE CITIES OF REFUGE

"The cities of refuge appointed for God's ancient people were a symbol of the refuge provided in Christ."-Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 516.

KEY TEXT:

"The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of
trouble" (Psalm 9:9).

o Sunday

A Special Provision

March 18
1.

What provision was made in behalf of involuntary killers? Numbers 35:9-12;
Joshua 20:1-3.

2.

How many cities of refuge were assigned? Where? Numbers 35:13,14. Give
the names of those cities. Joshua 20:7,8.

"Six of the cities assigned to the Levites-three on each side of the Jordan-were
appointed as cities of refuge, to which the manslayer might flee for safety. The appointment of these cities had been commanded by Moses, 'that the slayer may flee thither,
which killeth any person at unawares. And they shall be unto you cities for refuge,' he
said, 'that the manslayer die not, until he stand before the congregation in judgment.'
Numbers 35: 11, 12." -Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 515.

o Monday

Why and How

March 19
3.

Why were those cities necessary and who was entitled to take refuge therein?
Numbers 35:15.

"This merciful provision was rendered necessary by the ancient custom of private
vengeance, by which the punishment of the murderer devolved on the nearest relative
or the next heir of the deceased. In cases where guilt was clearly evident it was not
necessary to wait for a trial by the magistrates. The avenger might pursue the criminal
anywhere and put him to death wherever he should be found. The Lord did not see fit
to abolish this custom at that time, but He made provision to ensure the safety of those
who should take life unintentionally." -Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 515.
4.

How were those cities distributed? What procedure was to be followed? Joshua
20:4-6 (first part). What distinction was made between willful murder and
involuntary manslaughter? Numbers 35:16-24.

"The cities of refuge were so distributed as to be within a half day's journey of
every part of the land. The roads leading to them were always to be kept in good repair;
- 38-

all along the way signposts were to be erected bearing the word 'Refuge' in plain, bold
characters, that the fleeing one might not be delayed for a moment. Any personHebrew, stranger, or sojourner-might avail himself of this provision. But while the
guiltless were not to be rashly slain, neither were the guilty to escape punishment. The
case of the fugitive was to be fairly tried by the proper authorities, and only when found
innocent of intentional murder was he to be protected in the city of refuge. The guilty
were given up to the avenger. And those who were entitled to protection could receive
it only on condition of remaining within the appointed refuge." -Patriarchs and Prophets, pp.
515, 516.

o Tuesday

Specific Rules

March 20
5.

What was the rule in case of trial for murder? Numbers 35:30. As far as the
number of witnesses is concerned, what rule was repeated in the New Testament? Matthew 18:16; 1 Timothy 5:19.

"In a trial for murder the accused was not to be condemned on the testimony of
one witness, even though circumstantial evidence might be strong against him.... It
was Christ who gave to Moses these directions for Israel; and when personally with His
disciples on earth, as He taught them how to treat the erring, the Great Teacher repeated the lesson that one man's testimony is not to acquit or condemn. One man's
views and opinions are not to settle disputed questions. In all these matters two or
more are to be associated, and together they are to be~r the responsibility, 'that in the
mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.' Matthew 18:16."Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 516.

6.

On what condition was the involuntary manslayer protected from the reveng·
er? Numbers 35:25-28. When was he free to go home under the protection of
the law?

"Should one wander away beyond the prescribed limits, and be found by the avenger of blood, his life would pay the penalty of his disregard of the Lord's provision. At
the death of the high priest, however, all who had sought shelter in the cities of refuge
were at liberty to return to their possessions." -Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 516.

o Wednesday

A Symbol

March 21
7.

Who is our refuge under the new dispensation? Psalm 9:9. Of what were the
ancient cities of refuge a symbol? Romans 8:1. What else did the cities of refuge symbolize?

"The same merciful Saviour who appointed those temporal cities of refuge has by
the shedding of His own blood provided for the transgressors of God's law a sure retreat, into which they may flee for safety from the second death. No power can take
out of His hands the souls that go to Him for pardon." -Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 516.
"The church is God's fortress, His city of refuge, which He holds in a revolted
world."-The Acts oj the Apostles, p. 11.

8.

What lesson is to be learned from the fact that, under the arrangement in ancient Israel, the prisoner was safe only while he remained within the city of
refuge? John 15:4, 7; Hebrews 10:26,27.

- 39-

"The prisoner who at any time went outside the city of refuge was abandoned to
the avenger of blood. Thus the people were taught to adhere to the methods which infinite wisdom appointed for their security. Even so, it is not enough that the sinner believe in Christ for the pardon of sin; he must, by faith and obedience, abide in Him."Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 517.

No Atonement or Ransom for Murder

o Thursday
March 22

9.

What law had God announced right after the Flood? Genesis 9:6.

10. What law was enforced by the Lord, among the Israelites, for the protection
of society? Numbers 35:31-34.

"If the one tried for murder were proved guilty, no atonement or ransom could
rescue him. 'Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed.' Genesis
9:6. 'Ye shall take no satisfaction for the life of a murderer, which is guilty of death:
but he shall be surely put to death.' 'Thou shalt take him from Mine altar, that he may
die,' was the command of God; 'the land cannot be cleansed of the blood that is shed
therein, but by the blood of him that shed it.' Numbers 35:31,33; Exodus 21:14. The
safety and purity of the nation demanded that the sin of murder be severely punished.
Human life, which God alone could give, must be sacredly guarded." -Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 516.

o Friday

Recapitulation

March 23
a.
b.
c.

What protection did the Lord require for those involved in accidental manslaughter?
After the manslayer was tried by the authorities, what two possibilities stood
before him?
What specific rule was to be followed: (a) by the judicial authorities, (b) by the
manslayer if found innocent?

d.

Give the symbolic meanings of the cities of refuge.

e.

What punishment did God establish for murder in order to restrict the number of murderers and assure society more protection?

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Lesson 13

Sabbath, March 31,1984

THE LAST WORDS OF JOSHUA

"When Joshua was nearing the close of his life he took up a review of the past for
two reasons-to lead the Israel of God to gratitude for the marked manifestation
of God's presence in all their travels, and to lead them to humility of mind under
a sense of their unjust murmurings and repinings and their neglect to follow out
the revealed will of God."-The SDA Bible Commentary [E.G. White Comments],
vol. 2, p. 1000.

KEY TEXT:

"Choose you this day whom ye will serve; ... as for me and my house,
we will serve the Lord" (Joshua 24:15).

o Sunday

A Solemn Gathering

March 25
1.

After Israel had ceased fighting the Canaanites, what condition did the nation
enjoy for some time? Joshua 23:1. What meeting did Joshua call, and how did
he exhort the people? Joshua 23:2-4.

"As Joshua felt the infirmities of age stealing upon him, and realized that his work
must soon close, he was filled with anxiety for the future of his people. It was with more
than a father's interest that he addressed them, as they gathered once more about their
aged chief. 'Ye have seen,' he said, 'all that the Lord your God hath done unto all these
nations because of you; for the Lord your God is He that hath fought for you.' Although
the Canaanites had been subdued, they still possessed a considerable portion of the
land promised to Israel, and Joshua exhorted his people not to settle down at ease and
forget the Lord's command to utterly dispossess these idolatrous nations." -Patriarchs
and Prophets. p. 521.

2.

What need did Joshua present before the people, and how did he encourage
them with God's promises? Joshua 23:5.

"The people in general were slow to complete the work of driving out the heathen.
The tribes had dispersed to their possessions, the army had disbanded, and it was
looked upon as a difficult and doubtful undertaking to renew the war." -Patn'archs and
Prophets. p. 521.

o Monday

A Cause-and-Effect Relationship

March 26
3.

What cause-and-effect relationship, as witnessed by the people, was again
emphasized by the aged leader? Joshua 23:14. As the Lord fulfilled His promises on condition of obedience, what would He also fulfill in case of disobedience? Joshua 23:15, 16. How does Satan deceive professed Christians?

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"Satan deceives many with the plausible theory that God's love for His people is
so great that He will excuse sin in them; he represents that while the threatenings of
God's word are to serve a certain purpose in His moral government, they are never to
be literally fulfilled. But in all His dealings with His creatures God has maintained the
principles of righteousness by revealing sin in its true character-by demonstrating
that its sure result is misery and death. The unconditional pardon of sin never has been,
and never will be. Such pardon would show the abandonment of the principles of righteousness, which are the very foundation of the government of God. It would fill the unfallen universe with consternation. God has faithfully pointed out the results of sin,
and if these warnings were not true, how could we be sure that His promises would be
fulfilled? That so-called benevolence which would set aside justice is not benevolence,
but weakness." -Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 522.
4.

Therefore, what fundamental requirement should always be kept in mind by
the people of God? Joshua 23:6-8, 11. What would happen if the Israelites
should unite with the idolaters? Joshua 23:12, 13. What is one of the greatest
dangers to the people of God today? 2 Corinthians 6: 14.

"One of the greatest dangers that besets the people of God today, is that of association with the ungodly; especially in uniting themselves in marriage with unbelievers.
With many, the love for the human eclipses the love for the divine. They take the first
step in backsliding by venturing to disregard the Lord's express command; and complete apostasy is too often the result. It has ever proved a dangerous thing for men to
carry out their own will in opposition to the requirements of God. Yet it is a hard lesson
for men to learn that God means what He says.
"As a rule, those who choose for their friends and companions, persons who reject Christ and trample upon God's law, eventually become of the same mind and spirit.
We should ever feel a deep interest in the salvation of the impenitent, and should manifest toward them a spirit of kindness and courtesy; but we can safely choose for our
friends only those who are the friends of God."- The SDA Bible Commentary [E.G. White Comments], vol. 2, p. 1000.

o Tuesday

Another Solemn Gathering

March 27
5.

When Joshua's end was drawing nigh, where did another gathering of all the
tribes of Israel take place? Joshua 24:1. Summarize· the first part of Joshua's
discourse. Joshua 24:2-13.

"Before the death of Joshua the heads and representatives of the tribes, obedient
to his summons, again assembled at Shechem. No spot in all the land possessed so
many sacred associations, carrying their minds back to God's covenant with Abraham
and Jacob, and recalling also their own solemn vows upon their entrance into Canaan.
Here were the mountains Ebal and Gerizim, the silent witnesses of those vows which
now, in the presence of their dying leader, they had assembled to renew. On every side
were evidences of what God had wrought for them; how He had given them a land for
which they did not labor, and cities which they built not, vineyards and oliveyards which
they planted not. Joshua reviewed once more the history of Israel, recounting the wonderful works of God, that all might have a sense of His love and mercy and might serve
Him 'in sincerity and in truth.' "-Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 522, 523.
6.

After his introduction, what appeal did Joshua make to all the people? Joshua
24: 14. Why was that appeal necessary?

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"By Joshua's direction the ark had been brought from Shiloh. The occasion was
one of great solemnity, and this symbol of God's presence would deepen the impression he wished to make upon the people. After presenting the goodness of God toward
Israel, he called upon them, in the name of Jehovah, to choose whom they would serve.
The worship of idols was still to some extent secretly practiced, and Joshua endeavored
now to bring them to a decision that should banish this sin from Israel." -Patriarchs and
Prophets, p. 523.

o Wednesday

A Serious Choice

March 28
7.

How did Joshua challenge the people to make their definite choice? In what
words did he announce his stand? Joshua 24:15.

"The aged leader urged the people to consider, in all its bearings, what he had set
before them, and to decide if they really desired to live as did the degraded idolatrous
nations around them. If it seemed evil to them to serve Jehovah, the source of power,
the fountain of blessing, let them that day choose whom they would serve-'the gods
which your fathers served,' from whom Abraham was called out, 'or the gods of the
Amorites, in whose land ye dwell.' These last words were a keen rebuke to Israel. The
gods of the Amorites had not been able to protect their worshipers. Because of their
abominable and debasing sins, that wicked nation had been destroyed, and the good
land which they once possessed had been given to God's people. What folly for Israel
to choose the deities for whose worship the Amorites had been destroyed! 'As for me
and my house,' said Joshua, 'we will serve Jehovah.' The same holy zeal that inspired
the leader's heart was communicated to the people." -Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 523.
8.

What response did Joshua's appeal call forth? Joshua 24:16-18.

o Thursday

The Covenant Renewed

March 29
9.

How did Joshua point out to the people that, in themselves, they had no power
to render obedience to God? Joshua 24:19, 20. How much can we do without
Christ? John 15:5.

"Before there could be any permanent reformation the people must be led to feel
their utter inability in themselves to render obedience to God. They had broken His
law, it condemned them as transgressors, and it provided no way of escape. While
they trusted in their own strength and righteousness, it was impossible for them to
secure the pardon of their sins; they could not meet the claims of God's perfect law,
and it was in vain that they pledged themselves to serve God. It was only by faith in
Christ that they could secure pardon of sin and receive strength to obey God's law.
They must cease to rely upon their own efforts for salvation, they must trust wholly in
the merits of the promised Saviour, if they would be accepted of God." -Patriarchs and
Prophets, p. 524.

10. After having been cautioned against making a vow which they would not be
prepared to fulfill, how did the people of Israel reiterate their pledge of loyalty
to God? Joshua 24:21. What covenant did they renew with the Lord? Joshua
24:22-25. What did Joshua, then, record in the book of the law, and what
token of remembrance did he set up at Shechem? Joshua 24:26-28.

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"Joshua's work for Israel was done. He had 'wholly followed the Lord;' and in the
book of God he is written, 'The servant of Jehovah.' The noblest testimony to his character as a public leader is the history of the generation that had enjoyed his labors:
'Israel served the Lord all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that overlived Joshua.' "-Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 524.

o Friday

Recapitulation

March 30
a.
b.
c.
d.
e.

Why did Joshua have to remind the people of Israel, vehemently, that it was
their duty to conquer the rest of the promised land?
How did the danger pointed out in 2 Corinthians 6:14 affect God's people in
the past? How does it affect them today?
Does Joshua's appeal in Joshua 24:14 apply also to us today? How?
What challenge shows that we cannot serve the Lord and at the same time
love the world?
What is recorded about the spiritual condition of Israel during all the days of
Joshua? What does the testimony in Joshua 24:31 suggest concerning the
character of Joshua?

Today the 13th Sabbath offering for Soweto will be taken.
Are you prepared to help the
brethren in South Africa with
their project? Let us give liberally
for

the construction

of the

Soweto church building.
Details on pages 4 and 48.

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-47 -

I

"

WALVIS BAY

ATLANTIC
OCEAN
SALDANHA
BAY

INDIAN
OCEAN

The arrow indicates the general area of the township of Soweto where it is planned to
erect a church building. See page 4 for details.