Archive for the 'unity of the Bible' Category
Posted by Pastoral Musings on 22nd August 2011
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Giberson then wrote: “The Bible is not a book. It is a library — dozens of very different books bound together. The assumption that identifying one part as fiction undermines the factual character of another part is ludicrous. It would be like going into an actual physical library and saying ‘Well, if all these books about Harry Potter are fictional, then how do I know these other books about Abraham Lincoln are factual? How can Lincoln be real if Potter is not?’ And then ‘Aha! I have got you! So much for your library.’”
That is an amazing and deeply troubling paragraph. Giberson uses the metaphor of the Bible as a library of books — a metaphor popularized by emergent church author Brian McLaren. But Giberson then goes where many others lack the courage and candor to go — he is ready to identify part of the Bible as “fiction.” In his words, “The assumption that identifying one part as fiction undermines the factual character of another part is ludicrous.”
What can his argument mean but that Adam is to be understood as like Harry Potter, a fictional character, while Jesus is like Abraham Lincoln, an historical figure who really existed?
via Baptist Press – ADAM & EVE: Controversy heats up – News with a Christian Perspective.
I’ll not say much about the issue of Adam and Eve at the present, though I am building a case for their existence.
What I shall say is that it seems that there is a faulty presupposition underlying the idea that the Bible is a library, and thus one cannot expect to find all books to be alike. The presupposition is that the Bible is to be treated and viewed as any other book. In reality the Bible is not just another book, nor is it just another library.
The Bible is not a disjointed set of books that has somehow managed to be compiled and called a book. The Bible is a thematically united book of books. It is a theological library. It is not a smorgasbord of books, but a carefully chosen library that declares to us the one true God who created all things for His glory.
With this in mind, see this and look for a continuation of the series as I work to show how the themes unite the whole of the library of books into one Bible.
Tags: Adam Eve
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Posted by Pastoral Musings on 10th May 2011
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Praise is a prevalent thing in the Psalms, which is not surprising. Psalm 50:1-23;53:6;57:7-11;69:30-36 call on us to praise YHWH, because He is glorious and worthy.
Psalm 74:1-23 is a prayer for help that is based upon faith in YHWH being Creator, and thus omnipotent. This continues the theme of creation and YHWH as the one true God.
In Psalm 79:9 there is a prayer for deliverance so that YHWH would be glorified. Exodus 9:16;33:18-20;34:1-7;Numbers 14:21
Psalm 81:8-16 is a diatribe against idolatry that reminds us the YHWH is the one true God.
Psalm 81:9-10 reminds Israel that YHWH proved Himself the one true God in the Exodus, thus they should pray to Him.
Psalm 81:13-16 reminds Israel that, if they would worship YHWH, they would continue to experience blessing.
A post-exilic Psalmist writes about the covenant with David in Psalm 89:1-52 (cf 2Samuel 7:1-26). He writes of the glory of YHWH, who made the covenant with David, that the Davidic covenant is eternal, and prays to YHWH because Israel forsook Him and are longing to experience the joys of the fulfilled Davidic covenant.
Psalm 95:1-11 returns to the refrain that the one true God who created all things should be worshiped.
Psalm 96:5 returns to the proclamation that YHWH is the one true God.
Psalm 106:1-8 shows that Israel sinned, but YHWH saved them for the glory of His name. Based upon YHWH’s passion for His glory, the Psalmist prays for deliverance that Israel may once again praise Him.
The Psalmist once again declares YHWH’s passion for His glory in all that He does. Psalm 111:1-4
Psalm 115:1-3 continues the theme of the exaltation of YHWH in His independence and sovereignty as the one true God.
Psalm 128:1-6 presents to us the blessing once again.
Once again we meet YHWH in song as the one true God, Creator, and deliverer. Psalm 135:5-13
Psalm 148:1-14 is a call to worship YHWH, the one true God, Creator, and Sustainer of all.
Tags: Bible themes, covenants, David, Davidic line, exodus, God, inerrancy, Israel, Psalm, Tetragrammaton, unity of the Bible
Posted in Bible, Bible Themes, biblical criticism, covenants, creation, depravity, doctrinal issues, doctrine, exegesis, Fundamentals, hermeneutics, higher criticism, Inerrancy, liberalism, Old Testament, origins, Scripture, themes, theology, unity of the Bible | Comments Off
Posted by Pastoral Musings on 9th May 2011
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As the study of the unity of the Bible continues, we find that the sacred Psalter gives us a grand overview of the themes that tie the Old Testament together. We shall also find that the New Testament uses the Psalms to tie the Old and The New Testaments together, but that is something to deal with at another time.
Interestingly enough, just as the interaction between God and man begins with blessing and then to cursing, so does the Psalter. Psalm 1:1-6 presents to us the theme of blessing that comes to the one who takes pleasure in God and His Word. Cursing and destruction belong to the one who does not do so. This theme, you will recall, was repeated throughout the ministry of Moses (Deuteronomy chapters 27-28 ).
Psalm 2:1-12 presents to us the Son of God, thus continuing the theme of the seed/savior that began in Genesis 3:15, was repeated to Abraham in Genesis 12:1-3;15:1-6;22:18, and to David in 2Samuel 7:1-26.
The blessing motif continues to be presented in the Psalter when we read that YHWH will bless the righteous (Psalm 5:12), and will surround him with grace (cf Genesis 6:8 ).
We also find man being exalted by his Creator in Psalm 8:1-9. We shall later see that the writer to the Hebrews links this Psalm to the promised seed (Hebrews 2:1-9).
Psalm 21:13 presents to us the self-sufficiency/all sufficiency of YHWH as His glory. Genesis 17:1;Exodus 3:13-25
The beloved Psalm 23:1-6 presents YHWH as the kind shepherd who leads His people for the glory of His name. Exodus 9:16;Numbers 14:21;Nehemiah 9:10
Psalm 24:1-10 presents YHWH as the Creator, thus continuing the theme of YHWH as the one true God. Genesis 1:1-2:25;14:17-24;Exodus 3:13-15
The end for which God created the world: His glory, is another theme that permeates Scripture and is found in Psalm 29:1-11.
The blessing motif arises again in Psalm 32:1-11. This time the blessing is not related to creation or covenant alone, but to the forgiveness of sins.
The Psalmist returns to the theme of creation and Creator by declaring that all was made by Divine fiat. Psalm 33:6-12
In the encouraging and comforting Psalm 46:1-11 we find that YHWH is our protector and preserver even if de-creation occurs. He speaks and commands that all know that He is the one true God. cf Genesis 1:1-28;Exodus 3:13-15;Deuteronomy 32:39-40
Psalm 50:1-23 is especially rich in terms of the theme of worship, as YHWH declares that He does not need our sacrifices, because all is His: the greatest sacrifice we can give is the act of worship that praises His name.
Tags: Bible themes, Book of Deuteronomy, Genesis 1:1, God, inerrancy, New Testament, Old Testament, Psalms, Psalter, Tetragrammaton, unity of the Bible
Posted in Bible, Bible Themes, covenants, creation, depravity, doctrinal issues, doctrine, exegesis, Fundamentals, hermeneutics, higher criticism, Inerrancy, liberalism, Old Testament, origins, Scripture, themes, theology, unity of the Bible | Comments Off
Posted by Pastoral Musings on 4th April 2011
As we continue to follow different themes throughout the Bible, we have come to the book of Job.
Thought by some to be among the most ancient of Scriptural books, Job is unique in its content. We find, however, that Job also has common biblical motifs in it.
- Job 1:1,8 Job an upright man who fears God and shuns evil.
- Job 1:6-12;2:1-6 Satan accuses Job of fearing God only because he is blessed of God. Genesis 1:26-28;2:7
- Job 6:8-9 Job’s desire is to be de-created. Genesis 1:1-2:7
- Job 10:8-9 Job recognizes God as his creator and desires to plead his case before Him. Genesis 1:1-2:7
- Job 13:1-18 Job rests in the righteousness of God. He is a just judge who will not judge as Job’s friends do. He will also find Job to be one whose life has not been such that would bring his present troubles upon himself as punishment.
- Job 14:1-16 Job acknowledges God as the Creator who has authority to call him out of this life when He chooses.
- Job 28:1-28 Job declares the greatness of the Creator and declares that wisdom is to fear God.
- Job 38:1-41:34 God reproves Job for questioning His wisdom as Creator. Genesis 1:1-2:25
- Job 42:1-10 Job vindicated before his friends, and he prays for them in their folly.
- Job 42:10-17 Job’s fortune and family returned to him and multiplied by God.
The themes that run through this book are: God is Creator, God is the wise and sovereign creator, and the righteous do experience the blessing of God.
Tags: Bible, Bible themes, Christianity, Creator deity, Genesis 1:1, God, Job, Religion & Spirituality, satan, unity of the Bible
Posted in Bible, Bible Themes, exegesis, Fundamentals, higher criticism, Inerrancy, liberalism, Old Testament, Scripture, themes, theology, Uncategorized, unity of the Bible | Comments Off
Posted by Pastoral Musings on 24th March 2011
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- Ezra 1:1-4 Cyrus acknowledges YHWH to be the One true God and makes a decree that the temple be rebuilt.
- Ezra 5:1-6:15 Adversaries seek to end the building of the temple in the days of Darius. Darius rules that the temple of the God of Heaven be rebuilt and that prayer be made to Him on behalf of Darius.
- Ezra 9:1-10:44 The people sinned by marrying into the idolatrous peoples of the land. Ezra’s zeal for the glory of YHWH and His worship prompts him to call the people to repent and put away their idol-worshiping wives. Cf Deuteronomy 7:1-11 Note: This is not an issue of ethnic purity, but purity of worship. YHWH is a jealous God who will not permit idolatry. Cf Exodus 34:14;Deuteronomy 4:24
- Nehemiah 4:2 Sanballat mocks Israel’s attempt to build Jerusalem. He wonders if the city can be revived out of the barrenness. Cf Genesis 1:1-2 where God fills the barren earth in the creation. Cf also the Exodus narrative.
- Nehemiah 9:1-10:30 Israel, upon hearing the Word of God, weeps and enters into a compact to keep covenant with God, because He is faithful. Recognizing the promises of YHWH, they commit themselves to following Him. Cf Exodus 24:3;Deuteronomy 30:1-20;Joshua 24:14-25;2Chronicles 34:14-33
- Nehemiah 13:1-31 Israel soon falls. This passage shows them to be in continuity with history both in the bad and the good.
- The book of Esther is unique among the books of the Bible. The whole point of the narrative, however, is to show the providence of God in preserving Israel and the seed of David from destruction so that the Messiah could come into the world through them.
- One very interesting point is seen in the fact that the book opens with Ahasuerus showing off the glory of his kingdom, but the book ends with YHWH advancing His own kingdom through the diminishing of Ahasuerus’ kingdom by the decree of the king. Not only was Israel preserved, but Mordecai was exalted as second to the king and in that position sought the wealth and advancement of Israel.
Tags: Ahasuerus, Bible themes, Bible unity, Book of Esther, Darius I of Persia, Ezra, God, Israel, Nehemiah, Religion & Spirituality, unity of the Bible
Posted in Bible, Bible Themes, exegesis, hermeneutics, Inerrancy, liberalism, Old Testament, Scripture, themes, theology, unity of the Bible | Comments Off
Posted by Pastoral Musings on 23rd March 2011
Covenant of Grace
If I recall correctly, there are some who call the Adamic, or Creation covenant a covenant of works. The reality is that it was a covenant of grace. In the garden all sorts of trees were planted. Everything that man could enjoy and eat was there. Man was given freedom to eat of everything in the garden except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. There was nothing that Adam deserved in the garden, so what he had must have been given to him by grace.
Man also could have continued in the garden by grace. All he had to do was believe God’s command concerning the tree of knowledge of good and evil, refrain from eating of it, and he could have eaten of the tree of life and lived forever. To remain in Eden and enjoy the blessings of the covenant, all Adam had to do was to continue trusting in the grace of God and enjoying Him through His gifts and His personal communion with man.
Man fell by works, but could have remained by grace.
What are your thoughts?
Tags: Adam, Christianity, Covenant theology, covenants, Divine grace, God, Tree of the knowledge of good and evil
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Posted by Pastoral Musings on 21st March 2011
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As much of what is in the Chronicles has already been covered in the four books of the Kings, I shall only give a brief overview of them.
- 1Chronicles 1:1-9:1 The genealogies recorded that they would not only keep track of their families inheritance, but that the seed of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Judah, and especially David would be recorded for the sake of keeping track in preparation for the coming of the promised seed. Cf Genesis 2:15;12:1-3;15:1-6;22:18;49:10;2Samuel 7:1-29
- 1Chronicles 10:13-14 The kingdom of Israel given to David. Chronicles chronicles the Davidic kingdom until the captivity. This is to show that YHWH graciously worked to keep His promise to Israel and David ( 2Samuel 7 )
- 1Chronicles 16:7-36 David’s psalm for the day the ark was returned to the tabernacle.
- :8 A call to worship, praise, and proclamation
- :11-33 A call to worship YWHW exclusively. To do so, they must remember God’s works, words, covenant, and promises.
- :34-36 Concluding call to worship: give thanks, call upon YHWH for deliverance to the end that He would be praised.
- 2Chronicles 2:3-9 Solomon to build a house for the name/fame of YHWH ( cf Exodus 3:13-15 ). It is to be a great house, because YHWH is the great God.
- 2Chronicles 6:12-42 Solomon’s prayer upon the dedication of the temple.
- :14 YHWH the only true God.
- :14-17 The (partial) fulfillment of the Davidic promise of 2Samuel 7.
- :18 The infinity of God: He cannot/does not physically live in a temple, or house of any kind. All the universe cannot contain Him. He fills heaven and earth.
- :19-40 A prayer for forgiving mercies when Israel fails YHWH, then returns to Him in prayerful repentance. Cf Leviticus 26:1-46;Deuteronomy 27:1-28:69;30:1-10
- 2Chronicles 36:14-21 Because of continued rebellion through idolatry and refusing to heed the voices of YHWH’s prophets, Israel is delivered into the control of Babylon to be carried into captivity.
The main point of the Chronicles, I believe, is to track the gracious work of YHWH in Israel and Judah; specifically in Judah and the Davidic line. All of this is for the purpose of showing how YHWH is going to bring the Messiah/promised Son-seed into the world through David.
See the first in this series of posts.
See all of this series.
Tags: Bible themes, Books of Chronicles, David, God, Israel, Israelite, Old Testament, solomon, Tetragrammaton, unity of the Bible
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Posted by Pastoral Musings on 7th March 2011
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- 1Samuel 1:1-2:11 Hannah, barren by providence, prays for a son. Eli assures he that she shall receive a son ( Cf Genesis 3:15 and the Son motif.). When the child, Samuel, is of age he is taken to the tabernacle. There Hannah gives him back to YHWH. While there, Hannah worships the LORD with great exultation, ascribing God-hood, wisdom, glory and sovereignty to Him alone. ( Cf Genesis 1:1-31; Exodus 3:13-15;15:11; Deuteronomy 32:39-40 )
- 1Samuel 2:12-16 The sons of Eli, the high priest, were wicked and did not worship YHWH. They did not discharge their duties as priests, either. A man of God rebuked Eli because of allowing these things to continue. Eli has chosen to honor his sons above YHWH, because he has not restrained them from their evils. He is told that YHWH honors those who honor Him, but those who dishonor Him will be despised ( 1Samuel 2:29-30 ). Eli is promised that judgment shall come upon his house so that there is no longer anyone in his family in the priesthood. A faithful priest will be raised up in the place of Eli. Most of this comes to pass when the ark of God is taken and Eli’s sons are killed in battle. Eli also dies. 1Samuel 4:1-22
- Theme: The jealousy of YHWH. Exodus 34:14;Deuteronomy 7:9-10
- 1Samuel 5:1-6:18 When the Philistines place the ark of God in the temple of Dagon, Dagon falls and is broken. This is a demonstration by YHWH that, though the Philistines were victorious over Israel in battle, YHWH is greater than Dagon. YHWH also plagues the Philistines, who decide to rid themselves of the ark, because they know that they cannot remain in the presence of YHWH.
- Theme: YHWH the one true God cf Genesis 1:1-31;Exodus 3:13-15;12:12
- 1Samuel 8:1-22 The monarchy begins under Saul.
- 1Samuel 12:22 Samuel assures Israel that YHWH will not cast them off for His name’s sake. Genesis 1:28;12:1-3;Exodus 9:16;12:12;Numbers 14:21)
- 1Samuel 13:14 YHWH’s search for a man. The man-seed/son motif.
- 1Samuel 15:22-23 Saul reminded that YHWH does not demand slavish, legalistic adherence to the law, but heartfelt worship and obedience. Cf Exodus 19:1-9;Deuteronomy 6:4-5;10:12-13
- 2Samuel 6:1-11 Uzzah slain for touching the ark of God cf Leviticus 10:1-3
- 2Samuel 7:1-29 David desires to build a house for YHWH, but YHWH declares that HE will build David’s house.
- The seed/son motif fulfilled in the family of David. The seed will have the kingdom and be established by God (:12). He will build a house for YHWH (:13). He will be the son of YHWH (:14). He will never be destitute of God’s mercy (:14-15). He will be king eternal, sitting on David’s throne (:16).
- 2Samuel 22:1-51 David’s song of praise:
- God is his rock Exodus 17:1-3;Numbers 20:1-29;Deuteronomy 32:4;2Samuel 22:32
- Just as YHWH called forth order out of the barrenness, light out of darkness, and dry land out of water, so He rescued David. ( Genesis 1:1-28 cf the Exodus out of Egypt)
- 1Kings 4:20 According to promise, Israel as many as the sand by the sea. Genesis 15:1-6;22:17
- 1Kings 8:1-66 The first temple of YHWH dedicated.
- Solomon prays. He acknowledges YHWH as the one true God (:22-23 Exodus 20:1-6;Deuteronomy 7:9-10;32:39-40) He recognizes the greatness of the omnipresent God (:27 Genesis 1:1) Solomon prays that YHWH will hear Israel in their day of trouble (:28 Deuteronomy 30:1-20). He expect Gentiles to hear of the glory of YHWH and become worshipers of Him (:41-43 Exodus 9:16;Numbers 14:21;Joshua 2:8-21). Solomon also desires that YHWH turn the hearts of the people to Himself (:57-58 Deuteronomy 29:4;30:6)
- 1Kings 9:1-9 Solomon warned against idolatry. (Exodus 20:1-6; Exodus 32; Deuteronomy 27&28) 1Kings 11:1-13 Solomon falls into idolatry due to disobeying and marrying foreign, idol worshiping wives who turned him away from YHWH.
- 1Kings 18 The contest between YHWH and Baal. YHWH proves that He is the one true God. (Exodus 12:12;15:11;Deuteronomy 32:39-40)
- 2Kings 1:1-17 Elijah rebukes Ahaziah for seeking to Baal instead of YHWH. Cf Exodus 20:1-6
- 2Kings 13:23 Israel delivered from Syria, because YHWH will keep His promise to Abraham, et all. (Genesis 12:1-3;15:1-21)
- 2Kings 19:34 YHWH promises to save Jerusalem from the Assyrians for David’s sake. (2Samuel 7) He also gives Hezekiah a lengthened life for David’s sake (2Kings 20:1-7)
Last post in this series: Judges-Ruth
First post in this series: Introductory post.
Tags: Bible themes, David, God, Israel, Israelite, solomon, Tetragrammaton, unity of the Bible
Posted in Bible, Bible Themes, exegesis, Fundamentals, hermeneutics, Inerrancy, liberalism, Old Testament, Scripture, themes, Uncategorized, unity of the Bible | 2 Comments »
Posted by Pastoral Musings on 25th February 2011
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Judges 2:1-23 As long as men lived who had seen the wondrous works of YHWH, Israel served Him. When those elders died, Israel fell into idolatry. This began a vicious cycle of enemies oppressing Israel, Israel crying for mercy, God helping and delivering them by their judges, Israel refusing to follow YHWH fiathfully. This cycle went on, and on, and on. Because of their failure to keep covenant with YHWH, not all Canaanites were dispossessed of their land.
Judges 3:1-7 Israel did not seek counsel from YHWH, but carelessly entered into a league with the Gibeonites. YHWH left some of the nations of Canaan to test Israel. Israel often chose to follow the gods of Canaan above YHWH.
Ruth 1:1-5 Elimelech and his family flee the famine in Bethlehem and go to Moab. Contrary to YHWH’s prohibition of marrying into idolatrous peoples, Elimelech’s sons marry Moabite women. Elimelech and his sons, Mahlon and Chileon, die. Their wives are left.
Ruth 1:6-22 Naomi determines to return to Bethlehem. Ruth accompanies her and is determined to be a worshiper of YHWH cf Ruth 2:11-12
Ruth 2:1-4:12 Boaz, a near kinsman, redeem the property of Naomi and Ruth, taking Ruth to be his wife.
Ruth 4:13-22 This couple is found to be the ancestors of David and, through him, the Messiah.
Though the days of the judges were idolatrous days, the book of Ruth shows us that there were those who still retained faith in YHWH and worshiped Him. In fact, Ruth’s conversion shows that there were some proselytes from among the Canaanites.
The book of Ruth also is a continuation of the theme of the son that began in Genesis 3:15. Ruth bears a son, the people rejoice, and that son is the grandfather of David, the ancestor of the Messiah.
Tags: Bethlehem, book of Judges, Book of Ruth, Israel, Israelite, Messiah, Moab, Tetragrammaton, YHWH
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Posted by Pastoral Musings on 15th February 2011
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Joshua is a sort of transitional book. The transition is from the wilderness to Canaan, and from Moses to Joshua. It is also a book of transition in the sense that, at the end, the leadership moves from Joshua to various judges. For a long period of time, Israel will not have a leader over all of the nation. The judges were often regional. There is also the transition from the faithful worship of YHWH to the failure to worship Him in the Judges.
- Joshua 1:7-9 YHWH promises Joshua that, if he will obey the law, he will be blessed and YHWH will prosper him as the leader of Israel. Cf Genesis 12:1-3;17:1-8;Exodus 19:6
- Joshua 2:8-11 The fame of YHWH heard in Jericho. Exodus 9:16
- Joshua 4:1-24 A pillar of stones erected on the bank of Jordan, and another in Jordan. This is for a memorial of God’s leading Israel on dry ground across the Red Sea as well as across Jordan. Exodus 9:16;13:1-16
- Joshua 7:1-26 Israel falls in Canaan (as did Adam in Eden, and Noah in the new earth after the flood. The temptation was similar (Joshua 7:21 I saw. I coveted. I took. Cf Genesis 3:1-6)
- Joshua 11:20 Peoples of Canaan conquered because of their sins (Genesis 15:16). A reminder of YHWH’s grace, because it was not because of Israel’s righteousness. Genesis 12:1-3;15:1-21;Deuteronomy 7:1-26;9:1-6
- Joshua 21:43-45 The Word of YHWH comes to pass as He promised.
- Joshua 23:1-16 Joshua commands the people to keep the law by worshiping YHWH only. He reminds them that blessing or cursing will come upon them based upon whether they worship YHWH or not. Genesis 1:26028;12:1-3;Deuteronomy 27:1-28:68
- Joshua 24:1-31 Joshua reminds Israel of their history and of God’s faithfulness, calling on them to worship Him with all of their hearts. The people pledge to worship YHWH. Joshua reminds Israel that YHWH is holy, unlike other gods, and will permit no other gods to be given the worship that is HIS due. Israel declares that YHWH is their God, and that they will cling to Him. Genesis 17:1;Exodus 34:14;Deuteronomy 4:24;6:4-5
At the end we are left knowing that Joshua has passed from the scene. The transition into the judges is taking place, and Israel will soon vacillate between faithfulness to YHWH and idolatry.
Tags: Bible themes, Canaan, exodus, God, Israel, Israelite, Jordan, Joshua, Red Sea, Tetragrammaton, unity
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