The TL:DR Bible – Joshua 14-24

Covering a lot of ground today, because it’s mostly just lists of places.


Chapter 14:

So they divided up the land. Then Caleb came to his bro, Josh, and said, “Remember how when we were spies, I really liked this plot of land and Moses promised it to me? Let me go and take it. Because even though I’m 85 now, I can still kick butt.”

Joshua said, “Sure.”

And Caleb went and killed the inhabitants of that plot of land, which were giants, and took it over.


Chapter 15:

Here’s the territory for the tribe of Judah. Caleb kills some more giants and takes their land. He offers up his daughter as a reward for someone capturing the city of Kiriath-sepher, someone does so, he marries Caleb daughter. Caleb’s daughter asks for a plot of land with a spring, and Caleb gives it to her.

And more descriptions of how much land Judah was allotted that goes on for another 40 verses, because this is all very important for us to know… oh, but Judah couldn’t take Jerusalem at that time. Which is weird seeing as how God is supposed to be fighting on their side. Maybe He was having an off day.


Chapter 16:

Here’s the land that the tribe of Ephraim got.

But they didn’t drive out all of the Canaanites. Was God on vacation?


Chapter 17:

And here’s all the land that Manasseh got.

And they couldn’t take some land either. Despite their best efforts, the Canaanites just kept trying to live. So they made them slaves, but didn’t kill them. Okay, maybe God was having a bad week.

Of note, the women who Moses promised they’d receive the land that would have been their fathers, take that plot of land, and Manasseh complains that to Josh that their land is too small, so Josh says, “Well, why don’t you go over there and kill those guys and take their land?” And they said, “Well, that’s not good, those guys have superior weapons and stuff.” And Josh said, “Eh, you can take ‘em.”


Chapter 18:

We get some hot surveyor action, as Josh asks the rest of the tribes why they’re all just standing around not doing anything, and he orders them to dispatch some land surveyors to roughly map out the country and then he’ll practice some divination to decide which tribe gets which plots of land. Remember, kids, magic is illegal and you should be stoned for doing it, but it’s okay if you’re magicking for Jehovah.

And here’s a list of all the land the Benjaminites get. I don’t know how I lived before without knowing this information.


Chapter 19:

And here’s the land that Simeon, Zebulun, Issachar, Asher, Naphtali, and Dan got.

Dan wasn’t really a tribe. He was just a guy walking by and he saw Joshua had a craps game going, so he stopped to put a bet on 7 and ended up with a giant plot of land.


Chapter 20:

They set up the cities of refuge where you could run if you accidentally killed someone. And they go over that concept for like the 20th time.

It’s not that I’m critical of the concept, but if God is really dictating these laws, He could have sat down Moses and explained the idea of the State’s monopoly on violence, a just legal system, a procedure for gathering evidence and deductive reasoning, and a court system where people accused of a crime could have their cases adjudicated without going before a bunch of priests who spend their days killing animals.

Or even just said, “Hey, if a guy kills someone by accident, no one gets to kill him intentionally or I’ll get all smitey.”


Chapter 21:

And here are all the cities that the Levites were given. And we end on a commentary that God gave them all the land He had promised and not one of His promises had failed. I don’t want to disagree with the writer, but you just laid out three examples where the tribes couldn’t kick the current residents out and take the land.


Chapter 22:

Josh: Hey, Reubanites, Gadites, and Manasseh people who aren’t staying here… you guys kept your promise. You crossed over to kill all the men, women, and children who lived here so your brothers could steal their stuff and live in their houses. The war is over, you guys can head on home, but be sure not to cheese off God… you know how He gets.

So they take their share of the looted goods and head back to their homes. But before crossing the Jordan, they build a large altar.

And the rest of Israel just loses their minds and decides to go and kill the Gadites, the Reubenites, and the Manasseh people. But first they send some envoys.

Envoys: Hey, you filthy apostate bastards, you built an altar to worship other gods and God will take it out on all of us. If you can’t stay faithful over there, come over to this side of the Jordan and we’ll give you land here.  Because you know God. He’s really big on collective punishment, as a loving and just God would be, right?

Reubanites, Gadites, and Manasseh: It’s a bloody memorial, you twits, not an altar. We built it so you guys remember that we’re a part of Israel too.

Envoys: Oh… awk-ward… uh, I guess we’re all good then… everyone go home. There will be no killing today.

“Awwww,” the army said.


Chapter 23:

Joshua: I’m old. So remember how God helped you kill all of these people and take their stuff and cities and worship Him only. But you probably won’t, so God will stop helping you and the surviving Canaanites will be a pain in your ass.

I’m dying now, so remember, if you screw it all up, God’s going to wreck you.


Chapter 24:

Josh recounts how God killed all of their enemies and people who had never heard of them and just wanted to live in peace, and calls the people to decide if they’ll serve the Lord or serve the other gods out there.

And I’ve got to say, I wouldn’t think it would be this much of a worry for them. I get that it was a different time and all, but I’ve never actually been really tempted to just go and change religions. Throw in a bunch of miracles and I think I’d be even less inclined to do so, but apparently, these guys view religion the way the rest of us view clothing.

“Honey, should we be Ba’al worshippers today or stick with Jehovah?”

“Jehovah and Ba’al are so last season. Everyone is worshipping the cow god now!”

But everyone agrees to worship Jehovah and that’ll last about until the next book starts.

And Joshua says, “You won’t be able to do it.”

Israel: No, we’re serious, we’ll totally stay faithful to God!

Josh: Well, you’re damning yourself then. Set up a memorial of stones, because they can hear your words… they’re always listening… always…

And Joshua died and they buried him. They also buried the body of Joseph. And Aaron’s son Eleazar dies and they bury him. The End.

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