Recently, I have picked up to resume where I stopped reading – right after the first 5 books of the Tanakh. I felt I need to re-read the Tanakh to see if my view of the scriptures has changed whatsoever – or maybe I can bring more clarity now by reading as someone less doctrinated – with simple eyes.
I just finished reading Joshua and 9 chapters of Judges – and my view on those books is quite simple – they are ‘war books’ (in a nutshell). They seem to be Jewish history about war for the land of Canaan framed within the promises to Moses (and the law) – but mainly describe the people, territories, and situations they are found ‘fighting’ in.
It’s a fun read and all (I’ll try to finish Judges today or tomorrow) but I have found very little ‘teachings’ within the 2 books thus far. For Joshua it seems like a recant of the victories on way to taking all of Canaan (which does not happen by the end of the book). Then Judges starts with that premise (chapter 1 is a re-hash of Joshua) and the Israelites having ‘mini battles’ for the rest of the land. The story usually goes (in Judges) the Israelites worshipped idols, they got ruled by another one of the people groups around them, then a ‘judge’ stood up for the people and freed them (from this bondage), and the land had peace again.
I just don’t find the need to base teachings out of these books to be perfectly honest – there seems to be very little of that being done. It seems more Jewish writing about history and the wars they fought within that land. If you think about it – Jesus does not mention any of these stories in his teachings (or characters). Were these books that mentioned in the synagogue or were they plainly known to be a Jewish historical (of sorts) recant of those battles alone? I have to lean to the latter from some simple reading of it.