Good Riddance (Deuteronomy 33-34, Joshua 1-2)

Having gone out on a song (broadway-style), Moses somewhat unceremoniously goes up Mount Nebo (which has a very nice panoramic view of the land that he won’t be around to see his people inherit) and dies. I assumed he was in rough shape, being one hundred and twenty years old, but not so because “his eye was not dim; nor his natural force [semen] abated” (Deu 34:7). God thought he’d just shake up management, I guess. “We’re restructuring”.

In steps Joshua. He seems to be trying a little too hard and comes off as a bossypants. His first initiative is to send out spies to peruse the land God has been promising the Israelites (for like, ever). So he sends out these two jokers who wind up staying at a harlot’s house (“I swear all the inns were full!”). Turns out that she’s a pretty wily harlot, fortunately, because the king of Jericho comes searching for them (for trespassing?). The harlot hides them on the roof of her house – which would seem pretty conspicuous until she covers them with stalks of flax. Very smart. She’s probably harlot-ing to put herself through college.

I wanted to know the difference between a harlot and a whore, so I looked it up. A whore takes money; a harlot can, too, or is just promiscous and does it for free. So perhaps a harlot is a sporadically enterprising slut. Hmm.

These bumbling spies continue to be pursued as they check out their new digs. They use the harlot’s house as a safehouse and she – this is all her  – devises a way for them to get in and out in a clandestine manner. She ties a scarlet (no symbolism there) cord to her window for them to make use of. When the job’s done, they return to Joshua and hilariously try to sell him on the idea that they scared the shit out of everyone there: “Truly the Lord has given all the land in our hands; and moreover, all the inhabitants of the land are faint-hearted because of us.” (Jos 2:24). Whatever, guys.

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Published in: on April 19, 2011 at 7:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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