Monday, January 23, 2012

Who drove the Anakim from Hebron?

Who drove the Anakim from Hebron?

Joshua - Joshua 11:21-23 -
21 And at that time cameJoshua, and cut off the Anakims from the mountains, from Hebron, from Debir, from Anab, and from all the mountains of Judah, and from all the mountains of Israel: Joshua destroyed them utterly with their cities.22 There was none of the Anakims left in the land of the children of Israel: only in Gaza, in Gath, and in Ashdod, there remained . 23 So Joshua took the whole land, according to all that the LORD said unto Moses; and Joshua gave it for an inheritance unto Israel according to their divisions by their tribes. And the land rested from war. (KJV)

21 At that time Joshua went and destroyed the Anakites from the hill country: from Hebron, Debir and Anab, from all the hill country of Judah, and from all the hill country of Israel. Joshua totally destroyed them and their towns. 22 No Anakites were left in Israelite territory; only in Gaza, Gath and Ashdod did any survive. 23 So Joshua took the entire land, just as the LORD had directed Moses, and he gave it as an inheritance to Israel according to their tribal divisions. Then the land had rest from war. (NIV)

Caleb - Joshua 15:13-14 -
13 And unto Caleb the son of Jephunneh he gave a part among the children of Judah, according to the commandment of the LORD to Joshua, even the city of Arba the father of Anak, which city is Hebron.14 And Caleb drove thence the three sons of Anak, Sheshai, and Ahiman, and Talmai, the children of Anak. (KJV)

13 In accordance with the LORD's command to him, Joshua gave to Caleb son of Jephunneh a portion in Judah--Kiriath Arba, that is, Hebron. (Arba was the forefather of Anak.)14 From Hebron Caleb drove out the three Anakites--Sheshai, Ahiman and Talmai--descendants of Anak. (NIV)

The first thought that came to me about this alleged contradiction was that credit was given to both men. This makes sense when you consider that Joshua was essentially the general and Caleb was the captain in this scenario. In warfare, the men who direct a successful campaign and the men who do the actual fighting both get credit for the victory.

Even if we do consider that as a reasonable explanation, reading the last part of Joshua 11:23 shows that the war ended. Why did Caleb continue to fight in chapter 15, then?

Chapters 12 -24 of Joshua actually coincide with the first part of verse 11:23. These chapters are an expanded account of what all took place to get the land to the point of rest. With that in mind, we can see that the two examples noted above are two accounts of the same military campaign.

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