Joshua, Chapter 8

- ע נ ו -

The Ceremony on Mount Gerizim and Mount Ebal

Once Achan is caught, Joshua embarks on a second attempt to conquer Ai. This time, he employs a strategy of distraction, positioning a small contingent to approach and entice the enemy to come out. This contingent then chases after the people, while the rest of Joshua’s army storms the city and burns it. The armed men of Ai are left demoralized and surrounded. The Israelites finally attack and defeat them.

Joshua upholds Moses’ instruction to renew the covenant with God on Mount Gerizim and Mount Ebal. He builds an altar on Mount Ebal, writes on its stones a copy of Moses’ law, and offers sacrifices. Six tribes stand on Mount Gerizim and the other six on Mount Ebal. The Levites walk in the valley between them, carrying the Ark of the Covenant, blessing those who fulfill God’s commandments and cursing those who violate them. The ceremony on Mount Gerizim and Mount Ebal is an expression of thanksgiving to God for the grace shown to Joshua and the Israelites. We must appreciate every new day, even when we experience difficulties or failures. Our default attitude should always be one of optimism and gratitude.

“And the ambush arose quickly out of their place, and they ran as soon as he had stretched out his hand: and they entered into the city, and took it, and hasted and set the city on fire” (Joshua 8:19)

“and the people that fled to the wilderness turned back upon the pursuers…” (Joshua 8:20)

“and they smote them, so that they let none of them remain or escape” (Joshua 8:22)

“together, to fight with Joshua and with Israel, with one accord” (Joshua 9:2)

 “and took old sacks upon their asses, and wine bottles, old, and rent, and bound up; And old shoes and clouted upon their feet, and old garments upon them; and all the bread of their provision was dry and mouldy” (Joshua 9:4-5)

Gratitude and appreciation for everything, even when especially difficult or challenging, is the only way to reveal blessings.