John Mark Hicks Stepping into God’s Future (Joshua 3:1-17)

John Mark Hicks at LU 2014 Reviewed: Contemporary visitors to Palestine rarely, if ever, find the Jordan River imposing. It seems relatively shallow, not very wide, and quite calm.  Wading across does not seem like much of a problem–except that it would take one from the modern state of Israel into the modern state of Jordan or vice versa. The ramifications of that move might not be very pleasant. Today, the Jordan River itself poses no threat and prompts no fear.

There is no evidence that Joshua or the obedient army saw any threat nor were they fearful.

So, why did Israel linger three days at Jordan’s shore? Why were they intimidated by this river?  significant moment in the story of Joshua.

Josh. 1:9 Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage;
        be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed:
        for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.
Josh. 1:10   Then Joshua commanded the officers of the people, saying, 
Josh. 1:11 Pass through the host, and command the people,
        saying, Prepare you victuals;
        for within three days ye shall pass over this Jordan,
        to go in to possess the land, which the LORD your God giveth you to possess it. 
Rather than 600,000 men of war, David Ben-Gurion, notes that even 600 would constitute a logistical problem.  Jethro suggested a much smaller number over the whole exodus:
Ex. 18:21 Moreover thou shalt provide
        out of all the people
        able men, [Apt]
        such as fear God, [H337 yârê’ From H3372 ; fearing; morally reverent]:—
        men of truth, [stable, truth, trustworthy]
        hating covetousness; [unjust gain]
and place such over them, to be
        rulers of thousands,
        and rulers of hundreds,
        rulers of fifties, and 
        rulers of tens:
I would venture a guess as to why it took three days: it was not cowardice?  They probably needed three days to prepare the food to feed an army going into the land. Joshua didn't have any reason to worry about the river.
Josh. 1:12 And to the Reubenites, and to the Gadites, and to half the tribe of Manasseh, spake Joshua, saying, 
Josh. 1:13 Remember the word which Moses the servant of the LORD commanded you, saying,
        The LORD your God hath given you rest, and hath given you THIS land. 
Josh. 1:14 Your wives, your little ones, and your cattle,
        shall remain in the land which Moses gave you on this side Jordan;
        but ye shall pass before your brethren armed, all the mighty men of valour, and help them; 
Josh. 1:15 Until the LORD have given your brethren rest, as he hath given you,
        and they also have possessed the land which the LORD your God giveth them:
        then ye shall return unto the land of your possession, and enjoy it,
        which Moses the LORD’S servant gave you on this side Jordan toward the sunrising.

Rest means STOP the laded burden meaning the work of the Scribes and Pharisees Jesus called hypocrites. Christ in Ezekiel 33 names speakers for hire, singers and instrument players.  Rest means STOP IT: if it is the works of your hands or pen then God will burn it up.
2Th. 1:7 And to you who are troubled rest with us,
        when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,

Hebrews 4:3 For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world. 
Hebrews 4:4 For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works. 
Hebrews 4:5 And in this place again, If they shall enter into my rest. 
Hebrews 4:6 Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief: 
Hebrews 4:7 Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts. 

Hebrews 4:8 For if Jesus (Joshua) had given them rest,
        then would he not afterward have spoken of another day. 

Hebrews 4: 9 There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. 
Hebrews 4:10 For he that is entered into his rest,
        he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.

Joshua makes the initial number certain:
Josh. 4:10   For the priests which bare the ark stood in the midst of Jordan,
        until every thing was finished that the LORD commanded Joshua to speak unto the people,
        according to all that Moses commanded Joshua: and the people hasted and passed over. 
Josh. 4:11 And it came to pass, when all the people were clean passed over,
        that the ark of the LORD passed over, and the priests, in the presence of the people. 
Josh. 4:12 And the children of Reuben, and the children of Gad, and half the tribe of Manasseh,
         passed over armed before the children of Israel, as Moses spake unto them: 
Josh. 4:13 About forty thousand prepared for war passed over before the LORD unto battle,
        to the plains of Jericho. 

John Mark Hicks: And why is crossing the river such a big deal in the book of Joshua? In Joshua 3-4, the crossing is referenced twenty-one times! The Jordan River is mentioned seventy times in Joshua with twenty-eight of them in Joshua 3-4. It functions as a critical and significant moment in the story of Joshua.

One might suspect that it is because Joshua is preparing 40,000 warriors to cross into "enemy" territory knowing that they would have to fight every step.

Further, the songs and prophets of Israel regarded it as one of Yahweh’s great redemptive feats. In Micah 6:5, the movement from Shittim (east side of the Jordan) to Gilgal (west side of the Jordan) is one of the mighty acts of God! This moment in the history of Israel parallels the crossing of the Sea itself.

Repeating the return to paganism just after they had seen God's mighty signs and wonders, The Spirit OF Christ in Micah is defining the Jordan as a might act of signs and wonders which would be followed by the immediate fall into Canaanite Baalism. After all, Stephen in Acts 7 says that because of the musical idolatry rejecting God's Grace, God turned them over to worship the starry host.

Micah 6:1 Hear ye now what the LORD saith; Arise, contend thou before the mountains,
        and let the hills hear thy voice.
Micah 6:2 Hear ye, O mountains, the LORD’s controversy, and ye strong foundations of the earth:
        for the LORD hath a controversy with his people, and he will plead with Israel.
Micah 6:3 O my people, what have I done unto thee?
        and wherein have I wearied thee? testify against me.

This is what God did but the people didn't enter into God's Rest: they were being transported to Babylon because of musical idolatry or any kind of ACTS of religious observations to which the kingdom DOES NOT COME as it did not come to Israel.
Micah 6:4 For I brought thee up out of the land of Egypt,
        and redeemed thee out of the house of servants;
        and I sent before thee Moses, Aaron, and Miriam.
Micah 6:5 O my people, remember now what Balak king of Moab consulted,
        and what Balaam the son of Beor answered him from Shittim unto Gilgal;
        that ye may know the righteousness of the LORD.

Ate the sacrifices to Baal Per Hecate

Isaiah 1 and Jeremiah 7 says that God did NOT command animal sacrifices or burnt offerings when He saved them by Grace at the Red Sea and at the Jordan River:

Micah 6:6 Wherewith shall I come before the LORD, and bow myself before the high God?
         shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves of a year old?
Micah 6:7 Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil?
         shall I give my firstborn for my transgression,
         the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?


John Mark Hicks: Several features characterize the fellowship meals of Israel. First, it is a moment of communion between God and his people.

God eats with his people as the fat is burned to him.

God is present at this meal. It is eaten before the Lord as if God sits at the table with the worshipper.

Thus, worshippers eat with assurance, thanksgiving and confidence as they experience communion with God in this meal. God comes to the table with his people as he calls them to a table to experience his communion.

If I were hungry, I would not tell thee: for the world is mine, and the fulness thereof. Psa 50:12
.Will I eat the flesh of bulls, or drink the blood of goats? Psa 50:13

"a time for sharing, prayer and conversation about what God has done for us... (p. 188).

Earlier he calls it a "Jubilee festival" (p. 63).
He would have it observed with "
resounding jubilation or enthusiastic outbursts" (p. 97).

Dr. Terry Briley [published] "The book of Isaiah begins with an analysis of Israel's worship. Outwardly, there's nothing wrong. But their hearts are not engaged and their lives are disconnected from their worship. In the vision in chapter 6, Isaiah identifies himself as typical of the people," Briley said.

Micah 6:8 [BUT] He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good;
        and what doth the LORD require of thee,
        but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?

The Spirit OF Christ in Isaiah 1 and Jeremiah 7 says that God did NOT command animal sacrifices nor burnt offerings. God abandoned the Civil-Military-Clergy to worship the starry host.

Isa 1:11 To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the Lord:
        I am full of the burnt offerings of rams,
         and the fat of fed beasts;
         and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats.

Isa 1:12 When ye come to appear before me,
        who hath required this at your hand, to tread my courts?

Isa 1:16 Wash you, make you clean;
        put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes;
        cease to do evil;

Isa 1:17 Learn to do well;
        seek judgment, relieve the oppressed,
        judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.

Isa 1:18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord:
        though your sins be as scarlet,
        they shall be as white as snow;
        though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

Trust ye not in lying words, saying, The temple of the Lord, The temple of the Lord, The temple of the Lord, are these. Jeremiah 7:4

For if ye throughly amend your ways and your doings;
        if ye thoroughly
execute judgment between a man and his neighbour; Jeremiah 7:5 

If ye oppress not the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow,
shed not innocent blood in this place,
        neither walk after other gods to your hurt: Jeremiah 7:6 

Then will I cause you to dwell in this place, in the land that I gave to your fathers, for ever and ever. Jeremiah 7:7

Behold, ye trust in lying words, that cannot profit. Jeremiah 7:8

Will ye steal, murder, and commit adultery, and swear falsely,
burn incense unto Baal,
walk after other gods whom ye know not; Jeremiah 7:9

And come and stand before me in this HOUSE, which is called by my name, and say,
        We are delivered to do all these abominations? Jeremiah 7:10

> For I spake NOT unto your fathers, nor commanded them
        in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt,
       concerning burnt offerings or sacrifices: Jeremiah 7:22

BUT  this thing commanded I them, saying,
       Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people:
       and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you,
       that it may be well unto you. Jeremiah 7:23

God hath not said, thou shalt not sing and play instruments and pretend that you are worshiping Me.

> But they HEARKENED NOT, nor inclined their ear,
       but walked in the counsels and in the imagination of their evil heart,
       and went backward, and not forward. Jeremiah 7:2
Micah 6:9 The LORD’s voice crieth unto the city, and the man of wisdom shall see thy name:
        hear ye the rod, and who hath appointed it.
Micah 6:10 Are there yet the treasures of wickedness in the house of the wicked,
        and the scant measure that is abominable?
Micah 6:11 Shall I count them pure with the wicked balances,
        and with the bag of deceitful weights?
Micah 6:12 For the rich men thereof are full of violence,
        and the inhabitants thereof have spoken lies,
        and their tongue is deceitful in their mouth.
Micah 6:13 Therefore also will I make thee sick in smiting thee,
        in making thee desolate because of thy sins.
Micah 6:14 Thou shalt eat, but not be satisfied;
        and thy casting down shall be in the midst of thee;
        and thou shalt take hold, but shalt not deliver;
        and that which thou deliverest will I give up to the sword.
Micah 6:15 Thou shalt sow, but thou shalt not reap; thou shalt tread the olives,
        but thou shalt not anoint thee with oil; and sweet wine, but shalt not drink wine.
Micah 6:16 For the statutes of Omri are kept, and all the works of the house of Ahab,
        and ye walk in their counsels;
        that I should make thee a desolation, and the inhabitants thereof an hissing: therefore ye shall bear the reproach of my people.

        John Mark Hicks: "For the LORD your God dried up the waters of the Jordan for you until you crossed over,
        as the LORD your God did to the Red Sea, which he dried up for us until we crossed over, 
        so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the LORD is mighty,
        and so that you may fear the LORD your God forever.” (Joshua 4:23-24.)"
Josh. 4:20   And those twelve stones, which they took out of Jordan, did Joshua pitch in Gilgal.
Josh. 4: 21 And he spake unto the children of Israel, saying,
        When your children shall ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What mean these stones? 
Josh. 4:22 Then ye shall let your children know, saying, Israel came over this Jordan on dry land. 
Josh. 4:23 For the LORD your God dried up the waters of Jordan from before you,
        until ye were passed over, as the LORD your God did to the Red sea,
        which he dried up from before us, until we were gone over: 
Josh. 4:24 That all the people of the earth might know the hand of the LORD, that it is mighty:
         that ye might fear the LORD your God for ever.

What was the desired effect:

Josh. 5:1   And it came to pass, when all the kings of the Amorites, which were on the side of Jordan westward, and all the kings of the Canaanites, which were by the sea, heard that the LORD had dried up the waters of Jordan from before the children of Israel, until we were passed over, that their heart melted, neither was there spirit in them any more, because of the children of Israel. 

John Mark Hicks: When Joshua stood at the Jordan River, it was at flood stage. It was Spring (March-April) towards the end of the rainy season (Joshua 4:19). Coupled with the melting snows of Mount Hermon, the Jordan River became a formidable obstacle. Beck estimates that the water would have been 10-12 feet deep and as much as one hundred and forty feet wide. In those conditions, the Jordan’s “violent current” endangered lives. In fact, ancient Christian travelogues warned pilgrims that the current was strong, and occasionally pilgrims drowned in the Jordan. A thirteenth century letter complained that the Jordan was practically impassable. One nineteenth century explorer, William Lynch, related his harrowing experience on a riverboat where he feared for his life.

Josh. 3:14   And it came to pass, when the people removed from their tents, to pass over Jordan,
        and the priests bearing the ark of the covenant before the people; 
Josh. 3:15 And as they that bare the ark were come unto Jordan, and the feet of the priests that bare the ark were dipped in the brim of the water, (for Jordan overfloweth all his banks all the time of harvest,) 
Josh. 3:16 That the waters which came down from above stood and rose up upon an heap very far from the city Adam, that is beside Zaretan: and those that came down toward the sea of the plain, even the salt sea, failed, and were cut off: and the people passed over right against Jericho. 
Josh. 3:17 And the priests that bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD stood firm on dry ground in the midst of Jordan, and all the Israelites passed over on dry ground, until all the people were passed clean over Jordan.

John Mark Hicks: The crossing was so difficult and treacherous that the Greek general Bacchides refused to pursue the Jewish leader Jonathan across the river (1 Maccabees 9:48) while the Pereans decided to battle the Romans on the west bank of the river rather than cross it (Josephus, Wars, IV.7.5). Jonathan escaped but the Pereans were slaughtered.

6. Now this destruction that fell upon the Jews, as it was not inferior to any of the rest in itself, so did it still appear greater than it really was; and this, because not only the whole country through which they fled was filled with slaughter, and Jordan could not be passed over, by reason of the dead bodies that were in it, but because the lake Asphaltiris was also full of dead bodies, that were carried down into it by the river.

John Mark Hicks:Just as Assyrian generals listed river crossings as “renowned acts” in their reports, this crossing secures Joshua’s position as the successor of Moses. “That day,” Joshua 4:14 says, “the Lord exalted Joshua in the sight of all Israel.” More importantly, like at the Red Sea, Yahweh defeated the waters and redeemed Israel, and as a result Israel learned to “fear” the Lord (Exodus 14:31; Joshua 4:24).

Israel learned to fear the Lord at the Red Sea: they had Christ the Rock and Pillar to guide them. God gave them The Book of the Covenant of Grace which was Abrahamic.  They rose up (against God) to PLAY or engage in musical idolatry of the always-pagan triad under the golden calf. God gave them The Book of the Law and began to lead them into Assyrian and Babylonian captivity and death.


Exodus 32:33 And the LORD said unto Moses, Whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book. 
Exodus 32:34 Therefore now go, lead the people unto the place of which I have spoken unto thee:
         behold, mine Angel shall go before thee:
        nevertheless in the day when I visit I will visit their sin upon them. 
Exodus 32:35 And the LORD plagued the people,
        because they made the calf, which Aaron made.

ALL musical terms and names of instruments are derived from INTENTIONAL striking or smiting literally or emotionally:
per-cŭtĭo , (With the notion of the per predominating.) To strike through and through, to thrust or pierce through (syn.: percello, transfigo). to slay, killa vein is opened, blood is let,
To strike, play a musical instrument (poet.): “lyram,Ov. Am. 3, 12, 40; Val. Fl. 5, 100.— “percussisti me de oratione prolatā,


Amos 5:23 Take thou away from me the noise of thy [1] songs; for I will not hear the [2] melody of thy [3] viols. 
Amos 5:24 But let judgment run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream. 
Amos 5:25 Have ye offered unto me sacrifices and offerings in the wilderness forty years, O house of Israel? 
Amos 5:26 But ye have borne the tabernacle of your Moloch and Chiun your images,
        the star of your god, which ye made to yourselves. 
Amos 5:27 Therefore will I cause you to go into captivity beyond Damascus,
        saith the LORD, whose name is The God of hosts.


Acts 7:41 And they made a calf in those days,
        and offered sacrifice unto the idol,
         and rejoiced in the
works of their own hands.

"The triumphal hymn of Moses had unquestionably a religious character about it; but the employment of music in religious services, though idolatrous, is more distinctly marked in the festivities which attended the erection of the golden calf." (Smith's Bible Dictionary, Music, p. 589).

Euphrainō , Ep. euphr-, fut. Att.155.12, Pi.I.7(6).3
Pind. I. 6 Just as we mix the second bowl of wine when the men's symposium is flourishing, here is the second song of the Muses for Lampon's children and their athletic victories: first in Nemea, Zeus, in your honor they received the choicest of garlands,

This is the Crooked Race we are warned to save ourselves FROM.

Pind. I. 7   In which of the local glories of the past, divinely blessed Thebe, did you most delight your spirit? Was it when you raised to eminence the one seated beside Demeter of the clashing bronze cymbals, flowing-haired [5] Dionysus? Or when you received, as a snow-shower of gold in the middle of the night, the greatest of the gods, when he stood in the doorway of Amphitryon, and then went in to the wife to beget Heracles?

But since ancient grace sleeps, and mortals are forgetful of whatever does not reach the highest bloom of skillful song, joined to glorious streams of words, [20] then begin the victory procession with a sweet-singing hymn for Strepsiades;
Acts 7:42 Then God turned,
        and gave them up to worship the host of heaven;
        as it is written in the book of the prophets,
        O ye house of Israel,  have ye offered to me slain beasts and sacrifices
        by the space of forty years in the wilderness?
Acts 7:43 Yea, ye took up the tabernacle of Moloch
        and the star of your god Remphan
        figures which ye made to worship them: 
        and I will carry you away beyond Babylon.

The Hebrews became infected with Sabeanism, the oldest form of idolatry, the worship of the Saba or starry hosts, in their stay in the Arabian desert, where Job notices its prevalence (Job 31:26); in opposition, in Am 5:27, Jehovah declares Himself "the God of hosts."

the star of your god--R. ISAAC CARO says all the astrologers represented Saturn as the star of Israel. Probably there was a figure of a star on the head of the image of the idol, to represent the planet Saturn; hence "images" correspond to "star" in the parallel clause. A star in hieroglyphics represents God (Nu 24:17). "Images" are either a Hebraism for "image," or refer to the many images made to represent Chiun.

27. beyond Damascus--In Ac 7:43 it is "beyond Babylon," which includes beyond Damascus. In Amos time, Damascus was the object of Israel's fear because of the Syrian wars. Babylon was not yet named as the place of their captivity.

Stephen supplies this name. Their place of exile was in fact, as he states, "beyond Babylon," in Halah and Habor by the river Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes (2Ki 17:6; compare here Am 1:5 4:3 6:14). The road to Assyria lay through "Damascus." It is therefore specified, that not merely shall they be carried captives to Damascus, as they had been by Syrian kings (2Ki 10:32,33 13:7),

but, beyond that, to a region whence a return was not so possible as from Damascus.
They were
led captive by Satan into idolatry, therefore God caused them to go captive among idolaters. Compare 2Ki 15:29 16:9 Isa 8:4, whe


See how many miracles are taking place, and no word of Temple, no word of Sacrifice. And here also not simply in the desert, but in the bush. "When Moses saw it, he wondered at the sight: and as he drew near to behold it, the voice of the Lord came unto him." (v. 31.) Lo! he was deemed worthy of the Voice also. "I am the God of thy fathers, the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob." (v. 32, 33.) Lo!

Editor's Note 6: This clause, omitted by A. b.c., is preserved by N. and the Catena. The calf was one, yet they called it Gods: on which St. Chrys. remarks elsewhere, that they added polytheism to idolatry.-The next sentence may perhaps be completed thus: "that they did not even know that there is One God."-Edd. from E.F.D. "So frantic are they, that they know not what they say."

Hence these same "customs" date their origin, hence the sacrifices:
..........they were themselves the first that made sacrifices to their idols!
..........For that is why it is marked,

Editor's Note 7: dia gar touto epishmainetai. The meaning is: Stephen was accused of speaking against "the customs,"-sacrifices, temple, feasts, etc. Therefore he significantly points to that critical conjuncture. from which these "customs" date their introduction: namely, the Provocation at Horeb.
Prior to that, he tells of "living oracles," life-giving precepts:
after it
, and as its consequence, sacrifices, etc.,

those statutes which were not good, and ordinances by which a man shall not live, as God says by Ezekiel.

Not a word of sacrifice till then: and the first mention is, of the sacrifices offered to the calf. In like manner, "they rejoiced," "the people ate and drank, and rose up to play:" and in consequence of this, the feasts were prescribed: kai eufrainonto, fhsin: dia touto kai eortai.-'Epishmainetai might be rendered, "he marks," "puts a mark upon it" (so the innovator, who substitutes, touto kai Dauid epishmainomenoj legei): we take it passively, "there is a mark set over it-it is emphatically denoted." In the active, the verb taken intransitively means

"to betoken or announce itself," "make its first appearance."-

After the feast which they made to the demons, then it was that He permitted sacrifices: all but saying: `Ye are mad, and will needs sacrifice: well then, at any rate sacrifice to Me. 0'"-(What follows may serve to illustrate the brief remark a little further on, Kai h aixmalwsia kathgoria thj kakiaj.)

"But even this, He did not permit to continue to the end, but by a most wise method, withdrew them from it ...

For He did not permit it to be done in any place of the whole world,

but in Jerusalem only. Anon, when for a short time
they had sacrificed, he destroyed the city.

Joshua has another account:

Joshua 4:24 That all the people of the earth might know the hand of the LORD, that it is mighty: that ye might fear the LORD your God for ever.

H2389 châzâq khaw-zawk' From H2388 ; strong (usually in a bad sense, hard, bold, violent):—harder, hottest, + impudent, loud, mighty, sore, stiff [-hearted], strong (-er).

H3372 yârê’ yaw-ray' A primitive root; to fear; morally to revere; causatively to frighten:—affright, be (make) afraid, dread (-ful), (put in) fear (-ful, -fully, -ing). (be had in) reverence (-end), X see, terrible (act, -ness, thing).

tĭmĕo , to fear, be afraid of, to dread, apprehend; to be afraid or in fear, to be fearful, apprehensive, or anxious;
The nation had been abandoned to worship the starry host: they were going into the promised land which had become the killing fields.  God knew that they were not REDEEMED but REPRIEVED  until He carried out the captivity and death sentence: God gave them kings in His anger.

John Mark Hicks: But this is not the whole story. The imposing physical character of the Jordan creates a dramatic moment, like at the Sea, where Yahweh rescues Israel, but there is more.

J. Michael Thigpen points to the contest between Yahweh and Baal at the river (Trinity Journal 27ns [Fall 2006] 245-254). The Jordan River crossing demonstrates that Yahweh is a “living God” who is the “Lord of all the earth” (Joshua 3:10, 13). This is a polemic against Baal.

It is dramatic proof that even those who are saved at baptism to receive God's instrumental means of Grace are almost certainly thinking about turning a buck in the marketplace as "soon as the Sabbath is over."

Speaking of the
Instrumental music in worship condemned by Amos and others we note that:

"The marzeah had an extremely long history extending at least from the 14th century B.C. through the Roman period. In the 14th century B.C., it was prominently associated with the ancient Canaanite city of Ugarit (modern Ras Shamra), on the coast of Syria... The marzeah was a pagan ritual that took the form of a social and religious association... Some scholars regard the funerary marzeah as a feast for--and with--deceased ancestors (or Rephaim, a proper name in the Bible for the inhabitants of Sheol)." (King, Biblical Archaeological Review, Aug, 1988, p. 35, 35)

"These five elements are: (1) reclining or relaxing, (2) eating a meat meal, (3) singing with harp or other musical accompaniment, (4) drinking wine and (5) anointing oneself with oil." (King, p. 37).

"Worship was form more than substance; consequently, conduct in the marketplace was totally unaffected by worship in the holy place. Amos spoke from the conviction that social justice is an integral part of the Mosaic covenant, which regulates relations not only between God and people, but also among people." (King, p. 44).

"In pagan traditions, musical instruments are invented by gods or demi-gods, such as titans. In the Bible, credit is assigned to antediluvian patriarchs, for example, the descendants of Cain in Genesis 4:21. There is no other biblical tradition about the invention of musical instruments." (Freedman, David Noel, Bible Review, Summer 1985, p. 51).

Cain "handled" musical instruments "without authority" and he is the genetic  "father" of all those who handled instruments in a religious sense.

The Battle of Baal and Yahm
  1. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
  2. Aloud they [summon the assembly of the gods/ do cry to those near]. They invite
  3. the distant ones/ those far away, to the assembly of `El
  4. they summon/do cry: "`El remains seated
    [in his
    marzeah/banqueting hall/among his cult-guests (dM)] . . .
  5. The shame of the Eternal One/The shameful conduct of the usurper . . .
  6. O gods, (to) the house of your lord . . .
  7. [Who surely travels (S)/lest he go (D/G) quickly/the Runner will not walk (dM)] through the land, . . .
  8. who goes in the dust (of) destruction/a mess of mud on the ground . . .
Comments El walking through the underworld,
or an allusion to `El being "dead drunk," or both metaphorical,
and ironic, as the marzeah serves as the setting
for feasts for the dead and for the living mourning the dead (p. 145).
: Smith believes lines 7-8 should be interpreted "Either literally, as `

Conrad L'Heureux demonstrated that the marzeah, or symposium (feast, gathering, banquet, assembly) of El that is found in the Rephaim Texts of Ugarit "must be a reflex in the divine world of the symposium celebrated by the members of the earthly marzeah of El...each guild apparently had a divine patron."42 The heavenly marzeah had participants called rp'm, which we also find in the earthly marzeah, e.g., "May Krt be greatly exalted among the rp'm of the earth...the rp'm constitute an aristocracy of which the Canaanite kings were a part."43 Moses, and the prophets following him were proclaimed as "Speakers for Yahweh," showing the people that "they are sent from the divine king, the suzerain of treaties, to reprove and to pronounce judgment upon Israel..."44

Note 42: Conrad L'Heureux, "The Ugaritic and Biblical Rephaim," Harvard Theological Review, 67(1974): 270-271.

Note 43. Conrad L'Heureux, Rephaim, 271. Cf. 272, footnote 25, the authority of El is ordinarily exercised through the younger generation of gods whom we could call the executive deities. It is also possible to understand the term rp'm as "the assembly of the gods." The entire premise of Jacobsen's article "Primitive Democracy," is that the groups and assemblies on earth reflected what the gods had done in heaven.

This was called "prophesying" by those who "made self a prophet." David made his warrior musicians into PROPHESIERS which means ot make war or make sorcery and never make spirituall Word. The Israelites had been abandoned ot Dionysus or Bacchus "worship of the starry host" because of musical idolatry at Mount Sinai. God heard that as a prayer and answered them.  Therefore, when you lift prooftexts out of the Monarchy, king, temple and sacrificial system you are restoring the Abomination of Desolation which featured Zeus and Dionysus (new wineskin god) in the Temple. This ultimately, like the word PSALM and PSALMOS is Egyptian-Greek and not faithful Israelites:


Aristophanes' Lysistrata:

Call upon Bacchus, afire with his Maenades [mad women];
Call upon Zeus in the
lightning arrayed;
Call on his
queen, ever blessed, adorable;
Call on the holy, infallible Witnesses,
Call them to witness the peace and the harmony,
This which divine Aphrodite has made.

Allala! Lalla! Lallala! Lallala!
Whoop for victory, Lallalalae!
Evoi!  Evoi!  Lallala, Lallala!
Evae!  Evae!  Lallalalae.

The word lelein is fundamentally an onomatopoetic one, meaning, as Thayer's Lexicon puts it, to go 'la-la'.  The Greeks shouted 'alala' both in worship and in war, and personified Alala as a deity (Pindar, Fr. 208 [78]; Plutarch 2.3496).  It was this same repetitive and meaningless syllabification in pagan prayers which Jesus described: 'for they think they shall be heard for their much speaking' (Matthew 6:7) 

New patterns of Christian worship appear to have been more difficult for women to adopt than men, as they had not known the dignified rite of Apollo or Zeus.  For the most part, their religious expression had been accompanied by extravagances of every sort.  We may quote Iamblichus again:

We affirm, accordingly, not only that the shoutings and choric songs are sacred to the gods, each and all of them, as being peculiarly their own, but likewise that there is a kindred relationship between them in their proper order . . . and the peculiar usages of Sabazian worship make ready for the Bacchic enthusiasm, the purifying of souls, and deliverances from old incriminations, their respective inspirations are, accordingly, different in every important particular.

Thou seemest to think that those who are enrapt by the Mother of the gods are males, for thou callest them, accordingly, 'Metrizontes' yet that is not true, for the 'Metrizontesae' are chiefly women (op cit., pp. 121-123 

Such women must learn that they were purified not through shouting but through the blood of Christ and through the washing of the water of the Word.

However, Joshua lost the battle!

John Mark Hicks: The Baal Epic was discovered in the 1930s at Ugarit. It dates from some time in the 1300s B.C (roughly the same era the Joshua account portrays). It tells the story of the god Baal, the Canaanite storm god, who was responsible for the fertility of the land and the seasons of rain. At one point in the story, Baal battles the god Yamm (sea) who is also called Nahar (river). Baal defeats Yamm (who represents both sea and river) and is hailed as king. He is given the title “Lord of all the earth.”

Is Jehovah really Baal? No, but that is what the people believed and therefore defined the nature of the worship as "ceremonial legalism."

As Yahweh’s people approach the Jordan River at flood stage, they face the might of Canaan’s god.  Baal, after all, brings the rains, ensures the harvest, and the flood is a sign of Baal’s mighty power.
        The river Jordan was not only intimidating because of its natural obstructions,
        but more importantly it terrorized Israel because it was associated with the reign of Baal.

But, there is no proof that the people were terrorized.  The people had already associated themselves with Baal: Moses did a retrospective at Mount Sinai because of the musical idolatry. He told the story of "in the beginning the Elohim cast down the heavens and earth."  

Professor Robert Briffault's
"The elaborate mystic theology of Egypt was replete with sexual symbolism; hierodular [sacred] prostitution, ritual bestiality were among the observances of its cult. The religions of Babylonia, of Asia Minor, of the far-flung Semitic colonies, were notorious for the licentiousness of their rites: their priestesses were sacred prostitutes and prostitution was incumbent upon every woman.

To this common description of early religious beliefs, we have the incident of Aaron bringing out the bull for the Israelites to worship when Moses remained longer on Mount Sinai than the people thought. The people were getting edgy so Aaron made a festivity for them by fashioning the golden calf and told them to worship the calf in a sexual manner (Exodus 32:25-35). God was angry with Aaron and the people for this. But the people thought that by their sexual actions they were actually worshipping God in a proper way. Their worship was to "Baal-Peor" (Hebrew: "Lord of the Opening," that is, "Lord of the Vagina") (see Psalm 106:28,29 for this identification). The rebellious Israelites were making images (and setting up pillars) in honor of this pagan deity that demanded gross sexual actions as a part of the "nature rituals" by the worshippers. This was nothing strange to the Israelites because most Gentile religious activities involved a measure of sexual activity as a part of their liturgies and rituals.

The History of Heredotus, Chapter Three reads:

About the time when Cambyses arrived at Memphis, Apis appeared to the Egyptians. Now Apis is the god whom the Greeks call Epaphus. As soon as he appeared, straightway all the Egyptians arrayed themselves in their gayest garments, and fell to feasting and jollity: which when Cambyses saw, making sure that these rejoicings were on account of his own ill success, he called before him the officers who had charge of Memphis, and demanded of them-

"Why, when he was in Memphis before, the Egyptians had done nothing of this kind, but waited until now, when he had returned with the loss of so many of his troops?" The officers made answer,

"That one of their gods had appeared to them, a god who at long intervals of time had been accustomed to show himself in Egypt-
and that always on his appearance the whole of Egypt feasted and kept jubilee."

When Cambyses heard this, he told them that they lied, and as liars he condemned them all to suffer death

When they were dead, he called the priests to his presence, and questioning them received the same answer; whereupon he observed, "That he would soon know whether a tame god had really come to dwell in Egypt"- and straightway, without another word, he bade them bring Apis to him. So they went out from his presence to fetch the god.

Now this Apis, or Epaphus, is the calf of a cow which is never afterwards able to bear young.
The Egyptians say that
fire comes down from heaven upon the cow, which thereupon conceives Apis.

The calf which is so called has the following marks:- He is black, with a square spot of white upon his forehead, and on his back the figure of an eagle; the hairs in his tail are double, and there is a beetle upon his tongue.

And a fire was kindled in their company; the flame burned up the wicked. Psa 106:18

They made a calf in Horeb, and worshipped the molten image. Psa 106:19

Thus they changed their glory into the similitude of an ox that eateth grass. Psa 106:20

John Mark Hicks: It is a sign that, as the Baal Epic describes Baal, that “mightiest Baal lives.” Baal rules Canaan.

When Yahweh creates dry land for the crossing, Yahweh defeats Baal. Just as he defeated the waters of chaos and the gods of Egypt at the Red Sea, so here Yahweh defeats “mighty Baal” so that “all the peoples of the earth” might know that Yahweh is the “Lord of all the earth.”

Israel steps into the water and experiences the power of Yahweh who holds back the waters so that they might cross into a new land, their inheritance.

The crossing of the Jordan, then, is not only a defeat of chaotic waters (as in creation itself) but also the defeat of a competing power (Baal). At the Jordan, Yahweh exercises power over both chaos and other powers. God redeems Israel from the powers and secures their safe passage into their inheritance.

The Worship of the Golden Calf and the Jordan River proves that God has the almighty power to be feared and reverenced but that does not mean that they gained any inheritance other than by slaughtering the owners and claiming that God had given it to them.
2Chr. 20:22 And when they began to sing and to praise, the LORD set ambushments against the children of Ammon, Moab, and mount Seir, which were come against Judah; and they were smitten.
2Chr. 23:13 And she looked, and, behold, the king stood at his pillar at the entering in, and the princes and the trumpets by the king: and all the people of the land rejoiced, and sounded with trumpets, also the singers with instruments of musick, and such as taught to sing praise. Then Athaliah rent her clothes, and said, Treason, Treason.

Is. 23:15   And it shall come to pass in that day, that Tyre shall be forgotten seventy years, according to the days of one king: after the end of seventy years shall Tyre sing as an harlot. 
2Chr. 23:16 Take an harp, go about the city, thou harlot that hast been forgotten; make sweet melody, sing many songs, that thou mayest be remembered.

Psa. 106:6   We have sinned with our fathers, we have committed iniquity, we have done wickedly. 
Psa. 106:7 Our fathers understood not thy wonders in Egypt;
        they remembered not the multitude of thy mercies;
        but provoked him at the sea, even at the Red sea. 
Psa. 106:8 Nevertheless he saved them for his name’s
sake, that he might make his mighty power to be known. 
Psa. 106:89 He rebuked the Red sea also, and it was dried up: so he led them through the depths, as through the wilderness. 
Psa. 106:810 And he saved them from the hand of him that hated them, and redeemed them from the hand of the enemy. 
Psa. 106:11 And the waters covered their enemies: there was not one of them left. 
Psa. 106:12 Then believed they his words; they sang his praise.
Psa. 106:13   They soon forgat his works; they waited not for his counsel: 
Psa. 106:14 But lusted exceedingly in the wilderness,
        and tempted God in the desert. 
Psa. 106:15 And he gave them their request;
        but sent leanness into their soul. 
Psa. 106:16 They envied Moses also in the camp,
        and Aaron the saint of the LORD. 
Psa. 106:17 The earth opened and swallowed up Dathan,
        and covered the company of Abiram. 
Psa. 106:18 And a fire was kindled in their company;
        the flame burned up the wicked. 
Psa. 106:19 They made a calf in Horeb,
        and worshipped the molten image. 
Psa. 106:20 Thus they changed their glory into the similitude of an ox that eateth grass.

John Mark Hicks: Israel crosses the Jordan to become a nation that will light up the world for other nations. They are to become a new Eden in God’s creation. They are to model life with God and how people live together in peace, joy, and righteousness. They enter Canaan commissioned by God to realize God’s kingdom on the earth. But, as we know (and as we well know in our own lives), they failed to fully realize that mission.

Canaan as the promised lands became the killing fields.
Sentenced without redemption captivity and death.

If Joshua had given them Rest.

John Mark Hicks: The biblical story invites us to see Israel’s Jordan River crossing as our own. This is not simply the history of Israel, it is the story into which we plunge as well. It is the story of Jesus.

We remember how Jesus passed through these waters in his own baptism. John the Baptizer immersed in these same waters–probably even in the same vicinity–where Israel crossed into the new land. For Jesus to step into those waters was to step toward the cross; the shadow of the cross hung over the waters of Jesus’s baptism. It was the moment when he embraced his future suffering for the sake of the future of the world.

Jesus, through his own baptism, experienced God’s redemptive love and heralded a new Exodus and a new inheritance for the whole world. 

Jesus was baptized to Fulfil All Rightneous or to fully prach baptism
John 14 speak WORD.
Take up the cross and follow me
Fall into musical idolatry of the always-pagan Egyptian trinity.

We follow Jesus into that same water. We, too, have stepped into the water in order to proclaim the one true, living God who defeats the powers that enslave and oppose us.

Become free from sin

Give us A holy spirit or A good conscience so we can read BLACK text on BROWN paper.

Jesus said to be saved, wash away sins,

Through our baptism we become God’s new creation and herald the coming of the new heavens and new earth, our own inheritance. Entering the waters of baptism is to take up our own cross, and consequently we must count the cost.

Jesus, through Jordan’s waters, entered into a new world, the world of the kingdom of God. Jesus embraced the ministry of the kingdom in order to bring the reign of God into the world so that the will of God might be done on earth as it is in heaven.

YOu are not OF the world.

Jesus came to seek and save the lost: a little Kingdom.
The gospel of the kingdom
Kingdom not OF this World (defined) and God hides from the Wise, Sophist.

We who have followed Jesus into the water also embrace this new world, the kingdom of God. We become the instruments of that kingdom.

We, like Israel, embrace the mission of God in the world. We follow Jesus into the ministry of the kingdom for the renewal of God’s good creation and the transformation of the world. We are people who have stepped into the water with Israel, with Jesus, to embrace the newness of the Kingdom of God

Amos sentenced bac to
Acts 7 sentenced them back

CENI teach what He commanded to be taught.
Jesus translates our spirits INTO the heavenly kingddom. It does not come with observation

The Jordan also represents something else in the story of God. It is where the people of God receive their inheritance.  Israel inherited the land by promise, and we who are also Abraham’s children share in that promise. God appointed Abraham the “heir of the cosmos” (Romans 4:13).

Jacob cursed
God abandoned the Levites
The godly people attended the synagogue based on The book of The Covenant of Grace which was the ONLY spiritual Covenant made by God in Christ to Abraham.
Paul discounts the whole history of the Jews and returns to Abraham in Galatians 3.

They sang his praise but forgot his commandments
They stepped into instrumental idolatry and LOST their inheritance
A prophet like me
Paul leapfrogged in Galataisn3

Romans 4:12 And the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only,
         but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham,
        which he had being yet uncircumcised. 
Romans 4:13 For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world,
        was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law,
        but through the righteousness of faith.

But the World was not heir of the kingdom.

Like Israel, we stand on the Jordan’s stormy banks. We crossed the Sea in our baptism
        and we have journeyed through the wilderness of life nourished by the bread and wine.

We now face those stormy banks; we face death itself.  Like the Jordan in front of Israel, it is imposing and threatening. But we step into the water with confidence and boldness. We pass through the waters of death in order to embrace the promised inheritance. We pass through the waters where we rest from our labors (Hebrews 4:1-13).

laded burden, burden laders

The people disobeyed God's command and had already been sentenced back to Babylon.

2Th. 1:7 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,

Heb. 4:8 For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day.

When Israel looked across that water, they saw an imposing current and the walled city of Jericho. It looked inhospitable. It engendered terror, uncertainty, and anxiety. There was no one on the other side to assure them or quiet their fears.

However, this is not true with us. We look across the Jordan and we see the resurrected Jesus enthroned at the right hand of God and holding the keys to Death and Hades. We step into God’s future and trust that God reigns in the world.

Doctors of the law take away the Key to Knowledge. Therefore, the Scribes and Pharisees are defined by Jesus as hypocrites.  In Ezekiel 33 the hypocrites are speakers for hire, singers and instrument players: this is the MARK of people who tell God that they will neither hear nor obey the word.

music attaks.

We no longer fear. We are not afraid to step into the water. We look forward to the new heavens and new earth (1 Peter 3:13). Neither the depths of its waters nor the gods that claim its power hinder our approach.

1 Pet. 3:9 Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.

1 Pet. 3:10 For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile:

1 Pet. 3:11 Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it.

1 Pet. 3:12 For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers:
        but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.

1 Pet. 3:13 And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good?

1 Pet. 3:14 But and if ye suffer for righteousness sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled;

1 Pet. 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts:
        and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you
        a reason of the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear:

1 Pet. 3:16 Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.

1 Pet. 3:17 For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing.

1 Pet. 3:18 For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:

We step into the water because of the one who beckons us from the other side. We step into the water because of the one who has cleared a path for us. We step into the water because it has become dry ground. Death (water) has become life (a dry path to our inheritance).

***This is the substance of a keynote address at Lipscomb University’s Summer Celebration on June 30, 2014 in Nashville, TN***

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