Title page for ETD etd-07302010-172546

Document Type Doctoral Thesis
Author Wildenboer, Johannes Michael
Email johan.wildenboer@gmail.com
URN etd-07302010-172546
Document Title `n Literer-historiese ondersoek na Josua 3 en 4 (Afrikaans)
Degree PhD
Department Old Testament Studies
Advisor Name Title
Dr A Groenewald Co-Supervisor
Prof D J Human Supervisor
  • historical-critical exegesis
  • text
  • masoretic
  • etiology
  • priestly
  • Hexateuch
  • deuteronomistic history
  • Pentateuch
  • literary exegesis
  • literary-historical
Date 2010-04-22
Availability unrestricted
The composition of Joshua 3 and 4 forms the main focus of this study. Although Joshua 3 and 4 have been the subject of many studies, there have been no satisfactory explanation of the many contradictions and incoherence in these chapters. Apart form the literary problems regarding the composition of Joshua 3 and 4, some challenging historical questions arise from the study of these chapters. Therefore, this literary study of Joshua 3 and 4 will not also involve some broader literary questions like the position of the book of Joshua in the Canon, but it will also attempt to answer historical questions about Israel`s past.

My hypothesis is that that the final text of Joshua 3 and 4 is the result of several redactions. The original narrative of the Jordan crossing forms the main part of these chapters. This original deuteronomistic narrative was originally part of a Deuteronomistic History that encompassed Deuteronomy, Joshua, and some parts of 1 and 2 Samuel as well as the books of 1 and 2 Kings. The Deuteronomistic History originated in the exile, and was the subject of major editing up to the Persian era.

Joshua 3 and 4 reflects the process of the formation of the Pentateuch. The original deuteronomistic narrative of the Jordan crossing was subsequently supplemented by a post-priestly narrative which enhanced the miracle of the crossing. This supplement probably took place when the priestly composition (Ex-Num) was joined to the deuteronomistic composition (Deut-2 Kon) as part of an compromise between rival priestly groups. The book of Deuteronomy was eventually incorporated in the foregoing books (Ex-Num) to form a Pentateuch. As a result of this process, the book of Joshua was cut off from Deuteronomy and became a post-Deuteronomic book. This explains not only the affinities and differences between Joshua and Deuteronomy, but also the peculiar position of the book of Joshua in the Canon.

The narrative of the twelve memorial stones (Joshua 4) forms part of an etiological formula, found throughout Joshua 1-12. These etiological reference points reflects the lists of the returning exiles and the builders of the Jerusalem`s walls in the books of Ezra and Nehemiah. Furthermore, these etiological references reflects the borders of the post-exilic Israel. Joshua 4 is the post-exilic Israel`s way of interpreting the pre-exilic conquest narratives in Joshua 1-12 in order to make sense of their present situation. There are also references to the post-deuteronomistic emphasis on many sanctuaries (which probably served to legitimize the Samaritan Temple at Mount Gerizim.

The book of Joshua is not to be classified as history. This study enhances the hypothesis that the book of Joshua embodies the ideology of post-exilic Judaism. In its final form, the book probably served as an attempt to bring a compromise between rival priesthoods and rival ideologies. Although the book had pre-exilic (deuteronomistic) origins, it was subsequently edited to function in a post-exilic context when the people of Israel were facing a new future with new possibilities.

© 2009 University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria.

Please cite as follows:

Wildenboer, JM 2009, `n LiterÍr-historiese ondersoek na Josua 3 en 4 , PhD thesis, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-07302010-172546 / >


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