Occupy Jericho

Occupy Jericho June 12, 2019

zofiaEliyahu / Pixabay

Archaeologists are calling it the “find of the century.”

A recent archaeological discovery sheds valuable light on well-known biblical stories. Though briefly mentioned in Joshua and 1 Samuel, the Book of Jasher was thought to be forever lost—until now. During renovations of the tragically burned Notre Dame Cathedral, a Hebrew scroll remained providentially untouched by the ferocious flames. After thorough investigation, it has been dated back to the Israelite monarchy.

“We are cautiously calling this the Dead Sea Scroll of the 21st century,” stated Chris Rollston (Johns Hopkins PhD).

“Finally, an interpretive key that makes sense of these texts of terror!” add Phyllis Trible.

But it is not just the veracity of Scripture that’s been confirmed. As scholars continue to excavate this book, they’ve found precursors to pressing social issues swirling around in American culture.

Alex Radelich / Unsplash

The most startling parallel entails the story of Jericho. Key details seem to paint this event not as a violent conquest, but as the first historically recorded social justice march. The Israelites are recast as a group of disenfranchised twenty somethings who just wanted to be heard. If true, the implications are far reaching.

For example, while Colin Kaepernick has been either condemned or commended for kneeling before the American flag, could he have been channeling his inner Caleb? According to Jasher, Caleb knelt before the ark while the remaining Israelites paraded around the city. Though no clear explanation is given, the text strongly implies that Caleb was dissatisfied with the government withholding daily rations of manna and quail.

But there is more. For 2 years, liberal theologians have been looking for a way to counteract the Religious Right’s appeal to Nehemiah to justify the Mexican border wall. They had no answer to the clear biblical mandate to build a concrete hedge of protection around their holy city.

Thankfully Jasher 9:11 provides the rebuttal they’ve always needed: “As Joshua peered over the rubble of the fallen walls, he proclaimed, ‘Let no wall separate us. All people are God’s children.’” In retrospect, we now know that Joshua was not conquering a foreign people, but standing up to bullies in order to create a safe space for everyone in Canaan.

While the entire book has yet to be released to the wider public, that’s not kept countless scholars from embracing the lost book of Jasher as the literary and social key to interpreting the entire Old Testament. For others, like Wayne Grudem, “It’s just fake news.”

***This is satire. If you take it literally you missed the point. If you like this sort of writing, you can check out our “Biblitically Correct” column online in the Christian Standard magazine.

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