Israel’s Idolatry – ATA

COMPLAINT:
Did the Israelites practice idolatry (Joshua 24:14, 23) or not (Joshua 22:2; Judges 2:7)? Is there a contradiction?

RESPONSE:
Joshua 24:2 speaks of the pagan gods of Israelites’ ancestors from the other side of the Euphrates. In verse 14, Joshua reveals that some of them still had some of the images associated with those gods. In verse 15, he give them a choice—serve God or serve the pagan gods; but you cannot serve both. The people declared that they would serve the Lord and not other gods (v 16). He commanded them to put away the idols they still had (v 23).

Does Joshua 22:2 reveal that the people did not worship idols? The questioner has failed to look at the context. Verse 1 identifies who the statement of verse 2 is made about (Reuben, Gad & 1/2 of Manasseh). Verse 3 identifies why the statement is made; namely, the men of these tribes kept their word to go to war with their brethren (Numbers 32:20). This text has nothing to do with practicing idolatry or not.

Judges 2:7 says that the people served God through-out the days of Joshua:

So the people served the LORD all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders who outlived Joshua, who had seen all the great works of the LORD which He had done for Israel. (2:7)

This is a confirmation of the declaration made by the people in Joshua 24:16, that the people left their idols behind and chose to serve the LORD.

There is no contradiction.


A response to 1001 Bible Contradictions.

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