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Pastor Young,

Please show me where it says that the women from Moab were diseased? I see that God sent a plague, but not that the women themselves were already diseased? Thank you for your kind attention to my request.

Linda

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3 hours ago, busdrvrlinda54 said:

Pastor Young,

Please show me where it says that the women from Moab were diseased? I see that God sent a plague, but not that the women themselves were already diseased? Thank you for your kind attention to my request.

Linda

Good question, because I don't see that either, but can you take this to a new thread? I don't want to co-opt the OP's question.

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16 hours ago, busdrvrlinda54 said:

Pastor Young, Please show me where it says that the women from Moab were diseased? I see that God sent a plague, but not that the women themselves were already diseased? Thank you for your kind attention to my request.Linda

 

13 hours ago, Salyan said:

Good question, because I don't see that either, but can you take this to a new thread? I don't want to co-opt the OP's question.

Not a problem. The answer probably does not require an extra thread. Several things indicate that they were diseased. The obvious first fact is that God gave this plague to whomever had fornicated with the women. So as to wither or not God let lose a new deadly STD directly or by natural means already in the women from that culture is rather immaterial as any person who participated in their sex cult worship with them by fornication contracted it and the men and women who participated contracted it as well a spread it by willful fornication. The second is that we know from history that sexual perversion and STDs were rampant in the culture of that area and most were cariers of many diseases which God said He would place on their enemies. Deuteronomy 7:15-16 And the Lord will take away from thee all sickness, and will put none of the evil diseases of Egypt, which thou knowest, upon thee; but will lay them upon all them that hate thee. 16 And thou shalt consume all the people which the Lord thy God shall deliver thee; thine eye shall have no pity upon them: neither shalt thou serve their gods; for that will be a snare unto thee. The third is that they had to take special care to purify the spoils and the people before returning to camp. Numbers 31:19-23 And do ye abide without the camp seven days: whosoever hath killed any person, and whosoever hath touched any slain, purify both yourselves and your captives on the third day, and on the seventh day. 20 And purify all your raiment, and all that is made of skins, and all work of goats’ hair, and all things made of wood. 21 And Eleazar the priest said unto the men of war which went to the battle, This is the ordinance of the law which the Lord commanded Moses; 22 only the gold, and the silver, the brass, the iron, the tin, and the lead, 23 every thing that may abide the fire, ye shall make it go through the fire, and it shall be clean: nevertheless it shall be purified with the water of separation: and all that abideth not the fire ye shall make go through the water. The fourth fact is the unique determination of how Moses was told to decide who of the Moabites/Midianites would live or die. This particular group could not be purified but had to be put to death in order not to spread this deadly STD. Only the girls who had not known man were allowed to live and become part of the Israelite people. All males had to be put to death because their was no way to tell who was a carrier. Numbers 31:9-18 And the children of Israel took all the women of Midian captives, and their little ones, and took the spoil of all their cattle, and all their flocks, and all their goods. 10 And they burnt all their cities wherein they dwelt, and all their goodly castles, with fire. 11 And they took all the spoil, and all the prey, both of men and of beasts. 12 And they brought the captives, and the prey, and the spoil, unto Moses, and Eleazar the priest, and unto the congregation of the children of Israel, unto the camp at the plains of Moab, which are by Jordan near Jericho.13 And Moses, and Eleazar the priest, and all the princes of the congregation, went forth to meet them without the camp. 14 And Moses was wroth with the officers of the host, with the captains over thousands, and captains over hundreds, which came from the battle. 15 And Moses said unto them, Have ye saved all the women alive? 16 Behold, these caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to commit trespass against the Lord in the matter of Peor, and there was a plague among the congregation of the Lord. 17 Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him. 18 But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves. This purification measure saved 32,000 in addition to the Israeli camp. Numbers 31:35 and thirty and two thousand persons in all, of women that had not known man by lying with him.

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 Sigh.  Your answer may not require a separate thread, but the discussion this is likely to create will. 🙄 And I didn’t want us to get distracted from giving the OP answers to her genuine questions as to the nature of God.

It is very likely there were STDs in the ancient world. However,  you cannot say with any authority they are what is being referred to here. There is simply no biblical evidence for it. 

In reference to the woman of Moab being “diseased”, you contradicted that yourself. If God sent a special disease to punish Israel’s immorality, then the Moabites were not diseased when they arrived. At any rate,  God punished Israel for sinning and disobeying him – period.  There’s no reason to add anything else to the story. 

It was very common for victors of the time to kill the men and boys, and keep the single girls and children alive.  No male children means no one to grow up and avenge their fathers. You have an interesting theory, but I really don’t see the need to read a special anti-STD campaign into this.  Could it have been a factor? Sure. But you can’t count it as ‘fact’.

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18 minutes ago, Salyan said:

It was very common for victors of the time to kill the men and boys, and keep the single girls and children alive.  No male children means no one to grow up and avenge their fathers. You have an interesting theory, but I really don’t see the need to read a special anti-STD campaign into this.  Could it have been a factor? Sure. But you can’t count it as ‘fact’.

There are many other technical reasons, both biblical, scientific, and historical as to why the view I presented is correct but but I just limited it to the basic scriptural reference of the passage that if anyone wanted to thoroughly investigate will come the same conclusion of STD Plague had to be eliminated for the reasons why God had them do what they did.

The view you presented as an alternative theory was put forward by liberal "bible scholars" and imposed upon the text as an attempt to explain away their actions without actually showing why they acted in that way. It is one born out of cultural presumption of the nations around them and not based on what the scriptures presented. It acts as if the actions of Israel as lead by God and Moses were no better than the cultural norms of the wicked nations they displaced. 

We need to remember God initiated the purification procedures in Numbers 31 and if it was up to the natural cultural norms of the Israelite people (which was much more noble and compassionate than brute killers) they would have kept ALL the women and children alive, both male and female children, as stated in Numbers 31:9. The purification procedure was initiated to cleanse the plague from the among captive population so that they could enter the camp as shown in Numbers 31:13-16. The goal was to eliminate the plague and those responsible and not to kill anymore then they had to.

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Here are the sermons we preached at church on the incident in Numbers 25 and 31: 

Description: "Numbers 25 - Whoredom Breeds Disease (in Body and Mind) Edgecliff Baptist Church, Pastor John Young"

Giving your sexual devotion to someone other than your wife and your spiritual devotion to someone other than God is evil. It can corrupt you in both body and soul and it can ruin your society as well. Christians should never be involved in any lifestyle outside one man and one woman as promiscuity leads to transmittable disease in body and mental instability in mind. Not being able to get God to curse Israel, Balaam showed Balack how to get Israel to curse themselves by letting whorish women join with the camp and lead its people to worship pagan gods. These whores carried with them sexual venereal disease as well which spread as a plague in the camp, eventually killing around 24,000 people. It was so bad that the the judges were commanded to execute anyone who was caught defiling themselves with any of these women. Both to stop the physical spread and put fear into anyone even thinking about consorting with the whorish women. Unfortunately, the command was hindered by predominate men who defied the command and even openly solicited their fellows to lay with the women in open orgies before the congregation and tabernacle of the LORD. Numbers 25 Gives the example of Phinehas the son of the High Priest Eleazar, who saw one such a leader of the people drawing away his fellows from a national time of morning before the tabernacle in order to commit whoredom with a diseased Midianitish woman in a tent nearby. Rising up from the time of prayer, he grabbed a javelin and struck down the man for his treason. This action was recolonized as the key action that turned the hearts and minds away from whoring with the diseased women and saving the people from spreading the plague and being lead astray to fraternizing with the pagan nation, in receiving their gods and unhealthy sexual customs. For this act his family line received the office of intersession on behalf of the people before God. In this sermon we deal with the destructive nature of sexual promiscuity and what happens when supposed "Godly leaders" promote a sexually promiscuous lifestyles among God's people, rather than God's ordained Spiritual Purity regarding sexual matter wither within or without the marriage covenant. We also note the importance of government in protecting from and educating society of the destruction that comes with the introduction and propagation of sexual promiscuity and their need to judge such acts as evil to both people's mind and body. Preached: December 2, 2018 Sunday Morning. By Pastor John Young, at Edgecliff Baptist Church, Spokane Valley, WA.


Description: "Numbers 31- Eradicating The Flesh Trade (Why it flourishes and how to stop it) Whole Bible Preaching"

One of the last things a Christian must gain victory over in order to have a victorious Christian life is the hidden sexual sins of their flesh, with all of its affections and lusts. Often, even seemingly "Holy" and "great men" of the faith have fallen from lofty heights because they never mortified, and in fact enabled habitually, their hidden sexual sin lusts. Even the average good Christian is not immune if they do not mortify their secret fleshly sins. When we as individuals secretly allow the flesh to rule in our hearts, the community will suffer as, the flesh having secret rule will seek to be satiated through the sex trades. The more the secret beast is allowed to grow, the sex trade then becomes public and eventually will have to be stocked by the evils of human trafficking through mental manipulation and kidnapping of people. Eventually, such a society will be over taken by a sodomite culture that will tear down the public morals of family life and "alternative flesh lifestyles" will be promoted and sexual (and mental) diseases will become prevalent and destructive. These things follow of necessity, to feed the secret beast of the flesh, even of those who may even condemn them openly, but do nothing about it in themselves. Numbers 25 showed us the need, hand how, to destroy this system from within society, cutting it off at the source, and in Numbers 31 we see how the visages of it was to be destroyed from without, so that it could not easily take root again. In this message we note that while the harsh methods Israel had to employ, in order to rid the area of the plague are not what is needed in our modern society of advanced medicine and quarantine, the procedures are none the less the same. We show that until we individually as Christians, can mortify our flesh by employing the Spirit of Christ and then together, being an example for all, we cannot hope to eradicate this blight from society. Preached: January 6, 2019 Sunday Morning. By Pastor John Young, at Edgecliff Baptist Church, Spokane Valley, WA.

 

Edited by John Young

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14 hours ago, John Young said:

The view you presented as an alternative theory was put forward by liberal "bible scholars" and imposed upon the text as an attempt to explain away their actions without actually showing why they acted in that way. It is one born out of cultural presumption of the nations around them and not based on what the scriptures presented. It acts as if the actions of Israel as lead by God and Moses were no better than the cultural norms of the wicked nations they displaced. 

This is very  close to accusing Salyan of being one of these liberals, which she absolutely is not. Furthermore, since there is no direct Biblical reference to STD's in the passages you present, it is not Salyan reading into the passages but you!

I am  not a mod, but I would suggest you write with a little more care and a little more  consideration to other members. 

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In Numbers 25 the nation of Israel suffered horrendously for committing whoredom with the daughters of Moab. God justly destroyed the souls that committed this whoredom.  

John has taken a very difficult passage, and a very difficult message, to our society that openly flaunts sexual sins. John has done the best job possible.

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8 hours ago, DaveW said:

This is very  close to accusing Salyan of being one of these liberals, which she absolutely is not. Furthermore, since there is no direct Biblical reference to STD's in the passages you present, it is not Salyan reading into the passages but you! I am  not a mod, but I would suggest you write with a little more care and a little more  consideration to other members. 

I've not written anything here with the intent to demean anyone's character. I have the upmost respect for Salyan, DaveW and anyone else here who wants to have a biblical conversation on this forum.

The reference to "liberal" is reference to the source of the teaching that would make the purification actions mandated by God as merely being "the cultural reactions of that day of victors over any conquered foe". I have no interest in questioning the motives of any person here, or the people who think the teaching has validity but rather the veracity of the teaching itself. That teaching is not original with anyone on this form but is often found in various commentaries that are too lose with opinions on the scriptures and picked up by preachers who merely repeated it in the pulpit in passing but id not look too much into it as most teachers do not deal with Numbers 25 and 31 directly with much study but only touch on it in passing.

STD simply means "Sexually transmitted disease" and fits with the description given of "a plague that is spread by fornication". I do not reject the fact that God gave this plague to whomever was fornicating with the women. It was not simply a natural occurrence but it was spread as an STD by the women once God let it lose. Whither God had prepared it in them before hand, as He can and often does, or if it was not there until they intentionally intermingles with the population does not matter. Its my belief it was already there in them prepared because it was initiated "through the counsel of Balaam". This means Balaam knew God would lift his protection and allow a plague in the camp if He could get them to worship idols and fornicate with the women (Exodus 15:26) and that's what God did because of their rebellion "in the matter of Peor".

Additionally the Apostle Paul used this passage as a reason that we should not fornicate even today, and tied the passage to what can happen to us. 1 Corinthians 10:8 Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand. This means that if we commit fornication that we can suffer the same fate as they did, even today. Today those who commit fornication contract plagues called STDs that the normal population does not. So to call the plague a form of STD is not unreasonable and one of the most basic deductions that can be made of what is happening in the passages. The only differences between eliminating an deadly STD (purification) back then was they had only execution, fire, water and quarantine. Today we have medicine that can cure or treat many things that were once deadly to a population.

Paul concludes this example with the statement in 1 Corinthians 10:11-13 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. 12 Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. 13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. This ties back to the promise of Exodus 15:26 and also to the fact that what happened to them is common to man and STDs are what we call the plagues that are common to those who fornicate today.

As a side note and example AIDs/HIV is a deadly plague that is spreading rampant and the only reason those who live as long as they do is because of our advanced medicine and sanitary protections. Also all STDs can be eliminated from a society within a generation if it follows God's laws as Israel was required to do for protection. So I fully believe God initiated Aids and all the other STDs as he did the plague in the matter of Peor. Those who fornicate contract them yet those who do not fornicate are mostly safe from them.

Edited by John Young

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🤔

With all due respect, the "plague" and its description is given in verse 5 of Numbers 25.

"Plague" has different meanings other than a disease.

The sin that they were guilty of was worshipping a false god...

Edited by No Nicolaitans
corrected a word that was auto-corrected that didn't need to be auto-corrected

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48 minutes ago, No Nicolaitans said:

"Plague" has different meanings other than a disease. The sin that they were guilty of was worshipping a false god...

That sin removed the divine protection Israel had from God which opened up them to the plague fro the actual act of fornication which was broke out among them from God. Remember Apostle Paul states it was the act of fornication that caused 23,000 of them to fall and so the other 1,000 by the judges most likely. The whoredom started first and no sickness but then the worship happened and those who joined died from the act of fornication or execution.

Out of curiosity, which definition do you think is meant, if not a physical disease or pestilence?

Plague
PLAGUE, noun plag. [Latin plaga, a stroke; Gr. See Lick and Lay. The primary sense is a stroke or striking. So afflict is from the root of flog, and probably of the same family as plague ]

1. Any thing troublesome or vexatious; but in this sense, applied to the vexations we suffer from men, and not to the unavoidable evils inflicted on us by Divine Providence. The application of the word to the latter, would now be irreverent and reproachful.

2. A pestilential disease; an acute, malignant and contagious disease that often prevails in Egypt, Syria and Turkey, and has at times infected the large cities of Europe with frightful mortality.

3. A state of misery. Psalms 38:1.

4. Any great natural evil or calamity; as the ten plagues of Egypt.

PLAGUE, verb transitive plag.

1. To infest with disease, calamity or natural evil of any kind.

Thus were they plagued

And worn with famine.

2. To vex; to tease; to harass; to trouble; to embarrass; a very general and indefinite signification.

If her nature be so,

That she will plague the man that loves her most--

 

 

Edited by John Young

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I myself would confidently contend that "plague" in these contexts means a physical disease of some kind.  On the other hand, I would contend that it is conjecture to state that this physical disease was necessarily an STD of some kind for these contexts, or that it was contracted directly from the women with whom they fornicated.

I would agree that STD would be a sound consideration for such a phrase as "a disease that is spread BY fornication."  However, I am NOT aware of any Biblical passage that uses such a phrase.

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This is starting to sound like "a rose by any other name" or a dinosaurs vs dragons debate..... Its clear they contracted it and died because of fornication with the women. Whatever the plague is called makes no difference to how they died, what they were commanded to do to eliminate it, and its application for us today. 

Edited by John Young

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49 minutes ago, John Young said:

This is starting to sound like "a rose by any other name" or a dinosaurs vs dragons debate..... Its clear they contracted it and died because of fornication with the women. Whatever the plague is called makes no difference to how they died, what they were commanded to do to eliminate it, and its application for us today. 

Indeed, Scripture clearly defines the sin of Israel as follows:

Numbers 25:1-3 -- 

1.  "And Israel abode in Shittim, and the people began to commit whoredom with the daughters of Moab."  The sin of fornication.
2.  "And they called the people unto the sacrifices of their gods: and the people did eat, and bowed down to their gods."  The sin of idolatry.
3.  "And Israel joined himself unto Baal-peor."  The sin of idolatry.

"And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel."

Indeed, Scripture clearly indicates that "there was a plague among the congregation of the LORD" because the women of Midian had "caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to commit trespass against the LORD in the matter of Peor." (See Numbers 31:16)  However, the Scriptures do NOT actually say that this plague was "contracted" through sexual transmission FROM the women of Midian or Moab.  That part is CONJECTURE.

Indeed, Scripture clearly indicates that 24,000 Israelites died from this plague. (See Numbers 25:9)

Indeed, Scripture clearly reveals how this plague upon the children of Israel was ended as follows:

Numbers 25:7-8 -- "And when Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he rose up from among the congregation, and took a javelin in his hand; and he went after the man of Israel into the tent, and thrust both of them through, the man of Israel, and the woman through her belly.  So the plague was stayed from the children of Israel."  This one act by Eleazar ended the plague, NOT the killing, burning, washing, and quarantine of Numbers 31:17-24.

Indeed, the application of this account is Scripturally revealed for us today --

1.  That we should not engage in fornication lest our Lord God's anger be kindled against us.
2.  That we should not engage in idolatry lest our Lord God's anger be kindled against.

Here then is the problem:

Calling this plague something more than a PLAGUE, by specifically defining the category of this plague's nature, is going beyond the revelation of Scripture.  Furthermore, specifically calling this plague an "STD" then influences one's view on how they CONTRACTED this plague, since by definition an STD is contracted/transmitted through sexual activity FROM the sexual partner.  Finally, having called this plague an STD and concluding that it was contracted FROM the Midianite women then influences one's application concerning how to deal with fornication, fornicators, and STDs today.

Edited by Pastor Scott Markle
grammar

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5 minutes ago, Pastor Scott Markle said:

Indeed, Scripture clearly reveals how this plague upon the children of Israel was ended as follows:

Numbers 25:7-8 -- "And when Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he rose up from among the congregation, and took a javelin in his hand; and he went after the man of Israel into the tent, and thrust both of them through, the man of Israel, and the woman through her belly.  So the plague was stayed from the children of Israel."  This one act by Eleazar ended the plague, NOT the killing, burning, washing, and quarantine of Numbers 31:17-24.

The plague was stayed in the camp but not eliminated. That's why Moses forbade them from entering the camp (Numbers 31:16) and inisiated the purification of everything that was to be brought in the camp from the cities they destroyed. The plague actually remained and festered in the uncleaned parts of the land as stated in Joshua 22:16-19 Thus saith the whole congregation of the Lord, What trespass is this that ye have committed against the God of Israel, to turn away this day from following the Lord, in that ye have builded you an altar, that ye might rebel this day against the Lord? 17 Is the iniquity of Peor too little for us, from which we are not cleansed until this day, although there was a plague in the congregation of the Lord, 18 but that ye must turn away this day from following the Lord? and it will be, seeing ye rebel to day against the Lord, that to morrow he will be wroth with the whole congregation of Israel. 19 Notwithstanding, if the land of your possession be unclean, then pass ye over unto the land of the possession of the Lord, wherein the Lord’s tabernacle dwelleth, and take possession among us: but rebel not against the Lord, nor rebel against us, in building you an altar beside the altar of the Lord our God.

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5 hours ago, John Young said:

The plague was stayed in the camp but not eliminated. That's why Moses forbade them from entering the camp (Numbers 31:16) and inisiated the purification of everything that was to be brought in the camp from the cities they destroyed. The plague actually remained and festered in the uncleaned parts of the land as stated in Joshua 22:16-19 Thus saith the whole congregation of the Lord, What trespass is this that ye have committed against the God of Israel, to turn away this day from following the Lord, in that ye have builded you an altar, that ye might rebel this day against the Lord? 17 Is the iniquity of Peor too little for us, from which we are not cleansed until this day, although there was a plague in the congregation of the Lord, 18 but that ye must turn away this day from following the Lord? and it will be, seeing ye rebel to day against the Lord, that to morrow he will be wroth with the whole congregation of Israel. 19 Notwithstanding, if the land of your possession be unclean, then pass ye over unto the land of the possession of the Lord, wherein the Lord’s tabernacle dwelleth, and take possession among us: but rebel not against the Lord, nor rebel against us, in building you an altar beside the altar of the Lord our God.

Hmmmm. Brother Young, I am compelled to disagree with your understanding of Numbers 31:16-24 and with your understanding of Joshua 22:16-19.

Concerning Numbers 31:16-24:

1.  In verse 16 Moses did indicate that the women of Midian, "through the counsel of Balaam," had caused the children of Israel "to commit trespass against the LORD in the matter of Peor."

2.  In verse 16 Moses did indicate that this trespass against LORD resulted in "a plague among the congregation of the LORD."  (By the way, neither Numbers 25 nor Numbers 31 say anything about a plague being anywhere other than "among the congregation" of Israel.)

3.  In verses 17-18 Moses did instruct the soldiers to kill all of the male children and all of the non-virgin females of Midian.  (Note: They had ALREADY killed all of the adult males of Midian when they conquered them.)  On the other hand, he instructed them to keep alive all of the virgin females of Midian.  Yet Moses said not a single word about this being in order to deal with some plague/disease that might have existed among the Midianites.  (Indeed, IF this was in order to deal with some plague of STD, why were the MALE children killed, while keeping alive the FEMALE virgins?)

4.   In verse 19 Moses did instruct the soldiers and their spoils (including the female virgins of Midian) to remain "without the camp seven days," but he did not say a single word about this being to protect the congregation of Israel from some plague.

5.  In verse 19 Moses did instruct the soldiers to "purify" all of their captive Midianites and any soldier that had killed someone or that had touched a dead body.  Yet this did NOT require a purifying of those who might only have touched a LIVING Midianite.  (Note: IF a plague of STD was the problem, then touching ANY Midianite, living or dead, should have been a problem for possibly passing that plague along.)

6.  In verse 20 Moses did instruct the soldiers to "purify" all of their raiment, all that was made of animal skins, all that was made with goats' hair, and all that was made with wood; but he did not say a single word about this being to deal with any plague contagion.

7.  In verses 21-24 Eleazar instructed the soldiers concerning the burning of that which would burn and the cleansing by water of all else, including their clothing on the seventh day; but he did not say a single word about this being to deal with any plague contagion.

8.  In fact, there is NOT a single word about plague anywhere throughout verses 17-24.  The ONLY mention of plague in this entire context is in verse 16; and that mention grammatically places that plague in the PAST TENSE ("And there WAS a plague among the congregation of the LORD").  Furthermore, that mention of plague in verse 16 ONLY speaks about a plague that was past tense "AMONG THE CONGREGATION" of Israel (not among the Midianite peoples or nation).

9.  Thus any insertion of plague among the Midianites is CONJECTURE, and any insertion of dealing with plague through the cleansings of verses 17-24 is CONJECTURE.  It is going BEYOND the revelation of Scripture.

Concerning Joshua 22:16-19:

1.  In Joshua 22:1-9 the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half tribe of Manasseh have completed their obligation to help the other tribes of Israel to conquer the land of Canaan, and are thus permitted to return unto their designated land on the east side of Jordan as promised by the Lord through Moses in Numbers 32:16-33.  There is NO indication throughout Joshua 22:1-9 that there is anything wrong, defiled, unclean, or plagued about this land.  In fact, in verse 4 that land is described as the land of their possession, which Moses the servant of the LORD had given them on the other side Jordan; and in verse 9 that land is described as "the land of their possession, whereof they were possessed, according to the word of the LORD by the hand of Moses."  Furthermore, there is NO indication throughout Joshua 22:1-9 that after they returned unto this land of their possession, they would be required to engage in ANY manner of purifying for the land.  (Note: IF this land was defiled, unclean, or plagued, then their women and children had spent the entirety of the time that they had been helping the other tribes of Israel in such a plague infested land, as per Numbers 32:16-27.)

2.  In Joshua 22:10 the problem is raised in that the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half tribe of Manasseh built an alter by Jordan, "a great altar to see to."  In fact, throughout verses 11-16 the ALTAR is the problem -- "And the children of Israel heard say, Behold, the children of Reuben and the children of Gad and the half tribe of Manasseh have built an altar over against the land of Canaan, in the borders of Jordan, at the passage of the children of Israel.  And when the children of Israel heard of it, the whole congregation of the children of Israel gathered themselves together at Shiloh, to go up to war against them.  And the children of Israel sent unto the children of Reuben, and to the children of Gad, and to the half tribe of Manasseh, into the land of Gilead, Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest, and with him ten princes, of each chief house a prince throughout all the tribes of Israel; and each one was an head of the house of their fathers among the thousands of Israel.  And they came unto the children of Reuben, and to the children of Gad, and to the half tribe of Manasseh, unto the land of Gilead, and they spake with them, saying, Thus saith the whole congregation of the LORD, What trespass is this that ye have committed against the God of Israel, to turn away this day from following the LORD, in that ye have builded you an altar, that ye might rebel this day against the LORD?"  Indeed, the rest of Israel initially viewed the building of this ALTAR as a trespass committed against the God of Israel, as a turning away from the Lord, and as a rebellion against the LORD.

3.  In Joshua 22:17-18 the rest of the children of Israel challenge the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half tribe of Manasseh with the following question -- "Is the iniquity of Peor too little for us, from which we are not cleansed until this day, although there was a plague in the congregation of the LORD, but that ye must turn away this day from following the LORD?"  With this question they do NOT ask whether they were not cleansed from the plague of Peor.  Rather, they ask whether they were not cleansed from the INIQUITY of Peor.  Furthermore, with this question they reference the plague as being PAST TENSE; and they ONLY reference the plague as being "in the congregation of the LORD," NOT as being in any body of land.  Finally, with this question they indicate their concern, NOT that some plague might continue to infest, but that the INIQUITY of turning away "from following the LORD" might continue.

4.  In the closing portion of Joshua 22:18 and in verse 20, the rest of the children of Israel express their concern that a trespass by the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half tribe of Manasseh might cause the Lord God to "be wroth with the WHOLE congregation of Israel," even as in the case of Achan.

5.  In Joshua 22:19 the rest of the children of Israel offer the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half tribe of Manasseh that IF they had found their land to be unclean, they could always move to the western side of Jordan with the rest of the children of Israel.  

6.  In Joshua 22:20-29 the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half tribe of Manasseh explain their decision to build the alter, NOT AT ALL as a rebellion against the Lord, NOT AT ALL as an altar for sacrifices, and NOT AT ALL as a replacement for the alter of the Lord in tabernacle, but ONLY as a memorial of witness between them and the rest of the children of Israel that ALL were a part of the same people and the same covenant.

7.  In Joshua 22:30-34 the rest of the children of Israel express approval for this altar as a memorial of witness, and thus return unto the land of Canaan with NO FURTHER CONCERNS.  Indeed, the chapter ends positively with NO concern about any unclean, plague infested land, and with NO purifying activity of any kind.  (Note: IF, as you say, the land was still infested with plague, then I would expect something to have been done about that, or at least some concern about it.)  Remember, in Joshua 22:19 the rest of the children of Israel had offered that IF the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half tribe of Manasseh had found their land to be unclean, they could always move to the western side of Jordan with the rest of the children of Israel.  Since this chapter concludes positively with NO move by them from their land, it would appear that they were NOT AT ALL concerned that the land was at all unclean.

Edited by Pastor Scott Markle
grammar

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8 hours ago, John Young said:

Out of curiosity, which definition do you think is meant, if not a physical disease or pestilence?

I believe it was a plague...that's it. I don't mean to sound like a smarty-pants...I simply believe it was a plague.

All of the 10 plagues sent on Egypt don't fall under the disease/pestilence categories (unless I misunderstand the meaning of pestilence), and unless I misunderstand the final plague, it brought death without disease.

 

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