History consists, for the greater part, of the miseries brought upon the world by pride, ambition, avarice, revenge, lust, sedition, hypocrisy, ungoverned zeal, and all the train of disorderly appetite. — Edmund Burke

Heroes of Israel - Lawton Evans




On the Border of the Promised Land

The time had come to number the people of Israel again, and Moses and Eleazor, the high priest, began to count the men in the tribes, as Moses and Aaron had done at Sinai. After the counting was over it was found that all those who had been afraid to go over into Canaan the first time were dead, just as the Lord had said. Only Caleb and Joshua, the good spies, were left, for the Lord had promised that they should live and lead the people into the promised land.

Now the Midianites had tempted the children of Israel to worship idols and to commit sin in the eyes of the Lord. In order to punish these heathen, Moses sent twelve thousand men against them to give them battle. God gave the Israelites a great victory over their enemies, and their kings were slain.

The Midianites were despoiled of all their goods, and all their cattle, and thousands of their oxen, asses, and sheep. Their cities were burned, and even the castles which they lived in were destroyed by fire.

After the battle was over the leaders of the hosts of Israel came to Moses and said: "Thy servants have taken count of the men under our charge, and there is not one missing." Thus did the Lord give the children of Israel a great victory over their enemies.

At last the people of Israel came near the land of Canaan. For forty years they had been wandering in the wilderness, and a new generation of them had been born, and grown into manhood. During all these years the Lord had provided them with food and water, had protected them from their enemies, had punished them for their sins, had given them laws, and had led them on with his pillar of cloud by day and his pillar of fire by night. Now they were near the river Jordan and there they made their camp.

While they waited for the Lord to direct them, two of the tribes of the children of Israel came to Moses and told him they did not wish to go over Jordan, but desired to stay in the land of Gilead where they were. They had a great many cattle, and the land was rich and well watered and they were satisfied as they were. They said to Moses: "Let this land be given to thy servants for a possession and bring us not over Jordan. We will build sheepfolds here for our cattle and cities for our little ones."

Moses was angry with these tribes, for he thought they were afraid to go to war with the people of Canaan and asked their leaders: "Shall your brethren go to war, and shall you sit here?"

The leaders had no such intention, and told Moses they would leave their cattle and their wives and children in the land of Gilead, and the men would go forward and help their brethren conquer the land of Canaan. After that the men would return and live in the land of Gilead where they had built them sheepfolds and left their families.

Moses told the two tribes which were the tribes of Reuben and Gad, that they might have the land of Gilead for their own, provided the men go across Jordan and help the others conquer the country. And so the men built their sheepfolds, and houses for their wives and children to live in on that side of Jordan, but the men themselves made ready to accompany their brethren in their march to the promised land. Half of the tribe of Manasseh asked to join the tribes of Reuben and Gad and stay on that side of Jordan, and Moses allowed them also.



Contents

Front Matter
Review

The Garden of Eden
The First Great Crime
The Flood
The Tower of Babel
Abraham Moves into Canaan
Sodom and Gomorrah
The Trial of Abraham's Faith
Searching for a Wife for Isaac
Isaac and Rebekah
Esau Sells his Birthright
Jacob Serves for Rachel
Jacob Returns to Canaan
Joseph is Sold into Egypt
Pharaoh's Dream
Joseph's Brethren Buy Corn
Jacob Moves into Egypt
The Early Life of Moses
Egyptians Smitten with Plagues
Egyptians Drowned in Red Sea
The Lord Provides for Israel
Plan to Build the Tabernacle
The Golden Calf
Wanderings of the Israelites
Spying Out the Land of Canaan
Punishing the Israelites
Balaam is Made to Prophesy
Border of the Promised Land
Last Days of Moses
Rahab Saves the Spies
The Destruction of Jericho
The Capture of Ai
Joshua Conquers Canaan
Gideon is Given a Sign
Gideon Overcomes Midianites
The Punishment of Abimelech
Jephthah's Daughter
The Young Samson
Samson and the Philistines
The Death of Samson
Naomi and Ruth
Ruth and Boaz
The Young Samuel
Philistines Capture the Ark
Philistines Return the Ark
Saul in Anointed King
Jonathan and the Philistines
The Disobedience of Saul
Samuel Anoints David
David and Goliath
Saul is Jealous of David
David and Jonathan
The Madness of Saul
David Spares the Life of Saul
The Last Days of King Saul
David Becomes King
The Rebellion of Absalom
The Death of Absalom
Solomon Becomes King
The Wisdom of Solomon
Solomon Builds the Temple
Queen of Sheba Visits Solomon
Revolt of the Ten Tribes
The Wickedness of Jeroboam
Elijah Begins His Ministry
Elijah Destroys the Prophets
Elisha is Made a Prophet
Death of Ahab
Sickness of Ahaziah
Last Days of Elijah
Miracles of Elisha
Naaman is Cured of Leprosy
Flight of the Syrians
Jehu is Appointed King
The Story of Joash
Last days of Elisha
Destruction of Sennacherib
Judah Led into Captivity
Destruction of Jerusalem
Daniel Interprets the Dream
The Fiery Furnace
Madness of Nebuchadnezzer
Handwriting on the Wall
Daniel in the Lion's Den
Jonah Swallowed by a Fish
Jonah Warns Nineveh
Esther Becomes Queen
The Vengeance of Haman
Esther Saves Her People
The Return from Captivity
Nehemiah Rebuilds Jerusalem