valley of cutting off

Joshua - 1

valley of cutting off

Joshua 7:22-26 (JDV)

Joshua 7:22 So Joshua sent messengers who ran to the tent, and there was the cloak, concealed in his tent, with the silver underneath.
Joshua 7:23 They took the things from inside the tent, brought them to Joshua and all the Israelites, and spread them out in Yahveh’s presence.
Joshua 7:24 Then Joshua and all Israel with him took Achan son of Zerah, the silver, the cloak, and the bar of gold, his sons and daughters, his ox, donkey, and sheep, his tent, and all that he had, and brought them up to the Valley of Achor.
Joshua 7:25 Joshua said, “Why have you cut us off? Today Yahveh will cut you off!” So all Israel stoned them to death. They burned their bodies, threw stones on them,
Joshua 7:26 and raised over him a large pile of rocks that remains still today. Then Yahveh turned from his burning anger. Therefore that place is called the Valley of Achor still today.

valley of cutting off

Traditionally, this passage was interpreted and translated as if Achan was being accused of causing trouble, but (as my translation shows) the verb used means to cut someone off by making them taboo. By his sin, Achan has cut the people off from their relationship with God, and destroying him and everything he had (including his family) restored the relationmship.

I have been looking at this entire story as a depiction of the reality of future judgment. Hell will be a place where all whose sin have cut them off from God will be cut off from life itself. This cleansing of the universe is part of what makes an eternity in fellowship with God possible.

For the Israelites, that pile of stones in the valley of cutting off showed the severity of sin, and the need to eliminate it in their community.

We will either be cut off from our sins, or be cut from God by our sins.

About Jefferson Vann

Jefferson Vann is pastor of Piney Grove Advent Christian Church in Delco, North Carolina. You can contact him at -- !
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