These above sources directly relate to Deuteronomy 20. Scientists have found what happened to the Canaanites: they weren’t destroyed. At least not completely. DNA evidence shows that “90 percent of the genetic ancestry of people in Lebanon came from the Canaanites” (Washington Post article). That’s cool. I also think it’s cool that this came out while I’m reading the Bible. I think I would’ve paid attention to this story, but it wouldn’t have meant as much to me as it does now if I weren’t doing this Bible study.
Deuteronomy 19: We see a retelling of how to handle people who killed someone else that was originally addressed in Numbers 35. This relates to the idea of cities of refuge. Other areas addressed are property laws and rules for testimony. This just follows the trend from earlier chapters in Deuteronomy.
Deuteronomy 20: This chapter addresses rules for warfare. It starts with God making it clear that they shouldn’t be afraid because God is on their side. Then, God gives many of the soldiers an “out” when it comes to war. They can leave for multiple reasons: if someone built a new home but hasn’t dedicated it yet, if someone planted a new vineyard but hasn’t really used it yet, if someone is engaged, or if someone is afraid or discouraged.
Then God emphasizes that they should first seek peace. If that doesn’t work, then destroy the town, kill all the males, and keep everything (including the women) as the spoils of war. Then they are told to kill everything in the cities that currently occupy the lands of their inheritance.
Deuteronomy 21: More rules and regulations are shared. The discussion of foreign wives is a little interesting. You can take a foreign wife, but if it doesn’t work out, you need to send her back to her town. Your oldest son gets ⅔ of everything you own, no matter if he’s from the wife you love or the wife you don’t (great example of family values), and rebellious children are to be stoned to death. Um…what??? THAT’S JUST NUTS!!!
Acts 27: Paul’s perilous journey to Rome. It seems to take a long time. They travel by boat in winter and it doesn’t go very well. There’s a return of the “we” passages here as well. I still find that to be really interesting.
As I continue to read Acts I find that I just want to read more about Paul and learn more about him. I need to start finding some additional sources to read about him.