Gaza will be abandoned
and Ashkelon left in ruins.
At midday Ashdod will be emptied
and Ekron uprooted.
- Zephaniah 2:4
The title of this quiz would make you think that we would be looking at the book of Joshua. The cities that have been chosen may be mentioned in Joshua, but the questions pertain to other references to that city in the Bible. In the verse above, Gaza, Ashkelon, Ashdod, and Ekron are all mentioned in Joshua and, at least, this verse in Zephaniah.
It is one thing to be mentioned as a town that defines the border between two tribes of Israel, but is there any significance in these towns that causes more mentions of the town in the Bible? I picked those that were often mentioned, maybe not the most often. In each case there could be a city or town near that location today. The cities are not in alphabetical order or the order of appearance in the book of Joshua or even the Bible.
I know. I usually throw in a hint like that before I show the answers, but this time, my brain is in random mode. But I will give you the first letter of each city. The “How often?” column is the number of times that city name is mentioned in the Bible. In a few cases, there were more than one city by that name, but I went with the word database, except for one city name that easily became letters in other names. In the one exception, the instances were counted by hand. Thus, the number of how often might be inflated, adding two cities together in a couple of cases.
|Question||How Often?||First Letter|
|What city was called “The City of David” once King David captured it?||801||J|
|What city was once Luz, but Jacob changed the name to “House of God” because of his dream about a ladder (or stairway) to heaven?||69||B|
|After the Ark of the Covenant was returned by the Philistines to Israel, where did it reside for 20 years?||18||K J|
|What city became David’s home when he established himself as King of Judah? It is where the other tribes came to declare him king of all Israel, and it once was one of the locations where Abram pitched his tents.||75||H|
|In the story of the Good Samaritan, where was the traveler going when he was attacked?||59||J|
|What city was attacked by Jacob’s sons because the king’s son had raped their sister, Dinah?||60||S|
|What southern city is used many times to be the farthest point in that direction for the Promised Land? Seven times mentioned as “Dan to ____”||34||B|
|What city, along with another city, were the cities where Abraham pitched his tent between them? During the counting of the exiles who returned, they counted those in both cities.||36||A|
|Where was Saul confirmed as king after rescuing the city of Jabesh Gilead?||40||G|
|Where did the Ark of the Covenant reside from the time of Joshua until it was sent with the army, allowing the Philistines to capture it?||32||S|
There are a lot of cities that are mentioned in Joshua and also mentioned elsewhere in the Bible. I could do more quizzes on this subject. Many of these ancient cities, or at least archaeological findings, have been discovered due to the accuracy of the biblical text.
The Bible is more than a history, more than a history of the Hebrew people and of the early Christians. The Bible is a revelation of almighty God. It is a story of how God loves us. Each of these cities may sound, as the second video below states, like a map without pictures, but in the time of its writing, people knew that those events took place. Thus, these events meant something then, and we can learn from the stories now.
In the Bible Reference section, there will be two Bible references (as a minimum) for each question. The second column will be the Bible Reference to answer the question, but there may also be a second biblical reference to something else that is noteworthy about the city. The third column will have a reference to show that the city was mentioned in Joshua.
|What city was called “The City of David” once King David captured it?||2 Samuel 5:6-16||Joshua 15:63|
|What city was once Luz, but Jacob changed the name to “House of God” because of his dream about a ladder (or stairway) to heaven?||Genesis 28:10-19||Joshua 16:1|
|After the Ark of the Covenant was returned by the Philistines to Israel, where did it reside for 20 years?||1 Samuel 7:1-2||Joshua 9|
|What city became David’s home when he established himself as King of Judah? It is where the other tribes came to declare him king of all Israel, and it once was one of the locations where Abram pitched his tents.||2 Samuel 5:1-4 (Genesis 13:18)||Joshua 10|
|In the story of the Good Samaritan, where was the traveler going when he was attacked?||Luke 10:25-37||Joshua 5:13 – 6:27|
|What city was attacked by Jacob’s sons because the king’s son had raped their sister, Dinah?||Genesis 34:1-31||Joshua 21:21|
|What southern city is used many times to be the farthest point in that direction for the Promised Land? Seven times mentioned as “Dan to ____”||Judges 20:1, 1 Samuel 30:20, and for a strange twist, see Amos 8:14||Joshua 15:28|
|What city, along with another city, were the cities where Abraham pitched his tent between them? During the counting of the exiles who returned, they counted those in both cities.||Genesis 12:8 and Ezra 2:28||Joshua 7:1 – 8:29|
|Where was Saul confirmed as king after rescuing the city of Jabesh Gilead?||1 Samuel 11:1-15||Joshua 4:19-5:12|
|Where did the Ark of the Covenant reside from the time of Joshua until it was sent with the army, allowing the Philistines to capture it?||1 Samuel 4:1-11||Joshua 18:1-2|
These ten cities are important cities in the telling of the story of Joshua, for the most part. They were selected, because they were mentioned several times in the Bible, but also because we can learn from each story. The answers are given below, but the significance is also mentioned.
The Answers section gives the answer, a bit about how the question’s answer is relevant and a bit about its relevance in Joshua and elsewhere in the Bible and even today, in a case or two.
|Answer||City Rel.||Joshua Rel.|
|Jerusalem||The City of David became the location of the temple and eventually where Jesus died on the cross.||The noted Scripture from Joshua showed that Joshua never conquered the city, nor did Judah after the land was divided. And still today there are disputed claims over whose city Jerusalem should be.|
|Bethel||Abraham initially camped between Bethel and Ai. Thus, Jacob was not far from Bethel when he took flight, escaping the wrath of Esau. Jacob would return to Bethel (Genesis 35).||Bethel was a border city of Ephraim. When the northern tribes split off, Bethel became a location of idol worship, from the House of God to the House of Evil (Beth-Aven – although some distinguish the two cities by a short distance).|
|Kiriath Jearim||In 1 Samuel 6, the Philistines were “plagued” after capturing the Ark. They had to get rid of it at the closest city. Someone was consecrated to the task of guarding the Ark. Most of the significance of Kiriath Jearim is its location, to the south and near Israel’s enemies.||Joshua 9 speaks of the treachery of Gibeon and how the Israelites handled the oath they had sworn to protect their neighbors. Kiriath Jearim was one of the four Gibeonite cities. Yet, this was the first problem that Joshua faced in ridding the land of other tribes – and the idol worship of those tribes.|
|Hebron||David established himself as the king of Judah, establishing his kingdom at Hebron, but the other tribes came to him there, requesting he be king over all Israel. The Genesis reference said that Abram had camped at Hebron for a time. This was when Abram and Lot divided their possessions and the land where they would graze their flocks.||Joshua 10 starts with the story of the sun stopping in the sky so that Joshua could defeat the army of the five kings, one of which was the king of Hebron. After these five kings were killed, Joshua moved south with his army, totally destroying everything and everyone in each of the cities. They went from Eglon to Hebron and from Hebron to Debir.|
|Jericho||The traveler went from Jerusalem toward Jericho. Before Jesus made his Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem, as we celebrate on Palm Sunday, He traveled from Jericho to Jerusalem, healing blind men (Matthew 20) and visiting with Zacchaeus (Luke 19)||If the question was about the walls of Jericho coming down, it might not have been an obscure question. From Joshua 2 through Joshua 6, the story builds. The spies going to Jericho, meeting Rahab, the preparation, the crossing of the Jordan on dry land, and then marching around the city, all before the walls “came tumbling down.”|
|Shechem||The story of Dinah’s rape is significant for a few reasons. Judah became the chosen son for which we get Jesus, partly because Simeon and Levi masterminded the attack on Shechem. Jacob feared their entire family would get a poor reputation as a result, but Simeon and Levi felt justified due to Dinah’s ill treatment. This story accounts for roughly one quarter of the references to Shechem.||Shechem became a Levite city, and specifically a sanctuary city. Today the word is used, but the concept is changed. In Levitical Law, a life must be taken for a life. If you felt the life lost was accidental, you ran for a sanctuary city. If the result of the investigation showed it was not an accident, you were handed over to be killed. In Levitical Law, the sanctuary city provided a means to due process, not a circumvention of the law.|
|Beersheba||Seven times in the Bible, the extent of the Israel nation is expressed as Dan to Beersheba, twice as Beersheba to Dan, and then other variants. Since “Beer” is the Hebrew word for well, it was a significant landmark.||The southern tribe was Judah and Beersheba was near the southern extent. When the northern tribes rebelled under the leadership of Jeroboam, it made an easy split of the land, just north of Jerusalem.|
|Ai||As if differentiating between good and evil, Ai is paired with the nearby Bethel (House of God). Of the 36 references to Ai, eleven pair it with Bethel.||Joshua was promised that everywhere his foot stepped, the Promised Land would be his, but after the Jericho victory, he tasted defeat at the much smaller Ai. They were instructed to not plunder from Jericho, but Achan of the tribe of Judah had taken some things. His sin led to the defeat. After Achan and his family were stoned, Joshua again attacked the city and destroyed it.|
|Gilgal||Saul had already been anointed, but after rescuing the people of Jabesh Gilead, the people confirmed him as king at Gilgal. As for Jabesh Gilead, not a Joshua city, they rescued Saul’s body when the Philistines made a trophy of it. The rescuer became, after death, the rescued.||The Israelites crossed the river Jordan and camped at Gilgal. They set up a pillar of stones to commemorate the event there. In preparation for the attack on nearby Jericho, they celebrated Passover and circumcised the men at Gilgal.|
|Shiloh||The removal from Shiloh led to the Ark being captured. Eli’s sons were killed in the attack and Eli died when hearing the news.||The tent of meeting was set up at Shiloh. It was the place of worship for the Israelites, until they wanted a king…|
Having all four great-grandfathers fighting in the Battle of Shiloh (named after a small church in the middle of the battlefield), I had to mention Shiloh, but it was significant that the tent of meeting and its contents remained at Shiloh from near the retirement of Joshua until the ministry of Samuel as judge, priest, and prophet. At least it stayed there in all the tumultuous years of the book of Judges, just to be captured by the Philistines when used as a “good luck charm.”
Of course, the big song that talks about Joshua is Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho. Here, the Martins sing it in Big Band / Swing style. So, how would I not love it, combining Southern Gospel and Big Band /Swing!!!!
You might not agree with everything this guy says, but he did a summary of the book of Joshua in less than nine minutes.
If you like these Saturday morning Bible quizzes, but you think you missed a few, you can use this LINK. I have set up a page off the home page for links to these Saturday morning posts. I will continue to modify the page as I add more.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.