I came across an interesting passage in my translation of 1 Maccabees. As an aside, some of you might be wondering why I am reading this book since it is not a part of the Protestant canon, but it might surprise you to know that it is a part of the LXX corpus (body of writings). Also, it’s all about fidelity to the covenant and war. Also, what American doesn’t like the idea of “Join or Die?” After all, it was one of the rallying cries of the nation. I fear I have wandered a bit off point.
What role in Israel’s history did Joshua play? He assumes the role of Moses, who was in some capacity prophet, priest, and king, but he never seems to function in all the same capacities as his predecessor. Was he simply a brilliant military strategist? Was he a judge? Matthias, the father of Judas Maccabeus, says, “Joshua, when he fulfilled the word [most likely referring to his faithful reconnaissance account] became a judge in Israel” (1 Macc 2:55).
Obviously this interpretation does not bear canonical weight. Yet it is an interesting interpretation of the role of Joshua, especially considering the placement of Judges and the theory of a so-called octateuch (Pentateuch + Joshua, Judges and Ruth).