Conquering Your Own Promised Land

After the book of Exodus is Leviticus, which contains 613 laws designed to show people how imperfect they are. Have you ever listened to Leviticus? It's post-modernly ridiculous. Let’s see how well you “keep the law”.

  • Have you ever spread any gossip (19:16)? You fail.

  • Have you ever order bacon on your cheeseburger (11:4-7)? Fail.

  • Have you ever not told “the whole story” about something you borrowed from a neighbor (6:2)? Fail.

  • Ever lie, cheat, or steal (19:11)? Fail.

  • Have you ever waited a day to pay a doctor or lawyer bill (19:13) Fail.

  • Have you ever gotten revenge (19:18)? Fail.

  • Have you ever worn workout clothes (19:19)? Fail, they have mixed materials in their garments.

  • Have you ever grown a mustache (19:27) or got a tattoo (19:28)? Fail.

  • Have you ever sold your house and bought a new one (25:23)? Fail.

If you are a Christian using Leviticus 18:22 to discriminate against gay people, maybe you should check the plank in your own eye first. Shave that mustache, get off social media, and toss out all your work out clothes before you tell anyone else the “right way” to live. The right way is impossible on purpose. You can learn more about why these rules are so impossible in:

God Loves Numbers

The next book in the Bible after Leviticus is Numbers. Isn’t it amazing that the Bible has an entire book called Numbers? The Bible says God numbers every hair on our heads and has a name for every star in the sky. In the observable universe, there are approximately 200 billion galaxies and each one has about 100 million stars. That’s a lot of names.

God is really into numbering and naming things, and so are his “chosen people”. The book of Numbers begins by numbering and naming all the Israelites who escaped slavery in Egypt, by tribe and head of household.

One of the reasons the ancient Israelites had unusually good records is because the Hebrew language is symbolic, which means it can represent the names of things, but it is also numeric. The Hebrew word for this is Gematria. Wiki defines gematria as the practice of assigning a numerical value to a name, word or phrase by reading it as a number, or sometimes by using an alphanumerical cipher.

Here’s a mind-blowing introduction to Hebrew gematria called, “The Hebrew Language is The DNA of Creation”. (77 mins)

If you want to learn even more about the Hebrew Language, check out this lecture by Dr. Douglas Petrovich from an archaeological perspective, “Is Hebrew the World’s Oldest Alphabet, and Why Should Lay People Care?” (117 mins)

Email these videos to your favorite math or computer science nerd.


The book of Numbers documents the journey of the ancient Israelites through the Sinai desert to the land of Canaan. Their journey was very difficult because God uses fasting and scarcity to test our character. The people who rebelled against the authority of Moses were swallowed up by the desert. Others dropped dead from complaining, idolatry, or having sex with Moabite women. There were plenty of casualties, but eventually the Israelites were culled and pruned into a mighty nation.

Let’s pickup the story in Numbers 13. Moses has led the entire nation of Israel to the eastern edge of the Jordan River and selected 12 spies to go into the promised land. This chapter follows the Bible Key pretty closely, so I’ve included the meaning next to each verse number.

Numbers 13: 17 (go forth) When Moses sent them to explore Canaan, he said, “Go up through the Negev and on into the hill country. 18 (strong man) See what the land is like and whether the people who live there are strong or weak, few or many. 19 (test) What kind of land do they live in? Is it good or bad? What kind of towns do they live in? Are they unwalled or fortified? 20 (witness order) How is the soil? Is it fertile or poor? Are there trees in it or not? Do your best to bring back some of the fruit of the land.”

It was the season for the first ripe grapes.

After 40 days exploring Canaan, the spies return to Moses.

Numbers 13: 27 (strong judgment) They reported to Moses: “We went into the land where you sent us. Indeed it is flowing with milk and honey, and here is some of its fruit. 28 (witness new life) However, the people living in the land are strong, and the cities are large and fortified. We also saw the descendants of Anak there. 29 (test results) The Amalekites are living in the land of the Negev; the Hittites, Jebusites, and Amorites live in the hill country; and the Canaanites live by the sea and along the Jordan.”

30 (strong order) Then Caleb quieted the people in the presence of Moses and said, “We must go up and take possession of the land because we can certainly conquer it!”

31 (strong beginning) But the men who had gone up with him responded, “We can’t go up against the people because they are stronger than we are!” 32 (strong witness) And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored. They said, ‘The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size. 33 (enduring strength) We saw the Nephilim there (the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim). We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.’”

Remember the Titans?

So the conquest of Canaan was much more miraculous than they talk about in church. The first Nephilim after Noah’s Flood is named Anak. In the Bible, his offspring are known as the Anakites, or the Anakim. The fight against these giants begins immediately, even before the Israelites cross the Jordan river.

Here’s an example in Deuteronomy.

Deuteronomy 3: 1 Then we turned and went up the road to Bashan, and Og king of Bashan came out against us with his whole army to do battle at Edrei. 2 But the Lord said to me, ‘Do not fear him, for I have handed him over to you along with his whole army and his land. Do to him as you did to Sihon king of the Amorites, who lived in Heshbon.’ 3 So the Lord our God also handed over Og king of Bashan and his whole army to us. We struck him until there was no survivor left. 4 We captured all his cities at that time. There wasn’t a city that we didn’t take from them: 60 cities, the entire region of Argob, the kingdom of Og in Bashan. 5 All these were fortified with high walls, gates, and bars, besides a large number of rural villages. 6 We completely destroyed them, as we had done to Sihon king of Heshbon, destroying the men, women, and children of every city. 7 But we took all the livestock and the spoil from the cities as plunder for ourselves.

The Land of the Transjordan Tribes

8 “At that time we took the land from the two Amorite kings across the Jordan, from the Arnon Valley as far as Mount Hermon, 9 which the Sidonians call Sirion, but the Amorites call Senir, 10 all the cities of the plateau, Gilead, and Bashan as far as Salecah and Edrei, cities of Og’s kingdom in Bashan. 11 (Only Og king of Bashan was left of the remnant of the Rephaim. His bed was made of iron. Isn’t it in Rabbah of the Ammonites? It is 13 feet six inches long and six feet wide by a standard measure.)

One of the reasons I like this quote in Deuteronomy is because the ancient historian Herodotus also mentions seeing the bed of a giant, named Ozymandias, during his time in Egypt. The size of a giant’s bed is a great way to demonstrate its height. Another good way is the size of a giant’s coffin. Check out this video called, “Out of Place Ancient Artifacts in The Cairo Museum in Egypt”. You will see two coffins for people 10 feet tall, machine-lathed granite bowls older than prehistoric pottery, and machined saw marks on granite blocks that require diamond tipped blades. (15 mins)

How else does anyone explain these ancient artifacts? Also, check out this video about a cache of giant weapons that are on display in the Israel museum. (13 mins)

Later in Deuteronomy 27, Moses instructs the Israelites to build an altar to the Lord on Mount Ebal with uncut stones. Here’s another archaeological video that will take you there called, “Exploring Joshua’s Altar in Israel”. (9 mins)

The most interesting archaeological discovery of the past few years was found at this site. Dr. Scott Stripling found curse tablets that contain the first use of the name of God in Israel. The tablets prove that the ancient Israelites were literate hundreds of years earlier than most academics believed. Here’s an interview with Dr. Stripling about the find. (51 mins)

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Yeshua to the Rescue

By the end of Deuteronomy, Moses is dying. Moses lived 40 years as an Egyptian in Pharaoh’s house, 40 years as a lowly shepherd in Sinai, and then 40 years leading the Israelites out of Egypt through the Sinai. Moses commissions Joshua to lead the Israelites into the promised land and then dies on the top of Mount Nebo in modern day Jordan.

View from Mount Nebo, Jordan looking West into Israel. The Dead Sea has retreated significantly since the time of Moses due to modern agriculture.

Joshua is the English translation of the Hebrew name Yeshua. Yeshua means “Yah saves” or “Yah rescues”. The Greek translation of this name is Jesus.

Joshua leads the Israelites into Canaan and the battles were epic. Most of the conquests in Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, 1 and 2 Samuel, and 1 Chronicles required miracles from above—like the walls falling down in Jericho. If you don’t think this event required a miracle, check out this video from Bible Expedition that explains the archaeology at Jericho. (34 mins)

If you still don’t believe in the Israelite conquests really happened, watch this archaeology lecture by Dr. Douglas Petrovich called, “Can Archaeology Teach Us Anything About the Conquest of Canaan?”. (83 mins)

You should watch the archaeological videos. They are compelling.

Email this story to your bible study group.


Hunting Giants

For all the miracles in the conquest of Canaan to work correctly, God gave the Israelites very specific instructions to conquer each city (like walking around Jericho for seven days and then blasting their trumpets). If you carefully observe the stories in Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, 1 and 2 Samuel, and 1 Chronicles; you’ll see that God only demands that the Israelites “kill every man, woman, and child” in the cities that held the descendants of Anak—the Anakim.

The best explanation for why this happened is in Michael Heiser’s book, “The Unseen Realm”.

Heiser writes, “Israel is Yahweh’s elect portion of humanity, and the land of Canaan is the geography that Yahweh, as owner, specifically allotted to his people. In the view of the biblical writers, Israel is at war with enemies spawned by rival divine beings. The Nephilim bloodlines were not like the peoples of the disinherited nations ... the target of kherem was the Anakim.”

Kherem is the Hebrew word for “take no prisoners”. It means to sacrifice something completely to the Lord, which is why the Israelites had to kill every man, woman, and child in the cities that held the Anakim. The bigger point by Heiser though is that there are heavenly beings responsible for various territories here on the Earth. This concept is known as Cosmic Geography. Here’s a video from Heiser to explain more about it. (71 mins)

Dr. Heiser also discusses Cosmic Geography in this Q&A video. (49 mins)

So in addition to the human warfare that happens here on Earth, there is a simultaneous spiritual battle “in the heavens” that affects what happens here on Earth. There’s a great Biblical example of this in Daniel 10. Listen to the reason this angel gives for taking an extra 3 weeks to respond to Daniel’s prayer.

Daniel 10: 12 “Don’t be afraid, Daniel,” he said to me, “for from the first day that you purposed to understand and to humble yourself before your God, your prayers were heard. I have come because of your prayers. 13 But the prince of the kingdom of Persia opposed me for 21 days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me after I had been left there with the kings of Persia. 14 Now I have come to help you understand what will happen to your people in the last days, for the vision refers to those days.”

When this angel shows up, Daniel collapses to the ground out of fear because the angel’s face “shined as bright as lightning”, his “eyes were like flaming torches”, his “body was like topaz”, his arms and feet “gleamed like polished bronze”, and the sound of his words “sounded like a multitude”.

I gave the description of this angel to the artificial intelligence from Midjourney and this is what it imagined:

Have you ever noticed how every time a person meets an angel in the Bible the first thing the angel tells the person is, “Don’t be afraid”? Well wouldn’t you be afraid if this guy popped out in front of you one day speaking in some ominous voice of multitudes?

Daniel 10: 20 He said, “Do you know why I’ve come to you? I must return at once to fight against the prince of Persia, and when I leave, the prince of Greece will come. 21 No one has the courage to support me against them except Michael, your prince. However, I will tell you what is recorded in the book of truth.”

The supernatural prince of Persia and prince of Greece sound pretty scary too. But the real point of this quote is there are “rulers” in the “heavens” that control specific territories here on Earth. Like Heiser said, “Israel is Yahweh’s elect portion of humanity, and the land of Canaan is the geography that Yahweh, as owner, specifically allotted to his people.” So the Israelite conquest of Canaan was actually a supernatural conquest. When the Israelites finally complete it, almost all the Anakim had been removed from the land. Let’s skip ahead to Joshua 11 to hear the conclusion of the story.

Joshua 11: 21 At that time Joshua went and destroyed the Anakites from the hill country: from Hebron, Debir and Anab, from all the hill country of Judah, and from all the hill country of Israel. Joshua totally destroyed them and their towns. 22 No Anakites were left in Israelite territory; only in Gaza, Gath and Ashdod did any survive. 23 So Joshua took the entire land, just as the Lord had directed Moses, and he gave it as an inheritance to Israel according to their tribal divisions. Then the land had rest from war.”

This leads us to the young King David because last remaining Anakite on Earth lived in Gath. His name was Goliath. King Saul had the opportunity to stand up to Goliath, but failed to find the courage for 40 straight days. So the reason King David is the true King of Israel is because David killed the last Anakite on Earth.

If you want to learn more about the archaeology of King David, here’s “Searching for a King: Israel’s United Kingdom: the Complete Series” by Appian Media. (111 mins)

Conquering Your Own Promised Land

Throughout this chapter, we’ve discussed the various ways that God is parenting our civilization. God took away our technology during Noah’s Flood. God took away our technology again at the Tower of Babel. These are the interventions of a parent with a very young child. When God parted the Red Sea and destroyed the Egyptian army, he didn’t ask for any help from us.

But this relationship starts to change with the conquest of Canaan. God gives his chosen people rules to follow in Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. He asks them to eliminate the false gods in their lives on their own. He asks them to face the scary giants in their lives on their own. The Israelites constantly beg God for help, just like a young child who is facing the world for the first time.

So there’s a metaphorical lesson we can take away from the conquest of Canaan. We all have little addictions that rule our lives as “false gods” or “idols” that we need to eliminate. Remember in the Sermon on the Mount when Jesus says if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off? Or if your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out? Jesus is asking us to devote the evil parts of ourselves to total destruction, just like God commanded Joshua in the conquest of Canaan. Inside each of us is our own “promised land” and it’s our job to conquer ourselves.

Jesus is asking for kherem.


Let’s say the same thing another way. The Bible sees each person as a tree that bears fruit. Jesus says you will know everyone by their fruit. There are only two ways any gardener can get more produce from a plant: they can either fertilize it or they can prune it. Pruning a plant forces it to redirect its energy into more productive areas. Get it?

In the Genesis and Exodus, humanity was too young to manage ourselves so God was personally our gardener. He had to transplant Adam and Eve. Then he had to burn the next garden to the ground. God selected Abraham for his own personal stock and planted him within his own territory. God fertilized his people in Egypt, then used the religious laws in Leviticus as scaffolding to “train his vine”—just like gardeners do with tomato plants.

God fertilized Abraham and pruned him into the great nation that is still around today. For more than 3,000 years, the Jews have been keeping God’s laws. It’s incredible to witness what God has achieved with his chosen people. The ancient gods of Marduk and Baal were real gods who ruled real people, but we haven’t seen their worshippers for thousands of years. But you can still see Yahweh’s people praying to him on the Western Wall of Solomon’s Temple 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Tap on the image below to see a live cam.

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