Date of Award


Embargo Period


Degree Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Ministry and Theology (Honours) BMinTh (Hons)


Arts & Theology



First Advisor

Dr. Wendy Jackson

Second Advisor

Dr. Kayle de Waal


The ḥērem war in Joshua 6, which demands total destruction of the city and its inhabitants, presents a God who at first glance appears to be merciless and cruel.
This thesis employs socio-rhetorical interpretation as described by Vernon Robbins to explore Joshua 6. It aims to better understand God's involvement in the ḥērem war, and to determine what this involvement says about God’s character.
The comprehensive picture that emerges from the five textures of sociorhetorical interpretation reveals that Yahweh's anger is not against people or other nations, but against sin that destroys His creation. Rather than being merciless and cruel, a careful study of Joshua 6 shows that Yahweh is in fact merciful and full of love towards His creation. This love is demonstrated in the fact that God accommodates Himself to His sinful people. While violence is used in the process of vi the conquest, it is violence against sin and is redemptive in its nature, bringing salvation a step closer to its final fulfilment. This salvation is intended not only for the Israelites, but also for all the other nations. Joshua 6 also highlights God's love by presenting Him as a covenant keeper, thereby strengthening the faith of the Israelites in Yahweh who keeps His promises.


Used by permission: the author.

A print copy of this thesis is held in the Avondale College Library (SC Theses 222.206 Io7).