The Discovered Book – 2 Kings 22:1–23:30
You do not desire sacrifice and meal offering:
You have pierced my ears;
You do not ask for burnt offering and sin offering.
Thnn I said:
See, I am coming,
in the scroll is written what befell me.
To do what pleases you, my God, is my desire,
your torah is in my inmost parts
Psalm 40:7–10, transl. GJV.
In the previous chapter we saw how the book of Deuteronomy is implicitly identified with 'the torah of Moses'. The authority this lends to Deuteronomy is immediately confirmed in Joshua, the next book in the canon, which takes up where Deuteronomy left off: after Moses' death (Josh. 1:1). In Josh. 1:7 we hear that during the journey into the Land Joshua is commanded by YHWH to observe faithfully 'all the torah that my servant Moses enjoined upon you' The next verse states explicitly what is meant by this 'torah': 'This book of the torah will not cease from your lips you will recite it day and night so that you will take care to observe everything that is written in it' (Josh. 1:8). In other words Joshua will have to walk in the spirit of Moses by physically remembering the actual words from the 'book of the torah' written by Moses.1 With his own ears he has heard the words spoken by Moses but in order to be guided by 'Moses' he will have to keep before his mind's eye the words written in the 'book of the torah' day and night: a reference to Deut 31:24–26 and thus at the same time an allusion to the book of Deuteronomy itself2
Although he is Moses' successor, Joshua does not automatically take Moses' place: the 'book of the torah' is between them, so
1 H.W. Hertzberg, Die Bücher Josua, Richter, Ruth (ATD, 9), Göttingen
31965, 15: 'Der Glaubensgehorsam erscheint als Wort-, ja Buchgehorsam.'
See Schäfer-Lichtenberger, 'Göttliche und menschliche Autorität', 136: 'Josua
wird quasi auf die geschriebene Torah vereidigt. Das Torah-Buch grenzt
seinen Handlungsrahmen ein und wird ihm als Sachautoritat vorgeordnet.'
2 Cf. M.A. Beek, Jozaa (PredOT), Nijkerk 1981, 38: 'It is clear that the
author uses the word torah in the same sense as it is used in Deuteronomy.'