Joshua 24:26—Was the sanctuary originally at Shechem or at Shiloh?

Problem: According to Joshua 24:25–26 (cf. v. 1), the sanctuary was at Shechem. But earlier (1 Sam. 3:21; 4:3), it was said to be in Shiloh.

Solution: The term “sanctuary” (miqdash) here simply means “holy place” or “sacred spot.” It need not refer to the “tabernacle” (mishkan) where the ark of the covenant rested, but simply to a sacred location, such as one consecrated by Abraham (cf. Gen. 12:6–7) and Jacob (Gen. 33:19–20; 35:2–3). The tabernacle was at Shiloh, as Joshua himself acknowledged earlier in this same book (Josh. 18:1).

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This excerpt is from When Critics Ask: A Popular Handbook on Bible Difficulties (Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books, 1992). © 2014 Norman Geisler and Thomas Howe. All rights reserved. Used by permission. Click here to purchase this book.