Historical Books: Disobedience and Defeat
The historical books, Joshua to Nehemiah, offer an account of continual theological and moral rebellion, and repeated national judgments.
Under Ezra and Nehemiah, the remnant that returned to Israel finally abandoned the worship of local idols and foreign idols. The Israelites never again ruled themselves politically. They were under the domination of foreigners: Medes/Persians, Greeks, and Romans. They got to see the political fruits of foreign deities first-hand. That cured them.
From Joshua until the dual captivities under Assyria and Babylon, the Israelites thought they were wiser than God. The historical books provide the record of Israel's repeated rebellions.
Here are some of the economic themes: obey and grow rich, economic safety nets, gleaning as a welfare program, the matchmaker, the importance of family name, theories of causation, wisdom and wealth, tax revolt, labor as debt collateral, low-key living, predictable sanctions, sunk costs, debt servitude, economic inequality, and the sabbath.
In this book I discuss a famous passage, the warning to the nation by Samuel the judge regarding the tyranny that a king would impose. He would impose a 10% income tax.
If we could get back to this tyranny, we would regard this as tax liberation day.
From Joshua to the captivity, this was a story of slow learners. But with the return to the land, the old-style rebellion ceased: idolatry.Disobedience and Defeat