May 26, 2007

Breadcrumb: Church and State

In Num. 27:16-23, Moses appoints Joshua as his successor. However, Joshua does not receive all of Moses' power. Instead, the command of the Israelite nation will be shared between Joshua and Eleazar, the high priest. Joshua must consult with Eleazar, who in turn will ask God to make decisions for the people. This is one of the first instances in the Bible where we have the beginnings of a separation between church and state, supreme religious power and supreme secular power. While Joshua must still consult with Eleazar and make his decisions in tandem with the priest, there will no longer be another Moses, who wielded both religious and secular power.

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