Where is the treasury of the house of the LORD (YHWH)?

Raising a question: an anachronism

source: pinterest.com: original painting, “Girl with a Pearl Earring” by Vermeer (1665). This modified painting shows an anachronistic digital camera in the hand of a 17th-century girl.

One of the most famous stories in the book of Joshua is the narrative about the battle of Jericho. Israelites marched around the city once every day for six days. On the seventh day, they marched around the city seven times and shouted out. Then the wall fell down, and Israel occupied the city. Everyone knows this much.

But there is a small portion of the story, rarely known to those familiar with the story. That is, there appears the mention of “the treasury of the house of the LORD (literally YHWH). Joshua commanded the people not to take spoils of metal, such as silver and gold (which means money), and vessels of bronze and iron, as those items should be taken into the treasury of the LORD (v. 19). So, according to the text in v. 24, the people put the metal spoils in “the treasury of the house of the LORD.”

Here, we need to pay attention to the expression, “the treasury (אוֹצַר) of the house of the LORD (בֵּית־יְהוָה)” (otsar bet-YHWH). If the text just said “the treasury of the LORD” as in v. 19, it is fine. But “the house of the LORD (YHWH)” seems an anachronism because there was no “house” of the LORD when they arrived in Canaan.

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