The book of Joshua seems to contradict itself, praising Israel's complete conquest of Canaan while reporting the survival of Rahab and the Gibeonites. This paper responds to the problem by studying a recurrent motif in Joshua 3–10: a stone structure that memorializes past events "to this day" (used four times). The stones motif contributes to the literary coherence of the context around the theme of Yahweh's conquest of his enemies. More important, the stone structure at Gilgal (chaps. 3–4) hints that Canaanites besides Rahab might receive divine favor, while Achan's burial heap (chap. 7) suggests that Yahweh values obedience over ethnicity and welcomes religiously responsive foreigners. Similarly, the Gibeonite episode (chaps. 9–10) demonstrates divine acceptance of Israel's arrangement with Gibeon as an exception to the ḥerem mandate. Thus, Joshua 3–10 not only reports the survival of foreigners but also quietly advocates divinely-sanctioned exceptions to the mandate in certain cases. In this way, the perceived tension between the mandate and the survival of foreigners lessens. This article also explores the theological themes that the motif sounds and the model of biblical theology that underlies it.

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