Saturday, August 01, 2009

Joshua, Admin Hero

I was looking at the biblical Joshua, successor to Moses. Amazing guy won battles by pure logistics. Just by marching his entire army across the Jordan without any loud Mosaic threats of fire and brimstone, he made his opponents' morale collapse. His farewell speech, just chapter 24 of the book that bears his name, is succinct and boring, but it contains a masterpiece of reverse psychology that ensured his people never strayed from the straight and narrow in that short period between his death and the death of the last of his peers.

That short speech is tiny compared to Moses' huge rambling farewell that is the book of Deuteronomy. The style is markedly different. Moses is all about blame and guilt; Joshua is all about getting a good job done. Moses is inspiring at times, a psalmist, lawgiver, prophet, master of rhetoric and friend of God. Joshua is not inspiring, but he is solid, dependable, convincing.

I can't help thinking of the difference between certain founding fathers and their immediate successors. Heh.

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