The Book of Joshua

Joshua 5:13 - And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, there stood a man over against him with his sword drawn in his hand: and Joshua went unto him, and said unto him, [Art] thou for us, or for our adversaries?
Joshua 5:14 - And he said, Nay; but [as] captain of the host of the LORD am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my lord unto his servant?
Joshua 5:15 - And the captain of the LORD'S host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest [is] holy. And Joshua did so.

The Old Testament - A Brief Overview

Bible Survery - Joshua
Hebrew Name - Yehoshua "Yahweh is salvation"
Greek Name - Iesous (Greek form of the Hebrew)
Author - Joshua
Date - From 1451 to 1425 BC Approximately
Theme - The Conquest of Canaan
Types and Shadows - In Joshua Jesus is the captain of the LORD's host

Summary of The Book of Joshua

Quick Overview of Joshua. – –1-11 – –The conquest of the land of Canaan. – – 12-22 – – the dividing of the promised land among the tribes of Israel, the appointment of the cities of refuge. – – 23-24 – – the assembling of the nation of Israel, Joshua's last appeal and exhortation, Joshua's death and burial.

The book of Joshua received its name because of the main character of the book which is Joshua, whose name means "Jehovah is salvation". The Greek form of the name of Joshua is actually Jesus and means the same thing as the Hebrew Joshua.  The man Joshua makes his first appearance as the commander of the armies of Israel against the Amalekites in the book of Exodus (Exodus 17:8 ff). Joshua was clearly a leader of Israel, he accompanied Moses to the foot of Mount Sinai when Moses went up on the mountain to receive the 10 Commandments, but Joshua did not go up with him (Exodus 24).

The way that Joshua enters the  book of Joshua is already as an established leader in. Even Moses commissioned Joshua as the man chosen and conquer the land.

When Moses gave his farewell speech in Deuteronomy 34 Joshua accompanied him to the foot of Mount Sinai

This book is named for its chief character, Joshua, whose name means "Jehovah is salvation." The Greek form of this name is Jesus. The first appearance of Joshua is as the leader of the forces of Israel against Amalek (Exodus 17:8ff). The manner in which he is introduced into the story indicates that he was already well established as a leader. Later, he accompanied Moses to the foot of Mt. Sinai, but did not make the ascent with him (Exodus 24). In Exodus 32-33 he is also found in close association with Moses. No doubt, the years which he spent with Moses greatly influenced his spiritual development. The aspect of his life for which Joshua is most often remembered is his having brought back a positive report from the land of Canaan after serving as one of twelve men sent to spy out the land (Numbers 13). From this it can be seen that the experience and spirit which were Joshua's equipped him well for his duties and responsibilities as the leader, of God's people.

The book may be regarded as consisting of three parts which may be analyzed as follows :

Outline of the Book of Joshua

1) The Conquest of Canaan (Joshua 1-12). This includes the preparation for and crossing of the Jordan (Joshua 1-4). After the crossing, they camped at Gilgal. Here they circumcised all the males who were born in the wilderness, as circumcision had not been observed since the departure from Egypt. Gilgal was also the scene of the keeping of the Passover and the cessation of the manna. Joshua 5:13-6:27 tells of the miraculous destruction of Jericho and the salvation of Rahab. The crime and punishment of Achan is discussed in Joshua 7. In Joshua 8, the narrative records the avenging of the defeat which Israel had suffered at the hands of Al because of the sin of Achan. The latter portion of this chapter tells of the setting up of the stones on Mount Ebal. The stratagem of the Gibeonites is the topic of Joshua 9. In Joshua 10 is contained the story of the conquest of Southern Canaan, with the aid of Joshua's long day. Joshua 11-12 describes the conquest of Northern Canaan and give a list of the defeated kings.

2) The Distribution of the Territory (Joshua 13-22). This provides a record of the area which was assigned to the various tribes (13-19), the appointment of the six cities of refuge (Joshua 20) and the forty-eight cities of the Levites (Joshua 21), as well as the departure of the Transjordanic tribes to their home.

3) Joshua's farewell addresses (Joshua 23-24). The first of these is a speech of encouragement and warning. The second recalls the history of Israel, with emphasis on divine interventions on their behalf. At the close of this speech, Joshua issued the famous statement, "choose you this day whom you will serve . . . but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord" (Joshua 24:15).

The book closes with an account of the renewal of the covenant and the death of Joshua and Eleazer.

More About the Book of Joshua
Joshua in the Picture Study Bible
Timeline of the Ancient World
Back to the Old Testament
Back to Bible History Online

The Story of the Bible - Part One - The Old Testament

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The Story of the Bible

The Old Testament

Quick Summary







Adam and Eve

The Flood

The Tower of Babel

Abraham the First Hebrew

Isaac, Son of Promise

Jacob and the 12 Tribes

Joseph and Egypt

Moses and the Exodus

The Giving of the Law

The Tabernacle

The Wilderness Wanderings

Joshua and the Promised Land

The Judges

Samuel the Prophet

Saul, Israel's First King

King David

King Solomon

The Divided Kingdom

The Northern Kingdom of Israel

The Southern Kingdom of Judah

The Assyrian Captivity

The Babylonian Captivity

The Return From Babylon

The Prophets

The Messiah


Bibliography and Credits

Summary of the Old Testament Books



















Song of Solomon


















Read the Old Testament Stories

The 7 Days of Creation

The Fall of Man

Cain and Abel

Noah's Ark

Bibliography Resources on the Old Testament

A Survey of Old Testament Introduction, Revised and Expanded by Archer, 508 Pages, Pub. 2007

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