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Summary of The Book of Joshua

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.

Quick Reference Map
Map of the Conquest of Canaan
Map of the Conquest of Canaan (Click to Enlarge)

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.

Quick Reference Maps

The Conquest of Canaan

The City of Jericho

The City of Sidon

Philistia

The Twelve Tribes

The First Day. Light.

Joshua Resources

Joshua and the Promised Land

More About the Book of Joshua
Joshua in the Picture Study Bible
Timeline of the Ancient World
Back to the Old Testament
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Joshua 24

1 - Joshua gathered all the tribes of Israel to Shechem, and called for the elders of Israel, for their heads, for their judges, and for their officers; and they presented themselves before God.

2 - Joshua said to all the people, "The LORD says, the God of Israel, 'Your fathers lived of old time beyond the River, even Terah, the father of Abraham, and the father of Nahor: and they served other gods.

3 - I took your father Abraham from beyond the River, and led him throughout all the land of Canaan, and multiplied his offspring, and gave him Isaac.

4 - I gave to Isaac Jacob and Esau: and I gave to Esau Mount Seir, to possess it. Jacob and his children went down into Egypt.

5 - "'I sent Moses and Aaron, and I plagued Egypt, according to that which I did among them: and afterward I brought you out.

6 - I brought your fathers out of Egypt: and you came to the sea. The Egyptians pursued your fathers with chariots and with horsemen to the Red Sea.

7 - When they cried out to The LORD, he put darkness between you and the Egyptians, and brought the sea on them, and covered them; and your eyes saw what I did in Egypt. You lived in the wilderness many days.

8 - "'I brought you into the land of the Amorites, that lived beyond the Jordan. They fought with you, and I gave them into your hand. You possessed their land, and I destroyed them from before you.

9 - Then Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab, arose and fought against Israel. He sent and called Balaam the son of Beor to curse you,

10 - but I would not listen to Balaam; therefore he blessed you still. So I delivered you out of his hand.

11 - "'You went over the Jordan, and came to Jericho. The men of Jericho fought against you, the Amorite, the Perizzite, the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Girgashite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite; and I delivered them into your hand.

12 - I sent the hornet before you, which drove them out from before you, even the two kings of the Amorites; not with your sword, nor with your bow.

13 - I gave you a land whereon you had not labored, and cities which you didn't build, and you live in them. You eat of vineyards and olive groves which you didn't plant.'

14 - "Now therefore fear The LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth. Put away the gods which your fathers served beyond the River, in Egypt; and serve The LORD.

15 - If it seems evil to you to serve The LORD, choose today whom you will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell; but as for me and my house, we will serve The LORD."

16 - The people answered, "Far be it from us that we should forsake The LORD, to serve other gods;

17 - for it is the LORD our God who brought us and our fathers up out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage, and who did those great signs in our sight, and preserved us in all the way in which we went, and among all the peoples through the middle of whom we passed.

18 - The LORD drove out from before us all the peoples, even the Amorites who lived in the land. Therefore we also will serve The LORD; for he is our God."

19 - Joshua said to the people, "You can't serve The LORD, for he is a holy God. He is a jealous God. He will not forgive your disobedience nor your sins.

20 - If you forsake The LORD, and serve foreign gods, then he will turn and do you evil, and consume you, after he has done you good."

21 - The people said to Joshua, "No, but we will serve The LORD."

22 - Joshua said to the people, "You are witnesses against yourselves that you have chosen the LORD yourselves, to serve him."They said, "We are witnesses."

23 - "Now therefore put away the foreign gods which are among you, and incline your heart to The LORD, the God of Israel."

24 - The people said to Joshua, "We will serve the LORD our God, and we will listen to his voice."

25 - So Joshua made a covenant with the people that day, and made for them a statute and an ordinance in Shechem.

26 - Joshua wrote these words in the book of the law of God; and he took a great stone, and set it up there under the oak that was by the sanctuary of The LORD.

27 - Joshua said to all the people, "Behold, this stone shall be a witness against us, for it has heard all The LORD's words which he spoke to us. It shall be therefore a witness against you, lest you deny your God."

28 - So Joshua sent the people away, each to his own inheritance.

29 - After these things, Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of The LORD, died, being one hundred ten years old.

30 - They buried him in the border of his inheritance in Timnathserah, which is in the hill country of Ephraim, on the north of the mountain of Gaash.

31 - Israel served the LORD all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders who outlived Joshua, and had known all the work of The LORD, that he had worked for Israel.

32 - They buried the bones of Joseph, which the children of Israel brought up out of Egypt, in Shechem, in the parcel of ground which Jacob bought from the sons of Hamor the father of Shechem for a hundred pieces of silver. They became the inheritance of the children of Joseph.

33 - Eleazar the son of Aaron died. They buried him in the hill of Phinehas his son, which was given him in the hill country of Ephraim.


Select a Chapter
Joshua 1 Joshua 2 Joshua 3 Joshua 4 Joshua 5
Joshua 6 Joshua 7 Joshua 8 Joshua 9 Joshua 10
Joshua 11 Joshua 12 Joshua 13 Joshua 14 Joshua 15
Joshua 16 Joshua 17 Joshua 18 Joshua 19 Joshua 20
Joshua 21 Joshua 22 Joshua 23 Joshua 24


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Joshua Images and Notes

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

ARCHAEOLOGY

Ancient Rallying Horn

Carchemish Relief Horn Blowing