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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 7

1 - But the children of Israel committed a trespass in the devoted things; for Achan, the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took some of the devoted things. Therefore The LORD's anger burned against the children of Israel.

2 - Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai, which is beside Beth Aven, on the east side of Bethel, and spoke to them, saying, "Go up and spy out the land."The men went up and spied out Ai.

3 - They returned to Joshua, and said to him, "Don't let all the people go up; but let about two or three thousand men go up and strike Ai. Don't make all the people to toil there, for there are only a few of them."

4 - So about three thousand men of the people went up there, and they fled before the men of Ai.

5 - The men of Ai struck about thirty-six men of them, and they chased them from before the gate even to Shebarim, and struck them at the descent. The hearts of the people melted, and became like water.

6 - Joshua tore his clothes, and fell to the earth on his face before The LORD's ark until the evening, he and the elders of Israel; and they put dust on their heads.

7 - Joshua said, "Alas, Lord God, why have you brought this people over the Jordan at all, to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites, to cause us to perish? I wish that we had been content and lived beyond the Jordan!

8 - Oh, Lord, what shall I say, after Israel has turned their backs before their enemies!

9 - For the Canaanites and all the inhabitants of the land will hear of it, and will surround us, and cut off our name from the earth. What will you do for your great name?"

10 - The LORD said to Joshua, "Get up! Why have you fallen on your face like that?

11 - Israel has sinned. Yes, they have even transgressed my covenant which I commanded them. Yes, they have even taken some of the devoted things, and have also stolen, and also deceived. They have even put it among their own stuff.

12 - Therefore the children of Israel can't stand before their enemies. They turn their backs before their enemies, because they have become devoted for destruction. I will not be with you any more, unless you destroy the devoted things from among you.

13 - "Get up! Sanctify the people, and say, 'Sanctify yourselves for tomorrow, for The LORD, the God of Israel, says, "There is a devoted thing among you, Israel. You cannot stand before your enemies until you take away the devoted thing from among you."

14 - "'In the morning therefore you shall be brought near by your tribes. It shall be that the tribe which the LORD selects shall come near by families. The family which the LORD selects shall come near by households. The household which the LORD selects shall come near man by man.

15 - It shall be, that he who is taken with the devoted thing shall be burned with fire, he and all that he has, because he has transgressed The LORD's covenant, and because he has done a disgraceful thing in Israel.'"

16 - So Joshua rose up early in the morning and brought Israel near by their tribes. The tribe of Judah was selected.

17 - He brought near the family of Judah; and he selected the family of the Zerahites. He brought near the family of the Zerahites man by man, and Zabdi was selected.

18 - He brought near his household man by man, and Achan, the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, was selected.

19 - Joshua said to Achan, "My son, please give glory to The LORD, the God of Israel, and make confession to him. Tell me now what you have done! Don't hide it from me!"

20 - Achan answered Joshua, and said, "I have truly sinned against The LORD, the God of Israel, and this is what I have done.

21 - When I saw among the plunder a beautiful Babylonian robe, two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold weighing fifty shekels, then I coveted them and took them. Behold, they are hidden in the ground in the middle of my tent, with the silver under it."

22 - So Joshua sent messengers, and they ran to the tent. Behold, it was hidden in his tent, with the silver under it.

23 - They took them from the middle of the tent, and brought them to Joshua and to all the children of Israel. They laid them down before The LORD.

24 - Joshua, and all Israel with him, took Achan the son of Zerah, the silver, the robe, the wedge of gold, his sons, his daughters, his cattle, his donkeys, his sheep, his tent, and all that he had; and they brought them up to the valley of Achor.

25 - Joshua said, "Why have you troubled us? the LORD will trouble you today." All Israel stoned him with stones, and they burned them with fire and stoned them with stones.

26 - They raised over him a great heap of stones that remains to this day. the LORD turned from the fierceness of his anger. Therefore the name of that place was called "The valley of Achor" to this day.


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