What is the Book of Joshua?
THE BOOK OF JOSHUA
Joshua, The Book of. It may be divided into three parts: I. The conquest of the land, chs. 1-12; II. The partition of the land, chs. 13-22; III. The final addresses of Joshua, his death and burial. Chs. 23, 24. It embraces a period variously estimated at from 17 to 30 years. As to the authorship of the book, the name "Joshua" in the title may imply no more than that he is the hero of it. Still, in connection with ch. 24:26, "And Joshua wrote these words in the book of the law of God," the title may be allowed to weigh something more, and we may attribute the book, if not to Joshua, at least to one of his elders who was well acquainted with him. This theory is not inconsistent with a subsequent revision. The two difficulties in the book relate to the sun standing still, ch. Josh 10:13; and to the wholesale slaughter of the Canaanites by the command of God. In regard to the first, the difficulty is manufactured out of -- it does not exist in -- the text. The passage is a poetical quotation from the book of Jasher, which was probably a collection of sacred songs. This will be evident from a revision of the A.V. Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon, And thou, moon, upon the valley of Ajalon ! And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed her course, Until the people were avenged of their enemies. And the sun tarried in the midst of the heavens. And hasted not to go down for a whole day. The day was probably one of extraordinary brightness, as well as of extraordinary anxiety, hence it would appear to be prolonged. The second difficulty is only one of the many chapters in the mysterious government of Providence, which permits the ravages of war, famine, and pestilence.
Bibliography Information Schaff, Philip, Dr. "Biblical Definition for 'book of joshua' in Schaffs Bible Dictionary". bible-history.com - Schaff's