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EXEGESIS > Old Testament > History > Joshua         


The book of Joshua bears the name of Joshua, a word meaning “The Lord is Salvation”; it is the name of the man who became leader following the death of Moses and who led the children of Israel into the land of Canaan. Obviously then the book of Joshua is about conquest. Joshua himself was “a man in whom is the Spirit” (Num. 27:18) and was one who “wholly followed the Lord” (Num. 32:12); therefore, he was uniquely prepared for leading the nation.

Even though in the modern era certain scholarship chooses to debate the authorship of Joshua, Jewish tradition affirms that Joshua was the author of the book that bears his name. The book itself speaks of Joshua writing (8:32; 24:26), and it is completely feasible to think that someone else composed the account of his death. Only those students who are influenced by critical thinking question the traditional view.

Dominant in the book is the preparation for entering the land of Canaan, the conquest of Canaan, the division of the land among the tribes, and the final words and acts of Joshua. In connection with this is God’s determination to give the land to the Hebrews according to His promise; and there is the instruction of God to the people to possess the land and to destroy the people in the land because of their idolatrous living, and because their evil influence upon His people needed to be eliminated. The triumph of the Hebrews over the pagan people was the triumph of the God of the Hebrews, the One who is Sovereign in all things.

The essence of the book is summarized in the one statement: “Not a word failed of any good thing which the Lord had spoken to the house of Israel; all came to pass” (21:45; see: 23:14). God proved Himself faithful to the promises He had made to the Fathers of the nation—Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (21:43).

An outline for Joshua:

Preparation for the Conquest – Chs. 1-5

Conquest of the Land – Chs. 6-12

Dividing the Land – Chs. 13-22

Death of Joshua – Chs. 23-24

Passages with Exegesis

        Josh. 3:4 - The Journey

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