Joshua - Conquest of the Promised Land

  • Joshua is a book of biblical history that tells of the conquest and settlement of the Hebrew nation in Palestine after her forty years of wilderness wandering.
  • Most of the book of Joshua is thought to have been written by Joshua himself. However, Joshua 24 was written after his death, so it must have been written by someone else; some think it was Eleazar the priest.
  • The events of Joshua begin where those of Deuteronomy conclude.
  • Joshua, the son of Nun of the tribe of Ephraim, was born while Israel was in her four hundred years of Egyptian slavery. He was the one God chose to take over after Moses died.
  • It is believed that Joshua was forty years of age at the time of the Exodus and was nearly eighty-five years old when he took Moses’ place as head of the nation.
  • Throughout the wilderness journey, Joshua stood at the side of Moses in the task of leading three million people on their march to Canaan.
  • Joshua, along with eleven others, was chosen by Moses to spy out the land of Canaan. As a result, Joshua and Caleb were the only two who had the faith to believe that Israel could conquer the land with God’s help.
  • The land of Canaan, originally promised to Abraham’s seed, extended from the river of Egypt to the great river Euphrates (Genesis 15:18). God described the land as one of hills and valleys, blessed with rain, that He cared for Himself throughout all the seasons (Deuteronomy 11:11-12).
  • The enemy that Israel faced in this land was not one unified nation but was occupied by the Hittites, Jebusites, Amorites, etc., who had been repeatedly warned by God over hundreds of years (Genesis 15:16-21) to repent of their immoral practices and filthy ways.

The book can be outlined as follows:

  1. Conquering the land (chapters 1-12). Joshua prepared for battle (1), spies were sent out (2), they crossed the Jordan (3-5), walls came down (6), they were defeated at Ai (7-8), and Joshua was tricked into defending Gibeon (9-12).
  2. Dividing the land (chapters 13-22). Divided between the twelve tribes of Israel. Levi was chosen to serve as priests and Joseph was represented by his sons Ephraim and Manasseh.
  3. Joshua’s farewell and death (chapters 23-24).