Joshua: Introduction to Study

Bible Study @ Hurst Gospel Hall

Author: John Whitmarsh
Added: 2007-08-13

HURST BIBLE READINGS - AUGUST 2007



INDEX



Initial Word Study



Introduction



Chapter 1 STRENGTH AND COURAGE


Chapter 2 SPIES AND CONVERSION


Chapter 3 CROSSING THE JORDAN


Chapter 4 UP OUT OF JORDAN


Chapter 5 CIRCUMCISION


Chapter 6 JUBILEE AT JERICHO


Chapter 7 SIN IN THE CAMP


Chapter 8 AI REVISITED


Chapter 9 GIBEON'S GUILE


Chapter 10 THE TALE OF FIVE CITIES


Chapter 11 THE LEAGUE OF KINGDOMS


Chapter 12 31 DEAD KINGS


Chapter 13 TWO AND A HALF TRIBES


Chapter 14 CALEB WHOLLY FOLLOWED THE LORD


Chapter 15 JUDAH MAKES THREE AND A HALF


Chapter 16 EPHRAIM MAKES FOUR AND A HALF


Chapter 17 AND MANASSEH MAKES FIVE


Chapter 18 BENJAMIN MAKES SIX


Chapter 19 AND THEN THERE WERE TWELVE


Chapter 20 REFUGE CITIES


Chapter 21 CITIES FOR THE LEVITES


Chapter 22 REBELLION OR WAS IT REBELLION?


Chapter 23 NO LEAGUE WITH NATIONS


Chapter 24 SERVE THE LORD



Initial word study


Ark 30 times the word describing the ark of the covenant is used 194 times in the OT; in Joshua the word is only found in


chapters 1-8.


Joshua.


Battle 5 times always milchamah


Border/s 63 times there are 30 more times that the same Hebrew word is


translated coast/s


Canaan/ite/s 23 times we naturally think of the book of Joshua being about the


land of Canaan (which it is) but there are few mentions of it


name (see Jordan by way of contrast). Canaan is


mentioned 90 times in the Bible though there are also a number of references to Canaanite/s


Command/ed/est/ment/s 49 times


Courage/ous 7 times


Destroy/ed/ing 21 times


Divide/ing/isions 14 times


Egypt 17 times


Fight/eth/ought 15 times the word is lacham


Give/n/eth/ave 78 times


Inheritance/s/ed 59 times No other book uses the word as much though Numbers


runs it close at 47 times. It is interesting to note that inheritance is only mentioned twice in the first twelve chapters


Israel/ites 158 times only four of these are Israelites


Jordan 70 times this one is interesting in that there are 154 references to


the Jordan by name in the AV of the scriptures so that


almost 50 of the references occur here making it


the book that mentions the Jordan by name the most and


by far


Joshua 167 times the principal character of the book. His name is given


some 48 times elsewhere in the Bible but of these 13 refer to two others with the same name. Jesus in Hebrews 4.8 is


Joshua.


King/s/dom 110 times


Land 87 times


Law 9 times the references to law occur mainly at the beginning and


end of the book


Morning 5 times 4 times over we read of Joshua rising early in the morning


Moses/s' 58 times there are 836 references to Moses by name in scripture;


this excludes those references to his name as the title to


a book or Psalm attributed to him. Moses may be dead but


his name is not forgotten. Almost 7 of all references to


Moses in the AV of scripture occurs in this book.


Pass/ed 43 times 34 of these are 'come to pass' or 'came to pass'


Possess/ions 24 times 66 times in Deuteronomy


Priest/s/s' 41 times


Rest 13 times different words as sometimes it means remainder


Seven/th 16 times 11 of these are in chapter 6


Stone/s 21 times


Strong/strength 12 times


Sun 12 times sometimes as sunrising


Three 11 times


Trumpet/s 14 times and all in chapter 6


Utter/ly 16 times


War 17 times mainly milchamah



Be strong and courageous is in chapter 1 (on 4 occasions three spoken by the Lord and one as a reminder from the people), 10.25 and, just the mention of courage, in 23.6. In the latter two it is Joshua who takes hold of the same message that he has received and imparts it.



Introduction


Hurst Bible readings are held in January and July/August of each year. The thinking behind this is that January's weather can often make it difficult for visiting speakers to reach Hurst and holiday time results in lower numbers so that visiting speakers are not invited at that time.



Moses was dead. Dead but not forgotten as he is oft mentioned in the book (see word study above). Joshua was to be the new leader of the people of God. He was the grandson of Elishama chief of Ephraim (I Chronicles 7.27 and Numbers 1.10). His family called him Hoshea meaning 'salvation' (Deuteronomy 32.44 or Oshea in Numbers 13.8) a name that recurs in the tribe of Ephraim (Hosea 1.1 is the classic example) but Moses added the name of God so that his name became Jehoshua or 'Jehovah is salvation' or 'Jehovah saved'. Joshua was a young man at the time of the exodus (Exodus 33.11) so that, with the time in the wilderness of forty years, he was probably about 60 or 70 years old at the start of the book but may have been as much as 85 years old. 'Young' is relative in Exodus 33 though the word implies from a boy to adolescence. Moses was eighty years old at the time and people were living to 110 and 120 years at the time. In Joshua 14.7 we are told that Caleb was 40 years old when he went to spy out the land which actually makes him the best part of eighty years old (he may have been 78 or so) as the book commences. Joshua was perhaps a little older. The last chapter tells of Joshua's decease and we know that he was 110 when he died so that the time span of the book is some twenty five to thirty years.



We were given a handout on the first week of the study, which was an outline of the book. The date of the book was given as 'somewhere between 1451 and 1240BC'. As to a more accurate time it was stated that the 1451 BC date must be considered to be the more accurate. The vexed question of Old Testament chronology is not discussed in full here but there are some indicators given as to the complexity of the issues. There are few dates that help us to sort out the chronology of the Old Testament. That, by the way, is also true of other areas of ancient history. Egyptologists do not have many solid dates to go on. I Kings 6.1 says, 'And it came to pass in the 480th year after the children of Israel were come out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon's reign, over Israel, in the month Zif, which is the second month, that he began to build the house of the Lord.' It is believed that Solomon commenced his reign in 970BC. This allows, with a lot of co regencies, the many kings of Israel and, particularly, Judah to be fitted into the time frame to 586BC, the well-accepted date (plus or minus one year) for the final destruction of Jerusalem. This places David's reign at 1010BC to 970BC and the partition of the nation into the southern and the northern kingdoms at 930BC. 480 onto 966 gives a figure of 1446 BC for the exodus so that 1406 would appear to be the date for the start of Joshua's book but does this allow enough for the time span of Joshua's book, the 450 years of judges (Acts 13), Samuel, Saul, David and the first part of Solomon's reign until the house was commenced? It is interesting to note that Schofield puts 1407BC in his margin. Many Bibles these days have a date of 1491 or 1493BC as the time of the exodus at the top of the relevant margin. This would make the start of Joshua at or near 1450BC. Mr. Newberry favours this date for the exodus as he has 1451 BC as the start of Joshua. We must be fair and point out that there are difficulties with the exodus at 1491/3 BC and the I Kings 6.1 reference for, on the face of it, that places Solomon at 1011BC which is surely too early. Perhaps this figure of 480 excludes the periods of servitude that the children of Israel experienced in the times of the judges.



Whatever is the truth relating to Old Testament chronology one thing is clear that a date of 1240BC must be too late. The Jewish people like to put the time of the exodus even later than this date because they believe that the great Rameses II was the pharaoh who ended up at the bottom of the sea. The generally accepted date for Rameses II's death is 1212BC but it is not generally accepted that he died in the Red Sea!!! This then would put the start of Joshua's book at 1172 BC. But this is enough on chronological matters.



As part of the introduction it was stated that the book concerns:



    Joshua God's people. God did not give them an empty land. It may have been a promised land but it was an occupied land. Godly leadership and leadership changes. Where is the foundation for leadership? Godly lives and ungodly lives. What effect does an ungodly life have on the rest of the people? We read the events of chapter seven but do we believe them? God's provision cities of refuge


A very simple breakdown of the book (and it is conceded that it is possible to be too simplistic sometimes) is that the first eleven chapters record the invasion into Canaan as a narrative and the last thirteen chapters the settlement in Canaan or



Chapters 1-11 Canaan subdued

Chapters 12-24 Canaan subdivided



A purely historical consideration of the book is that it records the invasion of the Canaan by the children of Israel and the land's subsequent partition among the tribes. It is possible to write a commentary on the book which includes terms like invasion, bridgehead, campaigns, military prowess, strategy, Transjordanian, etc. and little else. That this book is part of the history of Israel is not disputed but that the book has only been included in the canon as a historical record is to be questioned.



Nor is the book merely practical in nature. That there are sections of the book that are very practical is likewise undisputed but to think of the book as entirely practical would be to miss further truths that God intended the believing reader to grasp and that would help in an understanding of truths that were fleshed out in the New Testament.



There is a pictorial aspect to the teaching of Joshua. His name means Jehovah the Saviour and he is a type of the Lord Jesus. Joshua is very much to the fore in the book. There is no mention of the seventy by number as there was with Moses. It appears that Joshua is spoken to directly at the start of the book with the great idea of strength and courage and for him to be the one by whom the people of God would make the conquests and claim the land. That Joshua needed to have the command from above to have this strength is no doubt due to the limitations that afflict the greatest of men. The illustration and implication is nonetheless clear from the outset of the book that this individual man was going to be the leader to take the people of God into the land. Canaan is the Promised Land. Whether this picture relates to heaven or heaven enjoyed on earth with the associated struggles is open to debate but the latter seems to be correct. It is necessary, as a historical record, to separate the invasion and conquest from the subsequent division of the land into tribal territory. This is how the events took place. When the spiritual inheritance (of which this earthly inheritance speaks) is considered it must be borne in mind that the struggles to enjoy the inheritance continue throughout life. The Christian's life is one in which the spiritual blessings of heaven are to be enjoyed now, however, there is always that that is present to tempt and annoy. The spiritual blessings of Ephesians 1.3 are to be for happy enjoyment of the child of God in the here and now. However, 'we wrestle not against flesh and blood (strictly speaking this should read blood and flesh), but against spiritual wickedness (wicked spirits) in high (heavenly as in Ephesians 1.3) places.' Ephesians 6.12. So that the same book that tells us of our blessings tells us of our battles. Are there any such battles in heaven? No. Thus the teaching relates to our Christian life down here and the great possibility of enjoying spiritual things in Christ but all the while remembering that there are enemies who would want to rob us of our joy and that need to be overcome. This we cannot do alone but need the help (dare we use the term 'the strength' or power) of our heavenly Joshua by the indwelling Spirit to give us the victory over these enemies so that our lives are lived in the good of what God has reserved for us in heaven.



Date: somewhere between BC 1451 and 1240


Main theme: conquest and division of the land of Canaan (the land of promise)



Chapter 1 Joshua appointed and encouraged



Preparation Exodus 33.11; observation of scripture Deuteronomy 34.9



Chs. 2-6 Fall of Jericho


Spies sent; crossing the Jordan; Gilgal circumcision and Passover; Fall of Jericho



Chs. 7-8 Capture of Ai



Defeat; Achan identified; victory and obedience; covenant confirmed by Israel at Mts. Gerizim and Ebal



Chs. 9-10 Groupings of kings defeated


Ruse of the Gibeonites; battle of Beth-Horon; sun and moon stand still for a whole


day 10.13



Ch. 11 Northern campaign



Defeat of the kings; destruction of Hazor



Ch. 12 Joshua's conquests



East of Jordan; west of Jordan; southern section; central section; northern section



Chs. 13-22 The land divided note that it says that Joshua was old but there was still much to be done



Location of the tribes



East of Jordan Reuben, Gad and half tribe Manasseh 13.15-33



West of Jordan (South) Simeon 19.1-9


Benjamin 18.11-28


Dan 19.40-48


Judah chapter 15


Hebron; Caleb's special mountain as an inheritance


14.6-15



W of Jordan (Central) Ephraim and half tribe Manasseh 16 & 17


Issachar 19.17-23


Special inheritance of Joshua



W of Jordan (North) Zebulun 19.10-16


Asher 19.24-31


Naphtali 19.32-39



Tabernacle set up at Shiloh 18


Lots cast for tribal inheritance 18.10


Cities of refuge 20


East of Jordan Bezer, Ramoth, Golan


West of Jordan Kedesh, Shechem, Hebron


Cities of the Levites


Levites allotted 48 cities



Chs. 23-24 Last days of Joshua


Joshua dies at 110 24.29