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Introduction to the Book of Joshua




Joshua an Ephraimite and servant of God to Moses, in all Jewish traditions, is the writer. Josh. 1:1; 24:29 His lineage is given in I Chron. 7:27. Joshua was a commander leading a military campaign. He was nearly forty years old when he shared in the triumph of the Exodus. He was mentioned first in connection with the fight against Amalek at Rephidim when he was chosen by Moses to lead the Israelites. (Ex. 17:9) Afterwards he was one of the twelve spies Moses sent (Num. 13:8, 16; 14:6-10)


This book is a history of the military campaign against Canaan—5-7 years of war and 15 years of rest. (11:18, 23) “He brought us out to bring us in.” Deut. 6:23. Moses was considered top quality as an “orator” and prophet; Joshua was a top quality “general.” Alexander the Great, Hannibal, and Napoleon have to take a back seat behind these two men: Joshua and Moses. They kept their qualities on top by staying in fellowship with God. Joshua is to the Pentateuch what Acts is to the Gospels. Ephesians is its N.T. counterpart.


This book gets its name from its contents: the acts of Joshua in leading Israel to the conquest of the land. It also records his death and burial. Joshua is called The Book of Conquest or The Fight against the Canaanites. It is especially attractive to the Overcomer. Every spiritual soldier may overcome his foes and possess what God has for him in Christ.

Key Words

“War” (17 x’s) & “Possession/Possess” (18 x’s) Christians have Conquest /War , but Possession /Victory should be the results. KEY PHRASE: 10:14 “The LORD fought for Israel”

Key Verses

1:5—There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.

24:15—And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.

Types in the Book of Joshua

Canaan Land is a type of the fullness of the Christian experience. (Life in the Spirit) Our inheritance in Christ – Heb. 3:7-4:13; Eph. 1:11-14. The land of promise is a place of conflict as well as a place of victory.

Joshua is a type of Christ in that: a. his name – (Jehoshua) means Jehovah – Saviour. Num. 13:16 (The name Joshua has the same meaning as the name Jesus. Heb. 4:8) b. He is Captain – Josh. 3:7, 4:14, 5:13,14; Heb. 2:10 c. Advocate in defeat – Josh. 7:5-9; I John 2:1 d. Christ, like Joshua, leads His people to victory. Rom. 8:37; Josh. 8:1-29 e. Christ like Joshua allots to His people their portion. Eph. 1:11; Col. 3:24; Josh. 14:1

We obtain our inheritance in Christ through the obedience of faith. Josh. 14:8-9; 14; Acts 6:7; Rom. 1:5; 15:18; 16:26; Heb. 4:1-11; I Peter 1:3-5; 13-14; 22; II Peter 1:5-9


Joshua 1:1—Now after the death of Moses the servant of the LORD it came to pass, that the LORD spake unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses' minister, saying,

The people's hearts were broken over the passing of Moses and gripped with a deep sense of grief and anguish for he had helped them to follow the Lord. Through God, Moses had founded and established the nation of Israel. Joshua had fallen in a spirit of despair over the death of Moses, lingering in grief, God forcefully spoke to the heart of Joshua and gave him an arousing call.

“ Moses My servant is dead! Arise! Fill the gap! Take up the mantle of leadership! Prepare the people to cross the Jordan River into the Promised land.”

Joshua was ready to begin to lead the people of God into the promises of God at 80 years old. The book of Joshua begins with the death of Moses. Moses shortly before his death was directed (Num. 27:18) to invest Joshua with authority over the people. God gave Joshua charge by the mouth of the dying lawgiver. (Deut. 31:7, 14, 28)