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Overview of Joshua

Following the Law of Moses is the book of Joshua. The eponymous book was written in the 1300s B.C. and the theme is the conquering of Canaan. Joshua begins with the death of Moses and describes how God commissioned Joshua. The children of Israel crossed the Jordan River then invaded Canaan in approximately 1405 B.C. Joshua focuses on the children of Israel conquering their enemies and possessing the lands God promised them. Notable victories occurred at Jericho, AI, Southern and Northern Canaan. The book also demonstrates the importance of the Israelite’s obedience to God’s law. In Joshua 7: 1-26, we read about the children of Israel’s defeat at Ai because of Achan’s sin.

Achan had stolen Babylonian goods, silver, and gold which was a forbidden act. It is believed his family knew about the transgression and covered up the sin. Due to this sinful act, the children of Israel lost the corporate protection of God’s favor during the battle at Ai. Joshua stoned and burned Achan, his family, animals, and property. It is important to note that in Deuteronomy 24:16, it is forbidden to punish children for the sins of the parents. Many theologians believe that Achan’s family was killed because they knew and covered up Achan’s sin. After the sin was purged from the camp, the children of Israel went on to be victorious in their next pursuits. In Joshua chapter 8, we read about the Israelites’ victory at Ai. In chapters 13-22, we read about the divisions and allotments of land. Followed by Joshua’s farewell address in chapters 23 and 24. The end portion of Joshua 24 gives an account of Joshua’s death and burial.

Exodus revealed Joshua’s heart towards God as he worked as Moses’ assistant. Joshua accompanied Moses up Mount Sinai when Moses received the 10 Commandments. Exodus 33:11 reveals that Joshua loved to stay in the Lord’s presence.

Exodus 33:11 “And the LORD spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend. And he turned again into the camp: but his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, departed not out of the tabernacle.”

One of the most important facts about Joshua is that his name in Hebrew is “Yehoshua” or “Yeshua” which in Greek is translated “Jesus.” Just as Joshua and Jesus are the same name, Joshua was a type and shadow of the Messiah. As Joshua led the children of Israel into the Promised Land, Jesus leads many sons unto glory. Many theologians believe that Joshua’s leading the armies to battle is also a type and shadow of Jesus’ judgment that will occur during Armageddon.

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