Joshua, Book of

Joshua; Joshua 2; Joshua 3-4; Joshua 5; Colossians 2:11; 2 Corinthians 5:16; Joshua 6-7; Joshua 8; Deuteronomy 27:2-8; Joshua 9-10; Joshua 11-12; Joshua 9:17; Joshua 13; Joshua 14-17; Joshua 18-19; Joshua 20; Joshua 21; Joshua 22; Joshua 23-24
This book gives the history of Israel in crossing the Jordan, their conquests over the nations, and the division of the land among the twelve tribes. It is typical of the believer’s entering, in the power of the Spirit, into the purpose of God, as quickened together with Christ; of his conflict with the spiritual powers of wickedness in the heavenlies; and of his enjoyment of the promises of God. Joshua was commissioned by God Himself. Courage and obedience, under God, would ensure success. He is exhorted to be strong and God would not fail him. Israel had a title to all that was promised to Abraham, but they would possess that whereon the soles of their feet trod, and thus it would become theirs. So the Christian must make his calling and election sure, entering into the possession of his heavenly privileges.
Joshua 2. The spies learned that the fear of Israel had fallen upon the people of the land, and the faith of Rahab saved her and her family. A Gentile gets a place in the promised possession by faith. See RAHAB.
Joshua 3-4. For the passage into the land see JORDAN.
Joshua 5. The first thing on entering the land was that the males must be circumcised: this was done at Gilgal, and the reproach of Egypt was rolled away. What answers to this with the Christian is found in Colossians 2:1111In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: (Colossians 2:11)—3:3-5: the renunciation of the life of flesh through Christ having been cut off on the cross; of those it can be said, “Ye are dead.... mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth.” The Passover was also kept, a type of the peaceful remembrance by the believer of that death which has enabled him to enjoy the promise; and they ate of the old corn of the land (type of a heavenly Christ), and the manna ceased (compare 2 Cor. 5:1616Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more. (2 Corinthians 5:16)). This was all fitting them to take their place as the Lord’s host. Then Jehovah was manifested to Joshua as Captain of the host, with a drawn sword in His hand. Joshua fell to the earth and worshipped.
Joshua 6-7. Jericho (type of the world antagonistic to the Lord’s rights ranged under Satan) was the first city taken, and the manner of its destruction showed plainly that power for conquest was really in Jehovah. God said the whole was accursed and must be destroyed, and a curse should rest upon the man who should rebuild the city. All was not however destroyed, for Achan had taken of the accursed things. Unconscious of this sin and confiding in their own strength, they attacked Ai in vain. The sin of Achan was accounted as a sin of the people: “Israel hath sinned,” God said; and there could be no power or blessing until the evil was put away (as in the action enjoined upon the church at Corinth).
Joshua 9-10. When the kings in the south heard of the destruction of Jericho and Ai, they conspired together to oppose Israel. But the Gibeonites wrought deceitfully, saying they had come from very far. Type of the devices of Satan, against which the Christian is warned. Prayer was overlooked, and there was confidence in human wisdom. Five kings attacked Gibeon for making the league with Israel, but were totally defeated by Joshua, and the kings were hanged. To lengthen the day for conquest the sun and moon stood still, for it was Jehovah who fought for Israel. Thus the confederacy of the south was overthrown, and the country of the south was conquered, and Joshua returned to Gilgal. Type of the Christian abiding in the place of renunciation of self, and mortifying the deeds of the flesh in the power of resurrection.
Joshua 11-12. From Gilgal Joshua went again in strength against the confederacy of the north, being encouraged by Jehovah, and conquered everywhere, cutting off the Anakims from the mountains, and “so Joshua took the whole land according to all that the Lord said unto Moses.” The Gibeonites and their allies from three other cities (Josh. 9:1717And the children of Israel journeyed, and came unto their cities on the third day. Now their cities were Gibeon, and Chephirah, and Beeroth, and Kirjath-jearim. (Joshua 9:17)) were the only ones that made a league with Israel. The names then are given of the two kings conquered by Moses on the east of Jordan and thirty-one kings on the west smitten by Joshua.
Joshua 13. Joshua chapter 12 closes the first part of the book, which says that the whole land had been taken; but Joshua 13 opens with the statement that there remained “yet very much land to be possessed.” In one sense they had taken all from north to south, so that they could divide the land among the tribes; but all their enemies were not destroyed, and they did not really possess all the land promised unto Abraham. This is typical of the Christian having all things, and yet failing to enter into his full heavenly position. The tribe of Levi had a peculiar standing: “the Lord God of Israel was their inheritance”; and “the sacrifices of the Lord God of Israel made by fire” were their inheritance. These are a type of Christians as priests, who do not belong to earth, but to heaven. There were minor conquests in taking possession, and mention is made of Balaam the soothsayer being slain: God’s judgment had reached the wicked man.
Joshua 14-17. In dividing the land Caleb had a privileged portion. Of Joseph it was said, “Thou art a great people, and hast great power:” in Ephraim and Manasseh Joseph had two portions. The details are given as to the boundaries of the tribes.
Joshua 18-19. The tabernacle was set up at Shiloh, which was fairly central, 32° 3' N, and the allotment of the possessions of the tribes was made in Shiloh before the Lord, at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. Type of the Christian getting his position from heaven. To Joshua was given an inheritance, Timnath-serah in mount Ephraim.
Joshua 20. Six cities of refuge were appointed to which the manslayer could flee, See REFUGE.
Joshua 21. Forty-eight cities were appointed for dwelling places for the Levites. Then it is repeated that “Jehovah gave unto Israel all the land which He sware to give unto their fathers; and they possessed it, and dwelt therein.” They had rest, and not any good thing that Jehovah had promised failed them. Yet, as we have seen, there were parts that they had not made their own, and in which there dwelt those who were ready to seduce them on the one hand, and to oppress them on the other.
Joshua 22. The warriors of the two and a half tribes, who had crossed the Jordan to aid in the conquest of the land on the west, were dismissed to their possessions on the east of Jordan, with the blessing of Joshua. These tribes staying on the east led to difficulty. By the border of the Jordan they built a great altar “to see to”; which they afterward described as a witness that they had part in Jehovah. They were beginning to feel the consequences of having fallen short of God’s calling, and of taking lower ground. The tribes on the west feared that the altar had been built in separation from the worship of Jehovah, and sent princes with Phinehas the priest to protest against it, but on hearing the explanation given, they were satisfied that the tribes on the east were faithful in heart.
Joshua 23-24. In conclusion Joshua rehearses the dealings of the Lord with their ancestors, and the great things He had done for them. There were blessings for them if they were obedient; but curses if they forsook the Lord. The people, not knowing their own weakness, declared that they would serve the Lord. They thus still remained under law, their obedience being the condition of their living in peace, and being blessed by Jehovah. Thus a covenant was made with the people that day, a statute, and an ordinance in Shechem. A great stone was set up as a witness of the covenant. Joshua, the faithful servant of the Lord, died, being 110 years old. To this is added the testimony that “Israel served the Lord all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that overlived Joshua, and which had known all the works of the Lord, that he had done for Israel.”