The book of Joshua details how the Israelites conquered Canaan, the Promised Land given to the Jews in God's covenant with Abraham.  It's a story of miracles, bloody battles, and dividing the land among the 12 tribes.  Characterized as an historical account, the book of Joshua tells how a leader's obedience to God resulted in divine help in the face of overwhelming odds.

Key Thought:

Number of Chapters:

Christ seen as:

Written To:



Capt. of Lord’s Hosts

Joshua was written to the people of Israel and all future readers of the Bible.

Author of the Book of Joshua:


Conclusion of the Book:

Key Verse:

Joshua; Eleazar the high priest and Phinehas, his son; other contemporaries of Joshua.

Approximately 1398 B.C. The faithfulness of Jehovah to His own has been fully demonstrated. Jos_1:3

Landscape of the Book of Joshua:

Themes in the Book of Joshua:

The story opens in Shittim, just north of the Dead Sea and east of the Jordan River. The first great victory was at Jericho. Over seven years, the Israelites captured the entire land of Canaan, from Kadesh-barnea in the south to Mount Hermon in the north. God's love for his chosen people continues in the book of Joshua.

In the first five books of the Bible, God brought the Jews out of slavery in Egypt and established his covenant with them. Joshua returns them to their Promised Land, where God helps them conquer it and gives them a home.

Key Characters in the Book of Joshua:

JoshuaRahab, Achan, Eleazar, Phinehas.  

Chapter 1 - God Commissions Joshua

Chapter 2 - Rahab Hides the Spies

Chapter 3 - Israel Crosses the Jordan

Chapter 4 - Twelve Memorial Stones from the Jordan

Chapter 5 - The New Generation Circumcised

Chapter 6 - The Fall of Jericho

Chapter 7 - Israel Defeated at Ai

Chapter 8 - The Fall of Ai

Chapter 9 - The Gibeonite Deception

Chapter 10 - The Sun Stands Still

Chapter 11 - Conquests in Northern Canaan

Chapter 12 - Kings Defeated by Moses & Joshua

Chapter 13 - Land Still to Be Conquered

Chapter 14 - The Inheritance West of the Jordan

Chapter 15 - The Allotment for Judah

Chapter 16 - The Allotment for Ephraim and Manasseh Chapter 17 - Land divisions; portion for Manasseh. Chapter 18 - Allotment of the Remaining Land Chapter 19 - Land divisions for six more tribes. Chapter 20 - The Cities of Refuge

Chapter 21 - Cities and Pasturelands Allotted to Levi

Chapter 22 - The Eastern Tribes Return Home

Chapter 23 - Joshua's Charge to Israel's Leaders

Chapter 24 - The Covenant Renewal at Shechem

Key Verses:

Joshua 1:8

"Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful." 


Joshua 6:20

When the trumpets sounded, the people shouted, and at the sound of the trumpet, when the people gave a loud shout, the wall collapsed; so every man charged straight in, and they took the city. 


Joshua 24:25

On that day Joshua made a covenant for the people, and there at Shechem he drew up for them decrees and laws. And Joshua recorded these things in the Book of the Law of God. 


Joshua 24:31

Israel served the Lord throughout the lifetime of Joshua and of the elders who outlived him and who had experienced everything the Lord had done for Israel. 


Outline of the Book of Joshua:


• Joshua's Assignment - Joshua 1:1-5:15


• Rahab Helps the Spies - Joshua 2:1-24


• The People Cross the Jordan River - Joshua 3:1-4:24


• Circumcision and a Visit by an Angel - Joshua 5:1-15


 Battle of Jericho - Joshua 6:1-27


• Achan's Sin Brings Death - Joshua 7:1-26


• Renewed Israel Defeats Ai - Joshua 8:1-35


• Gibeon's Trick - Joshua 9:1-27


• Defending Gibeon, Defeating Southern Kings - Joshua 10:1-43


• Capturing the North, a List of Kings - Joshua 11:1-12:24


• Dividing the Land - Joshua 13:1-33


• Land West of the Jordan - Joshua 14:1-19:51


• More Allotments, Justice at Last - Joshua 20:1-21:45


• Eastern Tribes Praise God - Joshua 22:1-34


• Joshua Warns the People to Stay Faithful - Joshua 23:1-16


• Covenant at Shechem, Joshua's Death - Joshua 24:1-33


(a) How does this book naturally divide into four parts?
(b) What were the principal events connected with the entrance into Canaan?
(c) What victories and what defeat marked the conquest of the land?
(d) Which tribes were located east of the Jordan and which in the Promised Land itself?

(e) What New Testament book resembles Joshua and how?


THIS Book of God takes its name from Joshua, not perhaps from his being the writer of it, for it is more than probable that he did not write it, more likely, as some think, to have been Phinehas: but because it treats principally of him and his victories in the conquest of Canaan, as captain of the Lord's host.  And as by name, as well as in this character, he was an eminent type of the Almighty Joshua, nothing could have been more suitable than that in the history of the church's taking possession of Canaan, it should be recorded in his name, who evidently in all he did in this great work, typified a greater than himself even the Lord Jesus Christ.

In point of history, the Book of Joshua contains all, the great events which took place in the Church of God, from the death of Moses to the death of Joshua, a period of somewhat more than twenty years: during which time the conquest of Canaan, and the division of it among the tribes of Israel, were accomplished.

It forms a memorable period in the history of the church, and especially so when considered with an eye to the spiritual conquest of the church over her enemies by the true Joshua, in subduing all opposition, and bridging his people auto that rest which remaineth, for the people of God.

Though there are evident traces of the hand of an editing scribe, probably Ezra, there are many indications that the substance of this book was written while the events were still recent. There is therefore no good reason for doubting that the book in its original form was written by Joshua, as Jewish tradition alleges.

This book is to the Old Testament what the Acts of the Apostles is to the New. The name “Joshua” is equivalent to Jesus, and means “he shall save,” Heb_4:8. The Jericho of the early Church was Jerusalem, which they compassed through ten days of prayer as Israel compassed Jericho in seven days of marching. At Pentecost the walls of prejudice fell flat. Ananias and Sapphira were the Achan of the first days. The victories of the Church at Samaria, Antioch and elsewhere recall the conquests of Joshua. And the failure of the Church to go forward to the conquest of the nations finds a bitter parallel in the story of Israel’s apathy toward driving out the Canaanites.
The Book of Joshua is one of the most important documents in the Old Testament.  The rapid conquest of the Promised Land, and the actual settlement of the Israelites in it, afford a striking accomplishment of the Divine predictions to Abraham and the succeeding patriarchs; and at the same time bear the most unequivocal and ample testimony to the authenticity of this sacred book.  Several of the transactions related in it are confirmed in a very extraordinary manner, by the traditions current among heathen nations, and preserved by ancient profane historians of undoubted character. Thus there are monuments still in existence, which prove that the Carthaginians were a colony of Syrians who escaped from Joshua; as also that the inhabitants of Leptis, in Africa, came originally from the Sidonians, who abandoned their country on account of the calamities with which it was overwhelmed.  Procopius relates that the Phoenicians fled before the Hebrews into Africa, and spread themselves abroad as far as the pillars of Hercules; and adds, “In Numidia, where now stands the city Tigisis (Tangiers), they have erected two columns, on which, in Phoenician characters, is the following inscription: “We are the Phoenicians who fled from the face of Jesus (Joshua) the son of Naue” (Nun).


Reader! one request I have to make of you through the whole of the perusal of this history. Seek grace from him whose office it is to glorify Jesus, that in the conduct of Joshua in leading on the people of God to victory, you may look beyond the type, and behold the outlines of him, whose very office, as Joshua's was, is to save his people, to go before them, to conquer for them, and finally to give them all an inheritance among them that are sanctified. Oh thou Almighty Joshua! thou Captain of Salvation, who art bringing many sons unto glory, may I behold thee going before me in all the victories over sin, death, hell, and the grave; and drying up the Jordans of affliction, trials, temptations and difficulties, through which thou art leading me. Dearest Jesus! do thou lead on, and lead me out, and give me grace to follow, until thou shalt bring me in to behold thy glory, and dwell with thee forever!


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