Joshua

These are all of the chapters of the book of Joshua. Clicking on a chapter will show you the text of that chapter of Joshua in the Bible (New International Version).

Open Bible to book of Joshua, Joshua summary

Who Wrote the Book of Joshua?

The Book of Joshua was written for the purpose of providing generations to come with the history of Israel’s conquest of the Promised Land. It was written by Joshua, although the ending may have been written by Phinehas, who was an eyewitness to events recounted there (Life Application Study Bible).

Context and Background of Joshua

The Nation of Israel had escaped enslavement by the Egyptians under the leadership of Moses, who was instructed by God in how to carry out such endeavors. Through a series of events and lack of faith, the people group at the time wandered the desert for 40 years until a new generation was ready to enter into the Promised Land. Moses had passed away, and so the Lord came to Joshua son of Nun instructing him to be the man who would lead God’s people back to their own land at long last.

Entering the land was not as simple as merely strolling in, for foreign nations had overtaken the territory in the time that the Israelites had been gone. Spies were sent out to assess the land, and in time, the nation of Israel crossed once again into its own borders. Many battles ensued against the foreign people groups abiding in the land, and the faith of not only Joshua but the people of Israel was tested multiple times to see if God indeed would continue to be faithful as promised. The Lord was with them every step of the way, although the conquering of the land was slow and tedious. Toward the end of the book, each of the twelve tribes received their portion of the land.

Main Theme and Purpose of Joshua

The main theme of Joshua is trusting God to be faithful to His Word. How the people of Israel conquered and reclaimed the Promised Land by faith is an encouragement to every follower of Christ. The journey and task set before them seemed impossible, but they trusted God and He kept His promise.

One of the first miracles to take place is in Joshua 3 and 4 when the people of Israel cross the Jordan River in a similar fashion to the parting of the Red Sea. God instructed the people to, “stand firm” in flood level waters at the banks of the Jordan and they waited. Though at first nothing seemed to change, upstream God was indeed working, and the flow of water ceased, allowing the people to cross not in mud but on dry land. God was faithful and kind; He made a way when it looked impossible for His people. They chose twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan to place as a monument for generations to come to serve as a reminder of the miracle God had performed for them that day.

Battles such as the fall of Jericho again revealed His faithfulness and the need for obedience by the people of God to carry out the instruction of the Lord. The Lord instructed them to march around the city seven times. This act of faith revealed that it was the Lord, not the strength of man, that delivered the city to Israel. God and God alone receives the glory for such a victory.

More miracles such as the sun standing still in Joshua 10 occur, once again revealing the truth that God is faithful even when the odds look impossible. The book ends with each of the twelve tribes receiving their rightful inheritance in the land at long last. Joshua offers a farewell in the final chapters reminding the great nation, “You know with all your heart and soul that not one of all the good promises the Lord your God gave you has failed. Every promise has come true” (Joshua 23:14).

What Can We Learn from Joshua Today?

Much can be learned from Joshua today, but the common theme throughout is that God is faithful. The Israelites were not a nation trained for war, but that did not mean they were not in battle frequently. They achieved the victory not based upon their own strength but because of the strength of the Lord. So often we will find ourselves in the midst of a season that in many ways feels completely unbearable and impossible to overcome. It is in such seasons that we can look at the record of His consistency in the Bible and know that He indeed does not change (Hebrew 13:8). If God can part the Jordan River, cause the Sun to cease, and bring down Jericho by marching, how much more can He do in your situation? 

It must have seemed strange to Joshua to command men to stand in a flood level river, yet that obedience without full knowledge of what was going to occur resulted in God parting the seas. Obedience is key in the journey, even when it does not make sense or feel comfortable.

Relying on His strength and not our own is His heart for us. Not only for His glory, but in order that we are no consumed to walk our own battles alone. The Lord desired a relationship with His people in the book of Nation, and He does today with each and every one of us. It is His delight and joy to carry with us the burdens of this world and to walk with us into the victories that can only be won by Him and Him alone.

Our Favorite Verses from Joshua

Joshua 3:7, “Now the Lord said to Joshua, “This day I will begin to exalt you in the sight of all Israel, that they may know that just as I have been with Moses, I will be with you.”

Joshua 3:16, “the waters which were flowing down from above stood and rose up in one heap, a great distance away at Adam, the city that is beside Zarethan; and those which were flowing down toward the sea of the Arabah, the Salt Sea, were completely cut off. So, the people crossed opposite Jericho. And the priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord stood firm on dry ground in the middle of the Jordan while all Israel crossed on dry ground, until all the nation had finished crossing the Jordan.”

Joshua 4:6, “Let this be a sign among you, so that when your children ask later, saying, ‘What do these stones mean to you? ‘then you shall say to them, ‘Because the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord; when it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off.’ So, these stones shall become a memorial to the sons of Israel forever.”

Joshua 6:15, “Then on the seventh day they rose early at the dawning of the day and marched around the city in the same manner seven times; only on that day they marched around the city seven times. At the seventh time, when the priests blew the trumpets, Joshua said to the people, “Shout! For the Lord has given you the city.”

Joshua 10:13, “And the sun stopped in the middle of the sky and did not hasten to go down for about a whole day. There was no day like that before it or after it, when the Lord listened to the voice of a man; for the Lord fought for Israel.” 

Joshua 21:43, “So the Lord gave Israel all the land which He had sworn to give to their fathers, and they possessed it and lived in it. And the Lord gave them rest on every side, according to all that He had sworn to their fathers, and no one of all their enemies stood before them; the Lord gave all their enemies into their hand. Not one of the good promises which the Lord had made to the house of Israel failed; all came to pass.” 

Joshua 23:14, “Now behold, today I am going the way of all the earth, and you know in all your hearts and in all your souls that not one word of all the good words which the Lord your God spoke concerning you has failed; all have been fulfilled for you, not one of them has failed. It shall come about that just as all the good words which the Lord your God spoke to you have come upon you”

Sources

  • TheBibleProject, Explore Joshua
  • Life Application New International Version Study Bible 2005

Photo credit: ©Sparrowstock

Cally Logan is a writer and teacher from Richmond, Virginia. She graduated from Regent University. Currently, she is a writer for Dear Sparrows Ministry site, and the Podcast, "Dear Sparrows." In her free time, she enjoys leading a high school girls’ small group, cooking, and spending time in tree houses. Her latest books, Dear Young Sparrow and Unveiled are available everywhere or at https://dearsparrows.com/.