Joshua, Book of

Smith’s Bible Dictionary

Joshua, Book of: Named from Joshua the son of Nun, who is the principal character in it. The book may be regarded as consisting of three parts:

  1. The conquest of Canaan; chs. 1-12.
  2. The partition of Canaan; chs. 13-22.
  3. Joshua's farewell; chs. 23,24. Nothing is really known as to the authorship of the book. Joshua himself is generally named as the author by the Jewish writers and the Christian fathers; but no contemporary assertion or sufficient historical proof of the fact exists, and it cannot be maintained without qualification. The last verses, ch. (Joshua 24:29-33) were obviously added at a later time. Some events, such as the capture of Hebron, of Debir, (Joshua 15:13-19) and Judg 1:10-15 of Leshem, (Joshua 19:47) and Judg 18:7 and the joint occupation of Jerusalem, (Joshua 15:63) and Judg 1:21 probably did not occur till after Joshua's death. (It was written probably during Joshua's life, or soon after his death (B.C. 1420), and includes his own records, with revision by some other person not long afterward.)