Joshua is the sixth book of the Old Testament of the Bible. It is named for the leader who succeeded Moses and led Israel in the successful conquest of Canaan, the Promised Land. The book is divided into three parts: the conquest of Canaan during Joshua's three major campaigns (chaps. 1 - 12), including the fall of Jericho (chap. 6), the siege of Gibeon, and Joshua's victory while the sun and moon stood still (chap. 10); the division of Canaan by tribes (chaps. 13 - 22); and Joshua's farewell speeches and death (chaps. 23 - 24).
The Book of Joshua forms part of the Deuteronomistic History, the collective name given by scholars to the books of Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, 1 and 2 Samuel, and 1 and 2 Kings, all of which appear to have been compiled by the same editor or editors. This history was recorded during the time of Josiah (c. 640 - 609 BC) and revised around 550 BC. Joshua is based on earlier sources, however; some parts of the text date from the premonarchial period. The book was edited almost 600 years after the conquest of Canaan (c. 1225 BC).
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P Enns, Joshua: Bible Study Commentary (1981); L Greenspoon, Textual Studies in the Book of Joshua (1983); J A Soggin, Joshua, A Commentary (1972).
Joshua, Jehovah is his help, or Jehovah the Saviour. The son of Nun, of the tribe of Ephraim, the successor of Moses as the leader of Israel. He is called Jehoshua in Num. 13:16 (A.V.), and Jesus in Acts 7:45 and Heb. 4:8 (R.V., Joshua). He was born in Egypt, and was probably of the age of Caleb, with whom he is generally associated. He shared in all the events of the Exodus, and held the place of commander of the host of the Israelites at their great battle against the Amalekites in Rephidim (Ex. 17:8-16). He became Moses' minister or servant, and accompanied him part of the way when he ascended Mount Sinai to receive the two tables (Ex. 32:17). He was also one of the twelve who were sent on by Moses to explore the land of Canaan (Num. 13:16, 17), and only he and Caleb gave an encouraging report. Under the direction of God, Moses, before his death, invested Joshua in a public and solemn manner with authority over the people as his successor (Deut. 31:23).
The people were encamped at Shittim when he assumed the command (Josh. 1:1); and crossing the Jordan, they encamped at Gilgal, where, having circumcised the people, he kept the Passover, and was visited by the Captain of the Lord's host, who spoke to him encouraging words (1:1-9). Now began the wars of conquest which Joshua carried on for many years, the record of which is in the book which bears his name. Six nations and thirty-one kings were conquered by him (Josh. 11:18-23; 12:24). Having thus subdued the Canaanites, Joshua divided the land among the tribes, Timnath-serah in Mount Ephraim being assigned to himself as his own inheritance. His work being done, he died, at the age of one hundred and ten years, twenty-five years after having crossed the Jordan.
He was buried in his own city of Timnathserah (Josh. 24); and "the light of Israel for the time faded away." Joshua has been regarded as a type of Christ (Heb. 4:8) in the following particulars:, (1) In the name common to both; (2) Joshua brings the people into the possession of the Promised Land, as Jesus brings his people to the heavenly Canaan; and (3) as Joshua succeeded Moses, so the Gospel succeeds the Law. The character of Joshua is thus well sketched by Edersheim:, "Born a slave in Egypt, he must have been about forty years old at the time of the Exodus. Attached to the person of Moses, he led Israel in the first decisive battle against Amalek (Ex. 17:9, 13), while Moses in the prayer of faith held up to heaven the God-given 'rod.' It was no doubt on that occasion that his name was changed from Oshea, 'help,' to Jehoshua, 'Jehovah is help' (Num. 13:16). And this name is the key to his life and work.
Alike in bringing the people into Canaan, in his wars, and in the distribution of the land among the tribes, from the miraculous crossing of Jordan and taking of Jericho to his last address, he was the embodiment of his new name, 'Jehovah is help.' To this outward calling his character also corresponded. It is marked by singleness of purpose, directness, and decision...... He sets an object before him, and unswervingly follows it" (Bible Hist., iii. 103)
(Easton Illustrated Dictionary)
The Book of Joshua contains a history of the Israelites from the death of Moses to that of Joshua. It consists of three parts:, (1.) The history of the conquest of the land (1-12). (2.) The allotment of the land to the different tribes, with the appointment of cities of refuge, the provision for the Levites (13-22), and the dismissal of the eastern tribes to their homes. This section has been compared to the Domesday Book of the Norman conquest. (3.) The farewell addresses of Joshua, with an account of his death (23,24). This book stands first in the second of the three sections, (1) the Law, (2) the Prophets, (3) the "other writings" = Hagiographa, into which the Jewish Church divided the Old Testament. There is every reason for concluding that the uniform tradition of the Jews is correct when they assign the authorship of the book to Joshua, all except the concluding section; the last verses (24:29-33) were added by some other hand.
There are two difficulties connected with this book which have given rise to much discussion, (1.) The miracle of the standing still of the sun and moon on Gibeon. The record of it occurs in Joshua's impassioned prayer of faith, as quoted (Josh. 10:12-15) from the "Book of Jasher" (q.v.). There are many explanations given of these words. They need, however, present no difficulty if we believe in the possibility of God's miraculous interposition in behalf of his people. Whether it was caused by the refraction of the light, or how, we know not. (2.) Another difficulty arises out of the command given by God utterly to exterminate the Canaanites. "Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?" It is enough that Joshua clearly knew that this was the will of God, who employs his terrible agencies, famine, pestilence, and war, in the righteous government of this world.
The Canaanites had sunk into a state of immorality and corruption so foul and degrading that they had to be rooted out of the land with the edge of the sword. "The Israelites' sword, in its bloodiest executions, wrought a work of mercy for all the countries of the earth to the very end of the world." This book resembles the Acts of the Apostles in the number and variety of historical incidents it records, and in its many references to persons and places; and as in the latter case the epistles of Paul (see Paley's Horce Paul.) confirm its historical accuracy by their incidental allusions and "undesigned coincidences," so in the former modern discoveries confirm its historicity. The Amarna tablets are among the most remarkable discoveries of the age.
Dating from about B.C. 1480 down to the time of Joshua, and consisting of official communications from Amorite, Phoenician, and Philistine chiefs to the king of Egypt, they afford a glimpse into the actual condition of Palestine prior to the Hebrew invasion, and illustrate and confirm the history of the conquest. A letter, also still extant, from a military officer, "master of the captains of Egypt," dating from near the end of the reign of Rameses II., gives a curious account of a journey, probably official, which he undertook through Palestine as far north as to Aleppo, and an insight into the social condition of the country at that time. Among the things brought to light by this letter and the Amarna tablets is the state of confusion and decay that had now fallen on Egypt. The Egyptian garrisons that had held possession of Palestine from the time of Thothmes III., some two hundred years before, had now been withdrawn.
The way was thus opened for the Hebrews. In the history of the conquest there is no mention of Joshua having encountered any Egyptian force. The tablets contain many appeals to the king of Egypt for help against the inroads of the Hebrews, but no help seems ever to have been sent. Is not this just such a state of things as might have been anticipated as the result of the disaster of the Exodus? In many points, as shown under various articles, the progress of the conquest is remarkably illustrated by the tablets. The value of modern discoveries in their relation to Old Testament history has been thus well described: "The difficulty of establishing the charge of lack of historical credibility, as against the testimony of the Old Testament, has of late years greatly increased. The outcome of recent excavations and explorations is altogether against it.
As long as these books contained, in the main, the only known accounts of the events they mention, there was some plausibility in the theory that perhaps these accounts were written rather to teach moral lessons than to preserve an exact knowledge of events. It was easy to say in those times men had not the historic sense. But the recent discoveries touch the events recorded in the Bible at very many different points in many different generations, mentioning the same persons, countries, peoples, events that are mentioned in the Bible, and showing beyond question that these were strictly historic. The point is not that the discoveries confirm the correctness of the Biblical statements, though that is commonly the case, but that the discoveries show that the peoples of those ages had the historic sense, and, specifically, that the Biblical narratives they touch are narratives of actual occurrences."
(Easton Illustrated Dictionary)
The name of eight persons in the Old Testament, and of one of the Sacred Books.
('Oseé), a Bethsamite in whose field the ark stood on its way back from the land of the Philistines to Juda (1 Samuel 6:14, 18).
('Iesoûs), governor of Jerusalem whose idolatrous altars were destroyed by King Josias, during the latter's attempts to undo the evil wrought by his father Amon and grandfather Manasses (2 Kings 22:8).
('Iesoûs), the son of Josedec and the high-priest who returned with Zorobabel from the Babylonian Captivity to Jerusalem (Ezra 2:2; Nehemiah 7:7; 21:1). In I and II Esd. the Vulgate calls him Josue; in Agg. and Zach., Jesus. He assisted Zorobabel in rebuilding the Temple, and was most zealous for the restoration of the religion of Israel (Ezra 3:2, 8; 4:3; 5:2). It was he whom Zacharias saw in vision stripped of filthy garments and clothed in clean robes and mitre, while the angel of the Lord proclaimed the high-priest the type of the coming Messias (Zechariah 3).
('Iesoué, 'Iesoû), a head of the family of Phahath Moab, one of the families named in the list of Israelites that returned from the Babylonian Exile (Ezra 2:6; Nehemiah 7:11).
('Iesoî 'Iesoû), a head of the priestly family of Idaia, maybe the high-priest Josue mentioned above (Ezra 2:36; Nehemiah 7:39).
('Iesoûs, 'Iesoû), the name of a priestly family descended from Oduia, as also of various heads of that family after the Exile (Ezra 2:40; 3:9; 8:33; Nehemiah 3:19; 7:43; 8:7; 9:4, 5; 12:8, Vulg. Jesua; 12:24).
('Iesía), one of the sons of Herem who were ordered to put away their wives taken from the land of the stranger (Ezra 10:31).
(First called Osee; Septuagint 'Iesoûs, first A&úsé), the son of Nun; the genealogy of the family is given in I Par., vii, 20-27; it belonged to the tribe of Ephraim. Josue commanded the army of Israel, after the Exodus, in its battle with Amalec (Exodus 17:9-13), was called the minister of Moses (xxiv, 13), accompanied the great lawgiver to and from Mount Sinai (xxxi, 17) and into the tabernacle of the covenant (xxxiii, 11), and acted as one of twelve spies whom Moses sent to view the land of Chanaan (Numbers 13:9). On this occasion Moses changed his servant's name from Osee to Josue (Numbers 13:17). The new name most likely means "Jahweh is salvation". Josue and Caleb alone spoke well of the land, even though the people wished to stone them for not murmuring and these two lived on (Numbers 14:38). Josue was chosen by God to succeed Moses. The words of the choice show the character of the chosen (Numbers 27:17-18). Before Eleazar and all the assembly of the people Moses laid hands on Josue. Later this soldier was proposed by Moses to the people to lead them into the land beyond the Jordan (Deuteronomy 31:3), and was ordered by the Lord to do so (xxxi, 23). After the death of Moses, Josue was filled with the spirit of wisdom and was obeyed by the children of Israel (Deuteronomy 34:9). The rest of story of Josue is told in the Book of Josue.
THE BOOK OF JOSHUA
The sixth book of the Old Testament; in the plan of the critics, the last book of the Hexateuch (see PENTATEUCH). In the Fathers, the book is often called "Jesus Nave". The name dates from the time of Origen, who translated the Hebrew "son of Nun" by uìòs Nauê and insisted upon the Nave as a type of a ship; hence in the name Jesus Nave many of the Fathers see the type of Jesus, the Ship wherin the world is saved.
The Book of Josue contains two parts: the conquest of the promised land and the division thereof. (a) The Conquest (i- xii). Josue enters the land of promise, after being assured by spies that the way is safe. It is the tenth day of the first month, forty-one years since the Exodus. The channel of the Jordan is dry during the passage of Israel (i-iii) A monument is erected in the midst of the Jordan, and one at Galgal, to commemorate the miracle. Josue camps at Galgal (iv). The Israelites born during the wandering are circumcised; the pasch is eaten the first time in the land of promise; the manna ceases to fall; Josue is strengthened by the vision of an angel (v). The walls of Jericho fall without a blow; the city is sacked; its inhabitants are put to death; only the family of Rahab is spared (vi). Israel goes up against Hai. The crime of Achan causes defeat. Josue punishes that crime and takes Hai (vii-viii, 29); sets up an altar on Mount Hebal; subjugates the Gabaonites (viii, 30-ix), defeats the kings of Jerusalem, Hebron, Jerimoth, Lachis, and Eglon; captures and destroys Maceda, Lebna, Lachis, Eglon, Hebron, Dabir, and the South even to Gaza; marches North and defeats the combined forces of the kings at the waters of Meron (x-xii). (b) The Division of the Land among the Tribes of Israel (xiii-xxii). Epilogue: last message and death of Josue (xxiii and xxiv).
(a) In the Jewish canon Josue is among the Early Prophets Josue, Judges, and the four Books of Kings. It was not grouped with the Pentateuch, chiefly because, unlike Exodus and Leviticus, it contained no Torah, or law; also because the five books of the Torah were assigned to Moses (see PENTATEUCH). (b) In the Christian canon Josue has ever held the same place as in the Jewish canon.
Non-Catholics have almost all followed the critics in the question of the "Hexateuch"; even the conservative Hastings, "Dict. of the Bible", ed. 1909, takes it for granted that Josue (Joshua) is a post-Exile patchwork. The first part (i-xii) is made up of two documents, probably J and E (Jehovistic and Elohistic elements), put together by J E and later revised by the Deuterocanonical editor (D); to this latter is assigned all of the first chapter. Very little of this portion is the work of P (the compiler of the Priestly Code). In the second part (xiii-xxii) the critics are uncertain as to whether the last editing was the work of the Deuteronomic or the Priestly editor; they agree in this that the same hands those of J, E, D, and P are at work in both parts, and that the portions which must be assigned to P have characteristics which are not at all found in his work in the Pentateuch. The final redaction is post-Exilic a work done about 440-400 B.C. Such in brief is the theory of the critics, who differ here as elsewhere in the matter of the details assigned to the various writers and the order of the editing, which all assume was certainly done. (See G. A. Smith and Welch in Hastings, "Dict. of the Bible", large and small editions respectively, s. v. "Joshua"; Moore in Cheyne, "Encyc. Bibl."; Wellhausen, "Die Composition des Hexateuchs und der historischen Bücher des A. T.", Berlin, 1889; Driver, "Introd. to Lit. of O.T.", New York, 1892, 96.)
The Jews knew no such Hexateuch, no such six books set together by a final editor; they always kept a marked distinction between the Pentateuch and Josue, and rather linked Josue with Judges than with Deuteronomy. The well-known preface to Ecclesiasticus (Septuagint) separates the "Law" from the "Prophets". The Samaritans have the Torah entirely separate from the recently discovered Samaritan Josue.
Catholics almost universally defend the unity of Josue. It is true that before the decree of the Biblical Commission on the question of the multiple authorship of the Pentateuch, some Catholics assigned Josue, as well as the five Mosaic books, to J, E, D, and P. Catholic Biblical scholars favour the pre-Exilic unity of composition of Josue and its editorial independence of the Pentateuch. This independence is shown by the completeness and originality of the plan of the book. We have seen the unity of this plan Josue's conquest and division of the promised land. The purpose is clear to carry on the history of the chosen people after the death of Moses. The purpose of the Pentateuch was very different to codify the laws of the chosen people as well as to sum up their primitive history. No laws are codified in Josue. The critics argue that the death of Moses leaves a void to be filled up, i.e. the conquest of the land of promise, and therefore postulate this conquest for the historical, if not for the legal, completeness of the Pentateuch. Such an hypothesis would justify one in postulating also that the history of the conquest after the death of Josue be needed for the historical completeness of the Pentateuch. Again, the completeness of Josue's narrative of the conquest of the promised land is clear from the fact that it repeats data which are already given in the Pentateuch and are details of that conquest. The orders of Moses to the children of Ruben and of Gad are clear cut in the Pentateuch (Numbers 32:20 sqq.); so, too, is the execution of these orders by the Rubenites and Gadites in the lands of the Amorrhites and of Basan (Numbers 32:33-38). If Josue is part of the composite and late composition which the critics make the Mosaic books out to be, how comes it that these very data concerning the children of Ruben and of Gad are repeated by the supposititious Deuteronomic D¹ or D² when he comes to set together the J and E and P of Josue? Why does he break in upon his continued narrative (see Joshua 1:12; 13:15-28)? Why this useless repetition of the same names, if not because of the unity of composition of Josue? Why are the cities of refuge given again (cf. 20:8; Deuteronomy 4:41 sqq.)? To answer these and similar difficulties, the critics have recourse to an uncritical subterfuge D¹ or D² was not brought up in the school of modern criticism; hence his blunderings. We cannot accept so uncritical and free-handed a writer as the God-chosen and inspired editor of the Pentateuch and Josue. For a full refutation of the critics, see Cornely, "Introd. Specialis in Hist. V. T. Libros", II (Paris, 1887, 177).
(a) The Book of Josue was certainly written before the time of David, for the Chanaanite still dwelt in Gazer (xvi, 10), the Jebusite in Jerusalem (xv, 63), and Sidon held supremacy in Phoenicia (xiv, 28); whereas, before the time of Solomon, the Egyptians had driven the Chanaanite from Gazer (1 Kings 9:16), David had captured Jerusalem in the eighth year of his reign (2 Samuel 5:5), and Tyre (twelfth century B.C.) had supplanted Sidon in the supremacy of Phoenicia. Moreover, in David's time, no writer could have set down his allies the Phoenicians among the peoples to be destroyed (xiii, 6).
(b) Internal evidence favours the view that the author lived not long after the death of Josue. The territory assigned to each tribe is very exactly described. Only the land allotted to Ephraim is set down (xvi, 5), since occupation was delayed (xvii, 16); on the other hand, we are told not only the portion of land allotted to Juda and Benjamin, but the cities they had captured (xv, 1 sqq.; xviii, 11 sqq.); as for the other tribes, the progress they had made in winning the cities of their lot is told us with an accuracy which could not be explained were we to admit that the narrative is post-Exilic in its final redaction. Only the inadmissible bungling of the uncritical D¹ or D² will serve to explain away this argument.
(c) The question remains: Did Josue write all save the epilogue? Catholics are divided. Most of the Fathers seem to have taken it for granted that the author is Josue; still there have ever been Catholics who assigned the work to some one shortly after the death of the great leader. Theodoret (In Jos., q. xiv), Pseudo-Athanasius (Synopsis Sacr. Scrip.), Tostatus (In Jos., i, q. xiii; vii), Maes ("Josue Imperatoris Historia", Antwerp, 1574), Haneberg ("Gesch. der bibl. Offenbarung", Ratisbon, 1863, 202), Danko ("Hist. Rev. Div. V. T.", Vienna, 1862, 200), Meignan ("De Moïse à David", Paris, 1896, 335), and many other Catholic authors admit that the Book of Josue contains signs of later editing; but all insist that this editing was done before the Exile.
The Biblical Commission (15 Feb., 1909) has decreed the historicity of the primitive narrative of Genesis 1-3; a fortiori it will not tolerate that a Catholic deny the historicity of Josue. The chief objection of rationalists to the historical worth of the book is the almost overwhelming force of the miraculous therein; this objection has no worth to the Catholic exegete. Other objections are forestalled in the treatment of the authenticity of the work. Full answer to the rationalistic objections will be found in the standard works of Catholics on introduction. Saints Paul (Hebrews 11:30-31; 13:5), James (ii, 25), and Stephen (Acts 7:45), the tradition of the Synagogue and of the Church accept the Book of Josue as historical. To the Fathers Josue is an historical person and a type of the Messias. As an antidote to accusations that Josue was cruel and murderous, etc., one should read the Assyrian and Egyptian accounts of the almost contemporary treatment of the vanquished. St. Augustine solved the rationalistic difficulty by saying that the abominations of the Chanaanites merited the punishment which God, as Master of the world, meted out to them by the hand of Israel (In Hept., III, 56; P.L., XXXIV, 702, 816). These abominations of phallic worship and infant sacrifice have been proven by the excavations of the Palestine Exploration Fund at Gazer.
The Septuagint is preserved in two different recensions the Alexandrian (A) and Vatican (B) and varies considerably from the Masorah; the Vulgate often differs from all three (iii, 4; iv, 3, 13; v, 6). The Samaritan Josue recently discovered, resembles the Sept. more closely than the Masorah.
Publication information Written by Walter Drum. Transcribed by WGKofron. With thanks to St. Mary's Church, Akron, Ohio The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume VIII. Published 1910. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Nihil Obstat, October 1, 1910. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York
Fathers: ORIGEN, Eclectum in Jesum Nave in P. G., XII, 819-825); AUGUSTINE, Quæstiones in Heptateuchum in P.L., XXXIV, 547). Modern writers: MAES, op. cit.; CALMET, Comm. Lit. in Omnes Libros N. et V. Test. (Würzburg, 1788); SERARIUS, Josue, etc. (Mainz, 1610); BONFRÈRE, Josue, Judices, Ruth (Paris, 1733); also works mentioned in body of article. Protestant: SPEAKER's Bible, II (London, 1872); KÖNIG, Alttest Studien, i. Authentie des Buches Josua (1836).
Part I., ch. i-xii.
Crossing of Jordan.
The Confederacy Against Joshua.
Part II., ch. xiii.-xxi.
Appendix, ch. xxii.-xxiv.
Views as to Authorship.
Comparison with Judges.
Historical Character of the Book.
The Samaritan Book of Joshua.
The first book of the second greater division in the Hebrew canon, the "Nebi'im," and therefore also the first of the first part of this division, the "Nebi'im Rishonim." It bears in Hebrew the superscription ; in the Septuagint, using the post-exilic form of the name (; Neh. viii. 17), Ἰησοῦς (in some manuscripts with the addition of υἱὸς Ναυῆ); in the Peshiṭta, "Ketaba de-Yeshu' bar-Nun Talmideh de-Mushe" (Book of Joshua, son of Nun, the Disciple of Moses). It belongs to the historical books of the Old Testament, its theme being the invasion and conquest under Joshua of west-Jordanic Palestine and its apportionment among the tribes, with an account of the closing days and death of the great leader. The book, which comprises twenty-four chapters, readily falls into two main parts and an appendix, which may be summarized thus: (1) the events following Moses' death; the invasion and capture of the land; (2) the division of the country; (3) the conduct of the Reubenites, etc.; two hortatory addresses by Joshua shortly before his death, followed by a brief gloss on his burial-place and the disposition made of the bones of Joseph. In detail the contents are as follows:
Part I., ch. i-xii.
i.: After Moses' death, Joshua, by virtue of his previous appointment as Moses' successor, receives from Yhwh the command to cross the Jordan. In execution of this order Joshua issues the requisite instructions to the stewards of the people for the crossing of the Jordan; and he reminds the Reubenites, Gadites, and the half of Manasseh of their pledge given to Moses to help their brethren.
ii.: Joshua sends out from Shittim two spies to explore the city of Jericho. They are saved from falling into the hands of the king by the shrewd tactics of Rahab. The spies return and report. Crossing of Jordan.
iii.-iv.: Camp is broken at Shittim. A halt is made at the Jordan. Joshua addresses the people; assuring them that Yhwh, the living God, is in the midst of them, that He will drive out the Canaanites, and that the Ark will cross the Jordan, whereupon a miraculous change will be worked in the waters of the river. The predicted miracle takes place as soon as the priests with the Ark wade into the water. In commemoration of the event, Joshua orders two monuments to be erected: one in the river-bed; the other on the west bank, at Gilgal. The Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half of Manasseh number 40,000 warriors. The priests are bidden to come up out of the river's bed after the people have crossed over. This happens on the tenth day of the first month; and the camp is pitched at Gilgal.
v.: Joshua is bidden to make flint knives wherewith to circumcise the Israelites, for those born in the desert had not been circumcised. This is done; Pesaḥ is celebrated; and the manna ceases. Joshua in front of Jericho receives the visit of a "captain of the host of the Lord" in the guise of a man, who declares that the soil on which Joshua is standing is holy ground.
vi.: The siege and capture of Jericho; after thirteen circuits-one every day for six days, and seven circuits on the seventh day-with seven priests blowing seven rams' horns and the people shouting, the walls cave in. Jericho is put under the ban; but Rahab is excepted. A curse is pronounced against any one who should rebuild the city. Joshua becomes famous throughout the whole land.
vii.: The miscarriage of the expedition against Ai, undertaken, upon the counsel of spies, with a very small force, strikes terror into the heart of the people and brings Joshua to the verge of despair. But Yhwh announces that the people have sinned. As stated in the first verse, Achan has not respected the ban. The people must be reconsecrated. The sinner must be discovered by the casting of Yhwh's lot. This is done. By a process of elimination the guilt is limited to the tribe of Judah, then to the clan of the Zarhites, then to the sept of Zabdi; the individual members of Zabdi are then brought forward, man by man, and finally Achan is detected as the culprit. He admits having taken a costly Babylonian garment, besides silver and gold; and his confession is verified by the finding of the treasure buried in his tent. Achan is taken into the valley of Achor, and there stoned to death.
viii.: Expedition against Ai, this time with the whole army. The city is taken by clever strategy, 30,000 men being placed overnight in an ambush. The attacking force feigning flight, the King of Ai is drawn far away from the city; Joshua points with his lance toward the city; whereupon the men in ambush rush into it, while Joshua and the army with him face about. Thus the pursuing enemy is taken between the two sections of Israel's array. Not one man escapes; the city is burned; 12,000 inhabitants are killed, and the spoils are taken. The King of Ai is hanged to a tree until nightfall, when his body is thrown into a pit, where on a stone heap is raised. Joshua erects an altar on Mount Ebal as Moses had commanded, offering to Yhwh holocausts and sacrificing peace-offerings.On the stones of the altar he engraves a copy of the law of Moses; the people being ranged in two sections-one facing Ebal; the other, Gerizim-while the blessings and curses are read as ordained by Moses.
The Confederacy Against Joshua.
ix.: Confederacy of the native kings to fight Joshua. The Gibeonites by craft obtain a treaty from the Israelites, which even after the detection of the fraud practised upon the invaders is not abrogated. They are, however, degraded to be "hewers of wood and drawers of water" for the altar of Yhwh.
x.: Adoni-zedek brings about an alliance between the kings of Jerusalem, Hebron, Jarmuth, Lachish, and Eglon, and they ("the five kings of the Amorites") besiege Gibeon. In their distress the Gibeonites implore Joshua's help. Joshua, assured by Yhwh of victory, comes up from Gilgal by a forced night march and attacks the allies suddenly. Thrown into confusion, the Amorites flee as far as the ascent of Beth-horon. To this battle is referred a song from the Book of Jashar, commanding the sun to be still at Gibeon and the moon in the valley of Ajalon. The five kings are captured, first being incarcerated in the cave where they had hidden for safety, then, after the pursuit had been discontinued,-scarcely one of the enemies escaping-being by order of Joshua humiliated and hanged. Then follows a detailed enumeration of the cities captured and put under ban. Joshua becomes master of the whole land-the hill-country, the southland, the lowland, and the slopes-leaving not one king alive, and banning all men from Kadesh-barnea unto Gaza, and all the district of Goshen unto Gibeon. After this expedition he returns to Gilgal.
xi.: Jabin, King of Hazor, and his allies rendezvous at Merom. Joshua is assured by Yhwh of their total defeat, which in fact is brought about by a sudden attack on the part of Joshua. Pursuing them to a great distance (the cities are named), he hamstrings their horses and burns their chariots, capturing Hazor, killing all of its people, and burning the town. Other royal residences he takes by the sword, putting them under the ban. The spoils are taken, and the men are put to death. The cities on the hill are allowed to stand. Joshua drives the Anakim from the mountains, from Hebron, and from other places. Only in Gaza some remain. Finally the land has peace.
xii.: Recapitulation of Joshua's conquests, with statistical details of the number of the kings (30) captured and subdued.
Part II., ch. xiii.-xxi.
xiii.: After an enumeration of the places still unconquered (mainly the coast districts of the Philistines) Joshua is bidden to apportion the land, the unconquered as well as the conquered (verse 6b), among nine and one-half tribes of Israel, the other two and one-half tribes having under Moses been given their portion on the east of the Jordan (verses 14b-32).
xiv.: Résumé of the foregoing reference to Reuben, Gad, and the half of Manasseh, with a gloss concerning Levi's non-inheritance save as regards detached cities, while Joseph receives a double heritage (verses 1-5). Caleb's claim to Hebron is allowed.
xv.: The "lot" of Judah (verses 1-12). Caleb's share (13). Expulsion by him of the three Anakim (14). Story of Kirjath-sepher (16). Othniel takes it and wins, as promised, Caleb's daughter for wife (17). Her successful plea for the gift of wells (18). Catalogue of the heritage of Judah (20 et seq.). Gloss on the continued dwelling of the Jebusites in Jerusalem (63).
xvi.: Lot of the Josephites (1-3). The Ephraimites own cities in the territory of Manasseh (9). Gloss to the effect that the Canaanites dwelling in Gezer had not been driven out, but had been reduced to slavery (10).
xvii.: Lot of Manasseh, Machir as a warrior taking for his prize Gilead and Bashan (1). Delimitation of Manasseh (7). Manasseh's assignments in Issachar and Asher (11). Gloss stating that these cities had not been captured (12). Protest of the Josephites against receiving one share only (14). Joshua advises them to conquer the wooded hill-land (15). Plea on their part that the mountain is not extensive enough, while the plains are held by Canaanites equipped with iron chariots (16). Joshua's consolatory encouragement (17).
xviii.: Erection of the Tabernacle at Shiloh (1). Seven tribes without allotment. Joshua urges these to appoint commissions of three men out of each tribe to go and take the land and to report to him, when, after dividing it into seven portions, he will cast the lot (2-7). The commissions carry out the errand and lay their book of record before Joshua, who then casts the lot (8-10). Benjamin's share (11). The boundaries (12-20). List of the cities (21-28).
xix.: Simeon's share, in the territory of Judah. List of the cities (1-8). Reason why Simeon's lot was in Judean territory (9). Zebulun's share; its boundaries (10-14). Twelve cities not specified (15b). Issachar's share; its cities and boundaries (17-23). Asher's lot; its boundaries; summary gives twenty-two as the number of its cities (24-31). Naphtali's share; its boundaries and fortified cities (32-39). Dan's share; its cities enumerated (40-46). Why the Danites took Leshem = Dan (47). Joshua receives as his own share Timnath-serah (49-50). Eleazar and Joshua had assigned the lots before Yhwh at the gate of the Tabernacle at Shiloh (51). Cities of refuge established (51b-xx.).
xxi.: The Levites' assignment (1-8). Concluding paragraph, emphasizing God's fulfilment of His promise to the fathers (43-45).
Appendix, ch. xxii.-xxiv.
xxii.: Dismissal to their homes of Reuben, Gad, and the half of Manasseh with Joshua's blessing and an admonition to take heed of Yhwh's Law as commanded by Moses. Now that they have become rich in cattle, silver, gold, iron, and garments they are to divide the booty with their brethren (1-8). Return of the east-Jordanic tribes; they build an altar at the stone-heap on the bank of the Jordan; the Israelites desire to punish them for this act; but they first send Phinehas and ten princes to the Reubenites, etc., to censure them, recalling the Peor episode and advising them to remove to Palestine. The Reubenites explain that in building the altar their intention was to show their fidelity to Yhwh,that their descendants might not be taunted with being untrue to Him. The delegation rejoices at the explanation, and upon their report the Israelites abandon the projected punitive expedition (9-34).
xxiii.: Joshua, now old, calls an assembly of all Israel, at which he admonishes the people to remain loyal to the Torah of Moses.
xxiv.: An account of a gathering of Israel at Shechem, at which Joshua delivers an impressive address, reviewing the past, and makes the people vow to remain faithful. He erects a great stone as a witness to the promise (1-28). Joshua dies (29). Joseph's bones are buried in Shechem (32). Eleazar dies and is buried (33). E. G. H.
The Rabbis ascribe the authorship of the book, as of the last eight verses of Deuteronomy, to Joshua (B. B. 14b); the account of Joshua's death (Josh. xxiv. 29-32) was added, according to them, by Eleazar, the son of Aaron (B. B. 15a), and that of Eleazar's demise (Josh. xxiv. 33) by Phinehas (B. B. l.c.). But this view has been rejected by Isaac Abravanel (see preface to his commentary on the Earlier Prophets), who correctly observes that the use of the phrase = "unto this day" (Josh. iv. 9, vii. 26, ix. 27, xiv. 14, xv. 62, xvi. 10) controverts this assumption, and that certain events mentioned in the Book of Joshua are recorded in the Book of Judges (xix. 45) as occurring "long after the death of Joshua" (Abravanel, "Comm. in Prophetas Priores," pp. 2b, col. 2; 3a, col. 1; Leipsic, 1686).
Views as to Authorship.
Christian commentators have for similar reasons contended that the book was by a later author, who had access to documents composed by Joshua or by contemporaries of his (Theodoret, "In Josue Quæst." xiv.). In the "Synopsis Sacræ Scripturæ" (xxviii., col. 309), attributed to St. Athanasius, the title of the book is explained not as the name of the author, but as indicating the hero of the events. Alphonsus Tostat ("Opera," Cologne, 1613; "In Josue I. Quæst." xiii.) rejects the authorship of Joshua, and advances the theory that the book is the work of King Solomon, while Maes ("Josue Imperatoris Historia," Antwerp, 1574) ascribes it to Ezra, who had access to ancient Hebrew archives. These and modern Catholic critics also (Cardinal Meignan, "De Moïse à David," Paris, 1896) thus make the book posterior to the time of Joshua, but, for the greater part, pre-exilic and always based on documents coeval with the events reported.
Among modern Jewish critics L. Wogue ("Histoire de la Bible," Paris, 1881) defends the traditional view, with reference to B. B. 14b and 15a. More recently the passage in Ecclus. (Sirach) xlvi. 1 has been invoked in proof of the authorship of Joshua; προΦητεῖαι in Ecclesiasticus means "books," so that Joshua being designated (ib.) as διάδόχος Μωϋσῆ ἔν προΦητείαίς would imply that he was the "author" of the "book." The Hebrew text, however, has (see Israel Lévi, "L'Ecclésiastique," Paris, 1898), but this has also been construed, with reference to II Chron. ix. 29, where means "book," as supporting the traditional view.
Keil in his commentary has endeavored to defend this view by urging the force of = "until we had passed over" (Josh. v. 1) as demonstrating that the narrative must have been written by an eyewitness; but the ancient versions show this reading to be erroneous. Nor is xviii. 9 conclusive: at the utmost it proves that the catalogue of cities (xviii. 11-xix. 46) was abstracted from a document contemporary with Joshua. In the same way xxiv. 26 may be taken as evidence only that xxiv. 1-25 is by him, though upon closer inspection even this passage is seen to be merely the honest opinion of a later writer. The objections by Abravanel have not been answered.
Comparison with Judges.
Later Biblical books exhibit incidents which demonstrate that the situation assumed in Joshua could not have been that of the period of invasion. For instance, Jericho, represented in Joshua as completely overthrown and upon the rebuilding of which a solemn curse is invoked, is found to exist at a much later date, even as a city of the Prophets (see Elisha; comp. Josh. vi. 2-27, xvi. 1; Judges iii. 12-30; II Sam. x. 5; II Kings ii. 5, 15; v. 19-22; I Chron. xix. 5; for the curse see I Kings xvi. 34). Ai, reported burned, is known to Isaiah (as "Aiath"; Isa. x. 28). Gezer (Josh. xvi. 10), described as being reduced to vassalage, is not rendered tributary until the time of Solomon (I Kings ix. 16). But a comparison with the Book of Judges suffices to discredit the theory that the Book of Joshua is an autobiography of its eponymous hero. The narrative in Judges reveals the fact that the invasion was not directed by a general-in-chief, nor undertaken at one time by the tribes united under a national commander, nor accomplished in the lifetime of one man, much less in two decades.
Nor is the book the work of one man. Contradictions abound, e.g., in the chronology: in iii. 1 the crossing is set for the next day; iii. 2, three days intervene; iii. 5, the start is again delayed one day; comp. v. 10 with iv. 19 and v. 2-9. In xi. 21 the Anakim are expelled by Joshua, while in xv. 13 Caleb is reported as having performed this feat. Double and variant versions are given, as, for instance, the explanation of the name Gilgal (iv. 20; comp. v. 9 and xiv. 6 et seq. with xv. 13 et seq.).
The Book of Joshua must be regarded as a compilation; and analysis of its contents makes it certain that its sources are of the same character as those of the Pentateuch. This, to a certain degree, was the impression of the Rabbis. According to Mak. 11a, the chapter (xx.) concerning the cities of refuge was taken from the Pentateuch. The Book of Joshua was regarded by them as written in the light of the Deuteronomic legislation (Gen. R. vi. 14). At all events, Joshua and the Pentateuch are treated as of one character in the saying that the sins of Israel alone necessitated the adding of other books to these (Ned. 22b). Joshua is often compared with Moses (Ta'an. 20a; Soṭah 36a; B. B. 75a; Sanh. 20a; Mak. 9b).
While modern critics generally are agreed that the Book of Joshua is a compilation from sources that have been utilized in the Pentateuch (J, E, JE, D, and P), with additions by the editor (R = Redactor), they differ very widely as regards the details. According to Steuernagel ("Joshua," in Nowack's"Hand-Kommentar"), Albers' attempt in his "Die Quellenberichte in Josua," i-xii., 1891, to separate the components of J from E in part i. (i.-xii.) is unsatisfactory. In fact, Steuernagel assumes that J and E combined as JE never were accessible to the compiler of Joshua, the two being then still uncombined. A few fragments from J (after Budde, in Stade's "Zeitschrift," vii.), parallel with passages in Judges i., and others somewhat more numerous from E, are all that he finds in Joshua. He insists that for i.-xii. another work, D, was the main source. This D is not identical with the author of Deuteronomy, but is rather D2 (= the author of Deut. i.-iii.), and is on the whole an independent elaboration of E. The few fragments of J and E in Joshua he concedes were added by R, and only after D2 had been combined with P (mostly in part ii.).
Steuernagel's analysis has not been accepted by Holzinger ("Josua," in Marti's "K. H. C."), who rejects D2 and works out a scheme on the basis of J, E, and JE, with a pronounced Deuteronomic coloring: Deuteronomist, Priestly Code, and Redactor. Contrary to the Pentateuchal R, who makes P the original document, in Joshua JED is the basis, supplemented by extracts from P. Still later additions are noticeable as well as changes in phraseology (e.g., the use of in vii. 13, 19 et seq.; viii. 30; ix. 18, 20; x. 40, 42; xiii. 14, 33; xiv. 14; xxii. 16, 24; xxiii.; xxiv. 2, 23). For a detailed analysis on this basis see Holzinger, "Das Buch Josua," pp. xvii.-xxi.
Steuernagel in his translation prints the different sources in different types. W. H. Bennett in "The Book of Joshua" (in "S. B. O. T." 1895) indicates the various documents by the use of different colors.
Summing up, these various analyses have certainly demonstrated that, on the whole, in the narrative portion of the book (i.-xii.) the introduction (i.) is Deuteronomic, as is the conclusion of the whole book (xxi. 43-xxii. 6, xxiii.), and that Deuteronomic coloring is to be found in both parts, naturally in a greater degree in the narrative chapters. The basis of the book was a Deuteronomic history of Joshua, founded on material from J and E perhaps not as yet combined as JE, thus excluding Rje (=Redactor of JE). The main current of the narrative is not originally Deuteronomic, the Deuteronomic editor heightening its coloring, and dwelling on the moral and religious implications of the story. The narrative is not always consistent. In xiii.-xix. many fragments are for the most part parallels to Judges i., which make it appear that the conquest was a slow, laborious process, the tribes acting without concerted plan and nowhere under united central command. These belong to J. But even in the narrative portion, strictly so-called, as distinct from the statistical, a twofold account is almost always discernible: one apparently older and more prosy; the other, with a clear tendency to magnify the importance of the events and the absolute annihilation of the inhabitants (though this may be set down as by Rd), and to emphasize the miraculous. The older recalls the method of J in the Pentateuch; the younger, that of E. P's share in the narrative section is very limited. Additions of a few verses may be ascribed to it. In xiii.-xxii. the contributions from P are much more extensive. The boundaries and the lists of the cities of refuge and of the Levitical towns belong to it. The combining of the Deuteronomic Joshua (Rd, J, E, perhaps JE [Rje]) with P was the work of R, who made verbal changes to suit his ends. But even after this additions were made, e.g., xxii. 9-24 (comp. Num. xxxii.-xxxiii.; Judges xx.). Ch. xvi. and xvii. have come down in mutilated form. When they were abridged can not be determined. The duplication of Joshua's farewell also is by a later hand; or it is possible that one account of it (xxiv.) is from E, while the other is clearly Deuteronomistic, resembling Deut. iv. 29-30.
Historical Character of the Book.
After eliminating the pragmatic elements and toning down the Deuteronomic coloring, the critical study of the Book of Joshua penetrates to a bed of traditions that in a more or less confused way reflect actual occurrences; but these did not take place in the sequence here assumed, nor in the manner detailed. The division of the land is, on the whole, the work of a theorist who utilizes actual conditions to a certain extent, but always to bring into prominence his priestly program. Local legends, snatches of folk-lore and folk-songs, the tendency to concentration in one man of the experiences of tribes and generations (always characteristic of legend), have had a decisive share in the shaping of the original material. Explanations of names (Achor, Gilgal), old local shrines, and reminiscences of former religious usages are also detectable as the raw data upon which popular fancy had been at work long before the various literary sources had leaped into existence. To deny in toto, with Eduard Meyer (in Stade's "Zeitschrift," i.), the historical character of the book is dogmatic. It may, however, be noticed that, in contrast with Judges, the Book of Joshua has no chronological scheme (comp. xi. 18, xiv. 10, xxiii. 1, xxiv. 31).
In view of the identity of its sources, and also of the fact that throughout the Pentateuch the conquest of the land is presupposed and emphasized as the goal (Gen. xiii. 14-17, xv. 13-16, xxvi. 3, xxviii. 13-15; Ex. iii. 8, 17; xxxii. 13; xxxiii. 1-3; Num. xiii. 17 et seq., xiv., xxxii.; Deut. i. 38, iii. 21, xxxi. 3-6; P Gen. xvii. 6-8, xxviii. 3; Num. xxvii. 18-23, xxxiii. 50-54, xxxiv., xxxv.; Deut. xxxiv. 9), critics have held that Joshua at one time formed with the Pentateuch the so-called Hexateuch. If this was the case, it must have been at a time anterior to the separation of the Samaritans from the Jews, as the Samaritans have only the Pentateuch; but the books of Ezra and Nehemiah give no intimation of the existence of a hexateuch. In all probability the sources J, E, as well as D and P, carried the narrative to the conquest of the land; but in their present forms the Pentateuch and Joshua were never combined. Volck (in Herzog-Hauck, "Real-Encyc." ix. 390), assuming that P is older than JE and D, argues that before D was incorporated into the present Pentateuch, Joshua (i.-xxiv.) formed a part of a work composed of P, JE, and Deut. xxxi. 14-23, xxxii. 1-44, 48-52, xxxiii., xxxiv.1-9, and that it was when Deut. v.-xxviii. was incorporated that Joshua was made a separate book. This theory, while not convincing, helps to make plain that the sources must have contained the story of the conquest. That Hosea, Amos, and Micah knew this Hexateuch (minus Deuteronomy) is not proved by such passages as Micah vi. 5 et seq. (or Hosea ix. 10, xii. 4 et seq., and Amos ii. 10, v. 25, vii. 4). The traditions at the base of the histories were known to these early prophets. More than this can not be inferred from their references to Shittim and Gilgal (e.g., in Micah vi. 5 et seq.).
The fact that in Joshua the Pentateuchal archaic forms ( for or for ) are not found is not evidence against the Hexateuchal hypothesis. This circumstance merely indicates that at the time (post-exilic) when the consonantal text was fixed Joshua was not one work with the Pentateuch. Jericho is pointed for Pent. . The text is in fairly good condition. The Septuagint is without some of the glosses (v. 4-7, vi. 3-5, xx. 4-6). The omissions in the Hebrew (in xv. 59, names of eleven cities; in xxi., a passage between verses 35 and 36) are supplied in the Greek. At the end of xxiv. the Septuagint presents additions of interest.
The Samaritan Book of Joshua.
The Samaritan Book of Joshua, an extracanonical book written in Arabic, pretends to be a translation from the Hebrew ("Chronicon Samaritanum CuiTitulus Est Liber Josuæ," ed. Juynboll, Leyden, 1848). It relates the consecration of Joshua (Deut. xxxi.), the Balaam episode, and the war under Joshua as general against the Midianites; then, with a new title ("Book of Joshua the Son of Nun"), the conquest of the land and its division, continuing the story from Joshua's demise to Eli's death. Interpolations (xxvi.-xxxvii.) deal with other personages, and in the concluding chapters Nebuchadnezzar, Alexander, and Hadrian are the heroes. This book is a medieval compilation of the time when the Samaritans were under Mohammedan rule, but contains also old haggadic material (see Shobach).
Emil G. Hirsch
Jewish Encyclopedia, published between 1901-1906.
The introductions of Driver, Cornill, König, Baudissin, Reuss, Bleek-Wellhausen, Schrader-De Wette, and Kuenen; the histories of Israel by Guthe, Stade, Piepenbring, Kittel, Winckler; the Bible dictionaries of Cheyne and Black, Hastings, Riehm (2d ed.), Schenckel, Hamburger, Winer (3d ed.); Herzog-Hauck, Real-Encyc. viii.; Vigouroux, iii.; L. König, Alttest. Studien, i.; idem, Die Authentie des Buches Josua, Meurs, 1836; Keil, Kommentar über das Buch Josua, Erlangen, 1847; J. Hollenberg, Die Deuteronomischen Bestandtheile des Buches Josua, in Theologische Studien und Kritiken, 1874; idem, Die Alexandrinische Uebersetzung des Buches Josua, Meurs, 1876; Wellhausen, Die Komposition des Hexateuchs (originally in Jahrbuch der Theologie, 1876-77); Budde, Richter und Josua, in Stade's Zeitschrift, 1877, pp. 93 et seq.; J. S. Black, The Book of Joshua, Cambridge, 1891; E. Albers, Die Quellenberichte in Josua (Josh. i.-xii.), Bonn, 1891;
Dillmann, Numeri, Deuteronomium, und Josua, in the Kurzgefasstes Exegetisches Handbuch, Leipsic, 1886; Oettli, commentary to the book in Deuteronomium, Josua, Richter (Strack-Zöckler, Komment. zum A. T. 1893); Wellhausen, Prolegomena, 4th ed.; Holzinger, Einleitung in den Hexateuch, 1893; idem, Das Buch Josua, Tübingen and Leipsic, 1901; Steuernagel, Das Buch Josua, 1900; W. H. Bennett, The Book of Joshua, in S. B. O. T. Leipsic and Baltimore, 1895.E. G. H.
Appointed Moses' Successor.
Conquest of Jericho.
Division of the Land.
-In Rabbinical Literature:
His Faithful Service.
The Change in His Name.
Married to Rahab.
Leader of Josephites.
Name of several Biblical personages.
In Hebrew (Deut. iii. 21; Judges ii. 7) and commonly (Judges ii. 7a; Ex. xvii. 9; Josh. i. 1) correspond to = "helped by Yhwh," the shorter form being = "help" or "one who helped" (Num. xiii. 8; Deut. xxxii. 44; here probably an error for ). The Septuagint has Ἰησους; the Vulgate, usually "Josue," but "Jesus" in Ecclus. (Sirach) xlvi. 1; I Macc. ii. 55; II Macc. xii. 15, identical with , the post-exilic form of the name.
1. Biblical Data: The son of Nun; servant and successor of Moses. An Ephraimite (Num. xiii. 8), the grandson of Elishama, he is described as the chief of his tribe (I Chron. vii. 26, 27). At first named "Hoshea" (Num. xiii. 8 [A. V. "Oshea"]; Deut. xxxii. 44), he was called by Moses "Jehoshua" (Num. xiii. 16). Joshua first leaps into notice in the account of the defeat of the Amalekites in the desert, where he leads the picked troops of the Israelites (Ex. xvii. 8-14). Afterward he appears successively at the side of Moses as his servant (ib. xxiv. 13; xxxii. 17, 18); as the guardian of the Tabernacle (ib. xxxiii. 11); and as the zealous defender of Moses' prestige on the occasion of Eldad's and Medad's prophesying in the camp (Num. xi. 27-29). He is one of the spies sent to explore Canaan (ib. xiii. 9, 17). Returning from this errand, it is he who with Caleb allays the apprehension of the excited people, bravely taking the risk of being stoned to death (ib. xiv. 6-10). For this fidelity he and Caleb, alone of all the Israelites twenty years old and upward at the time of this episode, are to enter the promised land (ib. xiv. 30-38, xxvi. 65, xxxii. 12).
Appointed Moses' Successor.
Nevertheless, during the following thirty-eight years of the desert migration no further mention is made of him. But when Moses is apprised of his own impending death, Joshua is pointed out as the one man to carry to completion the great leader's unfinished task. Moses is bidden to lay his hand upon him-"a man in whom is the spirit"-and thus to give him charge as his successor; which command is carried out (ib. xxvii. 16 et seq.). Joshua is to preside over the division of the land (ib. xxxiv. 17), but must keep the compact entered into with Reuben, Gad, and the half of Manasseh (ib. xxxii. 28). God assures Joshua of success in the leadership (Deut. xxxi. 14, 23); and he as the designated successor is with Moses when the great prophet addresses his last counsel to the people (ib. xxxii. 44).
At Moses' death Joshua was filled with "the spirit of wisdom" (ib. xxxiv. 9). Upon him devolved a twofold duty: to conquer the land, and to apportion it among the tribes (Josh. i. 1-5). Yhwh Himself encouraged him to be strong and to cling to the Law, which was never to "depart out of his mouth." After enlisting the cooperation of the kindred east-Jordanic tribes (ib. i. 6-18), his first concern was to spy out Jericho (ib. ii. 1). On receiving the report of his emissaries (ib. ii. 23, 24) he gave the necessary instructions for the crossing by the Israelites of the Jordan (ib. iii. 1-13). With the Ark of the Covenant carried by the priests in the van, on the tenth day of the first month of the forty-first year after the Exodus the Israelites set out to conquer the land. The river, miraculously divided as long as the priests with the Ark remained in its bed, was crossed north of Adam; and in memory of this occurrence Joshua erected over the place where the priests had been stationed a monument of twelve stones (ib. iv. 9). He also ordered that one man from each tribe should take each another stone from that spot and deposit it on the western bank as a memorial (ib. iv. 1-8, xx. 24). Here, at Gilgal, Joshua pitched his camp and remained for some time; and in order that all might be able to participate in the Passover, he directed that every Hebrew that had been born in the desert should be circumcised (ib. v. 2-8).
Conquest of Jericho.
Jericho was the first city captured. After exploring it by spies Joshua invested it, finally capturing it in a miraculous manner (ib. v. 13-vi.). The ban was pronounced over the ruins, and all the inhabitants were destroyed save Rahab and her paternal family; they being spared because she had shown hospitality to the spies. Joshua became famous by this victory, but met a reverse at Ai in consequence of Achan's misdeed; however, after visiting condign punishment upon the offender he made himself master of the town, which was the key to the mountains rising west of the plain of Jericho. The Gibeonites made their peace with him, gaining advantageous terms by means of a clever ruse (ix. 3 et seq.). On Ebal and Gerizim he caused the blessings and the curses to be read (comp. Deut. xxvii.).
While Joshua was thus engaged in the north, five of the southern rulers made an alliance to punish Gibeon; but they were completely routed at Makkedah by Joshua, who had hastened to the assistance of the Gibeonites. It was during this battle that a furious hail-storm set in, proving more deadly than the sword (Josh. x. 11), and on this occasion also, at Joshua's command, the sun stood still upon Gibeon and the moon in the valley of Ajalon (ib. x. 12-13a). The fugitive five kings were discovered hiding in a cave at Makkedah. By Joshua's orders the cave was closed with huge stones until the pursuit was over, when it was reopened and the kings, after having been thoroughly humiliated, were slain, their bodies being hanged on trees until the evening, when they were taken down and cast into the cave. Then followed the conquest of Libnah, Lachish, Eglon, Hebron, and Debir. In the south Joshua penetrated as far as Kadesh-barnea; in the west as far as Gaza (ib. x. 29 et seq.). Later onhe routed the allied kings of the north at Lake Merom-Hazor being the head of these kingdoms-killing the inhabitants and burning the city of Hazor (ib. xi.).
Division of the Land.
In this manner Joshua within a few years (ib. xiv. 7; comp. verse 10) had made himself master of the whole country with the exception of the Philistine and Phenician coasts. Still he continued to guard in Gilgal his fortified camp; thence he governed the land (ib. xiv. 6), and there he began to allot the districts to the various tribes. Judah, Ephraim, and the half of Manasseh were the first to be settled, Caleb being allowed to take Hebron (ib. xiv. 12, xv.-xvii.). After this, Joshua removed the Tabernacle and the Ark from Gilgal to Shiloh, and took up his residence there (ib. xviii.). Here he continued the work of apportioning the rest of the land by lot according to the families (ib. xviii.-xix.). Cities of refuge, in accordance with the Law, were appointed (ib. xx.). Joshua himself received the city of Timnath-serah in Ephraim for an inheritance (ib. xix. 49, 50; xxiv. 30). Having thus completed his task, he gave Reuben, Gad, and the half of Manasseh permission to return to their east-Jordanic territory (ib. xxii. 1-9).
When he was "old and stricken in age" Joshua convened the elders and chiefs of the Israelites and exhorted them to have no fellowship with the native population (ib. xxiii.). At a general assembly of the clans at Shechem he took leave of the people, admonishing them to be loyal to their God, who had been so mightily manifested in the midst of them (ib. xxiv.). As a witness of their promise to serve Yhwh, Joshua set up a great stone under an oak by the sanctuary of Yhwh (ib. xxiv. 26-28). Soon afterward he died, at the age of 110, and was buried in Timnath-serah (ib. xxiv. 29-30).E. G. H.
-In Rabbinical Literature:
Joshua is regarded as the type of the faithful, humble, deserving, wise man. Biblical verses illustrative of these qualities and of their reward are applied to him. "He that waiteth on his master shall be honored" (Prov. xxvii. 18) is construed as a reference to Joshua (Num. R. xii.), as is also the first part of the same verse, "Whoso keepeth the fig-tree shall eat the fruit thereof" (Yalḳ., Josh. 2; Num. R. xii. 21). That "honor shall uphold the humble in spirit" (Prov. xxix. 23) is proved by Joshua's victory over Amalek (Num. R. xiii.). Joshua was a wise man; hence in him was verified the saying, "With me [wisdom] kings shall rule" (Prov. viii. 15, Hebr.). Not the sons of Moses-as Moses himself had expected-but Joshua was appointed successor to the son of Amram (Num. R. xii.). Moses was shown how Joshua reproved Othniel (Yalḳ., Num. 776). Joshua's manliness recommended him for this high post. David referred to him in Ps. lxxxvii. 25, though without mentioning the name, lest dissensions should arise between his sons and those of his brothers (Yalḳ., quoting Sifre, l.c.).
His Faithful Service.
Joshua was always at the front of the army, and did not, as other generals, remain in the rear (ib.) or in his tent. Moses in his lifetime appointed Joshua as his interpreter ("meturgeman"), in order to forestall the possibility of his being looked upon as an upstart after Moses' death (Yalḳ., l.c.). Yet Moses' face was like the sun, and that of Joshua like the moon (ib.). Joshua had deserved the honor by his faithful service. He used to rise early in the morning and set in order the chairs in the house of assembly.
Therefore, according to some, Moses raised up Joshua from the ground and took him on his knees, and he and the whole of Israel would lift up their heads to hear Joshua's words; but Joshua in his modesty exclaimed: "Blessed be Yhwh, who gave the Torah to Israel through Moses, our master" (Yalḳ., l.c., quoting the Midrash Yelammedenu). The wisdom of Joshua is emphasized also in other connections (Ex. R. xi. and parallels). The prediction (Deut. xxxiii. 17) in the blessing of Moses is held to have come to pass in Joshua (Sifre, ad loc.). Moses possessed "hod" (splendor), but Joshua, only "hadar" (a lesser degree of fame; according to Friedmann, Sifre, 146b, note 11, this has reference to the fact that kingship was denied to Joshua); for if the former had been Joshua's portion he would have been absolutely irresistible. Joshua was given the strength of the ox but the beauty of the "re'em" (Sifre, l.c.; Yalḳ., Deut. 959). When Joshua upon his return with the spies found the people ungrateful, he was the only one that was shocked to the extent of both falling on his face, like Moses and Aaron, and rending his garments, like Caleb (Yalḳ., Num. 744).
The Change in His Name.
Moses added the letter to the name "Hoshea" (Num. xiii. 16) because he had prayed that God () would keep Joshua from joining the conspiracy of the spies, and also because, as Caleb's reward was a portion of the land, Joshua's compensation was to be his own allotment and that of the other ten (= "yod") spies (Soṭah 34b; Tan. ad loc.; Num. R. xvi.). According to Yer. Sheb. vi. 1, the name "Hoshea" was changed as soon as Joshua entered the service of Moses, or at the latest after the victory over Amalek.
Joshua was among those who, too modest to call themselves " 'ebed," were so dignified by God Himself (Sifre, Wa'etḥanan, cited in Yalḳ., Josh. 1). The spies whom Joshua sent to Jericho were Phinehas and Caleb (Yalḳ., l.c.). When Joshua commanded the sun to stand still he used the phrase (= "be still"; Josh. x. 12); for the sun kept on singing a song of praise as long as it was moving. The sun would not obey Joshua until he had assured it that he would sing God's praises himself (Yalk., l.c. 22). Joshua led and governed the people during thirty-eight years (Seder 'Olam R.; Yalḳ., l.c. 35). Israel is represented by the Rabbis as not very eager to pay him honor at his obsequies (Yalḳ., l.c.).
Married to Rahab.
Rahab is said to have become Joshua's wife. They had daughters but no son. From this union many prophets descended, and Hannah was Rahab's reincarnation. Rahab was ten years old when Israel left Egypt, and during the forty years intervening she was a great sinner; but when the spies visited her she became a proselyte. There is some doubt as to her having had only daughters by Joshua(see Zeb. 116b; Mek., Yitro [beginning]; Rashi to Josh. ii.; Yalḳ., Josh. 9; Meg. 14a; Gedaliah ibn Yaḥya, "Shalshelet ha-Ḳabbalah," p. 14a). According to Pirḳe R. El. xlii., when Joshua was fighting for the Gibeonites the Sabbath was about to set in. Seeing the disinclination of his people to continue the battle at the risk of desecrating the Sabbath, and perceiving that the magicians of the heathen were inciting the constellations to help the cause of Israel's enemies, he spread out his hand toward the light of the sun and of the moon and "remembered upon them" the Ineffable Name, when both sun and moon stood still for thirty-six hours (Yalḳ., Gen. Lek Leka). The song intoned by Joshua after his victory is given in full in the "Sefer ha-Yashar" (chapter on Joshua). Joshua had appealed to Israel before crossing the Jordan not, as the text has it in the literal sense, to prepare provisions for the journey-that was not necessary, since the manna had not yet ceased falling-but to repent (Pirḳe R. El. vi.).
Joshua's name is associated with many "taḳḳanot," e.g., the benediction upon entering the holy land (Ber. 48b); the license to graze on the plowed field of others without liability to a charge of robbery (B. Ḳ. 60b); the permission to gather wood in a neighbor's field (ib. 61b); the permission to gather grass anywhere (ib.); and seven other measures enumerated in Maimonides ("Yad," Nizḳe Mamon, viii. 5), regulating certain privileges, permitting certain natural or necessary acts (in open fields or when walking through vineyards), and assuring to the unknown dead buried by the community the undisturbed possession of his grave (see Dead, Duty to the; Bloch, "Die Institutionen des Judentums," i. 54-68, Vienna, 1879).E. G. H.
Joshua's historical reality has been doubted by advanced critics, who regard him either as a mythological solar figure (Winckler, "Gesch. des Volkes Israel," ii. 96-122; Schrader, "K. A. T." 3d ed., p. 225) or as the personification of tribal reminiscences crystallized around a semi-mythical hero of Timnath-serah (= "Timnat Ḥeres"). Eduard Meyer, denying the historicity of the material in the Book of Joshua, naturally disputes also the actuality of its eponymous hero (Stade's "Zeitschrift," i.). These extreme theories must be dismissed. But, on the other hand, it is certain that Joshua could not have performed all the deeds recorded of him. Comparison with the Book of Judges shows that the conquest of the land was not a concerted movement of the nation under one leader; and the data concerning the occupation of the various districts by the tribes present so many variants that the allotment in orderly and purposed sequence, which is ascribed to Joshua, has to be abandoned as unhistorical.
Leader of Josephites.
Yet this does not conflict with the view that Joshua was the leader of a section of the later nation, and that he as such had a prominent part in the conquest of the districts lying around Mount Ephraim. The conquest of the land as a whole was not attempted; this final achievement was the result of several successive movements of invasion that with varied success, and often with serious reverses, aimed at securing a foothold for the Israelites in the trans-Jordanic territories. Joshua was at the head of the Josephite (Leah) tribes (comp. Judges i. 22, according to Budde; Joshua dies at the age of 110, as does Joseph), for whom the possession of the hill-country of Ephraim-Gibeon in the south and Ebal in the north-was the objective point. This invasion on the part of the Josephites was probably preceded by others that had met with but little success (comp. the story of the spies, Num. xiv.). But the very fact that while earlier expeditions had failed this one succeeded impressed for centuries the imagination of the people to such an extent that the leader of this invasion (Joshua) became the hero of folk-lore; and in course of time the plan of the conquest of the whole land and its execution were ascribed to him. He thus grew to be in tradition the leader of the united people-especially in view of the supremacy enjoyed by the tribe of Joseph, in whose possession was the Ark at Shiloh-and therefore the successor of Moses, and as such the chief in authority when the land was divided among the tribes.
Recollections of valorous feats performed in the days of these fierce wars with the aboriginal kings were transferred to Joshua and his time; battles remembered in fable and in song were connected with his name; natural phenomena (the blocking of the waters of Jordan by rocks, the earthquake at Jericho, the hail-storm before Gibeon) which had inspired semi-mythological versions were utilized to enhance his fame, all the more since they helped to vindicate his dignity as a second Moses. Snatches of popular songs, no longer understood because their original mythology had become unintelligible, were applied to his feats, and in turn gave rise to new accounts of his marvelous accomplishments (e.g., at Ajalon). This process is perfectly natural, and has its analogues in the stories concerning other heroes; in fact parallels between his biography and that of Jacob have been discovered (Steuernagel, "Joshua," p. 150). But all this makes the historical reality of Joshua as the chief of a successful army of invasion all the more strongly assured. The chapters dealing with the division of the land must be dismissed as theoretical speculation, dating from a period when the tribal organization had ceased to exist; that is, from the Exile and perhaps later. The epilogues (the story of Joshua's gathering the elders or the whole people at Shechem before his death, Josh. xxiii.-xxiv. 28) are clearly the work of a Deuteronomic writer; and the scenes are conceived in imitation of Jacob's blessing (Gen. xlix.) or of Moses taking leave of the people and admonishing them before his transition. The cruelty imputed to Joshua-the ban against Jericho, for instance-is a trait corroborative of the historical kernel of the military incidents of his biography.
According to the Biblical accounts, Joshua had nowhere to meet a non-Canaanite power. The Flinders Petrie inscription recording Me(r)neptah's battle with Israel, located in Palestine (before 1200 B.C.; see Exodus), is thus not to be referred to this period. Egypt's claim to suzerainty had become merely nominal after 1250 B.C. The empire of theHittites (c. 1200) had become disrupted into a number of small principalities. This would indicate that the incursion of Joseph-Israel must have taken place about 1230-1200 B.C. E. G. H.
2. Son of Jozadak or Josedech; high priest when the Jews returned under Zerubbabel from the Babylonian exile. His father had died in exile, and on the return from the Captivity Joshua was the first high priest to officiate (Hag. i. 1, 12, 14; ii. 2, 4; Zech. vi. 11; Ezra iii. 2, 8; v. 2; x. 18; Neh. xii. 26). Joshua was therefore born during the Exile. On the arrival of the caravan at Jerusalem, he naturally took part in erecting the altar of burnt offering and in laying the foundations of the Temple (Ezra iii. 2 et seq.). With Zerubbabel he opposed the machinations of the Samaritans (ib. iv. 3). Several of Haggai's utterances are addressed to Joshua (Hag. i. 1, ii. 2), and his name occurs in two of the symbolical prophecies of Zechariah (iii. 1-10, vi. 11-15). He is eulogized in Ecclus. (Sirach) xlix. 12, in the list of worthies, as one who "builded the house and exalted a people holy to the Lord, prepared for everlasting glory." In Ezra (ii., iii., iv., v., x.) and Nehemiah (vii. 7; xii. 1, 7, 10, 26) he is called "Jeshua."E. G. H. B. P.
Emil G. Hirsch, Bernhard Pick
Jewish Encyclopedia, published between 1901-1906.
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