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Book of Joshua

(jahsh' - oo - uh)

General Information

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).

J J M Roberts

P Enns, Joshua: Bible Study Commentary (1981); L Greenspoon, Textual Studies in the Book of Joshua (1983); J A Soggin, Joshua, A Commentary (1972).

Book of Joshua

Brief Outline

  1. Conquest of Canaan (1-12)
  2. Apportionment of territory to tribes (13-22)
  3. Joshua's farewell address (22-24)


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