Joshua, Book of

also spelled  Josue,  

      the sixth book of the Old Testament, which, along with Deuteronomy, Judges, 1 and 2 Samuel, and 1 and 2 Kings, belongs to a tradition of Jewish history and law, called Deuteronomic, that was first committed to writing about 550 BC, during the Babylonian Exile. The book, named after its leading character, is the first of the Former Prophets in the Jewish canon. It tells the story of the Israelite occupation of Canaan, the Promised Land. Many ancient traditions are preserved in the book, but they are coloured by the historian's personal point of view.

      The book can be divided into three sections: the conquest of Canaan (chapters 1–12), the distribution of the land among the Israelite tribes (chapters 13–22), and Joshua's farewell address and death (chapters 23–24). Because the possession of Canaan was fulfillment of the oft-repeated promise to the patriarchs, the Book of Joshua has usually been regarded as the completion of a literary unit comprising the first six books of the Bible. Scholars who hold this point of view have attempted to identify in Joshua the same source documents that are found in the preceding books. There has been, however, a growing tendency to view Joshua as the beginning of a history that continues in the books that follow.

      The author of Joshua lived at a time when the people of Israel were exiles in Babylonia and had lost the land they once possessed. Consequently, his retelling of history is coloured by a hope for the repossession of his homeland. The original conquest of the Promised Land is told with great zeal, and the historian repeatedly emphasizes the help of Yahweh in the conquest. The allotment of the land to various tribes is made to include territory that never belonged to Israel or that came into Israel's possession at a much later time. This account again reflects the historian's hope that the former glory of the Israelite nation will be restored. The farewell address of Joshua (chapter 24) sets forth the conditions for Yahweh's maintenance of Israel in the land. The crux of the matter is this: “If you forsake the Lord and serve foreign gods, then he will turn and do you harm, and consume you, after having done you good” (24:20).

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • JOSHUA, BOOK OF — JOSHUA, BOOK OF, the first book of the Former Prophets, which relates the conquest of canaan and its early settlement from the death of moses to the death of joshua . The Book of Joshua is divided into three main sections: the conquest of the… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Joshua, book of — The sixth book in the OT. It describes the occupation of the Promised Land under Joshua, Moses successor. Although in Jewish tradition the book belongs to the Former Prophets, the historical and theological links are with Deuteronomy… …   Dictionary of the Bible

  • JOSHUA — (Heb. יְהוֹשֻׁעַ; YHWH is salvation ), son of Nun of the tribe of Ephraim and leader of the Israelites in the conquest and apportionment of the land of Canaan; his name was originally Hosea (Num. 13:8, 16; Deut. 32:44). Joshua, who appears in the …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Book of Joshua — This article is about the canonical book of the Hebrew Bible. For information on the Samaritan version, see Book of Joshua (Samaritan). Hebrew Bible …   Wikipedia

  • Book of Judges — (Hebrew: Sefer Shoftim ספר שופטים) is a book of the Bible originally written in Hebrew. It appears in the Tanakh and in the Christian Old Testament. Its title refers to its contents; it contains the history of Biblical judges (not to be confused… …   Wikipedia

  • Joshua Freeman — Joshua B. Freeman (born 1949) is a professor of history at Queens College, City University of New York (CUNY) and the CUNY Graduate Center. He is the executive officer of the Graduate Center s history department. Freeman is often called the dean… …   Wikipedia

  • Joshua Blahyi — Joshua Milton Blahyi (born ca 1970), also known as General Butt Naked, is a Liberian warlord turned preacher. He was a fiercely violent and eccentric leader on the side of Roosevelt Johnsoncite web url =… …   Wikipedia

  • Joshua — • The name of eight persons in the Old Testament, and of one of the Sacred Books Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Joshua     Josue (Joshua)      …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Joshua Chamberlain — Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain Bvt. Maj. Gen. Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain 32nd Governor of Maine In office January 2, 1867 – January 4, 1871 …   Wikipedia

  • Joshua Davis (web designer) — Joshua Davis (born June 13, 1971) is an American web designer, author and artist in new media. He was an early pioneer in the use of Macromedia Flash. He is the author of Flash to the Core (2002) [cite book|last=Davis|first=Joshua|title=Flash to… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.