Joshua

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This page would ideally always be under construction. You are invited to contribute.


Summary

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Relationship to Old Testament. The relationship of Joshua to to even larger blocks of text is discussed at Organization and Overview of the Old Testament and First Historical Cycle.

Story. Joshua consists of four major sections:

  • Chapter 1: Instructions to take possession of the land.
  • Chapters 2-12: Conquest of the land. Israel conquers much of Canaan. Israel's success is tied to the righteousness of the entire congregation. The defeat of Israel's foes is tied to their opposition to God and to God's people.

Message. Themes, symbols, and doctrinal points emphasized in Joshua include:

Historical setting

This section should be brief and explain facts about the historical setting that will help a reader to understand the book. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

A broader treatment of the history of ancient Israel, including Joshua, is found at Old Testament: Historical Overview.

Discussion

This section is for detailed discussion such as the meaning of a symbol, how a doctrinal point is developed throughout a passage, or insights that can be further developed in the future. Contributions may range from polished paragraphs down to a single bullet point. The focus, however, should always be on understanding the scriptural text consistent with LDS doctrine. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

  • key words: Moses, rest, religious observances

Outline and page map

This section contains an outline for the entire book. Items in blue or purple text indicate hyperlinked pages that address specific portions of the book. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

A. Instructions to take possession of the land (Chapter 1)

a. Lord instructs Joshua to take possession of the land ([1:1-9] Chapter 1a)
b. Joshua instructs the people to take possession of the land ([1:10-11] Chapter 1b)
c. Joshua instructs the trans-Jordan tribes to assist ([1:12-18] Chapter 1c)
B. Conquest of the land (Chapters 2-12)
● Conquest of Jericho (Chapters 2-6)
• gentile Rahab provides refuge to two Israelite spies (Chapter 2)
• Israelites cross Jordan River and celebrate Passover (Chapter 3-5)
• conquest of Jericho when walls fall down (Chapter 6)
● Conquest of Ai (Chapters 7-8)
• conquest of Ai fails when Achan steals treasure (Chapter 7)
• conquest of Ai succeeds when Achan executed ([8:1-29] Chapter 8a)
● Joshua builds an altar at Mount Ebal ([8:30-35] Chapter 8b)
● Defeat of those who oppose Israel (Chapters 9-11a)
• treaty with Gibeonites who subject themselves to Israel (Chapter 9)
• defeat of armies in the South that attack Gibeon, sun stops (Chapter 10)
• defeat of armies in the North that attack Israelites ([11:1-14]] Chapter 11a)
● Conquest of the whole land (Chapters 11b-12)
• conquest of the whole land ([11:15-23]] Chapter 11b)
• summary of conquests (Chapter 12)
B. Distribution of the land (Chapters 13-21)
• land that is not yet conquered, all is to be divided by lot ([13:1-6] Chapter 13a)
● trans-Jordan tribes ([13:7-33] Chapter 13b)
● Judah and Caleb (Chapter 14-15)
● Ephraim and Manasseh (Chapter 16-17)
• tabernacle at Shiloh (18:1)
● Seven tribes and Joshua (Chapter 18-19)
● cities of refuge (per Moses) (Chapter 20)
● Levi (Chapter 21)
• land is all divided (21:43-45)

A. Instructions for retaining possession of the land (Chapters 22-24)

c. trans-Jordan tribes dismissed, they build an altar (Chapter 22)
b. Joshua’s instructions: no intermarriage or idols (Chapter 23)
a. Lord's instructions: no idols ([24:1-28] Chapter 24)
• Joshua and Phineas die, Joseph buried (24:29-33)

Unanswered questions

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Prompts for life application

This section is for prompts that suggest ways in which a passage can influence a person's life. Prompts may be appropriate either for private self reflection or for a class discussion. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

Prompts for further study

This section is for prompts that invite us to think about a passage more deeply or in a new way. These are not necessarily questions that beg for answers, but rather prompts along the lines of "Have you ever thought about ..." Prompts are most helpful when they are developed individually, thoughtfully, and with enough background information to clearly indicate a particular direction for further study or thought. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

Resources

This section is for listing links and print resources, including those that are also cited elsewhere on this page. A short comment about the particular strengths of a resource can be helpful. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

Translations and Lexicons.

Related passages that interpret or shed light on Joshua

  • The Joseph Smith Translation made changes to only one verse in Joshua:[1]
  • Joshua 11:20

References cited on this page.

  • Wayment, Thomas A., ed. The Complete Joseph Smith Translation of the Old Testament, p. 130. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 2009. (ISBN 1606411314) BX8630.A2 2009

Other resources.

Notes

Footnotes are not required but are encouraged for factual assertions that average readers cannot easily evaluate for themselves (such as the date of King Solomon’s death or the nuanced definition of a Greek word). In contrast, insights rarely benefit from footnoting, and the focus of this page should always remain on the scriptures themselves rather than what someone has said about them. Links are actively encouraged on all sections of this page, and links to authoritative sources (such as Strong's Bible Concordance or the Joseph Smith Papers) are preferable to footnotes.

  1. Wayment, The Complete Joseph Smith Translation of the Old Testament, p. 130.


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