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josh'-u-a (a savior; a deliverer, whose help is Jehovah)
Ark of the Covenant, Caleb, Canaan, Exodus, Hoshea, Jericho, Jordan (River), Moses, Rahab, Shebarim, Timnath-heres
WORKS: Joshua, The Book of
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Easton's Bible Dictionary

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 Numbers 13:16 (A.V.), and Jesus in Acts 7:45 and Hebrews 4:8 (RSV, 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 ( Exodus 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 ( Exodus 32:17 ). He was also one of the twelve who were sent on by Moses to explore the land of Canaan ( Numbers 13:16 , 13:17 ), 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 ( Deuteronomy 31:23 ). The people were encamped at Shittim when he assumed the command ( Joshua 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 ( Joshua 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 ( Joshua 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. (See SHILOH; PRIEST .)

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 Timnath-serah ( Joshua 24 ); and "the light of Israel for the time faded away."

Joshua has been regarded as a type of Christ ( Hebrews 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 ( Exodus 17:9 , 17:13 ), 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' ( Numbers 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)


Hitchcock's Dictionary of Bible Names

a savior; a deliverer


Smith's Bible Dictionary

(saviour, or whose help is Jehovah). His name appears in the various forms of HOSHEA, OSHEA, JEHOSHUA, JESHUA and JESUS.

(1) The son of Nun, of the tribe of Ephraim.

( 1 Chronicles 7:27 ) (B.C. 1530-1420.) He was nearly forty years old when he shared in the hurried triumph of the exodus. He is mentioned first in connection with the fight against Amalek at Rephidim, when he was chosen by Moses to lead the Israelites. ( Exodus 17:9 ) Soon afterward he was one of the twelve chiefs who were sent, ( Numbers 13:17 ) to explore the land of Canaan, and one of the two, ch. ( Numbers 14:6 ) who gave an encouraging report of their journey. Moses, shortly before his death, was directed, ( Numbers 27:18 ) to invest Joshua with authority over the people. God himself gave Joshua a charge by the mouth of the dying lawgiver. ( Deuteronomy 31:14 , 31:23 ) Under the direction of God again renewed, ( Joshua 1:1 ) Joshua assumed the command of the people at Shittim, sent spies into Jericho, crossed the Jordan, fortified a camp at Gilgal, circumcised the people, kept the passover, and was visited by the Captain of the Lords host. A miracle made the fall of Jericho more terrible to the Canaanites. In the great battle of Beth-horon the Amorites were signally routed, and the south country was open to the Israelites. Joshua returned to the camp at Gilgal, master of half of Palestine.

He defeated the Canaanites under Jabin king of Hazor. In six years, six tribes, with thirty-one petty chiefs, were conquered. Joshua, now stricken in years, proceeded to make the division of the conquered land. Timnath-serah in Mount Ephraim was assigned as Joshuas peculiar inheritance. After an interval of rest, Joshua convoked an assembly from all Israel. He delivered two solemn addresses, recorded in ( Joshua 23:24 ) He died at the age of 110 years, and was buried in his own city, Timnath-serah.

(2) An inhabitant of Beth-shemesh,

in whose land was the stone at which the milch-kine stopped when they drew the ark of God with the offerings of the Philistines from Ekron to Beth-shemesh. ( 1 Samuel 6:14 , 6:18 ) (B.C. 1124.)

(3) A governor of the city who gave his name to a gate of Jerusalem.

( 2 Kings 23:8 ) (In the reign of Josiah, B.C. 628.)

(4) Jeshua the son of Jozadak.

( Haggai 1:14 ; 2:12 ; Zechariah 3:1 ) etc.


International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

(no entry)



bible commentary, bible history, bible reference, bible study, exodus, hoshea, joshua, promised land, successor of moses, wars of conquest



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