National Association of Christian Ministers Summary Series

Joshua, whose name means “Yahweh is salvation,” was a significant figure in the Old Testament of the Bible. He played a crucial role in leading the Israelites into the Promised Land after the death of Moses. The story of Joshua can be found primarily in the book of Joshua, and he is also mentioned in other biblical books. Here is a biography of Joshua, along with relevant scriptural citations:

1. Early Life and Role as Moses’ Assistant (Exodus 17:9-14, Numbers 11:28):

Joshua was born in Egypt during the time of Israel’s slavery. He belonged to the tribe of Ephraim and was selected by Moses to be his assistant and a military leader. Joshua accompanied Moses on Mount Sinai during the receiving of the Ten Commandments and remained in the presence of God when Moses descended from the mountain.

2. Spying On the Promised Land (Numbers 13:1-33):

As one of the twelve spies sent by Moses to explore the land of Canaan, Joshua, along with Caleb, expressed faith in God’s promise and encouraged the Israelites to trust in God’s provision. While the other spies gave a negative report, Joshua and Caleb affirmed that the Israelites could conquer the land with God’s help.

3. Appointed as Moses’ Successor (Numbers 27:15-23):

Before Moses’ death, God instructed him to appoint Joshua as his successor. God assured Moses that Joshua would lead the Israelites into the Promised Land, and Moses publicly ordained Joshua before the people, commissioning him to take charge.

4. Crossing the Jordan River (Joshua 3:1-17):

After Moses’ death, Joshua assumed leadership and faced the challenge of leading the Israelites across the Jordan River to enter the land of Canaan. With the guidance of God, Joshua commanded the priests to carry the Ark of the Covenant into the river. Miraculously, the waters of the Jordan parted, allowing the Israelites to cross on dry ground, similar to the crossing of the Red Sea in the time of Moses.

5. Conquest of Jericho (Joshua 6:1-27):

The city of Jericho was the first major obstacle that the Israelites encountered. Following God’s instructions, Joshua led the Israelite army in a unique strategy: they marched around the city walls for six days, and on the seventh day, they circled the city seven times. At Joshua’s command, the Israelites shouted, and the walls of Jericho collapsed, resulting in the Israelites’ victory.

6. Campaigns and Conquests (Joshua 10:28-43):

Under Joshua’s leadership, the Israelites engaged in numerous military campaigns to conquer the land of Canaan. They defeated various kings and nations, including Ai, the southern coalition of Amorite kings, and the northern coalition led by Jabin, king of Hazor. Joshua demonstrated strategic military skills, unwavering faith in God’s promises, and obedience to God’s instructions.

7. Division of the Land (Joshua 14:1-19:51):

Joshua oversaw the division of the conquered land among the tribes of Israel. Each tribe received its designated inheritance, as determined by the casting of lots. Joshua ensured that the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and half the tribe of Manasseh received their allotted inheritance east of the Jordan River, as they had requested.

8. Joshua’s Farewell and Death (Joshua 23:1-24:33):

In his final days, Joshua assembled the people of Israel and gave them a farewell address, urging them to remain faithful to God and to reject idolatry. He reminded them of God’s faithfulness throughout their history and called for their commitment to obeying God’s commands. After this, Joshua died at the age of 110. The Israelites buried him in his allotted inheritance in the hill country of Ephraim.

Joshua’s biography highlights his faithfulness, courage, and obedience to God’s commands. He successfully led the Israelites into the Promised Land, guiding them through various military campaigns and overseeing the division of the land among the tribes. Joshua’s life serves as an example of leadership and reliance on God’s strength to accomplish His purposes.