The Book of Joshua

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The Book of Joshua

The book of Joshua begins with the preparation of Joshua and the people of Israel for

invasion of Jericho under the Lord's presence and leadership. First, Joshua ordered the

people who were to cross the Jordan to Jericho to prepare themselves. Then, he placed

them under strict orders of obedience to his authority (1:10-18). Next, he sent out two spies

to Jericho to retrieve information about the enemy. The spies went to the house of a

prostitue name Rahab, as a cover for their actions. This plan did not work because the king

of Jericho sent men to Rahab's house to try to find them. She had hidden the well, however,

and was able to convince the king's men that they weren't in her house. Since Rahab's

home was on the wall of the city, she was able to let them down by a rope on the outside of

the wall. Returning to Joshua, they gave their report (2:1-24).

There followed another one of the events that Israel saw as a "wonder" of God. The

river banks of Jordan were undercut in such a way, that they formed a natural dam that

holds the river in check for extended periods of time. According to the passage 3:14-16, the

waters were flooded when this was necessary, and the people boarded the ark of the

covenant and passed easily over opposite Jericho. The ark of the covenant, symbol of the

Lord's presence with the Israelites, was carried to the midst of the riverbed to remind them

that it was the Lord's workings that enabled them to cross the flooded river (3:17). A pile

of stones was resurrected as a memorial to the event. The stones were to serve as a teaching

aid for the elders. When asked by children of future generations what the stones meant, the

elders would tell them of God's del...

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Moses and Aaron and how he brought them into the land of Canaan (24:2- 13). After

reminding them of the Lord's blessing, he called on them to accept the obligations of the

covenant. Joshua 24:14 indicates that not all of the people present were descendants of

those who came from Egypt, for he spoke of those who were worshipping "the gods which

your fathers served...beyond the river or the gods of the Amorites in whose lands you

dwell." Furthermore, the Gibeonites were non-Israelite people who had earlier tricked Israel

into making the covenant with them (9:1- 27).

The purpose of the book of Joshua seems to be the glorifying of the Lord by giving

examples of the marvelous way he led the people to the patriarchs promised land. Further, the

book says that any failure was a failure on the part of Israel to walk in the faith with God.
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