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The book of Joshua is named from Joshua the son of Nun who is the principal character in it.

Joshua had been a captain of Israel's army (Exodus 17:9-10) and a personal servant of Moses (Exodus 24:13). After the death of Moses, God chose Joshua to lead the Israelites into the Promised Land.

    • First God told Joshua to be courageous
    • Then 2 spies were sent to Jericho, the first Canaanite stronghold the people would come to
    • Next, by a miracle, the River Jordan was parted so that God's people could go over
    • Once across the river, Israel encamped at Gilgal, where they kept the Passover and where they were prepared for battle.

The book may be regarded as consisting of 3 parts:

1. The conquest of Canaan (Ch.1-12)
2. The division of the land (Ch.13-22)
3. Joshua's farewell (Ch.23-24)

Even before the land was completely conquered it was divided up between the 12 tribes of Israel. The Levites and priests were given 48 cities in different parts of the land and 6 cities were specially appointed as "cities of refuge" where someone who had killed someone else accidentally could flee to safety.

Jericho was the first city to be overthrown; Ai was the second. They were followed by the cities of the south and then the cities of the north. The conquest of Canaan was to be with God's help and Israel had to trust Him.

[The name Joshua is very like Jesus - both mean 'God saves'.]



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