10 August, 2015
Search The Scriptures —The Book of Joshua - Introduction
The book of Joshua tells us nothing about its authorship, but in Jos.15:63 we have a clear indication that it was written before David’s capture of Jerusalem.
The book tells the story of the crossing of Jordan, the conquest of the Promised Land and its division among the tribes, ending with the death of Joshua after he had obtained from the whole people a solemn promise (soon to be broken) that they would be faithful to God.
The apparent discrepancy between the seemingly universal conquest of Palestine (in 9 -11) and the stubborn and often unsuccessful fighting referred to in the latter part of the book and in the early part of Judges, is explained by the fact that in 9-11 the united army of Israel was meeting and crushing organized resistance. But, after the division of the land, the Israelite army broke up into its component tribes, each of which attempted to possess its own lot, meeting with a stubborn resistance from those who had fled from the united army or had not come in its way. Other factors may have been the spiritual declension of the people and the ruling geographical factor of Palestine, the division into the hill country and the coastal plain. The latter remained unconquered until David’s time.
The book is an account of the Israelites’ fight to claim their promised inheritance. The lesson they learnt concerning the conditions of possession can teach us much about the condition of our obtaining the blessings promised to us in Christ. (cf. Heb. 4:1, 2, 8-11; 11:30)