Joshua part 1
by John Thomas Lowe
Joshua, Prophet, Righteous, Forefather
Born Goshen (Lower Egypt), Ancient Egypt
Venerated in Judaism, Christianity, Islam
Tomb of Joshua or Joshua's Hill
• July 26: Armenian Apostolic
• September 1: Roman Catholicism
• September 1: Eastern Orthodox Church
• April 14: all saint Sinai monk
Often depicted with Caleb, carrying the grapes out of Canaan
Joshua or Yehoshua (Hebrew: Yəhōšūa) functioned as Moses' assistant in the books of Exodus and Numbers and later succeeded Moses as leader of the Israelite tribes in the Hebrew Bible's Book of Joshua. His name was Hoshea (Hōšēaʿ), the son of Nun of the tribe of Ephraim, but Moses called him "Yehoshua" (translated as "Joshua" in English), the name by which he is commonly known in English. According to the Bible, he was born in Egypt prior to the Exodus
The Hebrew Bible identifies Joshua as one of the twelve spies of Israel sent by Moses to explore the land of Canaan. In Numbers 13:1, and after the death of Moses, he led the Israelite tribes in the conquest of Canaan and allocated lands to the tribes. According to biblical chronology, Joshua lived sometime during the Bronze Age. According to Joshua 24:29, Joshua died at the age of 110.
Joshua holds a position of respect among Muslims. Muslims also see Joshua as the leader of the faithful following the death of Moses. In Islam, it is also believed that Yusha bin Nun (Joshua) was the "attendant" of Moses mentioned in the Quran before Moses met Khidr. Joshua plays a role in Islamic literature, with significant narration in the hadith.
Name - Joshua
The English name "Joshua" refers to the Hebrew language Yehoshua, interpreted in Christian theology as "Yahweh is salvation." This requires a different vocalization of the second name component, reading it as related to Hoshea—the name used in the Torah before Moses added the divine name. However, the modern linguistic analysis of the name is "Yahweh is lordly."
"Jesus" is the English derivative of the Greek transliteration of "Yehoshua" via Latin. In the Septuagint, all instances of the word "Yehoshua" are rendered as "Ἰησοῦς" (Iēsoūs), the closest Greek pronunciation of the Aramaic: ישוע Yeshua. Thus, in modern Greek, Joshua is called "Jesus son of Naue" (τοῦ Ναυή) to differentiate him from Jesus. This is also true in some Slavic languages following the Eastern Orthodox tradition (e.g., "Иисус Навин," Iisús Navín, in Bulgarian, Serbian and Russian, but not Czech).
History of ancient Israel and Judah
The history of ancient Israel and Judah begins with establishing a presence in Canaan by the Twelve Tribes of Israel, who collectively formed the Israelite nation. During the Iron Age, the Kingdom of Israel and the Kingdom of Judah were two related Israelite societies that existed in the ancient Levant.
According to the Hebrew Bible, a United Israelite Monarchy existed as early as the 11th century BCE under the reigns of Saul, David, and Solomon; the country later split into two separate kingdoms: Israel (containing the cities of Shechem and Samaria) in the north and Judah (containing Jerusalem and the Jewish Temple) in the south.
The historicity, extent, and power of the United Monarchy are debated. However, historians and archaeologists agree that a post-split Israel and Judah existed by c. 900 BCE: and c. 700 BCE, respectively.
The Kingdom of Israel was destroyed around 720 BCE. While the Kingdom of Judah remained intact, it became a client state of first the Neo-Assyrian Empire and then the Neo-Babylonian Empire. However, Jewish revolts against the latter led to the destruction of Judah in 586 BCE under the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar II. According to the biblical account, Nebuchadnezzar II's armies successfully besieged Jerusalem between 589–586 BCE, which led to the destruction of Solomon's Temple and the exile of the Jews to Babylon; this event was also recorded in the Babylonian Chronicles. The Jewish exile in Babylon ended around 538 BCE with the fall of the Neo-Babylonian Empire to the Achaemenid Persian Empire, after which the Persian king Cyrus the Great issued a proclamation known as the Edict of Cyrus that authorized and encouraged exiled Jews to return to the Land of Israel.
Cyrus' proclamation began the exiles' return to Zion, inaugurating the formative period in which a more distinctive Jewish/Judahite identity was established in the Persian province of Yehud. During this time, the destroyed Solomon's Temple was replaced by the Second Temple, marking the beginning of Second Temple Judaism.
During the Hellenistic period, Yehud was absorbed into the subsequent Hellenistic kingdoms that followed the conquests of Alexander the Great. The 2nd century BCE saw a successful Jewish revolt against the Seleucid Empire and the subsequent formation of the Hasmonean kingdom—Israel's last nominally independent kingdom. The Hasmonean kingdom gradually lost its independence from 63 BCE onwards with its conquest by Pompey, becoming a client state of the Roman Republic and later of the Parthian Empire.
Following the installation of client kingdoms under the Herodian dynasty, the Roman province of Judaea was wracked by civil disturbances, which culminated in the First Jewish–Roman War. The Jewish defeat to the Roman Empire in this conflict saw the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE and the emergence of Rabbinic Judaism and early Christianity. The name Judaea (Iudaea) ceased to be used by the Greco-Romans. After the Bar Kokhba revolt of 135 CE, the majority of Jews in the Levant were expelled, after which the Romans renamed Judaea Syria Palaestina.
Joshua was a significant figure in the events of the Exodus. Moses charged Moses with selecting and commanding a militia group for their first battle after exiting Egypt against the Amalekites in Rephidim, in which they were victorious.
He later accompanied Moses when he ascended biblical Mount Sinai to commune with God, visualize God's plan for the Israelite tabernacle and receive the Ten Commandments. Joshua was with Moses when he descended from the mountain, heard the Israelites' celebrations around the Golden Calf, and broke the tablets bearing the words of the commandments. Similarly, in the narrative, which refers to Moses being able to speak with God in his tent of meeting outside the camp, Joshua is seen as the custodian of the tent ('tabernacle of meeting') when Moses returned to the Israelite encampment. However, when Moses returned to the mountain to re-create the tablets recording the Ten Commandments, Joshua was not present; like the biblical text states 'no man shall come up with you."
Later, Joshua was identified as one of the twelve spies sent by Moses to explore and report on the land of Canaan, and only he and Caleb gave an encouraging report, a reward for which would be that only these two of their entire generation would enter the promised land.
According to Joshua 1:1, God appointed Joshua to succeed Moses as leader of the Israelites and gave him a blessing of invincibility during his lifetime. The first part of the book of Joshua covered the period when he led the conquest of Canaan.
Conquest of Canaan
At the Jordan River, the waters parted, as they had for Moses at the Red Sea. The first battle after the crossing of the Jordan was the Battle of Jericho. Joshua led the destruction of Jericho, then moved on to Ai, a small neighboring city to the west. However, they were defeated with thirty-six Israelite deaths. The defeat was attributed to Achan taking an "accursed thing" from Jericho and was followed by Achan and his family and animals being stoned to death to restore God's favor.
The Israelites faced an alliance of five Amorite kings from Jerusalem, Hebron, Jarmuth, Lachish, and Eglon. At Gibeon, Joshua asked the LORD to cause the sun and moon to stand still so that he could finish the battle in daylight. According to the text, the sun stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed going down for about a whole day. This event is most notable because "There has been no day like it before or since, when the LORD heeded a man's voice, for the Lord fought for Israel." The LORD also fought for the Israelites in this battle, for he hurled huge hailstones from the sky, which killed more Canaanites than those which the Israelites slaughtered. From there on, Joshua was able to lead the Israelites to several victories, securing much of the land of Canaan. He presided over the Israelite gatherings at Gilgal and Shiloh, which allocated land to the tribes of Israel (Joshua 14:1–5 and 18:1–10), and the Israelites rewarded him with the Ephraimite city of Timnath-here or Timnath-Serah, where he settled (Joshua 19:50).
According to the Talmud, Joshua enumerated only those towns on the frontier in his book.
Joshua's Tomb in Jordan
When he was "old and well advanced in years," Joshua convened the elders and chiefs of the Israelites and exhorted them to have no fellowship with the native population because it could lead them to be unfaithful to God. At a general assembly of the clans at Shechem, he took leave of the people, admonishing them to be loyal to their God, who had been so mightily established in their midst. As a witness of their promise to serve God, Joshua set up a great stone under an oak by the sanctuary of God. Soon afterward, at the age of 110, he died and was buried at Timnath-Heres in the hill country of Ephraim, north of Mount Gaash.