Joshua - Profile of Joshua the Old Testament Bible Character:
Joshua began life in Egypt as a slave, under cruel Egyptian taskmasters, but he rose to be the leader of Israel, through faithful obedience to God.
Moses gave Hosea son of Nun his new name: Joshua (Yeshua in Hebrew), which means "the Lord is Salvation." This name selection was the first indicator that Joshua was a "type," or picture, of Jesus Christ, the Messiah.
When Moses sent 12 spies to scout the land of Canaan, only Joshua and Caleb, son of Jephunneh, believed the Israelites could conquer the land with God's help. Angry, God sent the Jews to wander in the wilderness for 40 years until that unfaithful generation died. Of those spies, only Joshua and Caleb survived.
Before the Jews entered Canaan, Moses died and Joshua became his successor. Spies were sent into Jericho. Rahab, a prostitute, sheltered them and then helped them escape. They swore to protect Rahab and her family when their army invaded. To enter the land, the Jews had to cross the flooded Jordan River. When the priests and Levites carried the Ark of the Covenant into the river, the water stopped flowing. This miracle mirrored the one God had performed at the Red Sea.
Joshua followed God's strange instructions for the battle of Jericho. For six days the army marched around the city. On the seventh day, they marched seven times, shouted, and the walls fell down flat. The Israelites swarmed in, killing every living thing except Rahab and her family.
Because Joshua was obedient, God performed another miracle at the battle of Gibeon. He made the sun stand still in the sky for an entire day so the Israelites could wipe out their enemies completely.
Under Joshua's godly leadership, the Israelites conquered the land of Canaan. Joshua assigned a portion to each of the 12 tribes. Joshua died at the age of 110 and was buried at Timnath Serah in the hill country of Ephraim.
During the 40 years the Jewish people wandered in the wilderness, Joshua served as a faithful aide to Moses. Of 12 spies sent to scout out Canaan, only Joshua and Caleb had confidence in God, and only those two survived the desert ordeal to enter the Promised Land. Against overwhelming odds, Joshua led the Israelite army in its conquest of the Promised Land. He apportioned the land to the tribes and governed them for a time. Without a doubt, Joshua's greatest accomplishment in life was his unwavering loyalty and faith in God.
Some Bible scholars view Joshua as an Old Testament representation, or foreshadowing, of Jesus Christ, the promised Messiah. What Moses (who represented the law) was unable to do, Joshua (Yeshua) achieved when he successfully led the people of God out of the desert to conquer their enemies and enter the Promised Land. His accomplishments point to the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross—the defeat of God's enemy, Satan, the setting free of all believers from captivity to sin, and the opening of the way into the "Promised Land" of eternity.
While serving Moses, Joshua was also an attentive student, learning much from the great leader. Joshua showed tremendous courage, despite the huge responsibility assigned to him. He was a brilliant military commander. Joshua prospered because he trusted God with every aspect of his life.
Before battle, Joshua always consulted God. Unfortunately, he did not do so when the people of Gibeon entered into a deceptive peace treaty with Israel. God had forbidden Israel to make treaties with any people in Canaan. If Joshua had sought God's guidance first, he would not have made this mistake.
Obedience, faith, and dependence on God made Joshua one of Israel's strongest leaders. He provided a bold example for us to follow. Like us, Joshua was often besieged by other voices, but he chose to follow God, and he did it faithfully. Joshua took seriously the Ten Commandments and ordered the people of Israel to live by them as well.
Even though Joshua was not perfect, he proved that a life of obedience to God bears great rewards. Sin always has consequences. If we live according to God's Word, like Joshua, we will receive God's blessings.
Joshua was born in Egypt, probably in the area named Goshen, in the northeast Nile delta. He was born a slave, like his fellow Hebrews.
Referenced in the Bible:
Exodus 17, 24, 32, 33; Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges 1:1-2:23; 1 Samuel 6:14-18; 1 Chronicles 7:27; Nehemiah 8:17; Acts 7:45; Hebrews 4:7-9.
Egyptian slave, personal assistant of Moses, military commander, leader of Israel.
Father - Nun
Tribe - Ephraim
"Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go." (NIV)
That day the Lord exalted Joshua in the sight of all Israel; and they revered him all the days of his life, just as they had revered Moses. (NIV)
The sun stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed going down about a full day. There has never been a day like it before or since, a day when the Lord listened to a man. Surely the Lord was fighting for Israel! (NIV)
"Now then," said Joshua, "throw away the foreign gods that are among you and yield your hearts to the Lord, the God of Israel." And the people said to Joshua, "We will serve the Lord our God and obey him." (NIV)