Category: A group of biblical books that have a similar literary genre or main themes and have been placed together as a major section of the Bible.
Historical: The narrative books of the Old Testament that recount Israel’s rise and fall in the land of Canaan, leading to their exile in Babylon.
Literary Style: A unique style of writing that follows recognized literary conventions and language patterns.
Narrative: A story sequence in which characters are placed in a setting and involved in a developing plotline.
Epic Narrative: A narrative that is intentionally placed in an ambiguous historical setting in order to make larger claims about the nature of reality and human purpose.
After Moses' death, Joshua leads Israel and they settle in the promised land currently occupied by Canaanites.
Watch our Read Scripture video on the book of Joshua, which breaks down the literary design of the book and its flow of thought. There is one Read Scripture video dedicated to the book of Joshua, which aims to help you see its unique contribution to the story of Jesus, but also how it works within the Bible’s overall framework.
The Book of Joshua picks up right after Moses dies and shows how God had been faithful to the covenant he made with Abraham by bringing them into the land. It recounts the battles and barriers the Israelites experience in their entering of the Promised Land. God is faithful, and while not all the territory is conquered, the Israelites have safely settled in the land promised to Abraham.
Near the end of the book, Joshua calls on Israel to remember the covenant it made with God. Like with Moses in Deuteronomy, Israel is reminded of the choice it must make – be faithful and obey leading to life and blessing or prove unfaithful leading to all the judgments that befell the Canaanites.
Joshua Leads Israel
Joshua sends spies into the land with far better results than when Moses did the same in Numbers 13-14. He leads Israel into the Promised Land and is presented as a new Moses. Chapter 5 serves as a transition where the people are called back to their roots as a covenant people. Joshua's encounter with a warrior who is commander of God's army makes it clear that what lies ahead is God's battle and Israel will serve as spectators.
Jericho & AI
Israel first battles with Jericho and Ai (rather witnesses their miraculous destruction). The results of these two battles illustrate God's faithfulness vs. man's failure. Both battles show that Israel had to be obedient and trust God's commands if they were to have victory.
Beginning in Chapter 9, Israel battles with a number of Canaanite tribes. A few believe, but most conspire together to destroy God's people.
In this section, Joshua divides the Promised Land to the 12 tribes of Israel. This could be somewhat boring until you realize how exacting God is in fulfilling the promise He first made to Abraham.
Joshua's Final Words
Joshua reminds Israel of God's promises and His calling to remain faithful. Like in Moses' speech before his death, Joshua calls the people to make a choice between faithfulness or disobedience.