A friend requested me to help her with an overview of the book of Joshua, so, instead of writing just to her, i decided to post it on my blog as well.

Historical Context Of The Book Of Joshua

The stories in the book of Joshua takes place exactly after the death of Moses, God appeared to Joshua to encourage him to lead the people into the promise land. By then the Israelites have already wandered in the wilderness for 40 years. Moses died on Mount Nebo after giving his final sermon in the book of Deuteronomy.

Joshua prepared the people to cross over to the Jordan, and lead 2 military campaign against the 7 tribes of Canaan. The book ended up with Joshua dividing the territories among the 12 tribes and his final address to the people before his death.

Sadly Joshua did not appoint a leader to follow him, (like Moses did). As a result, you no longer see the entire armies of Israel move as one family again. Until the kingdom Era.

Overview Of The Book Of Joshua

Generally, we can classify the book of Joshua into the following sections

1. Preparation to Enter Canaan (Joshua 1-5)

  1. God appears to Joshua to strengthen him(Chapt 1)
  2. Joshua sending out 2 spies to Jericho (Chapt 2)
  3. Israel crossing Jordan on dry ground (Chapt 3)
  4. Setting up of Memorial stones at the banks of Jordan (Chapt 4)
  5. Circumcision at Gigal, Passover, Ceasing of Manna (Chapt 5)

2. Joshua’s Southern Campaign (Joshua 6-10)

  1. Battle at Jericho (Chapt 6)
  2. Defeat at Ai and Sin Of Achan (Chapt 7)
  3. Battle at Ai and Renewal of Covenant (Chapt 8)
  4. Treaty with Gibeonites (Chapt 9)
  5. Battle at Gibeon, Defeat of 5 kings, Campaign Complete (Chapt 10)

3. Joshua’s Northern Campaign (Joshua 11-12)

  1. Defeat of Northern Kings and End of Campaign (Chapt 11)
  2. Names of Kings defeated by Moses and Joshua (Chapt 12)

4. Lands to be conquered and Division of Land (Joshua 13-19)

5. Implementation of Cities Of Refuge and Cities for Levites (Joshua 20-21)

6. Disbanding of the Armies Of Israel, Ruben , Gad and Manasseh return home. (Joshua 22)

7. Joshua Final Sermon And Death (Joshua 23-24)

Joshua lived 110 years before he died (Jos 24:29). To those who think i will draw up a time line, I have to disappoint as there is simply not enough information for me to construct a time line. But in case if those who are curious how old was Joshua when he left Egypt.. Here is my guess


1. People who are counted as man of war and numbered are 20 years and above (Num 14:29)

 a. Joshua is able to lead the Battle of Rephidim (Ex 17)

2. Caleb (which spied Canaan together with him)

 a. 85 Years Old when the land is divided (Joshua 14:10)
b. 40 years old when Moses sent him to spy Canaan (Jos 14: 7)

3. Wilderness Journey (40 years ) (Assumption Based on Previous Calculation )

 a. 2 years for Israel to go from Egypt to Kadesh Barnea
b. 38 years moving around in the wilderness as punishment

4. Years from Creation (Assumption Based on Previous Calculation )

 a. Israelites entered Canaan 2078 years after creation
b. Moses died on 2078th year too.

My Guess

1. Joshua could be 20 at the battle of Rephidim, (1a) 22 years old when he spy Canaan (3.a ), 62 years old when he entered Canaan (3.b)

 a. That means by Joshua death at 110 years old its 2078+48 = 2126 years after creation

2. If Joshua is really around the age of Caleb

 a. Joshua could be 38 at the battle of Rephidim (1a) , 40 when he spy Canaan (3.a ), 80 when he entered Canaan (3.b)
b. Joshua died at 110 years old which means his death is 2078+30 = 2108 years after creation

Interesting Facts That I wish I can Talk about

There are a few interesting thing about the books of Joshua I would like to share, and if God permits, I will have time to write about them on my blog.

1. City Of Jericho

 a. Joshua put a curse saying that whoever who rebuilds Jericho will lay the foundation at his firstborn and complete the gates with the death of his youngest child (Jos 6:26)
b. This curse was in effect and in fact Hiel Of Bethel rebuilt it under the order of King Ahab of Israel, his 2 sons died (1 Kings 16:34)

2. Rahab

 a. She is the great grandmother of King David (Matt 1:5)

3. Gibeonites

 a. Although they got their covenant with God by deceiving Joshua. God honours that Covenant nonetheless
b. When Saul killed them out of his zealousness and God clause a famine in the land until they are avenged (2 Sam 21:1-2)

 i God honours all his covenants, and will never go against them.

c. One Of The Gibeonites city is known as Kirjath Jearim (Jos 9:17)

 i. When the Philistines return the ark back to Israel, it was left in that city for 20 years. (1 Sam 6:13-20, 1 Sam 7:1-2)
ii. Effectively the ark rested at the land of Gibeon for a long time

4. Division of the Land

 a. Looking at the Land of Reuben, Judah you can see that the land allocated to them is very extreme, Reuben had a land that is very vulnerable to attacks while Judah is given a land that is well protected by the mountains of Judea. There is a interesting lesson behind it, if we aware to study these characters in Genesis.

5. Actual size of the Promise Land

 a. God reemphasised the boundaries of the promise land many times (Ex 23: 30-31 ,Deut 1:7 ,Deut 11:24, Jos 1:4)
b. In fact it stretches from the little brook of Egypt to Euphrates’s.
c. Only King David managed to grab all the land and fulfil that Promise of God

6. Cities Of Refuge

a. City of Refuge is provided by God in Mosaic Law for mansaughter suspects to escape to.
b. This concept is not common in Ancient laws

Much as I wanted to write so much, there are so little time I have left. So I am not sure if I can get it done or not.

Lastly i wanted to share this link that I found that contains very nice diagrams for understanding the book of Joshua