Joshua 1: The Lord speaks to Joshua—He is commanded to be of good courage, to meditate upon the law, and to keep the commandments—He prepares Israel to enter Canaan.
Joshua 2: Joshua sends spies to Jericho—They are received and concealed by Rahab—They promise to preserve Rahab and her household.
Joshua 3: Joshua leads Israel to the Jordan—The Lord cuts off the water of the Jordan; it stands up as a heap, and Israel passes over on dry ground.
Joshua 4: Joshua places twelve stones to commemorate the crossing of the Jordan—Joshua is magnified before the children of Israel as they cross the Jordan—After the priests bearing the ark pass over, the river returns to its course.
Joshua 5: The inhabitants of Canaan fear Israel—The males of Israel are circumcised—Israel keeps the Passover, eats the fruit of the land, and manna ceases—The captain of the Lord’s host appears to Joshua.
Joshua 6: Jericho is taken and destroyed—Only Rahab and her household are saved.
Joshua 7: Israel is defeated by the people of Ai—Joshua complains to the Lord—Achan and his household are destroyed because he disobeyed the Lord by taking the spoils of Jericho.
Joshua 8: Joshua uses an ambush, takes Ai, and slays its inhabitants—He builds an altar in Mount Ebal—The words of the law, both blessings and cursings, are read to the people.
Joshua 23: Joshua exhorts Israel to be courageous, keep the commandments, love the Lord, and neither marry among nor cleave unto the remnants of the Canaanites who remain in the land—When the children of Israel serve other gods, they will be cursed and dispossessed.
Joshua 24: Joshua recites how the Lord has blessed and led Israel—Joshua and all the people covenant to choose the Lord and serve Him only—Joshua and Eleazar die—The bones of Joseph, taken from Egypt, are buried in Shechem.
And I’m Tyler.
This is Book of Mormon Central’s Come Follow Me Insights.
Today, the book of Joshua.
This is a this is an amazing book. It’s in some ways, you could look at the book of Joshua, too. If you take the first five books of the Old Testament, the books of Moses, Genesis, texts, lyrics, numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua is to those kind of like the Book of Acts is to the Gospels. It’s kind of this, wow, the main event has has come and passed. Now the savior’s up in heaven. Now let’s watch as the gospel now spreads to the ancient Israelites. The main event was Moses. He was the great lawgiver. He was the great deliverer. God used him as an instrument in his hands to do all these amazing works. Now he’s gone. And by the way, how would you feel if you’re Joshua? How would you like the role of being the next one up in line after somebody as. As incredible as the Prophet Moses and.
Josh was only one of two people remaining who’s come out of Egypt. So now you have a whole group of people who haven’t seen all these tremendous deeds of salvation that happened at the immediate portion of the exodus. So how is this leader going to fill these very massive shoes that Moses left behind? And it’s interesting how this book answers that question really well.
It’s it’s amazing. Before we even get into any of the any of the verses of the book. Well, look at the title. It’s the book of Joshua. Now, in English, that doesn’t mean much to us. It’s it’s a name. His name is Joshua. So let’s take a close look at his name. Joshua. And to do that. Look at this tool that you can use for free on the Internet. It’s called Strong’s Concordance. So if you if you just type into a search engine, the word Strong’s, usually it’ll be the very first link here. You click on that and you can type in to this search bar. Any word, any phrase or any reference from anywhere in the Bible, Old or New Testament. And it will pull that up and show you the root words in either the Hebrew for the Old Testament or the Greek for the new. So let’s pull up Joshua here. Now, you can click on this little number next to Joshua’s name and notice what it shows you.
Now, here you see the name in Hebrew. You can click on this little sound icon here and you can hear it pronounced. You see the transliteration here? And look down below, you’ll see that the the name Joshua in English comes from this Yehoshua in Hebrew, which actually is a derivative of two different Hebrew root words. The first one, if you click on that, you’ll notice this is the name of God. In the Old Testament we would say today, Jehovah or your way. And the second word that it comes from this this element that comes to us as sure in English means to save or to protect or to deliver. Hmm. Jehovah saves. Now, the fascinating tie in here is that his name is the name given to Joseph in Matthew Chapter one In a dream, Gabriel tells Joseph, In that dream you need to, in essence, adopt Mary’s baby when when he is born and you are going to name him and you need to name him Jesus. So that’s the name that we get in English.
And then Angel Gabriel says, you need to name him Jesus because he will save his people. Well, the name Jesus in English doesn’t imply salvation all by itself, just as a name, but in its ancient context. Joseph, you need to name this little baby Yehoshua. Because Jehovah saves his people, he is going to save all of his people.
This is Jehovah who’s going to save his people. And we’ve shared before. The name is the lesson. Even Jesus himself embodies. His name embodies what he’s doing. He’s saving us.
So so if you look at this, if you take a 30,000 foot view here, here’s Jerusalem, the promised land over here is Egypt. Remember remember the symbolic connection that we talked about before earlier on in the year of this idea of the promised land being a nice metaphor or a simile, a symbol, if you will, for heaven, where we start in heaven, in a promised land, and then we leave heaven and we come down to this symbol for the earth, Egypt. While we’re here in the in this fallen earth mortal condition, we fall into slavery or servitude to to the natural tendencies of this condition that we’re in. And so God sends a deliverer to bring us out. So Moses brings us out a nice symbol for Christ played by Moses in all of that experience of taking them through the wilderness and helping make sure they have food and water and protection and guidance and direction for Jesus for your wanderings, because they refuse to go in. And as Taylor pointed out, there were only two people back here, Caleb and Joshua, who have experienced all of this, who are still alive at this point when we enter the promised land.
So then you get all of those stories. To this point, Moses is then translated. Now Joshua takes over. Jehovah Saves. Now they’re going to enter the Promised Land and we’re going to symbolically part the veil, the Jordan River, so we can pass through and enter into our rest. Enter into the holy, sacred promised land, which for us would be heaven. Well, we don’t do that ourselves. God sends somebody to open that gate for us and Jesus is the way He is the gate or the door whereby we enter. So He is the one who is going to do everything in our story today. If there’s anything powerful or anything good that happens, it’s not Joshua and it’s not the people who are doing it independent of heaven. It’s the Lord God of Israel. It’s Jehovah who saves his people.
This is the theme of this book. It’s a lot of really amazing stories here. But if you look at the first nine verses, it gives you a summary of what’s happening here. Let’s jump in.
So look at verse two. After here again in in the King James version or in the biblical context, Moses is dead. We learn we talked last time. Alma, 45. There are some other scriptures in in restoration scripture that talk about the fact that he was translated and not buried. But we’ll keep going with their with their wording here. Look at verse two, Moses, my servant is dead. Now, therefore, arise. Go over this, Jordan, thou and all this people unto land, which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel. You’ll notice the wording there, which I do give to them. It’s not well, it’s those people’s land there. So you go in and see if you can take it from him. It’s no, it’s in my hand and I’m giving it to you. I’m going to make it so that you can take this land.
It’s actually it is God’s land. It just happens to be that it got occupied by people who are not loyal to God. And God wants to bring people into his land that will be loyal to him. Take notice how the Book of Joshua ends the last two chapters 23 and 24. God gives to the people again through Joshua instructions for how to be covenantal, loyal and faithful so they can have peace and prosperity in the land.
So you jump down to verse five there shall not any man be able to stand before the all the days of my life as I was with Moses. So I will be with the I will not fail the nor forsake the. Now you’re going to find that through this this book of Joshua and especially through the book of judges, which is next week. They’re going to find that the people are going to fail him. They are going to forsake him over and over and over again. And yet. One of God’s attributes that we sometimes breeze over is his long suffering, his patience, his loving kindness. How many times does somebody do something bad to you or break their promise or break their covenant with you before you’re like, I’m done dealing with you? Well, God doesn’t seem to ever completely shut them out or turn his back on them. Even though they are going to fail him. He promises them I will not feel the nor forsake thee. And then you get what? For me, I don’t know how you read this, Taylor, but for me this becomes the thesis statement for God’s instructions to this new leader who quite frankly, has to be feeling some some fairly intense feelings of inadequacy, following in his footsteps, trying to fill those shoes.
And you’re going to see this phrase that gets repeated over and over and over again in Joshua. Look over six. Be strong. And of a good courage. That phrase right there, you’re going to see it in verse six. You’re going to see it in verse seven. You’re going to see it in nine. You’re going to see it in 18 and you’re going to see it in chapter three. Chapter five, this this concept of don’t be intimidated. Don’t sit down in fear. Don’t sit down in those feelings of inadequacy that I’m not good enough. I’m not as good as he was. I can’t do this. It’s got to be strong. Stand up. I’ve chosen you to do this job. Now go be of good courage and then notice that says for unto this peoples shall doubt divide for an inheritance the land which I swear under their fathers to give them. You’re the means whereby I am going to fulfill these promises I’ve made.
Yeah. We’re going to tie this back in to the Abraham story. Genesis, chapter 12, one through three, God tells Abraham. And this gets renewed to Isaac and to Jacob. I will make thy name great. I will give the land, I will give the posterity. You turned to Exodus to the end of that chapter. God says, I remember the covenant I made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and therefore he takes the people out of Egypt. That was he was covenant obligated to do it. And he is now trying to complete or fulfill his covenant obligations to give the promised land to the people. That’s what’s going on here. God is acting in history. So we pause here in these verses because we want you to see that the Bible writers are trying to make it exceedingly clear. The Book of Jehovah Saves the Book of Joshua is about how God fulfills his promises to save people. It’s his works and deeds, and he needs the man, Joshua, to lead the people.
But we also notice if you turn to verse eight, this book of the law shall not depart out of their mouth, but thou shalt meditate there day and night that they’ll mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein, for then Thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then Thou shalt have good success. So we often just breeze over these scriptures if you pause and listen to what God’s asking. The Book of the law is the Torah, the five books of Moses, the Covenant or Instructions for Faithful Faithfulness. So we talked about the two covenantal mountains. The first is Mt. Moriah Abraham, a covenant where God is promising that He will do all these great deeds for his people, but he needs them to be covenantal, be faithful to him in response. How do they know what to do? He reveals the Torah and this is what’s going on. Verse eight You need to live by every word that I have laid out for you. So verse five, five, six and seven are all about the Abrahamic Covenant.
And verse eight is about the mosaic covenant. Verse five, six and seven is God’s obligations. And what He wants us to do in that verse eight is very specifically how do the people need to be loyal back to him? And again, it concludes chapter 23 and 24, where God renews. The covenantal instruction saying If you want to have peace and prosperity in the land, here’s what you need to do. And you guys all know how the story plays out in judges and later on that people continually show that they’re not faithful to God. And over hundreds of years, eventually he says, All right, well, if you guys are not ready to receive this inheritance, you name it, promises are not broken. God will not break those promises. But I’m going to send you away for a while. Maybe just think about it and then I’ll bring you back. Maybe in a couple of decades I’ll let you try again. And this is kind of the cycle that’s been going on for centuries with God’s chosen people.
So as we translate from from this ancient history, from this faraway setting and culture to today, the reality is, as many of you watching right now have been given missions to accomplish. They may not be official church callings, but but things to to do in your mortal life that you may feel completely overwhelmed by those responsibilities or by the task at hand, I think is Joshua, we’re standing here today. I think he might reemphasize some of these things that strengthened him in in this moment when he could have been completely overwhelmed. Look, look over seven. Only be thou strong and very courageous, which is even an upgrade from what we got in verse six is very courageous now that they’ll means to observe, to do according to all the law that Taylor was just talking about. It’s it’s don’t treat the gospel as a smorgasbord. Don’t go through and in a buffet line and just take a little bit of this a little bit of that and leave the rest on the table because it’s it’s not your favorite.
He’s saying observe to do all that God has asked us to do. Well, how do you do that? Verse eight That idea of the book of the laws here you need to meditate there in day and night. Don’t have the gospel be this side part of your life where you have these these checklists of I need to pray, I need to read my scriptures, I need to go to church. But it’s off here on the side. And as soon as I’ve done that, boom, now I can come back and be a part of my my real life. No, he’s saying put the laws of God. Put your connection with the Scriptures and with the words of the prophets and with the Holy Ghost. Your relationship with Heaven put that at the center of your life so that everything else is around that core, around that foundation. As you meditate there in day and night and not just meditate, but observe to do all these things that you’re reading and studying, which doesn’t mean that you should now beat yourself up, because the more you read the scriptures, the more inadequate you feel.
It’s a C.S. Lewis concept that I love from his book near Christianity, where he said, It’s only those who the paraphrase is, it’s only those who are trying very hard to be good, who know truly how bad they are. He says the bad person doesn’t know how bad they are. They’re not trying to be good. So as you make these efforts to apply these principles that you’re reading here, don’t be shocked when all of a sudden you recognize flaws in yourself that maybe you hadn’t recognized before. It’s part of the process of this covenant path progression is to see things in a new light and to recognize areas where you’re lacking that maybe you hadn’t noticed before.
And then I would say, Be though strong, be very courageous. It’s okay. We are all, all. And we don’t need to be afraid of that. We can recognize we’re fallen and let God save us. Let God guide us into these promised lands. But I also want to point out, it’s interesting as let’s talk about the Book of Mormon just briefly. As Lehigh Party leaves Jerusalem. What’s one of the big tasks? Go back and get the book of the law. Go back and get the covenant instructions so we can live faithfully to God. So we can get into a promised land and have peace and prosperity. It’s just so interesting. The Book of Mormon. Absolutely fits the ancient context. It is an ancient, authentic witness for Jesus Christ and his covenant path.
That to me is amazing because Lihi and his family, they leave, they come down to the Red Sea and then they have to come back, like Taylor saying, to get that record. And that record is going to show up repeatedly in in how they how they live their life in the Book of Mormon, how they record their own stories. And we’re going to see at various places in the book of Joshua how. Boy, it seems like they’re very aware of the book of Joshua when it comes to Nephi, when it comes to Captain Moroni in the way they’re fighting some of their battles. They seem to know their scriptures pretty well, and they’re following some patterns. We’ll point those out as we get to it. So as we conclude this this introduction overview of the book of Joshua using these first sets of verses here in chapter one, what conclude with verse nine when again, this idea of, Wow, I have all these things that I need to accomplish and I don’t feel very capable or adequate or I feel even unworthy at times or thinking, Why would the Lord ask me to do this?
I am not fit for this particular assignment as we conclude that little section. My favorite verse in this opening happens to be verse nine. I love the concept here. Have not I commanded thee? I love that concept. He’s he’s saying, Joshua, you didn’t make this up. You weren’t the one who said, ooh, I’m going to run for for being Moses successor. Vote for Joshua. He’s saying you didn’t do that. I commanded thee. I picked you, Joshua. Be strong and of a good courage. There it is again. Be not afraid. Neither be thou dismayed. For the Lord thy God is with the whither so ever thou ghost. I love this concept from from our friend and colleague. He’s he’s been a guest on the show. He’s done some episodes here. Book of Mormon Central Toni Sweat, he shared this concept that it’s okay to to have some fears and to to see that perspective occasionally. The example I heard him share was, it’s okay to let fear be in the car with you.
Just don’t let fear drive. Don’t give the wheel to fear because it’ll take you places you never want to go. So it’s this idea. Be strong and have a good courage and be not afraid. Move forward in faith. Why? Why can I do that? Because I have the Lord God of Israel who is with me. Because he called me to walk this path. He’ll be with me as we walk that path.
Such an important message. But there’s a lot of really great things in Joshua. But even if you just stopped right here, these first nine verses, all of us can walk away and say, we’re all like Joshua. We might have fear at times, but God has put us here to serve a mission and a purpose. And if we’re courageous, if we are obedient to him, if we share a love and loyalty to him, he will bring us into promised lands where we will have prosperity and peace. So I want to transition just a bit and share a perspective which we’ve we’ve talked about in the past. The Old Testament is a bit like entering into a foreign country. They do things differently there and we might feel familiar with the words, which is really useful. I want to share a perspective of how we might enlarge our understanding of how and why these scriptures were preserved for people anciently to encourage them to be loyal to God. So let’s just start with this idea we mentioned before the importance of context.
So we are reading texts. We’re reading text of the scriptures and the word con. In Latin actually means with context is what goes along with the text, but it’s often what isn’t expressed. There’s a lot that goes left unsaid. So let me share this perspective with you. What if we. What if I wrote this? You might look at this and say that is the letter C. I say, okay, that’s interesting. What if I actually did this? You might say, Oh, there’s now more context. It changes the meaning. This is now the letter D. Well, what if I added this? More context. So if you only looked at this in isolation, you might say, Oh, it’s just a see, I know exactly what this is. But if you put this into context, you’re like, Oh, it’s do I know what that means? You go out, gets things done. Well, what if I added some more context? What if we got our viewpoint a little wider and saw more of what’s going on?
What if I put this and you’re like, Oh yeah, that’s a furry animal that usually I like to be around. Okay. So you think you might know what’s going on? But what if you expand your context even more? Well, now, suddenly it’s like, Oh, it’s a bunch of dogs. What if I added some more? Right. So now. We have a phrase here. Cats and dogs. Okay. So a bunch of animals, domesticated animals. These are pretty popular pets. So at this point, we’re all feeling oh, we all know what we’re talking about. We’re talking about cats and dogs. We’re not talking about sea. We’re not talking about DU. We’re not talking about just one dog. The larger context is cats or dogs. That helps us to contextualize and interpret what’s going on. I’m going to make this a little more interesting. What if I added this phrase raining? Raining cats and dogs. Now, suddenly, we’re not even talking about furry animals anymore.
We’re talking about in English. This is a phrase we use to mean lots and lots of rain. Now, just for fun, let’s imagine we were talking to people. We preserved our version of Know a Flood story. We tell it to our kids and we say, the floods came and it rained. Cats and dogs and our kids would know exactly what we’re talking about. A lot of rain. Let’s just imagine 2000 years go on and nobody has any context. And they hear our stories we told our kids that are rain cats or dogs during the time of Noah and they didn’t know what this meant. The larger context, you’re like, How is it possible? Like animals were falling from the sky and this is what happens sometimes we get into the Scriptures, particularly the Old Testament is there are phrases and ideas and concepts that when they were preserved, made a lot of sense to the people. But we often haven’t been given the handbook of what’s been left unsaid of the contextual meaning. So with that backdrop, let me just give a few insights of how we can see the larger context of the book of Joshua as a piece of literature.
So for some larger context, we’ve been blessed to live in the latter days because we have the restoration. We have modern day revelation. And we’ve had a plethora of scholarship and archeology and discoveries from the ancient Middle East. In the last 200 years, we’ve discovered enormous treasure troves of literature from the ancient Middle East. And in studying, those scholars have been able to see some interesting connections that have helped us to understand things that are going on in the Bible, that the Bible writers knew exactly what they meant. But sometimes the Bible writers didn’t always give us the larger context. And let me share this perspective. So in the ancient Middle East, kings were very anxious and interested to have peace and prosperity in their land. And when they found somebody within the community or maybe somebody who could be joined in the community who’d be faithful, these kings would offer what’s called a land grant to a man and his whole family. Often the king would give an entire city to somebody and move everybody out of the city who’d been unfaithful and bring in a new family who had made an agreement to be totally loyal to the king who’d given the land.
And the king’s job was to protect this family, to have peace and prosperity in the land or in the city. And the job of this family, who’s just been given this enormous gift to live in the city that they never built or the land that they themselves had created, as long as they were faithful to the king, this family would get peace and prosperity in the land. And so these land grants were often written out. We have examples from the Middle East where we have instructions from the king to the person who’s receiving the land about what they should be doing. It turns out, as archeologists have discovered and translated these texts, we’ve seen that the book of Joshua has some very interesting echoes and connections to ancient land grants. And let’s consider this Who’s the king? Is God himself? Who’s the people that he wants to make a covenant with? Israel us. He wants to bring us into the Promised Land. He’s trying to move out of the land. Everybody who did not covered with him the Canaanites.
So after he moves everybody out, no connection with any anybody in the past who was not faithful to God or did not come up with God. You bring in a new people who inherit everything, and their job is to be at peace with the King God, and to live in peace and prosperity by showing total love and faithfulness to God. Now, in this case, in the ancient context, sometimes the King would ask the people moving in to basically clear everything out. All humans and all animals of the people who are in the city, who were not being faithful to the king. Now let’s talk how we do things today. That’s why it’s important that we understand the context that the Israelites were living in, that God often works with people where they’re at. And so when the Israelites received these experiences and we see the book of Joshua in later generations, the Israelites understood they were under this covenantal land grant contract that they owed God their loyalty. And any Israelite who is disobedient, disobedient, should have known the consequences to their disobedient.
They will also be pushed off the land and moved away. Just like it happened to the Canaanites. It’s the king’s land. And it’s his role to keep the land to be peaceful and prosperous. And if people are not going to choose to be faithful to him, they aren’t going to be in the land. Now let’s take this in just a bit to the temple of the Sabbath day in the ancient world. The temples, a fully functioning temple, was a signal that the land was at peace and prosperity. The Sabbath day was a symbol that chaos was no longer raining, that everything was ordered, that the king has put everything into its place and there’s peace and prosperity. And so to look at Joshua, it can be a bit hard to read because there’s a lot of military, there’s death and destruction. But the symbolic thing going is going on is the work of salvation so that people can get to a state of peace like the Sabbath, to the temple that represents that the land is now at peace.
The king has provided stability and order everywhere, and everybody within his realm have all agreed to be loyal to him and to be in peace and prosperity. So it’s the larger context of what we have going on with the Book of Joshua. So as you get into the weeds of the text, you might just pull yourself out and say, How is this text? How is this inspired document helping me to learn how to be faithful to God and how God wants to give me all the greatest blessings that are available in His lands of promise?
That’s very helpful. Background information and overview information. Great context. So thank you. As we now jump back into the Scriptures in chapter one, you’ll notice Joshua has now been strengthened by the Lord. He’s been told multiple times, be strong enough of a good courage, and now he does the same thing for the people. That’s what prophets, that’s what leaders do, is they don’t just get strength from heaven to then keep it for themselves. They become mirrors, so to speak, a reflecting agent for heaven’s light and direction and goodness. So in in the next verses, he’s strengthening the people, encouraging them to be strong and of a good courage and to follow the law. And you’ll notice the response in verse 16, the answer, Joshua, saying, All that thou commanded us, we will do. And with or whoever Thou send us, us, we will go. It this I will go and do. It’s a nice little phrase that maybe, maybe helped be in the back of Nico’s mind as he’s speaking to his father.
It’s this. This idea, all that you’ve commanded. I’m going to do it.
I see a connection to sacrament. We get the sacrament, and we’re essentially promising. Lord, you are my king, your grant to me. Land and prosperity and posterity. And I promise to be obedient and I covenant to be loyal to you. I might make mistakes along the way, but my intention, my heart is with you. Every week I’m going to declare that I’m at peace with you. I’m at the table of peace with you. That I will be loyal.
I love the I love the can any connection we can make from antiquity to our day. I love that. The Sacrament. So let’s jump to the very end of chapter one. Look at verse 18. Whosoever he be that does rebel against thy commandment and will not hearken under thy words. And although Thou commanded him, he shall be put to death, only be strong and of a good courage. There it is again. He ends this chapter with that same phrase that we’ve talked about again and again. But you notice that first part of Chapter 18 that’s, quite frankly, a little uncomfortable for us in the 20/21 century. As we look back in time, we say, wow, this seems like a really harsh attribute of God, that if you break my covenant, then you’re going to be put to death. But again, there’s a covenantal language going on here where we may not be put to death physically today when we break the covenant or when we don’t keep those promises that we made at baptism or in the temple.
But there is a part of us, a part of our core that that is cut off from that connection with God. And it it dries up. It it dies. It doesn’t mean it can’t be brought back to life by the Savior because he specializes in that as well. But it just means that we’ve chosen our own way. It’s not his way. It’s not the covenant pass. It’s some other path. And there are lots of strange roads or forbidden paths to to choose among in our world today. But the clarity here of the only safety is to stay connected with God in that relationship. It’s a pretty stark reminder here as we close chapter one. So the rest of chapter two contains this story of of these two spies being killed by Ray because the king and the men of the city are looking for them. They they are saying, where? Where are those? Those two? And she’s hid them and tells the men go out because they left the city, go, go chase after them.
You might be able to catch up to them. Well, of course, they can’t find them because they’re up on a roof. So as she’s talking with them about saving their life, notice her request in verse 12. Now, therefore, I pray you swear unto me by the Lord, since I have showed you kindness, that you will also show kindness into my father’s house and give me a true token. Or this sign, this make a covenant with me that you’re not going to destroy me and my house. I’ve done what I can to preserve you.
The word kindness is a covenantal term now, so I have shown loyalty to you to help you in the cause of God. You now owe me kindness or covenant, a loyalty back that I should be part of your group and not be destroyed. Because he’s essentially saying, I’m willing to join with your group and to be part of this promised land.
And you’ll notice she’s she’s invoking their God in verse 12. Swear unto me by the Lord. So so she’s she’s acknowledging you’re going to make this this covenant with me, as promised to me by the Lord. And so they do. And the token or the sign of that covenant is in verse 18, behold, when we come into the land, thou shall bind this line of scarlet thread in the window which thou did let us down by. So you’re going to use this thread which is connected to the word hope. It’s that that that line something to hold on to, something to see, something to set you apart.
I find it fascinating how we have these underdog stories in scriptures that break things. The expected narrative in the ancient Middle East, men were in charge. It was their job to do the action and to preserve their families and peace and prosperity. That fact, if you think about God, he functions in the Scriptures as one of these great patriarchs who saves his family. What do we have going on here in Jericho? Rehab as a foreigner? She’s not even is in Israelite. She’s a woman. She’s a prostitute. And look what she does. She saves her father’s household. And she sees all these people. It’s fascinating how we have these cultural expectations and God preserve stories to show that sometimes the culture isn’t the gospel. In that God can do his work that all of us might find ourselves at times perhaps not fitting the expected pattern that the world wants of us. God can still do His work. He can still work through you to provide peace and prosperity to you and to others. So I find stories like this interesting that maybe I don’t completely fit the cultural mode of mode or what everybody expects of me.
And yet God can still work with me if I’m faithful in loyalty to him.
And by the way, Ray, how there’s going to come up again in your scripture account way down the road in Matthew Chapter one, Matthew includes rehab in his long list of genealogy for Joseph. In verse five, you see Rahab listed there as one of the progenitors for Jesus. That’s kind of significant. There’s this outsider who becomes one of the ancestors for the Lord Jesus Christ.
It’s about who chooses to be covenantal loyal to God. God does not look at people’s nationalities or their professions, their family structure. He looks at who has chosen to put themselves in league with me, obviously with them, and they’re part of the group. So we have to look at how God looks upon the heart and not just on the outward cultural context of the labels that we put on people.
So let’s jump into chapter three. You get the next day, early in the morning. They rise up and look at what he says to the people in verse five. Joshua said, said, Under the people, sanctify yourselves for tomorrow. The Lord will do wonders among you. So he didn’t say, Get ready, I’m going to do wonders. I’m going to show you amazing miracles. No, it’s the Lord is going to do wonders among you. It’s going to begin tomorrow. So you need to be sanctified. And then look over seven. The Lord said unto Joshua this day, will I begin to magnify thee in the sight of all Israel? They may know that as I was with Moses. So I will be with thee.
This is an important theme in the book of Joshua. God wants it to be totally clear for all the Israelites that God has chosen this leader. And what you’re going to see, the book of Joshua, these miracles, these powerful actions, is God trying to convince the people you can trust my chosen leader to bring you to the Promised Land. And if you are listening to this chosen leader, you’ll be safe. You will win.
So. Thus it begins. Let’s. Let’s go in. And he he talks to the the three tribes that have already taken possession of their land east of Jordan. So if we redraw our little map here. You have Rubin, you have Gad, and you have half of the tribe of Monastir that have already taken possession of their land over here. And Josh was telling this group, you can’t you can’t leave the rest of the tribes to come and do this fighting. You’ve got to come help us. So everybody’s agreed. We’re all going to go. We’re in this together and the Lord is going to be with us. Verse ten Now notice what happens when the people get ready to cross over into the Promised Land. Verse 14 It came to pass when the people move from their tents to Passover, Jordan and the priests bearing the Archon, the covenant before the people and as they that bear the ark were come unto Jordan, and the feet of the priests that bear the ark were dipped in the brim of the water for Jordan overflows all his banks all the time of harvest that the waters which came down from above stood and rose up upon in a heap, very far from the city.
You’ll notice that Joshua didn’t come up and see Jordan parts. He simply had the priests burying the ark step into the river, step into the water, and as soon as the soles of their feet were wet, then the water parted. This is a scene that we’ve seen before in the Old Testament. It’s a theme we’re going to keep seeing in the Old Testament, and we’ll see it in the New Testament in the book Mormon. The Lord seems to love action. He seems to love effort and reward that effort. Now, there is nothing about putting your foot in water that would make it part. It’s not their feet that made the Jordan River Park. It wasn’t even their effort that did that. It was the Lord that did that. But he didn’t do it until they had taken that step of faith. That leap of faith, if you will, into the unknown. They none of these people carrying this out have ever experienced anything like this before. And honestly, if you sat down and said, okay, now I need you to walk forward with the most sacred object we have go into the river.
I flood stage.
At flood stage, I can think of about a dozen really quick reasons why that would be a foolish idea. But I can think of one why it would be a really good idea. And it’s because the Lord commanded it through His Prophet. Let’s go. And they received no witness until after the trial of their faith. Then the water parts and they go and stand in the midst of where the river used to be running. And all of the children of Israel get to pass through. They’ve opened up the door. The veil, so to speak, has parted. And now the people can enter in on dry ground. It’s not through mud. It’s on dry ground. Kind of like the the the Red Sea experience. Now, all of them, this new generation can kind of relate to the older generation and say, oh, maybe not as dramatic as the Red Sea, but that was amazing as they come into the Promised Land.
You see, again, this theme in the book of Joshua God is the theme is this exact obedience to the Lord. If we are exactly obedient to what He’s asked, He will show himself to be with us. Like the Ark of the Covenant is the emblem of God’s presence with them.
So as they get the entire group on to the other side, then Joshua tells the people, Go take one from each tribe, go back into the river and find a stone. They all do that. So you’ve got 12 stones and they now make this memorial, this this altar or a cairn, if you will, to symbolize and to remember their passage through the Jordan River. I don’t know what your memorials are going to be. I don’t know what they’re going to look like or be composed of. But I hope that individually and collectively as families, that you have things that remind you of the amazing things that God has done for you and for your loved ones. And I don’t know what form they take, but it’s that idea of don’t just go through life occasionally pause and reflect and look back on. On looking for the hand of the Lord in your life and his power of deliverance. His mercy. His longsuffering. His grace. His his loving kindness towards you. And that’s what this this pile of stones that previously had been under the river meant nothing.
Now, all of a sudden, they mean something because they represent that connection with with God and knowing that he’s with them. So now we’re here on this side. We’re ready to go in. Joshua Re-instituted the Passover. And then he has an amazing vision here at the end of chapter five, the first 13, it came to pass when Joshua was by Jericho dead. He lifted up his eyes and looked and behold. There stood a man over against him with his sword drawn in his hand. And Joshua went to him and said unto him, Art thou for us or for our adversaries? And he said, nay. But as captain of the host of the Lord and Mike now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and did worship and said unto him, What says, my Lord, unto a servant and the Captain, the Lord’s hosts. And under Joshua loose they shoes from off they foot for the place where I’ll now stand is this holy? And Joshua did. So that should sound really familiar.
And that must have been so comforting for Joshua as the the next in line for Moses to have another connecting experience with Moses and to be in the presence of God who the the Lord of hosts, which, by the way, isn’t that interesting? Here’s Joshua leading the camp of Israel and the army of Israel in for the conquest of the land. And how does God appear to him? How does the Lord come? As a warrior with a sword in his hand. He’s going to give him he’s going to lead him into battle.
Yeah. Josh was like, okay, I will be with you. And whatever we need from God that will lead us to him. That is what God will give us if we’re faithful to him. That’s the message here.
And I love the fact that it connects once again back to 7531, where the Lord says, I will speak and to people according to their language and understanding. Well, he’s clearly speaking Joshua’s language here and the level of understanding and the things that Joshua needs and to realize, oh, you’re going before the camp for Israel. We’re going to be fine. We got this with with the Lord on our side. Now you get into chapter six, the famous chapter where Jericho is is taken.
And everybody knows about the walls of Jericho. What we often miss is because we get distracted by that spectacular event that the walls fall down. That’s actually not the point of Joshua six. How much time is actually spent on the walls themselves falling? Very little. Most of it is God giving very precise instructions to the people to do very specific things. I want you to think, if you look carefully at this chapter, have you ever seen these instructions repeated ever, where God asks people to walk around a city seven times with little trumpets? I don’t know if any time God’s ever asked people to do that again. So that particular action in and of itself doesn’t seem to be particularly significant for anyone salvation. And yet God wanted them to obey with exactness, which is a phrase we have in the Book of Mormon in a military context. God wants to know that His people will be totally loyal and faithful to everything He asked them to do. The point of the story is to show the consequences when you are totally with God, with exactness.
He saves you. We see it’s all over the Book of Mormon. When the neophytes are completely obedient to God, he fights their battles for them. When they go forth in the arm of the flesh and do it on their own. They lose. But the very next story after Jericho is the battle of IE, where the Israelites don’t use God’s commands. They go up on their own, their own stratagem, and they actually lose. And then they’re to go back and say, Lord, how should we do this? So this is what God is trying to get across. When we trust Him, when we listen and we do what he says, he is with us and things work out. So it is spectacular that the walls fell, but I hope that we would take away what God wanted us to see here is that He’s trying to model for us what happens when people are exactly obedient to his commands, whatever they might be.
So you’ll notice to to Taylor’s point of this exact obedience that they weren’t supposed to say anything on day six. They’re just supposed to march around once they blow the trumpets, then they go back to camp. And I don’t know about you, but if I’m one of the soldiers, I’m thinking, what kind of an army instruction is this? We’re just going to go and walk around the city and be careful. You don’t say a word. And just when we’ve made that that complete circle, then we’re going to blow the trumpets and go back to camp. Oh, and by the way, we’re going to do the same thing tomorrow and the next day and the next day. And the next day I signed up to fight. Let’s go fight. Let’s attack. But I love the fact that this is one of those cases, as he was pointing out, where we just trust the Lord, be still and know that he is God. He’s going to fight this battle. But we’ve got to do it his way, not our way.
And we live in a world today that has all kinds of ideas about how to live life and how to, quote, unquote, fight our battles today. And some of the some of the advice is good, but some of it isn’t going to be very helpful. Hence our need to turn to heaven and seek more than ever before to hear him to know what our marching orders are today, not just ten years from now or 50 years from now, but today. Lord, what would that have me do today to to fight my battles or to just march around a city and watch as now fights certain battles?
I would tie this into our modern day prophets. We live in a time where people have lots of opinions and our prophets speak. And sadly, there are people outside and inside the church who want to say, Well, the prophet should have said it like this, or he should have given this council. Or I’m going to pick and choose from the buffet of the Lord’s Council. If we take God’s revelation seriously from the Book of Joshua, we can take heart and say, You know what? I’m actually going to listen to what God says through the Brethren and obey with exactness and honor, instead of trying to counsel the Lord by counseling his chosen servants. I think if we did that, we’d find a lot more peace and a lot less chaos going on. Imagine if every soldier, even half of them, were, like, complaining to Joshua, like, this doesn’t make sense. We see this happening today where people want to make complaints about church leaders revealing the word of God and then choosing, I’m actually not going to obey that because it’s not convenient for me.
Does it make sense? It doesn’t fit with my cultural paradigms, and so I’ll wait until the prophet aligns with my opinions. Then I’ll act with obedience. This is not what this is what they said. This is what God’s commanded. We’re going to do it. And they see that God fulfills his promises.
Which I think is is the main point of the way this particular story is put together. Force in the Bible. And you’ve already mentioned this Chapter six, they follow with exact obedience. And we saw what happened. The walls fell down. Now, what is it about walking around seven times and blowing the trumpets and everybody shouting at that point causing walls? I have no idea. I don’t know why God had them do that. And why seven days? Why not just do it on day one? Why not do it for 21 days? I don’t know. But the Lord has his purposes and his thoughts and ways are higher than ours. Then you see the contrast in Chapter seven. And Taylor already mentioned this The City of eye, where Akin has taken some of the gold and silver, some of the precious things from Jericho, and instead of putting them into the Treasury of the Lord, which they were commanded to do, that would be the exact obedience thing. He kept them selfishly for himself and his family and hid them under his his own possessions in his tent.
Is a phrase about treasures becoming slippery?
Yes. So when we come to AI, they’re saying, oh, you know what, this city isn’t nearly as strong as Jericho. We don’t need to send the whole army, and we’re not going to even consult with the Lord. We got this. We’re good. So they sent in 3000 men to just take that city, and we end up losing 36 men in verse five, and they come running back into camp saying, What happened? We should have easily been able to take over that city, and it didn’t work. And then the Lord tells them, verse 11, Israel has sinned. And they’ve also transgressed my covenant, which I commanded them for. They have even taken of the accursed thing and also stolen dissembled also, and they have put it even among their own stuff.
This idea of like, you don’t want to contaminate yourself with the things of this land, we’re going to clean it out so we have a fresh start in the Promised Land.
Isn’t that interesting, by the way, the English word that comes to us in our King James version of the Bible here at the close of 11, you’ve taken all of those precious things. Somebody has taken them and put them even among their own stuff. I like that word. It it doesn’t seem usually like a biblical or a scriptural word stuff, but doesn’t that fit nicely right there? It put it among their stuff. That’s all it is. That’s all we’ve got is just a bunch of stuff. The real question is what’s inside of our heart? What’s inside of our soul? Who are becoming? It’s not about accruing stuff that this world has to offer. I just had to point out that little word. Look, a verse 13 up, sanctify the people and say Sanctify yourselves against tomorrow. And then they, the Lord gives him some instructions of how to find what has gone wrong. And in this process, they they identify taken our son in verse 18. And he confesses everything. And they they take care of that struggle.
And then you turn over to Chapter eight, and now we still got the City of I to deal with. So what does Joshua do? He sets up an ambush. So at night, he sends many of his soldiers behind the city where they’re they’re going to be able to sneak in and be unseen. And then he’s going to come down into the valley near I. And the king is going to see them assembling and think, hey, we beat these guys once. Let’s go get them again. So he comes out and they start running away and he empties the city and they all chase them. And then this group comes in and takes the city. Does that sound at all familiar? Have you seen that story in, say, the war chapters of the Book of Mormon, not just with Captain Moroni, but also with human and the Stripling Warriors down in the south part of that conflict. They these these war captains in the Book of Mormon. I, I think they probably have Joshua is one of their heroes.
They probably know some of these stories and they’re probably thinking, how can we apply the scriptures like in them to our own life and in a way that would be beneficial? And I think that’s what we’re seeing in the Book of Mormon repeatedly, is them applying things like that and like phrases of exact obedience that you’re going to get with the Stripling Warriors. I think these these themes are intertextual between the Old Testament and the Book of Mormon. So after we take the City of I, it’s here in chapter eight, verse 32, 33, 34, where Joshua goes to Mount Evo and Mt. Gerizim as commanded by Moses to do. And he puts people on both mountains and the people on Gerizim are shouting all of the blessings and all of the promises and the people from Abel.
All the curses.
They’re shouting everything bad that could happen. And it’s this. It’s this decision point that’s it’s actually going to play into his final speech. This choose you this day whom you will serve. You’re serving the Lord God of Israel. You’re going to get all these blessings. And if you should serve the God of the Emirates or the God that our fathers worshiped on the other side of the flood, or that could even be seen as on the other side of the Red Sea in Egypt. You could interpret that a variety of ways. It’s any faults, God or Idol. You can worship them. You can pray to them, you can sacrifice to them. But they have no power to deliver. They have no power to redeem, and they have no power to forgive or to save. So you’re going to get all these curses. So it’s a it’s a visual object lesson once again for them. And then you get more battles. You get the before we get to the actual battles, chapter nine, you get this group, the give you a knights who dress in old clothes, have old food.
They come and say, Hey, we want to serve your God. And we’ve come from a long ways away now, like, are you sure? And they’re like, Look at our clothes. When we left, they were new. Look at our food. When we left, it was fresh. And so they make a covenant with them under the name of of the Lord God of Israel that they won’t destroy them. And then they find out, Oh, you just live in those those handful of cities right there. You tricked us. And so they end up keeping their covenant. We won’t destroy you. But Joshua says, but you will. You will act as servants for us. And so that’s in chapter nine. And then in Chapter ten, you get this famous story that you’ve probably heard about with the Sun Standing Still. It’s in verse 12, then spake Joshua to the Lord in the day when the Lord delivered up the Emirates before the children of Israel. And He said, in the sight of Israel, Son, stand thou still upon Gideon, and thou moon in the valley of our Julian.
So this is verse 13. The sun stood still and the moon stayed so that they could complete the battle. That’s where that that story takes place. Now, does that make any sense from a scientific perspective? Can you just all of a sudden stop all those rotations and have a reason? No. There is no scientific explanation for this period. So the element here is to show God’s power over all things in the universe.
If you happen to look at Chapter 12, there’s a lot of geographical locations mentioned and you might gloss over it. So I built a tool with a friend of mine, an information systems professor at BYU, Steve Little. Here’s the link. We’ll also put it down below. And let me just show you how this works just briefly. We went and got all the geographical references in the old the New Testament and connected them to Google Maps. So you can go chapter by chapter through the Scriptures and see all the locations where things are happening that we know of. And I find this tool really useful, particularly the book of Joshua. So if you open, we’ll look at this screenshot right here. This is Joshua 12 on this tool. You see all these red dots. These are the locations mentioned. You can zoom in. You can zoom out. And I’d actually recommend while you’re reading Joshua starting in chapter one, use this tool and see where all these interesting things are happening.
So now as we just grab a couple of other little items along the way, as we finish this lesson up, you’ll notice in Chapter 13 that it’s here, we’re Balam, remember Balam and the talking donkey Balam actually gets killed by the Israelites in chapter 13. And in Chapter 14, you get Joshua giving giving some of his own background as well as Caleb. So in verse seven, it tells you that Caleb was 40 years old. He and Kayla both were 40. And now at this point, look, a verse ten, behold, the Lord has kept me alive. And as he said, these 45 years, even since the Lord spake this word unto Moses, while the children of Israel wandered in the wilderness, and now lo I amnesty fourscore and five years old. So he’s 85 at that point. And yet look at what this 85 year old man, the leader of the group, the captain of their armies, accord, he says in this next verse. As yet I am as strong this day as I was in the day that Moses sent me, as my strength was then.
Even so is my strength now for both to go out and to come in now, therefore give me this mountain. That’s one of the that’s one of the most powerful phrases to me in the Old Testament that give me this mountain, give me this this challenge. It looks like Joshua has taken the Lord seriously with this this mandate to be strong and of a good courage. Well, he’s he’s acting in that strength, in that power of faith that he’s exercised. And instead, idea of it doesn’t matter what the mountain is that God has given me to climb. Give it to me. I’m going to go after it because I know that I’m not alone. I know the Lord is going to be with me. And then you get a whole bunch of chapters 15 through 22 where he’s separating out the land and dividing it and giving assignments to go and clean things up here and organize it there. And it feels kind of monotonous to us. It would not have been monotonous to those people because it represents the fulfillment of the covenant for them and the land that they’re going to be given.
Which now brings us down to the his parting testimony, his his final speech in Chapter 23 and 24.
So farewell speech has shown up in a lot of places in scripture. We’ll put a list here of other places in Scripture. You can see farewell speeches and you can read them and compare them and contrast them. But often the purpose of the farewell speech is to summarize the most important doctrines of principles that that leader has learned in their lives, and also to point people to God and faithfulness to Him. Now, I put out particularly Mosaic Chapter two through six. This is King Benjamin. He has a farewell speech, actually. Another really interesting one is second Nephi chapter. Second Nephi chapter one through four Lehi his farewell speech. So if you’re interested in seeing the similarities of how God’s leaders, when they come to the end of their life, how do they summarize the most important things? It follows the conditional covenantal pattern that we saw that we saw beginning at Mt. Sinai. It just follows the same structure. If you keep my commandments, ye shall prosper in the land. So we could read very deeply all two chapters, all verses in there.
But the summary is, if you keep my commandments, it will prosper the land. And it’s often what you see is going on in these final farewell speeches. In fact, one more farewell speech. Jesus, John, chapter 14 to 17. That’s his farewell speech. So very fascinating to look at how these farewell speeches function and the teachings, doctors and principles that we see in these chapters.
So let’s just grab a couple of verses here in chapter 23, verse six, see if this sounds familiar. B, therefore very courageous to keep and to do all that is written in the book. The Law of Moses. Does you notice the slight variation there? Be therefore very courageous to keep and to do all that is written in the book. It wasn’t just be courageous in the face of the battles of the war, be courageous in the face of of health struggles or family concerns or financial difficulties. It was be courageous in keeping all that is written in the law. Isn’t that fascinating, this idea that you can actually exercise faith and courage and stand up to fear in the face of this great. Task in front of you to walk the covenant path. Be courageous on that. Hopefully we will see with Joshua can give me this mountain. Let me do this. Look at verse eight. Cleave unto the Lord your God, as you have done unto this day. And he gives them all kinds of promises.
So I want to pause here just very briefly and share an experience that my nephew, Ryan Crook, shared with me. He’s he’s serving a mission in South Carolina right now. So Ryan shared this story with me of when he was a lifeguard before his mission. He said he was standing next to a slide, a ten foot slide that went down into a little kid pool and a little girl, age four. He found out from her and her little brother, who was two, came and she helped her little brother, two year old, climb to the top of the slide and then encouraged him to go down because he was noticeably very scared. And her mother was down at the bottom of the slide finally. And the the boy went down. And then it was the four year old girl’s turn. And he says this. She paused, looking at the slide with a thoughtful expression on her face. And she said, you know, I’m a bit scared to go down this slide. So here’s Ryan, and he prepared himself to give her the speech of, you got to believe in yourself, you can do hard things and all of those fun phrases that we use.
And he says, Just as I opened my mouth to begin, she turned looking up at me and said, But that’s okay. Because you have to be scared to be brave. I thought that’s pretty profound. You don’t get to exercise great courage in the face of ease and comfort and prosperity. You exercise great courage in the face of opposition, in the face of fear, in the face of of things that you’ve never done before and that are very intimidating. So as as you look at this story here, I hope those those words can echo in your mind and be very courageous to keep and to do all that is written. And it’s okay to be afraid as long as you don’t take counsel from that fear and let that fear drive. Now, you finish this off with Chapter 24. And by the way, when you read Chapter 24, it would be an interesting exercise for you to mark the verbs, the action words. The things that God is willing to do and has done. For instance, for three I took first four I gave first five I sent, I plagued I did I brought verse eight, I brought I destroyed.
You’re seeing all these things in the entire chapter. Up to verse 13 is just filled with what God has done for people. And if He’s done that for people in the past. He’ll do that for us in the present. If we trust him. He won’t force it upon us. And then we conclude with probably the most famous part of the entire book of Joshua verse 14 and 15.
Now, therefore, fear the Lord and serve Him in sincerity and in truth, and put away the gods which your father served on the other side of the flood and in Egypt and serve you the Lord. And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your father served, that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Emirates in whose lands you dwell. But as for me, in my house, we will serve the Lord.
As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord the love. Then the conclusion the people answered and said with. We’re going to serve the Lord for 17 for the Lord our God. He it is that brought us up. And our fathers out of the land of Egypt from the house of bondage. And which to those reasons.
Reminds me of King Benjamin’s speech, where King Benjamin rehearses all the great deeds that God has done for the people. And then they see their own nothingness and they say, we want to be in relationship with this great god. Israel is the same. I want to tie this back into sacrament and how this connects to scriptures. We are asked to read the Scriptures so that we have evidence of the great deeds God has done for so many people. Your personal journal can be evidence of the great deeds God has done for you. And when you add a sacrament, it’s like being here in Joshua 24 or in the King Benjamin speech, where you say, Lord, you have done everything for me. I want to be with you. I’m fallen, I’m hurting, I struggle. And yet I choose to be with you. I want you to continue to do great deeds in my life. I want to be on that path side by side with you so I can be entered into the promised land, just like the Israelites found their way into the Promised Land.
Even. Even if that path is a steep mountain climb, I hope that we’ll all be able to say with more courage and more trust and faith in the Lord than ever before. Give me this mountain. Because we know who’s with us and we know that he will always help us overcome. And we did that with you in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen. Know that your loved.
Joshua 1–8; 23–24 – “Be Strong and of a Good Courage”
Joshua recognizes Jehovah’s role as God, general, and king. In the book of Joshua, we see the fulfillment of God’s promise to give Canaan to the children of Israel.
“The Sin of Achan,” Christopher J. Morgan, Ensign, April 2002
The tragic life of Achan (Joshua 7) teaches us that we cannot hide our sins from the Lord.
“The Matrilineal Cord of Rahab in the Via Latina Catacomb,” Catherine C. Taylor, Studies in the Bible and Antiquity 8, Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship
“Rahab’s narrative is found in Joshua 2 and 6, and its legacy continues in the genealogical references found in Ruth 4 and Matthew 1 as well as in the typology of her conversion in Hebrews 11 and James 2. Rahab’s story is ultimately part of a larger story about the sovereignty of Israel’s God and the accounting of his interventions and deliverance in bringing Israel into the promised land of Canaan.” “The story features three main scenes in which Rahab’s voice serves as a powerful catalyst for the breach of walled boundaries, Israelite success, and the establishment of a new kingdom.”
“Biblical Hebrew Words You Already Know and Why They Are Important,” Dana M. Pike, Religious Educator 7, BYU Religious Studies Center
“The being who appeared to Joshua shortly before the Israelite attack on Jericho said, “As captain of the host [ṣĕbā’] of the Lord am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship. . . . And the captain of the Lord’s host [ṣĕbā’] said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy” (Joshua 5:13–15). Such passages clearly demonstrate the use of the singular ṣĕbā’ and the plural ṣĕbā’ôt/Sabaoth to designate human and heavenly armies.”
“Seek Learning by Faith,” David A. Bednar, Religious Educator 7, BYU Religious Studies Center
“We find a powerful example of the interaction among assurance, action, and evidence as the children of Israel transported the ark of the covenant under the leadership of Joshua (see Joshua 3:7–17). Recall how the Israelites came to the river Jordan and were promised the waters would part, or “stand upon an heap” (Joshua 3:13), and they would be able to cross over on dry ground. Interestingly, the waters did not part as the children of Israel stood on the banks of the river waiting for something to happen; rather, the soles of their feet were wet before the water parted. The faith of the Israelites was manifested in the fact that they walked into the water before it parted.”
“The Restoration as Covenant Renewal,” David Rolph Seely, Sperry Symposium Classics: The Old Testament, 2005.
The Old Testament recounts the historical consequences of obedience or disobedience to the conditions of the covenant. Among these accounts are the assemblies recorded in Joshua 8:30–35 and chapter 24 when Joshua called the people together at Shechem. The Preamble “thus saith the Lord God of Israel” (Joshua 24:2) is followed by the Historical Prologue (see Joshua 24:2–18) in which Joshua recounted God’s mighty acts in behalf of the children of Israel from the calling of Abraham to the miraculous deliverance from Egypt and the conquest of Canaan. The Stipulations (see Joshua 24:14, 18, 23) call for the people to repent and put away their strange gods and renew their exclusive allegiance to the Lord God. The Blessings and Curses are alluded to in Joshua 24:19–29, and the List of Witnesses includes the people themselves (see Joshua 24:22) and the great stone that Joshua erected there (see Joshua 24:26–27). The Deposit and Public Reading is referred to when “Joshua wrote these words in the book of the law of God” (Joshua 24:26). After Joshua introduced the stipulations of the covenant, he dramatically challenged the people, “Choose you this day whom ye will serve” (Joshua 24:15), and a few verses later we read the rest of the Covenant Oath Ceremony when the people responded to Joshua’s challenge, “The Lord our God will we serve, and his voice will we obey” (Joshua 24:24).
“Joshua 1–24: The Entry into the Promised Land,” Old Testament Student Manual Genesis-2 Samuel (1980), 234–243.
This study guide provides an in-depth look at the book of Joshua. As Moses was magnified by the Lord in the eyes of Israel when God parted the Red Sea, so Joshua was magnified in the same way through the parting of the Jordan River. In each instance the passage represented a new covenant agreement. Israel passed over the River Jordan on the first day of the Passover.