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Series Theme: Why Read the Bible: Joshua




Why read Joshua: There are good and bad sides of reading Joshua and in accord with the aims of these Frameworks, trying to absorb what is here.

The good side is that, as the Contents below shows, the overall structure is simple getting ready to enter the land, entering the land, allocating the land to the twelve tribes and then saying farewell to Joshua.

The not-so-good side of Joshua is that once you come to Part 3 there are multitudes of place names, some of which no longer exist, and some of which scholars are uncertain as to their identity or even location. Perhaps, to be strictly honest, we need to see there are quite a lot of such places in Part 2 as well.

So why read it? Well the simple answer is you probably won't read all of it, you'll skim over Part 3 at least, but if you do, try and catch the sense of what is going on anyway.

Part 1 is pure drama, the stuff films are made of. It is all action that is easily followed and lessons are there for the open heart.

Part 2 the first four chapters tend to follow this drama style but now it is about ups and downs and the lessons are even more obvious. The latter three chapters may slow you down with all the place names and we have sought to add sufficient notes to help you catch where they are going and what they are achieving.

Part 3 is slightly confusing for the new reader with all the place names and you may wonder, why bother? The answer is that even if you only skim over it, you will see how the Land was portioned out to the twelve tribes and how the Land fell into two parts [which we often miss], of that to the east of the Jordan and the main part to the west of the Jordan. i.e. who got what, and why.

Part 4 , the final two chapters are really Joshua's challenge to Israel before he dies, seeking to keep them on track after he has gone.


The Context of Joshua: Joshua is all about the long awaited taking of the Promised Land which has been referred to again and again in the previous four books. It is therefore a book of fulfilment of the plan of God, in that it is getting the nation of Israel into the land of His promise.

But if the previous four books lead into Joshua, the following book, Judges, leads out of it as it goes on to show how the nation, now in the land, continue in the following years, how they cope and how they don't cope and WHY. Joshua is, therefore, a very real link between the Pentateuch and the historical books that follow on. Yes, there is a lot of administration, laying out who gets which part of the land and why, but there is also sufficient amount of drama in the first third of the book to make it compelling reading which, as ever, reveals a lot about God and a lot about Israel.


In the Contents that follow, if you wish to go from here directly to any chapter, simply click on the chapter number.





Part 1: Ch.1-5: Preparation & Entry

Ch.1 - Joshua installed as Leader

Ch.2 - Rahab and the Spies

Ch.3 - Crossing the Jordan

Ch.4 - Establishing a Memorial

Ch.5 - Circumcision & Passover


Part 2: Ch.6-12: Taking the Land

Ch.6 - Taking Jericho

Ch.7 - The Failed Attack on Ai & Achan's Sin

Ch.8 - Taking Ai & the Covenant on Mount Ebal

Ch.9 - The Sneaky Gibeonites

Ch.10 - Southern Kings Defeated

Ch.11 - Northern Kings Defeated

Ch.12 - Summary List of Defeated Kings


Part 3: Ch.13-22: Allocating the Land

Ch.13 - Land still to be taken & Land east of the Jordan

Ch.14 - Main Land Allocations & Caleb's land

Ch.15 - Land Allocations for Judah (& Caleb)

Ch.16 - Allotment for Ephraim and Manasseh

Ch.17 - Allotment for Manasseh (Cont.)

Ch.18 - The Seven tribes & Benjamin

Ch.19 - Allotments for the other Six Tribes

Ch.20 - Cities of Refuge

Ch.21 - Towns for the Levites

Ch.22 - Eastern Tribes Return Home


Part 4: Ch.23,24: Finale of Joshua

Ch.23 - Joshua's Farewell to the Leaders

Ch.24 - The Covenant Renewed at Shechem