International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
(b) yehoshua`, "Yahweh is deliverance" or "opulence"; compare JESHUA; Iesous:
(1) Joshua the son of Nun; the name has the Hebrew form
(a) above in Deuteronomy 3:21 Judges 2:7; elsewhere the form
(b), except in Nehemiah 8:17, where it is of the form yeshua` (See JESHUA); compare also Numbers 13:8, 16 Deuteronomy 32:44. See following article.
(2) In 1 Samuel 6:14, 18 (form (b)), the Bethshemite in whose field stood the kine that brought the ark from the Philistines.
(3) In 2 Kings 23:8 (form (b)), governor of Jerusalem in the time of Josiah.
(4) The high priest at Jerusalem after the return. See separate article.
S. F. Hunter
" I. FORM AND SIGNIFICANCE OF NAME
II. HISTORY OF THE LIFE OF JOSHUA
1. First Appearance
2. The Minister of Moses
3. One of the Spies
4. The Head of the People
(1) His First Act-Sending of the Spies
(2) Crossing of the Jordan
(3) Capture of Jericho
(4) Conquest of Ai and Bethel
(5) Reading of the Law on Mt. Ebal
(6) The Gibeonites
(7) Conquest of the South
(8) Northern Conquests
(9) Allotment of Territory
(10) Cities of Refuge
(11) Final Address and Death
III. SOURCES OF HISTORY
IV. CHARACTER AND WORK OF JOSHUA
I. Form and Significance of Name.
The name Joshua, a contracted form of Jehoshua (yehoshua`), which also appears in the form Jeshua (yeshua`, Nehemiah 8:17), signifies "Yahweh is deliverance" or "salvation," and is formed on the analogy of many Israelite names, as Jehoiakim (yehoyaqim), "Yahweh exalteth," Jehohanan (yehochanan), "Yahweh is gracious," Elishua or Elisha ('elishua`, elisha`), "God is deliverance," Elizur ('elitsur), "God is a rock," etc. In the narrative of the mission of the spies in Numbers 13, the name is given as Hoshea (hoshea`, 13:8, 16; compare Deuteronomy 32:44), which is changed by Moses to Joshua (Numbers 13:16). In the passage in Deuteronomy, however, the earlier form of the name is regarded by Dr. Driver (Commentary in the place cited.) as an erroneous reading.
The Greek form of the name is Jesus (Iesous, Acts 7:45 Hebrews 4:8, the Revised Version (British and American) "Joshua," but the King James Version "Jesus" in both passages), and this form appears even in the passages cited above from Nehemiah and Deuteronomy. In Numbers 13:8, 16, however, Septuagint has Hause. The name occurs in later Jewish history, e.g. as that of the owner of the field in which the ark rested after its return from the land of the Philistines (1 Samuel 6:14, 18), and appears to have become especially frequent after the exile (Ezra 2:40 Zechariah 3:1 ab, etc.). It is also found (Jeshua) with a local signification as the name of one of the "villages" in Southern Judea, where the repatriated Jews dwelt after their return from Babylon (Nehemiah 11:26).
II. History of the Life of Joshua.
The narrative of the life of Joshua, the son of Nun, is naturally divided into two parts, in which he held entirely different positions with regard to the people of Israel, and discharged different duties. In the earlier period he is the servant and minister of Moses, loyal to his leader, and one of his most trusted and valiant captains. After the death of Moses he himself succeeds to the leadership of the Israelite host, and conducts them to a settlement in the Promised Land. The service of the earlier years of his life is a preparation and equipment for the office and responsibility that devolved upon him in the later period.
1. First Appearance:
The first appearance of Joshua in the history is at Rephidim, on the way from the wilderness of Sin to Horeb. Neither the exact site of Rephidim nor the meaning of the name can be determined; the Israelites, however, apparently came to Rephidim before they approached the rich oasis of Feiran, for at the former place "there was no water for the people to drink" (Exodus 17:1). The fact that the host encamped there seems to assume the existence of wells; either, therefore, these were found to be dry, or they failed before the wants of the great host were satisfied. The Amalekites, wandering desert tribes, claimed the ownership of the wells, and, resenting the Israelite intrusion, swooped down upon them to drive them away and to enrich themselves with the spoil of their possessions. Under the command of Joshua, the Israelites won a complete victory in a battle that seems to have been prolonged until sunset; the fortunes of the battle varying with the uplifting or falling of Moses' hands, which were accordingly supported by Aaron and Hur throughout the day (Exodus 17:11). A curse and sentence of extermination pronounced against Amalek were formally written down and communicated to Joshua, apparently that, as the future leader of Israel, he might have it in charge to provide for their fulfillment.
It is evident also that at this period Joshua was no young and untried warrior. Although no indication of his previous history is given, his name is introduced into the narrative as of a man well known, who is sufficiently in the confidence of Moses to be given the chief command in the first conflict in which the Israelites had been engaged since leaving Egypt. The result justified the choice. And if, during the march, he had held the position of military commander and organizer under Moses, as the narrative seems to imply, to him was due in the first instance the remarkable change, by which within the brief space of a month the undisciplined crowd of serfs who had fled from Egypt became a force sufficiently resolute and compact to repel the onset of the Amalekite hordes.
2. The Minister of Moses:
In all the arrangements for the erection and service of the tabernacle, Joshua the warrior naturally has no place. He is briefly named (Exodus 24:13) as the minister of Moses, accompanying him apparently to the foot of the mount of God, but remaining behind with the elders and Aaron and Hur, when Moses commenced the ascent. A similar brief mention is in Exodus 32:17, where he has rejoined Moses on the return of the latter from the mount with the two tables of the testimony, and is unaware of the outbreak of the people and their idolatrous worship of the molten calf in the camp; compare 33:11, where again he is found in the closest attendance upon his leader and chief. No further reference is made to Joshua during the stay of the Israelites at Sinai, or their subsequent journeyings, until they found themselves at Kadesh-barnea on the southern border of the Promised Land (Numbers 13). His name is once mentioned, however, in an earlier chapter of the same book (Numbers 11:28), when the tidings are brought to Moses that two men in the camp of Israel, Eldad and Medad, had been inspired to prophesy. There he is described in harmony with the previous statements of his position, as Moses' minister from his youth. Jealous of his leader's prerogative and honor, he would have the irregular prophesying stopped, but is himself checked by Moses, who rejoices that the, spirit of God should rest thus upon any of the Lord's people.
3. One of the Spies:
Of the 12 men, one from each tribe, sent forward by Moses from Kadesh to ascertain the character of the people and land before him, two only, Hoshea the Ephraimite, whose name is significantly changed to Joshua (Numbers 13:8, 16), and Caleb the Judahite, bring back a report encouraging the Israelites to proceed. The account of the mission of the spies is repeated substantially in Deuteronomy 1:22-46. There, however, the suggestion that spies should be commissioned to examine and report upon the land comes in the first instance from the people themselves. In the record of Numbers they are chosen and sent by Moses under Divine direction (13:1). The two representations are not incompatible, still less contradictory. The former describes in an altogether natural manner the human initiative, probable enough in the circumstances in which the Israelites found themselves; the latter is the Divine control and direction, behind and above the affairs of men. The instructions given to the spies (13:17;) evidently contemplated a hasty survey of the entire region of the Negeb or southern borderland of Palestine up to and including the hill country of Judea; the time allowed, 40 days (13:25), was too brief to accomplish more, hardly long enough for this purpose alone. They were, moreover, not only to ascertain the character of the towns and their inhabitants, the quality and products of the soil, but to bring back with them specimens of the fruits (13:20). An indication of the season of the year is given in the added clause that "the time was the time of first-ripe grapes." The usual months of the vintage are September and October (compare Leviticus 23:39); in the warm and sheltered valleys, however, in the neighborhood of Hebron, grapes may sometimes be gathered in August or even as early as July. The valley from which the fruits, grapes, figs and pomegranates were brought was known as the valley of Eshcol, or the "cluster" (Numbers 13:23; Numbers 32:9 Deuteronomy 1:24).
No hesitating or doubtful account is given by all the spies of the fertility and attractiveness of the country; but in view of the strength of its cities and inhabitants only Joshua and Caleb are confident of the ability of the Israelites to take possession of it. Their reports and exhortations, however, are overborne by the timidity and dissuasion of the others, who so entirely alarm the people that they refuse to essay the conquest of the land, desiring to return into Egypt (Numbers 14:3 f), and attempt to stone Joshua and Caleb (Numbers 14:10). These two alone, therefore, were exempted from the sentence of exclusion from the Promised Land (Numbers 14:24, 30, 38; Numbers 26:65; Numbers 32:12 Deuteronomy 1:25). The remainder of the spies perished at once by a special visitation (Numbers 14:36); and the people were condemned to a 40-year exile in the wilderness, a year for each day that the spies had been in Palestine, until all the men of that generation "from twenty years old and upward" were dead (Numbers 14:29; Numbers 26:64; 32:11). An abortive attempt was made to invade the land in defiance of the prohibition of Yahweh, and ended in failure and disastrous defeat (Numbers 32:40;; Deuteronomy 1:41;; compare 21:1-3).
Upon the events of the next 38 or 40 years in the life of Israel an almost unbroken silence falls. The wanderers in the wilderness have no history. Some few events, however, that are recorded without note of time, the rebellion of Korah, Dathan and Abiram, and the breaking out of the plague because of the people's murmuring, and probably others (Numbers 15:32-36; Numbers 16 f), appear to belong to this period. In none of them does Joshua take an active part, nor is his name mentioned in connection with the campaigns against Sihon and Og on the East of the Jordan. When the census of the people is taken in the plains of Moab opposite Jericho, Joshua and Caleb with Moses himself are found to be the only survivors of the host that 40 years previously came out of Egypt (Numbers 26:63). As the time of the death of the great leader and lawgiver drew near, he was commissioned formally to appoint Joshua as his successor and to hand over to him and to Eleazar the priest the duty of finally apportioning the conquered territory among the several tribes (Numbers 27:18; 32:28:00; 34:17:00; compare Deuteronomy 1:38; Deuteronomy 3:28; Deuteronomy 31:3, 7, 23; 34:9). Some of these passages anticipate the direct Divine commission and encouragement recorded in Joshua (1:1, 5;) and given to him after the death of Moses.
4. The Head of the People:
The history of Joshua in his new capacity as supreme head and leader of the people in several instances recapitulates as it were the history of his greater forerunner. It was not Head unnatural that it should be so; and the similarity of recorded events affords no real ground for doubt with regard to the reliability of the tradition concerned. The position in which Israel now found itself on the East of the Jordan was in some respects not unlike that which confronted Moses at Kadesh-barnea or before the crossing of the Red Sea. Joshua, however, was faced with a problem much less difficult, and in the war-tried and disciplined host at his command he possessed an instrument immensely more suitable and powerful for carrying out his purpose.
(1) His First Act-Sending of the Spies.
His first act was to send spies from Shittim to ascertain the character of the country immediately opposite on the West of the Jordan, and especially the position and strength of Jericho, the frontier and fortified city which first stands in the way of an invader from the East who proposes to cross the river by the fords near its mouth (Joshua 2:2). In Jericho the spies owed their lives to the quick inventiveness of Rahab (compare Hebrews 11:31), who concealed them on the roof of her house from the emissaries of the king; and returning to Joshua, they reported the prospects of an easy victory and conquest (Joshua 2:23 f).
There were doubtless special reasons which induced Joshua to essay the crossing of the Jordan at the lower fords opposite Jericho. Higher up the river a probably easier crossing-place led directly into Central Palestine, a district in which apparently his advance would not have been obstructed by fortified cities such as confronted him farther south; which therefore would seem to offer the advantages of an open and ready entrance into the heart of the country. His decision was probably influenced by a desire to possess himself of a fortified base at Jericho and in the neighboring cities. The favorable report of the spies also proved that there would be no great difficulty in carrying out this plan.
(2) Crossing of the Jordan.
The actual crossing of the river is narrated in Joshua 3; 4. The city of Jericho was built in a plain from 12 to 14 miles wide formed by the recession of the hills that border the valley of the Jordan from the Sea of Galilee to the Dead Sea, and stood at the mouth of the valley of Achor (7:24, 26; 15:7). The modern village of Eriha is built at a short distance Southeast of the ancient site, and Gilgal lay half-way to the river. At the latter place the fixed camp was established after the taking of Jericho, and Gilgal formed for some considerable time the base of operations, where the women and children remained in safety while the men were absent on their warlike expeditions. There also the tabernacle was erected, as the symbol and center of national life, and there apparently it remained until the time came for the removal to Shiloh (18:1).
Within the plain the stream has excavated a tortuous bed to a depth of 200 ft. below the surface, varying from an eighth of a mile to a mile in breadth. In ordinary seasons the waters are confined to a small portion of the channel, which is then crossed opposite Jericho by two fords where the depth does not exceed 2 or 3 ft. When the river is low it may be crossed elsewhere. In times of flood, however, the water rises and fills the entire channel from bank to bank, so that the fords become impracticable. It is expressly stated that it was at such a time of flood that the Israelites approached the river, at the "time of harvest," or in the early spring (Joshua 3:15). The priests were directed to carry the ark to the brink of the river, the waters of which, as soon as their feet touched them, would be cut off, and a dry passage afforded. The narrative therefore is not to be understood as though it indicated that a wall of water stood on the right and left of the people as they crossed; the entire breadth of the river bed was exposed by the failure of the waters from above.
An interesting parallel to the drying up of the Jordan before Joshua is recorded by an Arabic historian of the Middle Ages, who writes to explain a natural but extraordinary occurrence, without any thought of the miraculous or any apparent knowledge of the passage of the Israelites. During the years 1266-67 A.D., a Mohammedan sultan named Beybars was engaged in building a bridge over the Jordan near Damieh, a place which some have identified with the city Adam (Joshua 3:16); but the force of the waters repeatedly carried away and destroyed his work. On one night, however, in December of the latter year, the river ceased entirely to flow. The opportunity was seized, and an army of workmen so strengthened the bridge that it resisted the flood which came down upon it the next day, and stood firm. It was found that at some distance up the river, where the valley was narrow, the banks had been undermined by the running water and had fallen in, thus completely damming back the stream. It seems not improbable that it was by agency of this character that a passage was secured for the Israelites; even as 40 years earlier a "strong east wind" had been employed to drive back the waters of the Red Sea before Moses.
At the command of Joshua, under Divine direction, the safe crossing of the Jordan was commemorated by the erection at Gilgal of 12 stones (4:3-9, 20;), one for each of the tribes of Israel, taken from the bed of the river. In Joshua 4:9 it is stated that 12 stones were set up in the midst of the river. The statement is probably a misunderstanding, and a mere confusion of the tradition. It is not likely that there would be a double commemoration, or an erection of stones in a place where they would never be seen. At Gilgal also the supply of manna ceased, when the natural resources of the country became available (5:12). The date of the passage is given as the 10th day of the 1st month (4:19); and on the 14th day the Passover was kept at Gilgal in the plains of Jericho (5:10). For the 2nd time, also, at the crisis of the first entrance into the land, Joshua was encouraged for his work by a vision and Divine promise of assistance and direction (5:13-15).
(3) Capture of Jericho.
The narrative that follows, of the taking of Jericho, illustrates, as would naturally be expected in the case of a city so situated the effeminate and unwarlike character of its inhabitants. There was apparently little or no fighting, while for a whole week Joshua with priests and people paraded before the walls. A brief reference (6:1) seems to indicate that the citizens were quickly driven to take refuge behind their fortifications. Twice seven times the city was compassed, with the ark of the covenant borne in solemn procession, and at the 7th circuit on the 7th day, while the people shouted, the wall of the city fell "in its place" (6:20 margin), and Jericho was taken by assault. Only Rahab and her household were spared. All the treasure was devoted to the service of the Lord, but the city itself was burnt, and a solemn curse pronounced upon the site and upon the man who should venture to rebuild its walls (6:26). The curse was braved, whether deliberately or not, by a citizen of Bethel in the time of King Ahab; and the disasters foretold fell upon him in the loss of his children (1 Kings 16:34). Thenceforward Jericho appears to have been continuously inhabited. There was a settlement of the sons of the prophets there in Elisha's day (2 Kings 2:5, 15). The natural fertility of the site won for it the name of the city of palm trees (Deuteronomy 34:3 Judges 1:16; Judges 3:13).
From the plains of Jericho two valleys lead up into the central hill country in directions Northwest and Southwest respectively. These form the two entrances or passes, by which the higher land is approached from the East. Along these lines, therefore, the invasion of the land was planned and carried out. The main advance under Joshua himself took place by the northernmost of the valleys, while the immediate southern invasion was entrusted to Caleb and the two tribes of Judah and Benjamin, the supreme control remaining always in the hands of Joshua (compare Joshua 14; Joshua 15; Judges 1). This seems on the whole to be the better way of explaining the narratives in general, which in detail present many difficulties.
(4) Conquest of Ai and Bethel.
At the head of the northern pass stood the city of Luz or Bethel (Genesis 28:19 Joshua 18:13 Judges 1:23). Ai lay close at hand, and was encountered by the invaders before reaching Bethel; its exact site, however, is undetermined. The two towns were in close alliance (compare Joshua 8:17), and the defeat and destruction of the one was quickly followed by the similar fate that overtook the other. Before Ai, the advance guard of the Israelites, a small party detached on the advice of the spies sent forward by Joshua from Jericho, suffered defeat and were driven back in confusion (7:2;). The disaster was due to the failure to obey the command to "devote" the whole spoil of Jericho, and to theft by one of the people of treasure which belonged rightfully to Yahweh (7:11). When the culprit Achan had been discovered and punished, a renewed attempt upon Ai, made with larger forces and more skillful dispositions, was crowned with success. The city was taken by a stratagem and destroyed by fire, its king being hanged outside the city gate (8:28). Unlike Jericho, it seems never to have been restored. Bethel also was captured, through the treachery apparently of one of its own citizens, and its inhabitants were put to the sword (Judges 1:24 f).
(5) Reading of the Law on Mt. Ebal.
Of further campaigns undertaken by Joshua for the subjugation of Central Palestine no account has been preserved. It is possible, therefore, that the conquest of this part of the country was accomplished without further fighting (see JOSHUA, BOOK OF). In the list of the cities (Joshua 12:7-24) whose kings were vanquished by Joshua, there are no names of towns that can be certainly identified as situated here; the greater part evidently belong to the north or south. The only record remaining is that of the formal erection of an altar on Mt. Ebal in the presence of all the people and the solemn reading of the law in their hearing (8:30-35). It is expressly noted that all this was done in accordance with the directions of Moses (compare Deuteronomy 11:29; Deuteronomy 27:2-8, 11;). It would further appear probable that this ceremony really took place at the close of the conquest, when all the land was subdued, and is narrated here by anticipation.
(6) The Gibeonites.
The immediate effect of the Israelite victories under Joshua was very great. Especially were the Hivite inhabitants of Gibeon struck with fear (9:3;) lest the same fate should overtake them that had come upon the peoples of Jericho and Ai. With Gibeon, 3 other cities were confederate, namely, Chephirah, Beeroth and Kiriath-jearim, or the "city of groves" (9:17). Gibeon, however, was the chief, and acted in the name of the others. It is usually identified with the modern village or township of el-Jib, 7 or 8 miles North by West of Jerusalem; and all four lay clustered around the head of the pass or valley of Aijalon, which led down from the plateau westward to the foothills of the Shephelah, toward the plain and the sea. Gibeon held therefore a position of natural strength and importance, the key to one of the few practicable routes from the west into the highlands of Judea, equally essential to be occupied as a defensive position against the incursions of the dwellers in the plains, and as affording to an army from the east a safe and protected road down from the mountains.
By a stratagem which threw Joshua and the leaders of Israel off their guard, representing themselves as jaded and wayworn travelers from a distance, the Gibeonites succeeded in making a compact with Israel, which assured their own lives and safety. They affirmed that they had heard of the Israelite victories beyond Jordan, and also of the gift to them by Yahweh of the whole land (Joshua 9:9, 24). Joshua and the princes were deceived and entered too readily into covenant with them, a covenant and promise that was scrupulously observed when on the 3rd day of traveling the Israelites reached their cities and found them to be close at hand (9:16;). While, however, their lives were preserved, the men of Gibeon were reduced to the position of menial servants, "hewers of wood and drawers of water"; and the writer adds, it is thus "unto this day" (9:21, 27).
The treaty of peace with the Gibeonites and the indignation thereby aroused among the neighboring kings, who naturally regarded the independent action of the men of Gibeon as treachery toward themselves, gave rise to one of the most formidable coalitions and one of the most dramatic incidents of the whole war. The king of Jerusalem, Adoni-zedek ("the Lord of righteousness" or "the Lord is righteousness," Joshua 10:1; compare Melchizedek, "the king of righteousness," Genesis 14:18; in Judges 1:5; the name appears as Adoni-bezek, and so Septuagint reads here), with the 4 kings of Hebron, Jarmuth, Lachish and Eglon (Joshua 10:3), formed a plan to destroy Gibeon in revenge, and the Gibeonites sent hastily for assistance to Joshua, who had returned with his army to Gilgal. The Israelites made a forced march from Gilgal, came upon the allied kings near Gibeon, and attacked and defeated them with great slaughter. The routed army fled westward "by the way of the ascent to Beth-horon" (Joshua 10:10), and in the pass was overtaken by a violent hailstorm, by which more perished than had fallen beneath the swords of the Israelites (Joshua 10:11). The 5 kings were shut up in a cave at Makkedah, in which they had taken refuge, whence they were subsequently brought forth and put to death. The actual pursuit, however, was not stayed until the remnant had found temporary security behind the walls of their fortified cities (Joshua 10:16). The victory of Israel was commemorated by Joshua in a song of which some words are preserved (Joshua 10:12 f).
SeeBETH-HORON, THE BATTLE OF.
(7) Conquest of the South.
With almost severe simplicity it is further recorded how the confederate cities in turn were captured by Joshua and utterly destroyed (10:28-39). And the account is closed by a summary statement of the conquest of the entire country from Kadesh-barnea in the extreme south as far as Gibeon, after which the people returned to their camp at Gilgal (10:40-43).
(8) Northern Conquests.
A hostile coalition of northern rulers had finally to be met and defeated before the occupation and pacification of the land could be said to be complete. Jabin, king of Hazor, the "fort," was at the head of an alliance of northern kings who gathered together to oppose Israel in the neighborhood of the waters of Merom (Joshua 11:1). Hazor has been doubtfully identified with the modern Jebel Hadireh, some 5 miles West of the lake. No details of the fighting that ensued are given. The victory, however, of the Israelites was decisive, although chariots and horses were employed against them apparently for the first time on Canaanite soil. The pursuit was maintained as far as Sidon, and Misrephoth-maim, perhaps the "boilings" or "tumults of the waters," the later Zarephath on the coast South of the former city (Joshua 11:8; compare 13:6); and the valley of Mizpeh must have been one of the many wadies leading down to the Phoenician coast land. The cities were taken, and their inhabitants put to the sword; but Hazor alone appears to have been burnt to the ground (Joshua 11:11). That the royal city recovered itself later is clear from the fact that a king of Hazor was among the oppressors of Israel in the days of the Judges (Judges 4). For the time being, however, the fruit of these victories was a widespread and much-needed peace. "The land had rest from war" (Joshua 11:23).
(9) Allotment of Territory.
Thus the work of conquest, as far as it was effected under Joshua's command, was now ended; but much yet remained to be done that was left over for future generations. The ideal limits of Israel's possession, as set forth by Yahweh in promise to Moses, from the Shihor or Brook of Egypt (compare 1 Chronicles 13:5) to Lebanon and the entering in of Hamath (Numbers 34), had not been and indeed never were reached. In view, however, of Joshua's age (Joshua 13:1), it was necessary that an allotment of their inheritance West of the Jordan should at once be made to the remaining tribes. Reuben, Gad and half the tribe of Manasseh had been already provided for by Moses in Eastern Palestine (Joshua 13:15-32). Joshua 14-21 accordingly contain a detailed account of the arrangements made by the Israelite leader for the settlement of the land and trace the boundaries of the several tribal possessions. The actual division appears to have been made on two separate occasions, and possibly from two distinct centers.
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Son of Jehozadak (Haggai 1:1, 12, 14; Haggai 2:2, 4 Zechariah 3:1, 3, 6, 8, 9; Zechariah 6:11 form (b)) and high priest in Jerusalem, called "Jeshua" in Ezra-Nehemiah. His father was among the captives at the fall of Jerusalem in 586 B.C., and also his grandfather Seraiah, who was put to death at Riblah (2 Kings 25:18 1 Chronicles 6:15).
Joshua appears in Ezra 3:2 with Zerubbabel at the head of the returned exiles and as leader in the work of building an altar and reestablishing sacrificial worship (538 or 537 B.C.). Ezra 3:8 tells of their laying the foundation of the temple, and in 4:1; the two heads of the community refuse to allow the Samaritans to cooperate in the building operations, with the result that the would-be helpers became active opponents of the work. Building then ceased until Haggai and Zechariah in 520 (Ezra 5 Haggai 1:1-11) exhort the community to restart work, and the two leaders take the lead (Haggai 1:12-15). The following are, in chronological order, the prophetic utterances in which Joshua is spoken of:
(1) Haggai 1:1-11;
(2) Haggai 2:1-9;
(3) Zechariah 1:1-6;
(4) Haggai 2:10-19;
(5) Haggai 2:20-23;
(6) the visions of Zechariah 1:7-6:8 together with
(7) the undated utterance of Zechariah 6:9-15.
1. The Vision of Zechariah 3:1-10:
Two of these call for special attention. First, the vision of a trial in which Joshua is prosecuted before the angel of Yahweh by Satan (ha-saTan, "the adversary"), who is, according to one view, "not the spirit of evil who appears in later Jewish writings; he is only the officer of justice whose business is to see that the case against criminals is properly presented" in the heavenly court of justice (H.P. Smith, Old Testament History, 356); while others regard him as the enemy of God's people (compare Orelli, Minor Prophets, English translation, 327). We are not told what the charge against Joshua is: some hold him to be tried as in some way a representative of the people or the priesthood, and his filthy garments as symbolical of sin; while others explain the garments as put on to excite the court's pity. The adversary is rebuked by "the angel of Yahweh" (read at beginning of Zechariah 3:2, "and the angel of Yahweh said," etc.), and Joshua is acquitted. He is then ordered to be stripped of his old clothes and to be arrayed in "rich apparel" (Zechariah 3:4), while a "clean turban" (American Standard Revised Version margin) is to be put on his head. Conditional upon his walking in God's ways, he is promised the government of the temple and "free access" to God, being placed among the servants of the "angel of Yahweh." Joshua and his companions "are men that are a sign" (Zechariah 3:8), i.e. a guaranty of the coming of the Messiah; there is set before Joshua a stone which is to be inscribed upon, and the iniquity of the land will be removed, an event to be followed by peace and plenty (Zechariah 3:9 f).
In Zechariah 3:4; Nowack and Wellhausen (with the Septuagint mostly) read, "And he answered and spake unto those that stood before him (i.e. his servants) thus: Take the filthy garments from off him, and clothe him with rich apparel, (5) and set a clean turban upon his head. So they set a clean turban upon his head and clothed him with clean garments. And the angel of Yahweh stood up, (6) and solemnly exhorted Joshua," etc. They also omit the first "for" in Zechariah 3:8 as a dittography.
Different interpretations are given of the vision:
(1) Some claim to see here a contest between the civil and religious powers as represented by Zerubbabel and Joshua respectively (Zechariah 6:13), and that Zechariah decides for the supremacy of the latter. The Messiah-King is indeed in Jerusalem in the person of Zerubbabel, though as yet uncrowned; but Joshua is to be supreme (see G.A. Smith, Jerusalem, II, 303; H.P. Smith, Old Testament History, 356). This explanation is dependent to a large extent upon Zechariah 6:9-15, and is not supported by 3:8. It is difficult to explain 3:2 on this view, for Zerubbabel could also be described as a "brand plucked out of the fire." What the vision says is that the vindication of Joshua is a sign for the coming of Yahweh's "servant, the Branch," a title that is not given to Joshua (compare Zechariah 3:7).
(2) Others maintain that the garments are symbolical of the sins of the predecessors of Joshua, who is tried for their offenses and himself regarded as being unworthy of the office because he had been brought up in a foreign and heathen land (so Keil, Orelli).
(3) Hitzig, followed by Nowack (Kleine Propheten, 325), holds that the idea which lies at the basis of the vision is that Satan is responsible for the ills which the community had suffered (compare Job 1; Job 2). The people had begun to think that their offerings were not acceptable to God and that He would not have pity upon them. There was a feeling among the most pious ones that God's righteousness would not allow of their restoration to their former glory. This conflict between righteousness and mercy is decided by silencing the accuser and vindicating Joshua.
It is difficult to decide which view, if any, is correct. "The brand plucked out of the fire" seems to point to God's recognizing that the community, or perhaps the priestly succession, had almost been exterminated by the exile. It reminds us of the oak of which, after its felling, the stump remaineth (Isaiah 6:13), and may perhaps point to God's pity being excited for the community. The people, attacked by their enemies and represented by. Joshua, are to be restored to their old glory: that act being symbolized by the clothing of Joshua in clean raiment; and that symbolical act (compare Isaiah 8:18) is a sign, a guaranty, of the coming of the Messiah-King. The ritualistic tone of Malachi will then follow naturally after the high place given here to the high priest. It is noteworthy that the promise of Zechariah 3:7 is conditional.
One more point remains, namely, the meaning of the stone in Zechariah 3:9. It has been differently explained as a jewel in the new king's crown (Nowack); a foundation stone of the temple, which, however, was already laid (Hitzig); the chief stone of 4:7 (Ewald, Steiner); the Messiah Himself (Keil); the stone in the high priest's breastplate (Bredenkamp), and the stone which served as an altar (Orelli). Commentators tend to regard the words "upon one stone are seven eyes" as a parenthetical addition characteristic of the author of Zechariah 9;.
2. Joshua's Crown, Zechariah 6:9-15:
The utterance of Zechariah 6:9-15 presents to us some more exiles coming from Babylon with silver and gold apparently for the temple. According to the present text, Zechariah is commanded to see that this is used to make a crown for Joshua who is to be a priest-king. This is taken to mean that he is to be given the crown that had been meant for Zerubbabel. But commentators hold that the text has been altered: that the context demands the crowning of Zerubbabel-the Branch of Davidic descent. This view is supported by Zechariah 6:13, "And the counsel of peace shall be between them both"; and therefore the last clause of 6:11 is omitted. Wellhausen keeps 6:9 and 10, and then reads: "(11) Yea, take of them silver and gold and make a crown, (12) and say to them: Thus saith Yahweh of hosts, saying, Behold the man whose name is the Branch, from whose root there will be a sprout, (13) and he will build the Temple of Yahweh, and he will obtain glory and sit and rule upon his throne. And Joshua will be a priest on his right hand, and there will be friendly peace between them both. (14) The crown shall be," etc.; Zechariah 6:15 is incomplete.
It will be objected that this does away with the idea of a priest-king, an idea found also in Psalm 110. But it seems fairly certain that Psalm 110 (see Kirkpatrick, The Book of Psalms) does not refer to Joshua, the point there being that the king referred to was a priest, although not descended from Aaron, being a priest after the order of Melchizedek, while here the point is, if the present text be correct, that a priest is crowned king. What became of Zerubbabel after this is not known. SeeEd. Meyer, Der Papyrusfund
von Elephantine2, 70;, 86;. Joshua is called Jesus in Sirach 49:12.
SeeZERUBBABEL; HAGGAI; ZECHARIAH.
David Francis Roberts
JOSHUA, BOOK OF
" I. TITLE AND AUTHORSHIP
1. Invasion and Conquest of Western Palestine
2. Allotment of the Country to the Tribes of Israel
II. HISTORICAL CHARACTER AND CHRONOLOGY
1. The Book of Joshua as History
IV. SOURCES OF THE WRITTEN NARRATIVE
V. RELATION TO THE BOOK OF JUDGES
1. Parallel Narratives
2. Omissions in the History
VI. PLACE OF JOSH IN THE HED CANON
VII. GREEK AND OTHER ANCIENT VERSIONS
1. The Greek
2. Other Ancient Versions
VIII. RELIGIOUS PURPOSE AND TEACHING
I. Title and Authorship.
The name Joshua signifies "Yahweh is deliverance" or "salvation" (see JOSHUA). The Greek form of the name is Jesus (Iesous, Acts 7:45 Hebrews 4:8). In later Jewish history the name appears to have become popular, and is even found with a local significance, as the designation of a small town in Southern Palestine (yeshua`), Nehemiah 11:26). The use of the title by the Jews to denote the Book of Joshua did not imply a belief that the book was actually written or dictated by him; or even that the narratives themselves were in substance derived from him, and owed their authenticity and reliability to his sanction and control. In the earliest Jewish literature the association of a name with a book was not intended in any case to indicate authorship. And the Book of Joshua is no exception to the rule that such early writings, especially when their contents are of a historical nature, are usually anonymous. The title is intended to describe, not authorship, but theme; and to represent that the life and deeds of Joshua form the main subject with which the book is concerned.
With regard to the contents of Joshua, it will be found to consist of two well-marked divisions, in the first of which (Joshua 1-2) are narrated the invasion and gradual conquest under the command of Joshua of the land on the West of the Jordan; while the 2nd part describes in detail the allotment of the country to the several tribes with the boundaries of their territories, and concludes with a brief notice of the death and burial of Joshua himself.
1. Invasion and Conquest of Western Palestine:
Joshua 1: Renewal of the Divine promise to Joshua and exhortation to fearlessness and courage (1:1-9); directions to the people to prepare for the passage of the river, and a reminder to the eastern tribes (Reuben, Gad, and half and Manasseh) of the condition under which they held their possession beyond Jordan; the renewal by these tribes of their pledge of loyalty to Moses' successor (1:10-18).
Joshua 2: The sending of the two spies from Shittim and their escape from Jericho through the stratagem of Rahab.
Joshua 3: The passage of Jordan by the people over against Jericho, the priests bearing the ark, and standing in the dry bed of the river until all the people had crossed over.
Joshua 4: Erection of 12 memorial stones on the other side of Jordan, where the people encamped after the passage of the river (4:1-14); the priests with the Ark of the Covenant ascend in their turn from out of the river-bed, and the waters return into their wonted course (4:15-24).
Joshua 5: Alarm excited among the kings on the West of Jordan by the news of the successful crossing of the river (5:1); circumcision of the people at Gilgal (5:2-9); celebration of the Passover at Gilgal in the plains of Jericho (5:10, 11); cessation of the supply of the manna (5:12); appearance to Joshua of the captain of the Lord's host (5:13-15).
Joshua 6: Directions given to Joshua for the siege and taking of Jericho (6:1-5); capture of the city, which is destroyed by fire, Rahab and her household alone being saved (6:6-25); a curse is pronounced on the man who rebuilds Jericho (6:26).
Joshua 7: The crime and punishment of Achan, who stole for himself part of the spoil of the captured city (7:1, 16-26); incidentally his sin is the cause of a disastrous defeat before Ai (7:2-12).
Joshua 8: The taking of Ai by a stratagem, destruction of the city, and death of its king (8:1-29); erection of an altar on Mt. Ebal, and reading of the Law before the assembled people (8:30-35).
Joshua 9: Gathering of the peoples of Palestine to oppose Joshua (9:1-2); a covenant of peace made with the Gibeonites, who represent themselves as strangers from a far country (9:3-26); they are, however, reduced to a condition of servitude (9:27).
Joshua 10: Combination of 5 kings of the Amorites to punish the inhabitants of Gibeon for their defection, and defeat and rout of the kings by Joshua at Beth-horon (10:1-14); return of the Israelites to Gilgal (10:15); capture and death by hanging of the 5 kings at Makkedah (10:16-27); taking and destruction of Makkedah (10:28), Libnah (10:29, 30), Lachish (10:31, 32), Gezer (10:33), Eglon (10:34, 35), Hebron (10:36, 37), Debir (10:38, 39), and summarily all the land, defined as from Kadesh-barnea unto Gaza, and as far North as Gibeon (10:40-42); return to Gilgal (10:43).
Joshua 11: Defeat of Jabin, king of Hazor, and allied kings at the waters of Merom (11:1-9); destruction of Hazor (11:10-15); reiterated summary of Joshua's conquests (11:16-23).
Joshua 12: Final summary of the Israelite conquests in Canaan, of Sihon and Og on the East of the Jordan under the leadership of Moses (12:1-6); of 31 kings and their cities on the West of the river under Joshua (12:7-24).
2. Allotment of the Country to the Tribes of Israel:
Joshua 13: Command to Joshua to allot the land on the West of the Jordan, even that which was still unsubdued, to the nine and a half tribes (13:1-7); recapitulation of the inheritance given by Moses on the East of the river (13:8-13, 32); the border of Reuben (13:15-23), of Gad (13:24-28), of the half-tribe of Manasseh (13:29-31); the tribe of Levi alone received no the landed inheritance (13:14, 33).
Joshua 14: Renewed statement of the principle on which the division of the land had been made (14:1-5); Hebron given to Caleb for his inheritance (14:6-15).
Joshua 15. The inheritance of Judah, and the boundaries of his territory (15:1-20), including that of Caleb (15:13-19); enumeration of the cities of Judah (15:21-63).
Joshua 16: Inheritance of the sons of Joseph (16:1-4); the border of Ephraim (16:5-10).
Joshua 17: Inheritance of Manasseh and the border of the half-tribe on the West of the Jordan (17:1-13); complaint of the sons of Joseph of the insufficiency of their inheritance, and grant to them by Joshua of an extension of territory (17:14-18).
Joshua 18: The land yet unsubdued divided by lot into 7 portions for the remaining 7 tribes (18:1-10); inheritance of the sons of Benjamin and the border of their territory (18:11-20); enumeration of their cities (18:21-28).
Joshua 19: Inheritance of Simeon and his border (19:1-9); of Zebulun and his border (19:10-16); of Issachar and his border (19:17-23); of Asher and his border (19:24-31); of Naphtali and his border (19:32-39); and of Dan and his border (19:40-48); inheritance of Joshua (19:49, 50); concluding statement (19:51).
Joshua 20: Cities of Refuge appointed, three on each side of the Jordan.
Joshua 21: 48 cities with their suburbs given to the Levites out of the territories of the several tribes (21:1-41); the people had rest in the land, their enemies being subdued, according to the Divine promise (21:43-45).
Joshua 22: Dismissal of the eastern tribes to their inheritance, their duty to their brethren having been fulfilled (22:1-9); the erection by them of a great altar by the side of the Jordan aroused the suspicion of the western tribes, who feared that they intended to separate themselves from the common cause (22:10-20); their reply that the altar is to serve the purpose of a witness between themselves and their brethren (22:21-34).
Joshua 23: Joshua's address of encouragement and warning to the people.
Joshua 24: Second address of Joshua, recalling to the people their history, and the Divine interventions on their behalf (24:1-23); the people's pledge of loyalty to the Lord, and formal covenant in Shechem (24:24, 25); the book of the law of God is committed to writing, and a stone is erected as a permanent memorial (24:26-28); death and burial of Joshua (24:29-31); burial in Shechem of the bones of Joseph, brought from Egypt (24:32); death and burial of Eleazar, son of Aaron (24:33).
III. Historical Character and Chronology.
1. The Book of Joshua as History:
As a historical narrative, therefore, detailing the steps taken to secure the conquest and possession of Canaan, Joshua is incomplete and is marked by many omissions, and in some instances at least includes phrases or expressions which seem to imply the existence of parallel or even divergent accounts of the same event, e.g. in the passage of the Jordan and the erection of memorial stones (Joshua 3; 4), the summary of the conquests of Joshua (10:40-43; 11:16-23), or the references to Moses' victories over the Amorite kings on the East of the Jordan.
This last fact suggests, what is in itself sufficiently probable, that the writer or compiler of the book made use of previously existing records or narratives, not necessarily in every instance written, but probably also oral and traditional, upon which he relied and out of which by means of excerpts with modifications and omissions, the resultant history was composed. The incomplete and defective character of the book therefore, considered merely as a history of the conquest of Western Palestine and its allotment among the new settlers, would seem to indicate that the "sources" available for the writer's use were fragmentary also in their nature, and did not present a complete view either of the life of Joshua or of the experiences of Israel while under his direction.
Within the limits of the book itself, moreover, notifications of chronological sequence, or of the length of time occupied in the various campaigns, are almost entirely wanting. Almost the only references to date or period are the statements that Joshua himself was 110 years old at the time of his death (24:29), and that his wars lasted "a long time" (11:18; compare 23:1). Caleb also, the son of Jephunneh, companion of Joshua in the mission of the spies from Kadesh-barnea, describes himself as 85 years old, when he receives Hebron as his inheritance (14:10; compare 15:13;); the inference would be, assuming 40 years for the wanderings in the desert, that 5 years had then elapsed since the passage of the Jordan "on the tenth day of the first month" (4:19). No indication, however, is given of the chronological relation of this event to the rest of the history; and 5 years would be too short a period for the conquest of Palestine, if it is to be understood that the whole was carried out in consecutive campaigns under the immediate command of Joshua himself. On the other hand, "very much land" remained still unsubdued at his death (13:1). Christian tradition seems to have assumed that Joshua was about the same age as Caleb, although no definite statement to that effect is made in the book itself; and that, therefore, a quarter of a century, more or less, elapsed between the settlement of the latter at Hebron and Joshua's death (14:10; 24:29). The entire period from the crossing of the Jordan would then be reckoned at from 28 to 30 years.
IV. Sources of the Written Narrative.
The attempt to define the "sources" of Joshua as it now exists, and to disentangle them one from another, presents considerably more difficulty than is to be encountered for the most part in the Pentateuch. The distinguishing criteria upon which scholars rely and which have led serious students of the book to conclude that there may be traced here also the use of the same "documents" or "documentary sources" as are to be found in the Pentateuch, are essentially the same. Existing and traditional accounts, however, have been used apparently with greater freedom, and the writer has allowed himself a fuller liberty of adaptation and combination, while the personal element has been permitted wider scope in molding the resultant form which the composition should take. For the most part, therefore, the broad line of distinction between the various "sources" which have been utilized may easily be discerned on the ground of their characteristic traits, in style, vocabulary or general conception; in regard to detail, however, the precise point at which one "source" has been abandoned for another, or the writer himself has supplied deficiencies and bridged over gaps, there is frequent uncertainty, and the evidence available is insufficient to justify an absolute conclusion. The fusion of material has been more complete than in the 5 books of the law, perhaps because the latter were hedged about with a more reverential regard for the letter, and at an earlier period attained the standing of canonicity.
A detailed analysis of the sources as they have been distinguished and related to one another by scholars is here unnecessary. A complete discussion of the subject will be found in Dr. Driver's LOT6, 105;, in other Introductions, or in the Commentaries on Joshua. Not seldom in the ultimate detail the distinctions are precarious, and there are differences of opinion among scholars themselves as to the precise limit or limits of the use made of any given source, or at what point the dividing line should be drawn. It is only in a broad and general sense that in Joshua especially the literary theory of the use of "documents," as generally understood and as interpreted in the case of the Pentateuch, can be shown to be well founded. In itself, however, such a theory is eminently reasonable, and is both in harmony with the general usage and methods of ancient composition, and affords ground for additional confidence in the good faith and reliability of the narrative as a whole.
V. Relation to the Book of Judges.
1. Parallel Narratives:
A comparison moreover of the history recorded in Joshua with the brief parallel account in Judges furnishes ground for believing that a detailed or chronological narrative was not contemplated by the writer or writers themselves. The introductory verses of Judges (1:1-2:5) are in part a summary of incidents recorded in Joshua, and in part supply new details or present a different view of the whole. The original notices that are added relate almost entirely to the invasion and conquest of Southern Palestine by the united or allied tribes of Judah and Simeon and the destruction of Bethel by the "house of Joseph." The action of the remaining tribes is narrated in a few words, the brief record closing in each case with reference to the condition of servitude to which the original inhabitants of the land were reduced. And the general scheme of the invasion as there represented is apparently that of a series of disconnected raids or campaigns undertaken by the several tribes independently, each having for its object the subjection of the territory assigned to the individual tribe. A general and comprehensive plan of conquest under the supreme leadership of Joshua appears to be entirely wanting. In detail, however, the only real inconsistency between the two narratives would appear to be that in Judges (1:21) the failure to expel the Jebusites from Jerusalem is laid to the account of the Benjamites, while in Joshua 15:63 it is charged against the children of Judah. The difficulties in the way of the formation of a clear conception of the incidents attending the capture of Jerusalem are perhaps insuperable upon any hypothesis; and the variation of the tribal name in the two texts may be no more than a copyist's error.
2. Omissions in the History:
A perhaps more striking omission in both narratives is the absence of any reference to the conquest of Central Palestine. The narrative of the overthrow of Bethel and Ai (Joshua 6:1-8:29) is followed immediately by the record of the building of an altar on Mt. Ebal and the recitation of the Law before the people of Israel assembled in front of Mts. Ebal and Gerizim (Joshua 8:30). Joshua then turns aside to defeat at Beth-horon the combination of the Amorite kings, and completes the conquest of the southern country as far south as Kadesh-barnea (10:41). Immediately thereafter he is engaged in overthrowing a confederacy in the far north (11:1-15), a work which clearly could not have been undertaken or successfully accomplished, unless the central region had been already subdued; but of its reduction no account is given. It has been supposed that the silence of the narrator is an indication that at the period of the invasion this district was in the occupation of tribes friendly or even related to the Israelite clans; and in support of the conjecture reference has been made to the mention of Israel on the stele of Merenptah, the Egyptian ruler in whose reign, according to the most probable view, the exodus took place. In this record the nation or a part thereof is regarded as already settled in Palestine at a date earlier by half a century than their appearance under Moses and Joshua on the borders of the Promised Land. The explanation is possible, but perhaps hardly probable. The defects of the historical record are irremediable at this distance of time, and it must be acknowledged that with the available material no complete and consistent narrative of the events of the Israelite conquest of Palestine can be constructed.
VI. Place of Joshua in the Hebrew Canon.
In the Hebrew Canon Joshua is the first in order of the prophetical books, and the first of the group of 4, namely, Joshua, Judges, Samuel, Kings, which form the "Earlier Prophets" (nebhi'im ri'shonim). These books, the contents of which are history, not prophecy in the ordinary sense of the term, were assigned by the Jews to the 2nd division of their sacred Canon, and found a place by the side of the great writings of the "Later Prophets" (nebhi'im 'acharonim). This position was given to them in part perhaps because they were believed to have been written or composed by prophets, but mainly because Jewish history was regarded as in purpose and intent "prophetic," being directed and presided over by Yahweh Himself, and conveying direct spiritual instruction and example. The Canon of the Law, moreover, was already closed; and however patent and striking might be the resemblance of Joshua in style and method of composition to the books of the Pentateuch, it was impossible to admit it therein, or to give a place within the Torah, a group of writings which were regarded as of Mosaic authorship, to a narrative of events which occurred after Moses' death. Later criticism reviewed and reversed the verdict as to the true character of the book. In every Canon except the Hebrew, its historical nature was recognized, and the work was classified accordingly. Modern criticism has gone further, and, with increasing consciousness of its close literary relationship to the books of the Law, has united it with them in a Hexateuch, or even under the more comprehensive title of Octateuch combines together the books of Judges and Ruth with the preceding six on the ground of similarity of origin and style. VII. Greek and Other Ancient Versions.
1. The Greek:
In the ancient versions of Joshua there is not much that is of interest. The Greek translation bears witness to a Hebrew original differing little from the Massoretic Text. In their renderings, however, and general treatment of the Hebrew text, the translators seem to have felt themselves at liberty to take up a position of greater independence and freedom than in dealing with the 5 books of the Law. Probably also the rendering of Joshua into Greek is not to be ascribed to the same authors as the translation of the Pentateuch. While faithful to the Hebrew, it is less constantly and exactly literal, and contains many slight variations, the most important of which are found in the last 6 chapters.
Joshua 19: The Septuagint transposes 19:47, 48, and, omitting the first clause of 19:47, refers the whole to the sons of Judah, without mention of Dan; it further adds 19:47a, 48a on the relation between the Amorites and Ephraim, and the Amorites and the Danites respectively. With 19:47a compare 16:10 and Judges 1:29, and with 19:48a compare 19:47 (Hebrew) and Judges 1:34.
Joshua 20:4-6 inclusive are omitted in B, except a clause from 20:6; A, however, inserts them in full. Compare Driver, LOT6, 112, who, on the ground of their Deuteronomic tone, regards it as probable that the verses are an addition to the Priestly Code (P), and therefore did not form part of the original text as used by the Greek translators.
Joshua 21:36, 37, which give the names of the Levitical cities in Judah, are omitted in the Hebrew printed text although found in many Hebrew manuscripts. Four verses also are added after 21:42, the first three of which repeat 19:50, and the last is a reminiscence of 5:3.
Joshua 24:29 which narrate the death and burial of Joshua are placed in the Greek text after 24:31; and a verse is inserted after 24:30 recording that the stone knives used for the purposes of the circumcision (5:2;) were buried with Joshua in his tomb (compare 21:42). After 24:33 also two new verses appear, apparently a miscellany from Judges 2:6, 11-15; Judges 3:7, 12, 14, with a statement of the death and burial of Phinehas, son and successor of Eleazar, of the idolatrous worship by the children of Israel of Astarte and Ashtaroth, and the oppression under Eglon, king of Moab.
2. Other Ancient Versions:
The other VSS, with the exception of Jerome's translation from the Hebrew, are secondary, derived mediately through the Greek. The Old Latin is contained in a manuscript at Lyons, Cod. Lugdunensis, which is referred to the 6th century. Of the Coptic version only small portions are extant; they have been published by G. Maspero, Memoires de la mission archeologique frantsaise, tom. VI, fasc. 1, le Caire, 1892, and elsewhere. A Sam translation also is known, for parts of which at least an early origin and an independent derivation from the Hebrew have been claimed. The ancient character of the version, however, is contested, and it has been shown that the arguments on which reliance was placed are insufficient to justify the conclusions drawn. The translation appears to be in reality of quite recent date, and to have been made originally from the Arabic, perhaps in part compared with and corrected by the Massoretic Text. The subject was fully and conclusively discussed by Dr. Yehuda of Berlin, at the Oriental Congress in the summer of 1908, and in a separate pamphlet subsequently published. It was even stated that the author of the version was still living, and his name was given. Dr. Gaster, the original discoverer of the Sam MS, in various articles and letters maintains his contention that the translation is really antique, and therefore of great value, but he has failed to convince scholars. (SeeM. Gaster in JRAS (1908), 795;, 1148;; E. N. Adler, ib, 1143;. The text of the manuscript was published by Dr. Caster in ZDMG (1908), 209;, and a specimen chapter with English rendering and notes in PSBA, XXXI (1909), 115;, 149;.)
VIII. Religious Purpose and Teaching. As a whole, then, Joshua is dominated by the same religious and hortatory purpose as the earlier writings of the Pentateuch; and in this respect as well as in authorship and structure the classification which assigns to it a place by the side of the 5 books of Moses and gives to the whole the title of Hexateuch is not unjustified. The author or authors had in view not merely the narration of incident, nor the record of events in the past history of their people of which they judged it desirable that a correct account should be preserved, but they endeavored in all to subserve a practical and religious aim. The history is not for its own sake, or for the sake of the literal facts which it enshrines, but for the sake of the moral and spiritual lessons which may be elucidated therein, and enforced from its teaching. The Divine leading in history is the first thought with the writer. And the record of Israel's past presents itself as of interest to him, not because it is a record of events that actually happened, but because he sees in it the ever-present guidance and overruling determination of God, and would draw from it instruction and warning for the men of his own time and for those that come after him. Not the history itself, but the meaning and interpretation of the history are of value. Its importance lies in the illustrations it affords of the controlling working of a Divine Ruler who is faithful to His promises, loving righteousness and hating iniquity, and swaying the destinies of men in truth. Thus the selection of materials, and the form and arrangement of the book are determined by a definite aim: to set forth and enforce moral lessons, and to exhibit Israel's past as the working out of a Divine purpose which has chosen the nation to be the recipient of the Divine favor, and the instrument for the carrying forward of His purposes upon earth.
A Complete bibliography of the literature up to date will be found in the dictionaries, under the word "Joshua," DB2, 1893, HDB, II, 1899, EB, II, 1901; compare W. H. Bennett, "The Book of Josh," in SBOT, Leipzig, 1895; W.G. Blaikie, "Joshua," in Expositor's Bible, 1893; A. Dillmann, Nu, De u. Josua2, Leipzig, 1886; H. Holzinger, "Das Buch Josua," in Kurzer Hand-Comm. zum A T, Tubingen, 1901; C. Steuernagel, "Josua," in Nowack's Handcommentar zum Altes Testament, 1899; S. Oettli, "Deuteronomy, Josua u. Richter," in Kurzgef. Komm, Munchen, 1893; W.J. Deane, Joshua, His Life and Times, in "Men of the Bible Series," London.
A. S. Geden