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The Promised Land

(Category 6 of 16)

Watch our Read Scripture video on the book of Joshua, which breaks down the literary design of the book and its flow of thought. There is one Read Scripture video dedicated to the book of Joshua, which aims to help you see its unique contribution to the story of Jesus, but also how it works within the Bible’s overall framework.

In Joshua, after Moses’ death, Joshua leads Israel and they settle in the promised land currently occupied by Canaanites.

Explore Joshua

Joshua (RS)


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The Book of


JOSHUA, the first of the twelve historical books (Joshua–Esther), forges a link
between the Pentateuch and the remainder of Israel’s history. Through three
major military campaigns involving more than thirty enemy armies, the people of
Israel learn a crucial lesson under Joshua’s capable leadership: victory comes
through faith in God and obedience to His word, rather than through military
might or numerical superiority.
The title of this book is appropriately named after its central figure, Joshua. His
original name is Hoshea, “Salvation” (Num. 13:8); but Moses evidently changes it
to Yehoshua, “Yahweh is Salvation” (Num. 13:16). He is also called Yeshua, a shortened
form of Yehoshua. This is the Hebrew equivalent of the Greek name Iesous
(Jesus). Thus, the Greek title given to the book in the Septuagint is Iesous Naus,
Joshua the Son of Nun.” The Latin title is Liber Josue, the “Book of Joshua.”
His name is symbolic of the fact that although he is the leader of the Israelite
nation during the conquest, the Lord is the Conqueror.

God’s Commission to Joshua


1 AFTER the death of Moses the servant of the LORD, it came to pass that the LORD spoke to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ aassistant, saying:
2 a“Moses My servant is dead. Now therefore, arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them—the children of Israel.
3 a“Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given you, as I said to Moses.
4 a“From the wilderness and this Lebanon as far as the great river, the River Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and to the Great Sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your territory.

CHAPTER 1 References

1 aEx. 24:13
2 aDeut. 34:5
3 aDeut. 11:24
4 aGen. 15:18
5 aDeut. 7:24
bEx. 3:12
cDeut. 31:8, 23
dDeut. 31:6, 7
6 aDeut. 31:7,
23 1give as a
7 aDeut. 31:7
bDeut. 5:32
1have success
or act wisely
8 aJosh. 8:34
bPs. 1:1–3
1you shall be
constantly in

5 a“No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life; bas I was with Moses, so cI will be with you. dI will not leave you nor forsake you.
6 a“Be strong and of good courage, for to this people you shall 1divide as an inheritance the land which I swore to their fathers to give them.
7 “Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law awhich Moses My servant commanded you; bdo not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may 1prosper wherever you go.
8 a“This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but byou1 shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then

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you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.
9 a“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; bdo not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”

The Order to Cross the Jordan

10 Then Joshua commanded the officers of the people, saying,
11 “Pass through the camp and command the people, saying, ‘Prepare provisions for yourselves, for awithin three days you will cross over this Jordan, to go in to possess the land which the LORD your God is giving you to possess.’ ”
12 And to the Reubenites, the Gadites, and half the tribe of Manasseh Joshua spoke, saying,
13 “Remember athe word which Moses the servant of the LORD commanded you, saying, ‘The LORD your God is giving you rest and is giving you this land.’
14 “Your wives, your little ones, and your livestock shall remain in the land which Moses gave you on this side of the Jordan. But you shall 1pass before your brethren armed, all your mighty men of valor, and help them,
15 “until the LORD has given your brethren rest, as He gave you, and they also have taken possession of the land which the LORD your God is giving them. aThen you shall return to the land of your possession and enjoy it, which Moses the LORD’s servant gave you on this side of the Jordan toward the sunrise.”
16 So they answered Joshua, saying, “All that you command us we will do, and wherever you send us we will go.
17 “Just as we heeded Moses in all things, so we will heed you. Only the LORD your God abe with you, as He was with Moses.
18 “Whoever rebels against your command and does not heed your words, in all that you command him, shall be put to death. Only be strong and of good courage.”

Rahab Hides the Spies


1 Now Joshua the son of Nun sent out two men afrom 1Acacia Grove to spy secretly, saying, “Go, view the land, especially Jericho.” So they went, and bcame to the house of a harlot named cRahab, and 2lodged there.
2 And ait was told the king of Jericho, saying, “Behold, men have come here tonight from the children of Israel to search out the country.”
3 So the king of Jericho sent to Rahab, saying, “Bring out the men who have come to you, who have entered your house, for they have come to search out all the country.”

9 aDeut. 31:7
bPs. 27:1
11 aDeut. 9:1;
Josh. 3:17
13 aNum.
14 1cross over
ahead of
15 aJosh.
17 a1 Sam.
20:13; 1 Kin.

CHAPTER 2 References

1 aNum. 25:1;
Josh. 3:1
bHeb. 11:31;
James 2:25
cMatt. 1:5
1Heb. Shittim
2Lit. lay down
2 aJosh. 2:22
4 a2 Sam.
17:19, 20
6 aEx. 1:17;
2 Sam. 17:19
9 aDeut. 1:8
bGen. 35:5;
Ex. 23:27;
Deut. 2:25;
11:25; Josh.
9:9, 10 cEx.
15:15; Josh.
10 aEx. 14:21;
Josh. 4:23
cDeut. 20:17;
Josh. 6:21
11 aEx. 15:14,
15 bJosh. 5:1;
7:5; Ps. 22:14;
Is. 13:7 cDeut.
12 a1 Sam.
20:14, 15, 17
b1 Tim. 5:8
cEx. 12:13;
Josh. 2:18 1a
pledge of
13 aJosh.
14 aGen. 47:29;
Judg. 1:24;
[Matt. 5:7] 15 aActs 9:25
17 aEx. 20:7
1free from
obligation to
this oath
18 aJosh. 2:12
bJosh. 6:23


4 aThen the woman took the two men and hid them. So she said, “Yes, the men came to me, but I did not know where they were from.
5 “And it happened as the gate was being shut, when it was dark, that the men went out. Where the men went I do not know; pursue them quickly, for you may overtake them.”
6 (But ashe had brought them up to the roof and hidden them with the stalks of flax,which she had laid in order on the roof.)
7 Then the men pursued them by the road to the Jordan, to the fords. And as soon as those who pursued them had gone out, they shut the gate.
8 Now before they lay down, she came up to them on the roof,
9 and said to the men: a“I know that the LORD has given you the land, that bthe terror of you has fallen on us, and that all the inhabitants of the land care fainthearted because of you.
10 “For we have heard how the LORD adried up the water of the Red Sea for you when you came out of Egypt, and bwhat you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were on the other side of the Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom you cutterly destroyed.
11 “And as soon as we aheard these things, bour hearts melted; neither did there remain any more courage in anyone because of you, for cthe LORD your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath.
12 “Now therefore, I beg you, aswear to me by the LORD, since I have shown you kindness, that you also will show kindness to bmy father’s house, and cgive me 1a true token,
13 “and aspare my father, my mother,my brothers,my sisters, and all that they have, and deliver our lives from death.”
14 So the men answered her, “Our lives for yours, if none of you tell this business of ours. And it shall be, when the LORD has given us the land, that awe will deal kindly and truly with you.”
15 Then she alet them down by a rope through the window, for her house was on the city wall; she dwelt on the wall.
16 And she said to them, “Get to the mountain, lest the pursuers meet you. Hide there three days, until the pursuers have returned. Afterward you may go your way.”
17 So the men said to her: “We will be ablameless1 of this oath of yours which you have made us swear,
18 a“unless, when we come into the land, you bind this line of scarlet cord in the window through which you let us down, band unless you

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1bring your father, your mother, your brothers, and all your father’s household to your own home.
19 “So it shall be that whoever goes outside the doors of your house into the street, his blood shall be on his own head, and we will be 1guiltless. And whoever is with you in the house, ahis 2blood shall be on our head if a hand is laid on him.
20 “And if you tell this business of ours, then we will be 1free from your oath which you made us swear.”
21 Then she said, “According to your words, so be it.” And she sent them away, and they departed. And she bound the scarlet cord in the window.
22 They departed and went to the mountain, and stayed there three days until the pursuers returned. The pursuers sought them all along the way, but did not find them.
23 So the two men returned, descended from the mountain, and crossed over; and they came to Joshua the son of Nun, and told him all that had befallen them.
24 And they said to Joshua, “Truly athe LORD has delivered all the land into our hands, for indeed all the inhabitants of the country are fainthearted because of us.”

Israel Crosses the Jordan


1 Then Joshua rose early in the morning; and they set out afrom 1Acacia Grove and came to the Jordan, he and all the children of Israel, and lodged there before they crossed over.
2 So it was, aafter three days, that the officers went through the camp;
3 and they commanded the people, saying, a“When you see the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, band the priests, the Levites, 1bearing it, then you shall set out from your place and go after it.
4 a“Yet there shall be a space between you and it, about two thousand cubits by measure. Do not come near it, that you may know the way by which you must go, for you have not passed this way before.”
5 And Joshua said to the people, a“Sanctify1 yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do wonders among you.”
6 Then Joshua spoke to the priests, saying, a“Take up the ark of the covenant and cross over before the people.” So they took up the ark of the covenant and went before the people.
7 And the LORD said to Joshua, “This day I will begin to aexalt1 you in the sight of all Israel, that they may know that, bas I was with Moses, so I will be with you.
8 “You shall command athe priests who bear the ark of the covenant, saying, ‘When you have come to the

18 1Lit. gather
19 a1 Kin. 2:32
1free from
2guilt of
20 1free from
obligation to
24 aEx. 23:31

CHAPTER 3 References

1 aJosh. 2:1
1Heb. Shittim
2 aJosh. 1:10,
3 aNum. 10:33
bDeut. 31:9, 25
4 aEx. 19:12
5 aJosh. 7:13
6 aNum. 4:15
7 aJosh. 4:14
bJosh. 1:5, 9
1make you
8 aJosh. 3:3
bJosh. 3:17
10 aMatt.
1 Thess. 1:9
bEx. 33:2
cActs 13:19
11 aZech. 4:14;
12 aJosh. 4:2, 4
13 aJosh. 3:15,
16 bJosh. 3:11
cPs. 78:13;
14 aActs 7:44,
15 aJosh. 3:13
b1 Chr. 12:15
cJosh. 4:18;
5:10, 12
16 a1 Kin.
4:12; 7:46
bDeut. 3:17
cGen. 14:3
1Many mss.,
vss., and Qr.
from Adam
17 aEx. 3:8;
6:1–8; 14:21,
22, 29; 33:1

CHAPTER 4 References

1 aDeut. 27:2
2 aJosh. 3:12
3 aJosh. 3:13
bJosh. 4:19, 20

edge of the water of the Jordan, byou shall stand in the Jordan.’ ”
9 So Joshua said to the children of Israel, “Come here, and hear the words of the LORD your God.”
10 And Joshua said, “By this you shall know that athe living God is among you, and that He will without fail bdrive out from before you the cCanaanites and the Hittites and the Hivites and the Perizzites and the Girgashites and the Amorites and the Jebusites:
11 “Behold, the ark of the covenant of athe Lord of all the earth is crossing over before you into the Jordan.
12 “Now therefore, atake for yourselves twelve men from the tribes of Israel, one man from every tribe.
13 “And it shall come to pass, aas soon as the soles of the feet of the priests who bear the ark of the LORD, bthe Lord of all the earth, shall rest in the waters of the Jordan, that the waters of the Jordan shall be cut off, the waters that come down from upstream, and they cshall stand as a heap.”
14 So it was, when the people set out from their camp to cross over the Jordan, with the priests bearing the aark of the covenant before the people,
15 and as those who bore the ark came to the Jordan, and athe feet of the priests who bore the ark dipped in the edge of the water (for the bJordan overflows all its banks cduring the whole time of harvest),
16 that the waters which came down from upstream stood still, and rose in a heap very far away 1at Adam, the city that is beside aZaretan. So the waters that went down binto the Sea of the Arabah, cthe Salt Sea, failed, and were cut off; and the people crossed over opposite Jericho.
17 Then the priests who bore the ark of the covenant of the LORD stood firm on dry ground in the midst of the Jordan; aand all Israel crossed over on dry ground, until all the people had crossed completely over the Jordan.

The Memorial Stones


1 And it came to pass, when all the people had completely crossed aover the Jordan, that the LORD spoke to Joshua, saying:
2 a“Take for yourselves twelve men from the people, one man from every tribe,
3 “and command them, saying, ‘Take for yourselves twelve stones from here, out of the midst of the Jordan, from the place where athe priests’ feet stood firm. You shall carry them over with you and leave them in bthe lodging place where you lodge tonight.’ ”
4 Then Joshua called the twelve

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men whom he had appointed from the children of Israel, one man from every tribe;
5 and Joshua said to them: “Cross over before the ark of the LORD your God into the midst of the Jordan, and each one of you take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the children of Israel,
6 “that this may be aa sign among you bwhen your children ask in time to come, saying, ‘What do these stones mean to you?’
7 “Then you shall answer them that athe waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD; when it crossed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. And these stones shall be for ba memorial to the children of Israel forever.”
8 And the children of Israel did so, just as Joshua commanded, and took up twelve stones from the midst of the Jordan, as the LORD had spoken to Joshua, according to the number of the tribes of the children of Israel, and carried them over with them to the place where they lodged, and laid them down there.
9 Then Joshua set up twelve stones in the midst of the Jordan, in the place where the feet of the priests who bore the ark of the covenant stood; and they are there to this day.
10 So the priests who bore the ark stood in the midst of the Jordan until everything was finished that the LORD had commanded Joshua to speak to the people, according to all that Moses had commanded Joshua; and the people hurried and crossed over.
11 Then it came to pass, when all the people had completely crossed over, that the aark of the LORD and the priests crossed over in the presence of the people.
12 And athe men of Reuben, the men of Gad, and half the tribe of Manasseh crossed over armed before the children of Israel, as Moses had spoken to them.
13 About forty thousand 1prepared for war crossed over before the LORD for battle, to the plains of Jericho.
14 On that day the LORD aexalted1 Joshua in the sight of all Israel; and they feared him, as they had feared Moses, all the days of his life.
15 Then the LORD spoke to Joshua, saying,
16 “Command the priests who bear athe ark of the Testimony to come up from the Jordan.”
17 Joshua therefore commanded the priests, saying, “Come up from the Jordan.”
18 And it came to pass, when the priests who bore the ark of the covenant of the LORD had come from the midst of the Jordan, and the soles

6 aDeut. 27:2;
Ps. 103:2 bEx.
12:26; 13:14;
Deut. 6:20
7 aJosh. 3:13,
16 bEx. 12:14;
Num. 16:40
11 aJosh. 3:11;
12 aNum.
32:17, 20, 27,
28; Josh. 1:14
13 1equipped
14 aJosh. 3:7;
1 Chr. 29:25
1made Joshua
16 aEx. 25:16,
18 aJosh. 3:15;
1 Chr. 12:15
19 aJosh. 5:9
20 aDeut.
11:30; Josh.
4:3; 5:9, 10
21 aJosh. 4:6
22 aEx. 12:26,
27; 13:8–14;
Deut. 26:5–9
bJosh. 3:17
23 aEx. 14:21
24 a1 Kin. 8:42;
2 Kin. 19:19;
Ps. 106:8 bEx.
15:16; 1 Chr.
29:12; Ps.
89:13 cEx.
14:31; Deut.
6:2; Ps. 76:7;
Jer. 10:7 1Lit.
all days

of the priests’ feet touched the dry land, that the waters of the Jordan returned to their place aand overflowed all its banks as before.
19 Now the people came up from the Jordan on the tenth day of the first month, and they camped ain Gilgal on the east border of Jericho.
20 And athose twelve stones which they took out of the Jordan, Joshua set up in Gilgal.
21 Then he spoke to the children of Israel, saying: a“When your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, ‘What are these stones?’
22 “then you shall let your children know, saying, a‘Israel crossed over this Jordan on bdry land’;
23 “for the LORD your God dried up the waters of the Jordan before you until you had crossed over, as the LORD your God did to the Red Sea, awhich He dried up before us until we had crossed over,
24 a“that all the peoples of the earth may know the hand of the LORD, that it is bmighty, that you may cfear the LORD your God 1forever.”

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Praise to God for His Salvation and Providence

To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David. A Song.

1 PRAISE is awaiting You, O God, in Zion; And to You the 1vow shall be performed.
2 O You who hear prayer, aTo You all flesh will come.
3 Iniquities prevail against me; As for our transgressions, You will aprovide atonement for them.

4 aBlessed is the man You bchoose, And cause to approach You, That he may dwell in Your courts. cWe shall be satisfied with the goodness of Your house, Of Your holy temple.
5 By awesome deeds in righteousness You will answer us, O God of our salvation, You who are the confidence of all the ends of the earth, And of the far-off seas;
6 Who established the mountains by His strength, aBeing clothed with power;

PSALM 65 References

1 1A promised
2 a[Is. 66:23] 3 aPs. 51:2;
79:9; Is. 6:7;
[Heb. 9:14;
1 John 1:7, 9] 4 aPs. 33:12
bPs. 4:3 cPs.
6 aPs. 93:1
7 aMatt. 8:26
bIs. 17:12, 13
8 1shout for
9 a[Deut.
11:12]; Jer.
5:24 bPs. 46:4;
104:13; 147:8
1give attention
13 aIs. 44:23;

7 aYou who still the noise of the seas, The noise of their waves, bAnd the tumult of the peoples.

8 They also who dwell in the farthest parts are afraid of Your signs; You make the outgoings of the morning and evening 1rejoice.

9 You 1visit the earth and awater it, You greatly enrich it; bThe river of God is full of water; You provide their grain, For so You have prepared it.
10 You water its ridges abundantly, You settle its furrows; You make it soft with showers, You bless its growth.

11 You crown the year with Your goodness, And Your paths drip with abundance.
12 They drop on the pastures of the wilderness, And the little hills rejoice on every side.
13 The pastures are clothed with flocks; aThe valleys also are covered with grain; They shout for joy, they also sing.




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