Joshua (Hebrew: יְהוֹשֻׁעַ Yĕhôshúa‘; Greek: Ἰησοῦς, Arabic: يوشع بن نون Yūshaʿ ibn Nūn ; Turkish :Yuşa ), is a figure in the Torah, being one of the spies for Israel (Num 13–14) and in few passages as Moses' assistant. He is the central character in the Hebrew Bible's Book of Joshua. According to the books Exodus, Numbers and Joshua, he became the leader of the Israelite tribes after the death of Moses; his name was Hoshe'a the son of Nun, of the tribe of Ephraim, but Moses called him Yehoshu'a (Joshua) (Numbers 13:16
) After the death of Moses, he led the Israelite tribes in the conquest of Canaan, and allocated the land to the tribes. According to Biblical chronology, Joshua lived between 1355-1245 BCE, or sometime in the late Bronze Age. According to Joshua 24:29 , Joshua died at the age of 110.
Joshua also holds a position of respect to Muslims. According to Islamic tradition, he was, along with Caleb, one of the two believing spies whom Moses had sent to spy the land of Canaan. All Muslims also see Joshua as the leader of the Israelites, following the death ofMoses. Some Muslims also believe Joshua to be the "attendant" of Moses mentioned in the Qur’ān, before Moses meets Khidr and some believe that he is a prophet.
As Moses' apprentice, Joshua was a major figure in the events of the Exodus. He accompanied Moses part of the way when he ascendedMount Sinai to receive the Ten Commandments. Other than Moses himself Joshua was the only Israelite allowed by God to approach the mountain. (Exodus 32:17
) He was one of the twelve spies sent by Moses to explore and report on the land of Canaan (Numbers 13:16-17 ), and only he and Caleb gave an encouraging report, a reward for which would be that only these two of their entire generation would enter the promised land (Numbers 14:22-24 ).
"The Children of Israel Crossing the Jordan" by Gustave Doré (d. 1883)
), in which they were victorious.
According to Joshua 1:1-9
, God appointed Joshua to succeed Moses as leader of the Israelites along with giving him a blessing of invincibility during his lifetime(Joshua 1:5). The first part of the book of Joshua covers the period when he led the conquest of Canaan.
Conquest of CanaanJoshua Commanding the Sun to Stand Still upon Gibeon by John Martin
At the Jordan River, the waters parted, as they had for Moses at the Red Sea. The first battle after the crossing of the Jordan was the Battle of Jericho. Joshua led the destruction of Jericho, then moved on to Ai, a small neighboring city to the west. However, they were defeated with thirty-six Israelite deaths. The defeat was attributed toAchan taking an "accursed thing" from Jericho; and was followed by Achan and his family and animals being stoned to death to restore God's favor. Joshua then went to defeat Ai.
The Israelites faced an alliance of Amorite kings from Jerusalem, Hebron, Jarmuth, Lachish, and Eglon. At Gibeon Joshua asked Yahweh to cause the sun and moon to stand still, so that he could finish the battle in daylight. This event is most notable because "there was no day like that before it or after it, that the Yahweh hearkened unto the voice of a man: for the Yahweh fought for Israel." (Joshua 10:14
) God also fought for the Israelites in this battle, for he hurled huge hailstones from the sky which killed more Canaanites than those which the Israelites slaughtered. From there on, Joshua was able to lead the Israelites to several victories, securing much of the land of Canaan.
When he was "old and well advanced in years" Joshua convened the elders and chiefs of the Israelites and exhorted them to have no fellowship with the native population because it could lead them to be unfaithful to God. At a general assembly of the clans at Shechem, he took leave of the people, admonishing them to be loyal to their God, who had been so mightily manifested in the midst of them. As a witness of their promise to serve God, Joshua set up a great stone under an oak by the sanctuary of God. Soon afterward he died, at the age of 110, and was buried at Timnath Serah, in the hill country of Ephraim, north of Mount Gaash.