The Old Testament | The Books of History


Things to know
Where does the book begin?

Joshua begins just after Moses died. The people were about to go into the land that God promised them.

Where does the book end?

The book ends after Joshua died. The people were in the land that God gave them.

People to know

The Canaanites

Places to go

Rahab hid the spies.
Joshua 2

The people went across the river.
Joshua 3, 4

The battle of Jericho happened.
Joshua 6

The sun stood still.
Joshua 10

Joshua said goodbye.
Joshua 23

Achan sins against the Lord
Joshua 7

The sun stood still
Joshua 10

Israel wins the battle
Joshua 12-14

Towns are given to the Levites
Joshua 21:1-3

Joshua said goodbye
Joshua 23

The covenant is renewed
Joshua 24:1-29

The Story of Joshua

God’s words to Abraham[1] and Moses[2]were true. He did promise a land to Abraham. He sent Moses to take them there. But Israel* did not believe God. They did not keep the agreements that they made with God.[3]So the people did not enter the land that God gave them. Moses wrote about these things in the first five books of the Bible.

In Genesis, we learn that God promised to give a land to Abraham.

In Exodus, the people failed to enter that land.

In Deuteronomy, God cared for the people for the next 40 years. But these were all in the past.

In Joshua, God gave them a second chance. Joshua tells how God helped the people take the land from their enemies.

Joshua teaches about Israel. Joshua led the armies. And when he was finished, the people lived in the land. Each family had settled in a part of it.

The book also teaches us many things about God as well. God does what he says. He keeps his promises.[4] He cares about his people.

Joshua is also the story of Joshua himself. Joshua was successful because he followed God’s laws. God told Joshua to think on his Word every day. Joshua did this and he began to have success in the land. He won his first fight at Jericho. But not everyone in Joshua’s army did what was right. So God did not help them when they fought the next fight. When Joshua found out what the man in his army did, he punished him. He punished the man’s wife and his sons and daughters too. After that, God helped Joshua’s army again.[5] Their enemies were great. But God is greater. He helped them take the land that he promised them.

This book tells many details about the new land. It tells how God gave the land to the different families. It tells about the land east and west of the Jordan River. It also tells about cities of shelter and about the towns where the priests could live.[6]

So the Lord* gave them all the land that he had promised to give their fathers. And they took possession of it and settled there[7]. By the end of the book, all that God had promised to the people had happened. They saw that they could trust* God.

But Joshua knew that the people were weak. If they trusted God, God would bless* them. But sometimes they did not do what was right. So Joshua warned them.

God did all of the good things He promised. But God will also bring bad things to you if you do not obey Him. If you do evil* things, He will take this land away from you.’[8]

Joshua was a good man. He showed us how to follow God. God’s Spirit* helped Joshua rescue the people and give them the land. He was a great soldier for God. His name means ‘the one who delivers’. And, one day, another man would come to rescue God’s people. God’s Spirit would be with him too. But he would not only rescue people from their enemies. He would rescue people from their guilt, shame, and fear. He would rescue people from the anger of God. But that is a story we will read much later.[9]

  • [1]Genesis 13:15
  • [2]Exodus 3:8
  • [3]See Joshua 23:15-16
  • [4]See Joshua 21:43-45; 23:14
  • [5]Joshua 7-8
  • [6]Joshua 21
  • [7] Joshua 21:43-45
  • [8]Joshua 23:15
  • [9] Matthew 1:21

The Old Testament | The Books of History