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Arno Clement Gaebelein

In the Public Domain

                             THE BOOK OF JOSHUA


     The book of Joshua heads in the Hebrew arrangement of the Old
Testament Scriptures, that division which is called "the former Prophets."
It is the first book in the Bible which bears in its title the name of a

     Joshua means "Jehovah is Saviour"; the Greek name for Joshua is Jesus.
In our study of the previous books, beginning with Exodus, we have met his
name at different times and have learned much of this great man of God. He
was the Son of Nun, an Ephraimite (Num. 13:8), grandson of Elishama (1
Chron. 7:26-27). In Exodus we saw him as the leader of Israel against
Amalek. He is mentioned as Moses' servant and attendant (Ex. 24:13;
32:17-18); as the servant of Moses, he did not depart out of the tabernacle
(Ex. 33:11). He went with Moses, up into the mount of God.

     We meet him again in Num. 11:27-29. In Num. 13:8, 16 we find him as
one of the spies sent to Canaan. With Caleb he had confidence in God and
His promises, and bravely exhorted the people to trust the Lord and go
forward. His name, however, is not given at all during the thirty-eight
years' wandering in the wilderness. In Deuteronomy he is divinely pointed
out as Moses' successor. Moses and Joshua presented themselves in the
tabernacle of the congregation, and after the Lord had announced the
approaching death of Moses, Joshua hears the charge from the lips of the
passing leader of God's people. "Be strong and of a good courage; for thou
shalt bring the children of Israel into the land, which I sware unto them;
and I will be with thee" (Deut. 31:23). In the analysis and annotations of
the book itself we shall have abundant occasion to study the character of
Joshua more fully.

                        The Authorship of the Book

     Jewish tradition makes Joshua the author of the book which bears his
name. There is no reason why this should be denied. No other person was
more fitted to write down the great events, connected with the entrance of
Israel into the land, than Joshua. As Moses by inspiration wrote the
account of how the Lord brought out His people from Egypt, so Joshua is the
instrument, divinely chosen and equipped, to give the story of how the Lord
brought them in. That another person should be the author of the book of
Joshua appears unreasonable.

     The modern critics, however, deny that Joshua had anything whatever to
do with the book as we possess it. These wise men have discovered what
equally learned and pious men of passed generations, seemingly did not
know. They tell us that the date of the composition of Joshua is very late
and that it is not the work of one man at all, but a compilation from the
same sources that have been utilized in the Pentateuch. These are termed
Jehovist (J.); Elohist (E.); Priestly Code (P.); Deuteronomist (D.) and
still another Deuteronomist, termed D2. This So-called "science," higher
criticism, tries to show which is which. And to these must be added a
number of redactors, revisors and editors, who all had a hand in putting
the book of Joshua into the shape in which we have it now. (The letters
behind the names are used by the critic to indicate these different
sources. W.H. Bennett in 1895 published Joshua in a number of colors,
indicating the various documents.) Well has it been said:

     "One is tempted to say of this complicated but confidently maintained
scheme, that it is just too complete, too wonderfully finished, too clever
by half. Allowing most cordially the remarkable ability and ingenuity of
its authors, we can hardly be expected to concede to them the power of
taking to pieces a book of such vast antiquity, putting it in a modern
mincing machine, dividing it among so many supposed writers, and settling
the exact parts of it written by each!"

     And now we must mention in connection with the authorship of the book
of Joshua, the Hexateuch theory.

                           The Hexateuch Theory

     The word "Hexateuch" means "six-fold book." The five books written by
Moses, Genesis to Deuteronomy, are called "Pentateuch," that is, "five-fold
book." The critics claim that the book of Joshua belongs properly to the
five books of the law, thereby adding a sixth book. This combination they
call the Hexateuch. In itself this appears harmless. However, a closer
examination reveals that this invention is the offspring of unbelief. They
call attention to the fact that throughout the Pentateuch the land of
Canaan and its final conquest and inheritance by Israel is mentioned and
presupposed. The following passages are generally pointed out: Gen.
13:14-17; 15:13-16; 26:3; 28:13-15; Ex. 3:8, 17; 32:13; 33:1-3; Num. 13:17,
27:18-23; Deut. 1:38; 3:21; 31:3-6. Upon those passages predicting the
future occupation and possession of Canaan, the critics base the claim that
the same person or persons who wrote the Pentateuch must have also written
the book of Joshua. We quote the exact words of one of the leading critics.
"It is self-evident that a writer who has commenced his narrative by the
brilliant promises made to the patriarchs, is bound to conclude it by
showing us their accomplishment; to say the least, it would be impossible
for him to pass that accomplishment in silence."

     Such a claim involves the denial of the possibility of prediction of
future events. This denial is in very fact the whole foundation of the
destructive criticism of the Bible; and such a denial is unbelief. To
explain, in a scientific way, as it is termed, the predictions found in the
Bible, all kinds of theories have been invented. These theories attempt to
explain away the supernatural in the Word of God. Thus different Isaiahs
have been invented, because the one Isaiah, who wrote the book which bears
his name, must be denied an account of such a marvellous prediction as the
mention of Cyrus, the king unborn, when Isaiah lived. Daniel is rejected as
the author of the book of Daniel and a "pious Jew" (without a definite
name) living hundreds of years after Daniel, has to pose as the author of
that prophetic book, because, according to the critics, Daniel could not
have foretold the events recorded in his prophecies. And the book of
Joshua, for the same reason, must have been composed by the same author or
authors, compiler or compilers of the Pentateuch. Of course the critics
deny that Moses had anything to do with the writing of the first five books
of the Bible. If they were to assign the composition of the book of Joshua
to Joshua, and the Pentateuch to Moses, the denial, that there can be no
genuine prediction, could not be sustained. And this supposed "Hexateuch,"
the six-fold book, is relegated to a very late period.

     But all this Hexateuchal invention is easily disproven. The Hebrews
always reverenced the five books, universally ascribed to Moses. They look
upon them, and rightly so, as standing by themselves in solitary grandeur.
The Hebrew Old Testament has three parts, Thora (Pentateuch), Neviim
(Joshua, Judges, Samuel, Kings, Isaiah to Malachi, except Daniel), and
Kethubim (Psalms, Proverbs, Job, Song of Solomon, Ruth, Lamentations,
Ecclesiastes, Esther, Daniel, Ezra, Nehemiah and Chronicles). To link
Joshua with the five books of Moses is a thing unknown among the Hebrews.
The book of Joshua was never bound together with the law. No manuscript has
ever been found which links Joshua with the Pentateuch. The Pentateuch
always stood alone by itself and was jealously guarded by the Hebrews. The
critics are unable to furnish any proof that originally the Pentateuch and
Joshua were combined.

     We state another fact, which overthrows the Hexateuch theory. The
Pentateuch is the model of the entire Bible. The five-fold division can be
traced in both Testaments. The Book of Psalms, for instance, in the Hebrew
Bible has five divisions. The ancient Hebrews called therefore the Psalms
"the Pentateuch of David." Each division corresponds in a remarkable degree
with the character of the different books written by Moses. The New
Testament also has five parts which correspond to the Pentateuch: Gospels
(Genesis); Acts (Exodus); Pauline Epistles (Leviticus); General Epistles
(Numbers); Revelation (Deuteronomy). All this shows that the Hexateuch is a
man-made theory pure and simple. It is invented by such, who refuse to
accept the supernatural in the Bible.

     We cannot follow the different other objections made against the book
of Joshua, as being written by Joshua. These objections are easily answered
and we need not to burden our readers with these controversial matters
which are of no value at all. We shall, however, in our annotations, call
attention to some questions raised by the critics. The study of the book
itself will furnish continued evidence, that it is written by inspiration.

              The Historical Events and their Typical Meaning

     The book of Joshua records the entrance of the people Israel into the
promised land, how this entrance was effected by the power of God, the
conflicts which arose when they came into the land, the partial conquest
and the division of the land among the tribes. All this is fully given in
our analysis and followed in the annotations of the different chapters.

     There is no other historical book in the Bible so rich in typical
foreshadowings as the book of Joshua. It is inexhaustible and full of
blessed meaning and encouragement to every child of God, because these
historical events typify Christian position, Christian experience and
Christian conflict. We shall find that a part of Joshua illustrates for us
in a typical way the Epistle to the Ephesians. We point out a few of the
leading types; the annotations will give the details and touch upon others
as well.

     Joshua is, of course, a type of Him whose earthly Name he bears. He is
the first one in the Word of God who bears that ever blessed Name. As
already stated Joshua is the same as "Jesus," the Greek form for Joshua.
Joshua therefore typifies Christ. The earthly people Israel typifies the
heavenly peoples and the earthly possession promised and given to Israel is
the type of the heavenly possession given to His heavenly people. However,
Canaan is not the type of heaven, the place into which the believer enters
in the future. Canaan could not be the type of heaven for two reasons. The
first is, Israel's conflict when they came into the land. They had to fight
their way through the land. Their battles, so to speak, began after they
had crossed Jordan. They got into the land without even lifting a single
sword or spear. But no sooner were they in the land, their fighting began.
This can never be said of heaven. When we reach the Father's house all
conflicts will be forever ended and Satan will be completely bruised under
our feet.

     The second reason why Canaan cannot mean heaven is, that Israel could
be driven out of the land. This is not possible with heaven. It is
impossible that the place into which God's grace brings us could ever be
lost to a child of God. Canaan is the type of the heavenly position and
possession which the believer has in Christ Jesus. It corresponds to that
which in Ephesians is called "in heavenly places," or as better rendered
"in the heavenly." It is the heavenly sphere, the heavenly, spiritual
blessings given to us in Christ Jesus.

     Jordan is not the type of the death of the believer, but Jordan
typifies in Joshua the death of Christ, by which we are separated into this
blessed heavenly possession. We are brought into it by the death of Christ,
as Israel was brought into Canaan through the passage of Jordan.

     The passage of Jordan, the erection of the memorial stones, the events
at Gilgal, all find a most blessed typical application, illustrating our
redemption in Christ as well as our privileges and responsibilities.

     The enemies of Israel, the Canaanites, were usurpers of a land which
did not belong to them. They were steeped in wickedness. Immoralities of
the most abominable nature were connected with their idolatries. They
practised sorcery, divinations; they asked the dead and had familiar
spirits. Satan and his demons had complete control over them. They are the
types of the "wicked spirits" with which a heavenly people wage their
warfare. See Ephesians 6:10-13. All these typical applications we shall
make in the annotations.

     The division of the land among the tribes has its many typical lessons
for us, who are called to possess and enjoy our heavenly possession.

                         The Dispensational Aspect

     The book of Joshua has also a marked dispensational aspect. Israel is
yet to possess the promised land in the dimensions in which they never
possessed it. God brought them in under Joshua, the second one. The first
one, Moses, could not bring them in. When our Lord Jesus Christ appears the
second time, He will gather His people from the wilderness of the nations
and will give them the land and they shall occupy their full inheritance.

     The fall of Jericho, the overthrow of Israel's enemies, the battle at
Gibeon, the division of the land, the rest which followed, all have their
striking and most interesting dispensational meaning.

     May it please God to make the study of the book of Joshua a blessing
to the hearts of His people.

                    The Division of the Book of Joshua

     The division of the book of Joshua is not difficult to make. The
opening chapters are taken up with a description of the entrance of the
people into the promised land and the conflicts with the enemies. This is
followed by the record of the division of the land among the tribes. The
book closes with the last words of Joshua, as Deuteronomy closed with the
final words of Moses. The death and burial of Joshua and a few other
historical statements are added to the book. These, of course, were not
written by Joshua.

     1. The Entrance Commanded and Success Promised (1:1-18)
     2. The Spies and Rahab's Faith (2:1-24)
     3. The Passage of Jordan (3:1-17)
     4. The Memorial Stones (4:1-24)
     5. At Gilgal (5:1-15)
     6. The Fall of Jericho (6:1-27)
     7. Achan's Sin and Israel's Defeat (7:1-26)
     8. The Overthrow of Ai (8:1-35)
     9. The Gibeonites and their Victory (9:1-27)
     10. The Victorious Conquest (10-12)

     1. Instructions Given: The Two and a Half Tribes (13:1-33)
     2. Caleb's Request and Inheritance (14:1-15)
     3. The Portion of Judah (15:1-63)
     4. The Portion of Ephraim (16:1-10)
     5. The Portion of Manasseh (17:1-18)
     6. The Portion of the Rest of the Tribes (18-19)
     7. The Cities of Refuge (20:1-9)
     8. The Portion of the Levites (21:1-45)

     1. The Two and a Half Tribes (22:1-34)
     2. Joshua's Two Addresses (23:1-24:28)
     3. The Epilogue (24:29-33)

                         Analysis and Annotations


              1. The Entrance Commanded and Success Promised

                                 CHAPTER 1

     1. The Lord speaks to Joshua (1:1-9)
     2. Joshua speaks to the people (1:10-15)
     3. The answer of the people (1:16-18)

     The little word "now" with which this book begins is in the Hebrew
"and." It links the book with Deuteronomy and the other books of the
Pentateuch. It also shows that the previous books were in existence, for
the mention of Moses, his death, and Joshua, the minister of Moses,
presupposes that the reader knows all about them. But there is a stronger
evidence in the eighth verse of the chapter, that the Pentateuch was then
completely written. The term "This book of the law" applies to the five
books written by Moses.

     Joshua begins with the statement of Moses' death and ends with the
record of Joshua's death. The book which follows, the book of judges,
begins with the statement of Joshua's death. Moses and Joshua are closely
linked together. Both are beautiful types of the Lord Jesus Christ. Moses,
the servant, is the type of Christ, the perfect servant of God. Joshua
typifies Christ in and among His people in the power of His Spirit.

     He leads His people victoriously into the promised possession. Moses'
death also typifies Christ. The people could not enter the land as long as
this servant of God was living. After his death the land could be
possessed. So after the death of Christ the heavenly inheritance is thrown

     The Lord mentions once more the death of His servant. "Precious in the
sight of the LORD is the death of His Saints" (Ps. 116:15). After that the
command to enter the land is given. The land promised to the seed of
Abraham is God's gift. "The land which I do give unto them." They beheld
that land across the river with its beautiful hills and mountains and its
fertile valleys. The third verse contains a condition. "Every place that
the sole of your feet shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I
said unto Moses." They had to appropriate what God had given and as they
appropriated it, they would possess and enjoy the land. If they made it
their own by putting their feet upon the land, whether mountain or valley,
it became theirs in reality. This required energy. As stated in our
introduction, Canaan typifies the heavenly places mentioned in the Epistle
to the Ephesians. We are blessed "in Christ" with every spiritual blessing
in the heavenly places (Eph. 1:3). All is the gift of the grace of God.
Unsearchable riches, far greater than that land, even in its widest
dimensions, belong to us. The unsearchable riches of Christ are by the
death of Christ put on our side. We must take possession in the energy of
faith, as Israel had to plant their feet upon the territory and conquer it.
If we are apprehended of Jesus Christ, we also must apprehend. "I follow
after, if that I may apprehend that for which I am also apprehended of
Jesus Christ" (Phil. 3:12). Israel failed in the wilderness and Israel
failed in the possession of the land. And greater still is our failure in
not claiming in faith our possessions "in Christ".

     The words the Lord addressed to Joshua are extremely precious. "I will
be with thee," stands first. He was with Joshua and gave him the promise
"There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy
life." And this is true of us. He is with us, indwelling us; His Spirit is
with us and His power on our side. God is for us; who can be against us? "I
will not fail thee, nor forsake thee." He never fails His people. Divine
strength and power are on our side. In the midst of the conflict He will
never forsake His people.

     After these assuring and encouraging words come the exhortations to
obedience. "Be strong and very courageous." Notice the courage is linked
with the law (the Word of God) and obedience to it, as well as meditation
in it day and night. Joshua was put in dependence on the written Word. So
are we. Spiritual growth and enjoyment are impossible apart from meditation
in the Word and obedience to it. The Word and obedience to it, separates
us, and keeps us separated. And we need courage to obey. It requires
courage in an ungodly age, a blinded world with its eyeblinding god (Satan)
"to observe to do according to all that is written." It becomes more
difficult as the present age draws to its close, to fight the good fight of
faith, to appropriate in faith the spiritual blessings, to stand and
withstand the wiles of the devil. But if we are obedient His strength will
sustain us and give us victory. We constantly need the courage of faith,
which looks to God and which is expressed by obedience to His Word. "God's
strength is employed in helping us in the paths of God's will, not out of
it. Then no matter where we go, what the difficulties are, how long the
journey seems, He makes our way prosperous."

     Joshua addressed the officers of the people and especially the
Reubenites, Gadites, and half the tribe of Manasseh. They had made their
choice and had found rest on this side of Jordan. But they were not to be
exempt from the approaching warfare; they are commanded to help their
brethren by passing with them over Jordan. Then after their brethren had
found rest, they were to return to their rest. They could not escape the
conflict, though they had no reward in the land itself.

                      2. The Spies and Rahab's Faith

                                 CHAPTER 2

     1. The spies sent forth (2:1)
     2. Rahab's faith and works (2:2-14)
     3. The escape of the spies and assurance given (2:15-21)
     4. The return of the spies (2:22-24)

     The historical account needs not to be restated. Joshua, who was one
of the spies sent out by Moses, now sends two spies to view the land, even
Jericho. Jericho was the great stronghold of the enemy, surrounded by high
walls. Jericho means "fragrance" and is a type of the world. (It is
interesting to note that in the Hebrew Jericho differs in its spelling in
Joshua from that in Numbers. This proves certainly a different authorship.)
It is situated near Jordan, the river which typifies death and judgment.
The King of Jericho is the type of Satan, the god of this age. The city was
grossly immoral, so that it is not strange that the spies came to the house
of an harlot. Some have tried to change her character by making her to be
an innkeeper. But it cannot be done on account of the word used in the
record here and also in the New Testament. Why should even such an attempt
be made? Rahab, the harlot, is a beautiful type of the power of the gospel
of grace. "By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed
not, when she had received the spies with peace" (Hebrews 1:31). Her faith
she witnessed to by works. "Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot
justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them
out another way?" (James 2:25) Rahab belonged to the doomed race, the race
against which the curse had been pronounced. In the doomed city she
practised her vile occupation. But she heard the report and she believed.
She confessed her faith in Jehovah, the God of the heaven above and of the
earth beneath. She had a reason for this faith, for she said, "We have
heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea for you, when ye came
out of Egypt" (verse 10). She prayed for mercy for herself and her father's
house. She knew judgment would overtake Jericho, that she was a sinner and
needed salvation. She believed in Jehovah and believed, that while He is a
holy God, who had dealt in judgment with Egypt, that He is also merciful.
She trusted in that mercy and appealed to it in her prayer. She claims
assurance of salvation and that of her house and she received it in
positive terms.

     The scarlet-line by which the spies escaped is bound by herself in the
window. It was a token to her and a sign to the coming executioners of
judgment, when Jericho fell. They saw that scarlet-line; but she was not
told to look upon it. How scarlet speaks of the blood needs hardly to be
mentioned. It is the type of being sheltered by the blood. "When I shall
see the blood, I will pass over you," was spoken to Israel, behind the
blood-sprinkled door posts. The scarlet-line has the same meaning. And we
must not forget that two living witnesses gave her the assurance of
Salvation. Thus we have our assurance in Him, who died for our sins and who
was raised on account of our justification.

     By hiding the spies and lying to the King of Jericho, she shows her
faith and the weakness of it. To her was also given a place of honor in the
first chapter of the New Testament as one of the ancestors of Him who,
according to the flesh, is the Son of David.

     Dispensationally the application is equally interesting. When Israel
is about to be restored to their land, a witness is sounded forth once
more, the preaching of the gospel of the kingdom (Matt. 24:14). Before the
judgments of the Lord are executed in the world, those will be saved during
the end of the age who, like Rahab, hear and believe this last kingdom
message. They will do good to the Jewish messengers of this final
testimony, before the coming of the Lord in power and in glory, as Rahab
did good to the spies, the messengers of Joshua. They are those to whom the
Lord will say, "What ye have done to the least of these, My brethren, that
have ye done unto Me." Rahab was saved and remained in the land to enjoy
the earthly blessings with Israel. So the Gentiles, who hear and believe
the last message, who have done good to the messengers of the King, the
Lord's brethren, will be saved from the wrath to come. For a more complete
unfolding of this interesting theme, we refer the reader to the exposition
of the Olivet discourse in the Gospel of Matthew.

                         3. The Passage of Jordan

                                 CHAPTER 3

     1. The Ark of Jehovah going before (3:1-6)
     2. Jehovah's words to Joshua (3:7-8)
     3. Joshua's words to the people (3:9-13)
     4. The passage accomplished (3:14-17)

     The River Jordan divided the people from the promised land. To be in
the land Jordan had to be crossed. Jordan, overflowing all its banks at
that time (verse 15), rolled its dark waters between them and their
God-given possession. Only the power of God could bring them through those
dark waters. It was a miracle which took place, when a way was opened and
"the waters which came down from above stood and rose up upon an heap ...
and those that came down toward the sea of the plain, even the salt-sea,
failed and were cut off" (verse 16). Unbelief has always branded this
miracle as a legend. The destructive criticism has done the same. This is
the second time the Lord made a way for His people through the waters. He
made first a way for them through the Red Sea, by which Israel was
separated from Egypt and from their enemies. The passage of Jordan
separated them from the wilderness and brought them into the land.

     Both, the Red Sea and Jordan, are types of the death of Christ in its
blessed results for His people. The Red Sea experience typifies the fact
that the believer, through the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus
Christ, is dead to sin and dead to the law. The passage through Jordan is
the type of the fact, that the death and resurrection of Christ brings us
into the heavenly places; we are seated together in Christ in heavenly

     And how was the passage accomplished? We read now nothing more of the
movement of the pillar of cloud and of fire, so prominent at the Red Sea
and during the wilderness journey. The ark of the covenant of the Lord
appears in the foreground to lead the way and made a way through the
overflowing waters. Taken up by the priests, carried towards the river, as
soon as the priests touched the brim of it, the waters were stemmed back,
till all the people had passed over on dry ground. The ark with the
blood-sprinkled mercy seat is the type of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is the
type of our Lord going into the deep waters of death to make a way through
them for His people. The distance between the ark and the people was to be
two thousand cubits. It illustrates the fact that our Lord had to do this
work alone. Peter declared that he would go with Him into death, but the
Lord told him, "Thou canst not follow Me now, but thou shalt follow Me
hereafter." There was none with Him, when He made the way, but He takes all
His people through death into resurrection life and glory.

     In the midst of Jordan, the mighty waters standing as a heap above,
the priests that bare the ark of the covenant of the Lord stood firm on dry
ground, until all the people were passed clean over Jordan. It was a dry
way, not a drop of the dark, muddy waters were left. It shows the truth,
that the power of death (typified by the waters of Jordan) is completely
gone; nothing is left of it. The work is accomplished for all His people.
Not one is left behind; the weakest and the smallest pass over. What effect
it must have had upon the enemies, and especially upon Jericho! Jericho was
but five miles away. No doubt they watched the hosts of Israel before the
passage. They felt secure on account of the mighty waters of Jordan, which
seemed to bar the Israelitish invasion. How panic-stricken they must have
become when they saw or heard of the great miracle and that God's people
had reached the other shore! But one person was calm in Jericho. One
enjoyed peace and rest and did not fear. The one from whose window there
streamed the scarlet line.

                          4. The Memorial Stones

                                 CHAPTER 4

     1. The first memorial (4:1-8)
     2. The second memorial (4:9)
     3. The return of the priests with the ark (4:10-18)
     4. The encampment at Gilgal (4:19-24)

     Jehovah commanded that the great event should be remembered by a
memorial. From the river-bed, where the priest's feet stood firm, twelve
men, one from each tribe, were to carry twelve stones and leave them at the
first lodging place in the land, that is, at Gilgal. These memorial stones
were to tell subsequent generations the story of God's faithfulness and
power in bringing His people through Jordan into the land. Another memorial
of twelve stones was set up by Joshua in the midst of the river, where the
priests stood with the ark. This whole record has been much questioned by
the critics; it has been charged that there are two different accounts.
Professor George Adam Smith states: "For instance, in the story of the
crossing of Jordan, as told in Joshua 3 and 4, there are two accounts of
the monument set up to commemorate the passage. One of them builds it at
Gilgal on the west bank with stones taken from the river-bed by the people;
the other builds it in the bed of the river with twelve stones set there by
Joshua. (The same view is held by Friedrich Bleek; no doubt Prof G.A. Smith
has it from him.) Such criticism reveals the astonishing weakness of that
entire school. Why should the ninth verse of the fourth chapter be looked
upon as an interpolation, or as another account of one transaction? There
is nothing in the text to warrant such a statement. The fact is there are
two transactions. The one by the twelve men, who take the twelve stones and
set them up at Gilgal. The other by Joshua, who puts twelve stones in the

     But if these critics but knew a little more of the spiritual and
typical significance of all these events and transactions, they would soon
learn better. What do these two memorials mean? They tell out the story
what God has done for His people. In the midst of Jordan the children of
Israel could see the pile of twelve stones Joshua had put there as a
memorial. As they looked upon them and the waters rushing about them, they
remembered that where these stones are, there the ark halted and the waters
were cut off and His people passed over.

     The typical application is not hard to make. The twelve stones in the
river-bed tell out the story of the death of Christ and our death with Him.
We are dead to sin and to the law as well as crucified unto the world. We
must, therefore, reckon ourselves dead unto sin.

     The other memorial was erected at Gilgal. As they looked upon these
stones and their children asked them, "What mean these stones?" they could
point to them and say, as these stones were taken out of Jordan on the dry
land, so had they been brought out of Jordan into this land of promise.
This memorial is the type of the fact "that we are alive unto God in our
Lord Jesus Christ." We are a new creation in Christ Jesus, the old things
are passed away, behold all things are become new. It is the memorial which
tells us, that we are raised up and seated in Christ in the heavenly
places. These two great truths seen in this double memorial must ever be
remembered by God's people, as Israel was charged to remember the passing
over Jordan and the bringing into the land.

                               5. At Gilgal

                                 CHAPTER 5

     1. The terrified enemies (5:1)
     2. Circumcision commanded and executed (5:2-9)
     3. The Passover kept (5:10)
     4. The old corn of the land (5:11-12)
     5. The captain of Jehovah's host (5:13-15)

     The events at Gilgal are of much interest. Jehovah had brought His
people over Jordan. All His promises were kept. He had promised to deliver
them out of Egypt and to bring them into the land of Canaan. All is now
accomplished. The wilderness is behind them and they face the marvellous
land with its riches and resources, the land flowing with milk and honey.
The advance and the conquest is next in order. At the Red Sea their enemies
were slain by the power of God, but now, after the power of God had brought
them into the land, the real conflict begins.

     Gilgal, the new ground gained and occupied by the people brought over
Jordan, is the type of the resurrection-ground upon which our feet have
been planted. That we are risen with Christ and seated in Him in the
heavenly places must be constantly remembered, as Israel could never forget
at Gilgal that they had been brought over Jordan into the land. The
memorial stones served as a constant reminder.

     But before they could advance a number of things took place. First we
read of the fear which took hold on the kings of the Canaanites. Their
hearts melted. They were the instruments of Satan under whose control they
were; their fear denotes Satan's fear. He knew the power of Jehovah, which
had brought them into the land. The enemy is defeated by the death and
resurrection of our Lord. Through death He has annulled him, who has the
power of death, that is the devil. Being in Christ, risen with Christ and
seated in Him in the heavenly places, we can look upon the enemy as
conquered. Yet it is only in the Lord and in the power of His might that we
are strong. Apart from Him we become the easy prey of our enemy. What an
encouragement to Israel it must have been, when they learned, as no doubt
they did, that the mighty enemies, who had inspired such terror to their
fathers over thirty-eight years ago, were now trembling. Israel's fear was
gone, because God's power was on their side. What confidence we should have
when we remember that "we are translated from the power of darkness into
the kingdom of the Son of His love"! Victory is on our side. All we need to
do is to put on the whole armour of God, to resist the devil and he will
flee from us.

     Circumcision is next commanded by Jehovah. "At that time the LORD said
unto Joshua, Make thee sharp knives and circumcise again the children of
Israel the second time." This command was carried out at once and the
reproach of Egypt was rolled away. Therefore the place was called Gilgal,
which means "rolling." The circumcision was carried out on all the males,
who were born in the wilderness (verses 5 and 7). The rite of such deep
meaning had been neglected. No doubt they had plenty of excuses for that
during the wilderness journey. No command was given to circumcise during
the thirty-eight years' wandering. It was suspended; it may have been a
punishment for their unbelief But now all is changed. They are in the land.
The Passover, the great memorial feast, was about to be kept. The
uncircumcised could not eat the Passover. The reproach of Egypt, for as
uncircumcised they were the same as in bondage in Egypt, in no covenant
with Jehovah, is rolled away. The visible token of belonging to Jehovah was
now borne by every male in the camp.

     Joshua exhibited the courage of faith in circumcising the thousands of
Israelites at that time. His action has been called "most unmilitary." He
put the vast majority of his fighting men into an unfit condition. What if
these Canaanites should have fallen upon the settlers in their territory?
May Joshua not have remembered the dastardly crime of the sons of Jacob?
See Genesis 34:24-26. He knew no fear, his first concern was to yield
obedience to God. They tarried for several weeks at Gilgal.

     What are the typical lessons of all this? Circumcision stands for the
carrying out of the sentence of death to the flesh. The death of Christ is
for His people a circumcision. "In whom also ye are circumcised with the
circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the flesh by
the circumcision of Christ" (Col. 2:11). But this fact that we are dead to
sin by the circumcision, the death of Christ must be carried out
practically. The sharp knife has to be applied to the flesh and the things
of the flesh. The members, which are on earth, must be mortified, which
means, put into the place of death, where the death of Christ has put them.
If it is not done the reproach of Egypt will rest upon His people and they
are unfit to enjoy their heavenly possession, and unable to advance in the
things of Christ.

     Gilgal, therefore, stands for the judgment of self. This is the place
of our strength and power. Israel had always to return to Gilgal; when they
did not they were defeated. Defeat, failure in our walk, always drives us
back to self-judgment and humiliation. Victory and blessing may keep us
from it; and that is our real spiritual danger.

     Passover is kept next. See Numbers 9 and our annotations there. What
blessed memories must have come to them? They remembered that fearful night
in Egypt and how Jehovah had passed over them, when He saw the blood of the
lamb. Notice the difference between these two Passovers. The first they
kept as guilty; they needed protection. But now they keep it as delivered
and brought into the land. And we have a feast of remembrance likewise, the
Lord's table. "Do this in remembrance of Me." It must be kept by us on
resurrection-ground, realizing that we are dead with Christ and risen with
Him; self-judgment is needed as well.

     "The remembrance of the past is often an excellent preparation for the
trials of the future, and as often it proves a remarkable support under
them. It was the very nature of the Passover to look back to the past, and
to recall God's first great interposition on behalf of His people. It was a
precious encouragement both to faith and hope. So also is our Christian
Passover. It is a connecting link between the first and second comings of
our Lord. The first coming lends support to faith, the second to hope. No
exercise of soul can be more profitable than to go back to that memorable
day when Christ our Passover was sacrificed for us. For then the price of
redemption was paid in full, and the door of salvation flung wide open.
Then the Son sealed His love by giving Himself for us. What blessing,
whether for this life or the life to come, was not purchased by that
transaction? Life may be dark and stormy, but hope foresees a bright
tomorrow. "When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also
appear with Him in glory" (Professor W.G. Blaikie).

     Then the manna ceased and they ate the old corn of the land. Both
foods are typical of Christ, the food God has given to His people. The
manna is the type of Christ, on earth, in humiliation. The old corn is
Christ in Glory. May we constantly feed on both.

     Then Joshua meets before Jericho the man with the drawn sword. What a
courageous man Joshua was! He meets the stranger alone. Most likely he had
no sword, while the man had his sword drawn. He soon hears who the stranger
is. It is the same One who appeared to Moses in the burning bush, to
Abraham at Mamre, to Jacob at Peniel and to others afterward. It is Jehovah
in visible form. These theophanies were surely not incarnations, yet they
foreshadowed the incarnation of the Son of God. Here Jehovah who in the
fulness of time became Man, appears as a man of war, as Captain of the host
of the Lord. The host are Israel. And He is the Captain of our salvation.

     The book of Joshua is the book of conflicts and conquests. The sword
is freely used in carrying out the divine judgments upon the ungodly
tenants of the land. Yet the first drawn sword, mentioned in the book, is
in the hand of the Lord as He appeared unto Joshua. He fights for His
people. He will yet execute the righteous judgments in the earth, It will
be when He appears the second time.

                          6. The Fall of Jericho

                                 CHAPTER 6

     1. The divine instruction (6:1-5)
     2. The instructions followed (6:6-19)
     3. The fall of Jericho (6:20-21)
     4. Rahab remembered (6:22-25)
     5. The curse upon Jericho (6:26-27)

     We do not enlarge upon the history of the chapter, which needs no
comment. The fall of Jericho by the power of God, as described in this
chapter, has also been ridiculed by infidels. Others have tried to explain
the occurrence in a natural way. It has been said that the marching
Israelites, by tramping around the city for seven days, weakened the walls,
and the trumpet blasts and shouting of the people brought about their
collapse. How utterly ridiculous! But what are the typical and
dispensational lessons of this interesting chapter?

     Jericho is the type of the world, as already stated in the annotations
of the second chapter. As Jericho falls and is laid in ruins as soon as
Israel is in the land, so the world is laid in ruins for the believer who
apprehends his position in Christ. Our faith is the victory which
overcometh the world. It was faith which obtained the victory over Jericho.
A faith which trusted in the Lord; a faith which acted in obedience to the
divinely given instructions. "By faith the walls of Jericho fell down,
after they were compassed about seven days" (Hebrews 11:30). And we must
walk in faith and in the power of His Spirit, as crucified unto the world
and the world crucified unto us. The world must remain in ruins for the
believer who walks in the Spirit, as Jericho was not to be rebuilt.

     It is a remarkable circumstance, in various aspects, that Jericho, the
first and the strongest city of the land, is taken in this peculiar manner,
without a single stroke of the sword. This result was intended, on the one
hand, to furnish the faith of the Israelites with unquestionable evidence
of the success of their future warlike movements, which now commenced, and,
on the other hand, to secure them in advance, from a carnal reliance on
their own strength, and from all vainglorious tendencies to ascribe their
success to their own courage, their own intelligence, and their own power.

     We must also think here of the walls, the hindrances, the obstacles in
our lives as believers, as we pass through the world. The enemy often tries
to terrify us by these, as he discouraged Israel at Kadesh by the walled
cities. Alas! we often do what Joshua did not do before Jericho. We measure
the walls, we study the difficulties, we are occupied with our perplexities
and trials. We reckon with the walls, instead of reckoning with the Lord
and His power. By faith walls still fall down.

     Richer is the meaning of the fall of Jericho viewed in the light of
prophecy. Jericho is the type of the world ripe for judgment. The high
walls are types of the walls of unbelief, apostasy, wickedness and
self-security. Seven days Israel had to march around the walls. Seven
priests with seven trumpets were there. On the seventh day they had to
march around seven times and blow the seven trumpets. Note the number
"seven." It stands for divine completion. How it all reminds us of the last
book of the Bible with its seven seals, seven trumpets and seven vials. The
trumpets, however, in Joshua are the trumpets of jubilee. The great
jubilee, the time of blessing for this earth comes, when judgment is
executed. As the walls of Jericho fell, so comes the day, when all the high
and exalted things will be laid low (Isaiah 2:10-22) The stone will fall
out of heaven (Christ in His second coming) smiting the image, representing
the world-power. Complete ruins will be the result, never to be built
again; but the smiting stone becomes a mountain, filling the earth. It is
the prophetic picture of the coming kingdom.

     "The details of the fall of Jericho seem not, however, to be facts of
present experience, but prophetic of actual judgment when it comes; and
this is quite as we might expect. We see by them, however, that the people
of God have to maintain the testimony as to these things: compassing the
city and blowing the trumpets until the city falls; although it be only in
the meantime to awaken the scorn of the men of the world, as they hear the
frequent alarm of that which seems never to come. But it comes, comes
steadily nearer, is surely even now at the door, and how urgent should be
our testimony, which, if of no effect upon the mass, yet helps to fill
Rahab's house, where the true scarlet-line, as despicable in men's eyes as
that of old, shields with the power of the Almighty the prisoners of hope"
(F.W. Grant).

     How blessedly the promise was kept to Rahab and her house! No doubt
that scarlet line was the object of ridicule in Jericho. She alone and her
house escaped the dreadful judgment. The entire walls fell; but one small
portion was kept standing, the portion upon which her house stood.

     Jericho was built three times and three times razed to the ground. It
was first destroyed under Joshua. Then Hiel, the Beth-elite rebuilt it in
Ahab's reign (822-790). He experienced the curse of Joshua. Compare Joshua
6:26 with 1 Kings 16:34. Hiel's city was destroyed by the Herodians in 3
B.C. The next year Archelaus built Jericho again, the Jericho standing in
the days of our Lord. This was destroyed by Vespassian 68 A.D.

                    7. Achan's Sin and Israel's Defeat

                                 CHAPTER 7

     1. The defeat of Israel (7:1-5)
     2. The source of the defeat revealed (7:6-15)
     3. The transgressor found out (7:16-23)
     4. The judgment of Achan (7:24-26)

     The insignificant place Ai brings defeat. Joshua sent men to view Ai.
What authority was given to him to do so? There was no need to send spies
once more, for the Lord had said, that the whole land was given to them.
They report Ai a place without walls and recommend that only two or three
thousand men be sent up. Defeat follows.

     Ai means "ruins." It is mentioned for the first time in Genesis 12.
Abraham built his altar between Bethel (House of God) and Ai. Ai is another
type of the world. But the source of the defeat was Achan's sin. The
shekels of silver and gold, the Babylonian garment, had blinded his eyes.
These things were to be "accursed," which literally means devoted; devoted
to the treasury of the Lord (6:19). Joshua had given the command that such
should be the case, and also announced, that disobedience would bring
trouble upon Israel. Achan's sin was responsible for the defeat of the
people. He confesses, "I saw--I coveted--I took." The same old story, first
enacted in the garden of Eden. The evil in the midst of the people of God,
unjudged, becomes the most powerful agent against Israel and withholds
God's power and blessing. It is so still. As soon as we cling to the things
of the world, the enemy gets an advantage over us, and we have little power
and cannot advance in the things of Christ. Ah! the Achans in our lives!
Judge self, bring the evil thing into the light and victory and blessing
will follow. Joshua's prayer and Jehovah's answer; Achan's sin discovered
and forced confession; the judgment which falls upon him and his house; the
heap of stones raised over him--all is of interest and instruction, which
our limited space forbids to follow in detail.

     The valley of Achor is mentioned in Hosea 2:15 as a door of hope. The
place and door of hope is in Him, who died not for his sins, but who took
the sin and guilt of the nation upon Himself.

     "The valley of Achor was not only the place of national repentance,
and of a national repudiation of sin, but it was also the place of a great
and tragic national expiation. Israel had sinned, and so Israel had
suffered, but it was the sin of one man that had brought judgment on the
camp. Now, observe, the sin of a single man was imputed to Israel, and
became Israel's sin, and because of that imputation of sin, the wrath of
God fell on the whole nation. But when the sin of that one man was
discovered, and when it was confessed before God, then the sin imputed to
the congregation reverted on to the head of the one criminal. Thus the
penalty due to a national sin was actually carried out upon him whose guilt
had involved the nation in judgment; and as the deadly stones were hurled
upon him, that man in his death was not only reaping the reward of his
disobedience, but the sin of the nation was being expiated in the death of
the individual; and thus was opened 'a door of hope' through 'the valley of
trouble,' whereby Israel might enter the land of promise, and find her
vineyards from thence."--Aitken.

                          8. The Overthrow of Ai

                                 CHAPTER 8

     1. The advance commanded (8:1-2)
     2. The strategy of Joshua (8:3-13)
     3. Ai's defeat (8:14-29)
     4. Joshua's obedience (8:30-35)

     Sin confessed, judged and put away restored communion with the Lord.
If any burden remained upon the mind of Joshua, it was removed by the
repeated words of comfort and cheer. "Fear not, neither be thou dismayed."
The failure is no longer mentioned, but instead, comfort and assurance is
given and victory promised. He deals in the same gracious way with us,
whenever we have failed and humbled ourselves before Him in self-judgment.
However, their former presumption is not overlooked by Jehovah. The capture
of Ai is hard work for them. They had to learn the lesson. Their pride and
self reliance was dealt with by Jehovah, who ever wants His people in the
place of lowliness and weakness. Instead of 3,000 men, ten times as many
had to go up and engage in the warfare.

     The Lord commanded Joshua to stretch out the spear toward Ai. This
corresponds to the uplifted hands of Moses in the warfare against Amalek in
Exodus 17. It was a token of the presence of divine power in securing the
complete victory. We read nothing of Joshua's arm with the spear becoming
weak, as it was with the uplifted hands of Moses. "For Joshua drew not his
hand back wherewith he stretched out the spear, until he had utterly
destroyed all the inhabitants of Ai" (verse 26). It was an act of faith,
and divine power supported the out stretched arm.

     Then, after the victory, Joshua built an altar unto the Lord God of
Israel, in Mount Ebal. He is doing this in obedience to the previously
given command. See Deuteronomy 27:2-8. What an impressive scene it must
have been when "he read all the words of the law, the blessings and the
cursings, according to all that is written in the book of the law."

     "Both mounts belong to the range of Mount Ephraim; the elevated valley
of Shechem lies between them. The transaction probably took place in the
following manner. Six tribes occupied each mount; the priests, standing
below in the valley with the ark of the covenant in their midst, turned
toward Mount Gerizim as they solemnly pronounced the words of blessing, and
then, looking towards Mount Ebal, repeated the words of cursing; all the
people responded to each of the words, and said: 'Amen!' Ebal, the Mount of
cursing, is naked and bald; Gerizim, the mount of blessing, is green and
fertile. The circumstance that the mount of cursing was assigned for the
writing of the law, the erection of the altar, and the offering of
sacrifice, is highly significant; the cause lies in the intimate relations
existing between the curse, on the one hand, and the Law and Sacrifice, on
the other--the former brings a curse, or gives a sharp point to it, the
latter abolishes it" (J.H. Kurtz).

                             9. The Gibeonites

                                 CHAPTER 9

     1. The confederacy of the enemies (9:1-2)
     2. The deception of the Gibeonites (9:3-13)
     3. The failure (9:14-15)
     4. The deception discovered (9:16-27)

     Israel now comes face to face with the other inhabitants of the land.
These enemies, which Israel encountered, are the types of our enemies, and
the conflict of God's earthly people is typical of our conflict. There is,
however, a difference. Israel's enemies were flesh and blood; ours are not.
Israel's conflict was in the land; ours is with the wicked spirits in the
heavenly places. Israel was asked to drive them out; we are not asked to do
this, but to resist the devil. Israel's land rested from the conflict; we
shall not rest till we are with Him, when Satan will be bruised under our
feet. Read Ephesians 6:10-17.

     The Canaanites are the types of the evil powers, with whom we have to
wage our warfare. As the Canaanites opposed the possession and enjoyment of
the land, so the aim of the wicked spirits is to keep us back, to hinder us
in possessing and enjoying our spiritual blessings in Christ Jesus.

     The Gibeonites were Hivites. They came with deceptions, knowing well
what was their lot. The deceptions were inspired by the father of lies.

     In Ephesians 6, we are especially warned against the wiles of the
devil. We are to stand against the wiles of the devil. Elsewhere we read
that he transforms himself into an angel of light. The Gibeonites
illustrate these wiles of the devil. Not alone had they their mouldy bread
and old wineskins, as a kind of credential to back up their lies, but they
talked very piously. What are these wiles of the devil? We have to turn to
the so-called "religious world" to find them. The "religious world," which
speaks piously of God and Christ, is at best hypocrisy, phariseeism.
Ritualism, Galatianism, manmade ordinances, belong to the wiles of the
devil. Philosophies, traditions of men, delusive doctrines, cunningly
devised fables, all these belong to the wiles of the devil (Colossians 2).
Such systems as Christian Science, spiritism, Russellism, Bahaism, higher
criticism, theosophy and others belong to the wiles of the devil. So does
"social-reform." These world reformers, "Christian" socialists, talk
piously like the Gibeonites, but the devil's wiles are underneath.

     And these wiles of the devil are multiplying. Satan, knowing that his
time is short, does all he can to keep God's people from enjoying their
blessings and from advancing in spiritual things.

     The Gibeonites, with their pious talk, were received into the
congregation of Israel, just as the professing church is receiving the
world into the church. The failure was with Israel. They asked not counsel
of the Lord. Had Joshua gone in the presence of the Lord, He would soon
have exposed the deceptions of the Gibeonites. Here is where our failure
comes in likewise. Never can Satan, with his superior knowledge and his
wiles, get an advantage over us, if we hold closely to the Word of God, the
Sword of the Spirit, and if we ask counsel of the Lord through His Word and
in prayer. The covenant made had to stand. It would have been
unrighteousness, if Israel had acted differently. How many unequal yokes
there are among God's people, entered into without having asked counsel of
the Lord!

     And there is generally no escape, but suffering in consequence. Israel
had to stand much on account of the unholy alliance with the Gibeonites.
What a man sows that he will reap. Read 2 Samuel 21:1-6.

                        10. The Victorious Conquest

                                CHAPTER 10

     1. Adoni-zedec and his confederacy (10:1-6)
     2. The war (10:7-11)
     3. The miracle (10:12-15)
     4. The victory won (10:16-21)
     5. The five kings slain (10:22-27)
     6. Further conquests (10:28-43)

     The name Jerusalem is mentioned here for the first time in the Bible.
(Salem in Genesis 14:18, is generally taken to be Jerusalem. See Psalm
76:2. The ancient tablets give the name as Ur-Salim. But the name
"Jerusalem" is found the first time in Joshua 10:1.) It is in connection
with war, and the next time we find Jerusalem on fire (judges 1:8). This
may be taken as a prophecy of the history of that city. Yet something
better is in store for Jerusalem. Adoni-zedec is here the King of
Jerusalem. His name means "lord of righteousness." He represents the
counterfeit king in opposition to Him who is Jerusalem's true King, the
true Melchizedec, King of righteousness and King of peace. He is a type of
Anti-christ. On account of Gibeon having gone over to Israel, Adoni-zedec
forms an alliance, which he heads as leader. His confederates are given by
name. We give the meaning of their names in parenthesis, which will be
helpful in a deeper study of these types. Horam (the noise of a multitude),
King of Hebron; Piram (the wild ass), King of Jarmuth; Japhia (causing
brightness); King of Lachish; Debir (an oracle), King of Eglon. This
satanic alliance was aimed at Gibeon and at Israel as well. And Gibeon
appealed to Joshua for help.

     Notice that they sent to Gilgal, the first camp of Israel. Joshua and
the people were at Gilgal and from Gilgal they ascended. At Gilgal they saw
the memorials of God's power, and encouraged by a direct message from
Jehovah they went forth to war. Blessed are we, if in our spiritual warfare
we go forth from Gilgal (the place of self-judgment and of power).

     The great miracle of the standing still of the sun and the moon
occurred then. The way this miracle has been held up to ridicule is known
to everybody. Infidels of all generations have sneered at it. Critics have
followed, as they always do, close in their footsteps. But even good men
have found difficulties here and tried to explain it with their human
wisdom. One explanation given is that the Hebrew word _dum, to stand, means
rather that the sun was to cease to give its light. Upon this the statement
is made, that Joshua's command was that the sun and moon should cease
giving their light, and not that they should cease continuing their
apparent motion. Herder in his "Hebraische Poesie" says:

     "It is astonishing that this fine passage has been so long
misunderstood. Joshua attacked the Amorites in the early morning, and the
battle continued till night; that is, for a long day, which seemed to
protract itself into night, to complete the victory. The sun and moon were
witnesses of Joshua's great deeds, and held their course in the midst of
heaven till the triumph was perfect. Who does not recognize this as poetry,
even if it had not been quoted from the Book of Poems on Heroes. In the
usual language of the Hebrews such expressions were neither bold nor

     These are the attempts of man, by which he tries to explain the
supernatural by the natural. The occurrence is a miracle. It says the sun
stood still. But how is that when science tells us the sun does not move?
We give the answer from Kurtz in his Sacred History, because it is the most
concise statement we have ever seen:

     "A voucher from the Old Testament for the promise in Mark 11:23, 24,
'Whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, etc..' is
furnished by Joshua's bold word of faith with its fulfilment. It was his
prayer that the light of day might be prolonged, and the darkness of night
be retarded, until he had secured the object for which he pursued the
enemy: he obtained the answer which he sought by the miraculous power of
his faith. No investigation respecting the natural means which produced
this supernatural effect can furnish valuable results. The command of faith
is pronounced in the sense which Joshua assigns to the words; the divine
answer is given in the sense in which God understands them. No arguments
that are either favorable or unfavorable to any particular system of
astronomy are furnished by the occurrence."

     The miracle must have stricken with terror the fighting nations, for
they worshipped the sun and the moon.

     Signs in heaven are frequently mentioned in the Word.

     Read and study carefully the following passages: 2 Kings 20:11; Isa.
38:8; Amos 8:9; Isa. 13:10, 60:20; Ezek. 32:7; Joel 2:10, 31; 3:15; Matt.
24:29; Rev. 6:12; 8:12; 9:2; 16:8. When the age ends with the battle of
Armageddon and the Lord Jesus Christ appears the second time in great power
and glory, these signs as predicted in some of these passages will be
fulfilled. The sun and moon will be darkened. What terror will take hold
upon the great masses of Christendom, who reject the miracle and Christ!
Read Revelation 6:12-17.

     What is the book of Jasher, mentioned in verse 13?

     The Book of Jasher (or, of the Upright, that is, Israel) was a
collection of sacred war-songs, and may have, possibly, formed a
continuation, in a certain sense, of the "Book of the Wars of the Lord"
(Numbers 21:14; 2 Samuel 1:18). The collection was probably commenced in
the wilderness, and, at different periods, received additions.

     The fact that it is no longer in existence proves its noninspiration.

     Great are the victories described in this chapter. See verse 41 as to
the territory which was covered. From Kadesh-barnea unto Gaza, all the
country of Goshen unto Gibeon. And why? Because the Lord God of Israel
fought for Israel (verse 42). If God is for us, who can be against us! "And
Joshua returned, and all Israel with him, unto the camp of Gilgal." How
wonderful it is to return after our victories to Gilgal, the place of
self-judgment and confessed weakness. How often our victories and blessings
are more dangerous than our failures and defeats!

                             Further Conquests

                                CHAPTER 11

     1. Jabin and his confederacy (11:1-5)
     2. The divine encouragement (11:6)
     3. The victory (11:7-14)
     4. The obedience of Joshua (11:15)
     5. The continued conflict with the kings (11:16-23)

     The Kings of the north formed the second confederacy, headed by Jabin,
King of Hazor. Jabin means "understanding" and Hazor, "an enclosure." He
with other kings, and with them "much people even as the sand that is upon
the seashore in multitude, with horses and chariots very many," came to
fight against Israel. These different confederacies opposing the rightful
owners of the land may be taken as types of the opposition from confederate
nations which Israel will have to face during the great tribulation.

     Did Joshua fear in the presence of such a powerful enemy? If he
feared, his fear must have vanished completely when Jehovah said, "Be not
afraid of them, for tomorrow about this time will I deliver them up all
slain before Israel; thou shalt hough their horses, and burn their chariots
with fire." The Lord assured Joshua, and with such an assurance he rushed
at once against the enemy by the waters of Merom. It does not matter how
strong the enemy is, how cunningly his plans are laid, how he may come upon
us with an host to terrify; if we are right with the Lord and on the Lord's
side, we shall be more than conquerors. The victory is complete; their
chariots are burned and the horses were disabled by cutting the sinews of
their legs. The latter no doubt had for its purpose to make it impossible
for His people to trust in human resources. If they had used these horses,
they might have put their confidence in them. "Some trust in chariots and
some in horses; but we will remember the LORD our God" (Psalm 20:7).

     At Hazor, as in other cities and places, the divine command of utter
extermination of all human beings was literally carried out. "There was not
any left to breathe." An awful picture indeed it is! Infidels have made the
best of it by denouncing these records and blaspheming the righteous and
holy God. Others again have tried to excuse the Israelites by saying that
it was the customary thing 1,500 years before Christ to treat conquered
nations in this way. But it was God Himself who commanded their
extermination. Joshua and Israel had no choice whatever in the matter. They
acted in obedience to the divine will. God's time for the execution of His
righteous judgments had come and He used Israel as His instrument. To
Abraham the word was spoken concerning his seed, "in the fourth generation
they will come hither again; for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet
full." The iniquity of these nations had reached such a degree, that God's
wrath and holy vengeance had to fall upon them. They were given to the most
awful abominations and practised unspeakable immoralities. The hour of
judgment had come. The whole race was to be swept away. And who dares to
question God's sovereign right to do so. Should not the judge of all the
earth do right?

     Nor must we forget that the judgment of Canaan, as well as the
judgment of Egypt, is prophetic. Judgment and wrath are in store for this
earth. The divine sword will some day be unsheathed again. The conditions
of the earth are such that God must judge. Thousands are hardening their
hearts; ere long, as it was with the Canaanites (verse 20), the Lord will
harden their hearts. These judgments are written in language which cannot
be misunderstood.

     Notice Joshua's obedience. He left nothing undone. He obeyed the Word;
he followed closely the divine instructions. That led to success and

                            The Conquered Kings

                                CHAPTER 12

     1. The kings on the other side of Jordan (12:1-6)
     2. The kings on this side of Jordan (12:7-24)

     "The land rested from war" is the concluding statement of the previous
chapter. It was after Joshua had made war a long time with all those kings
(11:18). Deut. 6:10-11 was also fulfilled. "And it shall be, when the LORD
Thy God shall have brought thee into the land, which He sware unto thy
Fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob, to give thee great and goodly
cities, which thou buildest not, and houses full of all good things, which
thou filledst not, and wells digged, which thou diggedst not, vineyards and
olive trees, which thou plantedst not." The list of kings which is given in
this chapter needs no comment. Thirty-one are mentioned as conquered by
Joshua. The land was only 150 miles from north to south, and 50 miles from
east to west. Criticism has also objected to this, as if so many kings
could not exist in so small a territory. Professor Maspero, one of the
foremost archaeologists, fully confirms the Bible-record. We quote from

     "The Canaanites were the most numerous of all these groups, and had
they been able to amalgamate under a single king, or even to organize a
lasting confederacy, it would have been impossible for the Egyptian armies
to have broken through the barrier thus raised between them and the rest of
Asia; but, unfortunately, so far from showing the slightest tendency
towards unity or concentration, the Canaanites were more hopelessly divided
than any of the surrounding nations. Their mountains contained nearly as
many states as there were valleys, while in the plains each town
represented a separate government, and was built on a spot carefully
selected for purposes of defence. The land, indeed, was chequered by these
petty states, and so closely were they crowded together, that a horseman
travelling at leisure could easily pass through two or three of them in a
day's journey." Of the richer country towards the north he writes: "Towns
grew and multiplied upon this rich and loamy soil."

                       II. THE DIVISION OF THE LAND

     The divine record concerning the division of the land, as it is before
us in these chapters, is often looked upon merely as history barren of any
spiritual meaning. Many expositors pass over the greater part of it or give
only geographical information. However, a deeper meaning must be sought
here; there are many and blessed lessons in spiritual and dispensational
truths hidden in these chapters. Why should the Holy Spirit have recorded
all these things if they have no meaning whatever? It is written, "All
Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine,
for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness" (2 Timothy
3:16). This surely applies to all Scripture, including the chapters which
contain nothing but names. Again it is written, "Now all these things
happened unto them (Israel) as types, and they are written for our
admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come" (1 Corinthians
10:11). "For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our
learning, that we through patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have
hope" (Romans 15:4). We dare not deny these chapters in Joshua a spiritual
application in the light of these plain words of the Spirit in the New

     In the study of the previous books we have discovered (especially in
Genesis) the fact that the meaning of the Hebrew names are of deep
significance and often helpful in the types as well as the spiritual and
dispensational lessons. Here is a wide field, which has been but little
covered. Hundreds of names are found in this second part of Joshua. They
all have a meaning and through these names we can learn the lessons the
Spirit of God has written there for our learning. Yet caution is needed.
While some ignore this study entirely, others swing into the opposite
direction and are fanciful in their application. This must be avoided.

     We are sorry that the scope of our work does not permit a more
detailed exposition and research. If we were to give way to the desire to
do this we would have to write a volume. But we hope, with His gracious
help, to give such hints which will help in a more extended, private study.
(F.W. Grant in the Numerical Bible gives excellent help, both in the
meaning of the names and in application. We know of no other attempt in
this direction and acknowledge our own indebtedness to him. This, of
course, does not mean that we endorse all the translations or applications
he gives.)

             1. Instruction Given: The Two and One-half Tribes

                                CHAPTER 13

     1. Jehovah speaks to Joshua (13:1-7)
     2. Inheritance of the two and one-half tribes (13:8-33)

     About seven years had gone by since the passage over Jordan and
Joshua, being old and advanced in years, is addressed by the Lord. He takes
care of His servants in their old age and provides for their comfort. Much
land was yet to be possessed. Israel never responded to the fulness of
God's gift to them. How great their failure, as well as our failure as His
spiritual people, to possess our possessions, which God's grace has put on
our side!

     The unpossessed land is described in verses 2-7. It was never
possessed in full by Israel, nor did they ever have the land, as promised
to them from the Red Sea to the River Euphrates. God's gifts and calling
being without repentance (Romans 11:29) the time must yet come when they
receive that land in the dimensions as promised in Exodus 23:31. When their
restoration comes with the coming of their once rejected King, our Lord,
this promised land will be possessed by the nation.

     These undisposed enemies may well be taken as the types of our
spiritual enemies. The Philistines, who were not Canaanites, stand in the
foreground. Their origin may be traced in Genesis. They were sons of Ham
and sprang from Egypt. The name "Palestine" is derived from "Philistine."
They typify the power of corruption to the people of God. The Philistines
today, which keep God's people back from the enjoyment of their
inheritance, are the corrupt forms of Christianity, Rome and her daughters.
Note the five princes of the Philistines and their residence. Gaza
(strong); Ashdod (I will spoil); Ashkelon (the fire of infamy); Gath
(wine-press, a type of wrath); Ekron (uprooting). These names describe the
character of these powerful enemies of Israel. We leave it with the reader
to apply them to that powerful ecclesiastical world-system, Rome. The
Avites belonged to the gigantic races, which dwelt in the land. The name
means "perverters." Satan with his powerful agencies perverts the truth and
keeps God's people in bondage.

     And the Lord promises to drive them out (verse 6). With His own power
He was ready to dispossess these wicked usurpers, if Israel was but willing
to advance in faith and act upon His promise. Here is where they failed.
Oh! that we might see that God is on our side in the conflict and in the
possession of our inheritance.

     The inheritance of the two tribes and a half, Reuben, Gad and half
Manasseh is then restated and confirmed.

                    2. Caleb's Request and Inheritance

                                CHAPTER 14

     1. The inheritance by lot (14:1-5)
     2. Caleb's request (14:6-15)

     Judah's portion comes first, and as they draw near to Joshua to
receive their inheritance by lot (See Proverbs 16:33 and Acts 1:26) at
Gilgal (note the recurrence of this place and its significance), Caleb, the
son of Jephunneh, steps to the front. It was not forwardness or love of the
preeminence which led him to do this, but the burning zeal in that old, yet
youthful soul. He comes to claim the inheritance, which forty-five years
ago Moses had promised unto him. Caleb was eighty-five years old. "As yet I
am as strong this day as I was in the day that Moses sent me; as my
strength was then even so is my strength now, for war, both to go out and
to come in." One can almost see him standing before Eleazar, Joshua and the
heads of the tribes. What a beautiful testimony he gives to the
faithfulness of the Lord! He could say, "I wholly followed the LORD my
God." He stands for the man who trusts his God, who reckons not with
earthly circumstances and conditions, but with the Lord and His promised
power. They that honor Me, I will honor. Forty years old was Caleb when he
was put among the spies and when, with Joshua, he honored God and His Word.
The reward of faith became evident in his life. Mental vigor and physical
strength remained unimpaired. And now he claims his inheritance. Patiently
he had waited for forty-five years. The hour has come. He claims the
mountain with its Anakim, the giants, the fenced cities, the great cities.
That beautiful mountain with its strenuous task is the claimed inheritance.
Old age is often characterized by "the pride of life." The lust of the
flesh is peculiar to youth; the lust of the eyes, the desire of increase in
earthly things to enjoy them, comes with middle life, and in old age
temptation is "the pride of life." But not so with the man of faith. Listen
to his humble language. He does not pride himself on his faith and trust in
God; he knows nothing of self-confidence. "If so be the LORD will be with
me, then I shall be able to drive them out, as the LORD said."

     In our day of departure from God and unbelief, may we be like Caleb,
"wholly following the LORD." We, too, wait in faith and in patience for the
promised inheritance, which some day will be ours, when He comes to reward
His Saints. Then as Israel's land had rest from war (verse 15) we shall
enter into our rest from strife and conflict.

                          3. The Portion of Judah

                                CHAPTER 15

     1. The south-border of Judah's portion (15:1-4)
     2. The eastern and northern border (15:5-11)
     3. The western border (15:12)
     4. Caleb's conquest (15:13-19)
     5. Inheritance according to families (15:20-63)

     This is a chapter which contains many names; nearly one hundred and
fifty are recorded. With the help of a good concordance, or dictionary of
Hebrew names, the English meaning may be ascertained. However, many of
these names may be derived from different roots and have therefore a
different meaning, while the meaning of others is rather obscure. For the
reason already stated we cannot follow the possible meaning and application
of these names. The lesson, however, is that the Lord distributed the
inheritance to His people and placed them as it pleased Him. He knew their
faithfulness and their ability, and accordingly they received their
portion. And we, too, as members of His body, receive our portion and
inheritance from Himself, "dividing to every man severally as He will" (1
Corinthians 12:11).

     Caleb's conquest is of additional interest. In the previous chapter we
learned of his faith and how he honored the Lord. He acknowledged that the
Lord had kept him alive; by His mercy he had been spared (14:10). He
claimed His portion, and in humility of faith he expected success and
victory. He gets Hebron, which means "communion." The application in
spiritual lines is interesting. Faith longs for Hebron, for communion. But
the giants, the Anakim, are there, to keep away from real communion with
God. They must be dispossessed. Caleb drove out the three sons of Anak.
Their names are Sheshai, which means "my fine linen," reminding us of our
own righteousness (Shesh is the Hebrew word used for the fine linen in the
tabernacle. In this way we get "Sheshai," my fine linen); Ahiman, the
meaning of this word is "who is my brother?" which may be applied to pride
of desent; Talmai, the third son of Anak, means "abounding in furrows," the
pride of achievement. Pride in different forms is the hindrance to real
communion with God. Pride has to be dethroned in the heart and in the life
of His people. Only as we follow the Lord wholly, as Caleb did, shall we
conquer and enjoy our Hebron in the Lord Jesus Christ. And he also had
Debir (Oracle--the voice speaking); Kirjath-sepher means "city of the
book." Thus Hebron, communion, is closely linked with the written Word and
the voice which speaks there. And in Achsah, Caleb's daughter, we have
another side of faith represented. When Caleb said unto her, "What wouldest
thou?" she answered, "Give me a blessing, for thou hast given me a south
land; give me also springs of water. And he gave her the upper springs and
the nether springs." It is faith which asks much and receives much.

                         4. The Portion of Ephraim

                                CHAPTER 16

     1. The lot for the children of Joseph (16:1-4)
     2. Ephraim's portion (16:5-9)
     3. Ephraim's failure (16:10)

     A wonderful lot was that of Joseph, beginning at Jordan, the river of
death, up to Bethel, which means "the house of God." Then the portion of
Ephraim comes first. Ephraim with the blessed inheritance to be "doubly
fruitful" (the meaning of Ephraim) fails. "They drove not out the
Canaanites that dwelt in Gezer." Josephus, the Jewish historian, remarks on
this: "They grew effeminate as to fighting any more against their enemies,
but applied themselves to the cultivation of the land, which producing them
great plenty and riches, they indulged in luxury and pleasure." No doubt
this tradition is correct. How this has been repeated in Christendom! What
Ephraim became, joined to idols, we read in the prophet Hosea.

                        5. The Portion of Manasseh

                                CHAPTER 17

     1. Their names (17:1-6)
     2. Their border (17:7-13)
     3. The complaint and the answer (17:14-18)

     Half of the tribe of Manasseh had their inheritance on the other side
of Jordan, having joined themselves to Reuben and Gad. The rest of Manasseh
are now named according to their families. These are: Abiezer, Helek,
Asriel, Shechem, Hepher and Shemida, The son of Hepher, Zelophehad, had no
sons (see Numbers 27:1-11); the names of the five daughters are given here
again. They claim now the inheritance which the Lord had given to them.
They, too, exhibit the courage of faith. May we also claim in faith that
inheritance which belongs to us through the grace of God.

     The complaint of the children of Joseph shows dissatisfaction with
their lot; it was selfishness. Joshua takes them by their word. His answer
reminds us of the divine command given in chapter 13. "Every place that the
sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said
unto Moses." Yonder were the stately forests, the wooded hills and
mountains, inhabited still by the Perizzites and the giants. All they
needed to do was to go there and drive them out and they would possess a
larger portion. But this answer but brings out their unbelief and failure.
They plead weakness; it was nothing less than unbelief, for they looked to
the iron chariots the Canaanites possessed, instead of looking to the Lord
and trusting His power. They refused to meet the enemy and have their
borders enlarged under these conditions. What a contrast with bold and
humble Caleb! And yet Joshua encourages them. He urges them to go forward
and possess the forest and cut it down. It was his challenge to their
faith. Faith does not reckon with chariots, with difficulties.

                 6. The Portion of the Rest of the Tribes

                                CHAPTER 18

     1. The tabernacle at Shiloh (18:1)
     2. The remaining seven tribes (18:2-10)
     3. The lot of Benjamin (18:11-28)

     The tabernacle of the congregation is now set up at Shiloh. Shiloh
means "peace," "security." The land was then subdued before them. Shiloh is
now the center. From there the operations proceed. Seven times after this
Shiloh is mentioned in the book of Joshua: Chapter 18:8, 9, 10; 19:51;
21:2; 22:9, 12. Read these carefully and see what happened in connection
with Shiloh, the place of rest. The tabernacle remained at Shiloh till the
Philistines came and took the ark, as recorded in 1 Samuel 4:11. Then it
was at Nob in the days of Saul, then at Jerusalem, at Gibeon in the
beginning of Solomon's reign (2 Chronicles 1:3). It never got back to this
first resting-place.

     At that time seven tribes still remained without an inheritance. They
seemed to be content without any inheritance whatever. Most likely they had
also become tired of war. Theirs had been a strenuous experience. It was
difficult work to go forth and conquer, to occupy new territory and meet
the enemies. They must likewise have come into possession of many things
for their comfort, which were unknown to them in the wilderness; and with
the natural and plentiful resources of the land they became self-indulgent
and were at ease. Joshua's earnest appeal suggests such a state of the
people. "How long are ye slack to go to possess the land which the LORD God
of your fathers hath given you?" And their negligence in not possessing the
land avenged itself, for the unpossessed land with its enemies became
"scourges in their sides and thorns in their eyes." What ingratitude it
was, after God's wonderful power had brought them in, that they should
neglect to avail themselves of so great a gift! Such is man, always a
failure in himself. It needs hardly to be said, that all this finds an
application with ourselves, whom the Lord has brought into a better land
and richer inheritance. How slack we are to go to possess the land! How
many neglect so great salvation! Joshua then gave instructions and the men
selected walked through the land and made a survey of it.

     The inheritance of Benjamin is described in the remaining portion of
this chapter. Their lot fell into a steep, mountainous country; many of the
cities they received were in high places, indicated by such names as Gibeon
(hilly); Gibeath (a hill); Gaba (elevation); Ramah (the height); Mizpeh
(watch-tower), etc. May we ascend the heights of glory we have in Christ,
and walk in our high-places, with feet as swift as the hinds' feet
(Habakkuk 3:19). And we too have our "Mizpeh," the place of watching and
waiting for Him, who will lead us into our wonderful inheritance in the day
of His coming glory.

     "Benjamin was counted the least of the tribes (1 Samuel 9:21), and
when, with other tribes, it was represented by its chief magistrate, it was
rather disparagingly distinguished as 'little Benjamin with their ruler'
(Psalm 68:27). Yet it was strong enough, on one occasion, to set at
defiance for a time the combined forces of the other tribes (judges 20:12,
etc.) It was distinguished for the singular skill of its slingers; seven
hundred, who were left-handed, 'could every one sling stones at an
hair-breadth and not miss' (Judges 20:16). The character of its territory,
abounding in rocky mountains, and probably in game, for the capture of
which the sling was adapted, might, in some degree, account for this

     "Many famous battles were fought on the soil of Benjamin. The battle
of Ai; that of Gibeon, followed by the pursuit through Bethhoron, both
under Joshua; Jonathan's battle with the Philistines at Michmash (1 Samuel
14), and the duel at Gibeon between twelve men of Saul and twelve of David
(2 Samuel 2:15, 16); were all fought within the territory of Benjamin. And
when Sennacherib approached Jerusalem from the north, the places which were
thrown into panic as he came near were in this tribe. 'He is come to Aiath,
he is passed through Migron; at Michmash he layeth up his baggage; they are
gone over the pass; they have taken up their lodging at Geba; Ramah
trembleth; Gibeah of Saul is fled. Cry aloud with thy voice, O daughter of
Gallim! Hearken, O Laishah! O thou poor Anathoth! Madmenah is a fugitive,
the inhabitants of Gebim gather themselves to flee. This very day shall he
halt at Nob; he shaketh his hand at the mount of the daughter of Zion, the
hill of Jerusalem (Isaiah 10:28-32, R.V.). In later times Judas Maccabeus
gained a victory over the Syrian forces at Bethhoron; and, again, Cestius
and his Roman troops were defeated by the Jews" (Expositor's Bible).

     The tribe counted the least, "little Benjamin," came into possession
of the richest inheritance, which is abundantly witnessed to by the names
of the different cities, if we diligently search out their meaning. God
delights to take up what is little and make it great. (Saul of Tarsus, our
great Apostle Paul (Paul means "little"), was of the tribe of Benjamin. He
possessed and enjoyed his inheritance in the heavenlies.)

                                CHAPTER 19

     1. The inheritance of Simeon (19:1-9)
     2. The inheritance of Zebulun (19:10-16)
     3. The inheritance of Issachar (19:17-23)
     4. The inheritance of Asher (19:24-31)
     5. The inheritance of Naphtali (19:32-39)
     6. The inheritance of Dan (19:40-48)
     7. The inheritance of Joshua (19:49-51)

     The many names of cities and villages, the inheritance of the
remaining six tribes, we must leave untouched. Blessed and deep spiritual
lessons are written in all these names. Simeon's inheritance is closely
connected with that of Judah. "Their inheritance was in the midst of the
inheritance of the children of Judah." Simeon means "hearing" and Judah
means "praise." Thus the two are linked together. If our hearts are open to
hear and our faith appropriates we praise and worship and enjoy our
God-given inheritance in the Lord Jesus Christ. And the different cities
have a blessed meaning. Diligent and prayerful searching will discover the
hidden treasures which faith prizes more than gold, and which are "sweeter
than honey." Let us glance briefly at Asher to give a little illustration
of this. Asher means "happy," commonly translated by "blessed" (Psalm 1:1;
32:1; 119:1).

The Lord's people must be a happy people. Moses had pronounced them so
(Deuteronomy 33:29). A few of the cities and boundaries of Asher and their
meaning will show in what the happiness of God's people consists. Helkath
means "portion"; the Lord Himself is the portion of His people. He is our
joy and happiness. Hali means "an ornament worked out with pain." We
possess that which Christ has worked out for us in His death. Ahamelech
means "God is King." This is a sweet morsel to faith. Amad, "an eternal
people," speaks of our security, that we belong to God and nothing can
separate us from Him. Misheal, "feeling after God," tells of the longing of
the new nature, which finds happiness in God. Hammon, "sunny"; Kanah, "He
has purchased"; Zidon, "taking the prey"; Hosah, "trust"; Ummah, "union";
Aphek, "strength"-these and others are easily seen as giving spiritual
lessons on the happiness of the people of God who enjoy in faith the

     After all had received their portions Joshua received his. It was
Timnath-serah, which means "an abundant portion." The portion of Joshua is
the blessed type of the inheritance, which the Lord Jesus Christ has
received. We must not overlook the fact that the children of Israel gave
Joshua the inheritance. Christ is our inheritance and we are His
inheritance. He has an inheritance in the saints (Ephesians 1:18). May we
give Him that inheritance.

                          7. The Cities of Refuge

                                CHAPTER 20

     1. The ordinance repeated (20:1-6)
     2. The cities named (20:7-9)

     The reader will find the meaning of the ordinance of the cities of
refuge in Numbers and Deuteronomy, so that we do not need to repeat it
here. But only three cities are mentioned in the Pentateuch. Here the three
cities in the land are added. Kedesh was in Naphtah, Kedesh means
"sanctuary," and Naphtali means "wrestler-struggler." Christ is the refuge
for the struggling sinner. Shechem means "shoulder," and is the type of
service. He who is the perfect servant, who ministered and gave His life,
is the place of refuge. Kirjath-arba, which is Hebron, is the third, and
Hebron means "communion." This we find in Him. Bezer (defense), Ramoth
(heights) and Golan (rejoicing) were the other three beyond Jordan, named
already in the Pentateuch.

                       8. The Portion of the Levites

                                CHAPTER 21

     1. The Levites, the children of Aaron, and their portions (21:1-8)
     2. Kohath (21:9-26)
     3. Gershon (21:27-33)
     4. Merari (21:34-40)
     5. The Lord's faithfulness (21:41-45)

     In chapters 13:14, 33 and 14:3, 4 the statement is made that Moses
gave no inheritance to the Levites. The Lord was their inheritance. After
the tribes had received their allotments the heads of the fathers of the
Levites came to Joshua and Eleazar with a petition. They based their
petition upon the Word of God spoken to Moses. "Command the children of
Israel, that they give unto the Levites of the inheritance of their
possession cities to dwell in; and ye shall give also unto the Levites
suburbs for the cities round about them" (Numbers 35:2). The people were
obedient and gave them cities out of their several inheritances. But the
cities were also assigned by lot, so that the Lord assigned them their
habitations. How it must have pleased Him to see His Word remembered,
obeyed and acted upon! They were scattered throughout the entire domain of
Israel. The Kohathites and the children of Aaron had thirteen cities in the
tribes of Judah, Benjamin and Simeon, and two more in Ephraim, Dan and
Manasseh. The Gershonites were placed in cities in eastern Manasseh,
Issachar, Asher and Naphtali. The Merarites were in Zebulun and among Gad
and Reuben. The divine purpose in scattering them over the land was, no
doubt, that they might exercise a beneficent influence in divine things to
exhort the tribes to worship Jehovah, to remind them of His goodness and to
restrain them from idolatry. At the close of this chapter we read of the
faithfulness of the Lord. He gave them the land; He gave them rest; He gave
them victory. "There failed not ought of any good thing which the LORD had
spoken." All God's promises will be in due time accomplished.


              1. The Two and One-half Tribes and the Altar Ed

                                CHAPTER 22

     1. Joshua's address (22:1-6)
     2. The tribes dismissed and their return (22:7-9)
     3. The great altar erected (22:10)
     4. War proposed (22:11-12)
     5. The mission of Phinehas and the explanation (22:13-29)
     6. The explanation accepted (22:30-31)
     7. The altar Ed (22:32-34)

     A beautiful scene is before us. Joshua, the aged servant of God,
called the Reubenites, the Gadites and half of Manasseh. Their selfish
choice is selecting their portion on this side of Jordan is found in
Numbers. They had, however, to pass over Jordan with the other tribes and
help them in the conflict (chapter 1:12-18). The promise they had made was
conscientiously kept and the time for their return to their habitations had
come. Joshua commends them for their faithfulness, and exhorts them to love
the Lord, to walk in all His ways, to keep His commandments, to cleave unto
Him and to serve Him. May we also heed these words. Only as we walk in all
His ways and are obedient to His Word can we enjoy the fellowship and the
spiritual blessings which belong to us. They returned with great riches,
with silver, gold, brass, iron and raiment.

     They erected, after their homegoing, a great altar (Hebrew: An altar
great to the sight). It was of immense size, so that it might be seen far
and wide as a silent witness. When the rest of Israel heard of this altar,
and thinking that it meant a separate worship, instituted by these two and
a half tribes, they were ready to go to war. They exhibited great zeal for
the Lord and were ready to carry out His Word. See Exodus 20:24; Leviticus
17:8-9; Deuteronomy 7:5-13; 8:7-13. But while they were zealous, they also
exhibited wisdom and sent Phinehas with ten princes to investigate the
supposed apostasy. The explanation follows and is accepted. The altar was
then called Ed, which means "witness." It was to bear witness between them,
that the Lord is God, and that the tribes, though separated by Jordan, are
one people. But where is today the witness in Christendom that there is one
body? That witness seems to have been lost.

                         2. Joshua's Two Addresses

                             The First Address

                                CHAPTER 23

     1. The people gathered (23:1-2)
     2. God's faithfulness remembered (23:3-5)
     3. Exhortations to obedience (23:6-11)
     4. Warning (23:12-13)
     5. Conclusion of first address (23:14-16)

     It was about eight years after the Lord had given rest unto Israel,
that the aged Joshua called for all Israel and their elders to assemble in
his presence. He was very old and the time of his departure at hand. The
purpose of his first address is to remind the people and their elders of
the Lord's faithfulness in keeping all His promises, and to exhort them to
be faithful to Him and to warn them of the results of apostasy. He exhorts
them with the same message, which the Lord had given to him in the
beginning of the book. Compare verse 6 with chapter 1:7. He had been
obedient to this command and the Lord had done all for him He had promised.
Joshua was a man of faith and courage, an excellent character.

     "He is characterized by conscientious fidelity to the Law, and
unclouded theocratical sentiments. He is deliberate and prudent when he
acts himself, for he conducts the wars of the Lord; but he becomes prompt,
bold and decided, when the Lord sends him. His courage is humility, his
strength is faith, his wisdom is obedience and the fear of the Lord. He has
a gentle spirit, but does not betray weakness; the evidence of the latter
is furnished by his strict judgment in the case of Achan, and the
scrupulous exactness with which he executes the Lord's sentence respecting
the Canaanites. Such a union of gentleness and rigor, of simplicity and
prudence, of humility and grandeur of sentiment, presents evangelical
features. This peculiarity of his character, combined with the peculiarity
of that age of the kingdom of God in which he lived, and also of the
position which he occupied, adapts both himself and the work which he
performed to be highly significant types of the future. He conducts the
people into the land of promise and of rest; but there remains a better
rest into which his archetype, who bears the same name, conducts the people
of God (Hebrews 4:8, 9); he carries on the wars, and executes the judgments
of the Lord, in which are shadowed the victories and judgments of Christ.

     "The sentiments which govern Joshua, pervade the people in general in
his day. The whole history of the chosen people presents no other period in
which they were generally animated by such zeal in the cause of the
theocracy, by such conscientious fidelity to the Law, by such vigorous
faith and sincere fear of God as that generation manifested. It was the
period of first love, and, in this aspect, may be compared with the first
centuries of the Christian Church." (J.H. Kurtz, Sacred History)

     And we need, as His people, the courage of faith to stand for the Lord
and for His Word in the days of departure from God. And Joshua's warning
was sadly fulfilled in the subsequent history of Israel.

                            The Second Address

                              CHAPTER 24:1-28

     1. The gathering at Shechem (24:1)
     2. Historic retrospect and exhortations (24:2-15)
     3. The answer given by Israel (24:16-18)
     4. Joshua's answer (24:19-20)
     5. The promise made (24:21)
     6. Joshua's appeal and the repeated promise (24:22-24)
     7. The covenant made and Joshua's final word (24:25-28)

     In Joshua's second and last address to the people at Shechem we have
first a historic retrospect. It must not be overlooked, that the words of
Joshua are not his own, but the words given to him by the Lord. "Thus saith
the LORD God of Israel," is the manner in which he begins. The retrospect
is a marvel in terse statements and rehearsal of the entire history of
Israel, beginning with the call of Abraham. Its object is to remind the
assembled congregation once more of the mercies and faithfulness of
Jehovah. How soon they may be forgotten! Yet upon remembering what we are
by nature and what the Lord in His infinite grace has done for us, depends
a true walk with God. The Spirit of God, through Joshua, shows that Abraham
was called away from idolatry and traces all Jehovah did for him and his
seed. Notice the different acts of the Lord. I took your father Abraham--I
led him--I multiplied his seed--I gave him Isaac--I gave--I sent Moses--I
plagued Egypt--I brought you out--I brought you into the land. All the
promises made in Exodus and Deuteronomy concerning the possession and
conquest of the land had been fulfilled. Read Exodus 23:28 and Deuteronomy
7:20 and compare with verse 12. He gave them a land for which they did not

     The covenant is then renewed. Beautiful are Joshua's words, "As for me
and my house, we will serve the LORD." He had served Him all his life and
on the eve of his departure, he renews his vow. With such an enthusiastic,
consecrated and successful leader, the people could only answer in the
affirmative. They renewed their previous promise to serve the Lord. The
answer they gave is an echo of Joshua's words. They repeat what Jehovah had
so graciously done unto them. Joshua's answer to the enthusiastic reply of
the people was "Ye cannot serve the LORD." He well knew by the light of the
Spirit of God that this people, so stiffnecked in the past, would soon
depart from this resolution and follow other gods. Besides this, Joshua
knew the final words of Moses, the great prophecies concerning the apostasy
of the nation, their deep fall into idolatries and their coming dispersion
among the Gentiles. With the Word of God before him, he could not believe
that the future of the people, whom Jehovah had brought out and brought in,
would be a future of obedience and blessing. He is not deceived by the
enthusiasm which had taken hold of the assembled congregation. We also have
in the New Testament the predictions and the warnings concerning the course
of the professing church on earth during the present age. We do well to
heed these. If not we shall be deceived in expecting that which is nowhere
promised for this age.

     "The predictions of the Church's course have so little ambiguity that
it is marvelous that the smooth preaching of peace, and the comforting
assurance of progressive blessing, could ever gain credence with those who
boast in an 'open Bible,' But the Bible can be but little 'open' as long as
man's pride and self seeking hang their imaginative veil before it; and the
Church, believing herself heir to Israel's promises, has largely refused to
accept the lessons of Israel's career, which she has so closely followed.
Thank God, we are near the end of the strange history of almost two
millennia; and for us the end is the coming of the Lord" (F.W. Grant).

     The covenant was thus renewed and a great stone set up as a witness.
How long did it last? Our next book gives the answer: "And the children of
Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and served the Baalim" (judges
2:11). "And they forsook the LORD and served Baal and Ashtaroth" (verse

                              3. The Epilogue

                             CHAPTER 24:29-33

     1. Joshua's death and burial (24:29-31)
     2. The bones of Joseph buried (24:32)
     3. Eleazar's death (24:33)

     Moses, the instrument through whom the law was given, was buried by
the Lord, no doubt a hint that some day the Lord would put away the law,
with its curse, as we learn in the New Testament. Joshua was buried by the
people in his own inheritance; he died ten years younger than Moses, that
is 110 years old. Joseph had reached the same age, having died some 200
years before. Genesis 50:25, Exodus 13:19 and Hebrews 11:22 must be
consulted to understand the burial of his bones recorded here. They had
carried those bones all through the wilderness and never attempted to bury
them till they were settled in the land. The book closes with the account
of Eleazar's death.



     The book of Joshua foreshadows the great coming events in which
Israel, Israel's land and the nations are concerned. Everything in Israel's
history is prophetic. The events connected with the lives of the
patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, as well as the story of Joseph, have
a prophetic dispensational meaning. Israel in the furnace of Egypt
foreshadows Babylon, and also the great dispersion in which they are now.
Their persecutors then were Gentiles, who hated them and would not let them
go; Gentiles are still troubling them and will persecute them during the
time of the end. Their remarkable experiences and preservation in Egypt are
the types of their miraculous keeping, and no less miraculous increase
among all the nations of the world, among whom they have been scattered.
The plagues which fell upon Egypt are typical of the judgments of God,
which will fall upon the world at the close of the present age. Their
Exodus from Egypt teaches similar lessons. The passage through the Red Sea,
their slain enemies and the song of praise, as given in Exodus 15, have
likewise a dispensational aspect. So has the visible presence of Jehovah.
As He was there with His people, so will He be with them again.

     As we have seen in the study of Numbers, the parables of Balaam are
great prophecies touching the future of Israel. When the dying people were
looking upon the brazen serpent, and the healing which resulted, may also
be taken as a type of their future looking upon Him, whom they have
pierced. There is therefore also a dispensational foreshadowing in the book
of Joshua. We shall mention seven things.

                       I. The Possession of the Land

     That goodly land in its great dimensions is still Israel's land, the
land of promise. They have yet to possess it from the Euphrates to the
River Nile. To say that Israel will never receive the land and possess it
in the future as a redeemed people, would mean the same as accusing God of
breaking His promise and oathbound covenants.

     As surely as we are in Christ the heirs of God and joint-heirs with
the Lord Jesus Christ, so surely will Israel inherit and possess the land.
As there was a definite time for Israel to cross Jordan and possess the
land, so is there a definite time when God will bring them in again. It
will be when the measure of wickedness of the nations, who are the present
possessors of the land, is filled up, as the wickedness of the Canaanites
was filled up in Joshua's days. When that time comes God will once more
remember the covenant, and He will give the land back to His people and
bring them in through Joshua.

     The land is God's gift. We have often talked with Jews and Zionists.
Some years ago a Zionistic leader mentioned in our presence their plans of
getting the land back gradually, and eventually buy the whole land. We
asked him: "What would you think, if your horse had been stolen by a thief,
and you knew the thief, went to him and offered him a hundred dollars to
buy your horse back? Would it not be the most nonsensical as well as unjust
dealing? You Zionists are trying to buy back the land from the power which
has no right to have the land." That power holds stolen property. And,
besides, this land, according to the law, is not to be bought nor to be
sold. Today the power which holds Palestine, Turkey, is crumbling to
pieces. It is only the question of time when the fate of Palestine has to
be decided.

                          II. Joshua Their Leader

     As we have mentioned before in the annotations, Joshua means "Jehovah
is Saviour." Moses, the first one, could not bring them in, but Joshua, the
second divinely appointed leader, brought them in. Moses is the type of
Christ's first coming, and Joshua the type of the second coming of Christ.
It is at the second coming of our Lord that Israel will receive the land.
He will restore to them the God-given inheritance.

     Under Joshua the people were no longer stiff-necked, but obedient and
submissive, willing followers of Him who led them forth. This will be the
case when the Lord Jesus Christ returns. Then they will be His willing
people (Psalm 110:3). Joshua was magnified before the eyes of all Israel,
even as Christ will be magnified when He comes again. At the close of the
fourth chapter of Joshua we read that all the people may know and fear the
Lord. This surely will be the result of the second Coming of our Lord.

                         III. The Spies and Rahab

     God's abounding grace is illustrated in the salvation of Rahab and her
house. In the New Testament we find her with three other Gentile women in
the genealogy of our Lord in Matthew's Gospel. We read of her in Hebrews 11
and in the Epistle of James. The meaning of these passages has already been
pointed out. The scarlet line, and her security and salvation from
judgment, we have also seen in the annotations. But the story has still
another application.

     The two spies entered the land in advance of the whole nation. They
were faithful and courageous men, and took their lives into their own
hands. They may well be taken as a type of the faithful remnant, which will
be a kind of an advance guard entering into the land, before the rest of
Israel is taking possession. The King of Jericho, who seeks their lives, is
the type of that wicked one, the counterfeit king and messiah. Their flight
to the mountains reminds us of the word of warning given by our Lord in His
Olivet discourse, "Let them that be in Judea flee unto the mountains."
Rahab, who believed and hid the spies and was saved on account of it,
foreshadows those of the nations, who believe the last message concerning
the coming of the King and the judgment in store for this earth. They will
do good to the Jewish remnant, as Rahab did hide the spies. When the Lord
comes and takes the seat upon the throne of His Glory, He will say to them:
"What ye have done to the least of these, My brethren, ye have done unto
Me." Rahab remained in the land and enjoyed blessings with Israel. So the
nations, who believe during the great tribulation, will remain on the
earth, and not be swept away by the divine judgments.

          IV. The Events at Gilgal have a Prophetic Significance

     The circumcision of Israel, as carried out by Joshua, is the type of
the spiritual circumcision which the Lord will effect for the whole nation.
Of this the Word of prophecy speaks: "And the LORD thy God will circumcise
thine heart and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all
thine heart and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live" (Deuteronomy 30).
"Behold I will gather them out of all countries, whither I have driven them
in My anger, and in My fury and great wrath; and I will bring them again
unto this place, and I will cause them to dwell safely. And they shall be
My people, and I will be their God. And I will give them one heart, and one
way, that they may fear Me forever, for the good of them, and of their
children after them" (Jeremiah 32:37-39). "Then I will sprinkle clean water
upon you, and ye shall be clean; from all your filthiness and all your
idols will I cleanse you. And a new heart will I give you, and a new spirit
will I put within you. And I will take away the stony heart out of your
flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh" (Ezekiel 36:25-28). Then the
reproach, which has rested upon them for so long, will be rolled away. 
They will become the head of all the nations of the world.

       V. The Fall of Jericho and the Overthrow of Israel's Enemies

     As stated in the annotations, Jericho is the type of the world ripe
for judgment. The number seven, in its frequency in the fall of Jericho,
the reader will find more fully described in the annotations of chapter 6.
The walls of Jericho fell without a single sword being lifted up. The
breath of Jehovah laid them flat. So shall the day come when the power of
God will throw down the high and lofty things.

     The warfare which Israel carried on is likewise prophetic. Israel was
used to execute God's vengeance upon the wicked nations of Canaan. It will
be repeated in the future. "Thou art My battle-ax and weapons of war, for
with thee will I break in pieces the nations, and with thee will I destroy
kingdoms" (Jeremiah 51:20). Read also Micah 5:8-9; Ezekiel 39:10; Zechariah
2:6; Zechariah 14:14.

                           VI. Battle at Gibeon

     It was the most remarkable battle in Israel's history. There was no
day like it, nor ever after, because the Lord hearkened unto the voice of
Joshua. The Lord fought for Israel. The sun stood still, and the moon
stayed until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies. This is
a prophetic type of the coming day of the Lord. What will happen in that
day? Habakkuk, seeing that day and describing its detail, tells us, "The
sun and the moon stood still in their habitation: at the light of thine
arrows, as they went, at the shining of thy glittering spear. Thou didst
march through the land in indignation; thou didst thresh the nations in
anger. Thou wentest forth for the salvation of thy people, for salvation
with thine anointed; thou woundest the head of the house of the wicked by
laying bare the foundations to the neck" (Habakkuk 3).

              VII. The Division of the Land and Israel's Rest

     They came into the land, and the land was divided unto them by lot.
Though it was not a permanent rest, yet the land had rested from wars for a
time, and the tabernacle was set up at Shiloh. The prophetic Word tells us,
that when Israel is brought in, they shall no more be plucked out of the
land. There is in store for them a great Sabbath, a great jubilee, when His
people and His land will have rest. It will be after the Lord has come.
Then the land will be re-divided. See Ezekiel 47-48. Israel's land will
then become, with its magnificent temple, the gloryland of this earth, the
center of the Kingdom.

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