Sunday, November 14, 2021

Chapter by Chapter Summary of the Book of Joshua


The Book of Joshua tells the history of God helping Israel conquer the land of Canaan.


Joshua Chapter 1

After Moses died, God told Moses to lead the Israelites into the land of Canaan, promising to give them the land. The Israelites only had to obey God.


“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous.

Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged,

for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

- Joshua 1:9


Joshua commanded the people to get ready to march into the land in three days. He also reminded the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh (who had received their land on the west side of the Jordan River) that their fighting men were to cross the Jordan and help the other Israelites take the land.


All the people agreed to follow Joshua and to put to death anyone who did not.



Joshua 2

Joshua sent two spies into Jericho, and they stayed at the house of Rahab the prostitute. The king of Jericho head about the spies and ordered Rahab to send them out. Rahab, however, lied and told the king they had already left. Rahab told the spies that after hearing what God did for the Israelites in Egypt and on the east side of the Jordan, she knew God had given the land to the Israelites. She asked that the Israelites spare her and her family’s lives.


The spies agreed, and Rahab helped them escape the city. The spies told her to keep her family inside the house when the Israelites attacked. She then tied a scarlet cord in her window to mark her house.


Joshua was encouraged to hear the people of Jericho feared the Israelites.



Joshua 3

Joshua told the priests to carry the Ark of the Covenant into the Jordan River. When they stepped into the Jordan, the water stopped flowing so that the priests stood on dry ground. The priests stood with the Ark in the middle of the river while the rest of the Israelites passed by them and crossed the Jordan.



Joshua 4

God told Joshua to choose one man from each tribe to take a stone from the middle of the Jordan and stand it up on the other side of the river as a memorial of what God had done.


When all the Israelites had crossed the Jordan, the priests carrying the Ark crossed over, and the water began to flow again. About 40,000 fighting men crossed the Jordan.



Joshua 5

All the kings who heard about the Lord stopping the waters of the Jordan for the Israelites to cross over were afraid.


God then ordered Joshua to make sure all the Israelite males were circumcised. Then they celebrated the Passover. The day after Passover, they ate some of the produce of the land of Canaan. The manna stopped the next day because they were then able to live off the land of Canaan.


As Joshua neared Jericho, he saw an armed man standing in front of him. Joshua asked whose side the man was on.


“Neither,” he replied, “but as commander of the army of the Lord I have now come.”

- Joshua 5:14


The man then commanded Joshua to take off his sandals because he was standing on holy ground.



Joshua 6

Then the Lord instructed Joshua:


“March around the city once with all the armed men. Do this for six days.

Have seven priests carry trumpets of rams’ horns in front of the ark.

On the seventh day, march around the city seven times,

with the priests blowing the trumpets.

When you hear them sound a long blast on the trumpets,

have the whole army give a loud shout;

then the wall of the city will collapse and the army will go up,

everyone straight in.”

- Joshua 5:3-5


Joshua and the army did just as God said, and they took the city, sparing only Rahab and her family. Rahab and her family became Israelites. The Israelites killed every other living thing in the city and put all the loot into the Lord’s treasury.


At that time Joshua pronounced this solemn oath:

“Cursed before the Lord is the one who undertakes to rebuild this city, Jericho:

“At the cost of his firstborn son
    he will lay its foundations;
at the cost of his youngest
    he will set up its gates.”

- Joshua 6:26



Joshua 7

A man named Achan secretly took some of the plunder when the Israelites attacked Jericho.


The Israelites were defeated at the next city they attacked, Ai. When Joshua prayed, God revealed that He allowed Israel to be defeated because someone had sinned. The next morning, God narrowed down who had taken part of the plunder.


Joshua took Achan and his family and all his livestock and stoned and burned them. Then God was no longer angry with Israel.



Joshua 8

Joshua then led the army into battle against Ai. He took the smaller part of the army up to attack, then acted as if he was running away from the men of Ai to lead them in pursuit. Then the larger part of the Israelite army entered the city and burned it. Joshua’s division turned and defeated the men pursuing them.


Then Joshua built an altar to the Lord on Mount Ebal and offered burnt offerings and fellowship offerings. Joshua wrote out a copy of the Law. Half of the people stood in front of Mount Ebal and half in front of Mount Gerizim to pronounce the blessings and curses for obeying or not obeying God. Then Joshua read the Law aloud to the people.



Joshua 9

The other kings west of the Jordan came together to fight against Israel. But the people of Gibeon tricked Joshua. They sent a delegation dressed as if they had come from a long way off and asked to make a treaty with Israel.


The Israelites did not ask the Lord what to do, and they agreed to a peace treaty with the Gibeonites. Three days later, they found out the truth. The Israelites could not attack Gibeon, however, because their leaders had sworn not to. Instead, they made the Gibeonites their servants, which the Gibeonites agreed to.



Joshua 10

Adoni-Zedek, the king of Jerusalem, convinced five Amorite kings to attack Gibeon for making a treaty with Israel. The Gibeonites sent word asking Joshua for help. The Israelites marched all night and took the Amorite forces by surprise.


As the Amorites were fleeing from the Israelites,


the Lord hurled large hailstones down on them,

and more of them died from the hail

than were killed by the swords of the Israelites.


On the day the Lord gave the Amorites over to Israel,

Joshua said to the Lord in the presence of Israel:

“Sun, stand still over Gibeon,
and you, moon, over the Valley of Aijalon.”
So the sun stood still,
and the moon stopped,
till the nation avenged itself on its enemies,

as it is written in the Book of Jashar.


The sun stopped in the middle of the sky

and delayed going down about a full day.

There has never been a day like it before or since,

a day when the Lord listened to a human being.

Surely the Lord was fighting for Israel!

- Joshua 10:11-14


The five kings of the Amorites hid in a cave, and Joshua blocked them in. After the battle, Joshua ordered the kings to be brought out and put them to death.


Joshua and the Israelites continued conquering one city after another, leaving no survivors.



Joshua 11

Another group of kings came to fight against Israel, and God helped Israel defeat them. Then Joshua led another campaign of conquering cities. Some they burned, others not, according to what the Lord commanded. No other city tried to make a treaty with Israel.


For it was the Lord himself who hardened their hearts

to wage war against Israel,

so that he might destroy them totally,

exterminating them without mercy,

as the Lord had commanded Moses.

- Joshua 11:20


Joshua divided the land among the tribes of Israel.



Joshua 12

Joshua defeated 31 kings in Canaan.



Joshua 13

When Joshua was old, the Israelites still had not conquered the land of the Philistines and the Sidonians. God promised to drive those peoples out for Israel.


Moses had already given the Reubenites, Gadites, and half-tribe of Manasseh their allotment on the west side of the Jordan.



Joshua 14

Caleb, Joshua’s fellow scout who originally brought back a good report about Canaan and encouraged the Israelites to attack it under Moses, came and asked Joshua to give him his inheritance. Caleb was 85 years old but still strong. He volunteered to drive the Anakites out of Hebron to claim it as his inheritance. Joshua gave his blessing, and Caleb took Hebron.



Joshua 15

Then Joshua gave the rest of the tribe of Judah their allotment east of the Jordan. The tribe of Judah, however, could not drive the Jeubsites out of Jerusalem.



Joshua 16

Joshua gave the other half-tribe of Manasseh and the tribe of Ephraim their allotment. The Ephraimites, however, could not drive out the Canaanites living in Ezer and so required them to do forced labor.



Joshua 17

Joshua included Zelophehad’s daughters in the inheritance given to the half-tribe of Manasseh east of the Jordan, just as God had commanded through Moses.



Joshua 18

Joshua told the remaining tribes to take a survey of the land, and he cast lots to determine which tribe got which portion of the land of Canaan.



Joshua 19

After Joshua appointed each tribe its territory, the Israelites gave Joshua the town he asked for- Timnath Seir in the allotment of Ephraim.



Joshua 20

God then told Joshua to appoint the cities of refuge east of the Jordan. When someone fled to a city of refuge, they were to stop at the city gate and plead their case to the town elders. The elders were to give the person a place to live until the person fleeing had either stood trial in their hometown or until the death of the current high priest.



Joshua 21

Eleazar the priest and Joshua then also chose towns in each of the tribes’ territories to be given to the Levites.


So the Lord gave Israel all the land he had sworn to give their ancestors,

and they took possession of it and settled there.

The Lord gave them rest on every side,

just as he had sworn to their ancestors.

Not one of their enemies withstood them;

the Lord gave all their enemies into their hands.

Not one of all the Lord’s good promises to Israel failed;

every one was fulfilled.

- Joshua 21:43-45



Joshua 22

Joshua allowed the fighting men of the Reubenites, Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh to return home west of the Jordan.


When the tribes crossed over the Jordan, they made an altar there. When the tribes east of the Jordan heard about it, they prepared to go to war against the two and a half tribes. They accused the western tribes of rebelling against God by setting up a rival altar.


The western tribes, however, said they built the altar as a testament that they belonged to Israel, even though they were separated by the Jordan. They promised not to sacrifice on the altar. Then the eastern tribes were satisfied and abandoned their war plans.



Joshua 23

When Joshua was old, he gathered all the leaders of the tribes together and reminded them of everything God had done for Israel. He charged them to obey the Law and not worship other gods. He warned them that if they allied with the survivors of the Canaanites or intermarried with them, they would cause the downfall of Israel and God would no longer help them drive out the peoples.



Joshua 24

Joshua said,


“Now fear the Lord and serve him with all faithfulness.

Throw away the gods your ancestors worshiped

beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord.

But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you,

then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve,

 whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates,

or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living.

But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”

- Joshua 24:14-15


The leaders agreed to serve God, and Joshua set up a stone pillar to mark the occasion.


Joshua died at 110 years old and was buried in his town of Timnath-Seir. The Israelites also buried Joseph’s bones in Shechem on the plot of land Jacob had bought. Eleazar the priest died and was buried in the town allotted to his son Phinehas.




No comments:

Post a Comment