Summary of Joshua

Summary of Joshua

Chapter by Chapter:

Joshua 1-2: Be of Good Courage/Spies to Jericho

Joshua 3-4: Dry Ground=River Jordan/Twelve Stones
Joshua 5-6: Israel Keeps the Commandments/Jericho is Destroyed
Joshua 7-8: Disobedience to the Lord/Words of the Law of Moses
Joshua 9-10: Joshua Makes Servants/Stones from Heaven
Joshua 11-12: Joshua and Israel Conquer/Cities Conquered
Joshua 13-14: Inheritance: Reuben, Gad and Manasseh/Land Divided
Joshua 15-16: Judah Gives Inheritance/Children of Joseph
Joshua 17-18: Manasseh/Ephraim=Inheritance/Tabernacle of the Congregation
Joshua 19-20: Inheritances by Lot/Cities of Refuge for Manslaughter
Joshua 21-22:  48 Cities & Suburbs/Altar to the Lord God
Joshua 23-24: Keep the Commandments and Love God/Serve the Lord God


Following the death of Moses, God calls Joshua as the new leader of his people. Joshua leads the Israelites across the Jordan River to take hold of the Promised Land. God tells his people that he will be with them, as long as they follow the commandments that he has given them.

Joshua sends 2 spies across the river to investigate the lands, the men enter into the city of Jericho where they are hidden from guards by a prostitute by the name of Rahab. Rahab after lying to authorities about the presence of two spies in her home, tells the spies that her and her family believe that God is with Israel. She asks them to spare her and her family when they come to destroy Jericho.  Because of her kindness the spies agree and return to Joshua to report.

Joshua commands the people to cross the Jordan River, and as they do the water stops and they walk across the river on dry ground. They mark this moment by 12 stones from the river bed (the twelve stones of course to represent the 12 tribes of Israel). After crossing the river, the people are able to produce food from their crops and because of this the manna from heaven stops. The men prepare for war by performing the ritual of circumcision.

Joshua and his men surround the city of Jericho for seven days, each day they play trumpets and carry the Ark of the Covenant around the city. On the seventh day he commands the army to attack and the walls of the city fall. He commands Israel to kill everyone, except Rahab and her family. They are forbidden from stealing any religious items from the city as spoils.

Joshua’s fame spreads throughout the land, but is then humiliated when they fail to take the next city, Ai. God tells them that they failed, because of the disobedience of an Israelite by the name of Achan, who had disobeyed the commandment to not take any religious items as spoil in the city of Jericho. The Israelite people stone Achan for his sin and they attempt again to take the city of Ai, this time they are successful and they erect an altar to God, to remember their commitment to God’s law.

Because of the success of the Israelites, the local Giebeonites, fearful of death come disguised as travelers and request peace with Israel. Joshua makes a treaty with them, without consulting God or knowing that they were actual inhabitants of the lands they were to be conquering. The local kings (5 of them) upset over the peace treaty between the Israelites and the Gibeonites, attack Gibeon. The Israelites come to the aid of the Gibeonites and destroy the other 5 armies. Joshua helps by commanding God to make the sun stand still, God listens.

The Israelites continue on fighting and conquering the lands, slowly dividing them up among the twelve tribes of Israel. Joshua makes a farewell speech, urging the Israelites to follow God’s laws, not to worship false gods or idols and to refrain from intermarriage with the natives. Joshua dies.

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