This article is about the leader of Israel. You may be looking for the book written by him.

Joshua (born Hoshea; Heb.:"salvation") was the son of Nun, of the Tribe of Ephraim.[1] He was an Israelite leader in Ephraim who was selected as successor of Moses by God.[2] He served as an aide to Moses during the 40 years of journeying through the wilderness.

He became the leader of the armies of Israel, and theocratic judge, in Canaan, the land promised to Abraham and his descendants. As an eyewitness to the conquest, he would have a hand in documenting these battles. The resulting document became the book of Joshua.


Early life

Though a descendant of Joseph Hoshea was born to slaves in the generation after Moses, one of his fellow Israelites, who had rebelled from within the house of Pharaoh himself. Times were not going well for the slaves when Nun named his son "Salvation." This reflected a hope that God might yet raise up a man to save the slaves.

After Hoshea had grown to be a young man,[3] Moses himself returned, much to the surprise of many, to challenge Pharaoh and his gods.[4] He rejoiced with the multitude upon the miraculous crossing of the Red Sea.[5] Under the command of Elishama,[6] among the 40,500 fighting men of Ephraim,[7] Hoshea rose to be a trusted aide to Moses, who chose to call him Ye(ho)shua ("the Lord saves"), or the most common spelling, Joshua.[8]

Under Moses

Battling against the Amalekites

Joshua proved himself a mighty warrior very early in the journey across the desert. Before reaching Mount Sinai, there arose a threat from the Amalekites,[9] a tribe descended from Esau. Moses turned to Joshua to select the soldiers to fight the battle, for he planned to oversee the battle in prayer from a nearby hilltop. Assisted by his brother Aaron and a man named Hur, Moses was able to petition God with uplifted hands in the sight of the sight of the troops.[10] With this support, Joshua was able to lead his troops to victory.[11] In the aftermath, Moses was commanded by the Lord to "write this for a memorial" to be read to Joshua whenever he faced Israel's enemies.[12]

Assisting Moses

As Moses' chief aide, Joshua was on hand when the leader needed to meet with the Lord.[13] After Moses had heard the Ten Commandments and accompanying instructions, he had both preached to the people and written them down.[14] Then, when God called Moses back to Mount Sinai to receive stone tablets inscribed by the finger of God, Moses invited Joshua and the other elders to accompany him close enough to the pavement under the Lord's feet.[15]

Forty days later, after Moses had worshiped God and received the tablets, he returned to meet with the elders. It was Joshua that let him know that all was not well among the people in the camp. It sounded to him like a big party going on. Upon investigation, Moses found that Aaron had led the people in the building of a golden calf in direct contradiction to the sermon they had heard from Moses.[16] After God had punished the worshipers of the calf, Moses had taken his tent and pitched it a distance away from the people. It was her that the Lord would meet with him. Joshua would be waiting just outside as his mentor would speak personally with God.[17]

Shortly after God started feeding the Israelites two men named Eldad and Medad began to prophesy.[18] As usual, Joshua was aiding Moses when news of the two prophesying reach them.[19] Upon hearing the news Joshua quickly asked Moses to stop the two as he felt that it was solely Moses's position to prophesy.[3] Moses, in hearing this, told his young aide that he wished that all Israelites would have the same relationship with the Holy Spirit.[20]

Exploring Canaan

When the time came to inhabit the promised land, Joshua[1] was chosen to represent the tribe of Ephraim to scout out the land.[21] The team of twelve men spied on the land for forty days.[22] Upon their return the majority report of walled cities and giants caused the Israelites to fear and rebel.[23] With contrite hearts Joshua and Caleb, the spy out of Judah, ripped their clothes.[24] They then tried to explain to the people that God had promised them protection as they went in to claim the land.[25] Because Moses would later disobey God at a crucial point,[26] only Joshua and Caleb, from among all the adults that left Egypt, would survive to inhabit the land.[27]

Commissioned as Moses's successor

Near the end of his life, Moses had sinned against God, forfeiting his right to lead the people into Canaan. This necessitated the commission of a successor.[27] The Lord's choice was Joshua, Moses' trusted assistant. In a solemn ceremony with the high priest Eleazar, Moses laid his hands upon the now seasoned soldier and proclaimed before all the elders that their new leader: Joshua, son of Nun.[28]

Leader of Israel



  1. 1.0 1.1 Numbers 13:8 (Link)
  2. Joshua 1:1-2 (Link)
  3. 3.0 3.1 Numbers 11:28 (Link)
  4. Exodus 7:10 (Link)
  5. Exodus 15:1-19 (Link)
  6. Numbers 1:10 (Link)
  7. Numbers 1:33 (Link)
  8. Numbers 13:16 (Link)
  9. Exodus 17:8 (Link)
  10. Exodus 17:10 (Link)
  11. Exodus 17:13 (Link)
  12. Exodus 17:14 (Link)
  13. Exodus 24:13 (Link)
  14. Exodus 24:3-4 (Link)
  15. Exodus 24:1-12 (Link)
  16. Exodus 32:15-19 (Link)
  17. Exodus 33:1-11 (Link)
  18. Numbers 11:26 (Link)
  19. Numbers 11:27 (Link)
  20. Numbers 11:29 (Link)
  21. Numbers 13:17-20 (Link)
  22. Numbers 13:25 (Link)
  23. Numbers 13:26-33; 14:2 (Link)
  24. Numbers 14:6 (Link)
  25. Numbers 14:7-9 (Link)
  26. Numbers 20:12 (Link)
  27. 27.0 27.1 Numbers 27:12-13 (Link)
  28. Numbers 27:19-23 (Link)

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