The Biblical male name Joshua is of Hebrew origin, and its meaning is “Jehovah is salvation”. It is a short form of the name Jehoshua. Many Biblical scholars believe it is an early form of the name Jesus.
By consulting the timeline of the Old Testament, we can see that Joshua lived between 1553 B.C and 1443 B.C., dying at the age of 110 years old.
God had sent Moses and his older, more conversational brother, Aaron into the land of Egypt to deliver His people from their bondage under the Egyptians. God performs ten plagues through Moses and Aaron, and then secures the Israelites release, during which He parts the Red Sea to achieve their safe deliverance from slavery. God the Father, had at the Exodus, performed one of the most powerful miracles that the world had ever seen to assure His children would be safely freed from the tyranny of Egypt.
Moses tells the Israelites that he is going to lead them to a land flowing with milk and honey. He will settle God’s people down in this Promised Land and then he will divide the Hebrew nation up into 12 different tribes.
Before they are allowed to enter into this Promised Land, however, they must all first pass a test of their faith. Just about 2 years into what turned out to be a 40-year wilderness journey, Moses sent twelve spies into the Promised Land to check out who the enemy was and to develop combat strategies to conquer them. God was going to allow them to go into the Promised Land, but they first had to overthrow and drive out their enemies in order to dominate and occupy the land.
God purposely tested His people to see if they would stay faithful, and hold fast to Him, following all of His ways during this wilderness journey. Unfortunately, they went off the path God had laid before them repeatedly.
When the spies came back, ten of them came back with very negative, fearful reports. They said their enemies were as giants compared to them, that the land was too well fortified, and they would be powerless against them.
These ten men had seen God part the Red Sea, remember? How quickly we forget.
When God saw their lack of faith and their decidedly negative attitudes, He determined that no man 20 years or older would enter into the Promised Land due to their lack of faith and belief in Him. God declared that they would all just wander around in the desert for the next 38 years, according to Bible timelines, until they all literally died along the journey.
God then tells Joshua and Caleb that they and the younger generation under 20 years of age would be the ones to go into the Promised Land because they had “wholeheartedly followed God.” They had full faith and belief in God that He could defeat all of their enemies once they went into the Promised Land to conquer and possess it.
Joshua was the leader that ultimately led them in. Moses himself was not allowed to go in and he died and was buried out in the wilderness. Joshua then took Moses’ position as leader of the Hebrew people.
Joshua finally goes into the Promised Land with his strong faith and unswerving belief in God, and then proceeds to defeat their enemies, and occupy the land that God had promised their ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
After Moses died, God selected Joshua as the new leader of the Children of Israel. While camping near the Jordan River, God gave Joshua some final instructions:
Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them.
Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper withersoever thou goest.
This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.
Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.”
Joshua 1: 4-9 KJV
Completely certain that God was in control, Joshua sent two spies to explore Jericho, the first city they would face. They entered Jericho and stayed at the home of a prostitute named Rahab. At that time, in the year 1451 B.C. according to Bible timelines, the people of Jericho were on edge. They were aware hat God had promised the land to the Israelites and that it wouldn’t be long before they would be arriving to claim it. So when the King of Jericho heard reports that there were spies in Jericho, he quickly sent guards out to search for them, including at Rahab’s home.
Rahab told the guards that the spies had already left and if they hurried, they could catch up with them, however, she had actually hid them on her roof. She explained to the spies that the people of Jericho believed that God was on the Israelites side, and all of Jericho is afraid, knowing they cannot fight against God. Rahab than asked the spies to spare her life and that of her family, and the spies agreed, and made a plan for her to signal to them, when he time came to destroy her city. After hiding a few days, the spies returned to the Israelite camp and reported everything to Joshua.
Armed mainly with his mighty faith in God, Joshua marched his army across the Jordan River, which parted to allow them to cross on dry ground. God gave Joshua a plan to carry out to bring down Jericho that would leave no doubt that it was He who had accomplished the victory.
Jericho was an impressive city with huge, thick walls. The Israelites were certainly ill equipped to attack such a daunting city. Therefore, God gave Joshua a supernatural plan that would give them a miraculous triumph. Early each morning God’s army lined up and marched around the city carrying the ark. The priests blew their trumpets, but, on Joshua’s orders, nobody spoke a word.
Imagine Jericho’s king observing the Israelites doing this for six days. Jericho’s soldiers began mocking the Israelites; however, their laughter didn’t last very long. On the seventh day, the Israelite army marched around the wall as before. The priests blew their trumpets and the people said nothing, and then they did it again. Then they marched around the city four more times. As they begin marching the seventh time around, Joshua commanded the people to shout because God had delivered the city into their hands.
So the priests blew their trumpets in victory and the entire army shouted out praises to God. As they lifted their voices in victory, the walls came tumbling down, taking most of Jericho’s defenders with it. The Israelites charged through the rubble and seized the city.
They completely destroyed Jericho and took all the riches of the city back to the treasury devoting it all to God. The two spies rescued Rahab, as they had promised, along with her family and they lived the rest of their lives in Israel.
- Egypt is the undisputed world power during this time.
- Egyptian bondage and oppression increases, especially towards the Hebrew people.
- This period saw the beginning of the Hurrian conquests.
- Hittite King Mursilis I fought the Hurrians on the upper Euphratese River.
- The Cretan palaces at Knossos and other centers flourish despite disasters.
- The city of Mycenae, located in the northeast Peloponnesus, comes to dominate the rest of Achaea, giving its name to Mycenaean civilization.
- Cecrops I builds or rebuilds Athens following the great flood of Deucalion and the end of the Golden age. He becomes the first of several Kings of Athens whose life account is considered part of Greek mythology.
- Cecrops I, legendary King of Athens, dies after a reign of 50 years. Having survived his own son, he is succeeded by Cranaus.
- Egypt started to conquer Nubia and the Levant.
- The element Mercury has been discovered in Egyptian tombs dating from this period.
- Settlers from Crete, Greece move to Miletus, Turkey.
- There is evidence of the Mayan civilization developing in Belize.
- The Phoenicians develop an alphabet.
- King Cheng Tang of Shang of China, first ruler of Shang Dynasty, ruled China for 29 years beginning in 1600 B.C.
- The Edomites lived south of the Dead Sea, and blocked the passage of the Israelites to travel through their territory on their way north.
- The rise of Assyrian power begins to be established.
- The Kassites rose to political power in Babylon.
- The Hyskos kingdom was centered in the eastern Nile Delta and Middle Egypt.
- In Greece, there was a group of people known as “The Pelasgi,” who lived in the region of the Aegean Sea before the coming of the Greeks.
- The historical, recognizable beginnings of Persia took place in this era.
- The ancient Chinese art of astronomy is recorded.
- China is recognized as implementing the first old-age pension plans.
- Lyrical poetry begins among the ancient Greeks, usually accompanied by a lyre or other stringed instrument.
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Caleb, a faithful companion of Moses and Joshua, remembered for his wise powers of observation and fearlessness in the face of what seemed to others to be overwhelming odds.