Sunday School Bible Survey:      JOSHUA

Theme: Possessing our possessions

Key verses: "Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses" (Joshua 1:3). "Pass through the host, and command the people, saying, Prepare you victuals; for within three days ye shall pass over this Jordan, to go in to possess the land, which the LORD your God giveth you to possess it" (Joshua 1:11). "And Joshua said unto the children of Israel, How long are ye slack to go to possess the land, which the LORD God of your fathers hath given you?" (Joshua 18:3). "And the LORD your God, he shall expel them from before you, and drive them from out of your sight; and ye shall possess their land, as the LORD your God hath promised unto you" (Joshua 23:5).

WRITER: Joshua wrote the book of Joshua, except for the last few verses which record his death (24:29-33). The Talmud (Jewish commentary on their history, law, customs and culture) says that Joshua wrote all but the last five verses of the book of Joshua, and that those were written by Phinehas, the son of Eleazar and the grandson of Aaron. Joshua wrote as an eyewitness to most of the events recorded in the book (cf. 5:1, 6). "And Joshua wrote these words in the book of the law of God, and took a great stone, and set it up there under an oak, that was by the sanctuary of the LORD" (24:26).

Joshua, Moses' "minister" (Exodus 24:13), scouted the land of Canaan with Caleb and the other ten spies. Joshua and Caleb opposed the "evil report" of the ten spies (Numbers 14:6-9). Before Moses died, Joshua was commissioned as his successor (Numbers 27:18-23), and led the children of Israel in their conquest of Canaan. "His outstanding qualities were faith, courage, obedience, and devotion to the law of God" — Charles C. Ryrie.

"The five books of Moses lead Israel up to Canaan; and Joshua complements these by leading Israel into Canaan. The further twelve books cover Israel's history inside Canaan; and Joshua introduces these by describing the Israelite settlement in Canaan. It is thus the link book between the two historical groups in the Old Testament. It covers a period of about twenty-five years, and describes one of the most memorable conquests in history. The occupation of this small strip of territory scarcely larger than Wales, though it led to no further results in the way of conquest, has nevertheless to a great extent molded the moral and religious history of the world" — J. Sidlow Baxter.

"Joshua is a continuation of Deuteronomy. That which Moses was called to commence, Joshua is commissioned to complete. The great event in the life of Moses was the crossing of the Red Sea; that in the life of Joshua was the crossing over Jordan. We can say that Deuteronomy recorded the exodus from bondage, and Joshua the entrance into blessing" — Eric W. Hayden.

OUTLINE (from J. Vernon McGee):

I.                   The land entered (Chapters 1 — 12)

A. Commission and command of Joshua (1)

B. Contact of spies with Rahab (2)

C. Crossing the Jordan River (3)

D. Construction of two memorials (4)

E. Conditioned for conquest (5)

F. Center of land attacked (6 — 8)

1. Conquest of Jericho (6)

2. Conquest of Ai (7, 8)

G. Campaign in the south (9, 10)

1. Compact with the Gibeonites (9)

2. Conquer the five kings of the Amorites (miracle of sun) (10)

H. Campaign in the north (conclusion of Joshua's leadership in war) (11)

I. Conquered kings listed (12)

II.                The land divided (Chapters 13 — 22)

A. Command of Joshua is terminated; confirmation of land to the two and a half tribes (13)

B. Caleb given Hebron (14)

C. Consignment of land to the tribes of Israel (15 — 19)

D. Cities of refuge (20)

E. Cities for Levites (21)

F. Command to the two and a half tribes to return home; construction of altar as a witness (22)

III.             The last message of Joshua (Chapters 23, 24)

A. Call to leaders of Israel for courage and certainty (23)

B. Call to all tribes of Israel for consecration and consideration of covenant with God; death of Joshua (24)

These are simple Sunday School survey notes. They are not for sale. The author used many outlines from popular Bible teachers such as C.I. Scofield and J. Vernon McGee, and he has tried to give credit when using their material.

—  Pastor James J. Barker  —