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1:1-5:15 ENTRY INTO CANAAN
God’s command to Joshua was brief and straightforward: he was to take the land of Canaan. (The region in which Canaan was situated was occupied by various tribal peoples, the most important of whom were the Hittites and the Amorites.) Israel would not win the land without a fight, but the people had God’s assurance that wherever they advanced they would gain possession (1:1-5). As leader of the people, Joshua had the assurance of God’s presence, but he still needed personal courage and wisdom. These would also be his as he devoted himself to the task of understanding and obeying God’s law (6-9).
Joshua then instructed his officials to prepare the people for departure in a few days time (10-11). The two and a half tribes who had asked for and received their inheritance on the eastern side of the Jordan River did not forget the promise they had made earlier to Moses. They were ready to cross Jordan and help their fellow Israelites conquer the western area. After that they would return and settle down to enjoy their own inheritance (12-18; cf. Numbers 32:1-33).
The first city that the Israelites had to conquer was Jericho, for it blocked their passage through the mountain pass to the land beyond. Joshua sent two men ahead to spy out Jericho, and although their presence in the city was discovered, they received protection from a prostitute named Rahab (2:1-7).
Rahab told the spies that the people of Jericho were terrified of the Israelites; but she herself had heard sufficient of the God of Israel to believe in his power and mercy to save her. By protecting the Israelite spies, she won from them a guarantee that she and her household would be safe from any violence when Israel attacked (8-14; cf. Hebrews 11:31). The spies warned her, however, that she would have to remain faithful and follow their instructions if she and her family were to be spared (15-21; cf. James 2:25). The spies’ safe return to Israel’s camp reassured them that God was in full control and Israel was certain of victory (22-24).
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Flemming, Donald C. "Commentary on Joshua 1". "Brideway Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Christ the King / Proper 29 / Ordinary 34