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Bible Commentaries
Joshua 1

Gann's Commentary on the BibleGann on the Bible

Verse 1


Walking Thru The Bible




The book of Joshua was composed by Joshua himself. The closing section of the book that tells of his death and burial was probably written by the priest Eleazar. But Joshua is specifically identified as the author of Joshua 24:1-26, and the earlier parts of the book were clearly written by an eyewitness of the events recorded, and not long after the events happened (Joshua 6:25).


The book describes the conquest and division of the land of Canaan and is set against the background of the corrupt and brutal features of Canaanite religion. The Canaanite worship included prostitution of both sexes, infant sacrifice, and other evils for which God commanded the israelites to exterminate the inhabitants of Canaan. The conquest by Joshua and Israel was God’s judgment upon them for their wickedness. Much of the spiritual problems that Israel had later in drifting into idolatry herself was due to the fact that the Canaanites were not completely destroyed. As a result their religion was tolerated and frequently absorbed by the Israelites.


Joshua was born in Egypt and may have served in Pharaoh’s army (See Josephus). In any case, he was well qualified to command the Israelite forces against the Amalekites at Rephidim (Exodus 17:8-16). He served as personal attendant to Moses during the year at Mt. Sinai (Exodus 24:13). As the representative of the tribe of Ephraim, he scouted the land of Canaan with the other 11 spies and, with Caleb, opposed the majority report not to try to conquer the land (Numbers 14:6-9). Before Moses’ death he was commissioned as successor (Numbers 27:18-23), and led the people in their conquest of Canaan. His outstanding qualities were faith, courage, and devotion to the law of God.


The exodus from Egypt probably occurred around 1448 BC and the conquest of Canaan under Joshua took place around 1400 BC.


The book of Joshua emphasizes (1) the faithfulness of God to give Israel the land of Canaan (cf. Genesis 13:15); (2) the importance of the written Law of God (Joshua 1:8; Joshua 8:32-35; Joshua 23:6-16; Joshua 24:26-27); and (3) the holiness of God in judgment the sins of the Canaanites (cf. Deuteronomy 7:1-6).


OUTLINE of the Book of JOSHUA

I. Entering the Land of Canaan, 1:1 - 5:15

A. The Commission of God to Joshua, Joshua 1:1-9

B. The Command of Joshua to the People, Joshua 1:10-18

C. The Canvassing of Jericho: Rahab and the Spies, Joshua 2:1-24

D. The Crossing of the Jordan River, Joshua 3:1-17

E. The Commemoration of the Crossing, Joshua 4:1-24

F. The Circumcision of the People, Joshua 5:1-12

G. The Captain of the Lord’s Army, Joshua 5:13-15.

II. Conquering the Land of Canaan, 6:1 - 12:24

A. Conquest of Central Canaan, 6:1 - 8:35

1. Victory at Jericho, 6:1-27

2. Defeat at Ai: Achan’s sin, 7:1-26

3. Victory at Ai, 8:1-29

4. Worship at Ebal and Gerizim, 8:30-35

B. Conquest of Southern Canaan, 9:1 - 10:43

1. Deception of The Gibeonites, 9:1-27

2. Destruction of the amorite coalition, 10:1-43

C. Conquest of Northern Canaan, 1:1-15

D. Summary of the Conquest, 11:16 - 12:24

III. Dividing the Land of Canaan, 13:1 - 24:33

A. Instructions to Joshua, 13:1-7

B. Division of Transjordan, 13:8-33

C. Division of Canaan, 14:1 - 19:51

1. Introduction, Joshua 14:1-5

2. Inheritance of Judah, Joshua 14:6 - 15:63

3. Inheritance of Ephraim, Joshua 16:1-10

4. Inheritance of half-tribe of Manasseh, 1Joshua 7:1-18

5. Survey of remaining land, Joshua 18:1-10

6. Inheritance of Benjamin, Joshua 18:11-28

7. Inheritance of Simeon, Joshua 19:1-9

8. Inheritance of Zebulun, Joshua 19:10-16

9. Inheritance of Issachar, Joshua 19:17-23

10. Inheritance of Asher, Joshua 19:24-31

11. Inheritance of Naphtali, 1Joshua 9:32-39

12. Inheritance of Dan, Joshua 19:40-48

13. Special inheritances, Joshua 19:49-51

D. Cities of Refuge, 20:1-9

E. Cities of the Levites, 21:1-45

F. Joshua’s Farewell Messages, 22:1 - 24:28

1. To the two-and-a-half tribes, 22:1-34

2. To the rulers, 23:1-16

3. To the people, 24:1-28

G. The Death of Joshua, 24:29-33

Some Typical and Spiritual Lessons For Us

1. We need not entertain any doubts about the goodness and justice of God in dispossessing the Canaanites.

a. For God to have allowed them to remain in their abominations would have been an "insufferable affront to his righteousness."

b. Leviticus 18:24-25 shows that they were simply reaping the fruit of their sowing.

2. Sin always hinders God’s people in their pursuit of victory in any endeavor. (Joshua 6)

3. The God of Joshua was a personal, yet supernatural being, capable of performing the most awe-inspiring miracles (Cf. Joshua 3:14-17; Joshua 10:12-14).

4. The book reveals two great reasons why we fail to possess our possessions that God has given us.

a. Disobedience to God’s commands (Joshua 23:15-16).

b. Slackness in taking our possessions as seven tribes of Israel were (Joshua 18:3).

Joshua 24.1 (Click on the "chapter" icon to view the sermon "Choose You This Day.")

Joshua 24

" Choose You This Day"

Joshua 24


1. Joshua was old and advanced in years (Joshua 23:1). He was ready to go the way of all the earth (Joshua 23:14).

2. He bids farewell to the eastern tribes (ch. 22); to the leaders (ch. 23); and to all the people at Shechem (ch. 24).

3. The purpose of this farewell speech is to get the people to resolve to serve God.

4. Joshua issued a challenge in Joshua 24:15 "Choose you this day whom you will serve... but as for me and my house we will serve the Lord."

a. The wonderful influence of Joshua is seen in Joshua 24:32.

b. There are some things about v. 15 we want to observe.

I. God Has Granted Us Certain Opportunities of Choice.

A. It is a wonderful blessing to have choices in life. There are several popular theories that minimize our ability to choose our destination.

1. The popular doctrine of fatalism. "What is to be will be, so why try."

2. The fatalist thinks there are no choices in life, that everything is fixed. But Joshua 24:15 refutes this theory. The Bible puts the responsibility of choice squarely upon the individual.

3. Deuteronomy 30:19-20; 1 Kings 18:21; Matthew 11:28; John 5:40

B. Some argue that human conduct is completely conditioned upon physical heredity and environment.

1. These may exert an influence but man can’t blame these for his misconduct.

2. We must realize our responsibility and "cop out."

II. Notice the Time Element of Free Choice.

A. "Choose you this day..." The time element often has a bearing upon our opportunity of choice. Sometimes the passage of time closes some of the doors to free choice.

B. 2 Corinthians 6:2; Hebrews 4:7. Ecclesiastes 12:1. Prov.

III. What Are Some of the Choices That Are Open To Us?

A. Joshua challenged to choose which God we will serve.

B. What gods are competing for our loyalty today?

1. Mammon -- Matthew 6:24

2. Pleasures of this world -- Hebrews 11:25

3. The Lord God of Heaven -- Matthew 6:33

Joshua 1.1

Verse Comments

Bibliographical Information
Gann, Windell. "Commentary on Joshua 1". Gann's Commentary on the Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/gbc/joshua-1.html. 2021.
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