Conquest and Settlement

Joshua, 24 chapters

 The book is structured in two roughly equal parts:   1. the story of the campaigns of the Israelites in central, southern and northern Canaan and the destruction of their enemies 2. the division of the conquered land among the twelve tribes

Sources for the Book of

Book of Jashar

 A collection of war songs and poetry that is quoted in Joshua. The original does not exist.

“’Sun, stand still over Gibeon, and, moon, you also over the Vale of Aijalon’. And the sun stood still, and the moon halted, till the people had vengeance on their enemies.”

D and P

 The “D” writers contributed the main narrative story of the conquest of Canaan by Joshua  After the exile, “P” writers added genealogies

Joshua sources, cont.

 The sources for the Book of Joshua extend over a long period of time, from war songs and poetry from oral traditions through commentaries written and added after the exile in Babylon.

Who was Joshua?

 Moses’ military assistant in charge of the Tabernacle  One of two spies to returned to the Israelites encouraging them on to Canaan  Chosen to succeed Moses  Led the Israelites across the Jordan River in Canaan  Conquered Jericho and Ai  Allotted land to various tribes  Made covenant with Yahweh at Shechem

In the south, land later occupied by the tribe of Benjamin and near Gilgal; And The conquest of Galilee and the capture of Hazor



 Miraculous “bread” from heaven that ceased to appear when the Israelites entered Canaan  It nourished Israelites as they wandered in the Sinai desert


  The walls of Jericho crumble at the sound of the “mighty war cry” and the horns of the Israelites.


  A prostitute of Jericho who hid Israelite spies  She was spared in the destruction of Jericho

Entrance into Canaan

 First city captured by the Israelites upon entering the land of Canaan following their 40 years of wandering in the desert after the exodus from Egypt.

 Ironically, Jericho (along with the Gaza Strip) was the first territory given to the Palestinians by Israel as part of the Oslo peace agreement in 1994



  Archaeological evidence neither proves nor disproves the Biblical account of Joshua

Jericho today

Book of Joshua

 According to Joshua, Israel became a political entity when it militarily conquered Canaan.

 Some passages in Joshua indicate a fast and furious conquering of Canaan.

 Yet long after Joshua, much of the Promised Land remained Canaanite


 A city that according to the Book of Joshua was destroyed by Joshua’s men  Ai means “the ruin” in Hebrew  According to archaeologists, Ai had been destroyed by the time the Israelites came into Canaan


 An Ancient Canaanite city and holy shrine  Joshua held a covenant-renewal ceremony here to unite the tribes of Israel  Some scholars say other non-Israelite peoples were also welcomed here by Joshua to join in a covenant with Yahweh


 People native to Canaan of various backgrounds  Polytheistic peoples populating Canaan  Sometime allies of the Israelites

Baal, one of the

Historic Origins of Israel

 Three Models

Conquest Model

 Jericho Ai Joshua and Israelites

Infiltration Model

 Proto-Israelites and Canaanites Israelites Peaceful and gradual A new people

Social Revolution Model

 Habiru peasants farmers

Urban elite



 A term designating clans outside of the urban or legal social structure  Nomads who raided settled populations in Palestine circa 1300 BCE  Scholars speculate that Biblical Hebrews may have been part of this group


 Head of one of Israel’s twelve tribes  This tribe was divided into two sections when land was allocated  Condemned for encouragement of Baalism, astrology, and human sacrifice  Historically considered an effective king

Tribes and Land


 Navi (Nabi), Hebrew word for “Prophet”  A spokesperson for Yahweh  One who delivers God’s judgments on contemporary society  One who proclaims or preaches the word or will of a deity  A true prophet is believed to be divinely inspired

Purpose of Prophets

 Prophets were role models of holiness, scholarship and closeness to God. They set the standards for the entire community.  A prophet is not necessarily a man.

 A prophet is not necessarily a Jew.

 Prophecy is not an arbitrary gift; rather, it is the culmination of a person's spiritual and ethical development.