Smith's Bible Dictionary


Josh'ua. (saviour, or whose help is Jehovah). His name appears in the various forms of Hoshea, Oshea, Jehoshua, Jeshua and Jesus.

1. The son of Nun, of the tribe of Ephraim. 1Ch 7:27. (B.C. 1530-1420). He was nearly forty years old when he shared in the hurried triumph of the Exodus. He is mentioned first in connection with the fight against Amalek at Rephidim, when he was chosen by Moses to lead the Israelites. Exo 17:9 Soon afterward, he was one of the twelve chiefs who were sent, Num 13:17, to explore the land of Canaan, and one of the two, Num 14:6, who gave an encouraging report of their journey.

Moses, shortly before his death, was directed, Num 27:18, to invest Joshua with authority over the people. God himself gave Joshua a charge by the mouth of the dying lawgiver. Deu 31:14; Deu 31:23. Under the direction of God, again renewed, Jos 1:1, Joshua assumed the command of the people at Shittim, sent spies into Jericho, crossed the Jordan, fortified a camp at Gilgal, circumcised the people, kept the Passover, and was visited by the Captain of the Lord's host.

A miracle made the fall of Jericho more terrible to the Canaanites. In the great battle of Beth-horon, the Amorites were singularily routed, and the south country was open to the Israelites. Joshua returned to the camp at Gilgal, master of half of Palestine. He defeated the Canaanites under Jabin, king of Hazor. In six years, six tribes, with thirty-one petty chiefs, were conquered.

Joshua, now stricken in years, proceeded to make the division of the conquered land. Timnath-serah in Mount Ephraim was assigned as Joshua's peculiar inheritance. After an interval of rest, Joshua convoked an assembly from all Israel. He delivered two solemn addresses, recorded in Jos 23:24. He died at the age of 110 years, and was buried in his own city, Timnath-serah.

2. An inhabitant of Beth-shemesh, in whose land was the stone at which the milch-kine stopped when they drew the Ark of God with the offerings of the Philistines from Ekron to Beth-shemesh. 1Sa 6:14; 1Sa 6:18. (B.C. 1124).

3. A governor of the city who gave his name to a gate of Jerusalem. 2Ki 23:8. (In the reign of Josiah, B.C. 628).

4. Jeshua the son of Jozadak. Hag 1:14; Hag 2:12; Zec 3:1 etc.


Taken from: Smith's Bible Dictionary by Dr. William Smith (1884)