The Bible Book by Book
Historical Books of the Old Testament. The twelve books, including those from Joshua to Esther, are called historical. They narrate the history of Israel from the entrance of Canaan to the return from captivity, which is divided into three periods or epochs. (1) The Independent Tribes. This consists of the work of the conquest of Canaan and of the experiences of the Judges and is recorded in Joshua, Judges and Ruth. (2) The kingdom of Israel. (a) Its rise, 1 Sam. (b) Its glory, 2 Sam., 1 K. 1-11, 1 Chron. 11-29, 2 Chron. 1-9. (c) Its division and fall, 1 K. 12-22, 2 K. 1-25; 2 Chron. 10-36. (3) The Return from Captivity, Ezr. Neh. and Est.

Name. Taken from Joshua, the leading character, who may be described as a man of faith, courage, enthusiasm, fidelity to duty, and leadership.

Connection with Former Books. Joshua completes the story of the deliverance begun in Exodus. If Israel had not sinned in believing the evil spies and turning back into the wilderness, we would not have had the last twenty-one chapters of Numbers and the book of Deuteronomy. Joshua then would have followed the fifteenth chapter of Numbers, thus completing the story of God leading Israel out of Egypt into Canaan.

The Key-Word is redemption with the emphasis put upon possession while redemption in Exodus put the stress upon deliverance. The two make full redemption which requires being "brought out" and "brought in."

Purpose of the Book. (1) To show how Israel was settled in Canaan according to the promise of God. (2) To show how, by the destruction of the Canaanites, God punishes a people for their sins. (3) To show that God's people are finally heirs of earth and that the wicked shall be finally dispossessed.

Some Typical and Spiritual Matters. (1) The conflict with Canaan. In the wilderness the conflict was with Amalek who was an illustration of the never ending conflict of the flesh or of the "new man" and the "old man." In Canaan the conflict is typical of our struggle against principalities and powers and spiritual hosts in heavenly places, Eph. 6:10-18. (2) Crossing the Jordan is an illustration of our death to sin and resurrection with Christ. (3) The scarlet line illustrates our safety under Christ and his sacrifice. (4) The downfall of Jericho. This illustrates the spiritual victories we win in secret and by ways that seem foolish to men. (5) Joshua. Joshua is a type of Christ in that he leads his followers to victory over their enemies; in that he is their advocate in time of defeat and in the way he leads them into a permanent home.


I. Conquest of Canaan, Chs. 1-12.

1. The preparation, Chs. 1-2.

2. Crossing the Jordan, Chs. 3-4.

3. Conquest of Jericho, Chs. 5-6.

4. Conquest of the South, Chs. 7-10.

5. Conquest of the North, Ch. 11.

6. Summary, Ch. 12.

II. Division of Lands, Chs. 13-22.

1. Territory of the different tribes, Chs. 13-19.

2. Cities of Refuge, Ch. 20.

3. Cities of the Levites, Ch. 21.

4. Return of the Eastern Tribes, Ch. 22.

III. Joshua's Last Counsel, and Death. Chs. 23-24.

1. Exhortation to fidelity, Ch. 23.

2. Farewell address and death, Ch. 24.

For Study and Discussion. (1) The cooperation of the two and one-half tribes in the conquest of Canaan. (2) Make a list of the different battles and indicate any in which Israel was defeated. (3) The portion of the country allotted to each of the tribes of Israel. (4) The story of the sins of Achan. Its results and his discovery and punishment. (5) The story of the Gibeonites, their stratagem and consequent embarrassment of Joshua. (6) Make a list of incidents or occurrences that show a miraculous element running through the narrative. (7) The story of Rabab, the harlot. (8) The names of the several tribes of Canaan and the history of each. (9) The place of prayer and worship in the narrative. Give instances. (10) Evidences found in the book that God hates sin.

For the Outline Study of the Bible by Books by J.B. TIDELL, A.M., D.D. Professor of Biblical Literature in Baylor University, Waco, Texas
Joshua 1. God Commissions Joshua

1. The Lord appoints Joshua to succeed Moses
3. The borders of the promised land
5. God promises to assist Joshua
8. He gives him instructions
10. Joshua prepares the people to pass over Jordan
12. He puts the two tribes and a half in mind of their promise to Moses
16. They promise him allegiance

Joshua 2. Rahab Welcomes the Spies

1. Rahab receives and conceals the two spies sent from Shittim
8. The covenant between her and them
23. Their return and description of events

Joshua 3. Israel Crosses the Jordan

1. Joshua come to Jordan
2. The officers instruct the people for their passage
7. The Lord encourages Joshua
9. Joshua encourages the people
14. The water of Jordan are divided

Joshua 4. Twelve Men Take Memorial Stones from the Jordan

1. Twelve men are appointed to take twelve memorial stones from Jordan
9. Twelve other stones are set up in the midst of Jordan
10. The people pass over
14. God magnifies Joshua
15. The priests commanded to come out of Jordan
20. The twelve stones are pitched in Gilgal

Joshua 5. Israelites Circumcised at Gilgal

1. The Canaanites are afraid
2. Joshua renews circumcision
10. The Passover is kept at Gilgal
12. manna ceases
13. An angel appears to Joshua

Joshua 6. The Walls of Jericho Fall

1. Jericho is shut up
2. God instructs Joshua how to beseige it
12. The city is composed
17. It is accursed
20. The walls fall down
22. Rahab is saved
26. The builder of Jericho is cursed

Joshua 7. Israelites Defeated at Ai; Achan Sins

1. The Israelites are smitten at Ai
6. Joshua's complaint
10. God instructs him what to do
16. Achan is taken by the lot
19. His confession
24. He and all he had are destroyed in the valley of Achor

Joshua 8. Joshua Conquers Ai; Covenant Renewed

1. God encourages Joshua
3. The plan whereby Ai was taken
29. The king thereof is hanged
30. Joshua builds an altar
32. writes the law on stones
33. and pronounces the blessings and curses

Joshua 9. Kings west of Jordan Join against Israel; Gibeonites' Deception and Servitude

1. The kings combine against Israel
3. The Gibeonites by craft obtain a league
22. They are condemned to perpetual bondage

Joshua 10. Kings Attack Gibeon; Sun Stands Still; Joshua Conquers Five Amorite Kings and S. Palestine

1. Five kings war against Gibeon
6. Joshua rescues it
10. God fights against them with hailstones
12. The sun and moon stand still at the word of Joshua
16. The five kings are murdered in a cave
22. They are brought forth
24. scornfully used
26. and hanged
28. Seven kings more are conquered
43. Joshua returns to Gilgal

Joshua 11. Northern Palestine Defeated

1. Diverse kings overcome at the waters of Merom
10. Hazor is taken and burnt
16. All the country taken by Joshua
21. The Anakims cut off
23. The land rests from war

Joshua 12. List of Defeated Kings

1. The two kings whose countries Moses took and disposed of
7. The thirty-one kings on the other side of Jordan which Joshua smote

Joshua 13. Canaan Divided among the Tribes

1. The bounds of the land not yet conquered
8. The inheritance of the two tribes and a half
14. The Lord and his sacrifices are the inheritance of Levi
15. The bounds of the inheritance of Reuben
22. Balaam slain
24. The bounds of the inheritance of God
29. and of the half tribe of Manasseh

Joshua 14. Land West of Jordan Divided; Caleb given Hebron

1. The nine tribes and a half are to have their inheritance by lot
6. Caleb by privilege obtains Hebron

Joshua 15. Territory of Judah Allotted

1. The borders of the lot of Judah
13. Caleb's portion and conquest
16. Othniel, for his valour, marries Achsah, Caleb's daughter
18. She obtains a blessing of her father
21. The cities of Judah
63. The Jebusites unconquered

Joshua 16. Territory of Ephraim Allotted

1. The general borders of the sons of Joseph
5. The border of the inheritance of Ephraim
10. The Canaanites of Gezer not conquered

Joshua 17. Territory of Manasseh Allotted

1. The lot of Manasseh
7. His coast
12. The Canaanites not driven out
14. The children of Joseph obtain another lot

Joshua 18. Remainder Divided; The Territory of Benjamin Allotted

1. The tabernacle is set up at Shiloh
2. The remainder of the land is described, and divided into seven parts
10. Joshua distributes it by lot
11. The lot and border of Benjamin
21. Their cities

Joshua 19. Allotments for Simeon, Zebulun, Issachar, Asher, Naphtali, Dan, Joshua

1. The lot of Simeon
10. of Zebulun
17. of Issachar
24. of Asher
32. of Naphtali
40. of Dan
49. The children of Israel give an inheritance to Joshua

Joshua 20. Six Cities of Refuge Designated

1. God commands
7. and the children of Israel appoint the six cities of refuge

Joshua 21. Forty-eight Cities Designated for the Levites

1. Forty-eight cities given by lot, out of the other tribes unto the Levites.
43. God gives the land, and rest unto the Israelites, according to his promise

Joshua 22. Tribes beyond Jordan Return, Build an Offensive Altar

1. The two tribes and a half with a blessing are sent home,
10. They build the altar of testimony in their journey
11. The Israelites are offended thereat
21. They vindicate their conduct, and give them good satisfaction

Joshua 23. Joshua's Farewell Address

1. Joshua's exhortation before his death
3. by former benefits
5. by promises
11. and by threatenings

Joshua 24. Joshua's Summary of Israel's History; Joshua's Death

1. Joshua assembles the tribes at Shechem
2. A brief history of God's benefits from Terah
14. He renews the covenant between them and God
26. A stone the witness of the covenant
29. Joshua's age, death, and burial
32. Joseph's bones are buried
33. Eleazar dies
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