Joshua was Moses’ successor and was faithful and obedient to God, leading the Israelites into the promised land of Canaan. His original name was Hosea but Moses changed this to Joshua, which means “Yahweh saves” or “the Lord is salvation”.
Of the twelve spies Moses sent into Canaan to scout out the land, Caleb and Joshua were the only survivors. They were the only ones who believed and claimed the great future God had promised to the children of Israel, in a land flowing with milk and honey. Their fellow spies were intimidated by the size of the Canaanites, describing them as giants.
So great was the faithfulness of Joshua that he was able to lead the people across the parted River Jordan. The sun stood still following his request to God. The walls of Jericho fell because he meticulously obeyed God’s instructions. These are just some of the highlights of his godly life. Does he sound too good to be true? Did such a man really exist?
Joshua in Archaeology
Because many were sceptical about Joshua’s existence, excavations were carried out in various locations mentioned in the Bible story.
One of the discoveries made by archaeologists relating to Joshua are the cuneiform tablets. The Amarna Letters are clay tablets that detail the Hebrew conquest led by Joshua. The Canaanite inscriptions on the tablets record their request to the Pharaoh in Egypt, requesting his assistance in defending against the invading Israelites.
Another astounding find that proves his existence is Joshua’s Altar on Mount Ebal. The Bible states that this hero set an altar up at this location. Archaeologists have confirmed by radiocarbon dating that the bones and ashes excavated at this site are from Joshua’s era.
Excavations of the city of Jericho in modern times have revealed much evidence of what happened during the time period of Joshua. Archaeologists have discovered debris from the ancient walls of Jericho resembling that caused by a catastrophic event, such as an earthquake. Walls and floors show signs of burning. This further corroborates the Bible’s reference to the Israelites burning the city following the fall of Jericho’s walls.
Lessons from Joshua
Joshua’s life is an example of one we should emulate. His faith and obedience to God made him one of the strongest leaders. No matter what arguments besieged him, he chose to follow God. Further, he urged those under his leadership to keep God’s commands.
Like everyone, Joshua was not perfect but his life demonstrates that obedience to God reaps great rewards and disobedience and sin has its consequences.
These are just some of the facts that will be shared by Katherine Abraham in this podcast episode of ‘Chasing Hope’.