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The Catholic Study Bible A special version of the New American Bible, with a wealth of background information useful to Catholics.

The Book of Joshua - Introduction

The Book of Joshua derives its name from the successor of Moses, with whose deeds it is principally concerned. The purpose of the book is to demonstrate God's fidelity in giving to the Israelites the land he had promised them for an inheritance (Gn 15, 18ff; Jos 1, 2ff; 21, 41ff; 23, 14ff ).

Their occupation of the country is begun with the crossing of the Jordan and the conquest of Jericho (ch 1–6 ), in both of which the Lord intervenes on their behalf. This is followed by a first foothold on the Palestinian mountain range, at Ai, Bethel and Gibeon (ch 7–9 ), and two sweeping campaigns against the city‐states in the south of the country (ch 10 ) and in the north (ch 11 ), with a summary in Jos 12 . The broad claim to total sovereignty thus established is spelled out by a combined list of tribal boundaries and of the towns contained within each area or administrative district (ch 13–19 ), including cities of asylum and cities for the Levites (ch 20, 21 ). The book closes with a narrative about the tribes east of the Jordan (ch 22 ), a warning speech by Joshua (ch 23 ), and a renewal at Shechem (ch 24 ) of the covenant with the Lord, already affirmed there near the beginning ( 8, 30–35 ) of the conquest.

Like the books which precede it, the Book of Joshua was built up by a long and complex process of editing traditional materials. Both Jewish and Christian believers have always regarded it as inspired.

The entire history of the conquest of the Promised Land is a prophecy of the spiritual conquest of the world through the Church under the leadership of Jesus the Messiah.

The Book of Joshua may be divided as follows:

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