JOSHUA, BOOK OF: The sixth of the books of the Old Testament in the arrangement of the English Bible.

Contents and Sources.

According to the Hebrew canon, it is the first book of the second part, containing the prophetical-historical books. It was originally the conclusion of the Pentateuch. The conception of the Talmud (Baba bathra, 14b) that Joshua was the author of the book is no longer tenable; nor is that of Keil, who regarded it as a unified book drawn up by an eye-witness of the events (cf. Josh. v. 1, R.V., margin). For contents see HEXATEUCH, § 2. The part which deals with the conquest bears the impress of those sections of the Pentateuch derived from JE (hardly to be distinguished in this book); the second part resembles more the style of the priestly writer, but with insertions of JE (x viii. 3-10). But throughout, these elements are more or less interwoven, with Deuteronomic portions also thrown in (especially in viii.; cf. viii. 30 sqq., with Deut. iv. 41-43, and note the Deuteronomic expressions in Josh. xxiii. 5, 11, 14). There are also expressions which linguistically belong neither to JE nor P, indicating that the redactor has employed other material: such are the combinations "the Lord, the God of Israel" (fourteen times, only elsewhere in the Hexateuch in Ex. v. 1, xxxii. 27), and the term "mighty men of valor" (Josh. i. 14, etc.). Thus the work of several hands is distinguishable in the composition of the book. It appears from analysis that the parts belonging to P are later than those which are assigned to JE; and that JE and P lay before the Deuteronomist who composed the book found in the times of Josiah. It was he who closed the Pentateuch and made Joshua the beginning of the historical narrative, reediting it and working it over, but bestowing upon it no such care as he exercised upon the Pentateuch. There are indications that its text has had an independent history.

In the book data are found which tend to fix the date of the sources out of which it was compiled or from which it was derived. Thus chap. viii. 28 must have been written long prior to Isa. x. 28; xvi. 10 must be earlier than the beginning of Solomon's reign (I Kings ix. 16); xv. 63 must precede the incident told in II Sam. v. 6; x. 13 can not be earlier than the time of David, since the book of Jasher contained David's elegy on Saul and Jonathan; vi. 25 and xiv. 14 do not imply that the source was contemporary with Rahab and Joshua, since the reference is to the descendants of Rahab and Caleb. That the part dealing with the division of the land rests on documents is in itself probable (cf. xviii. 9); and the absence of reports of strife over tribal boundaries implies that the boundaries were balled on an old decision. The list of kings, xii. 9 sqq., is regarded by Ewald as an old document. But variations in, e.g., the count of cities shows that the text has not remained unaltered (xv. 32, xix. 15, 38). This book with the first four books of the Pentateuch and parts of Deuteronomy was known to the prophets Hosea, Amos, and Micah. Thus the general scheme of history regarded by Micah se known to his contemporaries under Hezekiah agrees with that presented in Numbers and Joshua (Micah vi. 1 sqq., which recalls the narrative of JE). So in Amos there are reminiscences of the narrative of P (as in ii. 10, v. 25, vii. 4; cf. particularly ii. 7 with Lev. xx. 3, xxii. 2, 32). So Hos. xii. 4 may be compared with Gen. xxxv. 9 sqq., in which minutć of agreement suggest that Hosea had the report of P before him.


The credibility of the narrative of the book has been assailed on the ground that it contains not history but legend. The chief occasion for this is comparison with Judges i. It is said that while Joshua implies the conquest of Canaan by the tribes in unison, Judges i. records the piecemeal occupation by individual tribes or aggregations. But Judges i. 1 professes to deal with what occurred after the death of Joshua, not with the events of his life. Moreover, while the general impression which the book of Joshua gives is that of a complete conquest, its individual expressions limit this (xxiii. 7, 12). Thus at Joshua's death no tribe had fully completed the conquest of the portion allotted to it, and especially the fortresses and plains remained in Canaanitic possession. Thus Judges i. appears as the story of the continuation of the subjugation of the land, and there is no


contradiction between that chapter and the account in Joshua. The credibility is also attacked on the ground that the narrative concerning the East-Jordan tribes is unnatural. Similarly the narrative of the division is assailed, needlessly, since the prospective nature of the division is implied in the allotment of the Philistine and Phenician coastland, which was not conquered. The objection urged because of the miracles stands upon the same ground as objections to the super-natural in other books of Scripture. As Israel's origin is to be distinguished from that of other peoples, so is the shaping of its subsequent history.

The relation of the book of Joshua to Judges is such that the latter appears in several cases to have borrowed from the former. The Septuagint has at the close of Joshua an addition, partly apocryphal and partly derived from the book of Judges, to the effect that the Israelites of that time changed the location of the ark, that Phinehas succeeded his father Eleazar in the priesthood and was buried in his father's grave, and that Israel worshiped the gods of the people who surrounded them and were under the dominion of Eglon, king of Moab, eighteen years.


For the Samaritan book of Joshua See SAMARIA, SAMARITANS.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: Commentaries are: C. Steuernagel, Göttingen, 1900; F. J. B. Maurer, Stuttgart, 1831; C. F. Keil, Erlangen, 1847, 1874, Eng. transl., Edinburgh, 1857; A. Knobel, Leipsic, 1881; T. E. Eapin, in Bible Commentary, London, 1872; H. Crosby, New York, 1875; G. A. McLeod, Cambridge, 1878; J. J. Lias, in Pulpit Commentary, London, 1881; C. F. A. Dillmann, Leipsic, 1886; J. Lloyd, London, 1886; J. S. Black, Cambridge, 1891; S. Oettli, Munich, 1893; W. H. Bennett, in SBOT, Baltimore, 1895; F. W. Spurling, London, 1901. Questions of criticism are discussed in: J. E. Carpenter and G. Harford-Battersby, The Pentateuch, London, 1900; L. König, Alttestamentliche Studien, vol. i., Meurs, 1836 (decides the book a unit and Joshua its author); J. W. Colenso, The Pentateuch and the Book of Joshua critically Examined, London, 1862-71; Himpel, in TQS, 1864-65; J. Hollenberg, in TSK, xlvii (1874), 462-506; idem, Die alexandrinische Uebersetzung des Buches Josua, Meurs, 1876; K. Budde, in ZATW, vii (1887), pp. 93 sqq.; E. Albers, Die Quellenberichte in Josua i.-xii., Bonn, 1890; DB, ii. 779-788; EB, ii. 2600-2609; JE, vii. 284-288; and the various works cited under BIBLICAL INTRODUCTION, and the pertinent sections in works on the history of Israel given under AHAB.


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