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if it had learned their ways, if the worship of Chemosh and Molech and Astarte had superseded the worship of Jehovah, how had all the grand designs of redemption been frustrated in their development! The cry of Joshua after the flight at Ai would have been the despairing utterance of the race of men, 'And what wilt Thou do unto Thy great name?' More also in Joshua's history than anywhere else besides, may the troubled soul-perplexed and harassed by the sight on this sin-defiled earth of wars, battles, slaughters, pestilences, earthquakes, miseries, and treasons-rest itself, though it be with a deep sob of a present broken-heartedness, in the conviction that God has a plan for this world ; that in the end it does prevail; that the Baalim of heathen powers must fall before Him; and that His kingdom shall stand for ever and ever in its truth and righteousness and love?."
JOSHUA AS A TYPE OF CHRIST.
1. An Introduction to the Book of Joshua would be incomplete without a notice of the typical character of his life and his work. Holy Scripture itself suggests the consideration of the successor of Moses as a type of our Lord and Saviourį, and the more we reflect upon the subject, the more striking does this feature of his career appear.
“It is not often,” it has been remarked, “either in sacred or common history, that we are justified in pausing on anything so outward and usually so accidental as a name3.” But, if ever there be an exception, it is in the present instance. The original name of the leader of the hosts of Israel, Hoshea, Salvation,
Bp Wilberforce's Heroes of Hebrew History, pp. 145, 146.
Acts vii. 45; Heb. iv. 8. 3 Dean Stanley's Lectures on the Jewish Church, I. 229.
was changed, as we have already seen', to Jehoshua, or Joshua, "God's Salvation," or "Jehovah the Saviour" (Num. xiii. 16, xiv. 6, 30). In the Greek translation of the Bible this name is always rendered by the word IHEOYE, JESUS, whence its use in the New Testament.
3. And as with the name, so with its purport. The first Joshua was but a man, and by the power of Jehovah enabled the Israelites to vanquish the nations of Canaan, and saved them from the innumerable dangers that beset them. " Thou shalt call His Name JESUS,” said the angel Gabriel to Joseph, at the time of the first Advent of our Lord, “ for He shall save His people from their sins2." “Joshua saved Israel not by his own power, not of himself, but God by him; neither saved he his own people, but the people of God; whereas Jesus Himself by His own power, the power of God, shall save His own people, the people of God. Well therefore may we understand the interpretation of His Name to be God the Saviour3."
4. The career of a Conqueror thus marked out for the first Joshua, “ the first soldier consecrated by the sacred history,” prepares us for and receives its complete fulfilment in the career of Him, Who came into the world that He might fight against and destroy the works of the Devil4. He bade His disciples “be of good cheer," for He had “ overcome the world 5," and as the Conqueror and the Rewarder of them that conquer, He is frequently revealed in the Apocalypse 6.
5. Again, where was the first part of Joshua's life spent ? Was it not in Egypt? There he was the companion of the rest of his nation in their sorrows; he was one with them in their afflictions; he shared their labours in the brick-kilns of Egypt; in all their afflictions he was afflicted. And even so our Lord, remaining the Son of God most High, became JESUS, the Son of Mary, and condescending to be made in the likeness of men', was in all points like unto His brethren, and i See above, p. 9.
2 Matt. i. 21. 3 Pearson On the Creed, Art. II. 1 John iii. 8.
John xvi. 33. Rev. ii. 7, iii. 5, 12, vi, 2, xi. 15, xii. 11, xvii. 14, xxi. 7. 7 Phil. ii. 7; Heb. ii. 14.
whereas He Himself hath suffered being tempted, He is able to succour them that are tempted.
6. Joshua, moreover, succeeded Moses and completed his work. The hand of the great Lawgiver brought the people out of Egypt, “but left them in the wilderness, and could not seat them in Canaan?." This was reserved for Joshua his successor. Now Moses is often taken for the doctrine delivered, or the books written by him, that is, the Law3. And the Law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ“, by Whom all that believe are justified from all things, from which they could not be justified by the Law of Mosess.
7. With this typical name, and in this order of succession, Joshua entered on his leadership, and at the banks of Jordan God began to “magnify him," and to make manifest to Israel his credentials as their appointed chief. Even so his great Antitype begins His office at the banks of Jordan. His feet are dipped in the selfsame rushing stream, and no sooner has He come up therefrom, and “sanctified water to the mystical washing away of sin,” than the Spirit descends upon Him, and the Voice is heard, “Thou art My beloved Son, in Thee I am well-pleased."
8. At the Jordan, again, Joshua directed that from its bed twelve stones should be taken by twelve men chosen out of the people, to be for evermore a witness to the nation of their deliverance. So after His baptism in Jordan the second Joshua began to choose His twelve Apostles, those foundation-stones in the Church of God, whose names are in the twelve foundations of the wall of the holy city, the new Jerusalem?. “Twelve stones, Joshua buried under the returning waters of Jordan ; and over the first twelve Apostles, Jesus let the stream of death flow as over others; whilst they were repeated in their office of
1 Heb. ii. 18.
3 Comp. Luke xvi. 29, 31, xxiv. 27; John v. 45, 46; Acts vi. II, 13, 14, xv. 21, xxi. 21; 2 Cor. iii. 15. 4 John i. 17.
5 Acts xiii. 39. 6 Matt. iii. 17; Mark i. 11; Luke iii. 22. 7 Rev. xxi. 14.
witnesses to Him by all the enduring succession of His earthly ministers with whom He is, even unto the end of the world1."
9. Having led the people through the Jordan, and renewed the Covenant of Circumcision, and conquered for them their foes, Joshua assigns to them their inheritance, but directs that they must fight for their possessions against the remnants of their enemies, if they would maintain their conquest. And even so Jesus, though He brings His people into the spiritual Canaan of His Church, calls upon them to fight manfully under His banner against the foes, whom He hath not driven out all at once), but left to try and prove them, whether they will turn to account the fair inheritance He hath bestowed upon them.
10. When Joshua's great work is over, his work of war and his work of peace, he ascends the hill of Ephraim and dwells in his own possession. But this has fallen to him, not as to others of his brethren by the casting of the sacred lot. Rather has it been yielded to him as his own right in respect to the work of conquest which he has achieved. And thus too, when His work was over—the work which the Father had given Him to do our Lord ascended up on high to the heaven in which He was before, His own by right, His own by conquest, and there for ever sat down on the right hand of God; from henceforth expecting till His enemies be made His footstools.
Once more. Before Joshua departed and was gathered unto his fathers, he summoned to him aļl the heads of the tribes, and described to them in solemn words, the work that lay before them, and set forth the mighty Future destined to be theirs if they would be loyal to their Invisible King, and cleave earnestly to the God, who had done such great things for them. And so did the great “Captain of our Salvation,” before He ascended up on high, summon to meet Him on a mountain in Galilee, the heads and representatives of His Church, and proclaim to them the greatness of the work, to which they had
1 Bp Wilberforce's Heroes of Hebrew History, p. 156.
5 Heb. X. 12, 13. John xvii. 4.
been called, and the true source of the strength, in which it should be accomplished, saying, “All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth; go ye, therefore, evangelise all nations, and lo I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world!."
12. Lastly, Joshua smote the Amalekites and subdued the Canaanites; by the first, making way to enter the land, by the second, giving possession of it. And even so, Jesus our Lord in a spiritual manner goeth in and out before us against our spiritual foes, opening and clearing our way to heaven. For every one, who follows Him, He divides the cold waters of death, “setting against their utmost flood the Ark of the Body which He took of us, and in which God dwelleth evermore; so making a way for His ransomed to pass over to the mansions, which He has prepared for them, from the foundation of the world.”
ANALYSIS OF THE BOOK.
I. The following Analysis will give an idea of the contents of the Book of Joshua. 2. It may be regarded as consisting of three parts ;
(i) The Conquest of Canaan; (ii) The Division of Canaan; (iii) Joshua's Farewell.
THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN. 1.-xil.
(a) The Command of God to Joshua .......... 1–9.
1 Matt. xxviii. 18, 19, 20.
Pearson On the Creed, Art. II.