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" As I was with Moses, so I will be with thee : I will not fail
thee, nor forsake thee.” Josh. i. 5.
“ The voice that from the glory came
To tell how Moses died unseen,
To victory on the mountains green,
When Kings or Parents pass away,
Keble's Christian Year, INTRODUCTION.
THE BOOK OF JOSHUA.
1. THE Pentateuch is followed in the Jewish Canon by a series which bears the name of Neviim Rishonim, “the earlier Prophets 1", and comprises Joshua, Judges, the first and second Books of Samuel, and the two Books of Kings. This series contains the history of the Israelites, (a) As governed by the successor of Moses and the elders
who outlived him; (6) As governed by native kings; (c) As subject to foreign invaders.
2. The first of these Books, the Book of Joshua, derives its name, not from its Author, but from the great hero, whose exploits are therein related, and who succeeded to the command of the people after the death of the great Hebrew Lawgiver, and led the nation into the Promised Land.
3. The claims of the Book to a place in the Canon of the Old Testament have never been disputed, and its authority is confirmed by allusions to the events recorded in it, which are found in other Books of Holy Scripture.
4. These allusions are found in (a) the Psalms, (6) the Prophets, (c) the New Testament; Thus (a) in Pss. xliv. 2, 3, lxviii. 12–14, lxxviii. 54, 55, we
find reference made to the events which succeeded the
Exodus from Egypt, the expulsion of the Canaanites, the 1 The Jewish division of the Old Testament into (a) the Law, (6) the Prophets, (c) the Hagiographa, is at least as old as the time of our Lord. division of the land among the tribes of Israel, and the
subsequent apostasy of the people. Again (6) in Is. xxviii. 21, reference is made to the victory in
the valley of Gibeon, and, in Hab. iii. 11–13, to the miracle which attested that victory, the Divine march "through the land in indignation,” and the "threshing of the heathen”
in the Divine anger. Again (c) in Acts vii. 45, St Stephen alludes to the bringing
of the Ark into the land of Canaan, and the driving out of the nations by Joshua; while the writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews (iv. 8) speaks of “the rest” which Joshua gave, in part and in part only, to the people; (xi. 30—31) of the fall of Jericho; the faith of Rahab; and her shelter of the spies; and lastly St James (ii. 25) mentions the same Canaanitess as “justified by her works, when she had received
the messengers and sent them out another way.” 5. By whom was it written? Nothing can be said to be really known as to the authorship of the Book? Jewish writers and the Christian Fathers ascribe it to Joshua himself?. Others conjecture that it was composed by Eleazar, or Phinehas, or one of the elders who outlived Joshua, or Samuel, or Jeremiah ; while others have not hesitated to ascribe it to one who lived after the Babylonish captivity.
6. Many arguments may be alleged which point to Joshua, in preference to any other person, as the compiler, at any rate, of the greater portion of its contents. For
(a) The example of his predecessor Moses could not but
1 “It should be observed,” it has been said, “that in accepting the written chronicles of any nation as substantially true, we are not accustomed to depend on the personal character of each particular annalist. The trustworthiness of the pictured narratives which cover the temples and tombs of Thebes, or of those equally wondrous inscriptions discovered in the record chambers of Nineveh and Babylon, is not disputed because we do not know by what particular scribes or priests they were originally composed; nor would the attestation be of much value if we did. And many ancient MSS., which throw light on the history of our own country, are the work of men of whom nothing has come down to us but the faded relics of their earnest toil.”
2 This view has been embraced in recent times by König and, as regards the first half of the book, by Hävernick.