Who? | Author & Audience
Joshua, primarily written by Joshua, was written to the Israelites and future generations of Christians.
When? | Dates
The events of the book of Joshua likely took place in the Late Bronze Age, possibly around 1405 BC.
Where? | Setting
This was written during the approximately 30 years the Israelites were on a conquest to claim the Promised Land, which by that time was an extremely pagan land that worshiped many false gods and goddesses and lived in much sin. By the time the Israelites began their conquest, the natives were so divided that it was perfect timing for them.
What & Why? | Outline & Purpose
Conquest of the Promised Land (Joshua 1-12)
Preparation of the Conquest (Joshua 1-5)
Conquest of the Promised Land (Joshua 6-12)
Division of the Promised Land (Joshua 13-21)
Assignment of land to the tribes (Joshua 13-19)
Assignment of specific cities (Joshua 20-21)
Settlement of the Promised Land (Joshua 22-24)
Settlement of eastern tribes (Joshua 22)
Settlement of western tribes (Joshua 23)
Covenant and farewell (Joshua 24)
How? | Application
Reminder to the Israelites and future generations that the Promised Land was a gift from God, and that God is a promise keeper.
Teaches the importance of trusting in God during times of transition.
Reinforces that obedience to God results in the gift of God's blessings.
Encourages Christians to be strong and courageous, remembering that God is faithful and always with us.
Joshua was the primary author of his namesake book of the Bible, having written it while the Israelites were on a conquest to claim the Promised Land. He was the predecessor to Moses, sent by God at about 80 years old to be the one to take the people into the land they'd been promised so long ago.
The Israelites likely fought for around 30 years to take the land they were promised, and history and scripture indicate they found the land divided and easier to conquer. It had been a very pagan land, filled with sin and worship of idols, which was surely a test of the Israelite's faith as much as the conquest itself was.
As we read the trials and tests the Israelite's faced we can be encouraged that the Lord keeps His promises and that He is working ahead of us, preparing the way for His will to be fulfilled in His way and timing. We can learn a lot about God and the journey and faith He calls each of us to through learning about the journey He took the Israelites through.