Histo-RAY Commentary by Ray Moore – Intro to the Book of Joshua

Histo-RAY Commentary by Ray Moore – Intro to the Book of Joshua

The book of Joshua is a book of new beginnings for the people of Israel. After 40 years in the desert, Israel is ready to claim its inheritance.


God spent a long time preparing Joshua for his calling. He was born into slavery in Egypt and given the name HOSHEA which means “salvation”. Moses later changed it to JOSHUA which means “Jehovah is salvation”, which is the Hebrew form of “Jesus”.

Joshua belonged to the tribe of Ephraim and was the firstborn of NUN. This meant his life was in danger on the night of the Passover, but he was protected by the blood of the lamb.

Joshua saw the signs and wonders God performed in Egypt. He knew Jehovah was a God of power and one who cared for His people.

Joshua saw the Lord part the Red Sea. Joshua was a man of faith who knew the Lord and trusted Him to do wonders for His people.


Joshua is first mentioned in Scripture in his defeat of the Amalekites who had attacked Israel about two months after the exodus from Egypt.

Moses was a prophet and legislator.  Joshua was a general and had exceptional military skills.

God had chosen Joshua for a special work in the future. God used the battle with Amalek to examine his faith and courage. This battle prepared him for many battles to come.


In Exodus 24:13, Joshua is called Moses’ servant (minister) indicating he was an official assistant to the leader of Israel. He accompanied Moses to the mount and went with him when he judged the people for making a golden calf.

The secret to Joshua’s success was not only his skill with the sword, but his submission to the word of God. Joshua fully honored the authority of Moses (A good character for all Christians to have). When the inheritance was allotted to the tribes, Joshua took his share last.


When Israel arrived at Kadish Barnea, on the border of the Promised Land, God commanded Moses to appoint 12 men to spy out the land. Joshua was among them. After 40 days of investigating, they returned and reported a good land indeed. But ten of the spies were discouraged saying Israel wasn’t strong enough to overcome the enemy. Two spies, Caleb and Joshua, encouraged the people to trust God and move into the Land. Sadly, the people listened to the ten and this act of rebellion and unbelief delayed the conquest of the Promised Land for 40 years.

This crisis revealed some fine leadership qualities in Joshua. He was not blind to the realities of the situation, but he didn’t allow them to rob him of his faith in God. The ten looked at God through the difficulties while Joshua looked at them through what he knew about God. Their God was big enough for the battles that lay ahead.

Think of the years of blessing the people missed due to their lack of faith in God. Joshua patiently stayed with Moses and did his job, knowing that one day he’d get his inheritance (Leaders must not only know how to win, but how to accept defeat).


God has prepared Joshua to succeed Moses. At his death, Moses asked God to give the people a leader and God gave them Joshua. Moses tells Israel that God will use Joshua to defeat their enemies. Moses encourages Joshua to not be afraid. Moses laid hand on Joshua and God imparted spiritual power for his task.

What was the secret to Joshua’s success? Faith in the Word of God–it’s commandments and it’s promises. God’s Word to Joshua was to “be strong”. In America today Christians are being asked to “be strong”.