"The days were just not long enough for some of Joshua's battles.
In the Battle of Beth-Horon, responding to Joshua's request, the Bible
says the sun stood still to extend the day for Israel to defeat their enemies
Why Study Joshua?
It is a manual for spiritual warfare;
It is a prophetic anticipation of the Book of Revelation;
It deals with the background to Israel's claim to the land, which is presently
being contested by the current Peace Process.
It contains some of the most fascinating passages in the Old Testament
The Name of the Book
It may come as a surprise that the name Joshua, in Hebrew, is essentially
equivalent to our Lord's name in Anglicized Greek: Jesus. That was designed
to get our attention.
Furthermore, as a military commander, Joshua's actions at Jericho strangely
parallel the events in the Book of Revelation: he first sends in two witnesses,
he defeats the enemy with seven trumpets, and he seems to ignore the numerous
ordinances in the Torah.
The Levites were exempt from military duties yet they are in the march
against Jericho. The Ark of the Covenant is also in the march. They are
supposed to rest on the seventh day yet on the seventh day they march seven
times as much! (They are to keep silent not shout until the seventh time
on the seventh day. Cf. Revelation 8:1.)
What is really going on?
And who really fought the battle of Jericho? Despite the declarations of
the popular song, it wasn't Joshua. It was a mysterious personage who identifies
Himself with the Burning Bush of 40 years earlier: our Lord Himself! (Joshua
The kings aligned themselves with a leader who called himself "The Lord
of Righteousness." (Joshua 10:1 Note: Does he foreshadow the Antichrist?)
The kings are subsequently defeated with signs in the sun and moon and
then hide in caves (Joshua 10:16-27 Cf. Revelation 6:15-17)
An Anticipatory Model?
As we examine the Book of Joshua carefully, we notice that it seems to
be a precursor to the book of Revelation: another Yehoshua, as Commander
- in- Chief, will dispossess the Planet Earth of its usurpers first sending
in two witnesses, then with a series of judgments of sevens finally defeats
the kings with signs in the sun, moon, etc. The kings hide in caves, etc.
Rahab, Woman of Destiny
Where was the most dangerous spot in Jericho? On the walls! Think about
it. Where was the safest place in Jericho? In Rahab s house. Where was
Rahab's house? On the wall.
It is Rahab, a Gentile of dubious reputation who becomes the mother
of Boaz, the hero in the Book of Ruth who links Bethlehem with the House
of David. (You cannot really understand the Seven Sealed Book in Revelation
unless you have studied the Book of Ruth as a book of prophecy!).
Rahab subsequently emerges in the genealogy of the Son of God (Matthew
When they cross the Jordan (in a manner conspicuously parallel to the crossing
of the Red Sea 40 years earlier), 12 stones are erected on the Gilgal side,
after crossing. (Joshua 4:1-8)
Also, just prior to the Jordan returning to its regular flow, Joshua
sets up 12 stones in the middle of the Jordan, which will then be covered
with the waters. (Joshua 4:9)
These are not only commemorative of their deliverance, they are prophetic
of ours: the baptism of His death, and the deliverance by His resurrection.
It is interesting that, much later, John the Baptist, at this very spot
(At Bethabara, the House of Passage, John 1:28) alludes to these stones
in his challenge to the Pharisees and Sadducees. (Matthew 3:9)
Perhaps the most important aspects of this military book are the practical
insights for spiritual warfare. Its parallelism with Ephesians is also
The first issue is, who has the initiative? Remember, it was God who
declared war on Satan. (Genesis 3:15) When Christ first announced the church,
He pointed out that the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. (Matthew
16:18) It is the church which has the initiative!
What does "Crossing the Jordan" signify spiritually? Going to heaven?
Hardly. There are enemies there. Warfare. Setbacks. The ingredients of
success and failure in their adventures are detailed for our own instruction
to gain victory instead of defeat.
After they cross the Jordan, they get circumcised! For 40 years Israel
was not circumcised! It is remarkable that while they were miraculously
provided for throughout their wilderness wanderings, they were not rebuked
for not maintaining this sign of the covenant.
Is there an intentional parallel between this and the Jewish diaspora,
during which they "are not my people"? (Hosea 1:9-10; 2:23)
They are in enemy territory. So are you and I. (But are we adequately
prepared? Ephesians warns us to "put on the whole
armor of God." You must do this before not during the battle!)
If you are not under attack, perhaps it is because you are not relevant,
or perhaps you are already relegated to where the enemy wants you.
We may not realize this as we should, but no conflict, no crown. If
we are truly Christians, then we will be in real warfare.
The Prophetic Horizon
As the nations of the world line up to challenge Israel's rights to the
land that God covenanted to them, another Yehoshua is getting ready to
give them the surprise of their lives! He, too, is preparing to dispossess
the land in fact, the entire Planet Earth of the Usurper and his followers!
The Book of Joshua also introduces the Shofar (The ram's horn,
not the silver trumpets of the Temple) and the cycle of the Jubilee. After
each seven sabbatical years (49 years), the next year was to be a Jubilee
Year: all debts were forgiven, all slaves went free, and the land returned
to its original owners. (Leviticus 25, 27)
Peter, referring to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, alludes to the
time of restitution of all things, which is regarded as an allusion to
the Jubilee. (Acts 3:21)
Many suspect that the Jubilee, too, will prove to be prophetically significant,
and we are approaching the 70th Jubilee!
As we sit back and watch the emergence of a European Superstate, the
rebuilding of Babylon, the positioning of Magog and the Muslim allies to
attack Israel, and the Vatican positioning to lead a worldwide ecumenical
movement and to internationalize the Temple Mount in Jerusalem we realize
that the stage is being set for the big climax.