What you get in the Joshua Bible Atlas:
- Atlas of 19 high resolution maps about Joshua
- 24 PDF pages of resources
Sample map in the Joshua Bible Atlas
Joshua leads the invasion of Canaan
God made a promise he didn’t deliver on for 600 years or more. He waited for Joshua.
God told Abraham, sometime around the 2000’s BC, “Take a look around you. Look in every direction: north, south, east, west. It’s all yours. Every bit of land you can see is yours. I’m giving it to you and to your descendants forever” (Genesis 13:14-15).
Then God seemed to hit the pause button.
“Forever” had to wait 600 years. Maybe 800. Scholars debate whether Joshua lived in the 1400s BC or 1200s BC.
Abraham’s grandson, Jacob, migrated with his entire family to Egypt to escape a drought. They came as guests. They left, 430 years later, as slaves.
Moses and the freedom march
Moses led them to freedom and took them to the western border of Canaan, land now claimed by Israelis and Palestinians. Moses died without ever crossing the natural border of the Jordan River and walking into Canaan.
The end of Moses is the start of Joshua—a book of war stories told in 24-chapters. There are 12 chapters about Israelite battles with Canaanite locals. And there are another 12 chapters about dividing the land among the dozen tribes and the Levite priests.
Battles begin at Jericho, a city built in the Jordan River Valley on a massive fault line of earthquake-churning cracks between shifting plates of the earth’s crust, deep underground. Quakes in modern times have heavily damaged Jericho and other cities in the area. They have also produced landslides that temporarily dammed the Jordan River upstream.
The Bible doesn’t mention earthquakes in Jericho’s story. But it does report that the river stopped flowing so the Israelites could cross. And it does say Jericho’s city walls collapsed before the Israelites did anything more than scream at it. That leaves some wondering if God performed those two apparent miracles by pulling the trigger on an earthquake and aftershocks.
The fall of Jericho is the headliner of Joshua’s collection of stories.
Israelites take control of part of the land, mostly in the hills. There, the local Canaanite armies equipped with chariots didn’t have any advantage against Israel’s infantry.
The Israelites got enough of a foothold that Joshua could divide the land among the tribes and disband the army, sending the warriors home. Each tribe had the job of mopping up the last of the locals.
Dan’s tribe couldn’t seem to hold on to what sliver of land it got, along the Mediterranean coast. Perhaps that’s because they had to fight a group of seafaring people and perhaps former islanders who became known as the fierce Philistines. King Saul and most of his sons later died fighting them. It would take King David, 200-400 years after Joshua, to gut-punch the Philistines into submission.
Joshua died after calling the tribes together one last time. He reminded them to pledge allegiance to the covenant agreement they made with God—and to serve God with all the heart they had in them.
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