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The book of Joshua is the first book after PentateuchIt is located after Deuteronomy and belongs, according to Hebrew tradition, to the prophetic books (from the Hebrew, nebiim), specifically to the "Former Prophets" or according to tradition Christian to the so-called historical books.

This book is named after the prophet Joshua, who is, according to religious tradition, the author of the book and the protagonist of this narrative. Joshua, whose name means "the Lord saves" or "the Lord is salvation", is the son of Nun and the successor to Moses after his death. He is the leader chosen by God to lead Israel to the Promised Land, being together with Caleb the only people who lived the departure from Egypt, the journey in the desert for 40 years and who were able to enter the Promised Land Canaan. Joshua was a leader, a prophet and a military man who allowed the Israelites to cross the Jordan River and conquer the lands of the Canaanites and thus fulfill God's promise of the Promised Land.

It is a book of historical and religious character and belongs to the Deuteronomic tradition. Biblical scholars affirm that it was written in 550 B.C., during the Babylonian exile, but according to the Jewish tradition it was written by Joshua, except for the final part that relates his death and funeral, which is attributed to Eleazar, son of Aaron.

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The central theme of the book is the arrival and conquest of the promised land Canaan and the fulfillment of God's promise to the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Aaron and to the twelve tribes of Israel and their descendants for the establishment of God's people. The promised land is a sign of the Lord's faithfulness to his word and the requirement for Israel to be faithful and obedient to God, in order to enjoy his mercy and love.

This work highlights the presence of the Lord as the God of Israel, the leadership of Joshua and the Hebrew people. It is the union between the Pentateuch and the subsequent history of Israel, revealing itself as a book that initiates a new historical moment for the Jewish nation with its own social, religious, political and cultural characteristics and its close relationship with God.

It is a book that begins with the death of Moses and a new leadership in Joshua, it describes how the boundaries of the Israelite tribes in the new land are established. It strengthens the religious principles by indicating the need to follow the Law of God, to prohibit false idols and altars and impurity in order to achieve the God's graceHis protection and mercy.

The book of Joshua is divided into two major sections and ends with an appendix.

The first part narrates the arrival and settlement of the Jews in Canaan led by Joshua (chs. 1-12). It tells how he organized three military campaigns for the conquest of Canaan: the first one aimed at the conquest of central Palestine and then the actions towards the north and south of the land of the Canaanites. The conquest of the land of Canaan was a process length and slow.

The second part is the distribution of the land among the tribes of Israel (chs. 13-22). This section reflects a great concern for fairness in the distribution and for the less favored people (widows, the elderly).

And finally, the appendix recounts Joshua's last days after living 120 years, his farewell sermon, the renewal of the covenant at Shechem and his death.

By way of outline this book can be divided into:

  1. The conquest of Canaan (1-12)
  2. The division of the land among the Jewish tribes (13-22)
  3. Joshua's farewell and death and the renewal of the covenant (23-24)

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