Guest Post by R. Hayyim Angel
The Book of Joshua represents one of Israel’s ideal eras: “Israel served the Lord during the lifetime of Joshua and the lifetime of the elders who lived on after Joshua, and who had experienced all the deeds that the Lord had wrought for Israel” (Josh. 24:31). Given the nation’s propensity toward complaint and rebellion throughout Moses’ tenure, it is striking that Israel remained loyal to God and to Joshua. Only one man—Achan—sinned, and the people never complained to Joshua, even after their demoralizing loss at Ai.
This study will consider Joshua’s characterization in the Torah and in the Book of Joshua, and explore the roots of his phenomenal success as a leader.
THE BATTLE AGAINST AMALEK
Amalek came and fought with Israel at Rephidim. Moses said to Joshua, “Pick some men for us, and go out and do battle with Amalek. Tomorrow I will station myself on the top of the hill, with the rod of God in my hand.” Joshua did as Moses told him and fought with Amalek, while Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill....Then the Lord said to Moses, “Inscribe this in a document as a reminder, and read it aloud to Joshua: I will utterly blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven!” (Exod. 17:8–14)
The first time Joshua is mentioned in the Torah, he appears without introduction. The reader is not told who Joshua is or why Moses chose him as military commander in the battle against Amalek. Curiously, the Book of Chronicles reports that Joshua was the grandson of Elishama son of Ammihud, the chieftain of the tribe of Ephraim at the time of the exodus (I Chr. 7:26–27, cf. Num. 1:10). The omission of Joshua’s pedigree in the Torah and in the Book of Joshua implies that his noble background was not a significant factor in his being chosen. Clearly, Moses had detected some outstanding qualities in his disciple.
Land of Yosef, Land for remaining 7 tribes, Dan's conquest, Unconquered land, Arei Miklat, Cities of refuge