- JOSHUA (Heb. יְהוֹשֻׁעַ; "YHWH is salvation"), son of Nun of the tribe of Ephraim and leader of the Israelites in the conquest and apportionment of the land of Canaan; his name was originally Hosea (Num. 13:8, 16; Deut. 32:44). Joshua, who appears in the Bible as a commander and as moses ' attendant, led Israel against amalek in the battle of Rephidim (Ex. 17:9–14). He accompanied Moses during his ascent and descent of Mt. Sinai (24:13; 32:17–18), and was placed in charge of security at the tent of meeting (33:11). One of the 12 spies sent from Kadesh, Joshua, together with Caleb, opposed the negative report of the other ten (Num. 13:8; 14:6–9). Because of their trust in the Lord, they were the only two privileged to enter Canaan (14:30). Moses appointed Joshua as his successor (27:15–23; Deut. 1:38) with the duty to conquer and apportion the land among the Israelites (Num. 34:17; Deut. 31:7, 14, 23). He himself received Timnath-Serah in the hills of Ephraim as his lot (Josh. 19:50). On his death at the age of 110, he was buried there (ibid. 24:30; cf. Judg. 2:9, as Timnath-Heres). Joshua is portrayed in the Bible as combining the qualities of a military leader and a prophet. His major function lay in the conquest and settlement of Canaan (Deut. 3:21; 31:3–8; Josh. 13:22), but he "was filled with the spirit of wisdom because Moses had laid his hands upon him" (Num. 27:18–20; Deut. 34:9). Like Moses, he is called "servant of the Lord" (Josh. 24:29), and it is also said of him: "And the Lord spoke unto Joshua saying" (20:1) – the form of address used for Moses. He begins his farewell address to Israel: "Thus says the Lord" (24:2). The event of Mt. Ebal (Josh. 8:30–35; cf. Deut. 27) is a kind of act of prophetic leadership continued from Moses to Joshua. In his parting words of chapter 23 and those at Shechem (24), the Bible attributes to him the character of a prophet-legislator in the style of Moses (24:1–28). (For fuller details see Joshua, Book of .) The historical role of Joshua has been variously evaluated. There is a general consensus that the Joshua traditions in the Pentateuch are secondary. He appears to have been inserted into the spy story of Numbers 13–14; Deut. 1:34–7, which in an earlier form included only Caleb. As to his historicity E. Meyer and G. Hoelscher deny his existence as a historical reality and surmise that he is the legendary hero of a Josephite clan. Others, especially Y. Kaufmann, accept the biblical tradition in essence and view him as the historical leader of an alliance of tribes during the conquest of Canaan. Before the extensive archaeological excavations of the recent decades demonstrated that the Bible's account of the conquest of the land are unhistorical, most modern scholars did not doubt his historicity, but suggested that he was the leader of only part of the Israelite conquerors, and that he became a national hero associated with Moses only after the passage of time, when numerous stories and traditions accumulated about him. W.F. Albright, T. Meek, B. Mazar, and others held that Joshua was only the leader of the house of Joseph and that he conquered Jericho, Ai, and Beth-El, and won the battle of Gibeon. In the opinion of Alt and Noth, Joshua won only the battle of Gibeon, and following this victory he became the first judge, consolidating the tribes of Israel around their religious center in Shechem, in the center of the hills of Ephraim (Josh. 24). In the present circumstances it seems best to conclude that if there is a historical person ultimately behind the Joshua legends, he cannot be recovered. (Yohanan Aharoni / S. David Sperling (2nd ed.) -In the Aggadah Joshua received the Torah from Moses (Avot 1:1). He was worthy to succeed him and to receive the gift of prophecy because of his faithful service to him both by day and night (Num. R. 12:9). That his inspiration was derived from Moses is indicated in the statement "the face of Moses was as the face of the sun, the face of Joshua as the face of the moon" (BB 75a). Joshua was designated as the "first of the conquerors" at the time of the creation of the world (Esth. R., Proem 10). The rabbis solve the moral problem that Joshua had taken by conquest a land which was occupied by another nation by maintaining that it was divinely designated for the children of Israel, and the Canaanites were merely acting as caretakers of the land until their arrival (Sifra 7:9). The identical plea was used by the Spartans to justify their right to Sparta and Messene, namely, that Heracleus conquered Sparta with his own hands and ordered it to be preserved for his descendants (Diodorus 4:33, 5). Before attacking a city Joshua issued an edict wherein was written, "Whosoever desires to go, let him go; and whosoever desires to make peace, let him make peace; and whosoever desires to make war, let him do so. The Girgashites departed, and so were given a land as good as their own … Africa (Carthage). The Gibeonites made peace. The 31 kings waged war and were defeated" (Deut. R. 5:14; Lev. R. 17:6). Joshua's dedication of the spoils of Jericho to God was done of his own accord, Joshua reasoning that since it was captured on the holy Sabbath, then all that was taken should be holy to the Lord. Moreover, as the first city to be captured, it was to be regarded as the first of the produce, which belongs to God (Tanḥ B., Num. 42; Jos., Ant., 5:26). When the Gibeonites appealed to Joshua to save them (Josh. 10:6), his first thought was that he should not put the congregation to trouble for the sake of these proselytes, but God pointed out that Joshua himself was a descendant of proselytes (Num. R. 8:4), since he was descended from Ephraim, son of Joseph and Asenath, daughter of Poti-Phera. Joshua succeeded where Moses did not. He allotted and apportioned the land and was vouchsafed the wholehearted cooperation of the entire people which Moses had failed to achieve (Tanḥ B., Lev. 23). He was one of the three for whom the sun stood still (Ta'an. 20a). Joshua married rahab after she became a proselyte (Meg. 14b). (Elimelech Epstein Halevy) -In Christianity The similarity of the names Yehoshua and Yeshua brought about an early identification, in Christian symbolism, of Joshua as a "type" or prefiguration of Jesus. The typology is first mentioned in the Epistle to the Hebrews (4:8–9), where Joshua, who brought the children of Israel to an imperfect rest only, is contrasted with Jesus who brought his believers to the true and perfect rest. Other events of Joshua's life are similarly interpreted as prophetic anticipations of the life of Jesus. Thus Joshua fights with Amalek, the symbol of the Devil, with whom Jesus too must fight, and he leads the Israelites in battle while Moses folds his arms in the "crossed" position. According to the Church Father Irenaeus, Joshua, who leads the people into the Holy Land, succeeds Moses, the symbol of the superseded Law. -In Islam When the people of Israel refused to enter Ereẓ Israel out of fear of the people of Anak (see Num. 13–14), they were encouraged by two men who feared Allah and who said to them: "Verily, we shall be victorious and upon God do ye rely if ye be believers" (Sura 5:23–26). The commentators explain that these two were Yūshaʿ (Joshua) ibn Nūn and Kalāb (Caleb) ibn Yūfannā (Jephunneh). Ṭabarī (Taʾrīkh, p. 306) mentions that there were divergences of opinion among the earlier authorities (cf. Kisāʾī, 240) as to whether the conquest of Jericho occurred during the lifetime of Moses, and that Joshua commanded the vanguard of the army in this campaign, or whether it occurred after the death of Moses, solely at the hands of Joshua. Ṭabarī (Taʾrīkh, p. 311), however, was familiar with the order of the events of the conquest as they are described in the Bible: Joshua conquered more than 30 towns (cf. Josh. 12). In the traditions of Ṭabarī (Taʾrīkh, p. 312) the tale of Joshua is connected with that of the Amalekites who were driven out of yemen by Shamīr, the first of the Ḥimyar kings and the same person who was at first the viceroy of the king of Persia in Yemen. The remnants of the Canaanites, who remained after the wars of Joshua, headed by Ifrīqis, a descendant of the Ḥimyarite kings, went to Africa – which they conquered – put its king Jarjīr (or Jarjaṣ – the Girgasite) to death and settled there; these people are the berbers . Ibn Khaldūn, the celebrated Arabic-Maghribi historian (late 14th–early 15th century), objected to this genealogy. These confused legends are an echo of the tale of Procopius (sixth century C.E.), and of the Jewish legends – which go back to the period of the tannaim – on the expulsion of the Canaanites by "Joshua the Robber" to Africa, or their voluntary departure. They later appear in Arabic literature as the expulsion of the Philistines from Canaan and are connected with the Jālūt (see goliath ). (Haïm Z'ew Hirschberg) -In the Arts Among writers, artists, and musicians the siege and capture of Jericho was the most popular episode in Joshua's career. In literature, Joshua drew little attention during the Middle Ages. One of the earliest works on the subject was a late Elizabethan play by the English writer S. Rowley, whose Joshua – though the text has not survived – is known to have been staged in 1602. The theme became more popular in the 18th century, with works beginning with García Aznar Vélez's Spanish drama El sol obediente al hombre (Seville, 1720?2). Thomas Morell's Joshua. A Sacred Drama (1748), enhanced by the music of Handel, was one of the oratorios on Old Testament themes which appealed to the patriotism of a British public unable to see biblical plays on the stage because of rigid censorship. There were also strong patriotic undertones to The Conquest of Canaan (1785), an epic poem by the theocratic U.S. writer and preacher Timothy Dwight. Dwight, one of the leading "Connecticut wits," injected references to the American War of Independence into his allegorical account of the Israelite The Battles of Joshua (1843), an anonymous American ballad – generally attributed to samuel b.h. judah – portraying the Israelite leader as a cruel invader. Works on the subject by two other 19th-century Jewish writers were less controversial: Yehoshu'a; Sar Ẓeva'ot Yisrael (1853), a Hebrew epic in ten cantos by Benjamin Kewall (1806–1880), and Joshua (1890; Joshua: A Story of Biblical Times, 1890) by the German Egyptologist Georg Moritz ebers , who was raised as a Christian. The subject has retained its popularity in the 20th century, and a three-act drama Rahab by the U.S. literary critic Richard Burton appeared in 1906. Another work of the same period was "Josuas Landtag" (composed 1906), a poem by the Prague-born Austrian writer Rainer Maria Rilke. Other works on the theme by modern writers include Tadeusz Breza's Polish novel, Mury Jerycha ("The Walls of Jericho," 1946); The Seven Days of Jericho (1944), a poem by Patrick Dickinson; a drama, Das rote Seil (1952), by the Swiss-German writer Gerhard Wipf; and Frank G. Slaughter's The Scarlet Cord: a Novel of the Woman of Jericho (1956). Among treatments by Jewish authors are Saul Saphire's Yiddish novel, Moyshe Rabeynes Nakhfolger, Yehoshue (1935), and Israel Isaac Taslitt's At the Walls of Jericho (1961). There have also been several works for Jewish children, such as Shlomo Skulsky's Aggadot Yehoshu'abin Nun (1958; Legends of Joshua, 1961). In art, Joshua was regarded as the type of Jesus (Yehoshu'ah = Yeshu'a), both because of his name and because of the symbolic meaning attached to his actions. The crossing of the Jordan, like the crossing of the Red Sea, was regarded as foreshadowing the baptism of Jesus and was therefore represented on baptismal fonts. Joshua also owed much of his popularity in the medieval Christian world to the miracle he performed in arresting the course of the sun in the heavens (Josh. 10:12). He was regarded as one of the Nine Worthies, and was represented in this role in sculpture, painting, and tapestries. The cycles of episodes drawn from the Book of Joshua comprise the fourth-century mosaics from the church of Santa Maria Maggiore, Rome; the tenth-century Greek Joshua Roll (Vatican Library); the bronze doors by Ghiberti for the Baptistery at Florence; and a series of 16th-century Brussels tapestries (Vienna Museum). In the mosaics of Santa Maria Maggiore, the scene of the crossing of the Jordan is based on the triumph over the fall of Jerusalem from the Arch of Titus. There is a statue of Joshua by Donatello at the Campanile, Florence, and scenes from his life are found in Byzantine and western manuscripts, including the 12th-century Admont Bible (British Museum); the 13th-century St. Louis Psalter (Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris), in which the priests are shown wearing the pointed hats of medieval Jewry; the 14th-century Queen Mary Psalter (British Museum); and the 16th-century Hours of Henry II (Bibliothèque Nationale). Similar scenes are also found in medieval frescoes and sculpture. Among other notable representations are an illustration of the fall of Jericho by Jean Fouquet (1415–1480) in his famous manuscript of Josephus (Bibliothèque Nationale); frescoes by the school of Raphael in the loggie of the Vatican; and a painting by Tiepolo (1696–1770; Poldi-Pezzoli Museum, Milan) showing Joshua arresting the course of the sun, a subject also treated by Italian artists of the 17th century. -IN MUSIC Joshua has also inspired a comparatively large number of compositions. The sudden appearance of several oratorios on the subject – mainly about the fall of Jericho – beginning with G.M. Bononcini's Il Giosuè (1688) is no doubt directly linked with political events of the time, particularly the victories of Charles of Lorraine over the Turks at Mohács, and of Prince Eugene of Savoy and the Duke of Marlborough. Some early 18th-century works of note are M.-A. Charpentier's Josué (c. 1700); the oratorio-pasticcio I trionfi di Giosuè (1703), jointly written in Florence by more than ten composers (including Veracini and Bononcini); and other oratorios by Veracini (c. 1715), Logroscino (1743), and Hasse (1743). Handel's oratorio Joshua has been mentioned above. The subject was taken up by some relatively undistinguished composers in France. The only noteworthy – or notorious – example there is of slightly later date, La Prise de Jéricho, an opera put together from various sources (chiefly Mozart) by Lachnith and Kalkbrenner (1805). Of the very few works on the subject written during the 19th century only Moussorgsky's retains significance. His Jesus Navin ("Joshua, the Son of Nun"), for baritone, alto, mixed choir, and piano, is based on melodies which he heard from Jewish neighbors in St. Petersburg in about 1864. Moussorgsky first utilized some of the material in 1866 for the "Chorus of the Libyan Warriors" in his projected opera Salammbô. Between 1874 and 1877 he reworked and completed it as a choral scene on the battle of Gibeon, adapting the text himself from the Bible. The work was first performed and published in 1883 by Rimsky-Korsakov, who had arranged the piano accompaniment for orchestra. The opening theme of the main chorus, "Thus saith the Lord of Hosts," is engraved on Moussorgsky's tombstone. It was translated into Hebrew by saul tchernichovsky for the Lider-Zamlbuch (1911) published by Z. Kisselgov, A. Zhitomirski, and P. Lwow for the society for jewish folk music . Later works about Joshua include C. Franckenstein's opera Rahab (première in Hamburg, 1911), Franz Waxman's oratorio Joshua (première in Dallas, 1959), and ben-zion orgad 's The Story of the Spies for chorus and orchestra (1953). The Afro-American spiritual "Joshua fit de battle of Jericho" is among the most famous of its type. (Bathja Bayer) -BIBLIOGRAPHY: IN THE BIBLE: A.Moehlenbrink, in: ZAW, 59 (1943), 14–58; T.J. Meek, Hebrew Origins (19502), 1–48. For further bibliography see book of joshua . IN THE AGGADAH: Ginzberg, Legends, 4 (19475), 3–17; 6 (19463), 169–80; A.A. Halevi, Sha'arei ha-Aggadah (1963), 68–70, 109–11. IN CHRISTIANITY: J. Daniélou, Sacramentum Futuri (1950), 203–17; Dictionnaire de théologie catholique (1925). IN ISLAM: Ṭabarī, Tafsīr, 10 (1327 A.H.), 112–4; Ṭabarī, Taʾrīkh, 1 (1357 A.H.), 306–12; ʿUmāra ibn Wathīma, Qiṣaṣ Vatican Library, Borgia Ms. 165; Thaʿlabi, Qiṣaṣ (1356 A.H.), 202–4, 207–11; Kisāʾī, Qiṣaṣ, ed. by I. Eisenberg (1922), 240–3; Ibn Khaldūn ʿAbd al Raḥsmān, The Muqaddimah trans. by F. Rosenthal (1958), index S.V. Berber; 3 vols.; Hirschberg, Afrikah, 1 (1965), 23–25, bibl. 337, no. 38–40; H.A.R. Gibb and J.H. Kramers, Shorter Encyclopaedia of Islam (1953), S.V. Yūshaʿ b. Nūn, incl. bibl. ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY:"Yūshaʿ," in: EIS2, 11 (2002), 351 (incl. bibl.); J. van Seters, In Search of History (1997; repr. of 1983), 322–53; S.D. Sperling, in, HUCA, 58 (1987), 119–36; reprinted with comments in G. Knoppers and G. McConville (eds.), Reconsidering Israel and Judah (2000), 204–58; G. Ramsey, in: ABD, 3:999–1000.
Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.
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