I. Introduction This chapter addresses textual issues, related research, methodology, Deuteronomistic theory, and the characterization of Joshua in Joshua 1-11. II. Commissions: Joshua 1:1-18 Joshua 1 serves as both a retrospective and prospective text, and introduces several key facets of Joshua's character. III. Interloper or Integral Introduction?: Joshua 2:1-24 When considered in the context of the broader exodus narrative, the function of the Rahab episode becomes clear, and recent allegations of Joshua's timidity or renegade diplomacy in this affair thus fail to persuade. IV. The Crossing: Joshua 3:1-4:24 This chapter argues for the coherence of Joshua chapters 3 and 4, and then highlights several characteristic features of Joshua's authority which are evident in this story. V. Closure: Joshua 5:1-12 The Gilgal narrative, with its many enigmatic, controversial features, has a primarily retrospective role in the narrative, and highlights Joshua's authoritative, but surrogate, role in the exodus. VI. Theophany Interrupted?: Joshua 5:13-6:5 This chapter considers the difficult structural question of the relationship between 5:13-15 and 6:1-5, and outlines the effect of this issue on the matter of Joshua's legitimacy as Israel's leader. VII. "Joshua Fit de Battle": Joshua 6:1-27 Joshua's leadership at Jericho is best understood in relation to ancient near eastern warfare, the regulations of the Torah, and the conventions of prophetic leadership. VIII. Trouble and the Troubler: Joshua 7:1-26 This chapter analyzes Joshua's leadership in the Ai/Achan affair, highlighting both the strengths and weaknesses of his response to the crisis at Ai. IX. Equilibrium Restored: Joshua 8:1-35 After the dramatic defeat and subsequent success at Ai, Joshua 8 paints a picture of Joshua's military leadership, his contribution to Israel's national memory, and his role in the complicated account of the recitation at Mount Ebal. X. Neglect and Recovery: Joshua 9:1-27 This chapter considers Joshua's involvement in Israel's mistaken treaty with the Gibeonites. XI. On Light and Might: Joshua 10:1-43 Joshua 10 records Joshua's extraordinary instructions to the sun, his military success, and the collaborative nature of his leadership in the exodus/conquest venture. XII. Complete Finish: Joshua 11:1-23 After an enigmatic opening statement, Joshua 11 proceeds to give a picture of the intimate relationship between divine and human leadership, which includes a subtle critique of monarchy. XIII. Retrospect and Prospect A cohesive reading of Joshua 1-11 suggests the possibility of significant and purposeful artistry on the part of those involved in the final edition of the Masoretic Text. Upon close examination, several difficult features of the text prove capable of
This book offers a narrative treatment of the conquest accounts, with specific attention given to the characterization of Joshua. The method employed is eclectic, including poetic analysis, structural study, delimitation criticism, comparative literary analysis, and intertextual reading.
Sarah Lebhar Hall is an adjunct lecturer for Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary
'Throughout, Hall's writing is clear and engaging, not burdened with impenetrable jargon but expounding the issues helpfully for the non-expert and arguing persuasively for worthwhile conclusions... this work is an important contribution that no commentator on Joshua will be able to overlook.' -- Journal of Theological Studies * JTS *