Summary of the book of Joshua chapter by chapter

Summary of the Book of Joshua Chapter by Chapter (1-24): Concise and Comprehensive

Are you a student of the Word who wants to go through a summary of the book of Joshua chapter by chapter, in order to get an overview of the events? You’re in the right place. The Book of Joshua holds a special significance for believers as it documents Joshua’s leadership and the Israelites’ entry into the Promised Land. With unwavering faith, Joshua guided the people through battles and challenges to claim the land that God had promised them. In this post, you will find a chapter-by-chapter summary of the book of Joshua.

Read: The Book of Deuteronomy Summary by Chapter (1-34): Concise and Comprehensive

The Summary of the Book of Joshua Chapter by Chapter

Chapter 1: God Commissions Joshua

After the death of Moses, God speaks to Joshua and entrusts him with leading the Israelites into the Promised Land. He encourages Joshua to be strong and courageous and assures him that He will be with him just as He was with Moses. God emphasizes the importance of the Law and urges Joshua not to deviate from it.

In response to God’s call, Joshua commands the officers of the people to prepare for crossing the Jordan into the land God has promised them. The Reubenites, Gadites, and half the tribe of Manasseh pledge their loyalty and support to Joshua, affirming that they will obey him as they did Moses.

Chapter 2: Rahab and the Spies

Joshua sends two spies to gather intelligence on the city of Jericho. The spies find refuge in Rahab’s house, who is a resident of Jericho. When the king of Jericho learns about the spies, Rahab hides them and claims they have already left the city.

In return for her protection, Rahab asks the spies to spare her family when the Israelites attack Jericho. The spies agree and instruct her to tie a scarlet cord in her window as a sign. Rahab lets them down by a rope through the window, and they escape back to Joshua.

Chapter 3: Crossing the Jordan

As the Israelites approach the Jordan River, Joshua instructs the priests carrying the Ark of the Covenant to go ahead of the people. The nation follows the Ark as it leads them to the brink of the river.

As the priests step into the Jordan, the waters miraculously stop flowing and pile up, allowing the Israelites to cross on dry ground. The Ark stays in the middle of the river until everyone has crossed over.

Chapter 4: Memorial Stones

Once all the Israelites have crossed the Jordan, Joshua commands twelve men, one from each tribe, to take twelve stones from the middle of the river. These stones are set up at Gilgal as a memorial for future generations.

Joshua also sets up twelve stones in the middle of the Jordan where the priests stood with the Ark. As soon as the priests come up from the river and the Ark is safely across, the waters of the Jordan return to their place.

Chapter 5: The Circumcision and Passover

At Gilgal, Joshua circumcises the Israelites, as the generation born in the wilderness had not been circumcised. This signifies their consecration to God as they enter the Promised Land. They then celebrate the Passover.

The day after Passover, they eat produce from the land, and the manna that had sustained them in the wilderness ceases. Joshua also encounters an angelic figure, the commander of the army of the Lord, who offers divine guidance.

Chapter 6: The Fall of Jericho

God gives Joshua specific instructions on how to conquer Jericho. The Israelites are to march around the city once a day for six days, with the Ark and seven priests blowing trumpets of rams’ horns.

On the seventh day, they march around the city seven times. On the final round, with a long blast of the trumpets, the people shout, and the walls of Jericho collapse. The Israelites then take the city.

Chapter 7: Achan’s Sin

After the fall of Jericho , the Israelites move to attack the city of Ai, but they suffer a defeat. Joshua turns to God in prayer, and God reveals that the defeat was because of Achan’s sin. Achan had taken some of the devoted things from Jericho, which was against God’s command.

Joshua confronts Achan, who admits to his sin. The Israelites take Achan, the stolen items, and his family to the Valley of Achor. They stone them and burn them with fire, and raise over him a pile of stones, which remains to this day.

Chapter 8: The Capture of Ai

God tells Joshua not to fear and assures him that He has given Ai into his hands. Joshua forms a battle plan, setting an ambush behind the city. With a group of soldiers, Joshua draws the men of Ai out of the city, while another group attacks the city from behind.

The Israelites defeat Ai and its king. After the battle, Joshua builds an altar to the Lord and the people offer sacrifices. Joshua also reads all the words of the Law to the people, and they renew their covenant with the Lord.

Chapter 9: The Gibeonite Deception

The inhabitants of Gibeon, having heard of the Israelites’ victories, devise a plan to deceive them. They pretend to be envoys from a distant country and ask Joshua to make a treaty with them. Joshua and the leaders, believing their story, make a peace treaty without inquiring of the Lord.

Three days later, the Israelites find out that the Gibeonites are actually their neighbors. The Israelites honor the treaty, but as a consequence, the Gibeonites are made servants to the Israelites, cutting wood and drawing water for the house of God.

Chapter 10: The Sun Stands Still

Five Amorite kings form an alliance to attack Gibeon due to their treaty with Israel. The Gibeonites call on Joshua for help, and the Israelites march out to battle. God assures Joshua of victory and even hurls hailstones from the sky to help defeat the enemy.

In a miraculous event, Joshua asks the Lord to make the sun stand still, and it does, prolonging the day until the Israelites achieve victory. The five Amorite kings are captured and killed, and Joshua leads a campaign through the southern cities, conquering them.

Chapter 11: Northern Kings Defeated

A coalition of northern kings gathers to fight against Israel. God tells Joshua that He will hand them over to Israel. Joshua and his army launch a surprise attack, thoroughly defeating them.

Joshua captures all the cities of these kings and puts them to the sword, completely destroying them as Moses, the servant of the Lord, had commanded. The land then has rest from war.

Chapter 12: A Summary of Defeated Kings

This chapter is a summary that lists the kings whom the Israelites defeated under the leadership of Moses and Joshua. The chapter recounts the conquests on both sides of the Jordan River.

It enumerates the kingdoms and territories conquered, highlighting the fulfillment of God’s promises to give the land of Canaan to the descendants of Abraham.

Chapter 13: Remaining Land to be Conquered

God tells Joshua that although he is old, there is still much land to be conquered. This chapter describes the areas yet to be taken and details the land east of the Jordan that had already been allotted to the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh.

The chapter further outlines the land, its boundaries, and the conquered kings within the regions assigned to the tribes mentioned.

Chapter 14: Caleb’s Inheritance

Caleb, son of Jephunneh, reminds Joshua of the promise God made to him through Moses regarding the land he would inherit. Caleb’s faithfulness and wholehearted following of God are highlighted.

Joshua blesses Caleb and grants him Hebron as his inheritance. The text mentions that because Caleb remained faithful to God, the land had rest from war.

Chapter 15: Allotment for Judah

This chapter focuses on the allotment of land to the tribe of Judah. The boundaries and towns within Judah’s territory are described in detail.

Caleb, who belongs to the tribe of Judah, drives out the Anakites from his land. Also, in this chapter, there is a brief account of Othniel, Caleb’s younger brother, capturing a city and being rewarded with Caleb’s daughter in marriage.

Chapter 16: Territory of Ephraim

The chapter details the allotment of land to the tribe of Joseph, beginning with the tribe of Ephraim. The boundaries and towns within Ephraim’s territory are outlined.

It also mentions that the Canaanites living in Gezer were not driven out and continued to live among the Ephraimites.

Chapter 17: Territory of Manasseh

Chapter 17 describes the allotment of land to the other half of the tribe of Joseph, Manasseh. The boundaries and towns are outlined, as well as a note on the daughters of Zelophehad, who receive an inheritance among the sons.

The tribe of Manasseh also fails to drive out all the Canaanites, but instead, they put them to forced labor.

Chapter 18: The Remaining Tribes

The Israelites assemble at Shiloh, where they set up the Tent of Meeting. Joshua encourages the remaining seven tribes to take possession of the land which God had given them.

A survey of the remaining land is conducted, and the territory is divided into seven portions. The tribe of Benjamin is the first to receive their allotment by casting lots.

Chapter 19: The Remaining Allotments

This chapter details the allotments for the remaining six tribes – Simeon, Zebulun, Issachar, Asher, Naphtali, and Dan. The text outlines the territories and towns assigned to each tribe.

Finally, the Israelites give Joshua his own inheritance, the town of Timnath Serah, in accordance with God’s command.

Chapter 20: Cities of Refuge

God instructs Joshua to designate cities of refuge, where someone who has accidentally killed another person can flee for safety. Six cities are designated – three on each side of the Jordan River.

These cities serve as a place of refuge and protection from the avenger of blood until a trial could take place.

Chapter 21: Levitical Cities

The Levite leaders approach Joshua and remind him of God’s command to give the Levites towns to live in and pasture lands for their livestock. Forty-eight towns are given to the Levites from the territories of the other tribes.

The chapter concludes by acknowledging that God had given Israel all the land He had promised to their ancestors and that He had granted them rest from their enemies.

Chapter 22: Eastern Tribes Return Home

The Reubenites, Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh had received land east of the Jordan. Joshua commends them for keeping their promise to fight alongside the other tribes. He blesses them and sends them back to their territories.

However, before reaching their land, they build a large altar by the Jordan. The other Israelites hear of this and believe it to be an act of rebellion. After a discussion, it is clarified that the altar is not for sacrifices but as a witness that they worship the same God.

Chapter 23: Joshua’s Farewell to the Leaders

As Joshua nears the end of his life, he gathers the leaders of Israel and encourages them to remain faithful to God. He reminds them of the victories God has given them and the promises fulfilled.

Joshua warns them against intermarrying with the remaining Canaanites and straying after their gods. He cautions them that if they turn away from God, His favor will likewise turn from them.

Chapter 24: Joshua’s Farewell to the People

Joshua assembles all the tribes of Israel and recounts their history, starting from Abraham to their present day. He reminds them of God’s faithfulness and challenges them to choose whom they will serve.

The people declare their allegiance to God, and Joshua makes a covenant with them. He sets up a stone as a witness to their declaration. Joshua dies at the age of 110 and is buried in the land of his inheritance. The chapter also mentions the death of Eleazar, the high priest.

Read also: The Book of Judges Summary by Chapter (1-21)

Conclusion of the Book of Joshua Summary by Chapter

The Book of Joshua narrates the valiant leadership of Joshua as he takes the reins after Moses’ death to guide the Israelites into the Promised Land. Through divine intervention and unwavering faith, Joshua leads the conquest of Canaan, allotting the land among the twelve tribes. Alongside the military campaigns, the book emphasizes the importance of adhering to God’s Law. It culminates with Joshua’s poignant farewell, as he challenges the Israelites to remain faithful to the God who has been steadfast in His promises and mighty in His actions.

His final challenge to the people of Israel to choose whom they will serve echoes through the ages, as each of us is faced with the same choice. May his legacy of faithfulness guide us in our walk with God.

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