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The Main Events in the Book of Joshua

Updated on November 15, 2013

God Causes Walls to Fall and Promised Lands to Open

The Book of Joshua

The Book of Joshua is the sixth book of the Jewish scriptures and Christian Bible. It tells the story of how Joshua led the Israelites in their campaign to take the land of Canaan or modern day Palestine. The Israelites referred to the land of Canaan as the Promised Land because the Lord had promised that land to Abraham their founding father.

The Main Events in the Book of Joshua

Joshua 1

The Lord promises Joshua He will be be with him; commands Joshua to follow the Book of the Law and to be strong and courageous. Joshua reminds the Reubenites, Gadites, and the half tribe of Manasseh of their responsibility to help the other tribes receive their inheritance.

Joshua 2

Joshua sends spies to check out Jericho. Rahab the prostitute helps the spies and they promise to save her family.

Joshua 3

The Lord directs the people of Israel to cross the Jordan. The Lord holds back the Jordan river so the people can cross on dry ground.

Joshua 4

The Lord directs Joshua and the people to set up a memorial to remind the people how the Lord took them across the Jordan. Joshua is exalted in the sight of the people.

Joshua 5

The men of Israel are circumcised. Joshua encounters the commander of the Lord's army.

Joshua 6

The Lord leads Israel to victory over Jericho.

Joshua 7

The Israelites are routed by Ai. Achan's sin is exposed.

Joshua 8

The Lord leads Israel to victory over Ai. Joshua sets up an altar at Mount Ebal and copies the laws of Moses on to stone tablets. The people of Israel stand on Mounts Ebal and Mount Gerizim while the Levites recite blessings and Joshua reads the Book of the Law.

Joshua 9

Joshua and the elders are fooled by the Gibeonites.

Joshua 10

The sun stands still as Joshua and the Israelite army pursue rout five Amorite kings. Joshua and the Israelite army conquer southern cities in Canaan.

Joshua 11

Joshua and the Israelites defeat the northern kings and their cities.

Joshua 12

Inventory of defeated kings and their cities.

Joshua 13

Joshua accounts all the land still to be taken. Joshua allots the land east of the Jordan.

Joshua 14

Joshua divides the land west of the Jordan. Caleb receives a special allotment in Hebron.

Joshua 15

The allotment for Judah

Joshua 16

The allotment for the Tribe of Ephraim

Joshua 17

The allotment for the Tribe of Manasseh

Joshua 18

Division of the rest of the land. The allotment for the Tribe of Benjamin.

Joshua 19

The allotments for the Tribe of Simeon, the Tribe of Zebulun, the Tribe of Issachar, the Tribe of Asher, the Tribe of Naphtali, and the Tribe of Dan. The allotment for Joshua.

Joshua 20

Joshua establishes Cities of Refuge west of the Jordan.

Joshua 21

Joshua allots towns and land for the Levites

Joshua 22

The eastern tribes of Reuben, Gad, and half tribe of Manasseh return to their lands and make a covenant not to abandon their duties as part of Israel.

Joshua 23

Joshua summons the people and commands them to be strong and courageous and follow the Lord.

Joshua 24

Joshua implores the people to choose the Lord over all other gods and endeavors. The people of Israel promise to follow the Lord. Joshua dies and is buried in the land of his inheritance.


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    • ecoggins profile imageAUTHOR


      6 months ago from Corona, California

      Thank you Chris for your thoughts. I like how clearly you stated the theme of the book. I'm sorry I missed it. It helps to have others who can help point out things we might have missed. My purpose as stated was to provide a quick reference guide not a commentary of Joshua. As far as the quality of literary work, you are obviously free to decide that for yourself. History and especially accounts of war and conquest are messy. Like Braveheart or Saving Private Ryan. Anyway, I appreciate your thoughts on the issue, even if I choose to disagree with them.

    • cam8510 profile image

      Chris Mills 

      6 months ago from Dallas, Texas through August 23, 2019.

      ecoggins, I appreciate the graciousness with which you handled these questions. But this stuff is like meat to a wolf. I understand it is meant as a quick survey, and you were so successful at it that you missed the main point of the book. The theme, whether you believe this book or not, is God's holiness against the backdrop of the wickedness of the Canaanites. That is how this book is written and how the events and people are portrayed. As I have said before, it is literary garbage. It is moral garbage. If a god such as this were behind the stages of the universe we should all shudder with fear for humanity and the afterlife.

    • cam8510 profile image

      Chris Mills 

      6 months ago from Dallas, Texas through August 23, 2019.

      One of these days...PJ

    • ecoggins profile imageAUTHOR


      6 months ago from Corona, California

      Thank you Paula, Chris, and Jay for questions, about this article, and for sharing your concerns about me being MIA in responding to your questions. I do very much apologize for not being more present in these conversations. I typed out this survey of the events of Joshua nearly ten years ago, and over the last seven years I became busy with other things. I am sorry that I did not read or respond to Chris' questions asked 6 years ago. Currently I can confess that life has brought more pressing and important issues to attend to.

      The purpose of the survey was merely to make a Chapter by Chapter list of the events recorded in Joshua. There are many people in the world who read and or refer to the Bible. This, and the other surveys I recorded, were merely meant to be quick reference guides for those who are trying to remember where they read about one event or another.

      By publishing these surveys, I did not in any way desire to convey or defend the veracity of the accounts in the Book of Joshua. Nowhere in the document is there any language trying to convince readers that the events are historical. Unless a person believes in an Almighty God that truly exists, there is no way to convince them that it is possible for God to stop a river from flowing or make the earth to stop rotating in a way that seemed to Joshua that the sun stood still.

      Thus, while I acknowledge your excellent questions, I will not attempt to answer them or defend God's call on Joshua and the Israelites to take over the land of Canaan. Like you all conveyed, it really isn't a productive use of time and emotional capital to argue about religion or events related to religious history, especially in written text where we cannot face each other and see the attitude by which we present our respective points of evidence.

      Again, I very much apologize for seemingly ignoring your questions and concerns. The article is merely meant to be a quick reference guide for those who may need one and nothing more.

      I do very much pray the very best of love, joy, and hope to you all in every aspect of your lives and that God will reveal himself to you in a real and tangible way.

    • fpherj48 profile image


      6 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Chris...LOL....We need to look at it this way...The author certainly isn't the least bit interested in whether he has readers or not!! Peace all!

    • cam8510 profile image

      Chris Mills 

      6 months ago from Dallas, Texas through August 23, 2019.

      Thanks, Jay, Paula, my friend. I get sucked in too often to these kinds of places. I know better, but I just seem to need to say my piece. I'll follow your lead...gladly...and not come back here again. Unless you respond, but then never again...unless...Oh never mind. Have a great day and week.

    • Jay C OBrien profile image

      Jay C OBrien 

      6 months ago from Houston, TX USA

      I agree with Chris Mills.

    • fpherj48 profile image


      6 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Chris.....I really do my best to steer clear of any "religion" related articles. Between these and political messages, both have always fully disgusted me. I see absolutely no point, no benefit, to arguing with the ignorance and insanity that abounds.. What humans believe, they believe, more luck to them. I am not in the business of needing to change minds. Hearts, maybe but the reality simply is, in order to get to someone's heart, we must use our minds & hope others use theirs.

      Obviously, the author here is M.I.A and feels it's not necessary to revisit his own article to view the comments of his readers. Since I now can see this about him, I'll surely not waste my time on his articles.

      Further, I read his bio and I am never impressed with individuals who insist upon blowing their own horn. Forgive me, but I'm fully capable of determining most things by what I see, hear, experience and have learned in several decades of life. What all these so-called "experts" appear to overlook is that there's always change, growth, discoveries, OTHER experts, new information, opposing opinions and not least of all....each person's own abilities and intelligence. Have a good day, Chris.

    • cam8510 profile image

      Chris Mills 

      6 months ago from Dallas, Texas through August 23, 2019.

      Paula, thanks for the backup. I can't tell you how much I detest this stuff. I was a pastor for seven years. That was after 4 years of college preparing for ministry. And that was after three years in evangelism across North America and Central America. Throw in three months in the wilds of Papua New Guinea. It ate at me for some time before I was willing to admit that this stuff was garbage. The book of Joshua is the most immoral, most inhumane writing in history, in my opinion, because three religions claim it is actual history. I don't believe it is historical, but the message, true or not, is disgusting. And you are very right to point out that the author of this article ignored the horror of the Canaan conquest. He just calls the battles defeats and victories. Here is a little sarcasm for you. Christians claim that God ordered the annihilation of the Canaanites because they were sacrificing their children to idols. So the penalty handed out by the Israelite deity to the Canaanites who were killing their children was the death of all the Canaanite children...WTF

    • fpherj48 profile image


      6 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      All due respect, exactly what was the point of this article? Just to LIST main events in one book of the Bible? OK, so then what?

      You aren't monitoring your comment section to respond to anyone. Looks to me like a couple of your readers have asked you an important question about a vital part you left out. I know both of those fellow writers and trust their knowledge. So, what's up? WHY did you do that?

      For me....reading this merely reconfirms why I do not read the bible. This is pretty nasty stuff...not to mention "fantastic." So, this is where God parted the seas? Hmmm, OK.....How did Joshua get his orders from God? person, face to face? Messages carved on a rock? Letter, phone, text, fax....loud booming voice from the sky? Did they SEE God? No? of course they didn't.

      So all these warriors took orders from Joshua who TOLD them the orders came from God...right? and bottom line is you want me to believe God was a mass murderer?

      If not, once again I must ask....what's your point?

      and as to Chris's comment.....DITTO!!!

    • cam8510 profile image

      Chris Mills 

      6 months ago from Dallas, Texas through August 23, 2019.

      I agree with the late Christopher Hitchen's evaluation of Abraham's "test of faith." If some god were to approach me with this idea of killing my own son as an indication of my faith to him (the "god"), I would respond with "No, I want nothing to do with it. F**k you." Even if it was only a test of faith, what kind of god would ask a man to kill his son? This is a classic example of religious zealotism. We don't need this in the world today.

    • profile image


      6 months ago


    • Jay C OBrien profile image

      Jay C OBrien 

      2 years ago from Houston, TX USA

      Grant Preston, believe me I have read, but it comes back to what you think God is like. As for me, God is Good and always Good. God would never command one person (or group) to harm another. That is why I renounce the paradigm of the Rabbis.

      Here is another explanation for your review:

    • Grant Preston profile image

      Grant Preston 

      2 years ago

      @JayCOBrien Read the surrounding verses in the NKJV or ESV and it will make more sense. Praying for you from the Houston Hurricane. God Bless!

    • Jay C OBrien profile image

      Jay C OBrien 

      3 years ago from Houston, TX USA

      Help me out here. According to Joshua, he was given authority by God to kill every man, woman and child in the land. Today, killing based on religious beliefs is Terrorism. Did Joshua actually have a covenant or was that a lie?

    • profile image


      5 years ago


    • cam8510 profile image

      Chris Mills 

      7 years ago from Dallas, Texas through August 23, 2019.

      The God-ordained method for arriving at the desired goal of possessing the land was the annihilation of every man woman, child and animal living there (Joshua 6:21). I am surprised you left that out. Doesn't God's command deserve to be seen as a main event in the story?


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