The book of Joshua is named after its central figure, Joshua son of Nun, successor to the secular aspects of Moses’ leadership. The book chronicles Joshua’s efforts to Canaan and distribute its land among the nine remaining landless tribes (as Levi has been set apart as landless, and Reuben and Gad have already been established on the eastern side of the Jordan river).

According to Collins, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, 1&2 Samuel, and 1&2 Kings form the collection known as the Deuteronomistic History. With the exception of Deuteronomy, these books are also referred to as the Former Prophets (A Short Introduction to the Hebrew Bible, p.94).

In my study Bible, the book of Joshua is helpfully divided into the following parts:

  1. Crossing the Jordan River and sacking Jericho (chs. 1-6)
  2. The capture of Ai (chs. 7-8)
  3. Hebrews are tricked into an alliance of the Gibeonites (ch. 9)
  4. The conquest of the South (ch. 10)
  5. The complete destruction of Canaanite power in Palestine (ch. 11)
  6. A summary of Joshua’s triumphs (ch. 12)
  7. The land is divided among the tribes (chs. 13-23)
  8. Summary of Israel’s entry into the covenant with God (ch. 24)