Destination: Joshua 1-12

Flight Plan:
Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Pastor Skip Heitzig will be our tour guide during our tenth flight over the Bible from 30,000 Feet. This week's journey will take us through Joshua 1-12. We'll get to know Joshua, son of Nun, who shared in all the events of the Exodus, and held the place of commander of the host of the Israelites. The book of Joshua describes Israel's conquest of Canaan and the first section describe how Joshua conquered the land. Key chapters for this flight are: Joshua 1, 2, 4, 6, 7 and 10.

Detailed Notes:

Interactive Travel Guide

Joshua was the son of Nun, of the tribe of Ephraim and the successor to Moses as the leader of Israel. He was born in Egypt, and was probably of the age of Caleb, with whom he is generally associated. He shared in all the events of the Exodus, and held the place of commander of the host of the Israelites at their great battle against the Amalekites in Rephidim. He became Moses' minister, and accompanied him part of the way when he ascended Mount Sinai to receive the Ten Commandments. He was also one of the twelve spies who were sent on by Moses to explore the land of Canaan, and only he and Caleb gave an encouraging report.


c. 1446-1406 B.C.
Forty years of wilderness wandering

c. 1405 B.C.
Joshua succeeds Moses

c. 1405 B.C.
The Israelites cross the Jordan into Canaan

c. 1405-1400 B.C.
Jericho and other cities are taken

c. 1398 B.C.
Canaan is apportioned to the tribes

c. 1380 B.C.
Joshua dies

c. 1375-1075 B.C.
Judges rule in Israel

c. 1050 B.C.
Saul becomes king of Israel


The book of Joshua describes Israel's conquest of Canaan and can be divided into two sections. The first sections describe how Joshua conquered the land.

1. Crossing The Jordan - Joshua 1-5
2. Central Campaign - Joshua 6-8
3. Southern Campaign - Joshua 9-10
4. Northern Campaign - Joshua 11-12


Ai - One of the royal cities of the Canaanites. It was the scene of Joshua's defeat due to the sin of Achan. Later, it was the second Canaanite city taken by Israel.

Gilgal - Is a place in the plains of Jericho, located in the east border of Jericho, where the Israelites first camped out after crossing the Jordan River. Here they kept their first Passover in the land of Canaan and renewed the rite of circumcision. Here also, the twelve memorial stones, taken from the bed of the Jordan, were set up; and here also the tabernacle remained until it was removed to Shiloh.

Hazor - This was the largest city in Palestine in the days of Joshua. There may have been 40,000 people living in the city at the time of Joshua. Hazor was located about 10 miles northwest of the Sea of Galilee. King Jabin formed an alliance of kings at Hazor to fight the oncoming Israeli army led by Joshua.

Jericho - Jericho is one of the oldest archaeological cities in the world. The first excavations of the site were made by Charles Warran in 1868. They discovered that three separate settlements have existed at or near the current location for more than 11,000 years. The present city is currently under Arab control.

Jordan River - The Jordan River flows through the Great Rift Valley into the Dead Sea. Its tributaries are the Hasbani (from Lebanon), the Banias (from Banias at the base of Mount Hermon) and Dan (also at the base of Mount Hermon). The Jordan is mentioned in the Old Testament about one hundred and eighty times and in the New Testament fifteen times.

Salt Sea - Another term for the Dead Sea.

Sea of Araba - Another term for the Dead Sea. The Arabah itself is the region of the Jordan valley running from the Sea of Galilee to the Dead Sea.

Valley of Ajalon - With reference to the valley named after the town, Joshua uttered the celebrated command, "Sun, stand still over Gibeon; and Moon, in the Valley of Ajalon."


Achan - He was a man from the tribe of Judah who had stolen some property during the battle of Jericho. Against God's command he took an ingot of gold, a quantity of silver and a costly Babylonish garment. This caused a great defeat in the next battle due to sin in their camp. Achan was later found out and executed.

Adoni-Zedek - He is the 2nd recorded king of Jerusalem. (Melchizedek was the 1st - Gen. 14:18). His name means, "Lord of Jerusalem." He formed an alliance with four southern kingdoms to battle against the Gibeonites for their pact with Israel.

Gibeonites - Gibeon was a city in Canaan about 6 miles north of Jerusalem in the West Bank. Ambassadors from Gibeon deceived Joshua into making a treaty with them. Ancient Gibeon is thought to be the modern day Arab city of el-Jib.

Jebusite - A Canaanite tribe who inhabited the region around Jerusalem in pre-biblical times. Jerusalem was known as Jebus until King David conquered it.

Joshua - The successor to Moses who led the people into the land. The land is Canaan, the land of promise. An amazing commander in chief leading each battle.

Rahab - A prostitute who lived in the city of Jericho and came to accept the God of Israel. She hides the 2 spies. Afterwards, she married a man from Judah and became a part of the Godly line leading to Messiah.


Book of Jasher - Some believe this to be the Sefer ha Yashar - a Hebrew Midrash that covered the period from the creation of man to the first wave of the conquest of Canaan.

Commander Of The Army Of The Lord - This is believed to be a pre-incarnate appearance of Jesus referred to as a Theophony. Joshua's response of worship and the command for Joshua to take off his sandals are indicators of this.

Shekel - One of the ancient units of weight, it's value changed depending on date, domain and region. It was the chief silver coin of the Hebrews.

Stalks of Flax - When the spies came into the land, Rahab took them up onto the roof and hid them under the stalks of flax (Joshua 2:6). Flax was an important crop in Bible times. Flax was turned into yarn which was woven into linen clothes. The flax was harvested by hand. One pound of flax held about 100,000 seeds. The stalks were soaked in water for a couple of days to help break them apart. They were then placed on the rooftops to dry out before processing.

The Trumpets at Jericho - Music was a strong component of Israel's culture. Events that included music were feasts, festivals, war, worship and death. In Joshua 6, God uses music in a mighty way. Trumpets were to be carried by seven priests as they walked around the city walls. On the seventh day they were to blow the trumpets and the walls came tumbling down. The trumpet was one of the most popular instruments and there were two types: the Chatsotserah which was long and straight. It started as a narrow mouthpiece and ended with a bell shaped opening similar to a bugle. The other was called the Shophar. Probably made from an animals horn it was bent and curved in shape. Both horns were used to announce the beginning of feasts, signal a call to battle, and to proclaim a victory celebration.


Conquest of Canaan