Workers For Jesus Online Bible Study Table of Contents

About this Bible Study........The King James Version of the Bible is written in a beautiful form of the English language. It can be hard for modern English readers to understand.  In this study, you will find notes and summaries in brown just above the the verses from the Bible. We recommend that you read the notes and summaries first, and then read the verses in their KJV form. 

The Book of Joshua

Joshua is now the leader of the Israelites. He will lead the Israelites into Canaan. They will have wars with the people who live in Canaan now, the Canaanites. 

Joshua was born in Egypt. He was from the tribe of Ephraim. Joseph was one of his ancestors. His father's name was Nun.  First, J
oshua's name was Hoshea. Hoshea means "salvation".  Moses changed his name to Joshua. Joshua means "the Lord is Salvation".

Joshua was 40 years old when the Israelites left Egypt. Joshua was a close aide (helper) to Moses.  When Moses went up on Mt. Sinai, Joshua went part of the way with him. Joshua was also a leader in the army.  He was the leader when the Israelites fought a war with the Amalekites in Exodus 17 (please click here to read more about this).  Later, Joshua was one of the spies who went to see Canaan. The other spies gave a bad report. But Joshua and Caleb said that the Israelites should trust God and move into Canaan.  Joshua and Caleb were the only 2 Egypt-born Israelites to move into Canaan (please click here to read more about this).

Bible Timeline
Here is a good timeline to see the book of Joshua in the history of the Bible

Joshua 5 -7
The Israelite males are circumcised.

The Israelites destroy the city of Jericho.
One soldier does not obey God.

Joshua 5

The kings of the Amorites and the Canaanites heard what happened to the Israelites. They heard about how God made the Jordan River dry so the Israelites could walk across.  They were very afraid of the Israelites. They lost their courage; they were afraid to fight.

When the Israelites move into Canaan, they will have wars with other groups of people.  God will help them defeat these people. The groups are: the  Hittites, Girgashites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites.
[1] And it came to pass, when all the kings of the Amorites, which were on the side of Jordan westward, and all the kings of the Canaanites, which were by the sea, heard that the LORD had dried up the waters of Jordan from before the children of Israel, until we were passed over, that their heart melted, neither was there spirit in them any more, because of the children of Israel.


The Israelite males are circumcised.

Circumcision is surgery that done on males. Part of the male organ is removed.  It is usually done when baby boys are first born. God told Joshua to prepare some sharp knives.  They should circumcise all of the males--children and adults.
[2] At that time the LORD said unto Joshua, Make thee sharp knives, and circumcise again the children of Israel
the second time.
[3] And Joshua made him sharp knives, and circumcised the children of Israel at the hill of the foreskins.

This was the reason why Joshua circumcised all of the males: when the Israelites lived in Egypt, the baby boys were circumcised.  But while the Israelites were in the wilderness for 40 years, they did not circumcise the baby boys.  All of the men who were baby boys in Egypt grew up and have died now (except for Joshua and Caleb). All of the babies who were born in the wilderness were not yet circumcised.
[4] And this is the cause why Joshua did circumcise: All the people that came out of Egypt, that were males, even all the men of war, died in the wilderness by the way, after they came out of Egypt.
[5] Now all the people that came out were circumcised: but all the people that were born in the wilderness by the way as they came forth out of Egypt, them they had not circumcised.

Several years ago, God punished the Israelites because they didn't trust Him enough. Joshua and Caleb were the only Israelites who were born in Egypt who were allowed to enter Canaan. To read more about this, please click here. None of the Israelite soldiers born in Egypt were allowed to enter Canaan.
[6] For the children of Israel walked forty years in the wilderness, till all the people that were men of war, which came out of Egypt, were consumed, because they obeyed not the voice of the LORD: unto whom the LORD sware that he would not shew them the land, which the LORD sware unto their fathers that he would give us, a land that floweth with milk and honey.

Now, in Canaan, Joshua circumcised all of the males who were born in the wilderness.  Then they stayed in the camp while they healed from the surgery.
[7] And their children, whom he raised up in their stead, them Joshua circumcised: for they were uncircumcised, because they had not circumcised them by the way.
[8] And it came to pass, when they had done circumcising all the people, that they abode in their places in the camp, till they were whole.

The manna from the sky stops

Back in Egypt, the Israelites were slaves. It was shameful. Now God took the shame away. The name of the place where they camped was Gilgal.

[9] And the LORD said unto Joshua, This day have I rolled away the reproach of Egypt from off you. Wherefore the name of the place is called Gilgal unto this day.

The Israelites celebrated Passover on the 14th day of the month.
[10] And the children of Israel encamped in Gilgal, and kept the passover on the fourteenth day of the month at even in the plains of Jericho.

Manna was bread from the sky. God sent the manna to the Israelites everyday while they were traveling. The Israelites picked up the manna every morning.

Artist unknown
From the
La Vista Church of Christ web site

The day after Passover, the manna stopped. From that time on, the Israelites ate food that grew in Canaan. They ate corn and flat bread without yeast.
[11] And they did eat of the old corn of the land on the morrow after the passover, unleavened cakes, and parched corn in the selfsame day.
[12] And the manna ceased on the morrow after they had eaten of the old corn of the land; neither had the children of Israel manna any more; but they did eat of the fruit of the land of Canaan that year.


Joshua meets the leader of God's army.

When Joshua was near the city of Jericho, he saw a man holding a sword.   Joshua went over to him. Joshua asked the man if he was an Israelite soldier or a Canaanite soldier.
[13] And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, there stood a man over against him with his sword drawn in his hand: and Joshua went unto him, and said unto him, Art thou for us, or for our adversaries?

The man said he was not a soldier. He said he was the leader of God's army. Joshua put his face on the ground to worship the man.  Joshua said he would obey the man.
[14] And he said, Nay; but as captain of the host of the LORD am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my lord unto his servant?

The man told Joshua to take off his shoes. He said Joshua was standing on holy ground.  Joshua obeyed the man and took off his shoes.
[15] And the captain of the LORD's host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy. And Joshua did so.

When the Israelites moved into Canaan, the people in Canaan lived in many city-states.

A city-state is a big city with a wall around it. Each city had a king and an army. Many people lived in each city. The city had stores, businesses, and worship places.

There were farms outside the city walls. The rich people owned the farms, and the poor people worked on the farms. The food for the people in the city was grown on these farms.

Joshua 6

The Israelites will destroy the city of Jericho. God tells Joshua what to do.

The people who lived in Jericho were afraid of the Israelites.  They closed the city gates. No one could go out, and no one could go in.
[1] Now Jericho was straitly shut up because of the children of Israel: none went out, and none came in.

God talked to Joshua. God said that He gave the city of Jericho, the king, and the army to the Israelites.
[2] And the LORD said unto Joshua, See, I have given into thine hand Jericho, and the king thereof, and the mighty men of valour.

J. James Tissot

God told Joshua what to do.  The Israelite soldiers should march around the city 1 time a day for 6 days.  Some of the priests should march, too.  They should march in front of the soldiers. Some priests should carry the Ark of the Covenant. 7 priests should walk in front of the Ark. They should carry trumpets.  On the 7th day, they should walk around the city 7 times. The priests should blow the trumpets.
[3] And ye shall compass the city, all ye men of war, and go round about the city once. Thus shalt thou do six days.
[4] And seven priests shall bear before the ark seven trumpets of rams' horns: and the seventh day ye shall compass the city seven times, and the priests shall blow with the trumpets.

On the 7th day,  when they blow the trumpets, the people should also shout (yell). Then the city walls will fall down. Then the soldiers can go into the city from every side.
[5] And it shall come to pass, that when they make a long blast with the ram's horn, and when ye hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout; and the wall of the city shall fall down flat, and the people shall ascend up every man straight before him.

Day 1 of the siege (destroying) of Jericho.

Joshua talked to the priests.  He told them to pick up the Ark of the Covenant and carry it.  7 priests should carry 7 trumpets and walk in front of the Ark. The soldiers should walk around the city.  Some of the soldiers who carry weapons should go first to protect the Ark.
[6] And Joshua the son of Nun called the priests, and said unto them, Take up the ark of the covenant, and let seven priests bear seven trumpets of rams' horns before the ark of the LORD.
[7] And he said unto the people, Pass on, and compass the city, and let him that is armed pass on before the ark of the LORD.

The Israelites started their march around Jericho.  Some soldiers went first to protect the Ark. Then the 7 priests marched and blew trumpets. Then some priests carried the Ark of the Covenant.  Then more soldiers marched behind the Ark.
[8] And it came to pass, when Joshua had spoken unto the people, that the seven priests bearing the seven trumpets of rams' horns passed on before the LORD, and blew with the trumpets: and the ark of the covenant of the LORD followed them.
[9] And the armed men went before the priests that blew with the trumpets, and the rereward came after the ark, the priests going on, and blowing with the trumpets.

Joshua told the soldiers to be quiet when they marched. They should not talk or yell. Joshua will tell them when it is time to shout.
[10] And Joshua had commanded the people, saying, Ye shall not shout, nor make any noise with your voice, neither shall any word proceed out of your mouth, until the day I bid you shout; then shall ye shout.

This was Day 1. They marched around the city 1 time.  Then they went back to camp and slept all night.
[11] So the ark of the LORD compassed the city, going about it once: and they came into the camp, and lodged in the camp.

Days 2 - 7 of the siege of Jericho

The next morning, Joshua got up early. The priests carried the Ark. The 7 priests walked in front of the Ark and blew the trumpets. Some soldiers marched in front of the priests and some soldiers walked behind the priests.
 They walked around the city, then they went back to camp. They did the same thing for Days 3, 4, 5, and 6.
[12] And Joshua rose early in the morning, and the priests took up the ark of the LORD.
[13] And seven priests bearing seven trumpets of rams' horns before the ark of the LORD went on continually, and blew with the trumpets: and the armed men went before them; but the rereward came after the ark of the LORD, the priests going on, and blowing with the trumpets.
[14] And the second day they compassed the city once, and returned into the camp: so they did six days.


On Day 7, they got up early and marched around the city again. But on this day, they marched around the city 7 times.
[15] And it came to pass on the seventh day, that they rose early about the dawning of the day, and compassed the city after the same manner seven times: only on that day they compassed the city seven times.

When they marched around the city for the 7th time, the priests blew the trumpets. Joshua told the soldiers to shout.  Joshua said that God has given them the city of Jericho. The city is cursed (bad). All of the people in the city are cursed, too.  They will all die except for Rahab and the people in her house. Rahab helped the Israelite spies back in Joshua 2 (to read more about this, click here.)
[16] And it came to pass at the seventh time, when the priests blew with the trumpets, Joshua said unto the people, Shout; for the LORD hath given you the city.
[17] And the city shall be accursed, even it, and all that are therein, to the LORD: only Rahab the harlot shall live, she and all that are with her in the house, because she hid the messengers that we sent.

Joshua warned the Israelites. Most of the things in Jericho should be destroyed.  But they should save things made with silver, gold, brass, or iron. They should give these things to God.  They should put them in God's treasury (saved and used for God's work). No one should take anything to keep for himself. If anyone steals something, he will bring trouble to the Israelites' camp. 
[18] And ye, in any wise keep yourselves from the accursed thing, lest ye make yourselves accursed, when ye take of the accursed thing, and make the camp of Israel a curse, and trouble it.
[19] But all the silver, and gold, and vessels of brass and iron, are consecrated unto the LORD: they shall come into the treasury of the LORD.

The priests blew the trumpets. Then the soldiers shouted.  The walls around Jericho fell down.  Then all of the soldiers went into Jericho.
[20] So the people shouted when the priests blew with the trumpets: and it came to pass, when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city.

The soldiers destroyed everyone in the city.  They killed men and women, young people and old people, oxen (cows), sheep, and donkeys. They killed them with swords.
[21] And they utterly destroyed all that was in the city, both man and woman, young and old, and ox, and sheep, and ass, with the edge of the sword.

But Rahab and her family were safe. Joshua talked to the 2 spies who went to Jericho earlier. He told them to bring out Rahab and everyone in her house. They had promised to keep her safe. 
[22] But Joshua had said unto the two men that had spied out the country, Go into the harlot's house, and bring out thence the woman, and all that she hath, as ye sware unto her.

The spies obeyed Joshua. They brought out Rahab, her father, her mother, and all of her family. They took them to a place outside the Israelites' camp.
[23] And the young men that were spies went in, and brought Rahab, and her father, and her mother, and her brethren, and all that she had; and they brought out all her kindred, and left them without the camp of Israel.

They burned Jericho. Everything was destroyed except silver, gold, brass, and iron. They put those in a place to save them for God.
[24] And they burnt the city with fire, and all that was therein: only the silver, and the gold, and the vessels of brass and of iron, they put into the treasury of the house of the LORD.

Joshua saved Rahab and her family because she helped the spies. After they were saved from Jericho, they lived with the Israelites.  They were living with the Israelites even when this book of the Bible was written. 
[25] And Joshua saved Rahab the harlot alive, and her father's household, and all that she had; and she dwelleth in Israel even unto this day; because she hid the messengers, which Joshua sent to spy out Jericho.

Joshua said that if anyone tries to build Jericho again, he will be cursed. If a man tries to build it, all of his sons will die. When he is making the foundation (supports) of the city, his oldest son will die.  By the time he is making the gates for the city (the last job), his youngest son will die.

[26] And Joshua adjured them at that time, saying, Cursed be the man before the LORD, that riseth up and buildeth this city Jericho: he shall lay the foundation thereof in his firstborn, and in his youngest son shall he set up the gates of it.

God helped Joshua. People in other parts of Canaan heard about Joshua. He was famous.
[27] So the LORD was with Joshua; and his fame was noised throughout all the country.


Joshua 7

God does not help the Israelites fight.

Before the Israelites destroyed Jericho, God warned them. No one was allowed to take anything from Jericho to keep for themselves.  But one man did not obey.  His name was Achan. Achan's father's name was Carmi.  His grandfather was Zabdi, and his great grandfather was Zerah. He was from the tribe of Judah. Achan stole something from Jericho and kept it. God was very angry with the Israelites.

[1] But the children of Israel committed a trespass in the accursed thing: for Achan, the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took of the accursed thing: and the anger of the LORD was kindled against the children of Israel.

Joshua sent some men to check the town of Ai. Ai is near the town of Beth-aven and east of the town of Bethel.  The men obeyed Joshua and traveled to Ai.
[2] And Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai, which is beside Beth-aven, on the east side of Bethel, and spake unto them, saying, Go up and view the country. And the men went up and viewed Ai.

The men came back and gave a report to Joshua.  They said that only 2,000 or 3,000 soldiers should go to Ai. They didn't think all of the soldiers should go. The town of Ai was small.
[3] And they returned to Joshua, and said unto him, Let not all the people go up; but let about two or three thousand men go up and smite Ai; and make not all the people to labour thither; for they are but few.

About 3,000 soldiers went to Ai.  But the Ai soldiers fought back. The Israelite soldiers retreated (ran away). 36 Israelite soldiers were killed. The Ai soldiers chased the Israelite soldiers all the way back to the town of Shebarim. Then, the Israelites were very afraid.
[4] So there went up thither of the people about three thousand men: and they fled before the men of Ai.
[5] And the men of Ai smote of them about thirty and six men: for they chased them from before the gate even unto Shebarim, and smote them in the going down: wherefore the hearts of the people melted, and became as water.

Joshua ripped his clothes (this was to show he was very upset). He laid down with his face on the ground. He was in front of the Ark. He stayed there until evening. The other Israelite leaders did the same. They all put dust (dirt) on their heads to show they were very sad.  
[6] And Joshua rent his clothes, and fell to the earth upon his face before the ark of the LORD until the eventide, he and the elders of Israel, and put dust upon their heads.

Joshua prayed to God.  Joshua asked why God brought the Israelites across the Jordan River. He asked if they crossed the river so they could be destroyed by the Amorites. Joshua said they should have stayed on the east side of the Jordan River.
[7] And Joshua said, Alas, O Lord GOD, wherefore hast thou at all brought this people over Jordan, to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us? would to God we had been content, and dwelt on the other side Jordan!

Joshua didn't know what to say. Israel ran away from the soldiers at Ai. Now the Canaanites will hear about that.  The Canaanites will surround the Israelites and kill them all.  Joshua asks God how he will show His power if the Israelites are all dead.
[8] O Lord, what shall I say, when Israel turneth their backs before their enemies!
[9] For the Canaanites and all the inhabitants of the land shall hear of it, and shall environ us round, and cut off our name from the earth: and what wilt thou do unto thy great name?

God asked Joshua why he was laying on the ground. God told him to get up.
[10] And the LORD said unto Joshua, Get thee up; wherefore liest thou thus upon thy face?

God told Joshua that the Israelites sinned at Jericho. They did not all obey God. The Israelites stole things from Jericho.  They took the things, lied about it, and hid them.   Then God did not help the Israelites fight the war at Ai. The Israelites were afraid and ran away. But if the Israelites kill the people who sinned, God will help them again.
[11] Israel hath sinned, and they have also transgressed my covenant which I commanded them: for they have even taken of the accursed thing, and have also stolen, and dissembled also, and they have put it even among their own stuff.
[12] Therefore the children of Israel could not stand before their enemies, but turned their backs before their enemies, because they were accursed: neither will I be with you any more, except ye destroy the accursed from among you.

God told Joshua to get up and go to the Israelites. He should tell them to get clean because they will meet God tomorrow. He should tell them that someone has something bad. They must get rid of it so that God will help them again.
[13] Up, sanctify the people, and say, Sanctify yourselves against to morrow: for thus saith the LORD God of Israel, There is an accursed thing in the midst of thee, O Israel: thou canst not stand before thine enemies, until ye take away the accursed thing from among you.

The next morning, God will show who stole the things from Jericho.  Each tribe should come, and God will show which tribe the man belongs to. Then each part of that tribe should come, and God will show which part of the tribe the man belongs to. Then each family in that part of the tribe should come, and God will show which family the man belongs to. Then each man will come, and God will show which man stole the things from Jericho.
[14] In the morning therefore ye shall be brought according to your tribes: and it shall be, that the tribe which the LORD taketh shall come according to the families thereof; and the family which the LORD shall take shall come by households; and the household which the LORD shall take shall come man by man.

The guilty man should be killed and burned. Everything he owns should be burned, too. He did not obey God. He made bad things happen to the Israelites.
[15] And it shall be, that he that is taken with the accursed thing shall be burnt with fire, he and all that he hath: because he hath transgressed the covenant of the LORD, and because he hath wrought folly in Israel.

Joshua got up early the next morning.  Each tribe came, and God picked the tribe of Judah.
[16] So Joshua rose up early in the morning, and brought Israel by their tribes; and the tribe of Judah was taken:

Then the parts of Judah came. God picked the family of the Zarhites.  Then he brought the family of the Zarhites. God picked the family of Zabdi.  Then God picked the man Achan (Achan's father was Carmi, Carmi's father was Zabdi, Zabdi's father was Zerah, and Zerah's father was Judah).

[17] And he brought the family of Judah; and he took the family of the Zarhites: and he brought the family of the Zarhites man by man; and Zabdi was taken:
[18] And he brought his household man by man; and Achan, the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, was taken.

The Lord God picked Achan, so Joshua told Achan to confess (tell what he did).

[19] And Joshua said unto Achan, My son, give, I pray thee, glory to the LORD God of Israel, and make confession unto him; and tell me now what thou hast done; hide it not from me.

Achan confessed that he sinned. He did something wrong and did not obey God.
[20] And Achan answered Joshua, and said, Indeed I have sinned against the LORD God of Israel, and thus and thus have I done:

Achan said that when they were in Jericho, he saw some things that he wanted. He saw a Babylonian robe, 200 silver coins, and a gold bar that weighed about 1 pound. He stole them, then he buried them in the ground under his tent. He put the silver on the bottom.
[21] When I saw among the spoils a goodly Babylonish garment, and two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold of fifty shekels weight, then I coveted them, and took them; and, behold, they are hid in the earth in the midst of my tent, and the silver under it.

Joshus sent people to Achan's tent. They found the robe, the gold, and then the silver. They brought all of the things to Joshua, and all of the other Israelites could see them, too. They laid them on the ground in front of God.
[22] So Joshua sent messengers, and they ran unto the tent; and, behold, it was hid in his tent, and the silver under it.
[23] And they took them out of the midst of the tent, and brought them unto Joshua, and unto all the children of Israel, and laid them out before the LORD.

Joshua and the other Israelites took Achan, the silver, the robe, the gold, Achan's sons and daughters, Achan's animals, and Achan's tent to the valley called Achor (means "valley of trouble"). 
[24] And Joshua, and all Israel with him, took Achan the son of Zerah, and the silver, and the garment, and the wedge of gold, and his sons, and his daughters, and his oxen, and his asses, and his sheep, and his tent, and all that he had: and they brought them unto the valley of Achor.

Joshua asked Achan why he did not obey God. His actions brought trouble to the Israelites. Now Achan will have trouble.  The other Israelites threw rocks at him and killed him. Then they threw rocks and killed Achan's family and the things he owned.
[25] And Joshua said, Why hast thou troubled us? the LORD shall trouble thee this day. And all Israel stoned him with stones, and burned them with fire, after they had stoned them with stones.


Then the Israelites made a big pile of rocks over Achan, his family, and the things he owned. Then God wasn't angry at the Israelites anymore. They named this place "The valley of Achor (trouble)". When this book of the Bible was written, it still had that name.  
[26] And they raised over him a great heap of stones unto this day. So the LORD turned from the fierceness of his anger. Wherefore the name of that place was called, The valley of Achor, unto this day.


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