The Book of Joshua
Books : Commentaries
The Book of JoshuaHardcover Foundations Bible Commentary O. Talmadge Spence The Book of Joshua is another commentary from the assiduous pen of Dr. O. Talmadge Spence, but presented posthumously. It is part of the Foundations Bible Commentary that Dr. Spence desired to write after preaching and teaching the Scriptures for almost fifty years. He was truly a Bible scholar and a man of insight with a world-view perspective of his times. This volume on the book of Joshua gives a most noble presentation of Dr. Spence's insight into the Old Testament shadows and types. The Christ-exalting manner in which he writes grants us a precious view of the Christian life as gleaned from this historical book of the Old Testament.
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From the Preface

The Foundations Creed has 120 words: 85 of the words deal with the Biblical fundamentals of the Christian Faith; 35 of the words deal with the Biblical distinctives of the Christian life. Faith and life, that is a way of presentation that will bring us redeemed and, we hope, with a “well done” as faithful servants of the Lord. There are 12 sections of the Creed: 8 are the fundamentals and 4 are distinctives. The words of the Creed which are the distinctives are set forth as follows:

To Save men from personal sins,
To Sanctify men from the power of sin,
To Separate men from the reputation of sin,
To Announce the distinction between being born of the Spirit and being filled with the Holy Spirit.

These distinctives in a Christian’s life involve a quest, a conquest, in the conflict of a battlefield, as well as bring victory over the world, the flesh, and the Devil.

This adequately and accurately describes the spiritual principles of the sixth Book in the Bible, the Book of Joshua. Biblical separation and sanctification are clearly seen in the quest, conquest, and conflict on the battlefields and in the cities of the Canaanites.

This exodus and deliverance of the Children of Israel from Pharaoh and Egypt are past. Moses led them triumphantly to the plains of Moab.

The wilderness wanderings and the hungering for a return to the fleshpots of Egypt are gone. The murmurings are gone; the manna is gone; the gluttony for quail is gone; water from the Rock is gone; the insubordination of Miriam is gone; the weakness of Aaron is gone; and Moses will also go.

But before them, across Jordan, lies the Land of Canaan—the Promised Land. Joshua will lead them into battle with thirty-one kings and cities and lands for their inheritance. The Mosaic Tabernacle will lead them all the way from Mt. Sinai to Shiloh and, ultimately, to King David’s day in Jerusalem.

We know some have interpreted Canaan as a type of heaven, and possibly some mean well to think that way. However, there is precious little on earth that is a type of heaven—like home.

The Joshua Commentary takes the position that these are the days, in type, of victory over sin, heathenism, giants, walled cities, the flesh, and the enemy. There were no worse people in history than the Canaanites. We will fight none of them in heaven. The Commentary is divided, basically, into two parts, other than the Introduction and the final words of Joshua (Chapters 22-24). The two parts are “Canaan: Conflict or Conquest?” (Chapters 1-12) and “The Biblical Distinctives in Canaan” (Chapters 13-21).

There are some eighteen selected places represented in counterpart to the consecrated lives of Christians: the resting place, the secret place, the crossing place, the memory place, the separation place, the hard place, the easy place, the uncovering place, the deceptive place, the supernatural place, the other place, the kingly place, the undiscovered place, the divided place, the refuge place, the inheritance place, the schism place, and the individual place.

All of these places are so appropriate to the circumstances and situations men have faced in the twentieth century and will face in the twenty-first century. In the Bible God has given to the human race both an eternal and up-to-date Book. Each human spirit may read and feed upon its pages and personally know what to do and how to live in his own personal inheritance which God has given him.

A great text is found in Joshua 24:15: “Choose Today; Serve Tomorrow; For All the Family.” The great second text is found in Joshua 24:24: “The LORD our God will we serve, and his voice will we obey.”

At the individual place we have the death of Joshua (24:29-33). This is the twenty-fourth and final place in the outline of this Commentary. This final place is death. So, we have been able to see in the Book of Joshua that the actual geographical places mentioned take on the counterpart in spiritual and doctrinal tones of truth. It would be a profitable exercise for the reader to glance back to the Table of Contents. There are definitely twenty-four lessons to be carefully marked and carefully studied. Our pilgrim journey home to heaven will meet these spiritual encounters.

The Foundations Bible Commentary, The Pentateuch, marks thirteen places of Israel’s exodus from Egypt to Sinai, beginning with Moses. Then, from Sinai to the Plains of Moab, another twenty-four more places are clearly identified in the Bible. These thirty-seven places from Egypt to the plains of Moab were under the leadership of Moses. Joshua will add twenty-four distinctive places and conditions, besides mentioning thirty-one kings and their geographical places. The total finally increases to sixty-one, besides the thirty-one kings. Then, we would observe, in addition, almost twenty places to which David took his flight from King Saul. On into the New Testament, we see the places where Jesus went, and finally the missionary places of the Apostle Paul. All of this is a large Biblical emphasis upon God’s people as pilgrims in their movements in the earth. Each one lives life on a journey to heaven or hell.

The book has a remarkable conclusion. The bones of both Joshua and Joseph meet and rest in the Land of Canaan. Of Joshua it was the fulfillment of his conquest of Canaan; of Joseph it was the fulfillment of God’s promise in Egypt. They both did rest in the Promised Land.

Table of Contents

I. Introduction
A.  Time and Chronology
B.  Authorship
C.  Purpose
D.  History
E.  Prophecy
F.  Doctrine
G.  Spiritual
II. Canaan: Conflict or Conquest? Chapters 1-12.
A.  At the Resting Place: Joshua the Deliverer. Chapter 1.
B.  At the Secret Place: The Conflict Forewarned. Chapter 2.
C.  At the Crossing Place: The Conflict of Jordan. Chapter 3.
D.  At the Memory Place: The Conquest of Jordan. Chapter 4.
E.  At the Separation Place: The Conflict of Gilgal. Chapter 5.
F.  At the Hard Place: The Conquest of Jericho. Chapter 6.
G.  At the Easy Place: The Defeat at Ai. Chapter 7.
H.  At the Uncovering Place: The Victory Over Ai. Chapter 8.
I.  At the Deceptive Place: The Gibeonites. Chapter 9.
J.  At the Supernatural Place: Victory Over the Gibeonites Anyway. Chapter 10.
K.  At Other Places: The Final Conquest. Chapter 11.
III. The Biblical Distinctives in Canaan. Chapters 13-21.
A.  At the Undiscovered Places: Joshua, the Divider. Chapter 13.
B.  At the Divided Places: The Endurance of Caleb. Chapter 14.
C.  At More Divided Places: The Privileged Portion of Judah. Chapter 15.
D.  At More Divided Places: The Center Portion of Ephraim. Chapter 16.
E.  At More Divided Places: The Divided Portion of Manasseh. Chapter 17.
F.  At More Divided Places: Remaining Portions for Other Tribes. Chapters 18-19.
G.  At the Refuge Places: The Specific Cities for Refuge. Chapter 20.
H.  At the Levitical Refuge Places: The Various Portions for the Levites. Chapter 21.
IV. The Final Words of Joshua. Chapters 22-24.
A.  At the Schism Place: Schism Distinguished From Separation. Chapter 22.
B.  At the Individual Place: Joshua's First Address. Chapter 23.
C.  At the Individual Place: Joshua's Last Address. Chapter 24:1-8.
D.  At the Individual Place: The Death of Joshua. Chapter 24:29-33.