We are going to take a look at the book of Joshua and pick up some foundational concepts found there that will help us in our study of the Tanak. We have gone over the Torah in a foundational way and we are going to continue with that process in dealing with the Prophets (Nevi’im) and the Writings (Ketuvim).
As before, this will not be a verse by verse study, but we are going to pick up on selected portions to examine. In doing so, we will see many messianic passages and be able to apply them in our overall study of the Scriptures. To understand the Gospels and Epistles, we must have a foundational understanding of the Tanak. The book of Joshua is a study on spiritual warfare and some of the battles in Joshua will parallel later battles in history.
Israel has left slavery and have returned back to the land, and this also happened in 1948. Og and Sihon have been defeated and we will see that the campaign in Jericho will take six days. This will parallel the defeat of the Arabs after Israeli independence had been declared, and then we have what is called the Six Day War in 1967. Then they came to a city named Ai and Israel lost 36 men in a battle, and the army was shocked. This was the result of the people not listening to the Lord. This will parallel the 1973 Yom Kippur War when Israel was overconfident and lost 3600 men. These are just a few examples of how three battles and situations in the past will give us insight into the future.
Joshua has taken the place of Moses and he is from Ephraim (Josh 1.1), so he is a descendant of Joseph and a type of the Messiah Ben Joseph. He will fight Amalek, a type of the False Messiah. His name is related to the “Yeshua” and that is by design. We know that Moses symbolized the Torah, and the Torah is often called “Moses” (John 5.45-47; Luke 24.27; Acts 21.21). But, we also know that Moses could not take the people into the land, only Joshua could. What does that mean? The Torah (Moses) cannot save us and it stops at the Jordan (descender), a type of death. Only Yeshua (Joshua) can take us across death (Jordan) into the promised land (The Olam Haba).
Josh 1.8 tells us what Joshua learned all these years. He learned that no obedience means no success (Num 14.30-39). There will also be a phrase that is repeated in Josh 1.6-18 and it is “Be strong and courageous.” Joshua was to be strong and courageous and be equipped in the Torah, then he will be a force to be reckoned with. Josh 1.10 takes place on Nisan 7 because they will cross the Jordan three days later on Nisan 10 (Josh 4.19). The enemy will try to move him out of where he was going and try to get him off track. This is the strategy that the enemy will use against us.
In Josh 2.1-24 we learn that Israel is coming up to the city of Jericha (city of the moon). This is significant because they have just spent 38 years in Kadesh Barnea which means “desert of wandering.” Kadesh Barnea is known today as Wadi Rum, which means “valley of the moon.” Now, the moon is a picture of the believer (the bride) who reflects the light of the sun (the Messiah-Psa 19.4-5; Mal 4.2). The New Moon festival is called the festival of the “Born Again” because the moon begins to reflect the light of the sun, thus being born again every month.
As Israel approached, the king of Jericho will try to stop them. Spies had been sent out by Joshua and they stop at the house of Rahab (2.1) and the king found out. Satan also knew that Yeshua had come to destroy his kingdom also, and tries to stop him. Rahab will hide the two spies some flax that was stacked on the roof, and flax is symbolic of righteousness and worn in the garments of the priests (2.6). We are hidden from eternal death by the righteousness of Yeshua.
Rahab believes that Yehovah is with Israel and she saves the men. They promise to save her when the time came. She lets them down the wall by a rope, and she is told to have a cord of scarlet (shanni) hanging from her window. If she does this, she and her house will be spared (2.18). The scarlet thread is the color of blood and it is used in the garments of the High Priest. This cord of scarlet was “suspended between heaven and earth” just like Yeshua was “suspended between heaven and earth” at the crucifixion. This phrase is an idiom for “judgment.” If she obeys the word of the spies, she will live. If she doesn’t, she will die. She did as she was told which results in her salvation. The two men return safely to Joshua and they told him everything that had happened.
The scarlet cord, therefore, is symbolic of the blood of Yeshua and it was used in several stories in the Bible.. It is used in the cleansing of the Metzora (leper) and it was used in Gen 38 to designate which boy was the first born (Zerah). Scarlet thread was also used in the curtains of the Mishkan (Exo 26.1) and in the ephod of the High Priest (Exo 28.6). It is also used in the ceremony of the Parah Adumah (Red Heifer). The scarlet cord of Rahab worked for her and her house, the same way the blood of the lamb placed on the door worked in the Egyptian Passover.
In Josh 3.1-17 we learn that Joshua “rose early in the morning” and he made ready to cross over the Jordan. This is alluding to the Natzal (rapture) when believers will rise early in the Day of the Lord (the first day or Yom Teruah, Tishri 1) and cross over death unharmed (1 Thes 4.16-18). We learn that the Ark of the Covenant will go before the people at a distance of 2000 cubits because they have never gone that way before. This is a clear allusion to the 7000 year plan of God, and it alludes to Jewish eschatology where the last 2000 years of the Olam Ha Zeh (6000 years) is called the Yomot Mashiach, or “days of the Messiah.” Yeshua came 2000 years ago and we entered this last 2000 year period before the Atid Lavo (future coming), or “Day of the Lord.” Yeshua has gone before us into the Olam Haba (the promised land) in order to lead us there.
Joshua tells the priests who are carrying the Ark to come to the edge of the Jordan and stand still. The waters (of death) will be cut off (3.8, 13). There will be seven (number of completion) nations that they will need to dispossess in order to take the land, and they are are symbolic of the people who will confront us as we go on to posses the promises in this life (3.10). There will be Canaanites (merchants, traffickers) who want your money by selling their religious merchandise and making you think they are true teachers, but they make their living off people who buy their wares. The Hittite (terror) are those who will put spiritual fear on you for the wrong reasons, and misinterpreting the Scriptures to immobilize you in order make you dependent on them (“If you reject our teaching you will be lost” etc). The Hivite (a liver) is one who tells others about “life” but have no life themselves. The Perizzite (rustic squatter) are those who think they are born again but are on earth without a legitimate claim to the Kingdom of God. They are the ones who just come and sit, doing nothing. The Girgashite (stranger drawing near) are those who come around bible studies and congregations but have no place there. The Amorite (sayer, talker) are those who are all talk on spiritual things but do nothing. The Jebusite (trodden down) are those who have no regard for the spiritual things in the Torah like Jerusalem, the Sabbath, the Temple and so on.
In Part 2 we will pick up here.