Joshua was the son of Nun, of the tribe of Ephraim and the successor to Moses as the leader of Israel. See also History of ancient Israel and Judah. He is called Jehoshua in Num. 13:16 (A.V.), and Jesus in Acts 7:45 and Heb. 4:8 (R.V., Joshua).
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 (Ex. 17:8-16).
He became Moses' minister, and accompanied him part of the way when he ascended sount sinai to receive the (Exodus 32:17). He was also one of the twelve spies who were sent on by Moses to explore the land of Canaan (Num. 13:16, 17), and only he and Caleb gave an encouraging report.
Before Moses died, he appointed Joshua as his successor. The people were encamped at Shittim when he assumed the command before crossing the Jordan River. Upon Joshua devolved a twofold duty: to conquer the land, and to apportion it among the tribes (see tribes of Israel). According to the Book of Joshua, God encouraged him to be strong and to cling to the Law, which was never to "depart out of his mouth." After enlisting the cooperation of the kindred east Jordanic tribes, his first concern was to spy out Jericho. On receiving the report of his emissaries he gave the necessary instructions for the crossing by the Israelites of the Jordan River. With the Ark of the Covenant carried by the priests in the van, on the tenth day of the first month of the forty-first year after the Exodus the Israelites set out to conquer the land.