The book of Joshua memorializes a transitional episode in Israel's national history. The heroic figure Joshua, imbued with strength, courage and faith, leads the new generation of Israel across the Jordan and into the land of promise, conquering Canaanites and overseeing the allotment of the inheritance among the tribes.
But the book of Joshua is foremost the story of God, who works powerfully on behalf of Israel and Joshua, fulfilling his covenant promises. It is God who leads Israel across the Jordan, defeats Israel's enemies and presides over the apportionment of the land. And so in the final chapter it is God who receives Israel's worshipful recommitment at Shechem.
This commentary explores these historical, theological and literary dimensions of the book of Joshua. And in a day when grave doubts have been raised over the historicity of the conquest story, Richard Hess presents historical and archaeological evidence for placing the events of Joshua in the late second millennium B.C. An exceptional feature is the careful consideration of the allocation of the Promised Land and the boundary lists the book of Joshua so prominently displays.