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Articles Bible Study Facts Joshua


Dividing the spoils

Dividing the spoils after a war or battle was a very common practice. Livestock, precious metals, clothing, and even people could be taken as spoils. These things were considered gifts from the victor’s gods. In the case of the Israelites,… Read More »Dividing the spoils


A manslayer was a person who unintentionally took another person’s life. Such a person could flee to a “city of refuge” (20:1–6) for safety until his case was heard. The term “manslayer” corresponds to the modern use of the term… Read More »Manslayer


Bethlehem? There are actually two places called Bethlehem in the Bible. The town where Ruth lived and where Jesus was born was about 5 miles (8 km) south of Jerusalem. The one mentioned in 19:15 was about 7 miles (11… Read More »Bethlehem?


Megiddo was the site of many important OT battles. It was a walled city that guarded the main road that linked Egypt and Syria. Its setting made Megiddo a strategic military stronghold. In John’s visions in Revelation, Megiddo represents the… Read More »Megiddo


Anakim were apparently a race of very tall people, descended from Anak. After the Israelites conquered Canaan, many of the Anakim took up residence with the Philistines. Because of this, many assume that Goliath was descended from the Anakim.

Mount Hermon

Mount Hermon (13:5) represented the northern boundary of the Promised Land. At over 9,000 feet (2,743 m), its snowy peak and thick forests were home to leopards and lions.

Royal humiliation

Royal humiliation. In the ancient Near East, victors would often put their feet on the necks of defeated foes (10:24). This was usually done to people in positions of leadership. The act was meant to show dominance over the defeated… Read More »Royal humiliation


Wineskins used for storing and pouring wine (9:13) were made from the skin of a goat or other animal. Jesus uses wineskins as a metaphor to contrast the outdated religious rules of the Pharisees and the new life that he… Read More »Wineskins


Ambush. Battles were sometimes won by deceptive military strategy rather than by brute strength. If an army had smaller numbers or was unfamiliar with the territory, an ambush (8:2) was a great way to “even the odds.”


Jericho is one of the oldest cities in the world. At about 750 feet (229 m) below sea level, it is also one of the lowest cities in the world. Jericho receives only a few inches of rainfall each year,… Read More »Jericho


Circumcision was widely practiced in the ancient Near East, though not by every people group. In Egypt, it was considered a rite of passage. For the people of Israel, however, it was a sign of the nation’s covenant with God.… Read More »Circumcision

The Jordan River

The Jordan River. In Hebrew, Jordan means “descending” or “downward.” From Galilee to the Dead Sea the river drops 600 feet (185 m) in 65 miles (105 km). The spring rains and snowmelt from Mount Hermon in the north flood… Read More »The Jordan River

Double walls

Double walls. Like several other ancient cities, Jericho was most likely protected by a double wall. Poorer citizens of the city often built their homes between the inner and outer walls.

The Historical Books

The Historical Books. Joshua begins the section of the Bible known as the Historical Books. There are 12 Historical Books: Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1–2 Samuel, 1–2 Kings, 1–2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther.