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date: 29 July 2021

Abstract and Keywords

In the Bible, Joshua fulfills many roles. He is Moses’s understudy and successor, conqueror of the land, a miracle worker who stops the sun, and a prophet who knows God’s will and the Torah of Moses. But his character did not cease to evolve with the closing of the biblical canon. Instead, Joshua’s image was adapted and recast depending on who was writing about him and what that author or community needed him to represent. Thus, we see some traditions emphasizing Joshua the warrior, and others Joshua the religious leader. Some emphasize his prophetic abilities, and others his mastery of Torah. In some texts he is the consummate rabbi, in others a typological forerunner of Jesus. The use of Joshua continues into modern times, where he has been used as an archetype for the Israeli soldier and even for the first African-American president.

Keywords: Joshua, Ben Sira, Josephus, Al-Ṭabari, Ben Gurion, Pseudo-Philo, Joshua Apocryphon, Assumptio Mosis, Rabbinic Midrash, Barack Obama and The Joshua Generation

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