'Old Testament Prophet: Joshua'

Not Found in the Ensign

Presented and Anotated by Don R. Hender


The transition of leadership of Moses to Joshua is a great example of one who was a great follower of the prohpet, and of one whose prophet leadership required just such support received from Jehoshua. Moses was the deliver from Egypt via the Red Sea. Joshua was the introducer into the land of promise by dividing the Jordan river. The Lord's sign of support given to the new prophet leader Joshua who continued the level of prophetic leadership. — drh

   Joshua learns from Moses that God is no respecter of persons. Eldad and Medad had been prophesying in the camp when they ought to have been attending a meeting. Joshua asked Moses to forbid them. Joshua thought they superceded the prophet. Moses answered that he would to God that all would be filled with the spirit. It would make Moses' job easier if all were empowered by God.

[This Section Is Given As if Joshua Is Narrating His Story]

My name was Oshea or Hosea, the son of Nun. I was born in Egypt at a time when my people did look unto their God for a deliverer to come who would lead them out from their bondage to the Egyptians. God provided just such a man in Moses. I saw the miracles he performed in the name of God and I heard his voice and the voice of his brother Aaron. And I did believe in this Moses as God's prophet. And I did follow him and dutifully supported him in all of his doings as God's prophet over Israel.

Early, as Moses' deciple, his servant-assistant as it were, I learned one of my greatest lessons. As the people of Amalek would come upon us from time to time in our rear to harras and rob us, it was determined by Moses, that is under God's instruction that we should stand and fight against the Amalekites. To this end Moses charged me to command and organize and lead the army of Israel against the Amalekits. Moses instructed that he would stand on top of the near by hill with the 'rod of God' in his hand against them. I did not know how we were going to win the battle against the Amalekites but I rallied the elders of Israel and we did believe in the power of God which Moses held. As the battle progressed it came to pass that when Moses held up his hand in which was the rod of God Israel would prevail against the Amalekites driving them back with great force. But when Moses' hand would tirer, for they were old and heavy, the Amalekites would begin to prevail against us. Therefore Aaron and Hur, who were with Moses upon the hill, would take to holding up and staying up Moses' hands, each upon a side of Moses. And thus until the going down of the sun were Moses' hands held up steady with the rod in them. And not by any such power of my own, but by the power of God as exhibited in the prophet of God, were the Amalekites discomfitted with the edge of the sword.And I learned they we were always in the hands of the power of God and through that power of God could be prevail against our enemies. And without that power of God we could not prevail against them.1

My own father Nun was heir in the house of Ephraim and I stood in the position of a prince of Ephraim early in my age. As such, Moses did look to my father's family for his support from the tribe of Ephraim and I became as it were a right hand man unto MOses, representing the tribe of Ephraim. When Moses when up into the Mount to speak with the Lord, he took me with him to watch and wait as he went higher up the mount to speak with God. And I did hear the sounds of Moses and God as they conversed but I did not see God as did Moses nor hear God's very instructions as did the prophet Moses.

In our preparations Moses had us construct a tabernacle as the abode of God to travel with Israel in the wilderness. Aaron his brother and Aaron's son and those of the tribe of Levi were placed in positions to minister unto the Tabernacle of God and unto the people in their worship of God. My own possition was in supporting Moses in his direct ministations unto the people as their prophet leader.

When we first came near to the land of promise on the south, Moses called upon the 12 leading princes of Israel, all young strong men to spy out the land before Israel and to bring him their report. As reported in by Moses, he at this juncture blessed Oshea son of Nun with a new name, which was a name of the Lord by which the Messiah would be known when he would come into the world. This name was Jehoshua.1 And like unto my ancester Joseph of Egypt and like unto Moses, I was to be a type and a shadow of this great Messiah of Salvation unto all men.

I was one of those twelve who was leader among them representing the tribe of Ephraim. The land was inhabited by many people but it was rich in the things of life, flowing with mild and honey. And to Caleb of Judah and myself it seemed good and we felt that we should advise Moses to preceed on into the land of promise. But those of the other 10 tirbes gave a poor report, speaking of the many people and that they were of large stature, even as it were giants over the size of the Israelites.

Because of this attitude upon the part of the people of Israel, that they did fear to go in and take possession of the Land God would give them, they were made to wander in the wilderness for fourty years. And only I and Caleb of the elder generation would be allowed to go into the land of promise with the younger generation who did not fear as their fathers did fear to proceed in the Lord's commandment to take the land unto themselves.

Joshua, Prophet of War

Joshua learned very early that it was not by the power and strength of men that Israel would prevail against her enemies. But in only trusting in and relying upon the stregth of the Lord would Israel be able to win and prevail aganst their enemies.

This experience would serve Joshua well, for he saw that the power of the Lord would operate by the dispaly of the simplest of things such as the Lord's prophet merely either holding his hands up or down. Thus when God instructed Joshua what the means were whereby he would bring about the fall of Jerhico, Joshua had no question or problem in following the Lord's instrutions to the letter. They would but march around the city three times and sound their horns exactly the way the Lord instructed and Joshua had full faith that the Lord would then cause the walls of Jericho to come tumbling down causing sizable destruction in and of itself and giving to the army of Israel a complete victory over the greatly defensed city of Jericho.

  [Fact Box: Moses]

  • Writings of Joshua: There are no 'direct books of writtings' particularly subscribed to Joshua, but certainly one must see in the record so preserved by such as perhaps SAmuel, that such ancient writiings of Joshua, whether by his own hand or by that of a scribe, would have been so referenced in order that a latter prophet [Samuel] might so preserve such details of Joshua's life down to and including precise public and prophetic addresses of Joshua to the children of Israel.
  • Premortal role: In his premortal status, Joshua would have been not just one of the foreordained prophets to come forth to Israel, but Joshua was to be a deliverer of the house of Israel in such times specifically needing a military leadership role against the wickedness of the people which were to be deposted of that land of promise reserved unto the children of Israel.
  • Little known or understood: Moses was an adopted son of the tribe of Joseph.15
  • Mortal roles: led the Israelites out of Egypt; received the law on Mount Sinai16
  • Postmortal roles: appeared on the Mount of Transfiguration, giving priesthood keys to Peter, James, and John17; appeared in the Kirtland Temple in Ohio, USA, on April 3, 1836, restoring the keys of the gathering of Israel to Joseph Smith.18
The son of Nun's name was not always Joshua or Jehoshua. As explained by Biship Eusebius of Caesarea in Ecclesiastical Hitory of the Church (Book I Chapter 3 Verse/Para 4-5), Auses or Oshea [Hosea] was Nun's son's name before Moses gave him a new name bestowed upon him as being one of our Saviour, Jesus Christ's, own names. the formal Hebrew form as transliterated into the English being Jehoshua (Numbers 13:16). That name was one of Jehovah's name from the begining, perhaps likely given him by the Father, Elohim, upon Jehovah's selection and anointing to become the promised Deliverer and Redeemer or Saviour of the Plan of Redemption. That is the actual break down of the name 'Jeh' meaning Jehovah and oshua (oshea) being Deliverer or Redeemer. Of course the Hebrew less formal short form is Joshua which in the Greek language of the New Testament is none other than 'Jesus'.
Reference Notes:                                                                                      The Mantle of Prophetic Leadership Is Passed from Moses to Jehoshua
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1. Exodus 17:8-16.

2. Numbers 13:16; Ecclesastical History of the Church. Eusebeus, Book I Chapter 3 Para 4.

3. See Exodus 2:1122; Doctrine and Covenants 84:6.

4. See Exodus 3; 4:117.

5. See Exodus 512; Ezekiel 45:21.

6. See Exodus 14.

7. See Exodus 13:2122; 15:2227; 16; 17:17.

8. See Exodus 24:18; 31:18; 32; 34.

9. Exodus 33:11.

10. See Exodus 2529; 40:21.

11. See Numbers 21:69; 1 Nephi 17:41; Alma 33:1920.

12. See Numbers 14:3334.

13. See Alma 45:19.

14. See Abraham 3:22-23

15. See JST Genesis 50:29

16. See Exodus 12; 20

17. See Guide to the Scriptures, "Transfiguration," scriptures.lds.org

18. See D&C 110:11

rev. 23 March 2014