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4-9-4 Joshua Our Example

Joshua is consciously set up as our example:

- When Paul says that we each with unveiled face have beheld the glory that shines from the face of the Lord Jesus, just as the glory to a lesser extent shone from the face of Moses (2 Cor. 3:18 RV). Yet the only person to behold Moses’ unveiled glory was Joshua, who alone lived in the tabernacle where Moses received the glory (Ex. 33:11). And it was he who alone accompanied Moses up the mount to meet with God (Ex. 24:13). When Moses left Joshua and went out to the people, he veiled his face. But Joshua would have seen the glory shining off Moses’ unveiled face.

- We may boldly say that we will not be fearful, as Joshua was, because God has addressed to us the very words which He did to Joshua: “I will never leave thee nor forsake thee” (Heb. 13:5,6). In this especially, Joshua is our example. When Heb. 13:13 speaks of us going forth outside the camp, perhaps there is a reference to Joshua who dwelt with Moses outside the camp- thus making Joshua symbolic of us all.

Num. 27:20 LXX says that Moses put or gave of his glory upon Joshua- and this passage is alluded to by the Lord in Jn. 17:22: “The glory which thou hast given me I have given unto them”. Note that the Lord’s prayer of John 17 is full of allusion to Moses, as detailed in  So the disciples, indeed all those for whom the Lord prayed in His prayer, are to see themselves as Joshua. Further, in the same context, the Lord washed the disciples’ feet. This would’ve been understood by the disciples as an allusion to a well known Jewish legend that in Num. 27:15-23, Moses acted as a servant to Joshua by preparing a basin of water and washing Joshua’s feet(1). And the LXX of Moses’ final charge to Joshua in Dt. 31:7,8 [“fear not, neither be dismayed”] is quoted by the Lord to His disciples in Jn. 14:1,27.


(1) T.F. Glasson, Moses In The Fourth Gospel (London: SCM, 1963) p. 82.