Joshua in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE
I. Form and Significance of Name.
The name Joshua, a contracted form of Jehoshua (yehoshua`),
which also appears in the form Jeshua (yeshua`, Neh 8:17),
signifies "Yahweh is deliverance" or "salvation," and is
formed on the analogy of many Israelite names, as Jehoiakim
(yehoyaqim), "Yahweh exalteth," Jehohanan (yehochanan),
"Yahweh is gracious," Elishua or Elisha ('elishua`,
elisha`), "God is deliverance," Elizur ('elitsur), "God is a
rock," etc. In the narrative of the mission of the spies in
Nu 13, the name is given as Hoshea (hoshea`, 13:8,16;
compare Dt 32:44), which is changed by Moses to Joshua (Nu
13:16). In the passage in Deuteronomy, however, the earlier
form of the name is regarded by Dr. Driver (Commentary in
the place cited.) as an erroneous reading.
The Greek form of the name is Jesus (Iesous, Acts 7:45; Heb
4:8, the Revised Version (British and American) "Joshua,"
but the King James Version "Jesus" in both passages), and
this form appears even in the passages cited above from
Nehemiah and Deuteronomy. In Nu 13:8,16, however, Septuagint
has Hause. The name occurs in later Jewish history, e.g. as
that of the owner of the field in which the ark rested after
its return from the land of the Philistines (1 Sam 6:14,18),
and appears to have become especially frequent after the
exile (Ezr 2:40; Zec 3:1ab, etc.). It is also found (Jeshua)
with a local signification as the name of one of the
"villages" in Southern Judea, where the repatriated Jews
dwelt after their return from Babylon (Neh 11:26).
II. History of the Life of Joshua.
The narrative of the life of Joshua, the son of Nun, is
naturally divided into two parts, in which he held entirely
different positions with regard to the people of Israel, and
discharged different duties. In the earlier period he is the
servant and minister of Moses, loyal to his leader, and one
of his most trusted and valiant captains. After the death of
Moses he himself succeeds to the leadership of the Israelite
host, and conducts them to a settlement in the Promised
Land. The service of the earlier years of his life is a
preparation and equipment for the office and responsibility
that devolved upon him in the later period...