Problem

I thought Joshua led the people out the wilderness

Acts 7:45 - Which also our fathers that came after brought in with Jesus into the possession of the Gentiles, whom God drave out before the face of our fathers, unto the days of David;

"...in with Jesus into the posession of the Gentiles, whom God drave out before the face of our fathers, unto the days of David."

How did Jesus lead Israel out of the wilderness and into the promise land when he wasn't born yet?


Solution

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You're not the only one! Apparently, the translating committees of the NIV, RSV, Amplified, CEV, Williams, and others thought that it was Joshua also.

Well, I've heard the standard "Greek" arguments for this passage before. They go something like, "That Greek word in Acts 7:45, 'Iησoύ, which can be translated as Jesus OR Joshua should obviously be translated as Joshua here in this passage since it was OBVIOUSLY Joshua who led the children of Israel into the promised land. The KJV translators must have gotten careless at this passage, and while accurately translating the Greek word, they failed to note the context and produced an error. Blah. Blah. Blah."

Really? Are you sure? Perhaps we should go back to the Old Testament and read the account for ourselves before casting judgment on the Holy Scriptures. After all, when was the last time anyone cared to spend some time in the book of Joshua?

"And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, there stood a man over against him with his sword drawn in his hand: and Joshua went unto him; and said unto him, Art thou for us, or for our adversaries?
And he said, Nay; but as captain of the host of the LORD am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him. What saith my lord unto his servant?"

Well, well, well...what have we here! Could it be, maybe, just possibly, that Jesus Christ really did show up and lead the children of Isreal into the promised land? After all, Jesus Christ is called the "captain of their salvation" in Heb 2:10.

Notice how this isn't the only time Jesus shows up in the old testament.


  • Creation (John 1:1-3, Heb. 1:10, Col 1:16)

  • Encounter with Jacob (Gen 32:24-30, Hos 12:4)

  • Encounter with Manoah and his wife (Judg 13:2-23)


But that isn't all, notice how Jesus is the one credited with not giving Israel rest in the Old Testament in Hebrews 2:8 "For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day."

Ok, after examining the old testament a bit further, it becomes apparent that Jesus keeps showing up even before his physical birth in Bethlehem. After all, he was present at the time of creation, right (See all 3 ref. cited above)? He is often referred to as the "Angel of the LORD." So then, why couldn't Jesus have been the "Captain of the LORD'S host" from Joshua 5:13 and be correctly identified as Jesus by Stephen in Acts 7:45? By the scholars own admition, the Greek word could be translated as "Jesus" (AND IS THROUGHOUT THE ENTIRE NEW TESTAMENT!).

This is not a contradiction.

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Just to add to Adam's post:

Also notice that Joshua "worshipped". This is a complete and clear proof that this was NOT just any angel, but Jesus Christ he was worshipping. If it had been just an angel, the angel would have rebuked Joshua to not worship him, as John was rebuked in Revelation 22:9.

In short, Jesus Christ was with the Israelites when they took the Promised Land ! Praise the Lord !

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