Joshua and Jesus

For if Jesus had given them rest…” (King James Version)/For if Joshua had given them rest…” (New King James Version) (Hebrews 4:8).

“Jehovah is salvation” is a wonderful name to give a son. In the Hebrew Old Testament, the name is “Joshua”. In the New Testament, the Greek name is “Jesus”. (Hence, when the King James translators came to Hebrews 4:7 they did not mistranslate this verse when they used the name “Jesus” for the Old Testament leader Joshua. They did, however, create the possibility of confusion for anyone who may be unaware of the differences between the Greek and Hebrew forms of this name.)

Like others in the Old Testament, Joshua’s life and accomplishments foreshadow Jesus in several noteworthy ways:

  • Both were men of courageous, obedient faith.

  • Both were victors over powerful enemies.

  • Both were leaders whose victories fulfilled the promises God made to earlier generations.

  • Both lived lives which clearly demonstrate the truth that “Jehovah is salvation”.

One notable difference between the Old Testament’s Joshua and the New Testament’s Jesus is the one stated in this verse. The “rest” Joshua gave his generation was land-based and temporary. The “rest” Jesus gives is heaven-based and eternal.

Because of (the New Testament’s) Jesus, “there remains therefore a rest for the people of God” (Hebrews 4:9).

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Author: jchowning

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