The Book of Joshua enumerates the great challenges faced by the ancient Israelites as they enter and settle their promised land, a lengthy process that ultimately takes hundreds of years. Exhausted from their forty-year journey in the desert, the people must overcome earlier failures, confront hostile coalitions on the battlefield, struggle with the inimical cultural values pervasive in Canaan, and make the difficult transition from a nomadic to a settled way of life. Difficult as this may sound, there is yet one burning issue that overshadows the whole enterprise: What are the hallmarks of successful leadership?
In Joshua: The Challenge of the Promised Land, Michael Hattin brings to life the biblical Book of Joshua, highlighting how the many complex issues faced by the people as they fought to possess their new land mirror and shed light on today’s reality. Hattin approaches the text as literary narrative, considering it from the perspectives of rabbinic midrash, medieval commentary, and modern scholarship. Eloquently and perceptively, he draws the reader into one of the defining periods in Jewish history, in which the new nation strives to forge a collective identity in their homeland.