Plagues and promises have interplayed in dramatic fashion in Israel’s liberation from Egypt. Exodus events are fresh on every Israelite mind. And now, after Yahweh’s miraculous interventions, the former slaves are well on their way to the Promised Land. Nevertheless, Amalek, a local warlord, stands in their way, poised to destroy Israel’s dream of nationhood. As his military commander to confront the Amalekite army, Moses chooses a youth named Hoshea, renaming him Joshua (Num. 13:16).

Nun’s Son
Joshua’s identity seems inseparably linked to his father. Thirty references, from Exodus to Nehemiah, identify him as “son of Nun.” By way of contrast, Moses, his mentor, is never labeled “son of Amram.” Although referring to a son by his father’s name was then common practice, Joshua’s case seems to »

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