Joshua meaning | Joshua etymology

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Joshua in Biblical Hebrew
Biblical male character
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The name Joshua in the Bible

The name Joshua occurs four times in the Bible. Most famous is the judge Joshua the Ephraimite, the successor of Moses and the one who leads Israel into the Promised Land. The original name of this Joshua is Hosea (הושע) but Moses names him Joshua (Numbers 13:16).

Other Joshua's are:

  • The owner of a field in Beth-shemite where the Ark returns to Israel (1 Samuel 6:14);
  • A governor of Jerusalem (2 Kings 23:8).
  • A famous, post-exilic high priest (Haggai 1:1).

Joshua is also the original Hebrew form of the Greek name Jesus. A shortened form of Joshua is the name Jeshua (ישוע).

Etymology of the name Joshua

The name Joshua is a compilation of two elements, the first one being the appellative יה (Yah) = יהו (Yahu) = יו (Yu), which in turn are abbreviated forms of the Tetragrammaton; the name of the Lord: YHWH.

The second element of the name Joshua/Jesus comes from the root-verb ישע (yasha'), meaning to save or deliver:

Abarim Publications Theological Dictionary

Joshua meaning

BDB Theological Dictionary lists יהושע under יהוה and reads Yah Is Salvation. NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads Yahweh Is Salvation.

The name Joshua is the precise reversal of the name Isaiah (ישעיה).

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