I’m not sure whether you noticed it or not, but I find it intriguing that at the close of the book of Joshua, Joseph gets a mention.
Why on earth does Joseph get a mention, he is long gone. To discover an answer we will need to go back then forward.
Firstly when we go back to the final chapter of Genesis. Here we see the faith of Joseph in the promises of God and he makes the sons of Israel swear an oath:
Then Joseph said to his brothers, “I am about to die. But God will surely come to your aid and take you up out of this land to the land he promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.” 25 And Joseph made the sons of Israel swear an oath and said, “God will surely come to your aid, and then you must carry my bones up from this place.”
As we come to the final chapter of Joshua we see Israel has got it right and now that they have peace in the promised land, they bury his bones.
Yet this is not the end of the story. For when we look forward the NT reminds us of this act of faith on behalf of Joseph. But Hebrews 11 describes that these godly characters did not receive what was promised. However at the close of Joshua they have just entered the promised land. So hasn’t Joseph received what was promised the author of Hebrews thinks not:
All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth. 14 People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. 15 If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 Instead, they were longing for a better country– a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.