This is how Moses changed Joshua’s name: Moses sent twelve spies, one from each tribe, to go into the Promised Land and explore it. From the tribe of Ephraim, Moses send Hoshea the son of Nun. Later, Moses changed his name from Hoshea to Joshua (Numbers 13:8, 16). Now, why did Moses do this? The twelve spies came back from exploring the Promised Land and brought samples of fruit. Everybody was amazed at the size of the grapes. Ten of the men brought a negative report saying that the land is good, but also dangerous; the people are giants, and strong. They told the people that they do not have a chance to conquer the Promised Land. Hearing this, the whole congregation started weeping and suggested that they should go back to Egypt. That is when Joshua and Caleb stood boldly, to confront the cowards and encourage the people, saying: “The land we passed through to spy out is an exceedingly good land. If the Lord delights in us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us, ‘a land which flows with milk and honey.’ Only do not rebel against the Lord, nor fear the people of the land, for they are our bread; their protection has departed from them, and the Lord is with us. Do not fear them.” (Numbers 14:7-9). It seems that when Moses heard Joshua speaking these faith-filled, encouraging, prophetic words, he changed his name. His original name was Hoshea, which in Hebrew it means ‘salvation’. His new name is ‘Joshua’ which means ‘Jehovah is the Savior’. The old name was a good name, but Moses changed for a better one, making it more personal. As you see, Joshua did not depend on his strength. He declared that the Promised Land must be conquered thru faith in Jehovah God. That is why Moses weaved the two names together: Jehovah and Hoshea, coming out with Joshua, to the glory of God! It seems that from that time on, Moses trusted Joshua as his attendant or assistant. They were from different tribes, but it was a decision based on the leading of the Holy Spirit. Joshua was faithful to Moses until his death. He then led the people of God into the Promised Land. After the death of Moses, God said to Joshua; “No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and of good courage, for to this people you shall divide as an inheritance the land which I swore to their fathers to give them” (Joshua 1:5,6). Joshua and Caleb were the only people from the old generation who left Egypt, who were able to enter the Promised Land. Faithfulness to God and to God’s servants pays off! To God be all the glory!
(Taken from my husband’s notes; Pastor Richmond Sisan Leigh)