Verse 1: Why is Moses referred to as the Lord’s servant, but Joshua as Moses’ minister, official, or aide? Why not call Joshua Moses’ servant or, even better, the Lord’s servant?
Compare Exodus 24:13 and 33:11, as well as Numbers 11:28, but notice that in the latter two, though the King James translation uses the word “servant,” it translates the same word translated “minister” here and in Exodus 24. According to the Word Biblical Commentary, the word translated “minister” refers to someone like a young page who attends a king. Why do these texts always use language that puts Joshua in an inferior position, even after Moses leaves?
Verses 3-4: What do you make of the fact that Israel never attained the borders described here? 1 Kings 5:1 describes Solomon as ruling this entire land, but he did so through vassal states that owed him tribute rather than directly. The people of Israel did not occupy that land even when Solomon controlled it.
Verses 5-7: What is the connection between the admonition in verse 5—”I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee”—and the command in verse 6: “Be strong and of good courage,” a command repeated in verse 7? What does verse 5 tell us about how Israel understood the coming war?