He dies? He dies! That's right Shmoopers, our scruffy nerf herder Joshua dies at the end of his own book. What a downer. It's the same feeling we got when we watched the first five minutes of Up. Total downer. Why oh why must it be like that?
At the end of the book, Joshua speaks before all of Israel, warning them that he will not always be around and that they keep their faith with God. The people promise to do so (because they're in the Promised Land… get it?) and Joshua promptly dies. Okay, we've got that part, but why does he have to die?
Without Joshua's death, he does not fulfill his role as the new Moses. Throughout the book, the authors continually reiterate that Joshua has become the new Moses, leading the Israelites through a special connection to God. At the end of Deuteronomy, Moses dies just before fulfilling his mission. At the end of Joshua, our hero dies before he can fulfill his mission as well. Remember, Joshua does not drive all the Canaanites out of the land. Over this whole book, Joshua is given the chance to be Moses. By the end, he becomes Moses, right down to his failings. Sad? Yes. Poetic? You betcha.