In Joshua 1 we have:

  • Verse 6: be strong and very courage
  • Verse 7: only be strong and very courage
  • Verse 9: have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage

Why did God give this command to Joshua three times?

2 Answers 2


The triple command to "be strong of good courage" is actually two commends as will be seen shortly. The first two instances to "be strong and of good courage" are because of the dual task given to Joshua by God, namely:

  • V6: for (= because) you shall give these people the inheritance of the land that I swore to their fathers I would give them. That, is, Joshua will be the leader of the people.
  • V7: Be careful to observe all the law that My servant Moses commanded you. Keeping the covenant law was not for wimps but required great courage and strength.
  • V9: Finally, the third instance is actually an encouragement based on the source of Joshua's strength and courage precisely because, "the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”

Thus, Joshua was given a superhuman dual task of leading the Israelites into the promised land AND providing an exemplar of covenant keeping law keeper. These were beyond the capabilities of any human but could be accomplished with divine assistance.

Benson notes the following:

Joshua 1:6. Be strong and of a good courage — Joshua, though a person of great courage and resolution, whereof he had given sufficient proof, yet needed these exhortations, partly because his work was great, and difficult, and long, and in a great measure new; partly because he had a very mean opinion of himself, especially if compared with Moses: and remembering how perverse and ungovernable that people were, even under Moses, he might very well suspect the burden of ruling them would be too heavy for his shoulders.

  • Thank you for this wonderful insight to the scriptures Nov 11, 2020 at 3:22


Number 3 is one of the most important numbers through Bible, it is a number of harmony, of God’s presence and of completeness. Most of the significant events in Bible were accompanied by this number or by number 7. It is connected to the Holy Trinity, to three patriarchs before the flood – Abel, Enoch and Noah, and three patriarchs after the flood – Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. New Testament has 27 books which is 33 (333), and it is largely connected with Jesus.
He prayed three times before being arrested, he was put at the cross at the third hour of the day and died at the ninth hour which is 3pm. Number 3 is the number of eternal life, as he was resurrected after three days of being dead. Three people saw the Holy Transfiguration of Jesus, they were” Peter, John and James.

Peter denied the Lord 3 times in Matthew 26:75

Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken: "Before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.

Jesus in turn asked Peter 3 times.

John 21:17

The third time he said to him, "Simon son of John, do you love me?" Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, "Do you love me?" He said, "Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you." Jesus said, "Feed my sheep.

Paul prayed 3 times in 2 Corinthians 12:8

Three times I prayed to the Lord about this and asked him to take it away.

There are many occasions in the Bible where three is the number for completeness as it is in the Western culture today.

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