These are the names of the men whom Moses sent to spy out the land. And Moses called Hoshea the son of Nun, Joshua. (Numbers 13:16)
Looking at the Biblical text in Hebrew almost always provides insight into what is going on that might otherwise be overlooked just reading it in English. Case in point: the Hebrew word translated “spy out” or “search out” is תור tur thus speaking to the purpose of their mission. They were sent to “tour” the land to see “how” they were to take the land, not “if.” It might also be that he wanted to discern whether or not “now” was the time. The “tour” was to provide answers to these questions — not to determine if they should turn back to Egypt.
Another interesting insight revealed by the Hebrew is found in the names of those who were sent. First of all, the Bible tells us that everyone sent was a prince or leader of the tribe. In other words, Moses chose people he felt he could trust or, at the very least, those who were respected in their tribe. One of these princes was named סתור Sethur which means “hidden.” Interestingly, as it is rendered in Hebrew, his name contains the Hebrew word tur or “spy out” and happens to be the only name in the Hebrew text that totals 666. Make of that what you will.
The main focus for us today, however, is the prince of Ephraim — Hoshea. a name that means “salvation.” However, as he is commissioned to go into Canaan to spy out the land, Moses sees fit to call him Joshua (Yehoshua) which is, more literally, “He will save.” I find this interesting because I am convinced that words and names mean things. Of course they have meaning, but I’m suggesting that certain words and names have prophetic significance and it would seem Moses fully understood that. Thus, he renamed the son of Nun, Yehoshua, indicating that in the future, God would use him to save his people.
That is important for this reason — Yehoshua is related to the name Yeshua (or as most would say, Jesus). While Joshua was a portent of things to come — “He will save” — Yeshua means “salvation” in the present tense or, in other words, “Salvation, right now.” Joshua eventually led them into the land of promise after many years of hardships and war. In time, the people of God inhabited the land of Canaan which, by the way, was renamed Israel. But for us, salvation and deliverance doesn’t have to wait because the Messiah provides salvation right now!
So then, in whatever situation you find yourself, know that deliverance and salvation is available through Yeshua today and right now. For our part, let’s not put off what needs to be done today so that salvation can be realized. And so as Paul told the Corinthians, let us also resolve in our hearts that “Now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2).
Blessings and Shalom,