The Meaning of Success in Joshua 1:7-8

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The rise of the prosperity gospel—a teaching which elevates earthly success and prosperity as significant signs of God’s blessing—has led to much confusion as to the role of success in the Christian life. Many Christians may read a passage like Joshua 1:7-8, where God commands Joshua to obey in order that “you may have success wherever you go,” to mean that Christians will be successful in all their endeavors (Howard 1998, 86-87), which naturally implies that a lack of success must indicate some disobedience that has caused God to withhold his promised blessing. This paper, therefore, will utilize Hebrew language study tools to examine the meaning and usage of the word תַּשְׂכִּֽיל (H7919) in Joshua 1:7-8 in light of its context and other relevant material. Attention will be given to the word’s semantic range, its usage throughout the Old Testament, and finally to how the word was translated in the Septuagint, and a conclusion will be reached as to the precise meaning of the word for the passage in question. Continue reading The Meaning of Success in Joshua 1:7-8