Hoshea Joshua Jesus

Hosheaa (also spelled Hosea and Oshea) meant “Salvation.” Joshuab (also spelled Jehoshua) meant “Yahweh Saves.” The Aramaic form is Jeshuac. The Greek form is rendered Jesusd or Joshua in English translations.

There are two people named Hosea in the Bible. One is the eighth century prophet sent to Israel in the final decades before its fall. Most of our information about him is found in the book bearing his name.

The other is Hoshea, the son of Nun and leader of the conquest of Canaan. He is better known as Joshua, the name Moses called him. We are first introduced to him when he was Moses’ assistant. Later, when Israel prepared to invade Canaan from the south, he was chosen as one of the spies and stood with Caleb against the faithless others.  Exodus 17:9; 24:13; Numbers 13-14, 16

Joshua led the conquest of Canaan. The theme of the book which bears his name is “Be strong and courageous.” He is mentioned in some of our hymns, including Dare to Stand Like Joshua and The Walls Came Tumbling Down.  Joshua 1:6, 18; 10:25

In some of the post-exilic1 Scriptures, the Aramaic form, Jeshua, is used. English translators usually use Joshua in Haggai and Zechariah but Jeshua in Ezra and Nehemiah (except in references to Joshua the son of Nun). In most manuscripts, Jeshua is only found in Ezra 5:2, within a section written in Aramaic. Jeshua was a high priest and one of the leaders in the temple rebuilding project. He was also crowned in a symbolic foreshadowing of the Christ.  Nehemiah 8:17; Haggai 1:1; Zechariah 6:9-15

In the New Testament, the Greek spelling of this name, iesous, is usually rendered Jesus in English translations, except where it refers to people from the Old Testament (Joshua the son of Nun and an obscure ancestor of the Christ). Two other individuals in the New Testament were named Jesus: a Christian, whose Roman name was Justus, and the criminal nicknamed Barabbas2Luke 3:29; Acts 7:45; Hebrews 4:8; Colossians 4:11; Matthew 27:16

Joseph was instructed by the angel to name Mary’s child Jesus, because he would be the savior. Since Jesus was a common name, the custom of distinguishing him by his hometown or title was sometimes followed: “Jesus of Nazareth” and “Jesus the Christ.”  Matthew 1:21; Acts 2:22; Matthew 27:17

Hebrew/Aramaic/Greek Pronunciations:
Hoshea/Hosea = ho-shay-ah
Joshua (Yehoshua) = yeh-ho-shoo-ah
Jeshua (Yeshua) = yay-shoo-ah
Jesus (Iesous) = ee-ay-soos

Moses called Hoshea the son of Nun Joshua.  Numbers 13:16

Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel and Jeshua the son of Jozadak arose and began to rebuild the house of God that is in Jerusalem, and the prophets of God were with them, supporting them.  Ezra 5:2

“She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”  Matthew 1:21

1 Post-exilic refers to the era after the Jews returned from Babylonian captivity (536 BC). Books composed in this era: Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi, and the last four chapters of Daniel.
2 Barabbas’ birthname, Jesus, is only found in some manuscripts and is therefore absent or relegated to a footnote in many translations. However, the evidence strongly favors its authenticity. See the NET’s footnote on Matthew 27:16. Barabbas is a nickname literally translated “Son of Dad,” which probably had some figurative meaning in Jewish culture.

~ SR

Related article: Names of God

Ruhmann, Scott. “Behind the Name: Hoshea Joshua Jesus.” 27th Street Church of Christ. Access date: . http://www.churchofbend.com/bth/joshua.htm