Etymology & Historical Origin of the Baby Name Joshua

Joshua comes from the Hebrew word “Yehoshu'a” (יְהוֹשֻׁעַ) which translates to “Yahweh is salvation.” Borne from the Hebrew Bible and the Christian Old Testament, Joshua was named as one of the twelve spies sent to Canaan by Moses (because God told Moses that Canaan was the Promised Land). He is at first identified as “Osee, son of Nun, of the Tribe of Ephraim” (Numbers 13:8) but Moses calls him Josue (Joshua) in Num 13:16. The name Osee/Hoshe’a means “salvation” but Joshua/Yehoshu'a specifically means “GOD is salvation”. A major figure in the events surrounding the Exodus, Joshua is pretty much Moses’ right-hand man (for instance, only he accompanied Moses up Mt. Sinai to receive the Ten Commandments). In fact, at Moses’ death, Joshua succeeded him as leader of the Children of Israel – whom he led after many battles to take possession of the Promised Land. Aside from Joshua’s prominent Biblical placement in the Books of Exodus, Numbers and Joshua, there’s another highly interesting factoid about the name Joshua. It was Jesus’ real name. You see, Jesus is merely the English form of the ancient Greek transliteration of “Yeshua” which itself is the Aramaic form of Yehoshu'a (Joshua). And that, my dear reader, is the actual birth name of Jesus Christ. Oddly enough, though, Joshua has not been historically bestowed in honor of the Christian Messiah, but rather as a tribute to the 14th/13th century B.C. BFF of Moses. It was the Christian dissenters who eventually adopted many of these Old Testament Biblical names in an act of modesty after the Protestant Reformation. Today Joshua is an extremely popular baby boy’s name among English speakers. It’s a Top 10 choice in England and Australia. A Top 20 in the United States and Northern Ireland. A Top 50 in Canada, Scotland and Ireland. And it does moderately well in the Netherlands and France.

All About the Baby Name – Joshua

Personality

OF THE BOY NAME JOSHUA

The Number 2 personality in numerology is all about cooperation and balance. It's the number of diplomats and mediators. They are not leaders, but strive rather for harmony in partnerships. These are the peacemakers. Equality and fairness are important in their dealings, and they are willing to share power and responsibility to achieve a harmonious outcome. This personality is calm and patient, waiting for things to evolve instead of pushing aggressively for an outcome. They are good-natured and easy-going, and care deeply on an emotional and spiritual plane. Twos appreciate beauty and nature and are intent on making the world a better place.

Popularity

OF THE BOY NAME JOSHUA

Joshua has always enjoyed a place on the popularity graph for the past 130 years. In the first half of the 20th century, the name was only used in mild moderation. Things started to turn around for Joshua by the mid-sixties and then it began to surge in popularity through the 1970’s. By 1980, the name Joshua hit the Top 10 where it has stayed for the past 30 years! Joshua is one of those decade-defining names (especially for the 1980s, 90s and 2000s). In fact, for five consecutive years between 2002 and 2006, Joshua was the third most popular baby boy’s name nationwide (only Jacob and Michael had him beat in those years). Although he has slipped down to position #17 in 2012, clearly Joshua is still a name of preference. There’s just something “squishy” cute about this name. It also has a modern sensibility despite being a 3,000+ year old name!

Quick Facts

ON JOSHUA

GENDER:

Boy

ORIGIN:

NUMBER OF SYLLABLES:

3

RANKING POPULARITY:

21

PRONUNCIATION:

JAH-shə-wə

SIMPLE MEANING:

God is salvation

Characteristics

OF JOSHUA

Cooperative

Considerate

Compassionate

Nurturing

Sensitive

Patient

Loving

Kind

Gracious

Balanced

Cultural References to the Baby Name – Joshua

Literary Characters

OF THE BABY NAME JOSHUA

We cannot find any significant literary characters by the name of Joshua

Popular Songs

ON JOSHUA

Joshua Fit the Battle
a song by Elvis Presley

Joshua
a song by Dolly Parton

Joshua Gone Barbados
a song by Johnny Cash

Joshua (Dolly Parton)
A song about a seemingly big, scary man who turns out to be harmless and sweet.

Joshua Fit the Battle (Elvis Presley)
This is a song from Elvis's gospel collection.

Joshua Gone Barbados (Johnny Cash)
One of Cash's many tales told to song.

Famous People

NAMED JOSHUA

Joshua Brolin (actor)
Joshua Brolin (actor)
Joshua Brolin (actor)

Children of Famous People

NAMED JOSHUA

Octomom;

Historic Figures

WITH THE NAME JOSHUA

Joshua, the son of Nun, shows up in the Bible in Numbers, chapters 13-14, as one of 12 spies sent to Canaan by Moses. After Moses’ death, Joshua becomes the leader of the Israelites and succeeds (after many battles) in leading them to the Promised Land. He is a prominent figure recognized by Christians, Jews and Muslims alike as an apprentice to Moses and therefore holds a position of respect by all major monotheistic religions. Joshua also attended Moses on part of his journey to receive the Ten Commandments in Exodus. The Book of Joshua in the Bible recounts the fulfillment of God’s promise to the Israelites through the conquest of Canaan. Joshua is regarded as a brave, faithful, humble, victorious and wise servant of the Lord. He lives a long life and dies at 110.

Joshua, the son of Nun, shows up in the Bible in Numbers, chapters 13-14, as one of 12 spies sent to Canaan by Moses. After Moses’ death, Joshua becomes the leader of the Israelites and succeeds (after many battles) in leading them to the Promised Land. He is a prominent figure recognized by Christians, Jews and Muslims alike as an apprentice to Moses and therefore holds a position of respect by all major monotheistic religions. Joshua also attended Moses on part of his journey to receive the Ten Commandments in Exodus. The Book of Joshua in the Bible recounts the fulfillment of God’s promise to the Israelites through the conquest of Canaan. Joshua is regarded as a brave, faithful, humble, victorious and wise servant of the Lord. He lives a long life and dies at 110.

Joshua, the son of Nun, shows up in the Bible in Numbers, chapters 13-14, as one of 12 spies sent to Canaan by Moses. After Moses’ death, Joshua becomes the leader of the Israelites and succeeds (after many battles) in leading them to the Promised Land. He is a prominent figure recognized by Christians, Jews and Muslims alike as an apprentice to Moses and therefore holds a position of respect by all major monotheistic religions. Joshua also attended Moses on part of his journey to receive the Ten Commandments in Exodus. The Book of Joshua in the Bible recounts the fulfillment of God’s promise to the Israelites through the conquest of Canaan. Joshua is regarded as a brave, faithful, humble, victorious and wise servant of the Lord. He lives a long life and dies at 110.