Why does the verse (Bamidbar 13:16) mention that Moshe gave Hoshea bin Nun the name Yehoshua, making it seem like this was the first time Hoshea was actually called like that, but instead we see in several places in Shemos (e.g. 17:14) he is already called Yehoshua?!

  • 2
    Note he is referred to as Hoshea again later in Devarim 32
    – Double AA
    Commented Jun 5, 2013 at 14:10

2 Answers 2


Tha Ramban says that we see from this Posuk that Moshe always called him Yehoshua. When the Meraglim went to Eretz Yisroel then Moshe publicly established his name as Yehoshua.


The Maskil Ledavid says that Moshe prayed for Yehoshua (and changed his name) earlier, because he saw that in the future Yehoshua would need G-d's help. This is even slightly implied in the Gemara (Sotah 34B), where it says, "Yehoshua, Moshe already requested G-d's mercy for him". Already slightly implies that Moshe had done it before.

This would explain why he was already referred to as Yehoshua before the story of the spies.

  • If someone can find a clearer print of the Maskil Ledavid to link to, that would be great.
    – Menachem
    Commented Jun 19, 2011 at 1:58
  • 1
    The Ramban says the same. Commented Jan 25, 2013 at 16:09
  • Seforno understands Rashi that way.
    – gt6989b
    Commented Jun 5, 2013 at 13:11
  • Isn't it simply begging the question? As we see that he was called YH before, it is because he was called so before. What's the point here? THis idea undermines the whole point of Moses NOT knowing of the results. Otherwise Moses was failing the whole story.
    – Al Berko
    Commented Jun 23, 2019 at 14:32
  • @AlBerko I'm not quite sure what you're asking. It sounds like you're asking wouldn't moshe changing yehoshua's name indicate that he already knew that the mission of the spies would end in failure. If that is correct, that is a different question than the one that was asked here. Perhaps you should ask it as a new question
    – Menachem
    Commented Jun 23, 2019 at 19:43

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