Details of the M 4.3 foreshock to the Joshua Tree earthquake were studied using P waves recorded on the Southern California Seismic Network and the Anza network. Deconvolution, using an M 2.4 event as an empirical Green's function, corrected for complicated path and site effects in the seismograms and produced simple far-field displacement pulses that were inverted for a slip distribution. Both possible fault planes, north-south and east-west, for the focal mechanism were tested by a least-squares inversion procedure with a range of rupture velocities. The results showed that the foreshock ruptured the north-south plane, similar to the mainshock. The foreshock initiated a few hundred meters south of the mainshock and ruptured to the north, toward the mainshock hypocenter. The mainshock (M 6.1) initiated near the northern edge of the foreshock rupture 2 hr later. The foreshock had a high stress drop (320 to 800 bars) and broke a small portion of the fault adjacent to the mainshock but was not able to immediately initiate the mainshock rupture.