Friday, Oct 07th

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Joshua 13

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(Note: The explanatory comments for this chapter have been truncated, because of the wealth of information contained in it. A separate study article will be written with full details).

Verses 1-5

  1. Now Joshua was old and stricken in years; and the LORD said unto him, Thou art old and stricken in years, and there remaineth yet very much land to be possessed.

  2. This is the land that yet remaineth: all the borders of the Philistines, and all Geshuri,

  3. From Sihor, which is before Egypt, even unto the borders of Ekron northward, which is counted to the Canaanite: five lords of the Philistines; the Gazathites, and the Ashdothites, the Eshkalonites, the Gittites, and the Ekronites; also the Avites:

  4. From the south, all the land of the Canaanites, and Mearah that is beside the Sidonians, unto Aphek, to the borders of the Amorites:

  5. And the land of the Giblites, and all Lebanon, toward the sunrising, from Baalgad under mount Hermon unto the entering into Hamath.

It would appear that Joshua’s decline in body and old age must have been close to the final conquest mentioned in the previous two chapters. Though now old, God told him that much was yet undone. (Note that Joshua and Caleb were the only old men in all of Israel). He gave the now old Joshua specific commands to further destroy the Canaanites who were left, defining the land areas to be conquered.

Included were the borders of the Philistines (west, on the Mediterranean coast), the land of Geshur (possibly other branches of Philistia, or separate, in the south), ranging from Goshen in north Egypt to the north of Ekron. There were five areas ruled by Philistine lords, and a ‘mopping up’ of all Canaanite land to the south and east. Then there was the land of Gebal, and “all Lebanon” as far east as possible.

What was left to accomplish, then, was a very big task. If left undone Israel would be constantly attacked by these enemies, whose victories would otherwise help to turn Israel over to paganism. So, their riddance was vital. I hope modern Christians can see how this works out in today’s atmosphere of Islamic threat to the West.

Verses 6-13

  1. All the inhabitants of the hill country from Lebanon unto Misrephothmaim, and all the Sidonians, them will I drive out from before the children of Israel: only divide thou it by lot unto the Israelites for an inheritance, as I have commanded thee.

  2. Now therefore divide this land for an inheritance unto the nine tribes, and the half tribe of Manasseh,

  3. With whom the Reubenites and the Gadites have received their inheritance, which Moses gave them, beyond Jordan eastward, even as Moses the servant of the LORD gave them;

  4. From Aroer, that is upon the bank of the river Arnon, and the city that is in the midst of the river, and all the plain of Medeba unto Dibon;

  5. And all the cities of Sihon king of the Amorites, which reigned in Heshbon, unto the border of the children of Ammon;

  6. And Gilead, and the border of the Geshurites and Maachathites, and all mount Hermon, and all Bashan unto Salcah;

  7. All the kingdom of Og in Bashan, which reigned in Ashtaroth and in Edrei, who remained of the remnant of the giants: for these did Moses smite, and cast them out.

  8. Nevertheless the children of Israel expelled not the Geshurites, nor the Maachathites: but the Geshurites and the Maachathites dwell among the Israelites until this day.

Note that all of Lebanon and land owned by the king of Sihon also belong to Israel, so the inhabitants had to be driven out, and their land divided up and given to designated Israelite tribes. This had already been commanded by God. Once again the division was for the “nine tribes and the half tribe of Manasseh”. (For an explanation of ‘half tribe’ see relevant article). Two and a half tribes had already received their allotted lands.

Note that God said the dividing of the lands would be made even before all was conquered. This is a lesson for the UK today – FIRST leave the EU and THEN deal with the various requirements. Anything else is weak compromise. Similarly, subject Muslims to strict demands and THEN allow limited access to politics.

The Reubenites and Gadites were listed as part of the Manasseh division, the eastern side. The area given to them is detailed next. Note the intriguing “city in the midst of the river”, possibly Aroer. The division of the lands specified were to be done by lot, not by Joshua’s own decision, so that his personal preferences did not rule and he could not be blamed for anything contentious.

Land was still occupied by the race of giants, though Moses had previously fought against them and driven them out. Unfortunately, the remnant of Geshurites and Maachathites continued to live amongst the Israelites, proving to be a source of paganism and corruption. This is the argument against Muslims being allowed freedom to worship and act within western nations, when the West clearly knew the blessings of God in the Gospel and Bible teaching. Their remaining in the West is therefore a curse on the people and a source of constant opposition from paganism. Thus, even if they are presently quiet, they are a corrupt influence and a source of coming conflict. This is the evidence of history.

Verses 14-21

  1. Only unto the tribe of Levi he gave none inheritance; the sacrifices of the LORD God of Israel made by fire are their inheritance, as he said unto them.

  2. And Moses gave unto the tribe of the children of Reuben inheritance according to their families.

  3. And their coast was from Aroer, that is on the bank of the river Arnon, and the city that is in the midst of the river, and all the plain by Medeba;

  4. Heshbon, and all her cities that are in the plain; Dibon, and Bamothbaal, and Bethbaalmeon,

  5. And Jahazah, and Kedemoth, and Mephaath,

  6. And Kirjathaim, and Sibmah, and Zarethshahar in the mount of the valley,

  7. And Bethpeor, and Ashdothpisgah, and Bethjeshimoth,

  8. And all the cities of the plain, and all the kingdom of Sihon king of the Amorites, which reigned in Heshbon, whom Moses smote with the princes of Midian, Evi, and Rekem, and Zur, and Hur, and Reba, which were dukes of Sihon, dwelling in the country.

Once again the tribe of Levi had no land. Their inheritance was to serve Jehovah as priests, and this was their devoted and dedicated task. As such they did not work the land but relied on the other tribes to support them in their most holy of work. Reuben’s tribe was given a defined area to own and rule; the area being substantial.

Verses 22-28

  1. Balaam also the son of Beor, the soothsayer, did the children of Israel slay with the sword among them that were slain by them.

  2. And the border of the children of Reuben was Jordan, and the border thereof. This was the inheritance of the children of Reuben after their families, the cities and the villages thereof.

  3. And Moses gave inheritance unto the tribe of Gad, even unto the children of Gad according to their families.

  4. And their coast was Jazer, and all the cities of Gilead, and half the land of the children of Ammon, unto Aroer that is before Rabbah;

  5. And from Heshbon unto Ramathmizpeh, and Betonim; and from Mahanaim unto the border of Debir;

  6. And in the valley, Betharam, and Bethnimrah, and Succoth, and Zaphon, the rest of the kingdom of Sihon king of Heshbon, Jordan and his border, even unto the edge of the sea of Chinnereth on the other side Jordan eastward.

  7. This is the inheritance of the children of Gad after their families, the cities, and their villages.

Balaam, son of Beor, was put to death alongside his kin, and Reuben’s tribe took over part of the east side of the Jordan and the tribe of Gad received their own inheritance. It is interesting that the name ‘Balaam’ means ‘not of the people/a foreigner’, and his father’s name was also indicative, meaning ‘of fire’. Balaam certainly was not belonging to the people of God. And his father was a ‘soothsayer’, one who prophesied, but demonically, and was hence put to death.

Today few Christians understand the holy hatred God has for paganism and for occult practices. Churches give no instruction to believers and no opposition to these activities, which is why they increase... the very thing God wanted Israel to avoid, because they corrupt pure belief and understanding.

Verses 29-31

  1. And Moses gave inheritance unto the half tribe of Manasseh: and this was the possession of the half tribe of the children of Manasseh by their families.

  2. And their coast was from Mahanaim, all Bashan, all the kingdom of Og king of Bashan, and all the towns of Jair, which are in Bashan, threescore cities:

  3. And half Gilead, and Ashtaroth, and Edrei, cities of the kingdom of Og in Bashan, were pertaining unto the children of Machir the son of Manasseh, even to the one half of the children of Machir by their families.

Finally, the inheritance of the tribe of Manasseh is mentioned. The very wording, as in other parts of the chapter, upholds the authenticity and historical facts of the Book of Joshua: e.g. “three score cities”, “half Gilead”. If you look at a map of ancient Canaan during the habitation by Joshua and Israel you will see that Manasseh had two large areas of land, one on each side of the Jordan.

Verses 32&33

  1. These are the countries which Moses did distribute for inheritance in the plains of Moab, on the other side Jordan, by Jericho, eastward.

  2. But unto the tribe of Levi Moses gave not any inheritance: the LORD God of Israel was their inheritance, as he said unto them.

The nations given by Joshua to the tribes were already promised by Moses to the eleven tribes. The plains of Moab were named after a son descended from Lot and were east of Jericho. It is also repeated that God, through Moses, did not give land to the Levites. Rather they had the best inheritance of all – the “Lord God of Israel”. Today, our inheritance is the Lord Jesus Christ, whose salvation is better than gold... though if we observe many Christians, they seem to prefer the gold and things of this world, to their detriment.


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Bible Theology Ministries - PO Box 415, Swansea, SA5 8YH
United Kingdom