A STUDY OF JOSHUA
Commentary by Dr. Mark G. Cambron
The Book of Joshua marks the beginning of the HISTORICAL BOOKS of the Old Testament. It covers the time between the death of Moses and the death of Joshua. It is the time of the entrance of Israel into the Land. Joshua begins where Exodus ends.
Joshua may be called the EPHESIANS of the Old Testament. The name of the Book comes from the man and leader named Joshua.
I. The Land Conquest (1 - 12)
A. Preparation for Entrance (1, 2)
1. The Divine Commission (1:1-9)
2. The Human Condition (1:10 - 2:24)
a. The Supplies (1:10, 11)
b. The Soldiers (1:12-18)
c. The Spies (2:1-24)
B. Passage of Jordan (3, 4)
1. Manner (3)
2. Memorials (4)
C. Purification of the People (5:1-12)
1. Circumcision (5:1-9)
2. Passover (5:10)
3. Ate of the Corn (5:11, 12)
D. Possession of the Land (5:13 - 12:24)
1. The Captain (5:13-15)
2. The Conflict (6 - 11)
a. The Central Campaign (6 - 8)
(1) The Capture of Jericho (6)
(2) The Defeat at Ai (7)
(3) The Conquest of Ai (8)
b. The Souther Campaign (9, 10)
(1) The League with the Gibeonites (9)
(2) The Confederacy of the Canaanites (10)
c. The Northern Campaign (11)
3. The Conquest (12)
II. The Land Bequest (13 - 24)
A. The Possession under Joshua (13)
B. The Partitioning by Joshua (14 - 22)
1. The Inheritance of Caleb (14)
2. The Inheritance of Judah (15)
3. The Inheritance of Ephraim (16)
4. The Inheritance of the Half-Tribe of Manasseh (17)
5. The Inheritance of Benjamin (18)
6. The Inheritance of Simeon (19:1-9)
7. The Inheritance of Zebulun (19:10-16)
8. The Inheritance of Issachar (19:17-23)
9. The Inheritance of Asher (19:24-31)
10. The Inheritance of Naphtali (19:32-39)
11. The Inheritance of Dan (19:40-48)
12. The Inheritance of Joshua (19:40-48)
13. The Inheritance of the Cities of Refuge (20)
14. Cities of the Levites (21)
15. Controversy (22)
C. The Passing of Joshua (23, 24)
1. His Counsel (23)
2. His Challenge (24:1-21)
3. His Covenant (24:22-28)
4. His Cessation (24:29-33)
Verses 1 - 10
Every civilization has its hero, and Israel is no exception. Her first hero and a hero of faith who founded the nation, was no one else but Abraham, around the year 2126 B.C.
Then in 1706 B.C., another hero was born which was Moses. He had been adopted by Pharaoh’s daughter, saving him from the deadly order of her father, Pharaoh.
He was hidden in a basket and placed on the Nile River after reaching the age of 3 months by his mother, who placed his sister nearby. And when Pharaoh’s daughter came to bathe in the waters, she spied the little basket, opened it, and saw a beautiful babe who began to cry just at the right time. “This is one of the Hebrew children,” said Pharaoh’s daughter. Miriam immediately appeared and asked her would she like for her to get a Hebrew mother to nurse the child. Of course she would, so Miriam got the child’s mother — isn’t this just like the Lord — to take her own child and was paid to nurse the babe in safety.
After the babe grew, his mother brought him to Pharaoh’s daughter, and he became her son, and the adopted mother named him Moses, Mosheh, meaning “to draw out”. Yes, her adopted son, Moses was drawn out of the place of death (Nile river and its waters and its crocodiles), and Moses became a type of the Lord Jesus Christ, for He was drawn out of death completing the gospel of Christ. 2 Timothy 2:8 — “Remember that Jesus the Messiah of the seed of David was raised again from the dead according to my Gospel.”
When Moses was grown, he went about his kinsmen and saw an Egyptian smiting a Hebrew, one of his brethren. He looked this way and that way (He didn’t look up), and he slew the Egyptian and hid his body in the sand.
“When he went about his brethren the second day, he saw two men of the Hebrews striving together and tried to separate them, saying to the man in the wrong, “Wherefore smitest your fellow kinsman?”
“And he said to Moses, `Who made thee a judge over us? Do you intend on killing me as you did the Egyptian?’ Moses knew the truth would be out.”
When Pharaoh heard about it, he sought to kill Moses who fled to the land of Midian. Moses was 40 years in learning the wisdom of Egypt, so the next 40 years, he was unlearning the wisdom of Egypt.
Think of it, 40 years wasted in doing nothing but shepherding his father-in-law’s sheep. Wasted? Nothing is ever wasted in preparing God’s servant for God’s will for his life.
At 80, think of it, he was ready, prepared in body, soul, and spirit for the great work of leading Israel out of Egypt. “Let My people go!”
Look at the adversary’s attack. Every Bible hero shall face untold attacks, but glory to God! His victory shall be ours. What a Saviour and what a God!
Moses had to face the king (Pharaoh) of Egypt and be rejected nine times before he let Israel go. Moses was a witness of God’s judgment against the enemies of Israel. And Egypt wasn’t’ the same after each plague was poured out. Some of the people told Pharaoh to “let the people go, for Egypt has been destroyed.”
Not yet, the tenth and worst plague of taking by death the first born of every man and beast, Pharaoh had to let them go! Amen.
Now, after nearly two years preparing the Tabernacle, the people were led to Kadesh-Barnea — the open gate to the Promised Land. But the people refused to go; suggesting that twelve men, one from each tribe, be chosen to spy out the land. All returned saying that the Land promised was indeed a land of milk and honey, but we won’t be able to overcome the giants in the land.
“Would to God we had died in the wilderness, and our children shall fall prey to the giants.”
The Lord said, “You shall die in the wilderness. All of you twenty years old and up shall die in this wilderness, and your children you said would fall as a prey, they will be the one to capture the land. For every day the spies took in spying out the land, you shall live in the wilderness. You will live to see that all who are twenty and above shall die in the wilderness.” Which they did.
So Israel had to be turned around and as a body at least 2,400,000 (of 600,000 fighting men) and marched, hobbled, limped, and walked into the desert. Some of us who have tasted of God’s grace know what it means to be put upon the shelf for awhile. Many of you are in the desert experience right now, and might have been caused by someone else. Moses didn’t have to live 40 years in the desert because of some sin he committed, but as the army, so are the generals.
Moses didn’t have to die, but he did. He was strong. His natural forces were not abated, but he had finished his testimony.
Now we have the next Hero of Israel — Joshua. Joshua comes from the Hebrew text as Yeshua, which has been translated as Hoseah, Oshea, Ossea, Osea, Joshua, and Jesus.
Joshua had no blemish upon him. He had been tried, and proof-read! He was with Moses and the children of Israel as their God Jehovah (the LORD) poured out His wrath upon Egypt and the Egyptians!
He saw the death of the first born of all Egyptian families. He had heard the cries and moans of Egypt’s people, for he with the faithful had slain his Passover Lamb and had anointed the doorpost with its blood.
He was with the camp of Israel as they marched out five abreast [five is the number of grace, of unmerited favor. Israel had no army, though she had 600,000 fighting men. Israel came out trusting only upon Jehovah’s grace].
He was with Moses as Israel came to the Sea, and together with all Israel they marched on dry land with walls of water congealed.
Joshua was there with Moses and saw their God withdrawing His hand upon the standing waters as the army, now occupying the chariots with Pharaoh leading, galloping down the trail Israel had followed to the other side, and while the Israelites were marching upon dry ground, the LORD was causing the wall of the Red Sea to crumble and come together as they were before their God had separated them.
He was there with Moses when the people fretted at Kadesh-Barnea, and heard God’s chastisement of death to everyone 20 and above. He was one of the two faithful spies which declared the power of God, but as Israel would not leave the desert at Kadesh-Barnea, God directed them to 40 more years in the sun-baked land.
He was there and saw Moses strike the rock, and water flowed out of the rock for 40 years. He ate of the manna bread God provided six days out of each week for 40 years. He ate of the quail that God had sent them for flesh to eat.
He was there at the erection of the Tabernacle. He was there when Moses took Aaron and Aaron’s son Eleazar (meaning: My God is help) up and there anointed Eleazar as High Priest and allowing Aaron to die in peace.
He was there when Moses went into the mount to die. He was there in another miracle when God let it be known that he, Joshua, was to take Moses’ place.
The world gets along even after the death of such a Hero as Moses.
As the LORD Jehovah spoke to Moses, so He will speak to Joshua:
“Moses, my servant is dead.” He had finished his testimony — the work God had chosen him to do — and did a great work, too. No use to mark time — now is the time to pray, to organize the next step to take while planning on the tracts Israel must follow. “Arise. Go over Jordan.”
Moses is a type of the Law (“When Moses is read”), and he can only lead Israel to the Promised Land; it is Joshua, our Jesus, which leads us into the Promise Land of salvation. Joshua = Jesus, which means “Jehovah is salvation.”
Moses (the Law) is dead as far as salvation is concerned. Moses = the Law which only convicts. But it is Joshua, our Jesus, which saves.
“Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that I have given unto you, as I said to Moses.”
“From the wilderness and Lebanon, even to the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and unto the great sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your coast.” It has been truthfully compared that Joshua is the book of Ephesians of the Old Testament. For what the Lord Jesus has promised us, and as we walk in His provisions, we can claim for ourselves.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3).
“Blessed be the God even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of Mercies, and the God of all comfort; who comforted us in all our tribulation that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble by the comfort wherewith ourselves are comforted of God” (2 Cor. 1:3)
“Blessed by the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a living hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Peter 1:3).
“There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses [his constant Companion], so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.
“Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shall thou divide for an inheritance the land which I promised unto their fathers to give them.”
[Right here we pause. Who owns all the Promise Land? Israel! Why isn’t it claimed to be Israel? Because of the constant committing of sin has kept Israel for nearly 2000 years to exist, mostly, out of the land, without a temple, without a High Priest, without a sacrifice, without an atonement.
But there is a movement of Israel today to populate the land, to build a new temple, to raise up Cohens (priests) to lead Israel back to the sacrifice, for we have heard their leaders say recently, “We will make a treaty with any man who promises us peace!”]
Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant, commanded thee, turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper withersoever thou goest.”
This book of the Law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shall have good success.
We pause again. “Would you help Israel to build a new Temple should they desire to build and allow the Gentiles to contribute?” I certainly will be, “yea, we establish the Law for by the Law sin abounds.” And where sin abounds, grace does much more abound. The law shall bring Israel to her senses, and Israel will recognize the New Covenant (Testament) and trust Messiah Jesus and establish with God in faith the New Covenant. There is a process that Jehovah (the LORD) will develop to bring Israel to Himself. We do believe we are living in the last days, and Israel’s redemption is drawing nigh.
“Have I not commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed; for the LORD thy God is with thee withersoever thou goest.”
Oh, what a commission! What promises the Word of God is pledged to Joshua.
Verses 10 - 15
In these next few sentences, the LORD directs Joshua to command the people to pass the Word along that the people are to prepare food for three days. For within these days, Israel shall pass over the Jordan, to possess the land their God had promised them.
Now his attention is personally directed to the armor of the Tribes of the Reubenites, and of the Gadites, and the half tribe of Manasseh. Remember your agreement with Moses that you would leave your wives and children in your possession on this (East) side of Jordan and lead the march on to fight against those who now live in the claims promised to the nine and one-half tribes of Israel.
Verses 16 - 18
Oh, what a response these armies of the 2 1/2 tribes on the East Bank declared:
“All thou commandest us we will do, and whithersoever thou sendest us we will go.
“Yes, what we promised to Moses, we shall carry them to you. Only the LORD thy God be with thee, as He was with Moses.
“He who rebels against thy commandment and will not hearken unto thy words in all that he shall be put to death: only be strong and of a good courage.”
In this second chapter, God’s hero, Joshua (Greek: Jesus), is very much prepared to begin the LORD’s conquest of the land. As God was with Moses, so He is with Joshua.
Our hero here is now only himself to do the asking and answering. He is alone. Moses cannot be counted on for advice, the cloud by day and the cloud by night has been removed. He is alone, but with God!
He can agree with Job when he said “This is the joy of His way!” (Job 8:19) “He has fenced up my way” (Job 19:8), “But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold” (Job 23:10).
Thus the testing of the Man of God for the work of the Lord He has prepared for him. There is for all Christian leaders the school of testing, of hunger, of pain, of life, and of death to face. To experience it seem the forsaking by God Himself — to make us to become lonely; and just alone. Yes, to be alone in the midst of many people, for Joshua to be alone yet with 70 elders of Israel to help him and the judges: one out each thousand, one out of each hundred, one out of each fifty, and one judge out of each ten, were combined to judge Israel in helping Joshua, yet he was still alone with God.
Joshua showed his wisdom at the first, sending out two spies to case the city of Jericho; not to harm a person nor to abuse even a dog, but to secure knowledge on the preparedness of the people.
They found housing for the night and its protection. What better place to choose than Rahab and her house? The Scriptures say she was a harlot. So, she was that, and thus came to the protection of the two spies and to be future relative to the King — King David! How well it is to leave the truth alone.
Someone had seen the two men and knew they were Israelite, and revealed these facts to the king of Jericho.
Verses 3 - 4
The king immediately sent for Rahab. The meaning of the name Rahab is (1) broad, and (2) violence. There could have been violence at that very hour. However, she hid the two spies, and told the king “There came two men unto me, but I did not know their identity.
“And about the time of shutting of the gate, when it was dark, that the men went out. I don’t know where they went.” Wasn’t this a lie? Yes, it was. Then the Bible has lies in it? No, the Bible never contradicts the truth, but we have here an inspired account of an uninspired account.
“Go after them right now, for I believe you will be able to catch them” although they were hidden on the roof with stalks of flax.
“Then the men of the king went outside the city to find them; then were the gates closed.
And before the two spies could relax, Rehab came up unto them up on the roof.
And she said to the two spies, “I know that the LORD has given you all this land, and that your terror is fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land faint because of Israel.
“For we have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red Sea for you when you came out of Egypt; and what you did unto the two kings of the Amorites that were on the other side of the Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom you utterly destroyed.”
Where did they get such things so truthfully and so quickly? They had no evening or morning papers, no radios, no television. Yet the rumor was the truth. Hearsay had turned into knowledge, and they believed what God would have them to believe: the destruction of Jericho!
“And as soon as we heard these things, our hearts did melt, neither did there remain any more courage in any man, because of Israel (you): for the LORD you God, He is God in heaven above, and in earth beneath.” She was a believer that god was Jehovah (His personal name).
Here is where faith leads the believer into the promise of deliverance, of salvation.
“Now therefore, I pray you, swear unto me by the LORD, since I have showed you kindness, that ye will also show kindness unto my father’s house, and give me a true sign.
“And that you will save alive my father, and my mother, and my brethren, and my sisters, and all that they have, and deliver our lives from death.”
And the men answered her, “Our life for yours, if ye utter not this our business. And it shall be, when the LORD Jehovah has given us the land, that we will deal kindly and truly with thee.”
Then she let them down by a cord through the window, for her house was upon the town wall, and she dwelt upon the wall.
“And she said unto them, Get you to the mountain, lest the pursuers meet you; and hide yourselves there three days, until the pursuers be returned: and afterwards you may go your way.”
“And the men said unto her, We will be blameless of this thine oath which thou hast made us swear.
“Behold, when we come into the land, thou shalt bind this line of scarlet cord in the window which thou didst let us down by, and thou shalt bring thy father, and thy mother, and thy brethren, and all thy father’s household home unto you.
And it shall be, that whosoever shall go out of the doors of thy house into the street, his blood shall be upon his head, and we will be guiltless: and whosoever shall be with you in the house, his blood shall be upon our head, if any hand be upon him.
“And if you utter this our business, then we will be quit of thine oath which thou hast made us to swear.”
“And she said according unto your words so be it.” And she sent them away, and they departed, and she bound the scarlet cord in her window.
“And the spies went and came unto the mountains and abode there three days, until the pursuers were returned; and the pursuers sought them, throughout all the way, but found them not.” Of course.
The Lord was certainly in the spies’ preservation. God began now to prepare the people for the battle.
Verses 23 - 24
“So the two men returned, and descended from the mountain, and passed over, and came to Joshua the son of Nun, and told him all things that befell them. And they said unto Joshua, Truly Jehovah hath delivered into our hands all the land (promised to Abraham); for even all the inhabitants of the country do faint because of us.”
Joshua honored the word of the spies with Rehab. He as the general of Israel’s army of 600,000 had respect unto his enlisted men, and proved it when Jericho was destroyed, except Rahab, and her father and mother, her brethren, and her sisters and all that they had, and delivered their lives from death.
More than that, Rahab and family were united into the family of Israel, for we find that Israel provided a husband for Rahab by the name of Salmon, and together they begat Boaz, and Boaz and Ruth begat Obed, and Obed begat Jesse, and Jesse begat David, of whose descendants about 1400 years later was born the Lord Jesus, the Messiah.
Israel was upon the end of her conquest. She saw a miracle when she had to be delivered from Egypt, so our Great God Jehovah delivered them by congealing the waters, and the Scriptures state they were “mighty water,” and deep waters, yet God caused a passage through these great waters of the Red Sea that became dry for the whole nation of Israel (about 2,400,00) to walk through. This miracle was perfected to get the children OUT of Egypt. Now the LORD is going to perform another miracle to cause the very deep and swift Jordan River (at this time, barley harvest, was at a time when great rain had caused Jordan to course down the mountains on both sides of the River, and as the banks couldn’t contain all the water, it burst forth and overflowed the banks. Usually, Jordan is a very meek, slow running river, but now she had become a raging river beyond control. Israel was to go through those waters, and it would take another miracle of God to perform to get Israel into the Promise Land. The water of the Red Sea had to be parted to get Israel out of Egypt; now, there was no other way for Israel to march through the waters, but here the waters of Jordan had to be halted, then stopped, with not a trickle leaking.).
Oh, yes, we have heard that it has happened before, for great mud slides have occurred in the past which stopped the flow of Jordan for a while.
I ask, “When did such a thing occur before?”
Let’s examine the proposition that such a mud slide occurred. I have been to Israel when Jordan was a quiet little river, and I’ve been there when the river flows over its banks. But trying to explain this great miracle of our Almighty God; it can’t be.
I’ve been there around Jordan, and the mountains on Israel’s side are about seven miles from the River Jordan, and there are about 15-20 miles from the mountains on Jordan’s (nation of) side. Take seven miles to one mountain, and fifteen miles to the other mountain would be twenty-two miles together, to make a mud slide. Now that’s some mud slide: 22 miles.
How did God, what miracle did he have to apply to do what the Scriptures say He did. That’s enough! God did what He said — He stopped the flow of Jordan’s waters. They banked high and wide, but all Israel, about 2,400,000 in number walked dryshod across the River Jordan just like God said He did.
Now the time is coming when He will have to do many miracles in the lives of His people to let us know that the God of Abraham, Moses, David, Paul, John, Spurgeon, Me, You, is alive and can perform great miracles than opening a way through the Red Sea, or stopping Jordan River’s flow completely. Let the miracles happen, Lord Jesus!
Joshua and Israel came to the banks of Jordan and lodged there three days.
Verses 2 - 3
After the three days, the officers went through Israel and said “When you see the Ark of the Covenant of Jehovah your God, and the priests and the Levites bearing it, then you shall arouse yourself from your place, and go after it.”
Let there be a space between you and the Ark of the Covenant about two thousand cubits (about 3000 ft.) by measure; come not near it, that you may know the way by which ye must go: for you have not passed this way heretofore.
Joshua then said to the people, Set yourselves apart: for tomorrow Jehovah will do wonders among you.
And Joshua spoke to the priests saying, Take up the Ark of the Covenant, and pass over before the people. They obeyed and took up the Ark of the Covenant, and went before the people.
And Jehovah said to Joshua (Jehovah is still in touch with Israel with giving them a new leader who knows God and one to whom God has spoken), “This day will I begin to magnify thee in the sight of all Israel, that they may know that as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee. Praise God, Hallelujah! Amen.
“Thou shalt command the priests that bear the Ark of the Covenant saying, When you come to the brink of the water of Jordan, you shall stand still in Jordan.”
We are not told how the LORD talked to Joshua, but He knew He did, and the people knew He did, and we believe without a doubt that He did, also. Joshua then spoke to the people saying, Come hither and hear the words of Jehovah your God.
And Joshua reinsured the people by saying, Hereby ye shall know that the living God is among you and that He will without fail drive out from before you the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Hivites, and the Perizzites, and the Girgashitres, and the Amorites, and the Jebusites.
Behold, the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord (Adonai) of all the earth passeth over before you into Jordan.
Now therefore take you twelve men out of the tribes of Israel out of every tribe a man.
And it shall come to pass, as soon as the soles of the feet of the priests that bear the ark of Jehovah the Lord of all the earth shall rest in the waters of Jordan, that the waters of Jordan shall be cut off (no mud slide please) from the waters that come down from above; and they shall stand upon an heap.
Verses 14 - 15
And it came to pass, when the people removed from their tents to pass over Jordan, and the priests bearing the Ark of the Covenant before the people, that as they that bare the ark were come unto Jordan, and the feet of the priests that bare the ark were dipped in the brim of the water (for Jordan overfloweth all its banks all the time of harvest)
That the waters which come down from above stood still, and rose up upon an heap very far from the city of Adam, that is beside Zaretan, and those that came down toward the sea of the plain, even the salt (Dead) sea, failed, and were cut off; and the people passed over right against Jericho.
And the priests that bare the Ark of the Covenant of Jehovah stood firm on dry ground in the midst of Jordan, and all the Israelites passed over on dry ground, until all the people were passed clean over Jordan (all 2,400,000 of them).
Moses and Joshua had two similar experiences, yet profound. Moses, after killing the Egyptian being at the age of 40, fled to the land of Midian for 40 years, and then spent the next 40 years leading Israel 40 years in the wilderness.
Joshua experienced that same 40 years in the wilderness. He was provided with the same water and the same flesh to eat, yet had not committed any sin which kept him out of the promise land. Much younger than Moses, he was prepared to be the chief of his people, and led them to victory! (Our Joshua (Jesus) spent 40 days in the wilderness to be tested).
As the priests that carried the Ark of the Covenant stood firm on dry ground in the midst of Jordan “That it came to pass when all the people were clean passed over Jordan, that the LORD spake unto Joshua.” The LORD was now speaking to the new hero of Israel, Joshua, and he was listening to be obeying soon.
Joshua was to choose twelve men whom God had appointed, one from each tribe.
Go, take twelve stones out of the place where the priests were standing firm and carry them over with you, and leave them in the lodging place, where ye shall lodge this night.
Verses 4 - 5
Then Joshua ordered the twelve men, “Pass over before the Ark of the LORD your God into the midst of Jordan and take you each man a stone upon his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of Israel.
“This shall be a sign that when your children shall ask their fathers what is the meaning of the pile of stones?
“Then you can testify to the truth that Jordan’s waters were cut off, and this pile of stones shall be a memorial unto the children of Israel forever.”
These twelve men did so as Joshua commanded them, and took twelve stones out of the middle of the river Jordan and before God cut off the flow of its waters the floods covered the whole place, and now the miracle was about to be completed. The twelve stones were taken up and were borne upon the shoulders of the twelve men. When they reached the banks of Jordan, they took the stones to Gilgal and laid them down there.
And another memorial was raised that day, for Joshua’s men set twelve stones in the middle of Jordan where the foot of the priest which bare the Ark of the Covenant stood, and they remained there unto the day of this writing.
The priests, now, who bare the ark stood in the midst of Jordan until everything was finished that the LORD commanded Joshua to speak unto the people, according to all that Moses commanded Joshua, and the people hasten and passed over (I would have, too).
When all the people of Israel were clean passed over, that Ark of the LORD passed over, and the priests crossed and walked before the people.
As Moses agreed with the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and half-tribe of Manasseh to let them take ownership of the land of the West bank of Jordan as their inheritance, if their fighting men would leave their wives and children on the West Bank of Jordan and fight with the 9˝ tribes of Israel until their inheritance would be captured.
So about 40,000 fighting men passed from the 3 ˝ tribes passed before the LORD armed, unto battle, to the plains of Jericho. [As the women and children of the 3 ˝ tribes were left on the east bank of Jordan they did not witness the crossing of Jordan nor the fall of Jericho. Sometimes it’s best to be fully used of the LORD than to rest while the rest are engaged in battle.]
Joshua became a true hero in the hearts of Israel’s 9 ˝ tribes. Yes, Jehovah magnified Joshua in the sights of all Israel (the 3 ˝ tribes were well represented by their fighting men). They fear Joshua as they did Moses, all the days of his life.
Now, we can’t leave the priests standing in the water, so Jehovah commanded Joshua, saying
“Command the priests that bear the Ark of the Covenant to come out of Jordan.
Joshua, did so, “Come out of Jordan!”
And it came to pass that as soon as their feet touched dry ground that the waters of Jordan returned to their place, and flowed over all its banks as they were before.
The people of Israel came up out of Jordan on the tenth day of the first month (April), and encamped at Gilgal, in the east border of Jericho.
The twelve stones the men had taken out of Jordan did Joshua pitch (set up) in Gilgal.
And he repeated the purpose of the twelve stones “when your children shall ask the meaning of the stone,
“Then you shall answer and let them know, Israel came over this Jordan on dry land.”
“For Jehovah your God, dried up the waters of Jordan from before you until you passed over, as Jehovah did to the Red Sea, which He dried up before us, until we were gone over.”
“That all people of the earth might know the hand of the LORD that is mighty: that ye might fear Jehovah your God forever.”
All the people of Canaan, such as the Amorites, lived on the West bank of Jordan, and all the rest of the kings of the Canaanites that were by the Sea had heard of Jehovah’s drying up of the waters of Jordan from before the children of Israel, until they were passed over, that their hearts melted, neither was there spirit in them anymore because of the children of Israel.
At that time, Jehovah commanded Joshua to make sharp knives to circumcise again the children of Israel the second time. The first time was when the men came out of Egypt all of them were circumcised. But during the 40 year stay in the wilderness, no babies (none) were circumcised. Now to follow the LORD’s covenant made with Abraham, God demanded all boys at eight days old to be circumcised as the “sign” of the Abrahamic Covenant. The boys at eight days bore in their bodies the sign of God’s great covenant with such a man as Abraham and his descendants.
But no males were circumcised during the 40 years in the wilderness. The wilderness was now over, and all men: some 40 years old, and down to the youngest male had to be circumcised.
This is the cause why Joshua circumcised all the men, youths, and babes; all the people, males, even all the men of war died in the wilderness by the way, after leaving Egypt.
Now all the people who came out of Egypt were already circumcised; but all the people who had been born in the wilderness had not been circumcised.
For the children of Egypt walked 40 years in the wilderness until all the men of war which came out of Egypt died because they obeyed not the voice of Jehovah: unto whom Jehovah sware that He would not show them the land, which the LORD, sware unto their fathers, that He would give us (showing Joshua wrote this book) a land flowing with milk and honey.
And their children, whom He raised up in their stead, them Joshua circumcised: for they were uncircumcised, because they had not circumcised them by the way.
When the circumcision of Israel was over and the men made whole. [Some have ventured the thought that Joshua was taking a chance with most of his fighting men were at ease in the camp, and of course, could not fight. So the danger was that they could have overtaken Israel while this condition existed. Not at all, for when God commanded these men to be circumcised, their defense would be the LORD’s and He would not allow the enemy to strike. God never places His people in a compromising position. We are to follow Him whatever the command of God is!]
Jehovah said to Joshua, “today I have rolled away the reproach of Egypt from off you.” The place is called Gilgal unto this day. The word Gilgal means “a rolling.”
All the Israelites (except those now living on the East Bank of Jordan) encamped in Gilgal and kept the Passover on the 14th day of the month at even in the plains of Jericho. For 40 years in the wilderness God didn’t expect them to celebrate the Passover.
For the first time many Israelites ate some food they had never tasted before. They ate of the old corn of the land (they had only manna) after Passover, unleavened cakes and parched corn in the same day.
Now, the manna ceased on the morrow after they had eaten of the old corn of the land; neither had the children of Israel manna anymore. They also ate of the fruit of the land of Canaan that year.
[Manna is truly a type of the Lord Jesus. The manna came during the night. The Lord Jesus came during the blackest time of the world’s history.
Manna was taken and beaten then rolled to be cooked. Christ, the bread from heaven was taken, beaten, and crucified, that all could eat of Him by faith.
Manna came in a miraculous way. Jesus came in a miraculous way: born of a virgin.
The word manna means “what is it?” When Christ came they asked, “Who is it?”
Manna could not be bought. It was God’s gift. This is true of Jesus. Salvation cannot be bought—it is Christ’s gift.
And it came to pass when Joshua was by Jericho that he saw “a man over against him with his sword drawn in his hand; and Joshua drew close to him and said, Art thou for us, or for our adversaries?
And he replied, No, but as captain of the host of the LORD, am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him “What sayeth my lord (Adonai=master, owner) unto his servant.
And the captain of the LORD’s host said unto Joshua, “Loose thy shoes from off thy foot: for the place whereon thou standest is holy.” And Joshua did so.
These are the same words that Jehovah spoke to Moses “take off your shoes — you are on holy ground. Moses worshipped the LORD (Jehovah who was in the firs. Joshua worshipped the LORD Jehovah.)
[It was the LORD whom Moses worshipped, and it was the LORD whom Joshua worshipped. Thus we know that the angel (spokesman, messenger) is no one else but the Lord Jesus before His theophany.]
The taking, destroying, and sacking of Jericho was by the power of the LORD.
Here is Israel, the people of God, about to begin taking the Land which the LORD had promised Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
The LORD had rolled away the reproach of Egypt from off Israel, The land is theirs. All they had to do was to take it.
Verses 1 - 2
The city of Jericho was straightly shut up. All were in the only place of safety for them, but now it was cursed by God; their doom was settled; and God then gave instructions in how to carry out Jericho’s defeat. The King and mighty men are yours.
The first thing you must do is that the men of war of Israel, numbering around 600,000 fighting men, must march around the city once. This you shall do for six days.
Seven priests shall bear before the Ark seven trumpets of ram’s horns: and the seventh day you shall compass they city seven times, and the priests shall blow with the trumpets.
When the priests shall make a long blast with the ram’s horn, and when you hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout; and the walls of the city shall fall down flat, and the people shall ascend up every man straight before him.
Verses 6 - 7
Joshua called up the priests saying, “Take up the Ark of the Covenant, and let seven priests bear seven trumpets of ram’s horns before (ahead of) the Ark of the LORD.” And he said to the people, “Pass on and march around the city. And let the army pass on ahead of the Ark of the LORD.”
And it came to pass when Joshua had spoken to the people, that the seven priests bearing the seven trumpets of ram’s horns passed before the LORD and blew with the trumpets and the Ark of the Covenant of the LORD followed them.
And the armed men (the army 600,000 strong) went before the priests (that blew with the trumpets) and rereward (those of all the twelve tribes of Israel followed in the rear) came after the ark, the priests going on and blowing the trumpets.
Joshua had commanded Israel to be silent, “You shall not shout, nor make any word proceed out of your mouth, until the day I bid you shout: then you shall shout!
So the ark of the LORD compassed the city, going about it once, and they came into the camp and lodged there.
Joshua rose up early in the morning, and the priests took up the ark of the LORD.
And the seven priest bearing the seven trumpets of ram’s horns before the Ark of the LORD went on continually, and blew with the trumpets. The armed men went ahead of them; but the rest of Israel’s people came after the ark of the LORD. The priests going on ahead; blowing the trumpets.
And the second day they marched around the city once, and returned into camp: this was repeated for six days.
Now on the seventh day that they rose early about the dawning of the day and walked around the city after the same manner for seven times, only on that seventh day they marched around the city seven times.
And oh, that seventh time, yes, at the seventh time around the city of Jericho they marched. When the priest blew the trumpets, then Joshua said to the people, “Shout! for the LORD hath given you the city!”
“And the city shall be accursed, even it, and all that are therein, to the LORD. Only Rahab the harlot shall live, she and her whole family, because she hid the messengers that we sent.”
“All of you be careful and keep yourselves from the cursed thing, lest you take of the accursed thing and make the camp a curse, and trouble it.
But all of the silver, and gold, and vessels of brass (or bronze), and of iron are consecrated unto the LORD; they shall come into the treasury of the LORD.
So the people shouted when the priest blew their trumpets; and when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouting with a great shout, that the wall fell down — flat! So that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city!
And Israel utterly destroyed all that was in they city, both man, and woman, young and old, and ox, and sheep, and donkey, with the edge of the sword.
But Joshua had said to the two men that had spied out the country “Go into the harlot’s house, and bring out thence the woman and that she hath, as ye aware unto her.
And the young men which were spies went in and brought out Rahab and all she had; and they brought out all her kindred, and left them outside the camp.
Then Israel burnt the city with fire, and all that was therein; only the silver, and the gold, and the vessels of brass (or bronze), and of iron, they put into the treasury of the Tabernacle of the LORD.
And Joshua saved Rahab, the harlot, alive, and her father’s household, and all that she had: and she dwelt in Israel even as unto this day (of writing), because she hid the spies (messengers) which Joshua sent to spy out Jericho.
The curse pronounced: said Joshua, “Cursed be the man before the LORD that riseth up and buildeth this city Jericho; he shall lay the foundation, thereof in his firstborn, and in his youngest son shall he set up the gates of it.
And oh, how the LORD was with Joshua; and his fame was spread about all the country.
[Five hundred years later, Hiel the Bethelite attempted to rebuild Jericho’s walls, but it cost him the lives of his two sons Abiram and Segub (I Kings 16:34).]
A glorious victory at Jericho, “But,” oh, oh, “the sons of Israel acted unfaithfully.” They had sinned. While reading the story over and over again, we could not help but notice that when Israel met defeat at Ai, Joshua and the elders tore their clothes, and put dust upon their heads and seemed to blame the LORD their God for the defeat. Joshua said, “Alas O Adonai (owner) Lord God why didst Thou ever bring this people over the Jordan only to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us? If only we had been willing to dwell beyond Jordan!” (Verse 7).
Oh, dear one in Christ, whenever there is defeat in your life; it is never God’s fault. He is incapable of sin, or to meet defeat! It was caused not by all the Israelites, nor by a whole tribe, but one little man who upon his own, desired a Babylonian garment and a few dollars in silver and gold.
Before the battle with Ai, Joshua as before sent out spies to “case the joint” to value the strength of the enemy. He might have sent out the same two spies that spied at Jericho. They could evaluate the two cities.
They came back still thrilled at the victory over Jericho, and after comparing Ai with Jericho, they said, “Don’t let all the people go, but send only two or three thousand. Ai has only a few. We notice that the LORD wasn’t inquired of. This was their own (man’s) thinking! They didn’t even ask Him what they should do about it.
In life, as I have found, and many others, also, that defeat comes many times after a great victory.
Joshua acted upon their advice and sent 3000 men up there. He didn’t ask for advice from Jehovah either.
The battle was very short, for Israel’s army fled from the men of Ai.
Of the 3000 Israelite soldiers, about 36 were killed. The hearts of Israel melted and became as water.
Then Joshua tore his clothes and fell to the earth on his face unto evening, both he and the elders of Israel.
Why, O God did you allow such a defeat.
What can I say to you and to Israel seeing Israel has turned their backs before their enemies.
All the Canaanites shall hear of this defeat and believe Israel to be very weak, and they surrounded us and cut off our name from the earth.
Moreover, Joshua had marched through the Red Sea as well as through the Jordan River. What caused him to have such a defeated complex? (But defeat can come to us all, and how shall we stand?) What are you going to do, LORD for Thy great name?
So the LORD said to Joshua, “Rise up! Why should you fall upon your face?”
Here’s the trouble, Joshua. Israel hath sinned and they have transgressed My Covenant (the LAW) which I commanded them. Did I not say “Thou shalt not steal?” They have done that. They have stolen from Me. They have stolen the things which I said were Mine — the spoils of war.
[Right here we might ask ourselves, “Why did God want the things taken in victory from Jericho?” Well, just the first things. For the rest of the spoils to be taken in the years to come would be theirs. God just wants the first! The first male child, the first of the lambs, and the first of the bullocks. In everything, God wants the first!
Therefore, the sons of Israel cannot stand before their enemies. They are thieves.
They have turned backs to their enemies because they are accused; all two million, four hundred thousand of them.
I shall leave you, unless you destroy those things that were mine.
Rise up consecrate yourselves in pray and confession. All Israel was cursed because of one man. It just takes one to bring about the wrath of God! You shall not have victory anymore until the accursed thing is confessed and destroyed.
We shall find out who the culprit is in the morning.
The guiltless, all night, accused those that were guilty in their hearts. This is what the guiltless always do. But, oh, for the surprise of their lives when the guilty party was found out.
You shall be taken tribe by tribe, family by family, and Jehovah will point him out.
The guilty one shall be burned with fire, he and all that belongs to him. Because he has broken the covenant of the LORD, and because he has committed a disgraceful thing in Israel.
So Joshua rose up early in the morning and brought the tribes of Israel near. The tribe of Judah was taken.
And by lot, the family of the Zarhites were taken, man by man, and Zabdi was taken.
And he brought his household near man by man; and Achan, son of Carmi, son of Zabdi, son of Zerah, from the tribe of Judah was taken.
Then Joshua knew he had the guilty party and asked Achan, “My son, I implore you, give glory to Jehovah the God of Israel, and give praise to Him, and tell me now what have you done? Do not hide a thing from me.
So Achan answered Joshua and said, “Truly, I have sinned against Jehovah, the God of Israel, and this is what I did:
“When I saw among the spoil a beautiful Babylonian garment (beautiful mantle from Shinar) and 200 shekels of silver, and a bar of gold (together worth about $700.00!), I coveted them and took them, and I hid all of it in a hole inside my tent.”
So Joshua sent messengers (Malachis), and they ran to the tent, and behold, it was concealed in his tent with the silver underneath.
And they took these spoils from their hiding place and brought them to Joshua and to all the sons of Israel, and they poured them out before Jehovah, the LORD.
Then Joshua and all Israel with him, took Achan the son of Zerah, the silver, the mantle (the imported garment), the bar of gold, his sons, his daughters, his oxen, his donkeys, his sheep, his tents, and all that belonged to him; and they brought them up to the valley of Achor (trouble).
Joshua then asked, “Why have you trouble us? Jehovah will trouble you this day.” And all Israel stoned them with stones, and they burned them with fire after they had stoned them with rocks.
And they raised over him a great heap of stones that stands this day, and Jehovah turned the fierceness of His anger. Therefore, the mane of that place has been called the valley of Achor to this day.
Verses 1 - 2
Israel lost its first battle of Ai. The trouble that caused its loss was found. Sin, of course. The sinner was found who had stolen silver and gold, and a Babylonian coat and hid the spoil in the earth of his tent. The next day, the sinner, a man by the name of Achan of the tribe of Judah was taken and all that was his, his sons, his daughter, his cattle, his donkeys, his sheep, his tent, and all that belonged to him were taken to the Valley of Achor and there Israel stoned them with stones, and there they burnt everything that was stoned. The spoils are going to be theirs. God got the first battle’s spoils.
They raise a heap of stones over him. So it stands to this day.
Sin found, sinner attacked, now it’s time to correct that failure of destroying Ai. Ai was to be faced again and destroyed.
Joshua now took all the men of war (600,000), and Joshua chose 30,000 valiant warriors and sent them out at night as an ambush. They talked to the Lord about the battle this time.
As they were going to ambush from behind, they were not to go too far from the city.
Verses 5 - 8
We shall approach the city and when their army comes out we shall flee as we did yesterday. Then you shall come and take the city and set it on fire.
Verses 9 - 17
Joshua sent them away, and they went to the place of ambush. Joshua then rose early in the morning, and he and the people including elders of Israel went before the people to Ai. Then all the people of war who were with him arose and arrived near and camped on the north side of Ai.
There was a valley between him and Ai. Thus he took 5,000 men and set them in ambush between Bethel and Ai on the west side of the city.
So that all the army that was on the north side of the city and its rear guard on the west side of the city. Joshua spent that night in the midst of the Valley.
Now the king of Ai and the men of the city hurried and rose up early and went out to meet Israel in battle, he and all his people at the appointed place before the desert plain. But he did not know that there was an ambush against him behind the city.
Joshua and the people of Israel pretended to be beaten, and fled by the way of the wilderness. So, all the people who were in the city were called together to pursue them, and they ran after Joshua and were drawn away from the city.
So not a man was left in Ai or Bethel who had not gone after Israel, and they left the city unguarded and took after Israel.
Verses 18 - 29
Then the LORD said to Joshua, “Stretch out the javelin that is in your hand toward Ai, for I will give it unto your hand.” So Joshua pointed the javelin (spear) toward the city.
The soldiers of Israel in ambush rose quickly from their place, and when he had stretched out his hand, they ran into the city and captured it; and they quickly set it afire.
The men of Ai turned back and saw the smoke of the city rising. They had no place to flee, for the soldiers of Israel which had fled to the wilderness turned against the pursuers.
When Joshua and all Israel saw that the men in ambush had captured the city, they turned back and slew the men of Ai. Others came out from the city to encounter them so they were entrapped in the midst of Israel, some on this side, and some on that side; and they slew them until no one was left of those who survived or escaped.
But they took alive the king of Ai and brought him to Joshua.
Now when it came to pass when Israel had finished killing all the inhabitants of Ai in the fields, and in the wilderness where they pursued them, all of them were fallen by the edge of the sword until they were destroyed, then all Israel returned to Ai and struck it with the edge of the sword.
The total killed of both men and women were 12,000 — all the people of Ai.
For Joshua did not withdraw his hand with which he stretched out the (spear) javelin until he had utterly destroyed all the inhabitants of Ai.
Israel took the cattle and spoils for themselves according to the command of the LORD to Joshua.
So Joshua burned Ai and made it a heap forever; a desolation until this writing. And he hanged the king on a tree until evening, and at sunset Joshua gave command, and they took his body down from the tree, and threw it at the entrance of the city gate, and raised over it a great heap of stones that stand to this day.
Note. Why did Joshua cut the body of the king of Ai down from the tree? Because God in His Word commanded in Deuteronomy 21:22-23 that the body be taken down before sunset.
“And it a man have committed a sin worthy of death, and he be to be put to death, and thou hang him on a tree: His body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but thou shalt in any wise bury him that day; (for he that is hanged is accursed of God;) that thy land be not defiled, which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance.” (Deuteronomy 21:22-23)
And the word says that whosoever hangs on a tree shall be accursed. Therefore, Christ has delivered us from the curse of the Law being made accursed for us for it is written curseth is anyone who hangs on a tree. And before night fall, they took Jesus down from the cross, and placed Him in a tomb. He stayed there three days, and rose from the dead. He’s not dead anymore, you know.
Verses 30 - 35
Then Joshua built an alter to the LORD, the God of Israel in Mt. Ebal as commanded by Moses (Exodus 20:25). It was not to be a cut stone, but odd stones gathered here and there.
There they offered burnt offerings (a dedication offering) and peace offering for God and the offerer to eat together; God in the person of a priest.
There on the stones as it was covered with plaster, he wrote a copy of the Law.
And all Israel stood with their elders were standing on both sides of the Ark before the Levitical priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the LORD; the strangers were there too, as well as the natives. Half of Israel stood in front of Mount Gerizim (the mount of Blessing) and half of them stood in front of Mount Ebal (the mount of Cursing) as Moses the servant of the LORD had given command at first to bless the people of Israel.
Then afterwards he read all the words of the Law, the blessing and the curse, according to all that is written in the book (scroll) of the Law.
There was not a word left out that Joshua read that Moses had commanded.
All Israel heard the word of the Law with the women and the little ones, and the strangers (Gentiles) who were living among them.
Jericho has fallen, also Ai has been put to the torch. Both times the LORD was exalted. Now Joshua, be careful; remember defeat can come on the heels of victory.
And in this instance, someone forgot to pray, asking God’s will upon the subjects.
Remember an enemy is an enemy always, unless the lord gets hold of him and changes his heart. But an active enemy is never sleepy, neither is anything too hard to do against the ones they hate.
So it was with the natives of the Holy Land, including the Hittites and the Amorites, the Canaananites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites.
They had heard of Israel’s powerful army, thus they gathered themselves together, to fight with Joshua and with Israel, with one accord.
Verses 3 - 5
And when the Gibeonites heard that, they acted craftily and set out as envoys and took worn out sacks on their donkeys, and wineskins, worn out and torn and mended, and worn out and patched sandals on their feet, and worn out clothes on themselves, and all the bread was dry and had become crumbled.
They then went to Joshua to the camp at Gilgal, and said that they had come from a far country, now make a covenant with us.
The men of Israel saw that this could be a trick and asked “perhaps you are living within our land” which Jehovah had given to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. How then could it be possible to make a covenant with you?
But they then went to “head man” Joshua and said, “We are your servants.” Then Joshua inquired, “Who are you, and where did you come from?”
Verses 9- 10
Then these men declared “We, your servants have come from a very far country because of the name of Jehvoah your God; for we have heard the report of Him and what He did in Egypt, and all he did to the two kings of the Amorites, who were beyond the Jordan, to Sihon king of Heshbon and to Og, king of Bashan who was Ashtaroth.
“So our elders and all the inhabitants of our country spoke to us, saying, `Take provisions in your hands for the journey, and go and make a covenant with them.’”
“Look here and notice, our bread was fresh, warm, when we left. Look at it now, it crumbles.
“And these wine skins which we filled were new, but look they are torn, and our clothes and sandals are worn out because of this very long journey.”
Some of the men took some of the provisions, but did not call upon the LORD for His counsel.
Oh, no! Watch out, Joshua. But Joshua made peace with them, and made a covenant with them to let them live. And the leaders of the congregation of Israel swore an oath to them.
And it came about after three days after the covenant was made that Israel heard that they were neighbors, and living within their land that the LORD had covenanted with them.
So several sons of Israel set out to see their cites on the third day. Now, their cities were Gibeon and Chephirah and Beroth and Kiriath-jearim.
The sons of Israel did not strike them for the leaders of Israel had sworn to them by the LORD the God of Israel. The whole congregation grumbled against the leaders.
But the leaders of the whole congregation declared how serious it is to promise one by the name of the LORD. For that kind of promise stands. We cannot touch them.
We have some recourse, however, and that they shall be our servants, lest wrath be upon us for the oath which we swore.
And the leaders said, “Let them live.” So the Gibeonites became hewers of wood and drawers of water for the whole congregation and especially for the Tabernacle of God.
Joshua then made it very clear that they were not loosed to do anything that they chose to do. “You have deceived us; now walk in your chastisement.”
“Therefore, now, you are cursed, and you shall never cease to be slaves, both hewers of wood and drawers of water for the house of my God.”
They humbly bowed to the sentence, for they said, “It was told your slaves in the past that the LORD your God had commanded His servant Moses to give you all the land, and to destroy all the inhabitants of the land before you; so we feared greatly for our lives because of you, and have done this thing.
“Behold we are in your hands; do as it seems good and right in your sight to do to us.”
Thus he did to them, and delivered them from the hands of the sons of Israel, and they did not kill them. But Joshua made them that day hewers of wood and drawers of water for the congregation and for the altar of the LORD to this day, in the place which he would choose.
Verses 1 - 2
The fear of God had come upon the inhabitants of Canaan and their kings when they had heard that Jehovah divided the Red Sea thus enabling Israel to escape Pharaoh and his army, and recently that Jehovah had dried up Jordan and at the flood stage, allowing Israel to go into the Promise Land.
But now word had come revealing that Jericho, and Ai were slaughtered. How could such a people be instructed into such military tactics in such a short time?
Verses 3 - 4
There were several kings who bound themselves with Adonizedec, king of Jerusalem such as Hoham king of Hebron, Piram king of Jarmuth, and unto Japhia king of Lachish, and Debir king of Eglon, and at Adonizedec’s suggestion they planned to smite Gibeon, for making peace with Israel.
Therefore, these kings gathered themselves together and encamped before Gibeon, and declared war against it.
And did they fur fly! Immediately Gibeon sent unto Joshua whom they had made a treaty, “Come quickly and save us. We need all the help we can get.
So Joshua, the hero of Israel did as He promised to do — to give Gibeon protection should she be invaded. Invasion was here! The whole army came to Gibeon’s help.
“Be not afraid, for I have delivered them into your hands. Not a man can stand up to you.” What a general the LORD is!
It was a surprise attack, although these kings prepared for it. Israel marched all night for the conflict.
God caused a great slaughter to Israel’s enemies.
And it came to pass as they fled, the LORD cast down hailstones upon them, and they died. And more of the enemy died of the hailstones than Israel slew with the sword.
The question is not could stones that heavy come down from heaven, for the answer is, of course they did. In Revelation 16:21, we find that hailstones the weight of one talent shall fall upon the earth. Just think, a talent was around 93 pounds and 12 ounces. That’s a big piece of ice to fall with God doing it. When Americans after World War II began to explode some of her warheads, chunks of ice fell upon the waters weighing over 3 tons each! If man can do it, what about God? We don’t know the weight of these during Joshua’s battle, but they were heavy enough to eradicate the enemy’s army.
Things were now turned around in the forthcoming battles. Instead of God speaking to Joshua, Joshua spoke to God, for he said, “Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon; and thou, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon.”
And to everyone’s surprise, the “Sun stood still, and the moon didn’t move, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies.”
This great miraculous event is also recorded in the book of Josher, a collection of Israel’s song of the mighty deliverance of God for Israel.
“No day, ever, like it.” That God would listen unto the voice of a man — for the LORD fought for Israel.
So Joshua and all Israel returned to the home base at Gilgal.
Verses 16 - 19
Theses five kings had hidden themselves in a cave at Makkedah, which was told to Joshua. To which Joshua commanded that great stones be rolled upon the mouth of the cave, and set men outside to be the guards, to them (for their death). And leave immediately to pursue after your enemies, and smite the hindmost of them, letting none be free to flee to their cities, for “Jehovah you God hath delivered them into your hands.”
When Joshua and the army of Israel had put an end of slaying them with a great slaughter until they were consumed, and those left of the very old, some women and children entered into the fenced cities.
And all the people returned to camp to Joshua at Makkedah in peace. None moved his tongue against any of the children of Israel.
Then it was that Joshua commanded that the cave be opened, and the five fleeing kings be brought out of the cave.
They did so and brought forth these five kings who had planned to annihilate the Gibeonites: the king of Jerusalem, the king of Hebron, the king of Jarmuth, the king of Lachish, and the king of Eglon.
And when they brought forth these five kings that Joshua called and commanded his captains, and said, “Come near, put your feet upon the necks of these kings.”
They came near and put their feet upon the necks of these kings, and Joshua said, “Fear not, nor be dismayed, be strong and of good courage: for thus shall Jehovah do all to your enemies against whom ye fight.”
Verses 26 - 27
Afterwards Joshua killed these five kings, and hanged each one on a tree. They thus hanged on the five trees unto the evening (for God has said whosoever hangeth on a tree is cursed).
[And to think our blessed Lord Jesus the true Messiah was hanged on a tree, the wooden cross of Calvary. Thus becoming cursed for us; therefore, delivering us from the curse of the Law. Yes, the “Just for the unjust.” Messiah Jesus died in our place — died for our sins. Then God had said (Deuteronomy 21:22, 23) that the one who was hanged on a tree in death was not allowed to remain over night, but buried that very day. So was Jesus buried the very day He was crucified, and died.]
So Joshua and Israel took that same day Makkedah, destroying every soul there, and he did to the king of Makkedah as he did to the king of Jericho.
Then Joshua passed from Makkedah, and all Israel with him, unto Libnah, and fought against Libnah.
And true to His word, the LORD delivered it also, and the king thereof into the hand of Israel. And he smote it with the edge of the sword, and all the souls that were therein, he left none remaining in it, but did unto the king thereof as he did unto the king of Jericho.
Verses 31 - 32
Joshua with all Israel’s army passed from Libnah unto Lachish, and encamped against it, and fought against it; and the LORD delivered Lachish into the hand of Israel, which took it on the second day, and smote it with the edge of the sword, and all the souls that were therein according to all that he had done to Libnah.
Who should come to the aid of Lachish but Horam king of Gezer, and Joshua smote him and his people until he had left him none remaining.
Verses 34 - 35
And from Lachish Joshua passed unto Eglon, and all Israel with him. There they camped against it, and fought furiously against it, and they took it on that day and destroyed it with the edge of the sword, and all the souls that were therein. He accomplished the same results to all that he had done to Lachish.
Verses 36 - 37
Then Joshua went up form Eglon, and all Israel with him, unto Hebron, and they fought against it, taking it, smiting it, along with its king thereof, and all the cities thereof, and all the souls that were therein. He left none remaining, according to all that he had done to Eglon, but destroyed it utterly, and all the souls that were therein, as Jehovah commanded.
Verses 38 - 39
And Joshua returned and all Israel with him, to Debir, fighting against it. And he took it, and the king, including the cities thereof by the edge of the sword, and utterly destroyed all the souls that were therein. He left nothing remaining: as he had done to Hebron [later became Caleb’s as a reward to his faithfulness when Israel rebelled to enter the land at Kadesh-Barnea]. So he did to Debir, and the king thereof, as he had done also to Libnah, and to her king.
So Joshua became victor over all the country of the hills, and of the south, and of the vale, and of the springs, and all their kings. He left none remaining, but completely destroyed all that breathed, as Jehovah God of Israel commanded.
Verses 41 - 43
What a campaign Joshua fought in! Joshua smote them from Kadesh-Barnea, even unto Gaza, and all the country of Goshen, even unto Gibeon.
Joshua took all the kings and their land; one group of kings after another until all were destroyed. It was Jehovah who did the fighting through Joshua and Israel. When the victory was complete, Joshua with all Israel with him returned to the camp at Gilgal.
We continue to be amazed at the swiftness of Israel’s swiftness in conquering the promised land for Israel. We are still reminded that the tribes of Gad, Reuben, and half-tribe of Manasseh were true to their promise. Should Moses give them their inheritance, they would not go home, leaving their wives and children as they remained on call to fight for the 9 1/2 tribes’ inheritance until it was won.
Think of it! Not to be with their wives and children, but to be away as long as it took to defeat the enemy — and remember too, when the time came for the crossing of Jordan, these 2 1/2 tribes first before Israel (Joshua 4:12-14), and their number was about 40,000 prepared for war passed.
Verses 2 - 3
Few of the kings of Canaan remained, and these were given the pep talk by Jabin, king of Hazor, who sent to Jobab, king of Madon, and to the king of Shimron, and king of Achshaph, and to the kings that were on the north of the mountains, and of the plains south of Chinneroth, and in the valley, and in the borders of Dor on to the west, and to the Canaanites on the east, and on the west, and to the Amorites, and the Hittite, and the Perizzite, and the Jebusite in the mountains, and to the Hivite under Hermon in the land of Mizpeh.
Verses 4 - 5
Together they were indeed a great number to be Israel’s enemy; gathering themselves at the waters of Merom.
The LORD encouraged Joshua by His word, guaranteeing that all these who opposed Israel would be dead the following day at this same time, for I will deliver them up to you, and be sure to hew their horses and burn their chariots with fire. To put away the horses forever, they were to hew the horses, that is, the soldiers of Israel were to go through the many horses captured in battle and with their swords hack the horses’ muzzles. They could not, therefore, stand, run or carry anything. Helpless they would be until they died of thirst and starvation.
Joshua came with all of Israel’s people of war with him, against them suddenly and fell upon them.
Thus the LORD delivered them into the hands of Israel, who smote them and chased them, until not a one was left remaining.
Joshua did unto these enemies as the LORD commanded them and hewed their horses and burnt their chariots with fire.
At this time, Joshua then turned back and captured Hazor, and killed their king. Remember Hazor was the leader of all theses enemies.
Every soul that was therein was destroyed, and he burnt Hazor with fire.
Joshua destroyed all the cities of these kings; utterly, as Moses the servant of the LORD commanded.
As for the rest of the cities that stood in their strength did he not burn but left for the children of Israel to live there. Only Hazor did he burn.
And all the spoils of war became Israel’s such as the cattle, but they smote every man, leaving none to breathe.
Look at the chain of command: “As the LORD commanded Moses, His servant, so did Moses command Joshua, and so did Joshua; he left nothing undone of all the LORD commanded Moses.
So Joshua took all that land, the hills, and all the south country, and all the land of Goshen [this was the land that Pharaoh and Joseph had given to the children of Israel when they came out of Canaan with Jacob. This land was Israel’s, but in the course of time, there came a Pharaoh who knew not Joseph (the children of Israel). These productive fields became the Pharaoh’s possession — ousting Israel until it was retaken by Joshua and Israel], and the words “all the south country is known as the Neger”. Israel (1994) possesses it today.
Mt. Halak, Mt. Hermon and all the land between did Israel capture and slew their kings.
Joshua made war a long time with all those kings, and we venture a thought “It seemed more than it really was to the 40,000 soldiers of the tribes of Gad, Reuben, and the half tribe of Manasseh who swore they would not go to their wives and children until the conquest was won!”
No city was allowed to make peace with Joshua and Israel, save the Hivites of Gibeon. The rest were taken in battle.
God was behind every move of Joshua and Israel, as He hardened the hearts of the nations in Palestine, which caused them to rise up and fight, so that they might be destroyed in battle.
Joshua and Israel cut off the giants of the land which caused such fear in the hearts of Israel 40 years before and caused them to turn into the desert for the 40 year wilderness journey.
There were only a few allowed to live in Gaza, and in Gath, and in Ashdod. The act of not killing all the giants left Israel to pay for it in later years, for it was from Gath that the giant Goliath came and taunted the soldiers of Israel under King Saul; but who was slain by a shepherd boy by the name of David.
The Hero of Israel, the obedient servant of Jehovah took the whole land, and divided it between the different tribes by casting lots. [This is one way that the LORD made known His will. As the lot fell, it was God’s will. But under the New Testament, we are told that we can know the will of god, and that is by the Holy Spirit. “Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is” (Ephesians 5:17).
“In the Millennium under the rule of Messiah Jesus, the land shall be divided for Israel (not the church) by the direction of the Holy Spirit. It is already divided by Him as recorded in the book of Ezekiel 45, 48.”]
“For some time the land rested from war.”
The following kings of the land were defeated under the leadership of Moses, and the armies of Israel on the East Side of Jordan toward the rising of the sun — from the river Arnon unto Mt. Hermon, and all the plains of the east.
Sihon king of the Amorites who dwelt in Heshbon and ruled from Aroer which is on the bank of the river Arnon, and from the middle of the river, and from half Gilead, even unto the river Jabbok, which is the border of the children of Ammon.
And from the plain to the sea of Galilee, on the east, and unto the Salt Sea on the east, the way to Bethjeshimoth and from the south, under Ashdothpisgah.
And the coast of Og king of Bashan, which was of the remnant of the giants that dwelt at Ashtaroth and at Edrei. [Remember when Israel captured a town, or city, the battle for that city was fought one time. Then Israel’s armies moved to another city, not getting such a victory to place many soldiers in each city. There were not enough Israeli soldiers to do that. Not all people were killed as God commanded, and Israel realized that sin of unbelief later in the life of David when he fought and killed the giant Goliath. Not all the giants were killed, leaving some to cause fear to enter Israel.]
And reigned in mount Hermon, and in Salcah, and in all Bashan, unto the border of the Geshurites and the Maachathites, and half Gilead, the border of Sihon king of Heshbon.
All these captured cities were given by Moses the servant of Jehovah for a possession unto the Reubenites, and the Gadites, and the half tribe of Manasseh.
Verses 7 - 24
Now these are the following kings who were destroyed by the Israel armies and their new leader and hero, Joshua: the nations on the west side of Jordan. These territories were given by lot to the remaining 9 ˝ tribes of Israel.
Verses 9 through 16 cover the skirmishes with the city-states of the south. Verses 17 through 24 cover the attack, the battle, and the victory over the 15 remaining city-states over the northern Canaan:
The king of Jerusalem, one battle over one king;
The king of Hebron, one battle over one king;
The king of Jarmuth, one battle over one king;
The king of Lachish, one battle over one king;
The king of Eglon, one battle over one king;
The king of Gezer, one battle over one king;
The king of Debir, one battle over one king;
The king of Geder, one battle over one king;
The king of Hormah, one battle over one king;
The king of Arad, one battle over one king;
The king of Libnah, one battle over one king;
The king of Adullam, one battle over one king;
The king of Makkedah, one battle over one king;
The king of Beth-el, one battle over one king;
The king of Tappuah, one battle over one king;
The king of Hepher, one battle over one king;
The king of Aphek, one battle over one king;
The king of Lasharon, one battle over one king;
The king of Madon, one battle over one king;
The king of Hazor, one battle over one king;
The king of Shimron-meron, one battle over one king;
The king of Achshaph, one battle over one king;
The king of Taanach, one battle over one king;
The king of Megiddo, one battle over one king;
The king of Kedesh, one battle over one king;
The king of Jokneam of Carmel, one battle over one king;
The king of Dor in the coast of Dor, one battle over one king;
The king of the nation of Gilgal, one battle over one king;
The king of Tirzah, one battle over one king;
All the kings together made 31 kings.
Now Joshua, our aging hero, is called by Jehovah into council, as both God and his servant realize that life is running out for this aged Commander.
Jehovah (LORD) points out to Joshua his age and the remaining land still to be captured and exploited.
Two and one-half tribes of Israel were already given their inheritance in the Promised Land: Reuben, Gad, and the one-half tribe of Manasseh, on the East Bank of the river Jordan. There were nine and one-half tribes of Israel yet to receive their inheritance which would be located on the West side of the Jordan River.
As Israel had fought to gain possession so far, more battles were yet to be fought to gain possession of the Promised Land promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and carried out to a great degree by Moses who was the General over all Israel during the forty years in the wilderness. Moses had died, and Joshua then became the newly appointed general who now was very old; yet to be commissioned to conquer the land promised to the remaining 9 ˝ tribes.
As Israel fought to gain this territory now occupied by the Canaanites, the Philistines, and all the Sidonians, they faced an enemy that possessed more soldiers than Israel had.
As one territory was captured with many cities, Israel was soon to conquer them and to live in their many cities built by Israel’s enemies. Israel did not have to build these cities. They possessed them as an inheritance from the LORD (Jehovah).
These many, many cities Israel had not raised a hand to build, surrounded by fruit groves of grapes and oranges, which Israel had not planted, and olive trees which Israel had not sowed, along with other fruit bearing vines and food bearing trees.
Every tribe possessed food bearing trees, vines, and bushes, and land which Israel had not planted. Truly the Promised Land was a land flowing with milk and honey. Besides the cattle that Israel took with them out of Egypt, they captured tens of thousands of herds of sheep, goats, and cows.
The land no doubt had been polluted because of the great slaughter of mankind and animals in the skirmishes Israel had with the people who lived first in the land of Israel, but God had provided a way by which the people and the land could be cleansed from even touching the dead bodies of the slain, and that was the offering of the red heifer found in Numbers 19.
Israel had certainly used this offering for many years, for we read in Hebrews 9:13, 14 “For if the blood of bulls and goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” The quoted Scriptures were written 1400 years after God introduced the offering of the red heifer in the wilderness.
Verses 2 - 7
We find that it was God who kept before Him the need of conquering the whole land promised by Jehovah the LORD to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. These twelve tribes were the descendants of the patriarchs, and the land was now ready to be divided between them.
We are fully aware that two and one-half tribes had already received their inheritance on the east bank of Jordan, and they were the tribes of Dan, Reuben, and half tribe of Manasseh.
The following areas were still to be occupied:
All the land of the Philistines.
The land of the Geshurites.
The territory now belonging to the Canaanites (Canaan was the fourth son of Ham, the only son who did not migrate to Africa. Three other sons of Ham: Cush, Mizraim, and Phut did migrate to Africa which afterwards was called “the land of Ham” without Canaan,) from the brook of Egypt to the southern boundary of Ekron.
Five cities of the Philistines: Gaza, Ashdod, Ashkelon, Gath, Ekron.
The land of the Avvim in the south.
In the north, all the land of the Canaanites, including Me-arch (which belongs to the Sidonians) stretching northward to Aphek at the boundary of the Amorites.
The land of the Giblites on the coasts, and all of the Lebanon mountain area from Baal-gad beneath Mount Hermon in the south to the entrance of Hamath in the north. All the hill country form Lebanon to Misrephoth-maim, including all the land of the Sidonians.
Jehovah was now ready to drive these people out from before the nation of Israel, so Israel was to include all this territory when it came time to divide the land among the nine tribes and the half tribe of Manasseh as the LORD (Jehovah) had commanded them.
Verses 8 - 13
The other 2 ˝ tribes of Israel territory ran from Aroer, on the edge of the valley of the Arnon River, included the city in the valley and crossed the tableland of Medeba to Dibon; it also included all the cities of King Sihon of the Amorites, who reigned in Heshbon, and extended as far as the borders of Ammon. It included Gilead, the territory of the Geshurites, and Ma-acathites, all of Mount Hermon. Mount Bashan with its city of Salecah, and all the territory of King Og of Bashan, who had reigned in Ashtaroth and Edrei. (He was the last of the Rephaim, for Moses had attacked them and driven them out.) However, the people of Israel had not driven out the Geshurites or the Maacathites who still live among the Israelites to the present time the book of Joshua was written.
Land Given To Levi
Verses 14 - 33
No land, no inheritance was given to the Tribe of Levi. The LORD Himself was to be the tribe of Levi’s inheritance, as He promised Him the LORD’S inheritance could be found only upon the Altar: the offerings by fire unto Jehovah, the LORD, such as the Grain Offering, the Peace Offering, and the order of the Sin and Trespass Offerings. Levi was also to have the hide or flayed skin of the Burnt Offerings.
The Land given to the Tribe of Reuben
Verses 15 - 23
Their land extended form Aroer on the edge of the valley of the Arnon River, past the city of Arnon in the middle of the valley beyond the tableland near Medeba. It included Heshbon and the other cities on the plain — Dibon, Bamoth-baal, Bethbaal-meon, Jahaza, Kedemoth, Mephaath, Kirjathaim, Sibmah, Zareth-shahar, on the mountain above the valley, Beth-peor, Beth-jeshimoth, and the slopes of Mount Pisgah.
The land of Reuben also included the cities of the tableland and the kingdom of Sihon. Sihon was the king who had lived in Heshbon and was killed by Moses along with the other chiefs of Midian — Evi, Rekem, Zur, Hur, and Reba. The people of Israel also killed Balaam, the magician, the son of Beor. The Jordan River was the western boundary of the tribe of Reuben.
The land given to the tribe of Gad was also given by Moses to the sons of Gad according to their families.
Their territory was Jazer, and all the cities of Gilead, and half the land of the sons of Ammon, as far as Aroer which is before Rabbah.
Verses 26 - 27
And from Heshbon as far as Ramath-mizpeh and Betonim, and from Mahanaim as far as the border of Debir, and in the valley, Beth-ha-ram and Beth-nimrah and Succoth and Zephon, the rest of the kingdom of Sihon king of Heshbon, with the Jordan as a border, as far as the lower end of the Sea of Chinnereth beyond the Jordan to the east.
This completes the inheritance of the sons of Gad according to their families, the cities and their villages.
The land given to the half-tribe of Manasseh.
Moses gave an inheritance to the half-tribe of Manasseh, and it was for the half-tribe of the sons of Manasseh according to their families.
Verses 30 - 31
And their territory was from Mahanaim, all Bashan, all the kingdom of Og, King of Bashan, and all the towns of Jair, which are in Bashan, sixty cities; also half of Gilead with Ashtaroth and Edrei the cities of the kingdom of Og in Bashan were for the sons of Machir according to their families.
These are the territories which Moses appointed for an inheritance in the plains of Moab, beyond the Jordan at Jericho to the east.
But to the tribe of Levi, Moses did not give an inheritance; the LORD (Jehovah) God (Elohim) of Israel is their inheritance (which is enough) — He had promised to them.
Verses 1 - 4
The following is the account of the dividing of the land of Canaan as commanded by Jehovah (the LORD). Those that joined together by Jehovah’s direction were Eleazar the High priest with Joshua, son of Nun, the Commander of the army of Israel, along with the heads (fathers) of the 9 ˝ tribes.
The Sons of Joseph were two tribes; Manasseh and Ephraim, and they did not give a portion to the Levites in the land, except cities to live in, with their pasture land for their livestock and for their property.
Thus the sons of Israel did just as Jehovah had commanded Moses, and they divided the land.
[We shall find that in the future, time and again, the LORD points out the sacredness of the priesthood. That was God’s elect time to furnish the priesthood with the many priests for the future, that stood between God and Israel. He emphasized the fact that God takes care of those who labor for Him. Money is not the subject of their calling — holy provisions were. And God took care of His own at the very start. The priesthood could not be purchased or won for winning a battle. The priesthood and their provision was the gift of God. And always shall be.]
The sons (leaders) of Judah gathered themselves before Joshua to hear Caleb’s proposition. Caleb said, “You know the word which the LORD spoke to Moses the man of God concerning you (Joshua) and me (Caleb) in Kadesh-barnea.
At that time, I was 40 years old when Moses the servant of the LORD sent me from Kadesh-barnea to spy out the land, and I brought word back to him as it was in my heart.
“Nevertheless, my brethren who spied out the land with me made the heart of the people melt with fear, but I followed Jehovah my God fully.
Verses 9 - 10
“So Moses swore on that day saying, “Surely the land on which your foot has trodden shall be an inheritance to you and to your children, forever, because you have followed the LORD your God fully.”
“And now behold the LORD has let me live, just as He spoke these 45 years from the them that the LORD spoke this word to Moses, when Israel walked in the wilderness. And now behold, I am 85 years old today.
“I am as strong today as I was in the day Moses sent me; as my strength was then, so my strength is now; for war and for going out, and coming in.
Verses 12 - 14
“Give me this mountain!” said Caleb.
“Take it, it is yours upon possessing it,” was the message. And he took it. It became Caleb’s.
The city was Hebron. Its name formerly was Kirjatharba. Arba was the strongest of the giants among the Anakim.
From then on, the land had rest from war.
Now, To the West Bank of Jordan
Lot of the Children of Judah
The lot for the tribe of Judah according to their families reached the border of Edom, southward to the wilderness of Zin at the extreme south.
And their south border was from the lower end of the Salt (Dead) Sea, from the bay that turns to the south.
Then it proceeded southward to the ascent of Akrabbim and continued to Zin, then went up to Addar and turned about to Karka.
And it continued to Azmon and proceeded to the brook of Egypt; and the border ended at the sea. This shall be your south border.
And the east border was the Salt (Dead) Sea, as far as the mouth of the Jordan. And the border of the north side was from the bay of the sea at the mouth of the Jordan.
Then the border went up to Beth-hogla, and continued on the north of Beth-arabah, and the border went up to the stone of Bohan, the son of Reuben.
And the border went up to Debir from the valley of Achor, and turned northward toward Gilgal which is opposite the ascent of Adummim, which is on the south of the valley; and the border continued to the waters of En-she-mesh, and ended at En-rogel.
The border went up the valley of the son of Hinnom to the slope of the Jebusite on the south (that is, Jerusalem), and the border went up to the top of the mountain which is before the valley of Hinnom to the west, which is at the end of the valley of Rephaim toward the north.
And from the tope of the mountain the border curved to the springs of the waters of Nephtoah and proceeded to the cities of Mount Ephron, then the border curved to Baalah (that is Kirjathjearim).
And the border turned about from Aalah westward to Mount Seir, and continued to the slope of mount Jearim on the north (that is, Chesalon), and went down to Bethshemesh and continued through Timnah.
And the border proceeded to the side of Ekron northward. Then the border curved to Sikkeron and continued to Mount Baalah and proceeded to Jabneel, and the border ended at the sea.
And the west border was at the Great (Mediterranean) Sea, even its coastline. This is the border around the sons of Judah according to their families.
Now he gave to Caleb the son of Jephunneh a portion among the sons of Judah, according to the command of the LORD to Joshua, namely Kirjath-arba, Arba being the father of Anak (that is, Hebron).
Verses 14 - 15
[And Caleb drove out from there the three sons of Anak: Sheshai, and Ahiman, and Talmai, the children of Anak. Then he went up from there against the inhabitants of Debir; now the name of Debir formerly was Kirjath-sepher.
[And Caleb saith, “The one who attacks Kirjath-sepher and captures it, I will give him Achsah my daughter as a wife.”
Verses 17 - 19
[And Othniel the son of Kenaz, the brother of Caleb, captured it; so he gave him Achsah his daughter as a wife. And it came about that when she came to him, she persuaded him to ask her father for a field. She alighted from the donkey, and Caleb said to her, “What do you want?” Then she said, “Give me a blessing; since you have given me the land of the Negev, give me also springs of water.” So he gave her the upper springs and the lower springs.]
This is the inheritance of the tribe of the sons of Judah according to their families.
Verses 21 - 32
The cities of Judah which were situated along the borders of Edom in the Niger, namely: Kabzeel, Eder, Jagur, Kinah, Dimonah, Adadah, Kedesh, Hazor, Ithnan, Ziph, Telem, Bealoth, Hazor, Hadattah, Kerioth, Hezron (or Hazor), Amam, Shema, Moladah, Hazar-gaddah, Heshmon, Beth-palet, Hazar-shual, Beer-sheba, Biz-jothjah, Baalah, Iim, Azem, Eltolad, Chesil, Hormah, Ziklag, Madmannah, Sansannah, Lebaoth, Shilhim, Ain, and Rimmon.
In all there were 29 of these cities with their surrounding villages.
Verses 33 - 36
The following cities situated in the lowlands were also given to Judah: Eshtaol, Zoreah, Ashnah, Zanoah, En-gannim, Tappuah, Enam, Azekah, Sha-raim, Adithaim, Gederah, and Gederothaim. In all there were 14 of these cities with their surrounding villages.
Verses 37 - 44
The tribe of Judah also inherited 25 other cities with their villages: Zenan, Hadashah, Migdal-gad, Dilean, Mizpeh, Jokthe-el, Lachish, Bozkath, Eglon, Cabbon, Lahmam, Kithlish, Gederoth, Beth-dagon, Naa-mah, Mak-kedah, Libnah, Ether, Ashan, Jiphtah, Ashnah, Nezib, Keilah, Achzib, and Mareshah.
The territory of the tribe of Judah also included all the towns and villages of Ekron.
Verses 46 - 47
From Ekron the boundary extended to the Mediterranean and included the cities the borders of Ashdod with their nearby villages; also the city of Ashdod and its villages as far as the River (Brook?) of Egypt; also the entire Mediterranean coast from the mouth of the brook of Egypt on the south, to Tyre on the north.
Verses 48 - 62
Judah also received these 44 cities in the hill country with their surrounding villages: Shamir, Jattir, Socoh, Dannah, Kirjath-sannah (or Debir), Anab, Eshtemoh, Anim, Goshen, Holon, Giloh, Arab, Dumah, Eshean, Janum, Beth-tappu-ah, Aphekah, Humtah, Kirjath-arba (or Hebron), Zior, Maon, Carmel, Ziph, Juttah, Jezreel, Jokde-am, Zanoah, Cain, Gibeah, Timnah, Halhul, Beth-zur, Gedor, Maarath, Beth-anoth, Eltekon, Kirjath-baal (also known as Kirjath-jearim), The City of Salt, and En-gedi.
But the tribe of Judah could not drive out the Jebusites who lived in the city of Jerusalem, so the Jebusites live among the people of Judah to this day.
Then the lot for the two sons of Joseph went from the Jordan at Jericho to the waters of Jericho on the east into the wilderness, going up from Jericho through the hill country to Bethel.
Verses 2 - 4
The lot went on from Bethel to Luz, and continued to the border of the Archites at Ataroth. And it went down westward to the territory of the Japhelites, as far as the territory of lower Beth-horon south to Gezer, and it ended at the sea. Thus the sons of Joseph, Manasseh and Ephraim, received their inheritance.
Now, this was the territory of the sons of Ephraim according to their families: the border of their inheritance eastward was Atarothaddar, as far as upper Bethhoron.
Then the border went westward at Michmethah on the north, and the border turned about eastward to Taanathshiloh, and continued beyond it to the east of Janohah.
And it went down from Janohah to Ataroth and to Naarath, then reached Jericho and came out at the Jordan.
Verses 8 - 9
From Tappuah the border continued westward to the brook of Janah, and it ended at the sea. This completes the inheritance of the tribe of the sons of Ephraim according to their families, together with the cities which were set apart for the sons of Ephraim in the midst of the inheritance of the sons of Manasseh, all the cities with their villages.
But these two tribes did not drive out the Canaanites who lived in Gezer as they were commanded by the LORD (Jehovah) — very little effort was directed toward that end. They would rather be paid tribute than exercise their strength in warfare. To be truthful, all Israel was tired of fighting.
Now was the lot for the tribe of Manasseh, for he was the first-born of Joseph. [In the oriental style of organizing the families and their reign, the first-born of the family was to be endowed a double portion of the family’s land; he was also to be the king over the family, and high priest in the things of religion.]
When Reuben was born, the first born of Jacob, these three blessings were supposed to have been his, but the Bible states that Reuben went into one of his father’s concubines; committing adultery with her. Therefore, these three endowments were stripped from Reuben. The kingship was given to Judah, the high priesthood was taken away from Reuben and given to Levi, and the double portion in the land was taken away from Reuben and given to Joseph.
Joseph had only two sons, therefore, each son was endowed with a portion in the land. And Manasseh, being the firstborn of Joseph, was given a double portion in the land. One-half of the tribe of Manasseh held title to a portion on the East bank of Israel, and he held also the title to a portion on the West bank of Israel.]
To Machir the firstborn of Manasseh, the father of Gilead, was allotted Gilead and Bashan because he was a man of war.
So the lot was made for the rest of the sons of Manasseh according to their families, for the son of Abiezer and for the sons of Helek and for the sons of Asriel, and for the sons of Hepher, and for the sons of Shemida; these were the male descendants of Manasseh the son of Joseph according to their families.
However, Zelophehad, the son of Hepher, the son of Gilead, the son of Machir, the son of Manasseh had no sons, only daughters; and these are the names of his daughters: Mahlah and Noah, Hoglah., Milcah and Tirzah.
And they came near before Eleazar the priest and before Joshua the son of Nun and before the leaders saying, “The LORD commanded Moses to give us an inheritance among our brothers (first cousins).” So according to the command of the LORD, he gave them an inheritance among their father’s brothers.
Verses 5 - 9
Thus there fell ten portions of Manasseh, besides the land of Gilead and Bashan which is beyond the Jordan, because the daughters of Manasseh received an inheritance among his sons. And the land of Gilead belonged to the rest of the sons of Manasseh; and the border of Manasseh ran from Asher to Michmethah which was east of Shechem. Then the border went southward to the inhabitants of Entappuah. The land of Tappuah belonged to Manasseh, but Tappuah on the border of Manasseh belong to the sons of Ephraim.
And the border went down to the brook of Kanah, southward of the brook (these cities belonged to Ephraim among the cities of Manasseh), and the border of Manasseh was on the north side of the brook, and it ended at the sea.
The south side belonged to Ephraim, the north side to Manasseh, the sea was their border; and they reached to Asher on the north and to Issachar on the east.
And in Issachar and in Asher, Manasseh had Bethshean and its towns and Ibleam and its towns, and the inhabitants of Dor and its towns, and the inhabitants of Endor and its towns, and the inhabitants of Taanach and its towns, and the inhabitants of Megiddo and its towns, the third is Napheth.
But the sons of Manasseh could not take possession of these cities because the Canaanites persisted in living in that land.
And it came about when the sons of Israel became strong, they put the Canaanites to forced labor, but they did not drive them out completely. Israel needed a younger Joshua who could have completed a victory over these Gentiles.
Then the two tribes of Joseph (Ephraim and Manasseh) came to Joshua to complain against the smallness of the portion of that land that fell by lot to them. The lot, remember, was suggested by Jehovah Himself, thus their complaint was not just against Joshua but against their God, Jehovah (the LORD) Himself. For they argued “Why such a small section of the land while the tribes are multiplying in such great numbers.”
Knowing that Jehovah was in this whole thing: question and answer; Joshua replies, “If thou be a great people, then get thee up to the wood country, and cut down for thyself there in the land of the Perizzites and of the giants, if mount Ephraim be too narrow for thee.”
Verses 16 - 18
“Your judgment is fine,” the leaders of Joseph replied, “We’ll take the forest section and clear that out, and another thing we won’t have to bother with the Canaanites. For one thing, they have chariots made of iron, and we haven’t been able to conquer them because of their superior in numbers and chariots of iron.”
“Then you shall have the mountain forests,” said Joshua. “And since you are such a large, strong tribe, you will be able to clear it and live there. And I’m sure that later you will be able to drive out the Canaanites from the valleys, too, though they are strong and have iron chariots.
After the conquest, the whole congregation of the sons of Israel assembled themselves at Shiloh, set up the Tabernacle of Meeting there; and the land was subdued before them.
Is it possible that after the dividing the land to Judah and Ephraim and Manasseh, there remained among the sons of Israel seven tribes who had not divided their inheritance?
So Joshua said to the sons of Israel, “How much longer do you need to quit putting off entering to take possession of the land which the LORD (Jehovah) the God (Elohim) of your fathers has given you?”
“Listen to me, Provide for yourselves three men from each tribe that I may send them, and that they may arise and walk through the land and write a description of it according to their inheritance; they report back to me.”
“Thus they shall divide the remaining land into seven portions: Judah shall remain in its territory on the south, and the house of Joseph (Ephraim and Manasseh) shall stay in its territory on the north.”
“And you shall describe the land in seven parts and bring your description here to me. And I will still cast lots for you here in front of the LORD out God.
“And remember the Levites shall have no lot among you, because the priesthood of the LORD is their inheritance. for Gad, Reuben, and the half-tribe of Manasseh also has received their lot (inheritance) eastward beyond the Jordan, which Moses the servant of the LORD gave them.”
Then the men arose and went, and to these Israelites Joshua commanded thou who went, to describe the land, saying, “Go and walk throughout the land and in detail describe it, and return to me; then I will cast lots for you as you stand here before the LORD in Shiloh.”
The men obeyed Joshua, and passed through the land, and described the cities, each, in turn, in seven divisions in a scroll (a book); this they did and came to Joshua to the camp at Shiloh.
Then Joshua cast lots for them in Shiloh before the LORD, and thus Joshua divided the land to the sons of Israel according to their divisions.
The Land Given to the Tribe of Benjamin
Now, it was time that the position that belonged to the sons of Benjamin came up according to their families, and the territory of their lot lay between the sons of Judah and the sons of Joseph.
The northern boundary began at the Jordan River, went north to Jericho, then west through the hill country and the wilderness of Bethaven.
And from there the border continued to Luz, to the side of Luz (that is, Bethel) southward; and the border went down to Atarothadar, near the hill which lies on the south of lower Bethhoron.
And the border extended from there, and turned around on the west side southward from the hill which lies before Bethhoron southward; and it ended at Kirjathbaal (that is Kirjathjearim), a city of the sons of Judah. This was the west side.
Then the south side was from the edge of Kirjathjearim, and the border went westward and went to the fountain of the waters of Nephtoah.
Verses 16 - 20
And the border went down to the edge of the hill which is in the valley of Ben-hinnom, which is in the valley of Rephaim northward, and it went down to the valley of Hinnom, to the slope of the Jebusite southward, and went down to En-rogel. And it extended northward and went to En-shemesh and went to Geliloth, which is opposite the ascent of Adummim, and it went down to the stone of Bohan the son of Reuben. And it continued to the side in front of the Arabah. And the border continued to the side of Bethhoglah northward; and the border ended at the north bay of the Salt (Dead) Sea, and the south end of the Jordan. This was the south border. Moreover, the Jordan was its border on the east side. This was the inheritance of the sons of Benjamin, according to their families and according to its borders all around.
Verses 21 - 28
The cities of the tribe of the sons of Benjamin according to their families were: Jericho, Bethhoglah, the valley of Keziz, Betharabah, Zemaraim, Bethel, Avim, Parah, Ophrah, Cephar-haammonai, Ophni, Gaba, Gibeon, Ramah, Beeroth, Mizpeh, Chephirah, Mozah, Rekem, Irpeel, Taralah, Zelah, Eleph, Jebusi (or Jerusalem), Gibeath, and Kirjath. All of these cities and their surrounding villages were given to the tribe of Benjamin.
Verses 1 - 9
The second lot fell to Simeon, to the tribe of the sons of Simeon according to their families; and their inheritance was in the midst of the sons of Judah. So they had as their inheritance: Beersheba, Sheba, Moladah, Hazar-shual, Balah, Azem, Eltolad, Bethul, Hormah, Ziklag, Beth-marcaboth, Hazar-susah, Beth-lebaoth, Sharuhen, Remmon, Ether, and Ashan.
The cities as far south as Baaltha-beer (also known as Ramal-in-the-Negeb) were also given to the tribe of Simeon. Therefore, the Simeon tribe’s inheritance came from what had earlier been given to Judah, for Judah’s section had been too large for them.
Verses 10 - 16
The third lot came up for the sons of Zebulun according to their families. The territory of their inheritance was as far as Sarid. Then their border went up to the west and to Maralah. It then touched Dabbasheth, and reached to the brook that is before Jokneam. In the other direction, the boundary line went east to the border of Chisloth-tabor, and from there to Daberath and Japhia; then it continued east of Gittah-hepher, to Ittah-kazin, and it proceeded to Remmon-methoar which stretched to Neah.
And the border circled around it on the north to Hannathon, and it ended at the valley of Jiphthahel. This was the inheritance of the sons of Zebulun, according to their families, these cities with their villages.
Verses 17 - 23
The fourth lot came up for the sons of Issachar, according to their families. Their territory was to Jezreel and included Chesulloth and Shunem, and Haphraim and Shihon, and Anaharath, and Rabbith, and Kishion and Abez, and Remeth, and En-gannim, and En-haddah and Beth-pazzez.
And the border reached to Tabor and Shahazimah, and Beth-shemesh, and their border ended at the Jordan; sixteen cities with their villages. This was the inheritance of the tribe of the sons of Issachar according to their families, the cities with their villages.
Verses 24 - 31
The fifth lot fell to the tribe of the sons of Asher according to their families. Their territory was Helkath and Hali and Beten and Achshaph, and Alammelech and Amad and Misheal, and it reached to Carmel on the West and to Shihorlibnath.
And it turned toward the East and reached Zebulun, and to the valley of Jiphthahel northward to Beth-emek and Neiel; then it proceeded on north to Cabul, and Hebron, and Rahob and Hammon and Kanah, as far as Great Sidon.
And the border turned to Ramah and to the fortified city of Tyre; then the border turned to Hosah, and it ended at the sea by the region of Achzib. Included also were Ummah, Aphek, and Rehob: twenty-two cities with their villages. This was the inheritance of the tribe of the sons of Asher according to their families, these cities with their villages.
Verses 32 - 39
The sixth lot fell to the sons of Naphtali; to the sons of Naphtali according to their families.
And their border was from Heleph, from Allon to Zaanannim and Adami, Nebek, and Jabneel, as far as Lakun, and it ended at the Jordan.
Then the border turned westward to Aznoth-tabor, proceeded form their to Hukkok, and it reached to Zebulun on the south and touched Asher on the west, and to Judah at the Jordan toward the east.
And the fortified cities were Ziddim, Zer, and Hammath, Rakkath and Chinnereth, and Adamah, and Ramah, and Hazor, and Kedesh, and Edrei and En-hazor, and Iron, and Migdal-el, Horem, and Beth-anath and Beth-shemesh; nineteen cities with their villages. This was the inheritance of the tribe of the sons of Naphtali according to their families, the cities with their villages.
Verses 40 - 48
The seventh lot fell to the tribe of the sons of Dan according to their families. And the territory of their inheritance was Zorah and Eshtarol, and Ir-shemesh, and Shaalabbin, and Ajalon,and Jethlah, and Elon, and Thimnathah, and Ekron, and Eltekeh, and Gibbethon, and Baalath, and Jehud, and Bene-berak, and Gath-rimmon, and Me-jarkon, and Rakkon with the territory over against Joppa.
And the territory of the sons of Dan proceeded beyond them; for the sons of Dan went up and fought with Leshem and captured it. Then they struck it with the edge of the sword and possessed it and settled in it; and they called Leshem Dan after the name of Dan their father.
This was the inheritance of the tribe of the sons of Dan according to their families, these cities with their villages.
Verses 49 - 51
When they finished apportioning the land for inheritance by its borders, the sons of Israel gave an inheritance in their midst to Joshua the son of Nun. In accordance with the command of the LORD, they gave him the city for which he asked, Tim-nath-serah in the hill country of Ephraim. So he built the city and dwelt in it.
These are the inheritances with Eleazar the priest and Joshua the sons of Nun and the heads of the households of the tribes of the sons of Israel distributed by lot in Shiloh before the LORD at the doorway of the tent of meeting (the Tabernacle). So they finished dividing the land.
[Today the nation of Israel is recognized as a nation by the United Nations, but not all Jews are living in Palestine. One reason they have not departed from the rest of the world and sought a home in the land of Israel is that they do not know to which tribe they belong. There is no written record to tell the Jews which tribe they are from because all records of the genealogies of the tribes of Israel were destroyed when Titus destroyed the temple and scattered Israel in 70 A.D.
Only the tribe of Levi seems to know their lineage, but there is no written record substantiating this. They claim their relationship by the fact that they were of the tribe of Levi, or a descendant of Aaron (the first priest=Cohen), but this information has been handed down by word of mouth from generation to generation.
Only the Lord Jesus Christ can claim the throne of David, for He is of the tribe of Judah by written record. Christ’s genealogy is found in the records of the New Testament. The Gospel of Matthew traces Jesus Christ back to David through Joseph, His foster father, and the Gospel of Luke traces Him back on His mother’s side — the blood line to David. When Christ Jesus returns, He has affidavits proving His lineage to David.
In the Millennium, all Jewish people living will learn of their tribe. For the Messiah Jesus shall know and shall be able to separate all Jewish people according to their tribes.
Also, we learn by reading the 48th chapter of Ezekiel that in the Millennium the land shall be divided equally tribe-by-tribe. The division of the land of Israel according to Joshua 19 will not be followed in the Millennium. At that time, each tribe’s portion shall have the same dimensions, and their western border shall all be the Mediterranean Sea.]
Verses 1 - 3
“Then the LORD spoke to Joshua, saying, Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, Designate the cities of refuge, of which I spoke to you through Moses, that the manslayer (a murderer) who kills any person unintentionally, without premeditation, may flee there, and they shall become your refuge from the avenger of blood.”
The next of kin was classed as the avenger of blood whose duty it was to slay the murderer as soon as possible. Yet the manslayer was free as long as he fled from the place of slaying, and took safety when he fled to one of these cities of refuge.
Upon arrival at the city of refuge, the manslayer was to stand at the entrance of the city and state his case to the elders of that city. Should they find him to be innocent of premeditated murder, then he was to be given the privilege to go into the city safe from the avenger of blood.
Should the avenger of blood pursue him, the elders were not to deliver the manslayer into his hand because he struck his neighbor without premeditation and did not hate him beforehand.
There in this city the slayer must stand before the congregation for judgment until the death of the one who is high priest in those days. Then the manslayer shall return to his own house, to the city from which he fled.
Should they find the slayer to be a premeditated murderer, then the slayer would be turned over to the one appointed to be the avenger.
So Israel set apart Kedesh in Galilee, in the hill country of Naphtali and Shechem in the hill country of Ephraim, Kirjath-arba (that is Hebron) in the hill country of Judah.
And beyond the Jordan east of Jericho, they designated Bezer in the wilderness on the plain from the tribe of Reuben, and Ramoth in Gilead from the tribe of Gad, and Golan in Bashan from the tribe of Manasseh.
These were the appointed cities for all the sons of Israel and for the stranger who sojourns among them, and whoever kills any person unintentionally may flee there and not die by the hand of the avenger of blood until he stand before the congregation.
Verses 1 - 3
The heads of the household of the Levites approached Eleazar, the high priest, and Joshua, the son of Nun, and the heads of the tribe of the sons of Israel, saying, The LORD through Moses gave us cities to live in, with their pasture lands for our cattle.
So the sons of Israel gave the Levites from their inheritance the following cities, according to the command of the LORD: There were three divisions of the people of the Levites: The Kohathites, the Gershonites, and the Merarites.
For the families of the Kohathites, the sons of Aaron received thirteen (13) cites from the tribe of Judah and from the tribes of Simeon and Benjamin.
And from the rest of the sons of Kohath received ten (10) cities by lot, from the tribe of Dan and from the half-tribe of Manasseh.
And the sons of Gershon received thirteen (13) cites by lot from the tribe of Issachar and from the tribe of Asher, and from the tribe of Naphtali, and the half-tribe of Manasseh in Bashan.
The sons of Merari according to their families received twelve (12) cities from the tribe of Reuben, and from the tribe of Gad, and from the tribe of Zebulun.
Now the sons of Israel gave by lot to the Levites these cities with their pasture lands, as the LORD commanded through Moses.
(Have you ever wondered why the LORD never gave the tribes of Levi any section of the Land? I believe the answer is found in Genesis 34 which mentions the act of adultery committed by Shechem, the Hivite with Dinah the sister of Simeon and Levi. Levi and Shechem begged his father, Hamor, “Get me this damsel to wife.”
Hamor communed with Jacob and his two sons Simeon and Levi. The brothers of Dinah talked with Hamor, saying, no matter what price you say you will pay amounts to no other, without circumcision. Before we let our sister marry Hamar, he, his father, and all the men of Hamor and Shechem must submit to circumcision. They all agreed to this proposition. So when three days passed and the men were very sore, then Simeon and Levi took their swords and killed each male of the house of Hamor and Shechem.
Jacob rebuked his two sons by saying, “Ye have troubled me to make me stink among the inhabitants of the land, among the Canaanites and the Perizzites.” Time passed, and as Jacob called his twelve sons in before him, he remembered Simeon and Levi in his prayer. “Simeon and Levi are brethren; instruments of cruelty are in their inhabitations. Cursed be their anger, for it was fierce, and their wrath, for it was cruel: I will divide them in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel.” (Genesis 49:5, 7)
Now, see this prophecy fulfilled 245 years later. All the tribe of Levi was to be scattered. No land could they claim — that was wretched from them, and they were to be scattered among Israel. Levi was caused to dwell in 48 cities, scattered among the other eleven (11) tribes. And Simeon was to be located in the most southern part of the tribe of Judah away and apart from the rest of the people of Israel.)
Verses 9 - 10
And they gave these cities which are mentioned by name from the tribe of the sons of Judah and from the tribe of the sons of Simeon; and they were for the sons of Aaron, one of the families of the Kohathites of the sons of Levi, for the lot was theirs first.
Verses 11 - 12
Thus they gave them Kirjath-arba, Arba being the father of Anak (that is Hebron) in the hill country of Judah, with its surrounding pasture lands. But the fields of the city, and its villages, they gave to Caleb the sons of Jephunneh as his possession.
Verses 13 - 16
So to the sons of Aaron the priest they gave Hebron, the city of refuge for the manslayer, with its pasture lands, and Libnah with its pasture lands, and Jattir with its with its pasture lands and Eshtemoa with its pasture land, and Holon, with its pasture lands, and Ain with its pasture lands, and Juttah with its pasture lands and Beth-shemesh with its pasture lands; nine cities from these two tribes.
And from the tribe of Benjamin, Gibeon with its pasture lands.
Anathoth with its pasture lands, and Almon with its pasture land; four cities.
All the cities of the sons of Aaron, the priest were thirteen (13) cities with their pasture lands.
The cities from the tribe of Ephraim were allotted to the families of the sons of Kohath, the Levites, even to the rest of the sons of Kohath.
And they gave them Shechem, the city of refuge for the manslayer, with its pasture lands of the hill country of Ephraim, and Gezer with its pasture lands.
And Kibzaim with its pasture lands, and Bethhoron with its pasture lands; four cities.
Verses 23 - 24
And from the tribe of Dan, Eltekeh with its pasture land, Gibbethon with its pasture lands: four cities. Aijalon with her suburbs, Gath-rimmon with her suburbs, four cities.
Verses 25 - 26
And out of the half tribe of Manasseh, Tanach with her suburbs, and Gath-rimmon with their suburbs; two cities. All the cities were ten with their pasture lands for the families of the rest of the sons of Kohath were ten.
And to the sons of Gershon, one of the families of the Levites, from the half-tribe of Manasseh, they gave Golan in Bashan, the city of refuge for the manslayer, with its pasture lands, and Beeshterah with its pasture lands; two cities.
Verses 28 - 29
And form the tribe of Issachar, they gave Kishon with its pasture lands, Dabareh with its pasture lands, Jarmuth with its pasture lands, Engannim with its pasture lands; four cities.
Verses 30 - 31
And from the tribe of Asher, they gave Mishal with its pasture lands, Abdon with its pasture lands, Helkath with its pasture land, and Rehob and its pasture lands, four cities.
And from the tribe of Naphtali, they gave Kedesh in Galilee, the city of refuge for the manslayer, with its pasture lands and Hammoth-dor with its pasture lands, and Kartan with its pasture lands; three cities.
All the cities of the Gershonites according to their families were thirteen cities with their pasture lands.
And to the families of the sons of Merari, the rest of the Levites, they gave from the tribe of Zebulun, Jokneam with its pasture lands, and Kartah with its pasture lands.
Dimnah with its pasture lands, Nahalal with its pasture lands, four cities.
And from the tribe of Reuben, they gave Bezer with its pasture land and Jahazah with its pasture lands.
Kedemoth with its pasture lands and Mephaath with its pasture lands; four cities.
And from the tribe of Gad, they gave Ramoth in Gilead, the city of refuge for the manslayer, with its pasture lands and Mahanaim with its pasture lands.
Heshbon with its pasture land; four cities in all.
All these were tie cities of the son of Merari according to their families, the rest of the families of the Levites, and their lot was twelve cities.
Verses 41 - 42
All the cities of the Levites in the midst of the possession of the sons of Israel were forty-eight cities with their pasture lands. These cities each had its surrounding pasture lands, thus it was with all these cities.
Verses 43 - 44
So the LORD gave Israel all the land which He had sworn to give to their fathers, and they possessed it and lived in it. And the LORD gave them rest on every side, according to all that He had sworn to their fathers, and no one of all their enemies stood before them; the LORD gave all their enemies into their hand.
Not one of the good promises which the LORD had made to the house of Israel failed; all came to pass.
Verses 1 - 7
From the best we can find out, the two and one-half tribes of Israel (Gad, Reuben, Manasseh) the time spent apart from the other nine and one-half tribes was at the most seven years. They had promised Moses on the East side of Jordan that their men of war would not desert the other nine and one-half tribes of Israel but stay with the armies of the 9 ˝ tribes until all the land was defeated and occupied.
Seven years separation from their wives and children, and the rest of the conquered spoils was a very long time.
Joshua complimented the 2 ˝ tribes for honoring their commitment. They were true to their word.
We believe that several at a time were given combat leave of absence, which allowed them to return home for a few days during the seven years later to rejoin their brethren for combat service.
Then, after seven years, all the army numbering around 2,400,000 return to their homes on the East and West banks “with great riches: very much cattle, with silver, and with gold, and with bronze (brass) and with iron, and very much raiment.”
Verses 9 - 10
And when the 2 ˝ tribes came to their possession they built a huge altar in appearance.
Then the other 9 1/2 tribes heard of this new altar which the 2 ˝ tribes had built.
And when they heard of this new altar, they thought of it was we would — “Gad, Reuben, and half-tribe of Manasseh have gone after idolatry!”
Verses 13 - 16
So all the other tribes gathered themselves together at Shiloh to go to war against the erring brethren, and with them ten chiefs — one chief for each father’s household met. And they came to the sons of Reuben, and to the sons of Gad, and to the half-tribe of Manasseh. Then they asked their brethren (the 2 ˝ tribes), “Thus says all the congregation of the LORD, What why, how come you have made this altar. When did the LORD reveal this to you and not to us?”
They reminded the 2 ˝ tribes that when many people went after false Gods at Peor, God showed His displeasure with chastisement causing many of Israel to die.
What is the cause that brought about your sinning against the LORD? Do you not realize that in this short time you may cause all the children of Israel to suffer?
There may be a reason for your apostasy. Is it that your possession is unclean? Tell you what you must do. All 2 ˝ tribes of you pass over Jordan and stand before the LORD where the Tabernacle is located and choose among us the land you so desire, but do not rebel against the LORD, nor against us, by making this new altar.
Remember when we stood before God at the first asking who had caused our defeat at Ai? Did not Achan sin, and suffered death, but he did not die alone — many suffered death with him.
Then the sons of Reuben and the sons of God and the half tribe of Manasseh answered and spoke to the heads of the family of Israel.
“The Mighty One, God, the LORD (Jehovah), The Mighty One, God, the LORD, He knows and may Israel itself know. If it was in rebellion, or if it was an unfaithful act against the LORD do not Thou save us this day.
“If we have built this altar to turn away from following the LORD, or if to offer burnt offerings or grain offering on it, or if to offer sacrifices of peace offering on it, may the LORD Himself require it.
“But truly we have done this out of concern, for a reason, saying, “In time to come your sons may say to our sons, What have you to do with the LORD the God of Israel?”
“For the LORD has made the Jordan a border between us and you, sons of Reuben and sons of Gad; you have no portion in the LORD.” So your sons may make our sons stop fearing the LORD.”
Verses 26 - 27
“Therefore we said, “Let us build an altar, not for burnt offering or for sacrifice; rather it shall be a witness between us and you and between our generations after us, that we are to perform the service of the LORD before Him with our sacrifices and with our peace offerings, that your sons may not say to our sons in time to come, “You have no portion in the LORD.”
“Therefore we said, “It shall also come about if they say this is to us or to our generations in time to come, then we shall say “See the copy of the altar of the LORD which our fathers made, not for burnt offerings or for sacrifice: rather it is a witness between us and you.”
“Far be it from us that we should rebel against the LORD and turn away from following the LORD this day, by building an altar for burnt offering, for grain offering, or for sacrifice, besides the altar of the LORD our God which is before His tabernacle.”
So when Phinehas the priest and the leaders of the congregation, even the heads of the families of Israel who were with him heard the words which the sons of Reuben and the sons of Gad, and the sons of Manasseh spoke, it pleased them.
And Phinehas the sons of Eleazar the priest said to the sons of Reuben, and to the sons of Gad, and to the sons of Manasseh, “Today we know that the LORD is in our midst, because you have not committed this unfaithful act against the LORD. Now you have delivered the sons of Israel from the hand of the LORD.”
Then Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest and the leaders returned from the sons of Reuben and from the sons of Gad, from the land of Gilead, to the land of Canaan, to the sons of Israel, and brought back word to them.
And the word pleased the sons of Israel, and the sons of Israel blessed God; and they did not speak of going up against them in war, to destroy the land in which the sons of Reuben and the sons of Gad were living.
And the sons of Reuben and the sons of Gad called the altar Ed; “For,” they said, “it is a witness between us that the LORD is God.”
Now when Joshua, the aged hero had rest with his people Israel from all their enemies,
That Joshua called for all Israel, for all their elders, and their heads, and their judges, and their officers, and said to them, “I am old, advanced in years.
“And you have seen and experienced all that the LORD has done to the nations because of you — His people — for the LORD your God is He who has been fighting for you.
“For you have seen that I have divided the nations, apportioned who live in your allotted tribes — their past holdings, but now cut off from each other and won’t cause you any harm.
“It is not over, for the LORD your God, He shall thrust them out from before you and drive them out, and you shall yet possess their land, just as the LORD you God has promised you.
“Be very firm with them, expecting them to obey all of God’s laws which are written in the book of the Law of Moses, so that you may not turn aside from the Book of the Law, on the right hand nor to the left.
“I do not want you to be associated with those who remain, nor to swear by their gods, nor cause any one of Israel to swear to them.
“You are to cling to the LORD you God, as you have done this day.
“For the LORD has driven out great and strong nations from before you. And as for you, no man has been able to stand before you this day.
“One, yes, only one of your men puts one thousand to flight, for the LORD your God is He who fights for you, just as He promised you.
“So take diligent heed to yourselves, to love the LORD you God.
“For if you go back to the old way and cling to the rest of these nations, these that remain with you, and you intermarry with them, so that you associate with them and they with you,
“This shall be true, you God will not drive these nations out from you, and they shall be a snare and a trap to you, and a whip of them in your eyes, until you perish from off the Good Land He has given you.
“Today, I follow the will of God, to go to the way of all flesh — to die.
“I ask you to recognize the fact that God has not withheld one thing He promised you. All have been fulfilled.
“And as the LORD has kept His promises made to you, that shall you depart from Him, then you can count on this — all the judgment He has promised should you rebel against Him, will come to pass also.
“You shall perish off the earth should you disobey Him and keep not His word. His anger, then, shall be poured out upon you.”
Joshua called for all the leaders of Israel, again, and Israel’s hero reminds the people of the true history of Israel.
He lets this mighty congregation see their small beginning. Even when the nation had only a few people: namely Terah, the father of Abraham and the father of Nahor, but these themselves served other gods.
Then the LORD took Abraham from beyond the Euphrates and led him through all the land of Canaan, and multiplied his descendants and gave him Isaac.
As to Isaac I gave Jacob and Esau. I gave Mount Seir to possess it, but Jacob and his sons went down to Egypt.
You will find that the place of Israel’s blessing is always the Promised Land. Away from this place, Israel becomes wretched — tied in bondage, but when she returns, then she becomes blessed.
Israel has been away for over 1850 years. Only a token are present in the land today, and they are these in unbelief. There shall come a time, when Messiah Jesus returns after the tribulation, and all Israel shall be regathered and shall turn as one person to faith, solid belief, in the Lord Jesus the Messiah. It must not be too far away.
While the Israel nation remained in Egypt, she was in bondage to Pharaoh. Then God sent Moses and Aaron, and He plagued Egypt.
“I brought your fathers out of Egypt” the on speaking to you was there!
“You came by the Sea, the Egyptian pursued you, and God caused the death of Pharaoh and all his army. He caused a great darkness between Israel and the Egyptians. Your own eyes saw it. You were there. One miracle after another did our God perform. Remember?
“Then, I, Joshua, brought you into the land of the Amorites who lived beyond the Jordan, and they fought with you, and I gave them into your hand, and you took possession of their land when I destroyed them before you.”
What a God and Saviour is the LORD! And now 3500 years later, God has been manifest in His Son the LORD (Jehovah) Jesus Messiah in the flesh.
We need to be reminded who our LORD is and what He is doing for us. It is the same God and LORD, is it not? Let’s give the Lord Jesus all the glory for His great work in and through us.
“Remember the conflict with Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab, for he rose up and fought against Israel, even summoning the self acclaimed prophet to curse you.”
The LORD sets the record straight. Balaam was not a true prophet of God, for the LORD would not begin to listen to him and thus Balaam had to bless Israel. And I (the LORD) delivered you out of his hand.
“And you crossed the Jordan and came to Jericho, and the armies of Jericho fought against you, as well as the Amorite and the Perizzite, and the Canaanite, and the Hittite, and the Girgashites, and the Hivite, and the Jebusite. Thus I gave them into your hand.
“Then I sent the hornet before you, and it drove out the two kings of the Amorites from before you, not by your sword or your bow.”
Listen to these words of provision:
“And I gave you a land on which you had not labored, and cities which you had not built, and you have lived in them; you are eating of vineyards and olive groves which you did not plant.”
“Now therefore, fear the LORD and serve Him in sincerity and truth; and put away the gods which your fathers served beyond the River (Euphrates) and in Egypt, and serve the LORD.
“And if it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living (they do not even exist), but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”
Joshua, the Hero of Israel knew where his light, his strength lay!
The LORD is the answer!
Verses 16 - 17
The people replied, “We know the LORD. Far be it from us that we should forsake the LORD to serve other gods which do not even exist! For Jehovah our God is He who brought us and our fathers up out of the land of Egypt, the house of bondage, and who did these great signs in our sight and preserved us through all the way in which we went and among the people through whose midst we passed.
“And the LORD drove out from before us all the peoples, even the Amorites who live in the land (Israel was not completely yielded to God for the enemy still lived with them, while God told Israel to destroy them). We will also serve the LORD, for He is our God.” They should have said “He is God!”
The following verses verify this statement.
Verses 19 - 20
Then Joshua said to the people, “You will not be able to serve the LORD, for He is a holy God. He is a jealous God; He will not forgive your transgressions or your sins. If you forsake the LORD and serve the Gentile gods, He will turn and do you harm and consume you after He has done good to you.”
And the people of Israel said to Joshua, “No, but we will serve the LORD.”
And Joshua said to the people, “You are witnesses against yourselves that you have chosen for yourselves the LORD, to serve Him.” And Israel said, “We are witnesses.”
“Now therefore, put away the gentile gods which are in your hearts” (what a revelation!) to the LORD, the God of Israel.
The people of Israel were quick to reply, “We will serve the LORD our God, and we will obey His voice.”
Verses 25 - 26
So Joshua made a covenant with Israel that day, and made for them a statute, and an order in Shechem. And Joshua wrote these words in the book of the law of God — (God did that writing) — and he took a large stone and sat it up there under the oak that was by the sanctuary of the LORD.
And Joshua said to all the people, “Behold this stone shall be for a witness against us, for it was heard all the words of the LORD which He spoke to us; thus it shall be for a witness against you, lest you deny your God.”
Verses 28 - 30
Then Joshua dismissed the congregation, each to his inheritance. Thus closes the history of Israel’s great hero, after which He the sons of Nun, the servant of the LORD died, being one hundred and ten years old. Andy they buried him in his lot, his inheritance in Timnathserah, which is the hill country of Ephraim (son of Joseph), on the north of Mount Gaash.
And Israel served the LORD all the days of Joshua and all the days of the elders who survived Joshua, and had known all the deeds of the LORD which God had done for Israel.
Back to Israel now: “They buried the bones of Joseph, which the sons of Israel brought up from Egypt, at Shechem, in the piece of ground which Jacob had bought from the sons of Hamor the father of Shechem for one hundred pieces of silver, and they became the inheritance of Joseph’s sons, the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh.
Sometime later Eleazar the son of Aaron died, and they buried him at Gibeah of Phinehas his son, which was given him in the hill country of Ephraim.