Book of Joshua Part 3 – Dividing the Land

Joshua assigned territory to the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and to the half-tribe of Manasseh on the east side of the Jordan, where they had chosen to remain because of the wonderful livestock country.

Joshua assigned territory to the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and to the half-tribe of Manasseh on the east side of the Jordan, where they had chosen to remain because of the wonderful livestock country.

This installment concludes our summary of the Book of Joshua in this series. Best estimates date the events of the book at about 1450-1425 BC. The book is important in several respects. Perhaps most importantly, it details the fulfillment of God’s promise to give Israel the land, and verification of that is given in Joshua 21:43-45. Verse 43 says “Thus the Lord gave to Israel all the land that he swore to give to their fathers. And they took possession of it, and they settled there.”  Then verse 45 affirms: “Not one word of all the good promises that the Lord had made to the house of Israel had failed; all came to pass.”

Secondly, it shows God’s expectation for man to perfectly obey his commandments (see Joshua 1:7-8, 23:1-6). Doing otherwise violates God’s sovereignty and authorization, and separates man from Him  (Joshua 6:17-19, 7:10-13). Practices that were forbidden were to be viewed by God’s people as detestable (Deuteronomy 7:26).  All of this applies today as well. Finally, the Book of Joshua teaches us not to be afraid of the things of this world. God commanded Israel to have no fear of man (Joshua 1:9; 10:8, 25). And Jesus said, “And be not afraid of them that kill the body , but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell ” (Matthew 10:28).

 

The events of this final section are as follows:

 

    • Before Joshua died, he spoke to the Israelites, urging them to be faithful to the Lord (Joshua 23).

      Before Joshua died, he spoke to the Israelites, urging them to be faithful to the Lord (Joshua 23).

      The Northern Conquest of Canaan (Joshua 11:1–12:24)

      • Jabin king of Hazor, Jobab king of Madon, the king of Shimron , the king of Achshaph, and the kings that were “on the north, in the hill country.”  They captured all their kings and struck them and put them to death  (Joshua 11:17).
    • Dividing the Land (Joshua 13:1–21:45)
      • No land inheritance for the tribe of Levi (“to the tribe of Levi alone Moses gave no inheritance. The offerings by fire to the Lord God of Israel are their inheritance, as he said to him” Joshua 13:14)
      • The Inheritance East of the Jordan – the other half of the tribe of Manasseh the Reubenites and the Gadites received their inheritance, which Moses gave them, beyond the Jordan eastward (Joshua 13:8-32)
      • The Inheritance West of the Jordan (Joshua 14:1-5)
      • Caleb’s portion (Joshua 14:6-15)
      • Judah’s inheritance (Joshua 15)
      • Allotment for Ephraim and Manasseh (Joshua 16)
      • Allotment of the Remaining Land
      • Joshua’s charge to Israel’s leaders (Joshua 23:1–16)
      • Covenant renewal at Shechem (Joshua 24:1–33)
      • Death of Joshua and Eleazor, and the burial of Joseph’s bones (Joshua 24:29-33)
/Bob’s boy
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image © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  

Book of Joshua (Part 2) – Taking the Promised land

Ai - Joshua's soldiers were first defeated here, but then God provided a stunning victory.

Ai – Joshua’s soldiers were first defeated here, but then God provided a stunning victory.

Picking the Book of Joshua back up in chapter 9, the next few chapters are filled with more conquest, and a deception that will have lasting consequences.

  • The Gibeonite Deception (Joshua 9:1-27).  Upon hearing of what had happened at Jericho and Ai, the various Canaanite kings gathered together and joined forces to do battle against the approaching Israelites.  But the people of Gibeon came up with a plan of their own.  Altering their appearance to make themselves look like they had traveled a long distance, they went straight to the Israelite camp and to Joshua, claiming they had come from a distant country, and asking to make a covenant with them.
    • The deception worked, and they extracted an oath of cooperation and protection from the leaders and elders of the congregation.  When the deception was discovered, the anger of the people was kindled, but the oath had been made and would be honored.  But  because of their trickery, many of them would serve the congregation forever, just like servants, as woodcutters and drawers of water.
    • So just as the Lord (and Moses) had specifically warned them many times not to do (as in Deuteronomy 7:2), the Israelites had made a covenant with people in Canaan before the battles were even half over.  And the blame for this horrible mistake lays in their failure to seek counsel from the Lord (Joshua 9:14-15).
  •    The defense of Gibeon and the conquest of the south (Joshua 10:1–43)
    • Gibeon_001

      Gibeon, view north of El Jib; the Gibeonites tricked Joshua to make a treaty with them.

      Gibeon was no small city, and its men were known warriors.  So when the king of Jerusalem, Adoni-zedek, heard of the peace between them and Israel, he was afraid.  Summoning the kings of Hebron, Jarmuth, Lachish, and Eglon, he gathered all of their forces to make war against Gibeon.  The men of Gibeon then went to Joshua at Gigal seeking their help.

    • Bound by the oath they had made, Joshua prepared his mighty men to do battle, and the Lord told him in Joshua 10:8 “Do not fear them, for I have given them into your hands. Not a man of them shall stand before you.”  It was during this battle that the famous “long day” occurred, upon which Joshua commanded the sun to “stand still.”  For our comments on this event, see this previous post.

    • After the victory, Joshua and the men hunted down and executed the five kings.  Then, with God fighting on their side, they won victory after victory in the south, capturing their kings and taking the land “from Kadesh-barnea as far as Gaza.”

  • Joshua 11-12 details the victories of the Israelites in the northern part of the land, with Joshua 12:1-6 recounting the kings that had been defeated under the leadership of Moses (some of which was told in Numbers 21).
/Bob’s boy
___________________
image © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.

Here Come the Judges \ March Week 4 Summary Posted

Gideon is a judge appearing in the Book of Jud...

Gideon is a judge appearing in the Book of Judges, in the Bible. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We will close the book of Joshua on Wednesday, and begin the Book of Judges.  Deborah, Samson, the other judges, and the incredible patience of the Lord with His people will be the topics of this book, as we march through to begin the book of Samuel by month end.

Summing Up

Each weekend, I am now posting a small PDF of one week of chapter summaries (on the website’s “Summaries” page), current to the beginning of the previous week.  I have posted the summary for Week 13 (March Week 4) of the schedule I am following.  This short PDF document contains condensed comments about (Num 21:4-9 & Num 25), Num 32, Joshua 1, 2, and 3, with hyperlinks to the ESV version of each chapter for listening or reading, and joins the summaries for other weeks already posted there.

/Robert
___________________
image © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.

Joshua 4 – Twelve Memorial Stones from the Jordan

After all the nation had passed over the Jordan, the Lord told Joshua to appoint 12 men – one from each tribe – to take twelve stones from the earth where the Jordan flows, in the same spot where the priests stood.  the stones would be set up as a memorial where they camped at Gilgal.  This memorial would serve as a reminder to their children and their heirs (verses 6-7) of the Lord and His power, and His faithfulness to His promise to them.  But it would also serve as a reminder to the rest of the people, and a warning as well (verses 23-24) of the might of God.

The word of the river being held back for thousands and thousands of them to cross would soon make their presence feared.  In verse thirteen, the troops passed over the “plains of Jericho” which is said to make it only about 5 miles east of Jericho.

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Robert
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.

Joshua 3 – Israel Crosses the Jordan

The historical crossing of the Jordan is the place where God intends to show the people not only that He is with them in this long-awaited event, but that He is with Joshua, as He was with Moses (verse 7).  This is important because giving them a firm confidence in Joshua as a capable leader matters a great deal now that they no longer have Moses to turn to.  The waters of the Jordan at this time of the year are over-flowing the banks, we are told in verse 16, making it both deeper and wider than at other times during the year.  So rather than having the people build boats or try to find some safe place and manner to cross, God’s plan is to have them cross as they did the Red Sea in Exodus 14, having the water held back by the Lord while they cross on dry ground.

The Children of Israel Crossing the Jordan (il...

The Children of Israel Crossing the Jordan (illustration by Gustave Doré) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This symbolic gesture of God will further be aided in boosting their spirits by the sight of the Levitical priests carrying the Ark of the Covenant (verse 3).  The Lord is leading His people into the Promised Land.  With the significance of this event highlighted by both of these spectacles, it is easy to see how the people would be given confidence, and how they would be filled with both hope and awe.

Easy also for us to miss the significance of the wording of the last verse of the chapter:

Now the priests bearing the ark of the covenant of the Lord stood firmly on dry ground in the midst of the Jordan, sand all Israel was passing over on dry ground until all the nation finished passing over the Jordan.

Although God had promised to make a great nation of Abraham, and had said in Exodus 19:6 that they will be “a kingdom of priests and a holy nation”, this is the first time the Bible has actually referred to them as a nation – and it occurs as they cross into the Promised Land.

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Robert
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.

Joshua 2 – Rahab Hides the Spies

Joshua send out spies before they get started, but unlike the catastrophe at Kadesh-barnea forty years ago, he only sends two  The lodge at Rahab’s house, and she relates in verses 8-11 that the genuine fear at their approach that has spread through the land.  the lord’s work in their behalf at the Red Sea and with their victories over the Amorites has been more than simply noticed.  Indeed the spies themselves have been noticed, and have been reported to the king of Jericho.

The Flight of the Spies, as in Joshua 2:15, by...

The Flight of the Spies, as in Joshua 2:15, by James Tissot (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Rahab negotiates an agreement with the spies to spare her and her whole father’s house in exchange for her silence about their business.  So when the king’s men come for them, she has hidden them away and sends their pursuers off in the wrong direction.  After letting them down from the window of her home with a rope, she has them hide in the hills until it is safe to go on their way.

Instructions for her and her family in verses 18-19 for when the Israelites come into the land are distinctly reminiscent of the night before the 10th plague and the passover of Exodus as Moses gives instructions in Exodus 12:22  – she is warned to keep the whole family in the “marked” house after the people of Israel arrive.

Rahab is mentioned in Matthew 1:5 in the ancestry of Jesus Christ.

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Robert
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.