Joshua 19, KJV, Bible, Have I Not Commanded You, Explain

Second is Simeon in verses 1 through 9 of chapter 19. Verses 10-16 tell us about Zebulun (3), verses 17 through 23 about Issachar (4), 24-31 about Asher (5), 32-39 is Naphtali (6), and finally verses 40-48 describe Dan’s inheritance. And Dan’s the last tribe to receive their land. In Dan’s case, they were given land on the Mediterranean Sea. But then they went ahead and fought against a place called Leshem on the north border of Israel and so Dan had basically two portions, though they were both fairly small.

We’re almost done now. Verses 49 and 50 tell us about Joshua receiving his inheritance in the hill country of Ephraim. He was from that tribe. And then verse 51 gives a summary of this dividing up of the land we’ve seen in these 7 chapters.

Let me, before we end just address this issue of the Canaanites remaining in the land. It’s puzzling. But in Joshua’s farewell address at the end of this book before he passes away, he feels the need to tell Israel to get rid of their gods. What?! This faithful generation had gods? Apparently. Yes, they were faithful, but they still were worshipping gods. I imagine this was done in secret or it would have been punished. But Joshua knew it was happening and warned Israel to stop. Joshua also says in his farewell address that if Israel intermarries with the Canaanites the Lord will stop driving them out. I think it’s safe to say that Israel clung to their idols, intermarried with the Canaanites, and the Lord just stopped delivering the Canaanites into their hands. So let me give a word of application. Brethren, may the Lord help us to leave our idols and cling to God alone. The really awful thing about Israel’s situation is that the more she clung to idols, the more Canaanites influenced her. They bring in their idolatry. Israel now has more idols and more bad influence and the cycle continues. Brethren, dabbling in sin is always so foolish. By giving in to just a little sin you really don’t know how much is going to ultimately come through the door, so to speak. May the Lord help us to love him and be blessed.

We’ll pick up next time, Lord-willing, in chapter 20.

Joshua 18 KJV Commentary Bible Study Devotional

But we move on to chapter 18. Verses 1 through 10 find all Israel in Shiloh. They set up the tabernacle. And then Joshua has something to say to the last seven tribes who haven’t received their land yet. I’ll warn you. It doesn’t relieve the concern we’ve had. It actually continues it. Let’s read verses 2 through 6.

Joshua 18:2-6

[Joshua 18:2 ¶ And there remained among the children of Israel seven tribes, which had not yet received their inheritance. 3 And Joshua said unto the children of Israel, How long are ye slack to go to possess the land, which the LORD God of your fathers hath given you? 4 Give out from among you three men for each tribe: and I will send them, and they shall rise, and go through the land, and describe it according to the inheritance of them; and they shall come again to me. 5 And they shall divide it into seven parts: Judah shall abide in their coast on the south, and the house of Joseph shall abide in their coasts on the north. 6 Ye shall therefore describe the land into seven parts, and bring the description hither to me, that I may cast lots for you here before the LORD our God.]

Do you see what’s happening here? There are 7 tribes that are quite content to just roam around with the rest of the congregation of Israel. Joshua accuses them of slackness. It seems these folks have lost interest in possessing the land. So Joshua orders them to send out men to divide the land. And then since they don’t really care which portion they get, Joshua’s just going to give them whatever falls to them. And so that’s just what we see in 18:1 through to 19:48. The first tribe chosen by lot was Benjamin in verses 11-28 of chapter 18.

 

Joshua 17 KJV Bible Study Devotional Explained

Verses 1 through 13 tell us about Manasseh’s possession of land. Let’s read about something a little unusual that the author feels he needs to explain in verses 1 through 6.

Joshua 17:1-6

[Joshua 17:1 ¶ There was also a lot for the tribe of Manasseh; for he was the firstborn of Joseph; to wit, for Machir the firstborn of Manasseh, the father of Gilead: because he was a man of war, therefore he had Gilead and Bashan. 2 There was also a lot for the rest of the children of Manasseh by their families; for the children of Abiezer, and for the children of Helek, and for the children of Asriel, and for the children of Shechem, and for the children of Hepher, and for the children of Shemida: these were the male children of Manasseh the son of Joseph by their families. 3 ¶ But Zelophehad, the son of Hepher, the son of Gilead, the son of Machir, the son of Manasseh, had no sons, but daughters: and these are the names of his daughters, Mahlah, and Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah. 4 And they came near before Eleazar the priest, and before Joshua the son of Nun, and before the princes, saying, The LORD commanded Moses to give us an inheritance among our brethren. Therefore according to the commandment of the LORD he gave them an inheritance among the brethren of their father. 5 And there fell ten portions to Manasseh, beside the land of Gilead and Bashan, which were on the other side Jordan; 6 Because the daughters of Manasseh had an inheritance among his sons: and the rest of Manasseh’s sons had the land of Gilead.]

What’s the point of this story? Simply to explain why it is that though there were 6 male heirs of the ½ tribe of Manasseh to the west of the Jordan, yet he has 10 portions in the land. What we saw happening is that one of those male heirs, Hepher, had a son who had 5 daughters. So it seems that those 5 daughters took the place of their grandfather’s inheritance.

Then verses 7 to 11 deal with the details of the land this ½ tribe of Manasseh received. And what would you expect in the last verse? Yep, Canaanites. Let’s read verse 12.

Joshua 17:12

[Joshua 17:12 Yet the children of Manasseh could not drive out the inhabitants of those cities; but the Canaanites would dwell in that land.]

So far, every single tribe we’ve heard about has not been able to drive out the Canaanites. And Manasseh is no exception. The chapter ends on a pretty pathetic note. It involves both Ephraim and the western ½ tribe of Manasseh approaching Joshua with a request. Let’s read verses 14 through 18.

Joshua 17:14-18

[Joshua 17:14 ¶ And the children of Joseph spake unto Joshua, saying, Why hast thou given me but one lot and one portion to inherit, seeing I am a great people, forasmuch as the LORD hath blessed me hitherto?

15 And Joshua answered them, 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.

16 And the children of Joseph said, The hill is not enough for us: and all the Canaanites that dwell in the land of the valley have chariots of iron, both they who are of Bethshean and her towns, and they who are of the valley of Jezreel.

17 And Joshua spake unto the house of Joseph, even to Ephraim and to Manasseh, saying, Thou art a great people, and hast great power: thou shalt not have one lot only: 18 But the mountain shall be thine; for it is a wood, and thou shalt cut it down: and the outgoings of it shall be thine: for thou shalt drive out the Canaanites, though they have iron chariots, and though they be strong.]

You may have missed the significance of these verses as you’ve read them previously. Do you see what’s going on here? The tribe of Joseph comes and asks Joshua for more land. But Joshua refuses. Why? I thought we were being liberal with the land and giving out as much as we want. Remember the story about Caleb’s daughter Achsah? She got as much land as she wanted! Ah, but remember her father’s attitude toward doing God’s will and driving out the Canaanites? He was ready to take the hill country with God’s help. In contrast, Joseph comes and asks for more land. Joshua says, what about that hill country? Joseph faithlessly points to the presence of Canaanites in the hill country. They have chariots! But do we remember what Israel did to the northern coalition of Canaanites who had soldiers like the sand on the seashore and who had many chariots? Israel destroyed them with God’s help. What we see here is another instance where we should be concerned. We’re seeing a real reticence on the part of Israel to drive out the Canaanites. They want land, sort of… Well, some of them do anyway. But they’re not willing to drive out the Canaanites to get it. Caleb was willing. Joseph was not. This is concerning.

Joshua 16 KJV Explained Commentary Devotional Highlights

But the narrator moves right along to talk about the two (or I suppose 1 ½ tribes) of Joseph next. Verses 5 to 10 describe the territory allotted to Ephraim. We won’t read it, but it talks about the borders of Ephraim. Basically, if Judah was southernmost in Israel, Ephraim and Manasseh were to the north, about the middle of the country. The “center” of attention, if you will. And then we read verse 10.

Joshua 16:10

[Joshua 16:10 And they drave not out the Canaanites that dwelt in Gezer: but the Canaanites dwell among the Ephraimites unto this day, and serve under tribute.]

Uh-oh. Here it is again. Reuben, Gad, the ½ tribe of Manasseh, Judah, and now Ephraim cannot drive out the Canaanites. This is troubling. Did you ever notice this when you read the book of Joshua? Well, we’ll keep going and find ourselves in chapter 17.

Joshua 15 KJV Bible Study Devotional Explanation Judges 1

Alright, so we’ve seen the allotment to Caleb, a man in the tribe of Judah. Now for the entirety of chapter 15 we deal with the allotment of land to that whole tribe. And they get a lot of land, really. In fact they get so much land that another tribe, Simeon, later just needs to take their possession smack dab in the middle of Judah. The reason? Judah had too much land. Verses 2 through 4 deal with… look at verse two. It deals with their south border. And that border basically goes as south as possible – as south as Israel can go. That’s how far south Judah goes. Verse 5 states that their east border is the Salt Sea or the Dead Sea as we call it. Then the rest of verse 5 through verse 11 talks about Judah’s north border. There are a number of cities mentioned there, but the big point is that the north border basically goes from east to west from the Dead Sea to the Mediterranean Sea with some twists and turns. Verse 12 gives Judah’s west border, which is pretty simple – the Mediterranean Sea. So, those are the borders of Judah.

Then, in verses 13 through 19, we have another story involving Caleb. It seems that any time Caleb is mentioned in this book there’s an interesting story involved. So let’s read it and make a few comments.

Joshua 15:13-19

[Joshua 15:13 ¶ And unto Caleb the son of Jephunneh he gave a part among the children of Judah, according to the commandment of the LORD to Joshua, even the city of Arba the father of Anak, which city is Hebron. 14 And Caleb drove thence the three sons of Anak, Sheshai, and Ahiman, and Talmai, the children of Anak. 15 And he went up thence to the inhabitants of Debir: and the name of Debir before was Kirjathsepher. 16 And Caleb said, He that smiteth Kirjathsepher, and taketh it, to him will I give Achsah my daughter to wife. 17 And Othniel the son of Kenaz, the brother of Caleb, took it: and he gave him Achsah his daughter to wife. 18 And it came to pass, as she came unto him, that she moved him to ask of her father a field: and she lighted off her [donkey]; and Caleb said unto her, What wouldest thou? 19 Who answered, Give me a blessing; for thou hast given me a south land; give me also springs of water. And he gave her the upper springs, and the nether springs.]

What’s the point of this story? First, note a few facts. When the book of Joshua earlier said that Joshua destroyed the Anakim, it now seems that actually Caleb played quite a large role in that process. That’s what we see him doing here. And actually, Caleb ends up hiring someone to do the job in the city of Kiriath-Sepher. The payment for the job? Caleb’s daughter as a wife. And we see a man step up to the task. His name? Othniel. Does his name sound familiar? It should. He will eventually become one of the judges mentioned in the book of Judges. Othniel takes the city and marries Caleb’s daughter, Achsah. Achsah is apparently just like her father – ambitious and wanting all that God would let her have. She was apparently given land in the south. This land would have no doubt been hot and arid. So her request for a land with springs makes sense. She has dry, hot land. Why not balance that out with land full of cool, refreshing water? It all makes sense to Caleb and so he liberally gives more land to his daughter. So what’s the point of the story? Beyond the purpose of recording Hebrew history, I think this story shows that land was available to any who wanted it. And it was available in abundance. Some labor was required to get the land. But it was there for the taking from a very generous God who wanted Israel to have that land. Caleb got it. His daughter got it. We’ll see as we move on whether the rest of the tribes were as interested in the land as Caleb, Achsah, and ultimately God were.

Joshua 15:21-62

Moving on, verses 21 through 62 tell us about not the borders of Judah, but their cities. We have a list of cities in the south in verses 21 through 32. Verses 33 through 47 give us the names of cities in the lowland of Judah. Cities in the hill country are in verses 48 through 60. Last, verses 61 and 62 give us the names of cities in the wilderness. And then we arrive at verse 63 to end the chapter. And it’s a disappointing end to it.

Joshua 15:63

[Joshua 15:63 ¶ As for the Jebusites the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the children of Judah could not drive them out: but the Jebusites dwell with the children of Judah at Jerusalem unto this day.]

Alright, what do we say with this kind of verse? What did I say I would utter during my studies this past week? “Uh-oh.” Even Judah, this robust valiant tribe can’t kick the Canaanites out! But I thought God promised that he would drive them out before the children of Israel. Why doesn’t he do this for Judah? Well, the narrator doesn’t stop to dwell on the answer to that question yet. He just moves on, so we’ll follow him for now. Though I do intend to discuss the reasons for the pattern we see developing at this point. The 2 ½ tribes to the east of the Jordan left Canaanites in their land. Now Judah on the west of Jordan has Canaanites. We’ll try to explain it in a bit.