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Joshua

Joshua 12 KJV, Stones, Jordan River, Devotional, Kings Defeated, Explanation

Alright. The land is Joshua’s. The strife is o’er, the battle done. Now we start approaching the second half of the book, which I might add contains very little action. But maybe action isn’t your thing. Maybe you’re more interested in geography and lists of kings, cities, and other things. Anyone like that here? Well whatever you’re interest, this is what the word of God presents us with. So let’s try to understand it as best we can. Chapter 12 is really something like a footnote for chapters 1 through 11. It kind of supplies the raw data for the narratives we saw in those first chapters. And I think this is how we’re going to do this. We’ll read the entire 12th chapter and I’ll just insert comments here and there that will hopefully help us understand the chapter. Basically, though, the 12th chapter is just a list of 33 kings that Israel killed. Two on the east of Jordan and 31 on the west. So, let’s start in 12:1.

Joshua 12:1

[12:1 ¶ Now these are the kings of the land, which the children of Israel smote, and possessed their land on the other side Jordan toward the rising of the sun, from the river Arnon unto mount Hermon, and all the plain on the east:]

OK, let me interrupt. We’re about to see the kings to the east of the Jordan River that Israel defeated. Verses 2 and 3 talk about Sihon. And verses 4 and 5 tell us about Og. Let’s continue.

Joshua 12:2-6

[2 Sihon king of the Amorites, who dwelt in Heshbon, and ruled from Aroer, which is upon 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; 3 And from the plain to the sea of Chinneroth on the east, and unto the sea of the plain, even the salt sea on the east, the way to Bethjeshimoth; and from the south, under Ashdothpisgah:

4 And the coast of Og king of Bashan, which was of the remnant of the giants, that dwelt at Ashtaroth and at Edrei, 5 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.

6 Them did Moses the servant of the LORD and the children of Israel smite: and Moses the servant of the LORD gave it for a possession unto the Reubenites, and the Gadites, and the half tribe of Manasseh.]

So to summarize verses 2 through 6, Israel destroyed Sihon and Og and then Reuben, Gad, and the half tribe of Manasseh took their land.

And now from verse 7 to the end of chapter 12 we’ll see the other 29 kings that Israel destroyed to the west of the Jordan River. We’re not given any of their names, by the way. Let’s read.

Joshua 12:7-16

[7 ¶ And these are the kings of the country which Joshua and the children of Israel smote on this side Jordan on the west, from Baalgad in the valley of Lebanon even unto the mount Halak, that goeth up to Seir; which Joshua gave unto the tribes of Israel for a possession according to their divisions; 8 In the mountains, and in the valleys, and in the plains, and in the springs, and in the wilderness, and in the south country; the Hittites, the Amorites, and the Canaanites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites:

9 The king of Jericho, one; the king of Ai, which is beside Bethel, one; 10 The king of Jerusalem, one; the king of Hebron, one; 11 The king of Jarmuth, one; the king of Lachish, one; 12 The king of Eglon, one; the king of Gezer, one; 13 The king of Debir, one; the king of Geder, one; 14 The king of Hormah, one; the king of Arad, one; 15 The king of Libnah, one; the king of Adullam, one; 16 The king of Makkedah, one; the king of Bethel, one;]

OK, so far we’ve seen cities either parallel to Bethel, which is in the middle of the country vertically, or south of that city. We recognize many of these from the last several weeks. Now in the last verses of this chapter we’re told of cities to the north of Bethel.

Joshua 12:17-24

[17 The king of Tappuah, one; the king of Hepher, one; 18 The king of Aphek, one; the king of Lasharon, one; 19 The king of Madon, one; the king of Hazor, one; 20 The king of Shimronmeron, one; the king of Achshaph, one; 21 The king of Taanach, one; the king of Megiddo, one; 22 The king of Kedesh, one; the king of Jokneam of Carmel, one; 23 The king of Dor in the coast of Dor, one; the king of the nations of Gilgal, one; 24 The king of Tirzah, one: all the kings thirty and one.]

Thus ends the first section of the book of Joshua. Next week, Lord-willing, we’ll see the land being divided up amongst the 9 and ½ tribes that have yet to receive their land.

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