Joshua 13

Wednesday, March 9th, 2016

THE DIVISION OF CANAAN

INTRODUCTION:

 

We have already seen the invasion of Canaan in Joshua 1:1-5:12 and the conquest of Canaan in Joshua 5:13-12:24 . We move on to the division of the land to the twelve tribes.

 

Now, to us living in the 21st Century, this is not the most exciting text in the Bible, but I remind you of two very important passages in the New Testament.

 

II Timothy 3:15-1715 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

 

Romans 15:4 For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.

 

 III.     The Division of Canaan – 13:1 - 21:45

 

            A.  The portions for the two and one-half tribes – 13:1-33

 

                        1.   The divine command to divide the land – 13:1-7

 

Joshua 13:1 Now Joshua was old and stricken [i.e. advanced] in years; and the LORD said unto him, Thou art old and stricken [i.e. advanced] in years, and there remaineth yet very much land to be possessed.

 

(RSB) To be possessed. The area yet to be subdued by the tribes is described in verses 2-6, moving from South to North.

 

Joshua 13:2 This is the land that yet remaineth: all the borders of the Philistines, and all Geshuri,

Joshua 13:3 From Sihor [in Isaiah and Jeremiah it refers to the Nile River; in this verse it seems to refer to the Wadi-el-Arish (or River of Egypt) flowing into the Mediterranean just to the left of the left edge of this map], which is before Egypt, even unto the borders of Ekron northward [located on this map just to the left of the A in Dan], which is counted to the Canaanite: five lords of the Philistines; the Gazathites, and the Ashdothites, the Eshkalonites, the Gittites, and the Ekronites; also the Avites:

Joshua 13:4 From the south, all the land of the Canaanites, and Mearah [i.e. the cave] that is beside the Sidonians, unto Aphek [located on this map by the A in Asher], to the borders of the Amorites:

Joshua 13:5 And the land of the Giblites, and all Lebanon, toward the sunrising [i.e. toward the east], from Baalgad under mount Hermon unto the entering into Hamath.

Joshua 13:6 All the inhabitants of the hill country from Lebanon unto Misrephothmaim [i.e. as far as the Brook Misrephoth], and all the Sidonians, them will I drive out from before the children of Israel: only divide thou it by lot unto the Israelites for an inheritance, as I have commanded thee.

 

Joshua 13:7 Now therefore divide this land for an inheritance unto the nine tribes, and the half tribe of Manasseh,

 

It is only nine and one half tribes because two and one half tribes have already received their allotted land on the east side of the Jordan River. These nine and one half tribes will receive their allotted land on the west side of the Jordan River.

 

We see the –

                        2.   The special grant to the Eastern tribes – 13:8-33

 

                                    a.   The Grant to the Tribe of Reuben – 13:8-23

 

Joshua 13:8 With whom the Reubenites and the Gadites have received their inheritance, which Moses gave them, beyond Jordan eastward [i.e. on the east side of the Jordan River], even as Moses the servant of the LORD gave them;

 

The Reubenites and Gadites requested permission of Moses to settle in Jazer and Gilead (territory east of the Jordan River), a good area for raising cattle.

 

Numbers 32:1-51 Now the children of Reuben and the children of Gad had a very great multitude of cattle: and when they saw the land of Jazer [the town of Jazer is located just south of the G in Gilead], and the land of Gilead [the eastern portion of Gad], that, behold, the place was a place for cattle; 2 The children of Gad and the children of Reuben came and spake unto Moses, and to Eleazar the priest, and unto the princes of the congregation, saying, 3 Ataroth [southern Reuben], and Dibon [southern Reuben], and Jazer [southern Gad], and Nimrah [southern Gad], and Heshbon [Gad-Reuben border], and Elealeh [northern Reuben], and Shebam, and Nebo [northern Reuben], and Beon, 4 Even the country which the LORD smote before the congregation of Israel, is a land for cattle, and thy servants have cattle: 5 Wherefore, said they, if we have found grace in thy sight, let this land be given unto thy servants for a possession, and bring us not over Jordan.

 

Moses granted their request on the condition that they go armed before the others and help them conquer the land of Canaan on the west side of the Jordan River.

 

Numbers 32:16-2316 And they came near unto him, and said, We will build sheepfolds here for our cattle, and cities for our little ones: 17 But we ourselves will go ready armed before the children of Israel, until we have brought them unto their place: and our little ones shall dwell in the fenced [i.e. fortified] cities because of the inhabitants of the land. 18 We will not return unto our houses, until the children of Israel have inherited every man his inheritance. 19 For we will not inherit with them on yonder side Jordan, or forward; because our inheritance is fallen to us on this side Jordan eastward. 20 And Moses said unto them, If ye will do this thing, if ye will go armed before the LORD to war, 21 And will go all of you armed over Jordan before the LORD, until he hath driven out his enemies from before him, 22 And the land be subdued before the LORD: then afterward ye shall return, and be guiltless before the LORD, and before Israel; and this land shall be your possession before the LORD. 23 But if ye will not do so, behold, ye have sinned against the LORD: and be sure your sin will find you out.

 

Manasseh . . . was also given permission to settle east of the Jordan River because Manasseh had conquered some of that territory. Manasseh also had a share on the west side of the Jordan River. So half the tribe of Manasseh settled on the east side of the Jordan and half would settle on the west side of the Jordan.

 

Numbers 32:33 And Moses gave unto them, even to the children of Gad, and to the children of Reuben, and unto half the tribe of Manasseh the son of Joseph, the kingdom of Sihon king of the Amorites, and the kingdom of Og king of Bashan, the land, with the cities thereof in the coasts, even the cities of the country round about.

 

Numbers 32:39-4239 And the children of Machir the son of Manasseh went to Gilead [eastern Gad], and took it, and dispossessed the Amorite which was in it. 40 And Moses gave Gilead unto Machir the son of Manasseh; and he dwelt therein. 41 And Jair the son of Manasseh went and took the small towns thereof, and called them Havothjair [northern Gad]. 42 And Nobah went and took Kenath, and the villages thereof, and called it Nobah, after his own name.

 

We continue with the description of the land given to Reuben. I will only be dealing with the description of the land given to this one child. After this tribe, I will be only treating the high points for the other tribes. There is much repetition and of listing places whose locations we do not know. I have distributed a copy of a map which shows the general locations of the twelve tribes of Israel. You should consult it.

 

Joshua 13:9 From Aroer [located on the map in the extreme southern portion of Reuben], that is upon the bank of the river Arnon [Arnon was the river which divided Reuben from Moab], and the city that is in the midst of the river, and all the plain of Medeba unto Dibon [located on the map a little west northwest of Aroer];

 

Joshua 13:10 And all the cities of Sihon king of the Amorites, which reigned in Heshbon [located on the map on the border of Reuben and Gad], unto the border of the children of Ammon [the eastern border of Reuben];

 

Joshua 13:11 And Gilead [eastern Gad], and the border of the Geshurites [southwestern region of Eastern Manasseh] and Maachathites [not listed on the map – they resided near the Geshurites in the region of Bashan], and all mount Hermon [northwestern Eastern Manasseh], and all Bashan [the northern region of Eastern Manasseh] unto Salcah;

 

Joshua 13:12 All the kingdom of Og in Bashan [the northern region of Eastern Manasseh], which reigned in Ashtaroth [a city located in Eastern Manasseh straight east of the Sea of Galilee] and in Edrei [a city located in south central eastern Manasseh], who remained of the remnant of the giants: for these did Moses smite, and cast them out.

 

Joshua 13:13 Nevertheless the children of Israel expelled not the Geshurites, nor the Maachathites: but the Geshurites and the Maachathites dwell among the Israelites until this day.

 

Joshua 13:14 Only unto the tribe of Levi he gave none inheritance; the sacrifices of the LORD God of Israel made by fire are their inheritance, as he said unto them.

 

No part nor inheritance means that there was no allotment of land given to the tribe of Levi as was given to the other tribes, though 48 cities were designated for the Levites.

 

Deuteronomy 18:1-51 The priests the Levites, and all the tribe of Levi, shall have no part nor inheritance with Israel: they shall eat the offerings of the LORD made by fire, and his inheritance. 2 Therefore shall they have no inheritance among their brethren: the LORD is their inheritance, as he hath said unto them. 3 And this shall be the priest’s due from the people, from them that offer a sacrifice, whether it be ox or sheep; and they shall give unto the priest the shoulder, and the two cheeks [i.e. jowls or jaws], and the maw [i.e. the stomach]. 4 The firstfruit also of thy corn, of thy wine, and of thine oil, and the first of the fleece of thy sheep, shalt thou give him. 5 For the LORD thy God hath chosen him out of all thy tribes, to stand to minister in the name of the LORD, him and his sons for ever.

 

According to Joshua 13:15-23 , the territory given to Reuben, previously occupied by Moab, was just to the east of the Dead Sea.

 

Joshua 13:15 And Moses gave unto the tribe of the children of Reuben inheritance according to their families.

 

Joshua 13:16 And their coast was from Aroer, that is on the bank of the river Arnon, and the city that is in the midst of the river, and all the plain by Medeba;

 

Joshua 13:17 Heshbon, and all her cities that are in the plain; Dibon, and Bamothbaal, and Bethbaalmeon,

 

Joshua 13:18 And Jahazah, and Kedemoth, and Mephaath,

 

Joshua 13:19 And Kirjathaim, and Sibmah, and Zarethshahar in the mount of the valley,

 

Joshua 13:20 And Bethpeor, and Ashdothpisgah, and Bethjeshimoth,

 

Joshua 13:21 And all the cities of the plain, and all the kingdom of Sihon king of the Amorites, which reigned in Heshbon, whom Moses smote with the princes of Midian, Evi, and Rekem, and Zur, and Hur, and Reba, which were dukes of Sihon, dwelling in the country.

 

Joshua 13:22 Balaam also the son of Beor, the soothsayer, did the children of Israel slay with the sword among them that were slain by them.

 

Joshua 13:23 And the border of the children of Reuben was Jordan, and the border thereof. This was the inheritance of the children of Reuben after their families, the cities and the villages thereof.

 

There follow in the rest of chapter 13 descriptions of the land given to the other tribes which were located east of the Jordan River.

 

                                    b.  The Grant to the Tribe of Gad – 13:24-28

 

In Joshua 13:24-28 the area given was given to the tribe of Gad. It was north of the Dead Sea and was originally a part of Gilead.

 

Joshua 13:24 And Moses gave inheritance unto the tribe of Gad, even unto the children of Gad according to their families.

Joshua 13:25 And their coast was Jazer, and all the cities of Gilead, and half the land of the children of Ammon, unto Aroer that is before Rabbah;

Joshua 13:26 And from Heshbon unto Ramathmizpeh, and Betonim; and from Mahanaim unto the border of Debir;

Joshua 13:27 And in the valley, Betharam, and Bethnimrah, and Succoth, and Zaphon, the rest of the kingdom of Sihon king of Heshbon, Jordan and his border, even unto the edge of the sea of Chinnereth on the other side Jordan eastward.

Joshua 13:28 This is the inheritance of the children of Gad after their families, the cities, and their villages.

 

In Joshua 13:29-31 we see that half the tribe of Manasseh settled east of the Jordan River, and the other half chose to settle west of the Jordan River.

 

                                    c.   The Grant to the Half Tribe of Manasseh – 13:29-31

 

Joshua 13:29 And Moses gave inheritance unto the half tribe of Manasseh: and this was the possession of the half tribe of the children of Manasseh by their families.

Joshua 13:30 And their coast was from Mahanaim, all Bashan, all the kingdom of Og king of Bashan, and all the towns of Jair, which are in Bashan, threescore cities:

Joshua 13:31 And half Gilead, and Ashtaroth, and Edrei, cities of the kingdom of Og in Bashan, were pertaining unto the children of Machir the son of Manasseh, even to the one half of the children of Machir by their families.

 

                        4.   The Summary of the Grants to the Eastern tribes – 13:32-33

 

Joshua 13:32 These are the countries which Moses did distribute for inheritance in the plains of Moab, on the other side Jordan, by Jericho, eastward [i.e. on the east side of the Jordan River].

 

Joshua 13:33 But unto the tribe of Levi Moses gave not any inheritance: the LORD God of Israel was their inheritance, as he said unto them.