Joshua 14:1 - 15:63

Wednesday, March 16th, 2016



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 are in the process of studying the division of the land to the twelve tribes. It is found in Joshua 13-21 .

We have already seen –


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

We move on to –

            B.  The portion for Caleb – 14:1-15


                        1.   Introduction – 14:1-5


Joshua 14:1 And these are the countries which the children of Israel inherited in the land of Canaan, which Eleazar the priest, and Joshua the son of Nun, and the heads of the fathers of the tribes of the children of Israel, distributed for inheritance to them.


The allotment of the land for the various tribes was to be supervised by Eleazar, Joshua, and one leader from each of the tribes.


Joshua 14:2 By lot was their inheritance, as the LORD commanded by the hand of Moses, for the nine tribes, and for the half tribe.


Joshua 14:3 For Moses had given the inheritance of two tribes and an half tribe [i.e. Reuben, Gad, and the half tribe of Manasseh] on the other side Jordan [i.e. on the east side of the Jordan]: but unto the Levites [i.e. the Tribe of Levi] he gave none inheritance among them [i.e. among the tribes].


Joshua 14:4 For the children of Joseph were two tribes, Manasseh and Ephraim [i.e. Joseph’s two sons were named Manasseh and Ephraim. Manasseh and Ephraim each received an allotment of territory, but the Tribe of Levi did not receive a territory.]: therefore they gave no part unto the Levites in the land, save [i.e. except] cities to dwell in, with their suburbs [i.e. pasture lands] for their cattle and for their substance.


The double-portion right of the firstborn was given to Joseph’s two sons. In Genesis 48:5 Jacob adopted Joseph’s two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, as his own when he said, Thy two sons . . . are mine.


Genesis 48:5 And now thy two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, which were born unto thee in the land of Egypt before I came unto thee into Egypt, are mine; as Reuben and Simeon, they shall be mine.


By adopting them he elevated them to a position equal with his other sons. This insured that Joseph’s descendants would receive a double inheritance. Apparently at the same time Jacob transferred the rights of the firstborn from Reuben to Joseph, who was the firstborn of his beloved Rachel.


Reuben had previously had an affair with Bilhah, Jacob’s concubine.


Genesis 35:22 And it came to pass, when Israel dwelt in that land, that Reuben went and lay with Bilhah his father’s concubine: and Israel heard it. Now the sons of Jacob were twelve.


I Chronicles 5:1 Now the sons of Reuben the firstborn of Israel, (for he was the firstborn; but, forasmuch as he defiled his father’s bed, his birthright was given unto the sons of Joseph the son of Israel: and the genealogy is not to be reckoned after the birthright [i.e. so that the genealogy is not listed according to the birthright].


The Levites were given certain cities and suburbs. Because all the Levites were not occupied at the Tabernacle, they were given 48 cities in which to live along with pasturelands (suburbs) around them. These pasturelands (suburbs) included two areas around each city: one extended 500 yards (or 1,500 feet) from the wall of the city outward on each side, and the second extended an additional 1,000 yards (or 4,500 feet) beyond the first one.


This means that the land extending 4,500 feet from each side of the city was given to the Levites for pasturelands. Including the city, this would make up a section of land almost two miles square on each side. Their pasturelands would be a total of almost four square miles with the city in the middle.


Joshua 14:5 As the LORD commanded Moses, so the children of Israel did, and they divided the land.


Next, we see –

                        2.   Caleb at Kadesh Barnea – 14:6-9


14:6-15 – Caleb, who with Joshua had brought the minority report at Kadesh-barnea, asked for and received the city of Hebron as his special inheritance. Still vigorous at age 85 he helped drive out the Anakims (14:12), and later willingly gave up Hebron to the Levites and lived in the suburbs [i.e. in the pasturelands].


Joshua 14:6 Then the children of Judah came unto Joshua in Gilgal: and Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenezite said unto him, Thou knowest the thing that the LORD said unto Moses the man of God concerning me and thee in Kadeshbarnea.


Joshua 14:7 Forty years old was I when Moses the servant of the LORD sent me from Kadeshbarnea to espy out [i.e. to spy out] the land; and I brought him word again as it was in mine heart.


Joshua 14:8 Nevertheless my brethren that went up with me made the heart of the people melt: but I wholly [i.e. I fully, I wholeheartedly] followed the LORD my God.


Joshua 14:9 And Moses sware on that day, saying, Surely the land whereon thy feet have trodden [i.e. have walked] shall be thine inheritance, and thy children’s for ever, because thou hast wholly [i.e. fully, wholeheartedly] followed the LORD my God.


Next, we see –

                        3.   Caleb during the wilderness wanderings and the Conquest – 14:10-11


Joshua 14:10 And now, behold, the LORD hath kept me alive, as he said, these forty and five years, even since the LORD spake this word unto Moses, while the children of Israel wandered in the wilderness: and now, lo, I am this day fourscore and five years old.


Since Caleb was 40 years old at the time of the rebellion at Kadesh Barnea, since the Israelites wandered in the wilderness for 40 years, and Caleb was now 85 years old, this means that the crossing of the Jordan River and capture of Jericho had taken place 5 years before this verse. Thus, the conquest of the land up to this point in time had taken 5 years.


Joshua 14:11 As yet I am as strong this day as I was in the day that Moses sent me: as my strength was then, even so is my strength now, for war, both to go out, and to come in.


In addition, we see –

                        4.   Caleb at Hebron – 14:12-15


Joshua 14:12 Now therefore give me this mountain, whereof the LORD spake in that day; for thou heardest in that day how the Anakims were there, and that the cities were great and fenced [i.e. fortified]: if so be the LORD will be with me, then I shall be able to drive them out, as the LORD said.


Joshua 14:13 And Joshua blessed him, and gave unto Caleb the son of Jephunneh Hebron for an inheritance.


Joshua 14:14 Hebron [Hebron is located on the map just below the A in Judah] therefore became the inheritance of Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenezite unto this day, because that he wholly [i.e. he fully, he wholeheartedly] followed the LORD God of Israel.


Joshua 14:15 And the name of Hebron before was Kirjatharba [i.e. city of Arba]; which Arba was a great man among the Anakims. And the land had rest from war.


Now that we have seen the portion of the land given to Caleb, we see next –

            C.  The portions for the nine and one-half tribes – 15:1 - 19:48


First, there is –

                        1.   The allotment for the tribe of Judah – 15:1-63


15:1-12 – Judah’s southern border extended from the southern end of the salt sea (Dead Sea) westward to the river of Egypt. Her northern border extended from the northern tip of the Dead Sea to the Mediterranean. The Dead Sea represents the eastern boundary of Judah and the Mediterranean Sea represents the western boundary of Judah.


I will not deal with all the verses in chapter 15. I will only deal with some of them in the first fourth of this chapter to give you an idea why I won’t go completely verse-by-verse in this chapter.


Joshua 15:1 This then was the lot of the tribe of the children of Judah by their families; even to the border of Edom the wilderness of Zin southward was the uttermost part of the south coast [i.e. The wilderness of Zin was the extreme southern boundary].


Verses 2-4 describe the southern border of Judah. It extends in a zig-zag fashion from the southern end of the Dead Sea to the Mediterranean Sea.


Joshua 15:2 And their south border was from the shore of the salt sea [i.e. from the shore of the Dead Sea], from the bay that looketh southward [i.e. the southern end of the Dead Sea]:

Joshua 15:3 And it went out to the south side to Maalehacrabbim [i.e. the southern ascent of Akrabbim], and passed along to Zin [i.e. the extreme southern boundary], and ascended up on the south side unto Kadeshbarnea, and passed along to Hezron, and went up to Adar, and fetched a compass [i.e. went around] to Karkaa:

Joshua 15:4 From thence [i.e. from there] it passed toward Azmon, and went out unto the river of Egypt; and the goings out of that coast were at the sea [i.e. the border ended at the Mediterranean Sea]: this shall be your south coast [i.e. border].


Verse 5a describes the eastern border of Judah. It is the Dead Sea.


Joshua 15:5 a – And the east border was the salt sea [i.e. The east border of Judah was the Dead Sea], even unto the end of Jordan.


Verses 5b-11 describe the northern border of Judah. It is extends in a zig-zag course from the north end of the Dead Sea to the Mediterranean Sea.


Joshua 15:5 b – And their border in the north quarter was from the bay of the sea at the uttermost part of Jordan [i.e. at the mouth of Jordan]: The north border of Judah starts at the north end of the Dead Sea at the mouth of the Jordan River (i.e. where the Jordan River empties into the Dead Sea) and goes west.]

Joshua 15:6 And the border went up to Bethhogla, and passed along by the north of Betharabah; and the border went up to the stone of Bohan the son of Reuben:

Joshua 15:7 And the border went up toward Debir from the valley of Achor, and so northward, looking toward Gilgal, that is before the going up to Adummim, which is on the south side of the river: and the border passed toward the waters of Enshemesh, and the goings out thereof were at [i.e. and it ended at] Enrogel:

Joshua 15:8 And the border went up by the valley of the son of Hinnom unto the south side of the Jebusite; the same is Jerusalem: and the border went up to the top of the mountain that lieth before the valley of Hinnom westward, which is at the end of the valley of the giants northward:

Joshua 15:9 And the border was drawn from the top of the hill unto the fountain of the water of Nephtoah, and went out to the cities of mount Ephron; and the border was drawn to Baalah, which is Kirjathjearim [i.e. city of Jearim]:

Joshua 15:10 And the border compassed [i.e. turned, curved] from Baalah westward unto mount Seir, and passed along unto the side of mount Jearim, which is Chesalon, on the north side, and went down to Bethshemesh, and passed on to Timnah:

Joshua 15:11 And the border went out unto the side of Ekron northward: and the border was drawn to Shicron, and passed along to mount Baalah, and went out unto Jabneel; and the goings out of the border were at the sea [i.e. the border ended at the Mediterranean Sea].


Verse 12a describes the west border of Judah. It is the Mediterranean Sea.


Joshua 15:12 a – And the west border was to the great sea [i.e. the Mediterranean Sea], and the coast thereof [i.e. The west border was the coastline of the Mediterranean Sea].


Verse 12b summarizes the land allotted to Judah.


Joshua 15:12 b – This is the coast [i.e. the boundary] of the children of Judah round about [i.e. all around] according to their families.


15:13-19 – Othniel made a second assault on Debir after Joshua’s lightning attack which occurred in Joshua 10:38-39 . Othniel would later become a judge of Israel in Judges 3:9-11 ).


Joshua 15:13 And unto Caleb the son of Jephunneh he [i.e. Joshua] 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.


Joshua 15:14 And Caleb drove thence [i.e. from there] the three sons of Anak, Sheshai, and Ahiman, and Talmai, the children of Anak. [These were giants.]


Joshua 15:15 And he [i.e. Caleb] went up thence [i.e. there] to the inhabitants of Debir: and the name of Debir before was Kirjathsepher [i.e. city of Sepher].


Joshua 15:16 And Caleb said, He that smiteth Kirjathsepher [i.e. city of Sepher], and taketh it, to him will I give Achsah my daughter to wife.


Joshua 15:17 And Othniel the son of Kenaz, the brother of Caleb, took it: and he gave him Achsah his daughter to wife.


Joshua 15:18 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 ass [i.e. her donkey]; and Caleb said unto her, What wouldest thou?


Joshua 15:19 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 [i.e. low, lower, lowest) springs.


Verses 20-62 then list the cities of Judah in four geographical areas. We will not attempt to read them in this message.


                              1.   The cities of Judah in the south 15:20-32


These cities were located toward the border of Edom.


Joshua 15:20 This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Judah according to their families.

Joshua 15:21 And the uttermost cities of the tribe of the children of Judah toward the coast of Edom southward were Kabzeel, and Eder, and Jagur,

Joshua 15:22 And Kinah, and Dimonah, and Adadah,

Joshua 15:23 And Kedesh, and Hazor, and Ithnan,

Joshua 15:24 Ziph, and Telem, and Bealoth,

Joshua 15:25 And Hazor, Hadattah, and Kerioth, and Hezron, which is Hazor,

Joshua 15:26 Amam, and Shema, and Moladah,

Joshua 15:27 And Hazargaddah, and Heshmon, and Bethpalet,

Joshua 15:28 And Hazarshual, and Beersheba, and Bizjothjah,

Joshua 15:29 Baalah, and Iim, and Azem,

Joshua 15:30 And Eltolad, and Chesil, and Hormah,

Joshua 15:31 And Ziklag, and Madmannah, and Sansannah,

Joshua 15:32 And Lebaoth, and Shilhim, and Ain, and Rimmon: all the cities are twenty and nine, with their villages:


15:32 – It is stated in verse 32 that there are twenty and nine cities. However, since 38 locations are listed, perhaps nine of these were too small to be called “cities,” or they may have been in part of Simeon’s territory (19:9), which was eventually assimilated into Judah.


                              2.   The cities of Judah in the Shephelah (western foothills) 15:33-47


These cities are located to the west of the darker section in Judah which looks like mountainous area.


Joshua 15:33 And in the valley, Eshtaol, and Zoreah, and Ashnah,

Joshua 15:34 And Zanoah, and Engannim, Tappuah, and Enam,

Joshua 15:35 Jarmuth, and Adullam, Socoh, and Azekah,

Joshua 15:36 And Sharaim, and Adithaim, and Gederah, and Gederothaim; fourteen cities with their villages:

Joshua 15:37 Zenan, and Hadashah, and Migdalgad,

Joshua 15:38 And Dilean, and Mizpeh, and Joktheel,

Joshua 15:39 Lachish, and Bozkath, and Eglon,

Joshua 15:40 And Cabbon, and Lahmam, and Kithlish,

Joshua 15:41 And Gederoth, Bethdagon, and Naamah, and Makkedah; sixteen cities with their villages:

Joshua 15:42 Libnah, and Ether, and Ashan,

Joshua 15:43 And Jiphtah, and Ashnah, and Nezib,

Joshua 15:44 And Keilah, and Achzib, and Mareshah; nine cities with their villages:

Joshua 15:45 Ekron, with her towns and her villages:

Joshua 15:46 From Ekron even unto the sea [i.e. the Mediterranean Sea], all that lay near Ashdod, with their villages:

Joshua 15:47 Ashdod with her towns and her villages, Gaza with her towns and her villages, unto the river of Egypt, and the great sea, and the border thereof [i.e. the Mediterranean Sea and its coastline]:


                              3.   The cities of Judah in the hill country 15:48-60)


The hill country is the mountainous area on the map seen in the darkened portion of Judah between the A and H of Judah.


Joshua 15:48 And in the mountains, Shamir, and Jattir, and Socoh,

Joshua 15:49 And Dannah, and Kirjathsannah [i.e. city of Sannah], which is Debir,

Joshua 15:50 And Anab, and Eshtemoh, and Anim,

Joshua 15:51 And Goshen, and Holon, and Giloh; eleven cities with their villages:

Joshua 15:52 Arab, and Dumah, and Eshean,

Joshua 15:53 And Janum, and Bethtappuah, and Aphekah,

Joshua 15:54 And Humtah, and Kirjatharba [i.e. city of Arba], which is Hebron, and Zior; nine cities with their villages:

Joshua 15:55 Maon, Carmel, and Ziph, and Juttah,

Joshua 15:56 And Jezreel, and Jokdeam, and Zanoah,

Joshua 15:57 Cain, Gibeah, and Timnah; ten cities with their villages:

Joshua 15:58 Halhul, Bethzur, and Gedor,

Joshua 15:59 And Maarath, and Bethanoth, and Eltekon; six cities with their villages:

Joshua 15:60 Kirjathbaal [i.e. city of Baal], which is Kirjathjearim, and Rabbah; two cities with their villages:


                              4.   The cities of Judah in the desert (or wilderness) of Judea that slopes down to the Dead Sea 15:61-62


The wilderness is the land between the mountainous area on the map, which is seen in the darkened portion of Judah, and the Dead Sea.


Joshua 15:61 In the wilderness, Betharabah, Middin, and Secacah,

Joshua 15:62 And Nibshan, and the city of Salt, and Engedi; six cities with their villages.


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.


15:63 – The men of Judah did capture the lower city (Judg. 1:8, 21), but only later did King David capture the upper city and eliminate the Jebusites. This is found in II Samuel 5:6-7 .


Unto this day is unto the day of the writing of Joshua. Inasmuch as Joshua appears to have been the author of the book of Joshua, this verse presents the situation within 5 years of Joshua’s life, which would continue into the reign of David who did not even begin to reign for another 335-340 years.