Joshua Chapter 13

The prophet Joshua, had been a man who traveled closely with Moses during the 40 year journey of the Israelites. Prior to wandering, he had gone with Moses to the mount and waited while Moses conversed with the Lord and received the law. Joshua had been a grown man at Mount Sinai, and was one of two (he and Caleb) who, because of faith, had been allowed to remain living through the years, to enter the promised land. He had been the leader of the armies of Israel, and had taken the land of Canaan from other nations. The Lord’s instructions at this point are found in this chapter, which begins as follows:

1 Now Joshua was old and stricken in years; and the Lord said unto him, Thou art old and stricken in years, and there remaineth yet very much land to be possessed.
2 This is the land that yet remaineth: all the borders of the Philistines, and all Geshuri,
3 From Sihor, which is before Egypt, even unto the borders of Ekron northward, 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:
4 From the south, all the land of the Canaanites, and Mearah that is beside the Sidonians, unto Aphek, to the borders of the Amorites:
5 And the land of the Giblites, and all Lebanon, toward the sunrising, from Baal-gad under mount Hermon unto the entering into Hamath.
6 All the inhabitants of the hill country from Lebanon unto Misrephoth-maim, 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.
7 Now therefore divide this land for an inheritance unto the nine tribes, and the half tribe of Manasseh,
8 With whom the Reubenites and the Gadites have received their inheritance, which Moses gave them, beyond Jordan eastward, even as Moses the servant of the Lord gave them;
9 From Aroer, that is upon the bank of the river Arnon, and the city that is in the midst of the river, and all the plain of Medeba unto Dibon;
10 And all the cities of Sihon king of the Amorites, which reigned in Heshbon, unto the border of the children of Ammon;
11 And Gilead, and the border of the Geshurites and Maachathites, and all mount Hermon, and all Bashan unto Salcah;
12 All the kingdom of Og in Bashan, which reigned in Ashtaroth and in Edrei, who remained of the remnant of the giants: for these did Moses smite, and cast them out.
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.
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.

Joshua was growing old, and the work of gaining the land was not complete. Joshua was instructed to go ahead and divide the land, even though there was still land left to conquer. The Lord would see that Israel would gain the land from the nations that remained. The Geshurites and Maachathites had not been expelled by the Israelites, which was noted by the Lord. The land on the western side of the Jordan, was for nine of the tribes and half of Manasseh, while the land on the eastern side was already divided for the tribe of Reuben, Gad, and the other half of Manasseh. All the tribes were to be given an inheritance, except for the tribe of Levi, who were to make the holy sacrifices to the Lord.

15 And Moses gave unto the tribe of the children of Reuben inheritance according to their families.
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;
17 Heshbon, and all her cities that are in the plain; Dibon, and Bamoth-baal, and Beth-baal-meon,
18 And Jahazah, and Kedemoth, and Mephaath,
19 And Kirjathaim, and Sibmah, and Zareth-shahar in the mount of the valley,
20 And Beth-peor, and Ashdoth-pisgah, and Beth-jeshimoth,
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.

The location of the land inheritance of the tribe of Reuben, was confirmed by the Lord. It included part of the land where the kingdom of Sihon had been, whom the Israelites had destroyed before entering the promised land.

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.
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.
24 And Moses gave inheritance unto the tribe of Gad, even unto the children of Gad according to their families.
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;
26 And from Heshbon unto Ramath-mizpeh, and Betonim; and from Mahanaim unto the border of Debir;
27 And in the valley, Beth-aram, and Beth-nimrah, 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.
28 This is the inheritance of the children of Gad after their families, the cities, and their villages.

We read in verse 22, that Balaam was killed by the Israelites. We learn of Balaam in the book of Numbers, where he was bribed by the king of the Moab, to curse the Israelites (see Number 22). The Lord persuaded Balaam to bless Israel instead, after a visit from an angel. Balaam had still used his knowledge of the Israelites to help weaken the Israelites with sin. The land where Balaam was slain, was part of the inheritance of Israel. The location of the land inheritance of the tribe of Gad, was also confirmed by the Lord.

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.
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:
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.
32 These are the countries which Moses did distribute for inheritance in the plains of Moab, on the other side Jordan, by Jericho, eastward.
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.

Last, the half of Manasseh had their land inheritance confirmed by the Lord. Their inheritance included the kingdom of Og. Again, it is repeated that no inheritance was given to the Levites, because their inheritance was the service of the Lord and all its blessings.

Reading of the confirmation of Israel’s inheritance, helps me to have hope in the promises of God. There is still plenty that will happen before the resurrection and final judgement. I think that prophecies are much like promises of God to the world. Having a witness of His promises being fulfilled, helps me to know that those still in our future, will also be fulfilled. I look forward to the time when all the earth will know of Jesus Christ, when He comes again, as well as when judgement is received and heavenly blessings are received. I hope to be worthy of the mercy of Jesus Christ at that day.

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