Now therefore divide this land for an inheritance to the nine tribes, and the half tribe of Manasseh,
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Joshua 13:7. Now, therefore, divide this land — Both that which was conquered and that which remained unconquered was to be divided, that every tribe might know what belonged to them by God’s gift, and be encouraged to attempt the conquest of it when they were able; might be preserved from entering into any covenant or society with those who kept their inheritance from them; and likewise with a view to hinder the unconquered people from joining their forces together to recover their country, the Israelites inhabiting the cities and fields that lay between them.Joshua 13:2 to the words "the Sidonians" in this verse were placed in a parenthesis, and the order of the words before us changed thus: "I will drive them out." The "them" meaning the inhabitants of the "very much land to be possessed," spoken of in Joshua 13:1.
them will I drive out—The fulfilment of this promise was conditional. In the event of the Israelites proving unfaithful or disobedient, they would not subdue the districts now specified; and, in point of fact, the Israelites never possessed them though the inhabitants were subjected to the power of David and Solomon.
only divide thou it by lot unto the Israelites for an inheritance—The parenthetic section being closed, the historian here resumes the main subject of this chapter—the order of God to Joshua to make an immediate allotment of the land. The method of distribution by lot was, in all respects, the best that could have been adopted, as it prevented all ground of discontent, as well as charges of arbitrary or partial conduct on the part of the leaders; and its announcement in the life of Moses (Nu 33:54), as the system according to which the allocations to each tribe should be made, was intended to lead the people to the acknowledgment of God as the proprietor of the land and as having the entire right to its disposal. Moreover, a solemn appeal to the lot showed it to be the dictate not of human, but divine, wisdom. It was used, however, only in determining the part of the country where a tribe was to be settled—the extent of the settlement was to be decided on a different principle (Nu 26:54). The overruling control of God is conclusively proved because each tribe received the possession predicted by Jacob (Ge 49:3-28) and by Moses (De 33:6-25).
unto the nine tribes: of Judah, Simeon, Benjamin, Dan, Ephraim, Zebulun, Issachar, Asher, and Naphtali, in which order they are placed, when the Lord gave to Moses the names of the men that should divide the land under Eleazar and Joshua, Numbers 34:16,
and the half tribe of Manasseh; that half which had no inheritance on the other side Jordan, and for which a prince of the children of Joseph was appointed to divide, Numbers 34:23.Now therefore divide this land for an inheritance unto the nine tribes, and the half tribe of Manasseh,
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)7. Now therefore divide] Here we have a more definite statement of the tribes amongst whom western Palestine was to be divided.Joshua 13:1-7. Command of the Lord to Joshua to distribute the land of Canaan by lot among the nine tribes and a half. Joshua 13:1 contains only the commencement of the divine command; the conclusion follows in Joshua 13:7. Joshua 13:2-6 form a parenthesis of several clauses, defining the last clause of Joshua 13:1 more fully. When Joshua had grown old, the Lord commanded him, as he was advanced in years, and there was still much land to be taken, to divide "this land," i.e., the whole of the land of Canaan, for an inheritance to the nine tribes and a half, and promised him at the same time that He would drive out the Canaanites from those portions of the land that were not yet conquered (Joshua 13:6). The words "grown old and come into years" (vid., Genesis 24:1; Genesis 18:11, etc.) denote advanced age in its different stages up to the near approach of death (as, for example, in Joshua 23:1). Joshua might be ninety or a hundred years old at this time. The allusion to Joshua's great age serves simply to explain the reason for the command of God. As he was already old, and there still remained much land to be taken, he was to proceed to the division of Canaan, that he might accomplish this work to which he was also called before his death; whereas he might very possibly suppose that, under existing circumstances, the time for allotting the land had not yet arrived. - In Joshua 13:2-6 the districts that were not yet conquered are enumerated separately.
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