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

13:7-33 The land must be divided among the tribes. It is the will of God that every man should know his own, and not take that which is another's. The world must be governed, not by force, but right. Wherever our habitation is placed, and in whatever honest way our portion is assigned, we should consider them as allotted of God; we should be thankful for, and use them as such, while every prudent method should be used to prevent disputes about property, both at present and in future. Joshua must be herein a type of Christ, who has not only conquered the gates of hell for us, but has opened to us the gates of heaven, and having purchased the eternal inheritance for all believers, will put them in possession of it. Here is a general description of the country given to the two tribes and a half, by Moses. Israel must know their own, and keep to it; and may not, under pretence of their being God's peculiar people, encroach on their neighbours. Twice in this chapter it is noticed, that to the tribe of Levi Moses gave no inheritance: see Nu 18:20. Their maintenance must be brought out of all the tribes. The ministers of the Lord should show themselves indifferent about worldly interests, and the people should take care they want nothing suitable. And happy are those who have the Lord God of Israel for their inheritance, though little of this world falls to their lot. His providences will supply their wants, his consolations will support their souls, till they gain heavenly joy and everlasting pleasures.The King James Version would exhibit the sense more clearly if the words from the beginning of 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. 6, 7. All the inhabitants of the hill country from Lebanon unto Misrephoth-maim—(See on [189]Jos 11:8)—that is, "all the Sidonians and Phœnicians."

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).

No text from Poole on this verse.

Now therefore divide this land for an inheritance,.... Having the command and authority of God for it, he was to set about it at once, with all diligence and application:

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,
7. Now therefore divide] Here we have a more definite statement of the tribes amongst whom western Palestine was to be divided.

Joshua 13:7There still remained to be taken (2) "the land of the Giblites," i.e., the territory of the population of Gebal (1 Kings 5:18; Ezekiel 27:9), the Byblos of the classics, on the Mediterranean Sea, to the north of Beirut, called Jebail by the Arabs, and according to Edrisi (ed. Jaubert, i. p. 356), "a pretty town on the sea-shore, enclosed in good walls, and surrounded by vineyards and extensive grounds planted with fruit trees" (see also Abulfed. Tab. Syr. p. 94). It is still a town with an old wall, some portions of which apparently belong to the time of the Crusades (see Burckhardt, Syr. p. 296, and Ritter, Erdk. xvii. pp. 60ff.).

(Note: The evidence adduced by Movers (Phnizier, ii. 1, p. 103), that the Giblites did not belong to the Canaanites, has more plausibility than truth.)

"And all Lebanon toward the sunrising:" i.e., not Antilibanus (Knobel), but the Lebanon which is to the east of the territory of Gebal, "from Baal-gad under Mount Hermon," i.e., Paneas Banjas at the foot of Hermon (see at Joshua 11:17), "unto the entering in to Hamath," i.e., as far up as the territory of the kingdom of Hamath, with the capital of the same name on the Orontes (see at Numbers 34:8). Lastly, there still remained (3) "all the inhabitants of the mountains, from Lebanon to Misrephothmaim," i.e., the promontory of Nakura (see at Joshua 11:8), namely "all the Sidonians," i.e., all the Phoenicians who dwelt from Lebanon southwards, from the boundary of the territory of Hamath down to the promontory of Nakura. According to ancient usage, the Sidonians stand for the Phoenicians generally, as in Homer, on account of Sidon being the oldest capital of Phoenicia (see Ges. on Isa. i. pp. 724ff.). All these the Lord would root out before Israel, and therefore Joshua was to divide the whole of northern Canaan, which was inhabited by Phoenicians, among the Israelites. "only divide thou it by lot for an inheritance," etc. רק, only, i.e., although thou hast not yet taken it. הפּיל, to cause it to fall, here used with reference to the lot, i.e., to divide by lot. "Fulfil thy duty in the distribution of the land, not even excepting what is still in the firm grasp of the enemy; for I will take care to perform what I have promised. From this we may learn to rely so perfectly upon the word of God, when undertaking any duty, as not to be deterred by doubts of fears" (Calvin).

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