Joshua 14:5
As the LORD commanded Moses, so the children of Israel did, and they divided the land.
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14:1-5 The Israelites must occupy the new conquests. Canaan would have been subdued in vain, if it had not been inhabited. Yet every man might not go and settle where he pleased. God shall choose our inheritance for us. Let us survey our heritage of present mercy, our prospect for the land of promise, eternal in the heavens. Is God any respecter of persons? Is it not better that our place, as to earthly good or sorrow, should be determined by the infinite wisdom of our heavenly Father, than by our own ignorance? Should not those for whom the great mystery of godliness was exhibited, those whose redemption was purchased by Jesus Christ, thankfully refer their earthly concerns to his appointment?By lot - We are not told in what manner the lot was cast. Perhaps two urns were employed, one containing a description of the several districts to be allotted, the other the names of the tribes; and the portion of each tribe would then be determined by a simultaneous drawing from the two urns. Or a drawing might be made by some appointed person, or by a delegate of each tribe from one urn containing the description of the ten inheritances. The lot only determined in a general way the position in the country of the particular tribe concerned, whether north or south, etc.; the dimensions of each territory being left to be adjusted subsequently, according to the numbers and wants of the tribe to be provided for. Since the predilections and habits of two tribes and a half were consulted in the apportionment to them of the trans-Jordanic territory Numbers 32:1 there is no objection to the supposition that something of the same kind may have taken place, subject to the divine approval, in the distribution of the lands to the nine and a half other tribes; and the lot would thus be appealed to as finally deciding the matter and foreclosing jealousies and disputes.

It is apparent that the casting of the ten lots did not take place simultaneously. The tribe of Judah had precedence, whether by express appointment or because its lot "came up" first, does not appear. It was, as it seems, only after this tribe had settled upon its domains, that further lots were drawn for Ephraim and the half tribe of Manasseh. After this a pause, perhaps of some duration, appears to have occurred; the camp was moved from Gilgal to Shiloh; and the further casting of lots for the other seven tribes was proceeded with at the instigation of Joshua (see Joshua 18:10).

5. the children of Israel … divided the land—that is, they made the preliminary arrangements for the work. A considerable time was requisite for the survey and measurement. They, i.e. the persons named Joshua 14:5, who represented and acted in the name of the children of Israel, divided it, either now, or presently after; which is here spoken by anticipation. As the Lord commanded Moses, so the children of Israel did,.... Particularly with respect to the division of the land, and making provision for the Levites; this they did by their heads and representatives, the high priest and chief ruler, and the princes of the several tribes:

and they divided the land; met about it, and began to take measures in order to do it; they prepared for it, though as yet it was not actually done, and previous to it was the following incident.

As the LORD commanded Moses, so the children of Israel did, and they divided the land.
5. they divided the land] The division was not finished at once. See below, ch. Joshua 18:1. But that is not the point here. The section contains the general introduction to the distribution of the land.Joshua 13:32 is the concluding formula. (For the fact itself, see Numbers 34:14-15.) Joshua 13:33 is a repetition of Joshua 13:14.
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