Joshua 18:9
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
So the men went and passed up and down in the land and wrote in a book a description of it by towns in seven divisions. Then they came to Joshua to the camp at Shiloh,

King James Bible
And the men went and passed through the land, and described it by cities into seven parts in a book, and came again to Joshua to the host at Shiloh.

American Standard Version
And the men went and passed through the land, and described it by cities into seven portions in a book; and they came to Joshua unto the camp at Shiloh.

Douay-Rheims Bible
So they went: and surveying it divided it into seven parts, writing them down in a book. And they returned to Josue, to the camp in Silo.

English Revised Version
And the men went and passed through the land, and described it by cities into seven portions in a book, and they came to Joshua unto the camp at Shiloh.

Webster's Bible Translation
And the men went and passed through the land, and described it by cities in seven parts in a book, and came again, to Joshua to the host at Shiloh.

Joshua 18:9 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

But, for the reasons explained in Joshua 14:1, these tribes showed themselves "slack to go to possess the land which the Lord had given them," i.e., not merely to conquer it, but to have it divided by lot, and to enter in and take possession. Joshua charged them with this, and directed them to appoint three men for each of the seven tribes, that they might be sent out to go through the land, and describe it according to the measure of their inheritance. "According to their inheritance," i.e., with special reference to the fact that seven tribes were to receive it for their inheritance. The description was not a formal measurement, although the art of surveying was well known in Egypt in ancient times, and was regularly carried out after the annual inundations of the Nile (Herod. ii. 109; Strabo, xvii. 787; Diod. Sic. i. 69); so that the Israelites might have learned it there. But כּתב does not mean to measure; and it was not a formal measurement that was required, for the purpose of dividing the land that yet remained into seven districts, since the tribes differed in numerical strength, and therefore the boundaries of the territory assigned them could not be settled till after the lots had been cast. The meaning of the word is to describe; and according to Joshua 18:9, it was chiefly to the towns that reference was made: so that the description required by Joshua in all probability consisted simply in the preparation of lists of the towns in the different parts of the land, with an account of their size and character; also with "notices of the quality and condition of the soil; what lands were fertile, and what they produced; where the country was mountainous, and where it was level; which lands were well watered, and which were dry; and any other things that would indicate the character of the soil, and facilitate a comparison between the different parts of the land" (Rosenmller). The reasons which induced Joshua to take steps for the first time now for securing a survey of the land, are given in Joshua 14:1. The men chosen for the purpose were able to carry out their task without receiving any hindrance from the Canaanites. For whilst the latter were crushed, if not exterminated, by the victories which the Israelites had gained, it was not necessary for the twenty-one Israelitish men to penetrate into every corner of the land, and every town that was still inhabited by the Canaanites, in order to accomplish their end.

Joshua 18:9 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

described The surveyors seem to have formed some kind of map of the country, as well as a description of it in writing. The Egyptians, from the situation of their fields, as annually overflowed by the Nile, acquired great skill in mensuration and land surveying; and some of the Israelites had, no doubt, learned these from them, without a knowledge of which they could not properly have divided the land. This is probably the act of surveying on record.

into seven

Acts 13:19 And when he had destroyed seven nations in the land of Chanaan, he divided their land to them by lot.

Cross References
Joshua 18:8
So the men arose and went, and Joshua charged those who went to write the description of the land, saying, "Go up and down in the land and write a description and return to me. And I will cast lots for you here before the LORD in Shiloh."

Joshua 18:10
and Joshua cast lots for them in Shiloh before the LORD. And there Joshua apportioned the land to the people of Israel, to each his portion.

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ESV Text Edition: 2016. The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
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