Joshua 18:1-6

Land Distribution at Shiloh

1 The entire Israelite community assembled at Shiloh where it set up the tent of meeting there; the land had been subdued by them.
2 Seven tribes among the Israelites were left who had not divided up their inheritance.
3 So Joshua said to the Israelites, "How long will you delay going out to take possession of the land that the Lord, the God of your fathers, gave you?
4 Appoint for yourselves three men from each tribe, and I will send them out. They are to go and survey the land, write a description of it for the purpose of their inheritance, and return to me.
5 Then they are to divide it into seven portions. Judah is to remain in its territory in the south, and Joseph's family in their[a] territory in the north.
6 When you have written a description of the seven portions of land and brought it to me, I will cast lots for you here in the presence of the Lord our God.

Joshua 18:1-6 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO JOSHUA 18

This chapter informs us of the setting up of the tabernacle at Shiloh, Jos 18:1; of the notice Joshua took, that seven tribes had not received their inheritance, Jos 18:2; of the instructions he gave them to send three men out of each tribe, and describe the land not yet disposed of, and bring the account to him, which was accordingly done, Jos 18:3-9; and then he cast lots for them, and the first lot came up for Benjamin, Jos 18:10,11; the borders of whose lots are described, Jos 18:12-20; and the several cities in it enumerated, Jos 18:21-28.

Joshua 18:1-6 In-Context

1 The entire Israelite community assembled at Shiloh where it set up the tent of meeting there; the land had been subdued by them.
2 Seven tribes among the Israelites were left who had not divided up their inheritance.
3 So Joshua said to the Israelites, "How long will you delay going out to take possession of the land that the Lord, the God of your fathers, gave you?
4 Appoint for yourselves three men from each tribe, and I will send them out. They are to go and survey the land, write a description of it for the purpose of their inheritance, and return to me.
5 Then they are to divide it into seven portions. Judah is to remain in its territory in the south, and Joseph's family in their territory in the north.
6 When you have written a description of the seven portions of land and brought it to me, I will cast lots for you here in the presence of the Lord our God.
7 But the Levites among you do not get a portion, because their inheritance is the priesthood of the Lord. Gad, Reuben, and half the tribe of Manasseh have taken their inheritance beyond the Jordan to the east, which Moses the Lord's servant gave them."
8 As the men prepared to go, Joshua commanded them to write down a description of the land, saying, "Go and survey the land, write a description of it, and return to me. I will then cast lots for you here in Shiloh in the presence of the Lord."
9 So the men left, went through the land, and described it by towns in a document of seven sections. They returned to Joshua at the camp in Shiloh.
10 Joshua cast lots for them at Shiloh in the presence of the Lord where he distributed the land to the Israelites according to their divisions.

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh