Joshua 13

Land Still to Be Taken

1 When Joshua had grown old, the LORD said to him, “You are now very old, and there are still very large areas of land to be taken over.
2 “This is the land that remains: all the regions of the Philistines and Geshurites,
3 from the Shihor River on the east of Egypt to the territory of Ekron on the north, all of it counted as Canaanite though held by the five Philistine rulers in Gaza, Ashdod, Ashkelon, Gath and Ekron; the territory of the Avvites
4 on the south; all the land of the Canaanites, from Arah of the Sidonians as far as Aphek and the border of the Amorites;
5 the area of Byblos; and all Lebanon to the east, from Baal Gad below Mount Hermon to Lebo Hamath.
6 “As for all the inhabitants of the mountain regions from Lebanon to Misrephoth Maim, that is, all the Sidonians, I myself will drive them out before the Israelites. Be sure to allocate this land to Israel for an inheritance, as I have instructed you,
7 and divide it as an inheritance among the nine tribes and half of the tribe of Manasseh.”

Division of the Land East of the Jordan

8 The other half of Manasseh,[a] the Reubenites and the Gadites had received the inheritance that Moses had given them east of the Jordan, as he, the servant of the LORD, had assigned it to them.
9 It extended from Aroer on the rim of the Arnon Gorge, and from the town in the middle of the gorge, and included the whole plateau of Medeba as far as Dibon,
10 and all the towns of Sihon king of the Amorites, who ruled in Heshbon, out to the border of the Ammonites.
11 It also included Gilead, the territory of the people of Geshur and Maakah, all of Mount Hermon and all Bashan as far as Salekah—
12 that is, the whole kingdom of Og in Bashan, who had reigned in Ashtaroth and Edrei. (He was the last of the Rephaites.) Moses had defeated them and taken over their land.
13 But the Israelites did not drive out the people of Geshur and Maakah, so they continue to live among the Israelites to this day.
14 But to the tribe of Levi he gave no inheritance, since the food offerings presented to the LORD, the God of Israel, are their inheritance, as he promised them.
15 This is what Moses had given to the tribe of Reuben, according to its clans:
16 The territory from Aroer on the rim of the Arnon Gorge, and from the town in the middle of the gorge, and the whole plateau past Medeba
17 to Heshbon and all its towns on the plateau, including Dibon, Bamoth Baal, Beth Baal Meon,
18 Jahaz, Kedemoth, Mephaath,
19 Kiriathaim, Sibmah, Zereth Shahar on the hill in the valley,
20 Beth Peor, the slopes of Pisgah, and Beth Jeshimoth—
21 all the towns on the plateau and the entire realm of Sihon king of the Amorites, who ruled at Heshbon. Moses had defeated him and the Midianite chiefs, Evi, Rekem, Zur, Hur and Reba—princes allied with Sihon—who lived in that country.
22 In addition to those slain in battle, the Israelites had put to the sword Balaam son of Beor, who practiced divination.
23 The boundary of the Reubenites was the bank of the Jordan. These towns and their villages were the inheritance of the Reubenites, according to their clans.
24 This is what Moses had given to the tribe of Gad, according to its clans:
25 The territory of Jazer, all the towns of Gilead and half the Ammonite country as far as Aroer, near Rabbah;
26 and from Heshbon to Ramath Mizpah and Betonim, and from Mahanaim to the territory of Debir;
27 and in the valley, Beth Haram, Beth Nimrah, Sukkoth and Zaphon with the rest of the realm of Sihon king of Heshbon (the east side of the Jordan, the territory up to the end of the Sea of Galilee[b] ).
28 These towns and their villages were the inheritance of the Gadites, according to their clans.
29 This is what Moses had given to the half-tribe of Manasseh, that is, to half the family of the descendants of Manasseh, according to its clans:
30 The territory extending from Mahanaim and including all of Bashan, the entire realm of Og king of Bashan—all the settlements of Jair in Bashan, sixty towns,
31 half of Gilead, and Ashtaroth and Edrei (the royal cities of Og in Bashan). This was for the descendants of Makir son of Manasseh—for half of the sons of Makir, according to their clans.
32 This is the inheritance Moses had given when he was in the plains of Moab across the Jordan east of Jericho.
33 But to the tribe of Levi, Moses had given no inheritance; the LORD, the God of Israel, is their inheritance, as he promised them.

Joshua 13 Commentary

Chapter 13

Bounds of the land not yet conquered. (1-6) Inheritance of Reuben. (7-33)

Verses 1-6 At this chapter begins the account of the dividing of the land of Canaan among the tribes of Israel by lot; a narrative showing the performance of the promise made to the fathers, that this land should be given to the seed of Jacob. We are not to pass over these chapters of hard names as useless. Where God has a mouth to speak, and a hand to write, we should find an ear to hear, and an eye to read; and may God give us a heart to profit! Joshua is supposed to have been about one hundred years old at this time. It is good for those who are old and stricken in years to be put in remembrance of their being so. God considers the frame of his people, and would not have them burdened with work above their strength. And all people, especially old people, should set to do that quickly which must be done before they die, lest death prevent them, ( Ecclesiastes 9:10 ) . God promise that he would make the Israelites masters of all the countries yet unsubdued, through Joshua was old, and not able to do it; old, and not likely to live to see it done. Whatever becomes of us, and however we may be laid aside as despised, broken vessels, God will do his own work in his own time. We must work out our salvation, then God will work in us, and work with us; we must resist our spiritual enemies, then God will tread them under our feet; we must go forth to our Christian work and warfare, then God will go forth before us.

Verses 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 ( Numbers 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.

Cross References 78

  • 1. Genesis 24:1; Joshua 14:10; Joshua 23:1,2; 1 Kings 1:1
  • 2. S Genesis 10:14; S Judges 3:31
  • 3. S Joshua 12:5
  • 4. 1 Chronicles 13:5; Isaiah 23:3; Jeremiah 2:18
  • 5. Joshua 15:11,45; Joshua 19:43; Judges 1:18; 1 Samuel 5:10; 1 Samuel 7:14
  • 6. Judges 3:3; Judges 16:5,18; 1 Samuel 6:4,17; Isaiah 14:29; Jeremiah 25:20; Ezekiel 25:15
  • 7. S Joshua 11:22; Amos 3:9
  • 8. Judges 1:18; Judges 14:19; 2 Samuel 1:20
  • 9. S Deuteronomy 2:23
  • 10. S Joshua 12:18; Joshua 19:30
  • 11. S Genesis 14:7; S Genesis 15:16; Amos 2:10
  • 12. 1 Kings 5:18; Psalms 83:7; Ezekiel 27:9
  • 13. S Joshua 11:17; Joshua 12:7
  • 14. S Deuteronomy 3:8
  • 15. S Numbers 13:21; Numbers 34:8; Judges 3:3
  • 16. Joshua 11:8
  • 17. Psalms 80:8
  • 18. Numbers 33:54; S Numbers 34:13
  • 19. S Joshua 11:23; Psalms 78:55
  • 20. S Joshua 12:6
  • 21. Joshua 18:7
  • 22. ver 16; S Numbers 32:34; Deuteronomy 2:36; Judges 11:26; 2 Samuel 24:5
  • 23. ver 17,21; Jeremiah 48:8,21
  • 24. S Numbers 21:30; S Numbers 32:3; Isaiah 15:2; Jeremiah 48:18,22
  • 25. S Joshua 12:2
  • 26. S Numbers 21:24
  • 27. S Joshua 12:2
  • 28. Joshua 12:5
  • 29. S Deuteronomy 1:4; Deuteronomy 3:11
  • 30. Joshua 12:4
  • 31. S Numbers 21:33
  • 32. S Genesis 14:5
  • 33. S Deuteronomy 3:8
  • 34. S Joshua 12:5
  • 35. S Deuteronomy 3:14
  • 36. Deuteronomy 3:12
  • 37. ver 33; Deuteronomy 18:1-2; Joshua 14:3
  • 38. S ver 9; Joshua 12:2; 1 Samuel 30:28
  • 39. S Numbers 21:30; Isaiah 15:2
  • 40. S ver 9
  • 41. S Numbers 32:3
  • 42. Numbers 22:41
  • 43. 1 Chronicles 5:8; Jeremiah 48:23; Ezekiel 25:9
  • 44. S Numbers 21:23
  • 45. S Deuteronomy 2:26
  • 46. Joshua 21:37; Jeremiah 48:21
  • 47. S Numbers 32:37
  • 48. S Numbers 32:3
  • 49. S Deuteronomy 3:29
  • 50. S ver 9
  • 51. S Genesis 25:2; S Numbers 25:15
  • 52. Numbers 31:8
  • 53. S Numbers 22:5; Numbers 31:8
  • 54. S Genesis 30:27; S Numbers 23:23
  • 55. 1 Chronicles 5:7
  • 56. S Numbers 21:32; Joshua 21:39
  • 57. S Joshua 12:2
  • 58. S Deuteronomy 3:11
  • 59. S Numbers 21:25; Jeremiah 49:3
  • 60. S Genesis 32:2
  • 61. S Joshua 10:3
  • 62. S Numbers 32:3
  • 63. S Genesis 33:17
  • 64. Judges 12:1; Psalms 48:2
  • 65. S Numbers 34:11
  • 66. Genesis 46:16; S Numbers 32:33; Ezekiel 48:27
  • 67. S Genesis 32:2
  • 68. S Numbers 21:33
  • 69. S Joshua 12:4
  • 70. S Numbers 32:41
  • 71. Numbers 21:33
  • 72. S Genesis 50:23
  • 73. Joshua 17:5
  • 74. S Numbers 26:3
  • 75. S Numbers 22:1
  • 76. Numbers 26:62
  • 77. S Numbers 18:20
  • 78. S ver 14; Joshua 18:7; Ezekiel 44:28

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. Hebrew "With it" (that is, with the other half of Manasseh)
  • [b]. Hebrew "Kinnereth"

Chapter Summary


In this chapter Joshua is informed by the Lord, or put in mind, that
part of the land of Canaan remained unconquered, and which it was; and
is directed to divide the whole land among the nine tribes, and the
half tribe of Manasseh, Jos 13:1-9; and since the two tribes of Reuben
and Gad, and the other half tribe of Manasseh, had received their
inheritance on the other side Jordan, Jos 13:8; that is described in
general, Jos 13:9-14; and, then the particular portion of Reuben,
Jos 13:15-23; and of Gad, Jos 13:24-28; and of the half tribe of
Manasseh, Jos 13:29-33.

Joshua 13 Commentaries

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