Joshua 18

Division of the Rest of the Land

1 The whole assembly of the Israelites gathered at Shiloh and set up the tent of meeting there. The country was brought under their control,
2 but there were still seven Israelite tribes who had not yet received their inheritance.
3 So Joshua said to the Israelites: “How long will you wait before you begin to take possession of the land that the LORD, the God of your ancestors, has given you?
4 Appoint three men from each tribe. I will send them out to make a survey of the land and to write a description of it, according to the inheritance of each. Then they will return to me.
5 You are to divide the land into seven parts. Judah is to remain in its territory on the south and the tribes of Joseph in their territory on the north.
6 After you have written descriptions of the seven parts of the land, bring them here to me and I will cast lots for you in the presence of the LORD our God.
7 The Levites, however, do not get a portion among you, because the priestly service of the LORD is their inheritance. And Gad, Reuben and the half-tribe of Manasseh have already received their inheritance on the east side of the Jordan. Moses the servant of the LORD gave it to them.”
8 As the men started on their way to map out the land, Joshua instructed them, “Go and make a survey of the land and write a description of it. Then return to me, and I will cast lots for you here at Shiloh in the presence of the LORD.”
9 So the men left and went through the land. They wrote its description on a scroll, town by town, in seven parts, and returned to Joshua in the camp at Shiloh.
10 Joshua then cast lots for them in Shiloh in the presence of the LORD, and there he distributed the land to the Israelites according to their tribal divisions.

Allotment for Benjamin

11 The first lot came up for the tribe of Benjamin according to its clans. Their allotted territory lay between the tribes of Judah and Joseph:
12 On the north side their boundary began at the Jordan, passed the northern slope of Jericho and headed west into the hill country, coming out at the wilderness of Beth Aven.
13 From there it crossed to the south slope of Luz (that is, Bethel) and went down to Ataroth Addar on the hill south of Lower Beth Horon.
14 From the hill facing Beth Horon on the south the boundary turned south along the western side and came out at Kiriath Baal (that is, Kiriath Jearim), a town of the people of Judah. This was the western side.
15 The southern side began at the outskirts of Kiriath Jearim on the west, and the boundary came out at the spring of the waters of Nephtoah.
16 The boundary went down to the foot of the hill facing the Valley of Ben Hinnom, north of the Valley of Rephaim. It continued down the Hinnom Valley along the southern slope of the Jebusite city and so to En Rogel.
17 It then curved north, went to En Shemesh, continued to Geliloth, which faces the Pass of Adummim, and ran down to the Stone of Bohan son of Reuben.
18 It continued to the northern slope of Beth Arabah[a] and on down into the Arabah.
19 It then went to the northern slope of Beth Hoglah and came out at the northern bay of the Dead Sea, at the mouth of the Jordan in the south. This was the southern boundary.
20 The Jordan formed the boundary on the eastern side. These were the boundaries that marked out the inheritance of the clans of Benjamin on all sides.
21 The tribe of Benjamin, according to its clans, had the following towns: Jericho, Beth Hoglah, Emek Keziz,
22 Beth Arabah, Zemaraim, Bethel,
23 Avvim, Parah, Ophrah,
24 Kephar Ammoni, Ophni and Geba—twelve towns and their villages.
25 Gibeon, Ramah, Beeroth,
26 Mizpah, Kephirah, Mozah,
27 Rekem, Irpeel, Taralah,
28 Zelah, Haeleph, the Jebusite city (that is, Jerusalem), Gibeah and Kiriath—fourteen towns and their villages. This was the inheritance of Benjamin for its clans.

Joshua 18 Commentary

Chapter 18

The tabernacle set up at Shiloh. (1) The remainder of the land described and divided. (2-10) The boundaries of Benjamin. (11-28)

Verse 1 Shiloh was in the lot of Ephraim, the tribe to which Joshua belonged, and it was proper that the tabernacle should be near the residence of the chief governor. The name of this city is the same as that by which Jacob prophesied of the Messiah, Ge. 49:10 . It is supposed by some that the city was thus called, when it was chosen for the resting-place of the ark, which typified our great Peace-maker, and the way by him to a reconciled God.

Verses 2-10 After a year or more, Joshua blamed their slackness, and told them how to proceed. God, by his grace, has given us a title to a good land, the heavenly Canaan, but we are slack to take possession of it; we enter not into that rest, as we might by faith, and hope, and holy joy. How long shall it be thus with us? How long shall we thus stand in our own light, and forsake our own mercies for lying vanities? Joshua stirs the Israelites up to take possession of their lots. He is ready to do his part, if they will do theirs.

Verses 11-28 The boundaries of each portion were distinctly drawn, and the inheritance of each tribe settled. All contests and selfish claims were prevented by the wise appointment of God, who allotted the hill and the valley, the corn and pasture, the brooks and rivers, the towns and cities. Is the lot of any servant of Christ cast in affliction and sorrow? It is the Lord; let him do what seemeth him good. Are we in prosperity and peace? It is from above. Be humbled when you compare the gift with your own unworthiness. Forget not Him that gave the good, and always be ready to resign it at his command.

Cross References 51

  • 1. ver 8; Joshua 19:51; Joshua 21:2; Judges 18:31; Judges 21:12,19; 1 Samuel 1:3; 1 Samuel 3:21; 1 Samuel 4:3; 1 Kings 14:2; Psalms 78:60; Jeremiah 7:12; Jeremiah 26:6; Jeremiah 41:5
  • 2. S ver 10; S Exodus 27:21; S Exodus 40:2; Acts 7:45
  • 3. ver 8
  • 4. Micah 2:5
  • 5. Joshua 15:1
  • 6. Joshua 16:1-4
  • 7. S Leviticus 16:8; Joshua 14:2
  • 8. S Joshua 13:33
  • 9. Joshua 13:8
  • 10. ver 4
  • 11. S ver 1
  • 12. S Numbers 34:13
  • 13. S ver 1; Jeremiah 7:12
  • 14. Numbers 33:54; Joshua 19:51
  • 15. S Joshua 8:15; Joshua 16:1
  • 16. S Joshua 7:2
  • 17. S Genesis 28:19
  • 18. S Joshua 12:9; Judges 1:23
  • 19. S Numbers 32:3; S Joshua 16:5
  • 20. Joshua 10:10
  • 21. S Joshua 9:17
  • 22. Joshua 15:9
  • 23. S Joshua 17:15
  • 24. Joshua 15:8; 2 Kings 23:10
  • 25. S Joshua 15:7
  • 26. Joshua 22:10
  • 27. Joshua 15:7
  • 28. Joshua 15:6
  • 29. S Joshua 15:6
  • 30. S Joshua 11:2
  • 31. S Joshua 15:6
  • 32. S Genesis 14:3
  • 33. Joshua 21:4,17; 1 Samuel 9:1
  • 34. S Joshua 15:6
  • 35. Joshua 15:6
  • 36. 2 Chronicles 13:4
  • 37. Joshua 16:1
  • 38. S Deuteronomy 2:23
  • 39. Judges 6:11,24; Judges 8:27,32; Judges 9:5; 1 Samuel 13:17
  • 40. Joshua 21:17; 1 Samuel 13:3,16; 1 Samuel 14:5; 1 Kings 15:22; 2 Kings 23:8; Isaiah 10:29
  • 41. Joshua 9:3
  • 42. S Joshua 10:40; Judges 4:5; Judges 19:13; Isaiah 10:29; Jeremiah 31:15; Jeremiah 40:1
  • 43. S Joshua 9:17; Ezra 2:25; Nehemiah 7:29
  • 44. S Joshua 11:3
  • 45. Joshua 9:17; Ezra 2:25; Nehemiah 7:29
  • 46. 2 Samuel 21:14
  • 47. S Joshua 15:8
  • 48. S Joshua 10:1
  • 49. S Joshua 15:57
  • 50. S Joshua 9:17
  • 51. Ezekiel 48:23

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Septuagint; Hebrew "slope facing the Arabah"

Chapter Summary


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 Commentaries

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