Joshua 13

1 Josue was old, and far advanced in years, and the Lord said to him: Thou art grown old, and advanced in age, and there is a very large country left, which is not yet divided by lot:
2 To wit, all Galilee, Philistia, and all Gessuri.
3 From the troubled river, that watereth Egypt, unto the border of Accaron northward: the land of Chanaan, which is divided among the lords of the Philistines, the Gazites, the Azotians, the Ascalonites, the Gethites, and the Accronites.
4 And on the south side are the Hevites, all the land of Chanaan, and Maara of the Sidonians as far as Apheca, and the borders of the Amorrhite,
5 And his confines. The country also of Libanus towards the east from Baalgad under mount Hermon to the entering into Emath.
6 Of all that dwell in the mountains from Libanus, to the waters of Maserephoth, and all the Sidonians. I am he that will cut them off from before the face of the children of Israel. So let their land come in as a part of the inheritance of Israel, as I have commanded thee.
7 And now divide the land in possession to the nine tribes, and to the half tribe of Manasses,
8 With whom Ruben and Gad have possessed the land, which Moses the servant of the Lord delivered to them beyond the river Jordan, on the east side.
9 From Aroer, which is upon the bank of the torrent Arnon, and in the midst of the valley and all the plains of Medaba, as far as Dibon:
10 And all the cities of Sehon, king of the Amorrhites, who reigned in Hesebon, unto the borders of the children of Ammon.
11 And Galaad, and the borders of Gessuri and Machati, and all mount Hermon, and all Basan as far as Salecha,
12 All the kingdom of Og in Basan, who reigned in Astaroth and Edrai, he was of the remains of the Raphaims: and Moses overthrew and destroyed them.
13 And the children of Israel would not destroy Gessuri and Machati and they have dwelt in the midst of Israel, until this present day.
14 But to the tribe of Levi he gave no possession: but the sacrifices and victims of thee Lord God of Israel, are his inheritance, as he spoke to him.
15 And Moses gave a possession to the children of Ruben according to their kindreds.
16 And their border was from Aroer, which is on the bank of the torrent Arnon, and in the midst of the valley of the same torrent: all the plain, that leadeth to Medaba,
17 And Hesebon, and all their villages, which are in the plains. Dibon also, and Bamothbaal, and the town of Baalmaon,
18 And Jassa, and Cidimoth, and Mephaath,
19 And Cariathaim, and Sabama, and Sarathasar in the mountain of the valley.
20 Bethphogor and Asedoth, Phasga and Bethiesimoth,
21 And all the cities of the plain, and all the kingdoms of Sehon king of the Amorrhites, that reigned in Hesebon, whom Moses slew with the princes of Madian: Hevi, and Recem, and Sur and Hur, and Rebe, dukes of Sehon inhabitants of the land.
22 Balaam also the son of Beor the soothsayer, the children of Israel slew with the sword among the rest that were slain.
23 And the river Jordan was the border of the children of Ruben. This is the possession of the Rubenites, by their kindreds, of cities and villages.
24 And Moses gave to the tribe of Gad and to his children by their kindreds a possession, of which this is the division.
25 The border of Jaser, and all the cities of Galaad, and half the land of the children of Ammon: as far as Aroer which is over against Rabba:
26 And from Hesebon unto Ramoth, Masphe and Betonim: and from Manaim unto the borders of Dabir.
27 And in the valley Betharan and Bethnemra, and Socoth, and Saphon the other part of the kingdom of Sehon king of Hesebon: the limit of this also is the Jordan, as far as the uttermost part of the sea of Cenereth beyond the Jordan on the east side,
28 This is the possession of the children of Gad by their families, their cities, and villages.
29 He gave also to the half tribe of Manasses and his children possession according to their kindreds,
30 The beginning whereof is this: from Manaim all Basan, and all the kingdoms of Og king of Basan, and all the villages of Jair, which are in Basan, threescore towns.
31 And half Galaad, and Astaroth, and Edrai, cities of the kingdom of Og in Basan: to the children of Machir, the son of Manasses, to one half of the children of Machir according to their kindreds.
32 This possession Moses divided in the plains of Moab, beyond the Jordan, over against Jericho on the east side,
33 But to the tribe of Levi he gave no possession: because the Lord the God of Israel himself is their possession, as he spoke to 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.

Chapter Summary

\\INTRODUCTION JOSHUA 13\\

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