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13. Land East of Jordan
1Now Joshua was old and well stricken in years; and Jehovah said unto him, Thou art old and well stricken in years, and there remaineth yet very much land to be possessed. 2This is the land that yet remaineth: all the regions of the Philistines, and all the Geshurites; 3from the Shihor, which is before Egypt, even unto the border of Ekron northward, which is reckoned to the Canaanites; the five lords of the Philistines; the Gazites, and the Ashdodites, the Ashkelonites, the Gittites, and the Ekronites; also the Avvim, 4on the south; all the land of the Canaanites, and Mearah that belongeth to the Sidonians, unto Aphek, to the border of the Amorites; 5and the land of the Gebalites, and all Lebanon, toward the sunrising, from Baal-gad under mount Hermon unto the entrance of Hamath; 6all the inhabitants of the hill-country from Lebanon unto Misrephoth-maim, even all the Sidonians; them will I drive out from before the children of Israel: only allot thou it unto Israel for an inheritance, as I have commanded thee. 7Now therefore divide this land for an inheritance unto the nine tribes, and the half-tribe of Manasseh.
8With him the Reubenites and the Gadites received their inheritance, which Moses gave them, beyond the Jordan eastward, even as Moses the servant of Jehovah gave them: 9from Aroer, that is on the edge of the valley of the Arnon, and the city that is in the middle of the valley, and all the plain of Medeba unto Dibon; 10and all the cities of Sihon king of the Amorites, who reigned in Heshbon, unto the border of the children of Ammon; 11and Gilead, and the border of the Geshurites and Maacathites, and all mount Hermon, and all Bashan unto Salecah; 12all the kingdom of Og in Bashan, who reigned in Ashtaroth and in Edrei (the same was left of the remnant of the Rephaim); for these did Moses smite, and drove them out. 13Nevertheless the children of Israel drove not out the Geshurites, nor the Maacathites: but Geshur and Maacath dwell in the midst of Israel unto this day. 14Only unto the tribe of Levi he gave no inheritance; the offerings of Jehovah, the God of Israel, made by fire are his inheritance, as he spake unto him.
15And Moses gave unto the tribe of the children of Reuben according to their families. 16And their border was from Aroer, that is on the edge of the valley of the Arnon, and the city that is in the middle of the valley, and all the plain by Medeba; 17Heshbon, and all its cities that are in the plain; Dibon, and Bamoth-baal, and Beth-baal-meon, 18and Jahaz, and Kedemoth, and Mephaath, 19and Kiriathaim, and Sibmah, and Zereth-shahar in the mount of the valley, 20and Beth-peor, and the slopes of Pisgah, and Beth-jeshimoth, 21and all the cities of the plain, and all the kingdom of Sihon king of the Amorites, who reigned in Heshbon, whom Moses smote with the chiefs of Midian, Evi, and Rekem, and Zur, and Hur, and Reba, the princes of Sihon, that dwelt in the land. 22Balaam also the son of Beor, the soothsayer, did the children of Israel slay with the sword among the rest of their slain. 23And the border of the children of Reuben was the Jordan, and the border thereof. This was the inheritance of the children of Reuben according to their families, the cities and the villages thereof.
24And Moses gave unto the tribe of Gad, unto the children of Gad, according to their families. 25And their border was Jazer, and all the cities of Gilead, and half the land of the children of Ammon, unto Aroer that is before Rabbah; 26and from Heshbon unto Ramath-mizpeh, and Betonim; and from Mahanaim unto the border of Debir; 27and in the valley, Beth-haram, and Beth-nimrah, and Succoth, and Zaphon, the rest of the kingdom of Sihon king of Heshbon, the Jordan and the border thereof, unto the uttermost part of the sea of Chinnereth beyond the Jordan eastward. 28This is the inheritance of the children of Gad according to their families, the cities and the villages thereof.
29And Moses gave inheritance unto the half-tribe of Manasseh: and it was for the half-tribe of the children of Manasseh according to their families. 30And their border was from Mahanaim, all Bashan, all the kingdom of Og king of Bashan, and all the towns of Jair, which are in Bashan, threescore cities: 31and half Gilead, and Ashtaroth, and Edrei, the cities of the kingdom of Og in Bashan, were for the children of Machir the son of Manasseh, even for the half of the children of Machir according to their families.
32These are the inheritances which Moses distributed in the plains of Moab, beyond the Jordan at Jericho, eastward. 33But unto the tribe of Levi Moses gave no inheritance: Jehovah, the God of Israel, is their inheritance, as he spake unto them.
Jos 13:1-33. Bounds of the Land Not Yet Conquered.
1. Now Joshua was old and stricken in years—He was probably above a hundred years old; for the conquest and survey of the land occupied about seven years, the partition one; and he died at the age of one hundred ten years (Jos 24:29). The distribution, as well as the conquest of the land, was included in the mission of Joshua; and his advanced age supplied a special reason for entering on the immediate discharge of that duty; namely, of allocating Canaan among the tribes of Israel—not only the parts already won, but those also which were still to be conquered.
2-6. This is the land that yet remaineth—that is, to be acquired. This section forms a parenthesis, in which the historian briefly notices the districts yet unsubdued; namely, first, the whole country of the Philistines—a narrow tract stretching about sixty miles along the Mediterranean coast, and that of the Geshurites to the south of it (1Sa 27:8). Both included that portion of the country "from Sihor, which is before Egypt," a small brook near El-Arish, which on the east was the southern boundary of Canaan, to Ekron, the most northerly of the five chief lordships or principalities of the Philistines.
3, 4. also the Avites: From [on] the south—The two clauses are thus connected in the Septuagint and many other versions. On being driven out (De 2:23), they established themselves in the south of Philistia. The second division of the unconquered country comprised
4. all the land of the Canaanites, and Mearah—("the cave")
that is beside the Sidonians—a mountainous region of Upper Galilee, remarkable for its caves and fastnesses.
unto Aphek—now Afka; eastward, in Lebanon.
to the borders of the Amorites—a portion of the northeastern territory that had belonged to Og. The third district that remained unsubdued:
5. all the land of the Giblites—Their capital was Gebal or Bylbos (Greek), on the Mediterranean, forty miles north of Sidon.
all Lebanon, toward the sunrising—that is, Anti-libanus; the eastern ridge, which has its proper termination in Hermon.
entering into Hamath—the valley of Baalbec.
6, 7. All the inhabitants of the hill country from Lebanon unto Misrephoth-maim—(See on Jos 11:8)—that is, "all the Sidonians and Phœnicians."
them will I drive out—The fulfilment of this promise was conditional. In the event of the Israelites proving unfaithful or disobedient, they would not subdue the districts now specified; and, in point of fact, the Israelites never possessed them though the inhabitants were subjected to the power of David and Solomon.
only divide thou it by lot unto the Israelites for an inheritance—The parenthetic section being closed, the historian here resumes the main subject of this chapter—the order of God to Joshua to make an immediate allotment of the land. The method of distribution by lot was, in all respects, the best that could have been adopted, as it prevented all ground of discontent, as well as charges of arbitrary or partial conduct on the part of the leaders; and its announcement in the life of Moses (Nu 33:54), as the system according to which the allocations to each tribe should be made, was intended to lead the people to the acknowledgment of God as the proprietor of the land and as having the entire right to its disposal. Moreover, a solemn appeal to the lot showed it to be the dictate not of human, but divine, wisdom. It was used, however, only in determining the part of the country where a tribe was to be settled—the extent of the settlement was to be decided on a different principle (Nu 26:54). The overruling control of God is conclusively proved because each tribe received the possession predicted by Jacob (Ge 49:3-28) and by Moses (De 33:6-25).
8. With whom—Hebrew, "him." The antecedent is evidently to Manasseh, not, however, the half-tribe just mentioned, but the other half; for the historian, led, as it were, by the sound of the word, breaks off to describe the possessions beyond Jordan already assigned to Reuben, Gad, and the half of Manasseh (see on Nu 32:1; Nu 32:33; also see De 3:8-17). It may be proper to remark that it was wise to put these boundaries on record. In case of any misunderstanding or dispute arising about the exact limits of each district or property, an appeal could always be made to this authoritative document, and a full knowledge as well as grateful sense obtained of what they had received from God (Ps 16:5, 6).