Again this morning our study will encompass a large portion of the book of Joshua -- 9 chapters! For this reason I encourage you to read these chapters at home during the coming week. Some of the material may seem, quite frankly, mundane, in that a great deal of it consists of geographical details applied to the division of the Promised Land among the tribes of Israel. We should not, however, be bored with such an account. On the contrary, we should celebrate further evidence of the accurate record contained in God's Word regarding the flow of history. God exists in space and time and He moves in and through the lives of His people in that continuim.
Interspersed throughout the unfamiliar references in these chapters to rivers, mountains and cities are interesting asides, intriguing details and intense confrontations.
1. Is it not interesting that Joshua divided the land before it had been fully conquered? God , we see, commanded him to do so. (13:1-7)
a. In v.6 God repeats His promise to drive out the dispossessed inhabitants of Canaan.
b. In 13:13, however, we learn that not all the peoples had been driven out at the time of the writing of this book. This will play an increasingly critical and tragic part in the history of the nation of Israel.
2. We might be surprised to learn of the ages of C __ __ __ __ (85) and J __ __ __ __ __ (probably around 100) at the time of these events.
3. The splendid of Caleb in 14:6-13 should stir our souls.
a. He asked for the original "Land of the G __ __ __ __ __" as his inheritance (v.12).
b. The brief account of his victory there is recorded in 15:13-19.
c. Note that one of his sons-in-law, O __ __ __ __ __ __, became the successor to Joshua and ruled as Israel's first j __ __ __ __ for 40 years.
ref: Judges 1:13
4. In 13:14 we learn that the tribe of L __ __ __ received none of the inheritance of land.
a. This had already been decreed by M __ __ __ __ in Deuteronomy 18:1-8.
(1) Their inheritance was the L __ __ __ Himself (v.2).
(2) They were not to be burdened with the details of establishing and maintaining a jurisdiction of land. They were to devote themselves entirely to the responsibilities of m __ __ __ __ __ __ in the tabernacle.
(3) They would receive the "firstfruits" of the t __ __ __ __ __ of the other tribes. See v.3-5.
(4) In addition, the Levites were given cities to live in -- 48 of them -- in the midst of each tribe's lands (Joshua 21:1-41). See also Numbers 35:1-5 for God's ordained dimensions of each of their cities' ("villages" might be a more appropriate term in our understanding) dimensions and their "suburbs."
5. The concept of the so-called "Cities of R __ __ __ __ __" (20:1-9) is fascinating, since we have no point of reference in western history.
a. Six of the 48 Levite cities were so designated.
b. They had already been established in principle by Moses. See Numbers 35:6.
c. Their existence was an outgrowth of the Law of God which, in this new theocracy, would also be the law of the land.
(1) God's m __ __ __ __ law -- the Decalogue -- was established in Exodus 20:1-17.
(2) "Immediately after this the civil law was given. As the race became a nation they needed a civil law, so God gave them one. The civil law for the Jews was based as much on the command of God as was the moral law. One of the civil laws God gave was this: 'He that smiteth a man, so that he die, shall surely be put to death. And if a man lie not in wait, but God deliver him into his hand; then I will appoint thee a place whither he shall flee.' (Exodus 21:12-13) If a man was a real murderer, he was to die; but a system was to be set up whereby a man who had slain somebody by mistake would not be put to death but would have a place of escape." ( Francis A. Schaeffer: Joshua and the Flow of Biblical History )
Joshua 21:43-45 [ NKJV ]
So the Lord gave to Israel all the land of which He had sworn to give to their fathers, and they took possession of it and dwelt in it. The Lord gave them rest all around, according to all that He had sworn to their fathers. And not a man of all their enemies sttod against them; the Lord delivered all their enemies into their hand. Not a word failed of any good thing which the Lord had spoken to the house of Israel. All came to pass.