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
1 Chronicles 4:13
1 Chronicles 27:15
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.