Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Joshua 1:8
Read a previous post from this passage – “I Want That Mountain.“
Read the “0316 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.
“1 And these are the countries which the children of Israel inherited in the land of Canaan, which Eleazar the priest, and Joshua the son of Nun, and the heads of the fathers of the tribes of the children of Israel, distributed for inheritance to them. 2 By lot was their inheritance, as the LORD commanded by the hand of Moses, for the nine tribes, and for the half tribe. 3 For Moses had given the inheritance of two tribes and an half tribe on the other side Jordan: but unto the Levites he gave none inheritance among them. 4 For the children of Joseph were two tribes, Manasseh and Ephraim: therefore they gave no part unto the Levites in the land, save cities to dwell in, with their suburbs for their cattle and for their substance. 5 As the LORD commanded Moses, so the children of Israel did, and they divided the land.” (Joshua 14:1-5)
“33 But unto the tribe of Levi Moses gave not any inheritance: the LORD God of Israel was their inheritance, as he said unto them.” (Joshua 13:33)
63 As for the Jebusites the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the children of Judah could not drive them out: but the Jebusites dwell with the children of Judah at Jerusalem unto this day.” (Joshua 15:63)
In Joshua, chapters 13 – 15, we see how the land was divided among the twelve tribes of Israel. The general principle was that God was going to give some land, originally only on the western side of the Jordan River, to each of the tribes, but there were some anomalies to this general distribution plan.
First, because the Israelites were attacked by the nations on the eastern side of the Jordan River, they ended up acquiring some additional land there. The tribes of Reuben, Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh were given portions on the eastern side. Note – I’ll explain this “half-tribe” in a minute. Anyway, this additional land allowed the children of Israel to spread out a little more. God did not give them this eastern land initially, but because they were attacked, God allowed them to conquer those nations and take their land.
Second, regarding the “half-tribes” of Manasseh and Ephraim, Jacob had divided the inheritance of Joseph with his two sons Manasseh and Ephraim (See Genesis 48). There were still only twelve portions of land distributed, but the tribe of Levi was not to inherit any land; they were the priests and servants of the Lord for the Tabernacle and later, the Temple. They were given Levitical cities, forty-eight of them (see Numbers 35:1 – 8; Joshua 21:41), distributed throughout the land of Israel, and six of those cities would be designated as Cities of Refuge. These cities were to be given to the Levites within the borders of the ten other tribes and two “half-tribes.”
The third interesting point from this passage is that we see in Joshua 15:63 that the Jebusites who inhabited Jerusalem were not removed from the land. The verse tells us that the children of Judah could not drive them out, which is amazing because God promised that He would go before them, and that He would remove all of the inhabitants from the land. I wonder what the problem was for this particular group of people. The Jebusites actually remained in Jerusalem until David drove them out many years later (1 Chronicles 11:1 – 9).
Perhaps, the most interesting portion of these three chapters was the old man, Caleb, still fighting battles for the Lord. God gave him the city of Hebron for his efforts (Joshua 14:13). See – I Want That Mountain.
Posted in Devotions by Phil Erickson with 2 comments.