Famed educator Booker T. Washington recalled the “entrance exam” that earned him a place at the Hampton Institute in Virginia as a young man. The head teacher ordered Washington to take a broom and sweep the classroom. Because he knew this was his chance, he swept the r … More
This chapter defines the boundaries of Judah’s inheritance (vv. 1-12). As we listen to Joshua parcel out the inheritance of the land to the various tribes and observe the reaction of what was given to them, it is not hard to see ourselves. We find Caleb getting down to business and defeating the giants, and the three sons of Anak (vv. 13-14). Caleb’s portion included Hebron (vv. 15-20). The cities of Judah are listed according to their location in four geographic regions: Negrev (vv. 21-32); the cities in the western foothills (vv. 33-47); the cities in the central hill country (vv. 48-60); the cities in the wilderness near the Dead Sea (vv. 61-62) and then Jerusalem (v. 63). This was where the Jebusites, the inhabitants lived and could not be driven out.
It is recorded that Caleb pursued from his inheritance the Children of Anak and continued to Debir (vv. 14-15). Upon reaching this town he issued a challenge to anyone who could conquer Kirjath-sepher. The prize was to be the hand of his daughter Achsah in marriage. This was Caleb’s way of finding out who the Lord had for his daughter. While this may seem strange in our culture, it was the custom in Bible times to arrange marriages. No doubt, he wanted a son-in-law who like himself, would do battle for the Lord. One of the noted characteristics of Caleb was that he was a man of faith and faithfulness. He was the type of person who when asked to do something, begins immediately to do it.
Notice that the boundaries and descriptions of the Promised Land are very specific. God was telling Israel exactly what to do, and He was giving them just what they needed. There was no excuse for disobedience. The same is true in my life today as the principles for daily living are spelled out in His Word. He has spelled out many specific things such as “Go ye into all the Word and preach the Gospel to every creature” Mark 16:15).
The allotment for the tribe of the people of Judah according to their clans reached southward to the boundary of Edom, to the wilderness of Zin at the farthest south. And their south boundary ran from the end of the Salt Sea, from the bay that faces southward. It goes out southward of the ascent of Akrabbim, passes along to Zin, and goes up south of Kadesh- barnea, along by Hezron, up to Addar, turns about to Karka, passes along to Azmon, goes out by the Brook of Egypt, and comes to its end at the sea. This shall be your south boundary. And the east boundary is the Salt Sea, to the mouth of the Jordan. And the boundary on the north side runs from the bay of the sea at the mouth of the Jordan. And the boundary goes up to Beth-hoglah and passes along north of Beth-arabah. And the boundary goes up to the stone of Bohan the son of Reuben. And the boundary goes up to Debir from the Valley of Achor, and so northward, turning toward Gilgal, which is opposite the ascent of Adummim, which is on the south side of the valley. And the boundary passes along to the waters of En- shemesh and ends at En-rogel. Then the boundary goes up by the Valley of the Son of Hinnom at the southern shoulder of the Jebusite (that is, Jerusalem). And the boundary goes up to the top of the mountain that lies over against the Valley of Hinnom, on the west, at the northern end of the Valley of Rephaim. Then the boundary extends from the top of the mountain to the spring of the waters of Nephtoah, and from there to the cities of Mount Ephron. Then the boundary bends around to Baalah (that is, Kiriath-jearim). And the boundary circles west of Baalah to Mount Seir, passes along to the northern shoulder of Mount Jearim (that is, Chesalon), and goes down to Beth-shemesh and passes along by Timnah. The boundary goes out to the shoulder of the hill north of Ekron, then the boundary bends around to Shikkeron and passes along to Mount Baalah and goes out to Jabneel. Then the boundary comes to an end at the sea. And the west boundary was the Great Sea with its coastline. This is the boundary around the people of Judah according to their clans. According to the commandment of the LORD to Joshua, he gave to Caleb the son of Jephunneh a portion among the people of Judah, Kiriath-arba, that is, Hebron (Arba was the father of Anak). And Caleb drove out from there the three sons of Anak, Sheshai and Ahiman and Talmai, the descendants of Anak. And he went up from there against the inhabitants of Debir. Now the name of Debir formerly was Kiriath-sepher. And Caleb said, "Whoever strikes Kiriath-sepher and captures it, to him will I give Achsah my daughter as wife." And Othniel the son of Kenaz, the brother of Caleb, captured it. And he gave him Achsah his daughter as wife. When she came to him, she urged him to ask her father for a field. And she got off her donkey, and Caleb said to her, "What do you want?" She said to him, "Give me a blessing. Since you have given me the land of the Negeb, give me also springs of water." And he gave her the upper springs and the lower springs. This is the inheritance of the tribe of the people of Judah according to their clans. The cities belonging to the tribe of the people of Judah in the extreme south, toward the boundary of Edom, were Kabzeel, Eder, Jagur, Kinah, Dimonah, Adadah, Kedesh, Hazor, Ithnan, Ziph, Telem, Bealoth, Hazor-hadattah, Kerioth-hezron (that is, Hazor), Amam, Shema, Moladah, Hazar-gaddah, Heshmon, Beth-pelet, Hazar-shual, Beersheba, Biziothiah, Baalah, Iim, Ezem, Eltolad, Chesil, Hormah, Ziklag, Madmannah, Sansannah, Lebaoth, Shilhim, Ain, and Rimmon: in all, twenty- nine cities with their villages. And in the lowland, Eshtaol, Zorah, Ashnah, Zanoah, En-gannim, Tappuah, Enam, Jarmuth, Adullam, Socoh, Azekah, Shaaraim, Adithaim, Gederah, Gederothaim: fourteen cities with their villages. Zenan, Hadashah, Migdal-gad, Dilean, Mizpeh, Joktheel, Lachish, Bozkath, Eglon, Cabbon, Lahmam, Chitlish, Gederoth, Beth-dagon, Naamah, and Makkedah: sixteen cities with their villages. Libnah, Ether, Ashan, Iphtah, Ashnah, Nezib, Keilah, Achzib, and Mareshah: nine cities with their villages. Ekron, with its towns and its villages; from Ekron to the sea, all that were by the side of Ashdod, with their villages. Ashdod, its towns and its villages; Gaza, its towns and its villages; to the Brook of Egypt, and the Great Sea with its coastline. And in the hill country, Shamir, Jattir, Socoh, Dannah, Kiriath-sannah (that is, Debir), Anab, Eshtemoh, Anim, Goshen, Holon, and Giloh: eleven cities with their villages. Arab, Dumah, Eshan, Janim, Beth-tappuah, Aphekah, Humtah, Kiriath-arba (that is, Hebron), and Zior: nine cities with their villages. Maon, Carmel, Ziph, Juttah, Jezreel, Jokdeam, Zanoah, Kain, Gibeah, and Timnah: ten cities with their villages. Halhul, Beth-zur, Gedor, Maarath, Beth-anoth, and Eltekon: six cities with their villages. Kiriath-baal (that is, Kiriath-jearim), and Rabbah: two cities with their villages. In the wilderness, Beth-arabah, Middin, Secacah, Nibshan, the City of Salt, and Engedi: six cities with their villages. But the Jebusites, the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the people of Judah could not drive out, so the Jebusites dwell with the people of Judah at Jerusalem to this day.
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Joshua 12:1-24The Kings Defeated by the Israelites
Joshua 13:1-33The Remaining Land is Divided
Joshua 14:1-15God Delivers Caleb’s Promised Land
Joshua 15:1-63The Land of Judah Described
Joshua 16:1-10It is Not What Seems Right But What God Says
Joshua 17:1-18Faith is The Opposite of Fear
Joshua 18:1-28Delayed Obedience is Disobedience