Joshua 13 Land Still to Be Taken

When Joshua had grown old, the Lord said to him, “You are now very old, and there are still very large areas of land to be taken over.

“This is the land that remains: all the regions of the Philistines and Geshurites, from the Shihor River on the east of Egypt to the territory of Ekron on the north, all of it counted as Canaanite though held by the five Philistine rulers in Gaza, Ashdod, Ashkelon, Gath and Ekron; the territory of the Avvites on the south; all the land of the Canaanites, from Arah of the Sidonians as far as Aphek and the border of the Amorites; the area of Byblos; and all Lebanon to the east, from Baal Gad below Mount Hermon to Lebo Hamath.

“As for all the inhabitants of the mountain regions from Lebanon to Misrephoth Maim, that is, all the Sidonians, I myself will drive them out before the Israelites. Be sure to allocate this land to Israel for an inheritance, as I have instructed you, and divide it as an inheritance among the nine tribes and half of the tribe of Manasseh.”

Division of the Land East of the Jordan

The other half of Manasseh, the Reubenites and the Gadites had received the inheritance that Moses had given them east of the Jordan, as he, the servant of the Lord, had assigned it to them.

It extended from Aroer on the rim of the Arnon Gorge, and from the town in the middle of the gorge, and included the whole plateau of Medeba as far as Dibon, 10 and all the towns of Sihon king of the Amorites, who ruled in Heshbon, out to the border of the Ammonites. 11 It also included Gilead, the territory of the people of Geshur and Maakah, all of Mount Hermon and all Bashan as far as Salekah— 12 that is, the whole kingdom of Og in Bashan, who had reigned in Ashtaroth and Edrei. (He was the last of the Rephaites.) Moses had defeated them and taken over their land.13 But the Israelites did not drive out the people of Geshur and Maakah, so they continue to live among the Israelites to this day.

14 But to the tribe of Levi he gave no inheritance, since the food offerings presented to the Lord, the God of Israel, are their inheritance, as he promised them.

15 This is what Moses had given to the tribe of Reuben, according to its clans:

16 The territory from Aroer on the rim of the Arnon Gorge, and from the town in the middle of the gorge, and the whole plateau past Medeba 17 to Heshbon and all its towns on the plateau, including Dibon, Bamoth Baal, Beth Baal Meon, 18 Jahaz, Kedemoth, Mephaath, 19 Kiriathaim, Sibmah, Zereth Shahar on the hill in the valley, 20 Beth Peor, the slopes of Pisgah, and Beth Jeshimoth— 21 all the towns on the plateau and the entire realm of Sihon king of the Amorites, who ruled at Heshbon. Moses had defeated him and the Midianite chiefs, Evi, Rekem, Zur, Hur and Reba—princes allied with Sihon—who lived in that country. 22 In addition to those slain in battle, the Israelites had put to the sword Balaam son of Beor, who practiced divination. 23 The boundary of the Reubenites was the bank of the Jordan. These towns and their villages were the inheritance of the Reubenites, according to their clans.

24 This is what Moses had given to the tribe of Gad, according to its clans:

25 The territory of Jazer, all the towns of Gilead and half the Ammonite country as far as Aroer, near Rabbah; 26 and from Heshbon to Ramath Mizpah and Betonim, and from Mahanaim to the territory of Debir; 27 and in the valley, Beth Haram, Beth Nimrah, Sukkoth and Zaphon with the rest of the realm of Sihon king of Heshbon (the east side of the Jordan, the territory up to the end of the Sea of Galilee). 28 These towns and their villages were the inheritance of the Gadites, according to their clans.

29 This is what Moses had given to the half-tribe of Manasseh, that is, to half the family of the descendants of Manasseh, according to its clans:

30 The territory extending from Mahanaim and including all of Bashan, the entire realm of Og king of Bashan—all the settlements of Jair in Bashan, sixty towns, 31 half of Gilead, and Ashtaroth and Edrei (the royal cities of Og in Bashan). This was for the descendants of Makir son of Manasseh—for half of the sons of Makir, according to their clans.

32 This is the inheritance Moses had given when he was in the plains of Moab across the Jordan east of Jericho. 33 But to the tribe of Levi, Moses had given no inheritance; the Lord, the God of Israel, is their inheritance, as he promised them.


A map of the approximate locations the clans were given:

Map-Twelve-Tribes‘When Joshua grew old, God commanded him to divide the land among the tribes in the manner that Moses had promised them, even though the total conquest of the Promised Land was not yet complete.  The tribe of Levi was given no land inheritance.  The inheritance of the Levites was to be the Lord Himself.  However, the tribe of Joseph was divided into the two tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh; thus, there were still twelve tribal areas assigned.  The tribes of Gad and Reuben, as well as the half-tribe of Manasseh, were given land on the eastern side of the Jordan, to which they returned when the battles of conquest under Joshua had been concluded.’ – Excerpt taken from The Reformation Study Bible with commentary by R.C. Sproul.


  • Is there a promise or principle to remember?

Even though the promise had been realized by the Israelites, and the land had been divide and conquered, they had not yet taken possession of it, and there was still some land that needed to be ‘swept clean’.  God is faithful when He gives us promises.  They will come to fruition, even if we don’t get to see the end realized, it may be for those to whom we pass the promises down.

  • Is there an example to follow or a command to obey?

There is an interesting similarity here between the Israelites, prepped and ready to take over the land that is theirs for the taking, and the call that God puts before us when we hear the Gospel.  In both instances God chose people who had no prior relationship with Himself, and showed no remarkable attribute to sway His decisions.  He has paved the way for us to take possession of the ‘land’ that is rightfully ours.  Christ has died and made a way for us.  God has hand chosen the souls He desires to gather to Himself.

We are chosen not by what we do, have done, or will do.  We are chosen for one reason alone: because God has willed it.  It is for His good pleasure, not ours… that just happens to come along with the package… thank goodness!!

  • Are there attitudes that needed changing, or an error to avoid?

16 It does not, therefore, depend on man’s desire or effort, but on God’s mercy.  17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh: “I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.”  18 Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden.  19 One of you will say to me: “Then why does God still blame us?  For who resists his will?”  20 But who are you, O man, to talk back to God?  Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’  21 Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use? – Romans 9:16-21

So often we take our salvation for granted.  We should come humbled before God to accept His mercy and grace toward us, and enter into the land He has prepared.  We must acknowledge His authority.  It is not ok to think that we had any part to play in our being chosen for salvation.

  • Is there a sin being revealed?

The definition of Grace: unmerited divine assistance given humans for their regeneration or sanctification.  To think we are worthy of an all powerful God is to create ourselves as idols.

  • Does this make you want to pray for someone or yourself?

Oh Lord, I so desperately wish to see the church joined together over their brokenness and realization that we are but dust that you have breathed life into.  Help us all to be aware that it is not what we do that grants us salvation, because it is freely given by you, to whom you please.  Let us be humble in your sight, and ever ready to be witnesses of what you have done for us, and what you will do for others, as you soften their hearts through the continual renewing of their minds in your word and in prayer.  Make holy your church once again, and cleanse it from all unrighteousness.

3 thoughts on “Joshua 13 Land Still to Be Taken

  1. Pingback: Deuteronomy 3. Israel conquers king Og of Bashan | Bummyla

  2. Pingback: Joshua 13. The land still to be taken | Bummyla

  3. Pingback: Joshua 16. The borders of Ephraim | Bummyla

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