Although Joseph was one of Jacob’s 12 sons, he did not have his own tribe named after him. This was because as the oldest son of Jacob’s wife Rachel he received a double portion of the inheritance. The double portion was given to Joseph’s two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, whom Jacob considered as his own (Genesis 48:5). The largest and greatest territory belonged to these two.
Verse 16 – The failure to remove completely the pagan people and their gods from the land would cause many problems for the nation. The book of Judges records many of these struggles.
Verses 1-15 – Notice that these boundaries and descriptions of the Promise Land are very specific. God was telling Israel exactly what to do, and was giving them what they needed. There was no room for disobedience or misunderstanding.
Verses 16-19 – Othniel became Israel’s fist judge after Joshua’s death (Judges 1:13; 3:9-11). He played an important role in reforming Israel by chasing away an oppressive enemy army and bringing peace back to the land.
Verse 5 – The land was divided exactly as God had instructed Moses years before. Joshua followed God’s commands precisely. Often as believers, we think that getting close to obedience is good enough. It can very well carry over into our spiritual lives.
Example: We may follow God’s Word as long as we agree with it, but ignore it when it seems too harsh. (Picking and choosing what is easy to follow).
Verses 6-12 – Caleb was faithful from the start. Because of his faith, God promised him a personal inheritance of land (Numbers 14:24; Deuteronomy 1:34-36). Although his inheritance land still had giants, Caleb knew the Lord would help him conquer it.
Joshua Chapter 13
Verse 1 – Joshua was getting old-he was between 85 and 100 years old by this time. Those past retirement age should never assume that age alone disqualifies of excuses from serving the Lord.
Verse 7 – There was still a lot of land that had not been conquered, but God still divided it up between the tribes. God’s desire was for all the land that He had given to be eventually conquered. God knows the future and already knew what victories lay ahead for the Israelites. Just as the children of Israel had battles ahead, we face unknown trials and battles, but God goes before us to give us the victory.
Verse 13 – One reason the Israelites may have had so many problems is they failed to drive out and fully conquer all the inhabitants. The people who were left lived among them and caused unending difficulties like a cancer-like presence.
Verse 29 – As we read in Numbers 32:33, half of the tribe of Manasseh stayed on the east side of the Jordan and the other half crossed over and settled.
Verse 33 – By giving the tribe of Levi land, it would have saddled them with responsibilities and loyalties that would have hindered their service to God. God arranged for the other tribes to meet the Levites needs through donations (see Numbers 35:2-4).
The Conquest of Northern Canaan
Verses 1-5 – Apparently there were two kings named Jabin of Hazor. The other weaker king is mentioned in Judges 4:2, 3. The Jabin of this story however was quit powerful. He was able to get the alliance of dozens of kings to fight against Israel with him.
Verses 6-9 – The attack began south at the Sea of Galilee and went westward and north to Sidon before turning eastward to Misrephoth-maim, where it turned south along the Valley of Mizpah. Twice the scripture records how Israel struck them down as if to emphasize the complete success of the mission.
Verses 10-13 – Israel kept the captured cities intact, which Moses predicted in Deuteronomy 6:10-12, that Israel would live in cities they didn’t build. Hazor however was burned and all the men put to the sword. Hazor represented the wicked culture that Israel had come to destroy.
Verse 15 – Joshua carefully obeyed all the instructions given by God. We can’t always control what others do to us or how they treat us, but we can make the choice of following God’s standards and principles.
Verse 18 – It seems that the Israelites took all this land quickly, but in reality, it took 7 years. Just as our journey through life where victories are concerned, can take longer than we expected. It’s a process that happens over time. God is working out every part on our behalf. When you feel like giving up, know that God is working it all out for your good. Sometimes you won’t see this until it’s over.
Verse 19 – The Hivites, inhabitants of Gibeon were the only ones who made peace with the children of Israel. All the others went to war against them.
Verses 21, 22 – The Anakites were the tribes of the giants that the Israelite spies described when they gave their negative report on the Promised Land (Numbers 13, 14). Only the Anakim in Gaza, Gath, and Ashod were left. This is where Goliath of the Philistines was from in 1 Samuel 17:4, Gath).
Verse 23 – Now the land became the inheritance for the children of Israel. They went from battles to living in the Promised Land without war for a time.
Victory over the Amorites
Verses 5-8 – Fear of something or someone will cause us to hate it. These five kings were in fear of the Israelites so they wanted to destroy them. They knew the Gibeonites had made peace with them so they needed to destroy them also. Joshua was quick to respond to the Gibeonites cry for help even though they had deceived him. How quick are we to respond in help to someone who may have deceived us?
Verses 9, 10 – Joshua and his men marched all night. Would not they have been too tired to fight? God said He directed the enemy right into the path of the Israelites. This is one of our God’s greatest tactics, which is to cause the enemy to be confused and not realize they are trapped until it’s too late, and then they were on the run in retreat.
Verse 11 – By God using hailstones to wipe out Israel’s enemies, He showed others that God was sovereign overall, even nature.
Verses 12-14 – Joshua knew that he needed more daylight to completely defeat the Amorites. Therefore, Joshua asked God for a big miracle. Joshua knew the maker of heaven and earth could stop the sun from going down and He did. We hesitate too often to ask God for the big things in our lives. When we get the confidence that Joshua had in his day, we will see how it’s not beyond God’s capability to do the impossible!
Verse 13 – The Book of Jasher, also mentioned in 2 Samuel 1:18, was probably a collection of historical events.
Verse 19 – There were a few that escaped. The five kings ran and hid in a cave, but Joshua’s men rolled a huge stone in front of the cave entrance. Then they discovered a few more were headed towards the surrounding cities.
Verse 24 – Placing the foot on the neck of those captive was a common practice domination of their captives. These 5 kings had boasted against Israel.
Verse 25 – The same God, who empowered Joshua, will and does help us as the All Mighty Provider into all victory. Reminding ourselves this will give us courage for the challenges that lie ahead in our lives.
Verse 32 – Notice, after every battle and victory, scripture gives all the credit to the Lord. When you’re tempted after a big success in your life to take the credit, don’t forget who deserves the true credit. We can’t do anything without our Jesus on our side. He is the One who fights our battles.
Verses 4-43 – Joshua took full authority and leadership in destroying the wickedness in the Land. He was quick and swift to follow all God’s instructions. Sometimes our victories are delayed because either we don’t understand or we choose to ignore how important obedience is.