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Bible Commentaries
Joshua 13

Everett's Study Notes on the Holy ScripturesEverett's Study Notes

Verses 1-33

Joshua 13:1 Now Joshua was old and stricken in years; and the LORD said unto him, Thou art old and stricken in years, and there remaineth yet very much land to be possessed.

Joshua 13:1 “and there remaineth yet very much land to be possessed” Comments - Jimmy Swaggart referred to Joshua 13:1 in one of his mail-out letters to his partners, saying that the Lord was telling him that there was much work to be done in bringing people to salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ. [28]

[28] Jimmy Swaggart, “Monthly Partner Newsletter,” February 1988 (Baton Rouge, Louisiana: Jimmy Swaggart Ministries).

Joshua 13:1 “and there remaineth yet very much land to be possessed” Comments - On 21 June 1987 I was reading Joshua 13:1. At the end of that first verse, the words of the Scriptures, “There is much yet to be possessed,” seemed to leap out at me. The presence of the Lord filled my heart. I started to weep. The Lord spoke to me and said, “I will give you strength to bear up under this. And all the efforts of Satan must not defer you from doing My will. There is much land yet to be possessed and you must be about the Father’s business.”

Joshua 13:6 All the inhabitants of the hill country from Lebanon unto Misrephothmaim, and all the Sidonians, them will I drive out from before the children of Israel: only divide thou it by lot unto the Israelites for an inheritance, as I have commanded thee.

Joshua 13:6 “only divide thou it by lot unto the Israelites for an inheritance, as I have commanded thee” Comments - Moses told the children of Israel to divine the land by lot (Numbers 26:55-56; Numbers 33:54; Numbers 34:13). Joshua was following Moses’ commandment.

Numbers 26:55-56, “Notwithstanding the land shall be divided by lot: according to the names of the tribes of their fathers they shall inherit. According to the lot shall the possession thereof be divided between many and few.”

Numbers 33:54, “And ye shall divide the land by lot for an inheritance among your families: and to the more ye shall give the more inheritance, and to the fewer ye shall give the less inheritance: every man's inheritance shall be in the place where his lot falleth; according to the tribes of your fathers ye shall inherit.”

Numbers 34:13, “And Moses commanded the children of Israel, saying, This is the land which ye shall inherit by lot, which the LORD commanded to give unto the nine tribes, and to the half tribe:”

The casting of lots to divine the Promised Land was an act of faith in God for the children of Israel. They were to trust in God’s divine providence that He would give them their proper portion of land and divinely provide for their daily needs. We see this trust when Abraham and Lot divided the land among themselves in Genesis 13:1-18. Abraham was the peace-maker in this conflict between the tribesmen of him and Lot. Of course, it was his divine responsibility as head of his family. In these verses he offers a resolution by divine inspiration and with great wisdom and meekness. We find a discussion on meekness of wisdom in the midst of strife in James 3:13-18. Abraham let Lot make the choice on this occasion. He had just gone through the difficult lesson in Egypt when he chose this land above the famished land of Canaan, hoping to find peace. Instead, he encountered the great trial of his wife being taken from him, so that this choice to go into Egypt did not bring a blessing, but rather, a curse. Now, in Genesis 13:8-9 Abraham has now learned ever so carefully to trust entirely in divine provision and divine providence and take the portion of land that Lot did not take. In contrast, Lot will choose the plush Jordon plains and encounter problems (Joshua 13:10-13). This is the divine principle behind the casting of lots under the Mosaic Law, by which judgment was made and by which the land was divided unto the twelve tribes of Israel.

This is the first time that Abraham will be shown by God the extent of his rightful inheritance. But the Lord did not reveal this to him until he had developed the humility to trust in God’s divine providence, which Abraham demonstrated by letting Lot choose between the portions of land. This is what is meant by Jesus’ statement in the Beatitudes that the meek shall inherit the earth (Matthew 5:5). The word “earth” in this verse describes our earthly, possessions in this life. Meekness is how a man demonstrates his faith in God’s divine providence and divine provision. Pride is demonstrated when a man looks to himself for material possessions and ignores divine principles to live by.

Joshua 13:14 Only unto the tribe of Levi he gave none inheritance; the sacrifices of the LORD God of Israel made by fire are their inheritance, as he said unto them.

Joshua 13:14 “Only unto the tribe of Levi he gave none inheritance” - Comments - The Levites were scattered throughout the tribes of Israel, in fulfilment of the prophecy of Jacob in Genesis 49:7. Note that Simeon was also scattered within the tribe of Judah, and he eventually became assimilated into Judah.

Genesis 49:7, “Cursed be their anger, for it was fierce; and their wrath, for it was cruel: I will divide them in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel .”

Bibliographical Information
Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on Joshua 13". Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghe/joshua-13.html. 2013.
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