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Jos 18:1 And the whole congregation of the children of Israel assembled together at Shiloh, and set up the tabernacle of the congregation there. And the land was subdued before them.
Ver. 1. Assembled together at Shiloh. ] a Which, both by the signification of the name, and by the situation of the place, seemeth to some to be the same with Salem, Melchizedek’s city, whose palace, Jerome saith, was in his time to be seen in the city Salem, near whereunto John baptized, Joh 3:23 which also, Gen 33:18 according to his translation and the Seventy’s, is called the city of the Sichemites, because it stood in the country of the Shechemites, as did also Shiloh. Joshua 24:25-26 ; Jos 18:1 Gen 35:4 Judges 9:6 ; Jdg 21:9
And set up the tabernacle. ] According to Deu 12:5 Jeremiah 7:12 ; and here the tabernacle abode for above three hundred years, till for sin it was removed thence. Jer 7:8 All that I fear, saith a reverend divine b yet living, is, lest according to Mr Herbert’s prophecy it prove true, viz., that the gospel be, in its solar motion, travelling for the west and American parts, and quitting its present places of residence and unworthy professors and possessors: and then, farewell, England.
a Ut enim שׁלם pacificam denotat et tranquillam, Gen 34:21 Nah 1:12 ita et שׁלה . Dan 6:1 Unde et Messias "Shiloh" appellatur.
b Mr Baxter.
Jos 18:2 And there remained among the children of Israel seven tribes, which had not yet received their inheritance.
Ver. 2. Seven tribes which had not yet received their inheritance. ] Nor, as it may seem by the next verse, cared to do, because they saw there would be a necessity of waging a new war. Hence it was seven years, say expositors, ere they set upon this second division of the land, living on the spoils they had taken in the conquest of the country, and giving themselves to ease and pleasure.
Jos 18:3 And Joshua said unto the children of Israel, How long [are] ye slack to go to possess the land, which the LORD God of your fathers hath given you?
Ver. 3. How long are you slack? ] Quousque estis cessatores? Lata negligentia dolus est, saith the Civilian: Remissness is a kind of perfidiousness. Their posterity were infamous for their idleness, and are to this day a lazy, nasty people. A certain emperor marching through Jewry, and beholding it to be a goodly land, but without culture and tillage, through the slothfulness of the people, cried out, O Marcomanni, O Sarmatae, O Quadi, &c, :O lazy Germans, I have found a people more lazy than any of you!
Jos 18:4 Give out from among you three men for [each] tribe: and I will send them, and they shall rise, and go through the land, and describe it according to the inheritance of them; and they shall come [again] to me.
Ver. 4. Give out from amongst you three men. ] Geodaetae, men skilful in surveying and map making; men of courage also and vigour, that dare undertake and can carry on such a dangerous enterprise.
Jos 18:5 And they shall divide it into seven parts: Judah shall abide in their coast on the south, and the house of Joseph shall abide in their coasts on the north.
Ver. 5. And they shall divide it. ] With all indifferency, and so prevent all suspicion of partiality in those that were afterward to divide it by lot. "Provide things honest in the sight of all men." Rom 12:17 "Give none offence." 1Co 10:32
Jos 18:6 Ye shall therefore describe the land [into] seven parts, and bring [the description] hither to me, that I may cast lots for you here before the LORD our God.
Ver. 6. That I may cast lots here for you before the Lord. ] He it is that must judge of your proceedings, and to whom you must approve yourselves: see therefore that ye deal uprightly and impartially; since to God you must be accountable. Cave, spectat Cato, was a watchword among the Romans.
Jos 18:7 But the Levites have no part among you; for the priesthood of the LORD [is] their inheritance: and Gad, and Reuben, and half the tribe of Manasseh, have received their inheritance beyond Jordan on the east, which Moses the servant of the LORD gave them.
Ver. 7. But the Levites, &c. ] See on Joshua 13:14 .
Jos 18:8 And the men arose, and went away: and Joshua charged them that went to describe the land, saying, Go and walk through the land, and describe it, and come again to me, that I may here cast lots for you before the LORD in Shiloh.
Ver. 8. And the men arose and went away. ] Without debates or delays, as if they had had wings and "wind in their wings," as Zechariah 5:9 . God, saith Luther, loveth curristas, not quaeristas: such as will run and not reason, despatch and not dispute his commands.
Jos 18:9 And the men went and passed through the land, and described it by cities into seven parts in a book, and came [again] to Joshua to the host at Shiloh.
Ver. 9. And the men went and passed through the land. ] The Lord securing them according as their trust was in him. Deo confisi nunquam confusi. A believer walketh through the world as a conqueror, being safe guarded by the peace of God within him, Php 4:7 and the power of God without him. 1Pe 1:5 He committeth all his ways to God, depending upon him for direction and success, Psa 37:5 resting on his might and mercy in time of dread, Psa 69:3 yet ever careful to serve God’s providence by use of lawful means, and not to thrust himself into unnecessary dangers. Pro 28:26
And came again to Joshua. ] After seven months, saith Josephus.
Jos 18:10 And Joshua cast lots for them in Shiloh before the LORD: and there Joshua divided the land unto the children of Israel according to their divisions.
Ver. 10. In Shiloh. ] Whither was now removed from Gilgal both the tabernacle and the camp, as a place more convenient.
Jos 18:11 And the lot of the tribe of the children of Benjamin came up according to their families: and the coast of their lot came forth between the children of Judah and the children of Joseph.
Ver. 11. Between the children of Judah and the children of Joseph. ] This was as well as heart could wish; what could God do more for Jacob’s darling, and for the fulfilling of Moses’s prophecy? Deu 33:12 It is a great happiness doubtless to be well neighboured; and yet a greater to be near the place where God’s honour dwelleth. The league betwixt Judah and Benjamin lasted, as if they had been but one tribe, when the rest revolted with Jeroboam. The city of Jerusalem was divided betwixt them, though the greater part of it belonged to Benjamin, and when the Jebusites were to be thence expelled, both these tribes joined their forces together, Judges 1:8 ; Jdg 1:21 as Judah and Simeon did in a like case. Jdg 1:3
Jos 18:12 And their border on the north side was from Jordan; and the border went up to the side of Jericho on the north side, and went up through the mountains westward; and the goings out thereof were at the wilderness of Bethaven. Jos 18:13 And the border went over from thence toward Luz, to the side of Luz, which [is] Bethel, southward; and the border descended to Atarothadar, near the hill that [lieth] on the south side of the nether Bethhoron. Jos 18:14 And the border was drawn [thence], and compassed the corner of the sea southward, from the hill that [lieth] before Bethhoron southward; and the goings out thereof were at Kirjathbaal, which [is] Kirjathjearim, a city of the children of Judah: this [was] the west quarter.
Ver. 12-14. See the notes above on chap. 15,16.
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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Joshua 18". Trapp's Complete Commentary. https://studylight.org/
the Fourth Week after Epiphany