+ In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!
Opening – (Northumbria Community)
One thing I have asked of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life; to behold the beauty of the Lord and to seek Him in His temple.
Praise to You, Lord Jesus Christ, King of endless glory.
Israel Defeats the Northern Armies
Joshua 11 (NLT) – When King Jabin of Hazor heard what had happened, he sent messages to the following kings: King Jobab of Madon; the king of Shimron; the king of Acshaph; all the kings of the northern hill country; the kings in the Jordan Valley south of Galilee; the kings in the Galilean foothills; the kings of Naphoth-dor on the west; the kings of Canaan, both east and west; the kings of the Amorites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites in the hill country, and the Hivites in the towns on the slopes of Mount Hermon in the land of Mizpah.
All these kings came out to fight. Their combined armies formed a vast horde. And with all their horses and chariots, they covered the landscape like the sand on the seashore. The kings joined forces and established their camp around the water near Merom to fight against Israel.
Then the Lord said to Joshua, “Do not be afraid of them. By this time tomorrow I will hand all of them over to Israel as dead men. Then you must cripple their horses and burn their chariots.”
So Joshua and all his fighting men traveled to the water near Merom and attacked suddenly. And the Lord gave them victory over their enemies. The Israelites chased them as far as Greater Sidon and Misrephoth-maim, and eastward into the valley of Mizpah, until not one enemy warrior was left alive. Then Joshua crippled the horses and burned all the chariots, as the Lord had instructed.
Joshua then turned back and captured Hazor and killed its king. (Hazor had at one time been the capital of all these kingdoms.) The Israelites completely destroyed every living thing in the city, leaving no survivors. Not a single person was spared. And then Joshua burned the city.
Joshua slaughtered all the other kings and their people, completely destroying them, just as Moses, the servant of the Lord, had commanded. But the Israelites did not burn any of the towns built on mounds except Hazor, which Joshua burned. And the Israelites took all the plunder and livestock of the ravaged towns for themselves. But they killed all the people, leaving no survivors. As the Lord had commanded his servant Moses, so Moses commanded Joshua. And Joshua did as he was told, carefully obeying all the commands that the Lord had given to Moses.
So Joshua conquered the entire region—the hill country, the entire Negev, the whole area around the town of Goshen, the western foothills, the Jordan Valley, the mountains of Israel, and the Galilean foothills. The Israelite territory now extended all the way from Mount Halak, which leads up to Seir in the south, as far north as Baal-gad at the foot of Mount Hermon in the valley of Lebanon. Joshua killed all the kings of those territories, waging war for a long time to accomplish this. No one in this region made peace with the Israelites except the Hivites of Gibeon. All the others were defeated. For the Lord hardened their hearts and caused them to fight the Israelites. So they were completely destroyed without mercy, as the Lord had commanded Moses.
During this period Joshua destroyed all the descendants of Anak, who lived in the hill country of Hebron, Debir, Anab, and the entire hill country of Judah and Israel. He killed them all and completely destroyed their towns. None of the descendants of Anak were left in all the land of Israel, though some still remained in Gaza, Gath, and Ashdod.
So Joshua took control of the entire land, just as the Lord had instructed Moses. He gave it to the people of Israel as their special possession, dividing the land among the tribes. So the land finally had rest from war.
Kings Defeated East and West of Jordan
Joshua 12 (NLT) – These are the kings east of the Jordan River who had been killed by the Israelites and whose land was taken…. The following is a list of the kings that Joshua and the Israelite armies defeated on the west side of the Jordan…. In all, thirty-one kings were defeated.
Joshua 13 (NLT) – When Joshua was an old man, the Lord said to him, “You are growing old, and much land remains to be conquered. This is the territory that remains: all the regions of the Philistines and the Geshurites, and the larger territory of the Canaanites, extending from the stream of Shihor on the border of Egypt, northward to the boundary of Ekron. It includes the territory of the five Philistine rulers of Gaza, Ashdod, Ashkelon, Gath, and Ekron. The land of the Avvites in the south also remains to be conquered. In the north, the following area has not yet been conquered: all the land of the Canaanites, including Mearah (which belongs to the Sidonians), stretching northward to Aphek on the border of the Amorites; the land of the Gebalites and all of the Lebanon mountain area to the east, from Baal-gad below Mount Hermon to Lebo-hamath; and all the hill country from Lebanon to Misrephoth-maim, including all the land of the Sidonians.
“I myself will drive these people out of the land ahead of the Israelites. So be sure to give this land to Israel as a special possession, just as I have commanded you. Include all this territory as Israel’s possession when you divide this land among the nine tribes and the half-tribe of Manasseh.”
Joshua’s Allotment of Land
+ East of the Jordan – Half the tribe of Manasseh and the tribes of Reuben and Gad had already received their grants of land on the east side of the Jordan, for Moses, the servant of the Lord, had previously assigned this land to them…. But the Israelites failed to drive out the people of Geshur and Maacah, so they continue to live among the Israelites to this day.
+ The Tribe of Levi – Moses did not assign any allotment of land to the tribe of Levi. Instead, as the Lord had promised them, their allotment came from the offerings burned on the altar to the Lord, the God of Israel.
+ The Tribe of Reuben – Moses had assigned the following area to the clans of the tribe of Reuben. Their territory extended from Aroer on the edge of the Arnon Gorge (including the town in the middle of the gorge) to the plain beyond Medeba…. The Jordan River marked the western boundary for the tribe of Reuben. The towns and their surrounding villages in this area were given as a homeland to the clans of the tribe of Reuben.
The Tribe of Gad – Moses had assigned the following area to the clans of the tribe of Gad. Their territory included Jazer, all the towns of Gilead, and half of the land of Ammon…. The western boundary ran along the Jordan River, extended as far north as the tip of the Sea of Galilee, and then turned eastward. The towns and their surrounding villages in this area were given as a homeland to the clans of the tribe of Gad.
+ The Half-Tribe of Manasseh – Moses had assigned the following area to the clans of the half-tribe of Manasseh. Their territory extended from Mahanaim, including all of Bashan, all the former kingdom of King Og, and the sixty towns of Jair in Bashan. It also included half of Gilead and King Og’s royal cities of Ashtaroth and Edrei. All this was given to the clans of the descendants of Makir, who was Manasseh’s son.
These are the allotments Moses had made while he was on the plains of Moab, across the Jordan River, east of Jericho. But Moses gave no allotment of land to the tribe of Levi, for the Lord, the God of Israel, had promised that he himself would be their allotment.
The Land Divided West of the Jordan
Joshua 14 (NLT) – The remaining tribes of Israel received land in Canaan as allotted by Eleazar the priest, Joshua son of Nun, and the tribal leaders. These nine and a half tribes received their grants of land by means of sacred lots, in accordance with the Lord’s command through Moses. Moses had already given a grant of land to the two and a half tribes on the east side of the Jordan River, but he had given the Levites no such allotment. The descendants of Joseph had become two separate tribes—Manasseh and Ephraim. And the Levites were given no land at all, only towns to live in with surrounding pasturelands for their livestock and all their possessions. So the land was distributed in strict accordance with the Lord’s commands to Moses.
+ Caleb Requests His Land – A delegation from the tribe of Judah, led by Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite, came to Joshua at Gilgal. Caleb said to Joshua, “Remember what the Lord said to Moses, the man of God, about you and me when we were at Kadesh-barnea. I was forty years old when Moses, the servant of the Lord, sent me from Kadesh-barnea to explore the land of Canaan. I returned and gave an honest report, but my brothers who went with me frightened the people from entering the Promised Land. For my part, I wholeheartedly followed the Lord my God. So that day Moses solemnly promised me, ‘The land of Canaan on which you were just walking will be your grant of land and that of your descendants forever, because you wholeheartedly followed the Lord my God.’
“Now, as you can see, the Lord has kept me alive and well as he promised for all these forty-five years since Moses made this promise—even while Israel wandered in the wilderness. Today I am eighty-five years old. I am as strong now as I was when Moses sent me on that journey, and I can still travel and fight as well as I could then. So give me the hill country that the Lord promised me. You will remember that as scouts we found the descendants of Anak living there in great, walled towns. But if the Lord is with me, I will drive them out of the land, just as the Lord said.”
So Joshua blessed Caleb son of Jephunneh and gave Hebron to him as his portion of land. Hebron still belongs to the descendants of Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite because he wholeheartedly followed the Lord, the God of Israel. (Previously Hebron had been called Kiriath-arba. It had been named after Arba, a great hero of the descendants of Anak.)
And the land had rest from war.
The Tribe of Judah
Joshua 15 (NLT) – The allotment for the clans of the tribe of Judah reached southward to the border of Edom, as far south as the wilderness of Zin.
The southern boundary began at the south bay of the Dead Sea, ran south… until it finally reached the Brook of Egypt, which it followed to the Mediterranean Sea. This was their southern boundary.
The northern boundary began at the bay where the Jordan River empties into the Dead Sea…. From that point it went through the valley of Achor to Debir, turning north toward Gilgal…. The boundary then passed through the valley of Ben-Hinnom, along the southern slopes of the Jebusites, where the city of Jerusalem is located. Then it went west to the top of the mountain above the valley of Hinnom, and on up to the northern end of the valley of Rephaim…. The boundary circled west of Baalah to Mount Seir…. The boundary then proceeded to the slope of the hill north of Ekron, where it turned toward Shikkeron and Mount Baalah. It passed Jabneel and ended at the Mediterranean Sea.
The western boundary was the shoreline of the Mediterranean Sea.
These are the boundaries for the clans of the tribe of Judah.
The Land Given to Caleb
The Lord commanded Joshua to assign some of Judah’s territory to Caleb son of Jephunneh. So Caleb was given the town of Kiriath-arba (that is, Hebron), which had been named after Anak’s ancestor. Caleb drove out the three groups of Anakites—the descendants of Sheshai, Ahiman, and Talmai, the sons of Anak.
From there he went to fight against the people living in the town of Debir (formerly called Kiriath-sepher). Caleb said, “I will give my daughter Acsah in marriage to the one who attacks and captures Kiriath-sepher.” Othniel, the son of Caleb’s brother Kenaz, was the one who conquered it, so Acsah became Othniel’s wife.
When Acsah married Othniel, she urged him to ask her father for a field. As she got down off her donkey, Caleb asked her, “What’s the matter?”
She said, “Give me another gift. You have already given me land in the Negev; now please give me springs of water, too.” So Caleb gave her the upper and lower springs.
The Towns Allotted to Judah
This was the homeland allocated to the clans of the tribe of Judah.
The towns of Judah situated along the borders of Edom in the extreme south were… twenty-nine towns with their surrounding villages. The following towns situated in the western foothills were also given to Judah… fourteen towns with their surrounding villages. Also included were sixteen towns with their surrounding villages. Besides these, there were nine towns with their surrounding villages. The territory of the tribe of Judah also included Ekron and its surrounding settlements and villages. From Ekron the boundary extended west and included the towns near Ashdod with their surrounding villages. It also included Ashdod with its surrounding settlements and villages and Gaza with its settlements and villages, as far as the Brook of Egypt and along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea.
Judah also received the following towns in the hill country… eleven towns with their surrounding villages. Also included were… nine towns with their surrounding villages. Besides these, there were… ten towns with their surrounding villages. In addition, there were… six towns with their surrounding villages. There were also Kiriath-baal (that is, Kiriath-jearim) and Rabbah—two towns with their surrounding villages. In the wilderness there were… the City of Salt, and En-gedi—six towns with their surrounding villages.
But the tribe of Judah could not drive out the Jebusites, who lived in the city of Jerusalem, so the Jebusites live there among the people of Judah to this day.
“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem” – with Areyeh Samberg
Blessing – (Northumbrian Community)
May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you. May He guide you through the wilderness, protect you through the storm. May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you. May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.
+ In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!
Categories: Life in Christ