Joshua 13:1-14

Canaan Divided among the Tribes

13 Now Joshua was old and advanced in years when the Lord said to him, “You are old and advanced in years, and very much of the land remains to be possessed. This is the land that remains: all the regions of the Philistines and all those of the Geshurites; from the Shihor which is [a]east of Egypt, even as far as the border of Ekron to the north (it is counted as Canaanite); the five lords of the Philistines: the Gazite, the Ashdodite, the Ashkelonite, the Gittite, the Ekronite; and the Avvite [b]to the south, all the land of the Canaanite, and Mearah that belongs to the Sidonians, as far as Aphek, to the border of the Amorite; and the land of the Gebalite, and all of Lebanon, toward the [c]east, from Baal-gad below Mount Hermon as far as [d]Lebo-hamath. All the inhabitants of the hill country from Lebanon as far as Misrephoth-maim, all the Sidonians, I will [e]drive them out from before the sons of Israel; only allot it to Israel for an inheritance as I have commanded you. Now therefore, apportion this land for an inheritance to the nine tribes and the half-tribe of Manasseh.”

With [f]the other half-tribe, the Reubenites and the Gadites received their inheritance which Moses gave them beyond the Jordan to the east, just as Moses the servant of the Lord gave to them; from Aroer, which is on the edge of the valley of the Arnon, with the city which is in the middle of the valley, and all the plain of Medeba, as far as Dibon; 10 and all the cities of Sihon king of the Amorites, who reigned in Heshbon, as far as the border of the sons of Ammon; 11 and Gilead, and the [g]territory of the Geshurites and Maacathites, and all Mount Hermon, and all Bashan as far as Salecah; 12 all the kingdom of Og in Bashan, who reigned in Ashtaroth and in Edrei (he alone was left of the remnant of the Rephaim); for Moses struck them and dispossessed them. 13 But the sons of Israel did not dispossess the Geshurites or the Maacathites; for Geshur and Maacath live among Israel until this day. 14 Only to the tribe of Levi he did not give an inheritance; the offerings by fire to the Lord, the God of Israel, are [h]their inheritance, as He spoke to him.

This passage gives us some idea of the scale of this war that was being waged by God via the Israelites. There were so many people, that they could not all be conquered before Joshua became an old man. Granted, he wasn’t exactly a young man when he took on the mantle of leadership (80), but Moses didn’t die until he was over 120 years old.

At any rate, there was still land to be conquered, and someone had to be responsible for that task. So God told Joshua to apportion the land to the tribes so that it would be their responsibility to conquer.

God gives us all a responsibility in His kingdom, and to think otherwise is to belittle the role that God expects of us. He doesn’t rescue us from sin and death only to have us sit around and talk about it (or just sit). God has a plan for each of our lives, He has already set things in motion that we don’t even know (both spiritual and physical), and is simply waiting for us to “take up arms” and engage in the battle for souls.

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