Page images



From Joshua, Chap. xiii.

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.

This is the land that yet remaineth; all the borders. of the Philistines, and all Geshuri. From Sihor, which is before Egypt, even unto the borders of Ekron northward, which is counted to the Canaanite: five lords of the Philistines; the Gazathites, and the Ashdothites, the Eshkalonites, the Gittites, and the Ekronites; also the Avites From the south, all the land of the Ca naanites, and Mearah that is beside the Sidonians, unto Aphek, to the borders of the Amorites and the land of the Giblites, and all Lebanon toward the sun-rising, from Baal gad under mount Hermon, unto the entering into Hamath.


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.

Then the children of Judah came unto Joshua in Gilgal and Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenezite said unto him, Thou knowest the thing that the LORD. said unto Moses the man of GOD, concerning me and thee in Kadesh-barnea.

Forty years old was I when Moses the servant of the LORD sent me from Kadesh-barnea to espy out the land; and I brought him word again as it was in mine heart,

Nevertheless, my brethren that went up with me


made the heart of the people melt: but I wholly followed the LORD my God.

And Moses sware on that day, saying, Surely the land whereon thy feet have trodden shall be thine inheritance, and thy children's for ever; because thou hast wholly. followed the LORD my GOD.


And now behold, the LORD hath kept me alive, as he said, these forty and five years, even since the LORD spake this word unto Moses, while the children of Israel wan dered in the wilderness: and now lo, I am this day fourscore and five years old.

As yet I am as strong this day as I was in the day that Moses sent me as my strength was then, even so is my strength now, for war, both to go out and to come in.

Now therefore give me this mountain, whereof the LORD spake in that day; for thou heardest in that day how the Anakims were there, and that the cities were great and fenced if so be the LORD will be with me, then I shall be able to drive them out, as the LORD said.




3 And Joshua blessed him, and gave unto Caleb the son of Jephunneh Hebron for an inheritance.


Hebron therefore became the inheritance of Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenezite unto this day because that he wholly followed the LORD GOD of Israel.

And the name of Hebron before was Kirjath arba, which Arba was a great man among the Anakims. And the land had rest from war.


As Joshua had attained a good old age, and had fought the battles of the LORD with so much intrepidity


and constancy, it was intended by his Divine Com mander that he should be released from his labours ; and, after receiving the reward promised to him in the land of Canaan, that he should be removed to a still better place, and enjoy an eternal inheritance: previous to his departure from earth, he was required to settle the division of the conquered countries, and also of those, which were yet unsubdued, but promised to their future conquest, if Israel continued faithful to the LORD. It was highly necessary that such a division should be, made, as it was very unlikely that so large a body of people would agree if they had all things in common. besides, they were to consider the country as an inheritance, because it was granted by GOD to their forefathers, who in consequence of this grant, bequeathed it to their posterity.

[ocr errors]

Abraham left it to Isaac, Isaac to Jacob, and Jacob at his death was enabled, by the spirit of prophecy, to allot the different portions of each tribe: to the tribe of Judah he, by the LORD's direction, assigned a coun

try abounding with vines and pasture grounds to that of Asher, one plenteous in oil, iron, and brass; to that of Naphtali, one extending from the west to the south of Judea; to that of Benjamin, one on which the tem ple of the LORD should afterwards be built; to those of Zebulun and Issachar, such as had plenty of sea ports; to those of Simeon and Levi, no particular countries at all; the former were to have a portion * with Judah, and the latter to be interspersed among the other tribest.

Caleb's request plainly indicated, that his bravery, and confidence in GoD remained unshaken, and that See Sect. liii. vol. i.

+ The prophecy of Moses at his approaching death agreed with it. See Deuteronomy xxxiii.


[ocr errors]

he valued the gift of God above all things; had he been worldly.minded, he would have solicited to be put in possession of a place already conquered, where he might pass the remainder of his days in peace and affluence; but he rather chose an inheritance that should distinguish him as the faithful servant of the LORD, and commemorate the action of his life for which he most desired to be esteemed, and serve at the same time to recommend his example to the imitation of posterity. It must have been delightful to behold this venerable man claiming the promised reward of his faith and piety; to hear him acknowledge the goodness of GOD to him from the day of his birth: though he had wandered with the rest, yet he continued healthy and strong, and was willing, by Divine assistance, to hold a contest with the giants, who at that time were in possession of the land.

Caleb is here called the Kenezite, perhaps on account of some victory he had gained over the Kenezites, who were descended from Kenaz, the son of Eliphaz, Esau's first-born.

Hebron was the place where Sarah died, and near it afterwards resided Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.,

The preservation of Caleb and Joshua plainly proved that the LORD was willing to save those whom He redeemed from Egyptian bondage. All who died in the wilderness perished through their own disobediecce. Nothing but wickedness can destroy the hopes of those who are taken into covenant with Gap: may then the examples of Caleb and Joshua encourage Christians to be steadfast and faithful in their attachment to the LORD, and in the discharge of those duties He has enjoined; then will they pass safely through the wilderness of this world, their old age will be honourable, and they will finally obtain their allotted inheritance.




THE Tabernacle had hitherto continued in its usual situation, the centre of the camp of Israel; but as, the people were allowed to disperse themselves, some on one side of Jordan, and some on the other, it was proper that a place should be appointed for the Tabernacle and the ark. GOD Himself directed in this matter, and SHILOH was fixed on, which was in the midst of the country, and very convenient for the assembling of the tribes. The ceremony of setting up the Tabernacle was doubtless performed with the utmost solemnity and 'joyfulness.

The countries that remained to be conquered lay at a distance; some parts were in possession of the Canaanites, who were not entirely rooted out, though they were so far conquered, that they were not able to make head and annoy the Israelites. The tribes of Reuben and Gad, and half the tribe of Manasseh, had been put in possession of their portion on the other side of Jordan; but seven tribes had not yet received any inheritance; they seemed inclined to live an inactive life all together: Joshua reproved them for not exert ing themselves to extirpate the idolators entirely; and since God had permitted, nay commanded, them to do so, he desired them to send men to take a survey of the whole country which they were to attack; this they accordingly did, and those persons divided the

See Joshua, Chap. xviii.

« PreviousContinue »