Joshua 13

* Bounds of the land not yet conquered. (1-6) Inheritance of

Reuben. (7-33)

1-6 At this chapter begins the account of the dividing of the

land of Canaan among the tribes of Israel by lot; a narrative

showing the performance of the promise made to the fathers, that

this land should be given to the seed of Jacob. We are not to

pass over these chapters of hard names as useless. Where God has

a mouth to speak, and a hand to write, we should find an ear to

hear, and an eye to read; and may God give us a heart to profit!

Joshua is supposed to have been about one hundred years old at

this time. It is good for those who are old and stricken in

years to be put in remembrance of their being so. God considers

the frame of his people, and would not have them burdened with

work above their strength. And all people, especially old

people, should set to do that quickly which must be done before

they die, lest death prevent them, #Ec 9:10|. God promise that

he would make the Israelites masters of all the countries yet

unsubdued, through Joshua was old, and not able to do it; old,

and not likely to live to see it done. Whatever becomes of us,

and however we may be laid aside as despised, broken vessels,

God will do his own work in his own time. We must work out our

salvation, then God will work in us, and work with us; we must

resist our spiritual enemies, then God will tread them under our

feet; we must go forth to our Christian work and warfare, then

God will go forth before us.
7-33 The land must be divided among the tribes. It is the will

of God that every man should know his own, and not take that

which is another's. The world must be governed, not by force,

but right. Wherever our habitation is placed, and in whatever

honest way our portion is assigned, we should consider them as

allotted of God; we should be thankful for, and use them as

such, while every prudent method should be used to prevent

disputes about property, both at present and in future. Joshua

must be herein a type of Christ, who has not only conquered the

gates of hell for us, but has opened to us the gates of heaven,

and having purchased the eternal inheritance for all believers,

will put them in possession of it. Here is a general description

of the country given to the two tribes and a half, by Moses.

Israel must know their own, and keep to it; and may not, under

pretence of their being God's peculiar people, encroach on their

neighbours. Twice in this chapter it is noticed, that to the

tribe of Levi Moses gave no inheritance: see #Nu 18:20|. Their

maintenance must be brought out of all the tribes. The ministers

of the Lord should show themselves indifferent about worldly

interests, and the people should take care they want nothing

suitable. And happy are those who have the Lord God of Israel

for their inheritance, though little of this world falls to

their lot. His providences will supply their wants, his

consolations will support their souls, till they gain heavenly

joy and everlasting pleasures.

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