Joshua 19

Joshua 19 continues the casting of lots to hand out the land.  You’ll recall in the last chapter that Joshua had asked the tribes to send three men each in an expedition to map the land and record the facts.  They came back and then it was up to “Eleazar the priest and Joshua the son of Nun and the heads of the fathers’ houses of the tribes of the people of Israel” to cast lots and hand the property out to the tribes. 

Benjamin was the first tribe chosen at the end of the last chapter.  Now in Joshua 19, the other six are given their land.  It reminds me of the draft – I can almost see the different leaders of the tribes waiting impatiently for the next lot to be cast to see if their number came up.  Scripture records in great detail the order that the lots were cast, and what areas were handed out to each tribe.  It is done with boundaries and towns, but is very specific in description.  Here is how things came down: 

First lot             Benjamin

Second lot        Simeon

Third lot            Zebulun

Fourth lot          Issachar

Fifth lot             Asher

Sixth lot            Naphtali

Seventh lot       Dan 

Each tribe and their clans were given their new land in the Promised Land.  Still some work to be done by some to drive folks out so they could take possession and settle there, but Joshua and the team hand it all out.  But wait, there was one more thing to be done.  “When they had finished distributing the several territories of the land as inheritances, the people of Israel gave an inheritance among them to Joshua the son of Nun”.  Joshua gets his own little piece of paradise.  He is given a city all his own.  “He rebuilt the city and settled in it”.  

Its been well over 40 years since the journey began to reach the Promised Land.  Finally they have arrived and now have been issued their new homeland.  It hasn’t been without a lot of sacrifice and suffering.  Remember that no adult who began that journey has entered – save Joshua and Caleb – as that was the purpose of the forty years – time for all those who had disobeyed God had to die before they could enter.  But now they are in and “they finished dividing the land”.  Big task behind them.  Wonder how long it will be before they forget what God has done?  Stay tuned……

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