Monday, March 28, 2016

Monday, March 28, 2016: Joshua 16-18 by Pamela

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Joshua 16-18

I found this chart here:

The twelve sons of Jacob and their land assignments in Canaan
Click here to see the map.
12 sons of Jacob
Listed by age
Land assignment in Canaan
Scripture references indicate where assignments were declared
Reuben Reuben - Numbers 32 (see notes) & restated in Joshua 13:15-23 (see notes)
Simeon Simeon - Joshua 19:1-9 (see notes)
Levi Levi - No inheritance according to Joshua 14:3-4 (see notes) & Joshua 18:7 (see below)
Judah Judah - Joshua 15:1-12 (see notes)
Dan Dan - Joshua 19:40-48 (see notes)
Naphtali Naphtali - Joshua 19:32-39 (see notes)
Gad Gad - Numbers 32 (see notes) & restated in Joshua 13:24-28 (see notes)
Asher Asher - Joshua 19:24-31 (see notes)
Issachar Issachar - Joshua 19:17-23 (see notes)
Zebulun Zebulun - Joshua 19:10-16 (see notes)
Joseph Manasseh - Half in Numbers 32 (see notes) & restated in Joshua 13:29-31 (see notes) east of the Jordan River. The other half in Joshua 17:1-18 (see below) west of the Jordan River.
Ephraim - Joshua 16:5-10 (see below)
Benjamin Benjamin - Joshua 18:11-28 (see below)

The website also included this map:

Although I did know that the Levites did not get land, I don't know if I ever really took note that Joseph's two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim, each received a portion to make up the 12 tribes. I imagine that in those days of slavery and prison that Joseph would never have guessed the legacy his sons would have and the place in God's plan for Israel. 

The commentary includes an explanation about casting lots:

The Practice of Casting Lots

Casting lots was basically the visual equivalent of throwing dice today. Therefore, casting lots (to the Old Testament observer) may seem like an arbitrary selection of something or someone based strictly upon chance. However, Solomon writes in Proverbs 16:33, "The lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof is of the LORD." We see a precedent in Leviticus 16:1-10 (see notes) that validates it as a God-recognized way for determining God's mind on an issue. The casting of lots was used in that passage to determine which goat would be freed (the "scapegoat") and which one would be sacrificed. The discovery of Achan as the culprit was apparently done by casting lots in Joshua 7:10-26 (see notes). And that's also the method used for distributing the land to the Tribes of Israel (Joshua 16, see notes). Saul was identified as the new king by Samuel, presumably with lots in I Samuel 10:19-24 (see notes). In I Samuel 14:36-43 (see notes) Saul used this technique to identify his own son (an unlikely suspect) as the culprit. Peter even used this procedure to select the replacement for Judas in Acts 1:12-26 (see notes). In the Old Testament, at least the people recognized that the casting of lots was a legitimate way of deciding an issue. That's a major reason why it worked.
Christians today have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit by which we make our decisions. The Holy Spirit today stands as the replacement for the Old Testament practice of casting lots. You must agree: Direct Holy Spirit leadership on an issue is better than throwing dice.

A few other things that stood out for me from today's reading:

Now Zelophehad the son of Hepher, son of Gilead, son of Machir, son of Manasseh, had no sons, but only daughters, and these are the names of his daughters: Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah.

I've noticed this before, but I guess the practice of unisex names existed even in biblical times as one of Zelphehad's daughters was named Noah.

because the daughters of Manasseh received an inheritance along with his sons. The land of Gilead was allotted to the rest of the people of Manasseh.

In a time and culture when women did not receive the same rights as men, it must have been unusual for these women to receive equal inheritances as their brothers. 

10 However, they did not drive out the Canaanites who lived in Gezer, so the Canaanites have lived in the midst of Ephraim to this day but have been made to do forced labor.

12 Yet the people of Manasseh could not take possession of those cities, but the Canaanites persisted in dwelling in that land. 13 Now when the people of Israel grew strong, they put the Canaanites to forced labor, but did not utterly drive them out.

Half will come back to bite you every time. We deal with this today just the same as believers did back then. This commentary adds some insight into the trouble this causes in the future from not obeying

those Gezerites in Canaan just wouldn't go. Or...was it really that the Tribe of Israel didn't try that hard to get them to go, preferring instead to have the presence of a little slave labor? So, they served Israel - mentioned again in Judges 1:28-30,33,35 (see notes). However, in Judges 2:1-3 (see notes); Judges 3:5-6 (see notes); Judges 10:6 (see notes) we see that the idolatrous practice of these people was, indeed, a problem for Israel. David failed in his attempt to rid the land of them again centuries later (II Samuel 5:25; I Chronicles 14:16, see notes). Finally, Pharaoh comes up out of Egypt during Solomon's reign and takes Gezer as a wedding present for Solomon, who was married to Pharaoh's daughter (I Kings 9:10-28; II Chronicles 8:1-18 - see notes

Now look at verses 12-13; more problem Canaanites - they just won't leave! This is mentioned again in Judges 1:27 (see notes). Joshua had defeated the kings of Taanach, Megiddo, and Dor (Joshua 12:21-23, see notes), but a permanent Hebrew occupation did not follow. Verse 13 tells us that later on they did make slaves of them.

And finally, the commentary adds that Jerusalem appears to be shared by the tribe of Judah and the tribe of Benjamin although it technically belongs to the tribe of Benjamin:

It should be noted, however, that Jerusalem seemed to be shared by the Tribes of Benjamin and Judah. Note the following scriptures:
Joshua 18:28 And Zelah, Eleph, and Jebusi, which is Jerusalem, Gibeath, and Kirjath; fourteen cities with their villages. This is the inheritance of the children of Benjamin according to their families.
Joshua 15:63 As for the Jebusites the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the children of Judah could not drive them out: but the Jebusites dwell with the children of Judah at Jerusalem unto this day. 
Judges 1:8 Now the children of Judah had fought against Jerusalem, and had taken it, and smitten it with the edge of the sword, and set the city on fire. 
Judges 1:21 And the children of Benjamin did not drive out the Jebusites that inhabited Jerusalem; but the Jebusites dwell with the children of Benjamin in Jerusalem unto this day. 

Based upon these verses, obviously Jerusalem was a shared city between the two tribes. Although, technically, Jerusalem was within the borders of the Tribe of Benjamin.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year PassageJoshua 19-21


Nathan Reimer said...

Half obedience, like half truths, lead to trouble later. We've seen this over and over in Bible times and can see it in our own lives today. Full obedience is what God wants, along with teaching full truths.

TammyIsBlessed said...

Half obedience is really disobedience. Why we think we know better than God is mind boggling.

TammyIsBlessed said...

I hadn't realized that about Jerusalem being a shared city either!