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1. Instruction Given: The Two and One-half Tribes
1. Jehovah speaks to Joshua (Joshua 13:1-7 )
2. Inheritance of the two and one-half tribes (Joshua 13:8-33 )
About seven years had gone by since the passage over Jordan and Joshua, being old and advanced in years, is addressed by the Lord. He takes care of His servants in their old age and provides for their comfort. Much land was yet to be possessed. Israel never responded to the fulness of God’s gift to them. How great their failure, as well as our failure as His spiritual people, to possess our possessions, which God’s grace has put on our side!
The unpossessed land is described in verses (Joshua 13:2-7 )2-7. It was never possessed in full by Israel, nor did they ever have the land, as promised to them from the Red Sea to the River Euphrates. God’s gifts and calling being without repentance (Romans 11:29 ) the time must yet come when they receive that land in the dimensions as promised in Exodus 23:31 . When their restoration comes with the coming of their once rejected King, our Lord, this promised land will be possessed by the nation.
These undisposed enemies may well be taken as the types of our spiritual enemies. The Philistines, who were not Canaanites, stand in the foreground. Their origin may be traced in Genesis. They were sons of Ham and sprang from Egypt. The name “Palestine” is derived from “Philistine.” They typify the power of corruption to the people of God. The Philistines today, which keep God’s people back from the enjoyment of their inheritance, are the corrupt forms of Christianity, Rome and her daughters. Note the five princes of the Philistines and their residence. Gaza (strong); Ashdod (I will spoil); Ashkelon (the fire of infamy); Gath (wine-press, a type of wrath); Ekron (uprooting). These names describe the character of these powerful enemies of Israel. We leave it with the reader to apply them to that powerful ecclesiastical world-system, Rome. The Avites belonged to the gigantic races, which dwelt in the land. The name means “perverters.” Satan with his powerful agencies perverts the truth and keeps God’s people in bondage.
And the Lord promises to drive them out (Joshua 13:6 ). With His own power He was ready to dispossess these wicked usurpers, if Israel was but willing to advance in faith and act upon His promise. Here is where they failed. Oh! that we might see that God is on our side in the conflict and in the possession of our inheritance.
The inheritance of the two tribes and a half, Reuben, Gad and half Manasseh is then restated and confirmed.
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Gaebelein, Arno Clemens. "Commentary on Joshua 13". "Gaebelein's Annotated Bible". https://www.studylight.org/
the Third Week after Epiphany