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Bible Commentaries
Joshua 12

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

Verses 1-6

Joshua - Chapter 12

The Amorite Lands, vs 1-6

Chapter 12 of Joshua begins a summary of the conquests of the Israelites from the time they came out of the wilderness and entered the land east of the Jordan till the time they had completed their victories on the west side of the river. Verses 1-6 deal with the conquests on the east side during the lifetime of Moses. The account of these victories is found in Numbers, chapter 21. Moses reviews the victories in his farewell address in Deuteronomy, chapters 2 and 3. Here is a description of the land as to its boundaries. From the river Arnon in the south, about mid-way of the Dead Sea, these lands stretched away northward to the area of mount Hermon. The southernmost area included land to halfway across Gilead, the former kingdom of Sihon. The northern part began at the river Jabbok and reached up to mount Hermon; it was the former kingdom of Og, and also included Bashan. these lands touched that of the Ammonites, which was their eastern border. Within them was the plains of the Jordan valley east and of Chinneroth, which was the Old Testament name of the Sea of Galilee, and that of the salt sea, or Dead Sea as now known. Beth-jeshimoth was on the northeastern corner of the salt (or Dead) sea. The capital city of Sihon, Heshbon, was about twelve straight-line miles slightly northeast of Beth-jeshimoth, while the city of Aroer was in the south on the north bank of the Arnon.

Og, one of the last of the giants, was king of Bashan, and was of immense size, judging by the size of his bedstead. It was of iron, nine cubits (13 1/2 feet) long and four cubits (6 feet) wide. It was a relic and a museum piece of the Ammonites (Deuteronomy 3:11). Og’s cities were Ashtaroth, east of Chinneroth, in what is today Golan Heights, and Edrei was to the southeast, near the later prominent Israelitish city of Ramoth­gilead. His rule extended to mount Hermon and took in the tribes of the Geshurites and Maachathites. Salcah lay to the east, almost on the border of the tribes of Gad and Manasseh.

These are the lands which Moses had permitted the two and a half tribes of Reuben, Gad, and Manasseh to possess, with the under­standing that they were to continue to serve in the army until all the land on the west of Jordan was conquered (Numbers ch. 32)

Verses 7-24

Conquered Kings, vs. 7-24

The rest of chapter 12 lists the thirty-one kings and their cities on the west side of Jordan which were conquered by Joshua and the children of Israel. The north to south limits lay between Baal-gad in the valley of Lebanon in the north to mount Halak, bordering on Seir, the land of the Edomites in the south.

-These lands were apportioned to the remaining nine and a half tribes. Those from Jericho through Tappuah in the list were in the area of the southern confederacy, while the remainder fall in the realm of Jabin who organized the northern resistance. Many of these were not mentioned in the campaigns, as recorded in Joshua, chapters 10 and 11. They are included in such summary statements as Joshua 10:40; Joshua 11:16-17.

The main lesson of this chapter is to emphasize the completeness of God’s judgment on the pagan Canaanites and the accuracy of His promise to deliver all the land into the hands of Israel, (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14).

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Joshua 12". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/joshua-12.html. 1985.
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