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Bible Commentaries

Hampton's Commentary on Selected Books

Joshua 18

Verses 1-10

The end of Jos_14:1-15 tells us that the land had rest from war, so, according to Deu_12:10-11 , it was now time for God to select the place for his name to dwell and people to offer sacrifices to him. The tabernacle at last found a permanent resting place in Shiloh, which is appropriate since that name means, "rest" ( Jos_18:1 ). It is interesting to note one of the promises of the coming Messiah also refers to him as Shiloh, or the source of our ultimate rest ( Gen_49:10 ).

The tabernacle remained in Shiloh until the days of Eli the priest. The men of Israel thought the power of the Lord rested in the ark of the covenant, so they went and got it when the Philistines were defeating them in battle. They were routed and the ark captured because God was not with them ( 1Sa_4:1-11 ). It was never returned to Shiloh and that city continued to decline until it was at last destroyed by the Assyrians ( Psa_78:55-61 ; Jer_7:12 ; Jer_26:6 ).

After the tabernacle was set up, Joshua turned to the job of completing the distribution of the land ( Jos_18:2-10 ). He chided the remaining seven tribes by asking, "How long will you neglect to go and possess the land which the Lord God of your fathers has given you?" God had given them their land but they were too lazy to possess it by completing the division of it and actually taking up residence. Joshua required the seven remaining tribes to provide three men each to go out and survey the land that had not yet been occupied by God's people. Keil and Delitzsch say this particularly means they were to list the cities in the area and the type of land surrounding each so a proper division could be made.

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Bibliographical Information
Hampton, Gary. "Commentary on Joshua 18". "Hampton's Commentary on Selected Books". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghc/joshua-18.html. 2014.