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Bible Commentaries
Joshua 13

Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New TestamentsSutcliffe's Commentary

Verses 1-33

Joshua 13:1 . Joshua was old; now more than a hundred years of age.

Joshua 13:3 . Sihor, Sichor; that is, turbid, the waters being muddy. The map will show the geographical situation of most of the towns to which this chapter refers. The five cities of the Philistines belonged to Israel’s lot, but could not be taken.

Joshua 13:5 . The entering into Hamath, through the pass on mount Lebanon, which opened on a new country.

Joshua 13:9 . From Aroer, a city of Moab, on the banks of Arnon, which disembogues into the sea of Sodom.

Joshua 13:25 . Half the land of the children of Ammon, of which the Amorites had possession, for Moses had forbidden them to meddle with the Ammonites. Deuteronomy 2:37.


Joshua stayed not his victories till he had conquered an extent of country sufficient for the people. He placed the twelve tribes in the centre of the promised land; around him was a broad belt of heathens and of enemies unsubdued. These were left to try and prove the true generations; meanwhile they prevented the wild beasts from multiplying against the people. The christian church is in like manner surrounded by a host of worldly men, to try and prove both us and our children, whether we will be faithful to God and his covenant; or whether we will suffer ourselves to be carried away with carnal desires of the flesh, and the corruptions of the age. If we contract covenants with them, and bow to their idols of pleasure and licentious opinions, we forfeit the blessings of the covenant, and entail its curses on ourselves and posterity.

Joshua having warred sufficiently, must now enjoy repose from the field, and interpose the weight of his wisdom and power in dividing the conquered land, and in forcing each tribe to march to its lot. He must not allow the covetous heart to rest in any favourite portion accidentally enjoyed in the changes of conquests. Let us learn that the government of interior affairs, whether civil or religious, should be vested chiefly in the hands of venerable magistrates, ministers and elders, that people may obey their wise and salutary counsels and commands; God having graciously given these to be fathers and guardians of the public.

How good was the Lord in giving Joshua rest and quiet in his old age, that, forgetting the severities of vengeance, he might cultivate all the meekness of a heavenly mind, and employ all his leisure in piety and domestic devotion. The mind of an aged man, when divested of business, discovers its natural and moral characteristics in a very conspicuous manner. Whether it be worldly, or vain, or religious, it then simply appears. But it is a most glorious proof of genuine piety when the aged man, settling his affairs, employs his time wholly for God, and for the good of his people.

Bibliographical Information
Sutcliffe, Joseph. "Commentary on Joshua 13". Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jsc/joshua-13.html. 1835.
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