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The division of the land occupies the contents of this chapter. More are the lots of Simeon, Zebulun, Issachar, Asher, Naphtali, and Dan. After the division to the several tribes is ended, Joshua hath an inheritance assigned him by Israel.
There is somewhat very interesting in the division of the lands of Canaan to the sons of Israel, both when considered as the fulfillment of the divine promises, and as typical of a better country, that is an heavenly. But, as the names from time have undergone so much change, it is attended with no small difficulty, to ascertain the places with certain precision. Enough, however, may be still traced, to bring us acquainted with the spots rendered more memorable, in the after ages of the church, by our dear Lord's exercising his own personal ministry in those neighbourhoods. I would have the Reader, therefore, recollect that here it was the Lord Jesus appeared, when he tabernacled in substance of our flesh: and as such, the places are endeared to the true believer. Respecting Simeon's lot, it is remarkable that Jacob's prophecy was so literally fulfilled concerning him when he said, I will divide them in Jacob. For Simeon's lot we find in those verses, was taken out of the lot of Judah. Genesis 49:7 .
The lot of Zebulun is rendered illustrious, by reason of our dear Lord's residence in it. The Prophet, in his beautiful language ages before Jesus came, spake of this land of Zebulun, where the people that sat in darkness saw a great light. And when we view the Lord Jesus walking on the borders of the sea of Galilee, preaching his gospel to the people, we behold the prophecy fulfilled. Nazareth was within the province of Zebulun, from whence the Lord Jesus took his name, Jesus Christ of Nazareth. And Tabor, on which the Redeemer was transfigured, is no doubt the same as Chesloth Tabor here mentioned. Though I am no advocate for venerating spots with superstitious idolatry, yet were I to visit the coasts of Galilee, where my adored Redeemer delivered his blessed gospel, and wrought so, many miracles; or were I to walk on the mount Tabor, where his glory was revealed to his disciples: surely, I should say, here once trod the feet of Jesus! Here the Son of God condescended to be seen, and known, when for my salvation he came on earth! Oh! thou dearest Redeemer, since I cannot trace thy precious footsteps here below, let my soul follow thee now by faith whither thou art gone, until I awake up after thy likeness, to be fully satisfied with thee in glory. Psalms 17:15 .
Though Issachar's lot doth not afford much of history in gospel times, yet there is much of history in the Old Testament records concerning it: Jezreel, and Shunem, and Kershion (or Keson) were in this portion, See 1 Kings 21:1 ; 2 Kings 4:8 ; Judges 5:21 .
Anna the prophetess was of this tribe, who is spoken of in so honourable a manner in the New Testament. Luke 2:36 . Perhaps this is the same Tyre where our Lord frequently went. Matthew 15:21 .
Napthali's portion is also rendered memorable, in having so much of the presence of the Lord Jesus. Capernaum and Bethsaida being within it. Possessing the opening both of south and north, it had a favourable aspect. But principally being according to Moses' prediction, satisfied with divine favor, and full with the blessing of the Lord. Deuteronomy 33:23 .
In this department, Joppa, the residence of the apostle Peter lay. Acts 9:43 . Sampson sprung from this tribe. Judges 13:24; Judges 13:24 .
We cannot but admire the humbleness and modesty of this great man, who is not served until all are served. But Reader! do not forget, nor overlook, a greater than Joshua, who though he was Lord of all, yet condescended to be the servant of all. Am not I among you (said that dearest Jesus) as one that serveth? Yes! thou glorious, humble Saviour! Oh! for a mind to be in me as the mind of Christ Jesus! Luke 22:27 ; Philippians 2:5 , etc.
With this verse is ended the ' relation of the division of the land. All was done in Shiloh before the Lord, at the door of the tabernacle. So at the last day before Jesus, the Shiloh himself, will be gathered all nations. And he will divide to the people their inheritance according to their lots. Dearest Lord! In that grand, decisive day, let it be found that thou art the portion of mine inheritance; and of my cup; thou maintainest my lot. Psalms 16:5 .
STILL, my soul, in beholding Israel's resting places, and their several portions of an earthly Canaan, do thou follow on to know the Lord, and the power of his might, that thou mayest arrive at that heavenly rest which remaineth for the people of God. I see here, in the draught of Israel's bounds, extensive plains, lofty mountains, verdant lawns, and wells of water. But what are these to the tree of life, to the mountain of God, and to the river of the living Spirit, whose streams make glad the city of my God! Here in Jesus' righteousness I view mountains of myrrh, and hills of frankincense; mountains dropping with new wine. And what endears these ravishing views of all my covenant right, made over to me not as an earthly Canaan, but an everlasting inheritance; not subject to the interruption of foes, but eternally secured in the gift of God my Father, the purchase of my Redeemer ' s blood, and sealed to my soul by the Holy Ghost; I behold the whole, as given to me with a love that is perfectly unchangeable, and coming in a way which makes the whole doubly sweet, as centered in the Person of Jesus! Dearest Lord! do thou as the Joshua of Israel, take up thy settlement in our midst. Take to thee the Timnath-serah of my very soul, and form thyself there the hope of eternal glory.
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Joshua 19". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Fourth Week after Epiphany