Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Joshua 14:1

Now these are the territories which the sons of Israel inherited in the land of Canaan, which Eleazar the priest, and Joshua the son of Nun, and the heads of the households of the tribes of the sons of Israel apportioned to them for an inheritance,
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Torrey's Topical Textbook - Holy Land;   Jews, the;   Tribes of Israel, the;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Caleb;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Joshua the son of nun;   Priest;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Eleazar;   Patriarch;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Eleazar;   Joshua;   Pentateuch;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Allotment;   Caleb;   Eleazar;   High Priest;   Joshua, the Book of;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Eleazar;   Joshua;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Lots;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Eleazar ;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Caleb;   Eleazar;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Elea'zar;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Conquest of Canaan;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Canaan;   Eleazar;   Joshua (2);   Joshua, Book of;   Priest, High;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Eleazar;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Eleazar the priest, etc. - Eleazar, as being the minister of God in sacred things is mentioned first. Joshua, as having the supreme command in all things civil, is mentioned next. And the Heads or Princes of the twelve tribes, who in all things acted under Joshua, are mentioned last. These heads or princes were twelve, Joshua and Eleazar included; and the reader may find their names in Numbers 34:19-28. It is worthy of remark that no prince was taken from the tribes of Reuben and Gad, because these had already received their inheritance on the other side of Jordan, and therefore could not be interested in this division.

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Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Joshua 14:1". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/joshua-14.html. 1832.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

This short chapter is actually an introduction to the next five chapters (Joshua 14:15-19), where is recorded the apportionment of the Land of Canaan among the Twelve Tribes of Israel. It is an introduction: (1) because it gives the names of the principal persons who conducted the casting of lots; and (2) because it deals with a matter that was required to be taken care of before the casting of lots take place, the granting of Caleb's claim to Hebron, based upon a prior promise given by Moses. Woudstra also pointed out a third function of this introductory chapter; (3) "The introduction of this pericope was an example of what could have been done and should have been done with the whole land allotted to the tribes."[1] There can be no doubt that JOSHUA himself was responsible for this account being in the holy record at exactly the place where it appears. It does not appear here through the choice of some "Deuteronomic editor,"[2] as frequently alleged. Furthermore, as Plummer noted, "The author of Joshua had access to sources of information besides the Pentateuch,"[3] and the nature of that information is such that Joshua is most likely the author. Who but Joshua (besides Caleb) would have known of the oath that Moses swore? Plummer cited this as being not alone conclusive, but as being "inconsistent with the `Elhoist' and `Jehovist' theory."[4]

"And these are the inheritances which the children of Israel took in the land of Canaan, which Eleazar the priest, and Joshua the son of Nun, and the heads of the fathers' houses of the tribes of the children of Israel, distributed unto them."

The mention here of the dignitaries who presided at the allotment has been alleged by Morton and others to be an indication of three "different traditions" from as many "sources" brought together here by "a Priestly editor."[5] In our own view, we consider this to be among the MOST RIDICULOUS and unsupportable allegations to be encountered anywhere. There is only one basis for finding a "Priestly editor" here, and that is the mention of Eleazar, the son of Aaron, and the High Priest of Israel. Since, without any doubt, Eleazar was indeed present at this allocation of the land, that alone is sufficient reason for his being mentioned, and, as John Lilley put it, "If it is admitted that the tribes had a central shrine, and few would deny this, it would have been inconceivable for Joshua to have acted without the priest, or for any Israelite historian to represent him as having done so."[6] This truth eliminates all grounds for dragging some so-called "editor" into this passage.

Even J. R. Dummelow thought he saw the hand of "P" here, writing: "The mention of the priest here in association with the leader, to whom he is here given precedence, is one of the characteristics of the Priestly narrative."[7] The "precedence" which Dummelow mentioned, however, could have been due to one thing alone: Israel was at this point in the process of calling upon the God of heaven and earth to divide the land to the tribes by casting lots, and it is inconceivable that Israel would have done a thing like that without calling upon God for his blessing and guidance. That would have required both the presence and the "precedence" of Eleazar. We have repeatedly emphasized that there is actually no such thing as "a Priestly narrative (P)," except in the IMAGINATION of Bible critics. There has never been published a copy of that alleged narrative, for the simple reason that there has never been any agreement in what is in it! Until it is produced and made available for close study, our allegation that there is no such thing stands!

The dignitaries who conducted the casting of lots were Eleazar, Joshua, and the twelve princes. "These heads or princes were twelve in number, Joshua and Eleazar included (Numbers 34:19-29)."[8] We should also note that Caleb himself was also in this list of princes (Numbers 34:19). Plummer stated that:

"It is a strong evidence for the truth of this narrative that we read of no conflicts between the various tribes respecting the division of territory. In no one case was there any complaint of unfairness, or any attempt to disturb the territorial arrangement made at the time of the original settlement in Palestine."[9]

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Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
Bibliographical Information
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Joshua 14:1". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/joshua-14.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And these are the countries which the children of Israel inherited in the land of Canaan,.... Of which an exact account is given in the following chapters, particularly in the Joshua 15:1,

which Eleazar the priest, and Joshua the son of Nun, and the heads of the fathers of the tribes of the children of Israel, distributed for an inheritance unto them; namely, ten princes, one of each tribe, who, with Eleazar and Joshua, were appointed of the Lord by name to do this business, even seven years ago, before their entrance into the land of Canaan, Numbers 34:17.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Joshua 14:1". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/joshua-14.html. 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Joshua 14:1-5. The nine tribes and a half to have their inheritance by lot.

these are the countries which the children of Israel inherited in the land of Canaan — This chapter forms the introduction to an account of the allocation of the land west of Jordan, or Canaan proper, to the nine tribes and a half. It was also made by lot in presence of a select number of superintendents, appointed according to divine directions given to Moses (see on Numbers 34:16). In everything pertaining to civil government, and even the division of the land, Joshua was the acknowledged chief. But in a matter to be determined by lot, a solemn appeal was made to God, and hence Eleazar, as high priest, is named before Joshua.

Copyright Statement
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Joshua 14:1". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/joshua-14.html. 1871-8.

Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary

CONTENTS

The same subject is continued here, as in the former Chapter, in the division of the land. Caleb desires to have Hebron, as had been assured him. Joshua consents to his request.

Joshua 14:1

I would have the Reader observe, that the division which this Chapter opens with, is the division of the land of Canaan itself. The tribes of Reuben and Gad, and half the tribe of Manasseh, had their portion on the other side of Jordan.

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Bibliographical Information
Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Joshua 14:1". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pmc/joshua-14.html. 1828.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

And these are the countries which the children of Israel inherited in the land of Canaan, which Eleazar the priest, and Joshua the son of Nun, and the heads of the fathers of the tribes of the children of Israel, distributed for inheritance to them.

Eleazar the priest — He best understood the laws of God by which this division was to be regulated.

Heads of the fathers — Twelve persons, each the head of his tribe, who were appointed and named by God, Numbers 34:19, and if any of them were now dead, no doubt Joshua and Eleazar, by God's direction, put others in their stead.

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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Bibliographical Information
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Joshua 14:1". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/joshua-14.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Joshua 14:1 And these [are the countries] which the children of Israel inherited in the land of Canaan, which Eleazar the priest, and Joshua the son of Nun, and the heads of the fathers of the tribes of the children of Israel, distributed for inheritance to them.

Ver. 1. And these are the countries.] These that are expressed in this and the five following chapters.

Which Eleazar the priest.] Who was a type of Christ, by whom we have entrance into the heavenly Canaan, and the fourth from Levi; and so that prophecy was fulfilled, Genesis 15:16.

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Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Joshua 14:1". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/joshua-14.html. 1865-1868.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

JOSHUA CHAPTER 14

The land and its inheritances to be divided by lot, Joshua 14:1-5. Caleb having on his return from spying the land encouraged the people, Moses then promised him the land of Hebron, which he now claims of Joshua 14:6-12; who grants his request, Joshua 14:13-15.

These, mentioned chapters 14-19. Eleazar the priest. see on Joshua 8:33 9:15,18 19:51. He best understood the laws of God, by which this division was to be regulated; and he was to consult God upon any difficult occurrence.

The heads of the fathers of the tribes; twelve persons, each the head of his tribe, which were appointed and named by God, Numbers 34:19; and if any of them were now dead, no doubt Joshua and Eleazar, by God’s direction, put others in their stead.

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Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Joshua 14:1". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/joshua-14.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

INTRODUCTION TO THE WEST JORDANIC ALLOTMENTS, Joshua 14:1-5.

1. These are the countries — Passing from the eastern side of the Jordan, our historian now traces the boundaries of the tribes on its western side, constituting the main area of the Holy Land. The directions of Moses (Numbers 26:53-56) were obeyed in the allotment. Yet God so overruled the lots as to fulfil the predictions of the prophecies of the dying Jacob. Genesis 49.

Eleazar the priest — The term High Priest had not yet been invented. Eleazar was the third son of Aaron, and came into the high-priesthood by the death of his two sacrilegious brothers, Nadab and Abihu. See notes on Exodus 6:23; Leviticus 10:1: Numbers 3:4; Numbers 20:28. He aided Moses in the census of the people, (Numbers 26:3,) assisted at the inauguration of Joshua, and now is the proper person to superintend the sacred lots by which the conquered lands were divided. The original document describing the division we might naturally suppose to be prepared under his superintendence and preserved in the archives of the tabernacle. In the form in which the records here stand in the sacred volume they form a part of the law, and they were, we might suppose, preserved with the sacred records in the ark of the covenant. The persons who were to divide western Palestine among the nine tribes and the half tribe of Manasseh were designated by Jehovah before the death of Moses, and their names are given in Numbers 34:17-28.

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Bibliographical Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Joshua 14:1". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/joshua-14.html. 1874-1909.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Joshua 14:1. And these are the countries — Namely, those mentioned in the 15th, 16th, and following chapters, to the 20th; for this chapter is but a kind of preface to the division of the land; which was now conquered by Joshua, as that of Sihon and Og had been by Moses; and was to be divided by lot according to the command given by God to Moses, Numbers 34:17-18, where the names of the twelve heads of tribes, or princes, as they are there called, are set down. Eleazar the priest and Joshua, &c. — They best understood the laws of God by which this division was to be regulated.

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Bibliographical Information
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Joshua 14:1". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/joshua-14.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Princes, whose names are given, Numbers xxxiv. 17. There were 12, including Josue and Eleazar. The tribes of Ruben and Gad sent none of their princes, as they were not concerned in this distribution.

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Bibliographical Information
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Joshua 14:1". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/joshua-14.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

children = sons.

Eleazar the priest now acts with Joshua, because the land is to be divided by lot (Joshua 14:2); and he alone has the lot, i.e. the Urim and Thnmmim by which the lots were drawn from the bag behind the breastplate. See notes on Exodus 28:30. Numbers 26:55.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Joshua 14:1". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/joshua-14.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

And these are the countries which the children of Israel inherited in the land of Canaan, which Eleazar the priest, and Joshua the son of Nun, and the heads of the fathers of the tribes of the children of Israel, distributed for inheritance to them.

These are the countries which the children of Israel inherited in the land of Canaan. This chanter forms the introduction to an account of the allocation of the land west of Jordan, or Canaan proper, to the nine tribes and one-half. It was also made by lot in presence of a select number of superintendents, appointed according to divine directions given to Moses (see the note at Numbers 34:16-29). In everything pertaining civil government, and even the division of the land, Joshua was the acknowledged chief. But in a matter to be determined by lot, a solemn appeal was made to God, and hence, Eleazar, as high priest, is named before Joshua.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Joshua 14:1". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/joshua-14.html. 1871-8.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And these are the countries which the children of Israel inherited in the land of Canaan, which Eleazar the priest, and Joshua the son of Nun, and the heads of the fathers of the tribes of the children of Israel, distributed for inheritance to them.
which Eleazar
Numbers 34:17-29
Reciprocal: Genesis 10:19 - And the;  Exodus 6:14 - the heads;  Numbers 26:53 - GeneralNumbers 34:13 - This is the land;  Numbers 36:2 - The Lord commanded;  Joshua 11:23 - according to their;  Joshua 13:6 - only divide;  Joshua 17:4 - Eleazar;  Joshua 18:8 - that I may here;  Joshua 19:51 - These are;  Joshua 21:1 - Eleazar;  Joshua 22:4 - get;  Joshua 24:33 - Eleazar;  Ezra 7:5 - Eleazar;  Acts 13:19 - he divided

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Joshua 14:1". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/joshua-14.html.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

1.And these are the countries, etc He now proceeds to the land of Canaan, from which nine tribes and a half were to obtain their lots. And he will immediately break off the thread of the narrative, as we shall see. Yet the transition is seasonably made from that region whose situation was different, to let the reader know that the discourse was to be concerning the land of Canaan, which was to be divided by lot. We have said that Joshua and Eleazar not only divided what the Israelites had already acquired, but trusting in the promise of God, confidently included whatever he had promised to his people, just as if they had been in actual possession of it. We shall see, indeed, that the division was not all at once made complete, but when the first lot turned up in favor of Judah, the turns of the others were left in hope.

Here a difficult question arises. How can it be said that the distribution of the land was made by Joshua, Eleazar, and the princes, if lots were cast? For the lot is not regulated by the opinion or the will or the authority of man. Should any one answer, that they took charge and prevented any fraud from being committed, the difficulty is not removed, nay, this evasion will be refuted from the context. It is to be known, therefore, that they were not selected simply to divide the land by lot, but also afterwards to enlarge or restrict the boundaries of the tribes by giving to each its due proportion. That this business could not be accomplished by a naked lot is very apparent. For while, according to human ideas, nothing is more fortuitous than the result of a lot, it was not known whether God might choose to place the half tribe of Manasseh where the tribe of Judah obtained its settlement, or whether Zebulun might not occupy the place of Ephraim. Therefore they were not at liberty at the outset to proceed farther than to divide the land into ten districts or provinces. In this way, however, the space belonging to each would remain indefinite. For had an option been given to each, some would have chosen to fix themselves in the center, others would have preferred a quiet locality, while others would have been guided in their choice by the fertility of the soil, or the climate and beauty of the scenery. But the lot placed the tribe of Judah, as it were, at the head, while it sent that of Zebulun away to the seashore, placed the tribe of Benjamin adjacent to that of Judah, and removed that of Ephraim to a greater distance. In short, the effect of the lot was that ten divisions fell out from Egypt towards Syria, and from the north quarter to the Mediterranean Sea, making some neighbors to the Egyptians, and giving to others maritime positions, to others hilly districts, to others intervening valleys.

This being understood, the office remaining for the rulers of the people was to trace out the boundaries on all sides in accordance with the rules of equity. It remained, therefore, for them to calculate how many thousand souls there were in every tribe, and to assign more or less space to each, according to the greatness or the smallness of their numbers. For in conformity to the divine command, a due proportion was to be observed, and a larger or narrower district was to be assigned, according as the census which was taken had ascertained the numbers to be. (Numbers 26:0) To the judgment of the princes was it in like manner left to shape the territories, regulating the length and breadth as circumstances might require. It is necessary also to bear in mind what is said in Numbers 26:0, that the ten who are here called heads of families were appointed to execute this office, not by the suffrages of men, but by the voice of God. Thus each tribe had its own overseers to prevent either fraud or violence from being committed. Then it would have been impious to have any suspicion of those who had been nominated by God. Such is the manner in which Joshua may be said to have distributed the land, though it was portioned out by lot.

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Bibliographical Information
Calvin, John. "Commentary on Joshua 14:1". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/joshua-14.html. 1840-57.