Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Joshua 18:1

Then the whole congregation of the sons of Israel assembled themselves at Shiloh, and set up the tent of meeting there; and the land was subdued before them.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Ark;   Joshua;   Liberality;   Shiloh;   Tabernacle;   Thompson Chain Reference - Congregation;   Places;   Sacred Places;   Shiloh;   Tabernacle;   Worship;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Ephraim, Tribe of;   Tabernacle;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Ark of the Covenant;   Shiloh;   Tabernacle;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Gilgal;   Shiloh;   Tabernacle;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Shiloh;   Tabernacle;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Bochim;   Israel;   Joshua, the Book of;   Pentateuch;   Shiloh (1);   Shiloh (2);   Tabernacle;   Holman Bible Dictionary - High Place;   Joshua, the Book of;   Shiloh;   Tribes of Israel, the;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Joshua;   Priests and Levites;   Shiloh;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Ark of God;   Shiloh ;   Tabernacle, the;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Gilgal;   Shiloh;   Tabernacle;   Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types - Shiloh;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Conquest of Canaan;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Gilgal;   Joshua (2);   Joshua, Book of;   Shiloh (2);   Tabernacle;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Sacrifice;   Sanctuary;   Shiloh;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Israel assembled together at Shiloh - This appears to have been a considerable town about fifteen miles from Jerusalem, in the tribe of Ephraim, and nearly in the center of the whole land. To this place both the camp of Israel, and the ark of the Lord, were removed from Gilgal, after a residence there of seven years. Here the tabernacle remained one hundred and thirty years, as is generally supposed, being the most conveniently situated for access to the different tribes, and for safety, the Israelites having possession of the land on all sides; for it is here added, the land was subdued before them - the Canaanites were so completely subdued, that there was no longer any general resistance to the Israelitish arms.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Joshua 18:1". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/joshua-18.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

After all overt resistance was overcome, the tabernacle with its sacred contents was removed from its place of safety at Gilgal, in a corner of the land near the Jordan, to a central place, Shiloh, the modern Scilun, which is two or three miles east of the main road, and rather more than half way between Jerusalem and Nablous. Its choice as the national sanctuary may indeed have been determined by Joshua, no doubt under divine direction Deuteronomy 12:11, because of its insignificance, in order to avoid local jealousies, as well as because of its position in the very center of the whole land, and perhaps also because of its seclusion. Its very name (“rest”) was probably bestowed at this juncture when God had given the people rest from their enemies. The tabernacle with its contents continued at Shiloh during the whole period of the Judges, until its capture by the Philistines. Shiloh 1 Samuel 4:3-4 seems to have fallen into desolation at an early date Jeremiah 7:12; Jeremiah 26:6.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Joshua 18:1". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/joshua-18.html. 1870.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

A number of important subjects are discussed in this chapter.

(1) The setting up of the tabernacle at Shiloh is mentioned (Joshua 18:1);

(2) preparations to give their allotments to the remaining seven tribes are announced (Joshua 18:2-7);

(3) an explanation of how the distribution will be made is given (Joshua 18:7);

(4) the survey is made; Joshua casts the lots, and the divisions are made (Joshua 18:8-10).

(5) The boundaries of Benjamin are given (Joshua 18:11-20); and

(6) the cities of Benjamin are listed (Joshua 18:21-28).

"And the whole congregation of the children of Israel assembled themselves together at Shiloh, and set up the tent of meeting there: and the land was subdued before them."

The apparent reason for mentioning this change of the tabernacle from Gilgal near the Jordan, where it had been set up shortly after the Jordan crossing, is that it was to remain there at Shiloh for a long time. "The tabernacle remained at Shiloh for more than 300 years."[1] In fact, it remained there until the times of Eli and the loss of the Ark of the Covenant to the Philistines who also destroyed the city (1 Samuel 4:1-11). "Shiloh succeeded Gilgal as the central shrine of Israel until it was destroyed about 1050 B.C., presumably by the Philistines."[2]

"Shiloh ..." We agree with Cook that in all probability, Joshua himself, acting under the influence of direct revelation from God named this town.[3] The name "Shiloh" first occurs in Genesis 49:10; but this is the first usage of the word as a place-name. It was exceedingly appropriate that this glorious Messianic word should have been applied to the site of the Holy Tabernacle, because the tabernacle itself, as regards its High Priest, its numerous sacrifices, etc. was typical of Messiah himself. We are aware that current scholarship of the critical variety is unwilling to allow the Messianic thrust of the passage in Genesis, but the simple truth is that the passage is either Messianic, or it has no meaning whatever! (See my discussion of this in Vol. 1 of the Pentateuchal series, pp. 556-559.)

Shiloh is identified with the modern Seilun, now a ruined site on a hill, 9 miles north of Bethel and 3 miles southeast of El-Lubban.[4] The location of Shiloh "is minutely described in Judges 21:19, but it is difficult to understand why, since Shiloh must have been well known to all the dwellers in Israel at that time."[5] The same author suggested that this particular site for the tabernacle was "probably made by Urim and Thummim, the case being important enough for such a decision."[6] We have not been able to find another student of this book who corroborates our view as to why that "minute description" of the location of this place was given in Joshua 21:19, but, could it not have been because this was altogether a new location? Certainly the name Shiloh, as used here, was new, and no prior name of the place is given, so why not?

Copyright Statement
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 18:1". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/joshua-18.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And the whole congregation of the children of Israel assembled together at Shiloh,.... The whole body of the people, men, women, and children, as well as the camp, Joshua 18:9; at least all that had not received their inheritances in the land. Hither they came from Gilgal, where the camp and tabernacle had been ever since their passage over Jordan; but now the land being in the main subdued, that was too far off both for the camp and tabernacle, and therefore they moved further into the land, and nearer Jerusalem, where in time the tabernacle was to be placed. The place they assembled at, Shiloh, was in the tribe of Ephraim, of which tribe Joshua was, and whose lot and inheritance was now fixed, and it was not far from Jerusalem, about two leagues. Jerom saysF21De loc. Heb. fol. 94. I. it was ten miles from, Neapolis or Shechem, in the country of Acrabatena; and that there were scarce any ruins of it to be seen in his day, only an altar demolished was shownF23Comment. in Soph. c. 1. fol. 94. I. Epitaph. Paul. fol. 59. L. . It seems to have its name from the peaceable condition the land was now in, and very likely was now given it on that account:

and set up the tabernacle of the congregation there; no doubt by the appointment and direction of God, signified to Eleazar the high priest, either by a voice, or by Urim and Thummim; and the removal of it seemed necessary, partly that because several camps which surrounded it were now broken up and settled in their cities, as Reuben, Judah, and Ephraim; and partly that it might be near where Joshua, the governor of Israel, resided, Ephraim being his tribe; and also since Gilgal, on the borders of the land, was too far off for the people to resort to the tabernacle, and therefore it was, proper it should be more in the heart of the country: when this was done, cannot certainly be determined; Kimchi says it was fourteen years after the Israelites came into the land of Canaan; and so saysF24Seder Olam Rabba, c. 11. p. 32. their chronology; but it is highly probable it was before that time, and not longer than seven or eight years at most; here the tabernacle continued, according to the Jewish writersF25, three hundred sixty nine years, even unto the times of Samuel, when for the sins of the sons of Eli it was removed. EupolemusF26Apud Euseb. Praepar. Evangel. l. 9. c. 30. p. 447. , an Heathen writer, speaks of the holy temple being fixed at Shiloh by Joshua:

and the land was subdued before them: the far greater part of it, and all so as to have no disturbance from, or war with, the inhabitants.

Copyright Statement
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 18:1". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/joshua-18.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

And the whole congregation of the children of Israel assembled together at Shiloh, and set up the a tabernacle of the congregation there. And the land was subdued before them.

(a) For they had now removed it from Gilgal, and set it up in Shiloh.
Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Joshua 18:1". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/joshua-18.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Joshua 18:1. The Tabernacle set up at Shiloh.

the whole congregation  …  assembled together at Shiloh — The main body of the Israelites had been diminished by the separation of the three tribes, Judah, Ephraim, and Manasseh into their respective allotments; and the country having been in a great measure subdued, the camp was removed to Shiloh (now Seilun). It was twenty or twenty-five miles north of Jerusalem, twelve north of Beth-el, and ten south of Shechem, and embosomed in a rugged and romantic glen. This sequestered spot in the heart of the country might have been recommended by the dictates of convenience. There the allotment of the territory could be most conveniently made, north, south, east, and west, to the different tribes. But “the tabernacle of the congregation was also set up there,” and its removal therefore must have been made or sanctioned by divine intimation (Deuteronomy 12:11). It remained in Shiloh for more than three hundred years (1 Samuel 4:1-11).

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 18:1". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/joshua-18.html. 1871-8.

Keil & Delitzsch Old Testament Commentary

The Tabernacle Set Up at Shiloh. - As soon as the tribe of Ephraim had received its inheritance, Joshua commanded the whole congregation to assemble in Shiloh, and there set up the tabernacle, in order that, as the land was conquered, the worship of Jehovah might henceforth be regularly observed in accordance with the law. The selection of Shiloh as the site for the sanctuary was hardly occasioned by the fitness of the place for this purpose, on account of its being situated upon a mountain in the centre of the land, for there were many other places that would have been quite as suitable in this respect; the reason is rather to be found in the name of the place, viz., Shiloh, i.e., rest, which called to mind the promised Shiloh ( Genesis 49:10), and therefore appeared to be pre-eminently suitable to be the resting-place of the sanctuary of the Lord, where His name was to dwell in Israel, until He should come who was to give true rest to His people as the Prince of Peace. In any case, however, Joshua did not follow his own judgment in selecting Shiloh for this purpose, but acted in simple accordance with the instructions of God, as the Lord had expressly reserved to himself the choice of the place where His name should dwell (Deuteronomy 12:11). Shiloh, according to the Onom., was twelve Roman miles or five hours to the south of Neapolis (Nablus), and about eight hours to the north of Jerusalem; at present it is a heap of ruins, bearing the name of Seilun (see Rob. iii. p. 85). The tabernacle continued standing at Shiloh during the time of the judges, until the ark of the covenant fell into the hands of the Philistines, in the lifetime of Eli, when the holy tent was robbed of its soul, and reduced to the mere shadow of a sanctuary. After this it was removed to Nob (1 Samuel 21:2); but in consequence of the massacre inflicted by Saul upon the inhabitants of this place (1 Samuel 22:19), it was taken to Gibeon (1 Kings 3:4 : see Keil, Bibl. Arch. i.

Copyright Statement
The Keil & Delitzsch Old Testament Commentary is a derivative of a public domain electronic edition.
Bibliographical Information
Keil, Carl Friedrich & Delitzsch, Franz. "Commentary on Joshua 18:1". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/kdo/joshua-18.html. 1854-1889.

Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary on the Bible

In the midst of the story of the dividing of the land comes in this account of the setting up of the tabernacle, which had hitherto continued in its old place in the centre of their camp; but now that three of the four squadrons that used to surround it in the wilderness were broken and diminished, those of Judah, Ephraim, and Reuben, by the removal of those tribes to their respective possessions, and that of Dan only remained entire, it was time to think of removing the tabernacle itself into a city. Many a time the priests and Levites had taken it down, carried it, and set it up again in the wilderness, according to the directions given them (Numbers 4:5, etc.); but now they must do it for good and all, not one of the stakes thereof must any more be removed, nor any of the cords thereof broken, Isaiah 33:20. Observe,

I. The place to which the tabernacle was removed, and in which it was set up. It was Shiloh, a city in the lot of Ephraim, but lying close upon the lot of Benjamin. Doubtless God himself did some way or other direct them to this place, for he had promised to choose the place where he would make his name to dwell, Deuteronomy 12:11. It is most probable God made known his mind in this matter by the judgment of Urim. This place was pitched upon, 1. Because it was in the heart of the country, nearer the centre than Jerusalem was, and therefore the more convenient for the meeting of all Israel there from the several parts of the country; it had been in the midst of their camp in the wilderness, and therefore must now be in the midst of their nation, as that which sanctified the whole, and was the glory in the midst of them. See Psalm 46:5. 2. Because it was in the lot of that tribe of which Joshua was, who was now their chief magistrate, and it would be both for his honour and convenience and for the advantage of the country to have it near him. The testimony of Israel and the thrones of judgment do well together, Psalm 122:4, Psalm 122:5. 3. Some think there was an eye to the name of the place, Shiloh being the name by which the Messiah was known in dying Jacob's prophecy (Genesis 49:10), which prophecy, no doubt, was well known among the Jews; the setting up of the tabernacle in Shiloh gave them a hint that in that Shiloh whom Jacob spoke of all the ordinances of this worldly sanctuary should have their accomplishment in a greater and more perfect tabernacle, Hebrews 9:1, Hebrews 9:11. And Dr. Lightfoot thinks that the place where the tabernacle was set up was therefore called Shiloh, because of the peaceableness of the land at this time; as afterwards in Salem was his temple, which also signifies peaceable.

II. The solemn manner of doing it: The whole congregation assembled together to attend the solemnity, to do honour to the ark of God, as the token of his presence, and to bid it welcome to its settlement. Every Israelite was interested in it, and therefore all testified their joy and satisfaction upon this occasion. See 2 Samuel 6:15. It is probable those tribes that were yet encamped when the tabernacle was removed to Shiloh decamped from Gilgal and pitched about Shiloh, for every true Israelite will desire to fix where God's tabernacle fixed. Mention is made, on this occasion, of the land being subdued before them, to intimate that the country, hereabouts at least, being thoroughly reduced, they met with no opposition, nor were they apprehensive of any danger, but thought it time to make this grateful acknowledgment of God's goodness to them in the constant series of successes with which he had blessed them. It was a good presage of a comfortable settlement to themselves in Canaan, when their first care was to see the ark well settled as soon as they had a safe place ready to settle it in. Here the ark continued about 300 years, till the sins of Eli's house forfeited the ark, lost it and ruined Shiloh, and its ruins were long after made use of as warnings to Jerusalem. Go, see what I did to Shiloh, Jeremiah 7:12; Psalm 78:60.

Copyright Statement
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
Henry, Matthew. "Complete Commentary on Joshua 18:1". "Matthew Henry Complete Commentary on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mhm/joshua-18.html. 1706.

Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary

CONTENTS

This Chapter opens with an account of the setting up the tabernacle in Shiloh. The remaining part of the land is divided. Benjamin's lot particularly marked out, with the cities belonging to it.

Joshua 18:1

They who in attending to the division of the land, and have seen the several tribes moving off to their respective settlements, might well have enquired before this, Where is the ark of God to be placed? Where is the tabernacle to be erected? That is, in other words, where is Jesus in his type, which is the ark, to have a settlement? Reader! let me beg of you to read what the apostle hath said on this subject, Hebrews 9:1-5, for here you will see how Jesus was shadowed out, in signs and figures. It may not be amiss, by way of information to the Reader, to observe that the ark continued in this tabernacle for the space of about 320 years, until it was taken by the Philistines. See 1 Samuel 4:17.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Joshua 18:1". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pmc/joshua-18.html. 1828.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

And the whole congregation of the children of Israel assembled together at Shiloh, and set up the tabernacle of the congregation there. And the land was subdued before them.

Set up the tabernacle — By God's appointment. It was removed from Gilgal, partly for the honour and conveniency of Joshua, that he being of the tribe of Ephraim, and seating himself there, might have the opportunity of consulting with God as often as he needed; and partly for the conveniency of all the tribes, that being in the center of them, they might more easily resort to it from all places. Here the tabernacle continued for above three hundred years, even 'till Samuel's days, 1 Samuel 1:3. Shiloh was the name given to the Messiah in dying Jacob's prophecy. So the pitching the tabernacle in Shiloh intimated to the Jews, that in that Shiloh whom Jacob spoke of, all the ordinances of this worldly sanctuary should have their accomplishment, in a greater and more perfect tabernacle.

Copyright Statement
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 18:1". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/joshua-18.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Joshua 18:1 And the whole congregation of the children of Israel assembled together at Shiloh, and set up the tabernacle of the congregation there. And the land was subdued before them.

Ver. 1. Assembled together at Shiloh.] (a) Which, both by the signification of the name, and by the situation of the place, seemeth to some to be the same with Salem, Melchizedek’s city, whose palace, Jerome saith, was in his time to be seen in the city Salem, near whereunto John baptized, [John 3:23] which also, [Genesis 33:18] according to his translation and the Seventy’s, is called the city of the Sichemites, because it stood in the country of the Shechemites, as did also Shiloh. [Joshua 24:25-26; Joshua 18:1 Genesis 35:4 9:6; 21:9]

And set up the tabernacle.] According to Deuteronomy 12:5, Jeremiah 7:12; and here the tabernacle abode for above three hundred years, till for sin it was removed thence. [Jeremiah 7:8] All that I fear, saith a reverend divine (b) yet living, is, lest according to Mr Herbert’s prophecy it prove true, viz., that the gospel be, in its solar motion, travelling for the west and American parts, and quitting its present places of residence and unworthy professors and possessors: and then, farewell, England.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Joshua 18:1". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/joshua-18.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Ver. 1. And the whole congregation of the children of Israel assembled together at Shiloh After a stay of seven years at Gilgal, Joshua took, and (without doubt at the express command of God,) performed the resolution, to remove the camp to Shiloh. It belonged to the Lord only, to mark out the place where he thought proper to fix the residence of his tabernacle; Deuteronomy 12:8-10. And in all probability he made known his will in this respect by Urim and Thummim. Shiloh was the place pitched upon. This city, which the learned Archbishop Usher alleges to have been the same with Salem, was situate upon a hill, in the tribe of Ephraim, about fifteen miles from Jerusalem, in the heart, as it were, of the whole country. There, consequently, the tabernacle was more safe than any where else; and for the same reason, it was more within reach of each of the tribes who were to present their religious services to God. Here this sacred edifice remained for about three hundred and fifty years, till the time of Samuel, or at least three hundred and twenty-eight years, as the Archbishop observes, whose chronology we follow. See Annals, to the year of the world 2560. Lastly, at Shiloh Joshua was himself better accommodated for the convenient dividing of the lands which still remained to be distributed. All Israel, therefore, decamped from Gilgal, and came to Shiloh; the Canaanites, either subdued or terrified, not daring to interpose the least obstacle in their way. For, as the historian adds, the land was subdued before the children of Israel.

Note; The name was given to the place, probably, from the peace which they now enjoyed, and might typify the place of rest for all true believers in heaven, when, after all their spiritual enemies shall be finally subdued, they shall rest with Christ, the ark of the covenant, in glory for ever.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Joshua 18:1". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/joshua-18.html. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

JOSHUA CHAPTER 18

The tabernacle is set up in Shiloh, Joshua 18:1. The remainder of the land described, and divided into seven parts, for the seven tribes which as yet had no inheritance, Joshua 18:2-9. Joshua casts the lot at Shiloh, Joshua 18:10: the first comes out for Benjamin, whose borders and cities are described, Joshua 18:11-28.

Set up the tabernacle of the congregation there, by God’s appointment, as is manifest from Deuteronomy 12:5, &c.; Jeremiah 7:12. Hither it was removed from Gilgal, partly for the honour and conveniency of Joshua, that he being of the tribe of Ephraim, and seating himself there, might have the opportunity of consulting with God as oft as he desired and needed; and partly for the conveniency of all the tribes, that, being in the heart and centre of them, they might more easily resort to it from all places. Here the tabernacle continued for above three hundred years, even till Samuel’s days, 1 Samuel 1:3.

And the land, or, for the land, because these words contain a reason of the former action: the particle and is oft used for for, as hath been showed.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Joshua 18:1". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/joshua-18.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

THE TABERNACLE ERECTED AT SHILOH, Joshua 18:1.

The location of the tribes was not yet completed, but it had proceeded so far that it was desirable that the tabernacle should be permanently established in a central place. This could not well be accomplished till Ephraim, in whose borders it was to be located, had received his portion.

1.Shiloh Rest; the first national capital and sanctuary in Palestine. Bethel, “the house of God,” from its sacred name and associations, would probably have been selected if it had not been in the hands of the Canaanites. Shiloh, now Seilun, remarkable for its seclusion, not for its natural strength or beauty, is situated near the central thoroughfare of Palestine, twenty miles north of Jerusalem and ten south of Nablus. [Tristram describes the modern site as “a mass of shapeless ruins, scarcely distinguishable from the rugged rocks around them, with large hewn stones occasionally marking the site of ancient walls. There is one square ruin, probably a mediaeval fortress-church, with a few broken Corinthian columns, the relics of previous grandeur. Straggling valleys, too open to be termed glens, within an amphitheatre of dreary round-topped hills, bare and rocky, without being picturesque, are the only characteristics of this featureless scene.” This same writer thus discusses the question why so unattractive a spot as Shiloh should have been chosen as the religious centre of Israel for so many generations: “One reason may probably be found in this very natural unattractiveness, inasmuch as it was a protest against the idolatry of the people of the land, which selected every high hill and every noble grove as the special home of their gods; here being neither commanding peak nor majestic cedar, neither deep glen nor gushing fountain. Moreover, it was a central point for all Israel, equidistant from north to south, easily accessible to the trans-Jordanic tribes, and in the heart of that hill-country which Joshua first subdued, and which remained to the end of Israel’s history the district least exposed to the attacks of Canaanitish or foreign invaders.”] Here the remaining seven tribes received their allotments, here the yearly feasts were held, and here the ark remained more than three hundred and fifty years, till taken by the Philistines. 1 Samuel 4:1-11. The place was afterwards forsaken and accursed of God. Psalms 78:60; Jeremiah 7:12-14; Jeremiah 26:6.

Tabernacle — This was, according to the rabbinical representation, still a tent, or, rather, a low structure of stones with a tent drawn over it. “Although a city grew round it, and a stone gateway rose in front of it, yet it still retained its name ‘camp of Shiloh’ and the ‘tent that God had pitched among men.’” — Stanley. Its structure is described in Exodus 25:26.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Joshua 18:1". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/joshua-18.html. 1874-1909.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

Chapter 18 The Further Seven Allotments - The Allotment to Benjamin.

In this chapter we have described the gathering at Shiloh where the Tent of Meeting (the Tabernacle) was set up, for the allotting by lot of the allotments to the remaining seven tribes. Men were to be sent out to divide up the remainder of the land, which up to now had been treated as one mainly unsurveyed section, into seven portions, and this was done. Movement through the country was easily possible, for travelling traders, and strangers passing through were a regular feature of life in Canaan. Then they returned and the remaining land was divided by lot. The lot of Benjamin is then described.

Joshua 18:1

And the whole congregation of the children of Israel assembled themselves together at Shiloh, and set up the Tent of Meeting there. And the land was subdued before them.’

The movement of the Tabernacle from Gilgal to Shiloh was an historic move. It was an indication that Israel were firmly settled in the land. It did not take place until after the victories of Joshua, even though Shechem, to the north of Shiloh, was early within the covenant (see on Joshua 8:30-35). It was first necessary that the hill country should come into their safe possession. Then the people gathered at Shiloh, probably to celebrate one of the great feasts. No movement had as yet been made to settle the remaining seven tribes and this moving of the Tabernacle to Shiloh was probably partly Joshua’s method of hastening the process.

“The whole congregation of the children of Israel.” See Joshua 22:12. The phrase is found regularly in the Law of Moses, eight times in Exodus, twice in Leviticus, nine times in Numbers. It comprehensively sums up the whole people as gathered together in the covenant.

“Assembled themselves together at Shiloh, and set up the Tent of Meeting there.” From now on Shiloh (modern Seilun) would be the place where the Tabernacle remained permanently until Shiloh was probably destroyed by the Philistines in the days of Eli, when Samuel was a young prophet. Archaeologically speaking a destruction of Shiloh took place around 1050 BC. Shiloh, and its fate, was ever remembered as the site of the Tabernacle which finally came under the judgment of God because of Israel’s failure and sin (Psalms 78:60; Jeremiah 7:12; Jeremiah 7:14; Jeremiah 26:6; Jeremiah 26:9). But that was yet in the future.

The tabernacle was variously stationed at Gilgal (Joshua 5:10; Joshua 10:15; Joshua 10:43), Shiloh (Joshua 18:1; Joshua 18:9-10), possibly temporarily at Bethel (Judges 20:18-28; Judges 21:1-4 - although only the Ark is mentioned and that sometimes left the Tabernacle at time of war), Shiloh (Judges 18:31; Judges 21:19 by implication; 1 Samuel 1:3 to 1 Samuel 4:4), possibly at Mizpah (1 Samuel 7:5; 1 Samuel 7:9-10) and Gilgal (1 Samuel 10:8; 1 Samuel 11:14; 1 Samuel 13:8-10), Nob (1 Samuel 21:1-9), and finally at Gibeon (1 Chronicles 16:39-40; 1 Chronicles 21:29; 1 Kings 3:4; 2 Chronicles 1:3), There are hints that at Shiloh various permanent elements were added to the site of the Tabernacle but this is not certain (1 Samuel 1:9; 1 Samuel 3:15). Such language could be used elsewhere of tents, and ‘the house of YHWH’ could equally refer to the Tabernacle. Thus it may well have been called a ‘temple’ after being there so long.

“And the land was subdued before them.” The reference here is probably twofold, firstly to the widespread victories of Joshua which had crushed resistance temporarily throughout Canaan, and then to the further victories by which Judah, Ephraim and Manasseh had taken possession of the hill country and had established themselves there, together with certain parts of the lowlands, the Shephelah, and the Negeb.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Joshua 18:1". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/joshua-18.html. 2013.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Joshua 18:1. The whole congregation of the children of Israel — Not only their elders, and heads of their tribes, who represented the people of Israel, and are sometimes meant by the whole congregation; but, as the expression may here very well signify, the whole body of the people, who, it is probable, accompanied the ark, in order to fix it in a new situation. Assembled together at Shiloh — A place in the tribe of Ephraim, about fifteen miles from Jerusalem, situate upon a hill in the heart of the country. And set up the tabernacle there — Which had now remained seven years with the camp at Gilgal. No doubt if was by God’s order that it was removed hither, for he was to choose the place of its residence, Deuteronomy 12:5; Deuteronomy 12:11; Deuteronomy 12:14. And, it is probable, he made known his will in this respect by the oracle of Urim and Thummim, and by giving some extraordinary token of his accepting their sacrifices there. For when he made choice of mount Zion, an angel ordered the Prophet Gad to direct David to set up an altar in the threshing-floor of Ornan, and there God answered by fire, 1 Chronicles 21:18; 1 Chronicles 21:26. It would have been too far, after the division of the land, for all the tribes to go up to Gilgal to transact all that the law required to be done at the tabernacle, and now indispensably necessary to be performed there, although, while they sojourned in the wilderness, they did not observe these rules. This place was very convenient for all the tribes to resort to, being in the centre of them, and likewise very safe, being guarded by the two powerful tribes of Judah and Ephraim. And being in the lot of the latter tribe, to which Joshua belonged, and in which he probably fixed his stated abode, it was both for his honour and convenience that it was placed here; that he might have the opportunity of consulting God by Urim as often as he needed, and might more easily finish what remained to be done in the division of the land. Here, it is thought, the tabernacle remained for the space of three hundred and fifty years, even till the days of Samuel, 1 Samuel 1:3. Archbishop Usher, however, only reckons the time to be three hundred and twenty- eight years. Shiloh was the name given to the Messiah in dying Jacob’s prophecy. So the pitching the tabernacle in Shiloh, says Henry, intimated to the Jews, that “in that Shiloh whom Jacob spoke of all the ordinances of this worldly sanctuary should have their accomplishment in a greater and more perfect tabernacle.”

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Joshua 18:1". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/joshua-18.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Silo was delightfully situated, about the midst of the country, 12 miles south of Sichem. Hither the Israelites removed the ark from Galgal after having had their camp in the latter place seven years at least; the Jews say 14. But Josue might reproach the Israelites for their indolence, (ver. 3,) without waiting seven years after the country was divided. --- Tabernacle. The Jews pretend that this was not the same as that set up by Moses; and others say that a house was built for the Lord at Silo, 1 Kings i. 23. But there seems to be no reason for these assertions. David informs us that the ark of the Lord was covered with skins, 2 Kings vii. 2. If any repairs were found necessary for the tabernacle erected by Moses, they might be made. The ark was certainly in it till the Israelites unfortunately sent it into the camp, where it was taken by the Philistines. When they sent back the ark, it was deposited at Gabaa, and not in the tabernacle, which was at Silo. Then it was sent to Nobe. We find the tabernacle was at Gabaon some time after the ark was translated to Jerusalem. (Calmet) --- Them. They might, therefore, removed the ark into the interior, and measure the country without danger. (Menochius) --- The greatest part of the country had submitted to Josue. (Calmet)

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Joshua 18:1". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/joshua-18.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

children = sons.

Shiloh = tranqaillity or rest. Compare Genesis 49:10; eight times in this book. See Joshua 18:1, Joshua 18:8, Joshua 18:9, Joshua 18:10; Joshua 19:51; Joshua 21:2; Joshua 22:9, Joshua 22:12. See note on Judges 18:31.

tabernacle. Hebrew "ohel" = tent (App-40). It remained here (Judges 21:12. 1 Samuel 1:3; 1 Samuel 3:3) till the Philistines took the ark (1 Samuel 4:11). In the days of Saul it was at Nob (of Benjamin, 1 Samuel 21:1; 1 Samuel 22:19), and at Gibson at beginning of Solomon"s reign (1 Kings 3:5. 2 Chronicles 1:3). Compare Psalms 78:60, Psalms 78:67, Psalms 78:68. Jeremiah 7:12.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Joshua 18:1". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/joshua-18.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

And the whole congregation of the children of Israel assembled together at Shiloh, and set up the tabernacle of the congregation there. And the land was subdued before them.

The whole congregation of the children of Israel assembled together at Shiloh. The main body of the Israelites had been diminished by the separation of the three tribes, Judah, Ephraim, and Manasseh, into their respective allotments; and the country having been in a great measure subdued, the camp was removed to Shiloh, anciently Taanath (Joshua 16:6; according to Kurtz, vol. 2:, p. 70), now Seilun. "Shiloh," denoting 'rest,' was a name given in allusion to the ark being now placed in a permanent station. It was 20 or 25 miles north of Jerusalem, twelve north of Beth-el, and ten south of Shechem, and embosomed in a rugged and romantic glen. This sequestered spot in the heart of the country might have been recommended by the dictates of convenience: there the allotment of the territory could be most conveniently made, north, south, east, and west, to the different tribes. But, 'the tabernacle of the congregation was also set up there, and its removal therefore must have been made or sanctioned by divine intimation (Deuteronomy 12:11). It remained in Shiloh for more than 300 years (1 Samuel 4:1-11).

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 18:1". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/joshua-18.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

XVIII.

(1) At Shiloh.—Seilûn (sheet 14), about ten miles due south of Shechem, in the territory of Ephraim. The inheritance of the tribe of Judah was determined in Gilgal. The assignment of the central part of the country to Ephraim and Manasseh brought the leaders of Israel into that district, and as soon as the position of Ephraim, Joshua’s tribe, was settled, the tabernacle was set up there. For the situation of Shiloh, see Judges 21:19.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Joshua 18:1". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/joshua-18.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And the whole congregation of the children of Israel assembled together at Shiloh, and set up the tabernacle of the congregation there. And the land was subdued before them.
Shiloh
Shiloh was situated on a hill in the tribe of Ephraim, though near the borders of Benjamin, about fifteen miles north of Jerusalem, and, according to Eusebius, twelve, or according to Jerome, ten miles (south) from Shechem or Nablous. It was but a little north from Bethel or Ai, and near the road from Shechem to Jerusalem. (Jud 21:19.) In Jerome's time, Shiloh was ruined; and nothing remarkable was extant, but the foundations of the altar of burnt offerings which had been erected when the tabernacle stood there.
19:51; 21:2; 22:9
set up
Judges 18:31; 1 Samuel 1:3,24; 4:3,4; 1 Kings 2:27; 14:2,4; Psalms 78:66; Jeremiah 7:12-14; 26:6
Reciprocal: Exodus 26:30 - rear up the tabernacle;  Numbers 32:22 - land;  Deuteronomy 12:5 - But unto;  Deuteronomy 12:11 - a place;  Deuteronomy 26:2 - go unto;  Joshua 9:27 - in the place;  Joshua 16:6 - Taanathshiloh;  Joshua 22:19 - wherein;  Judges 19:18 - the house;  Judges 20:18 - house of;  Judges 20:27 - the ark;  Judges 21:2 - the house;  Judges 21:12 - virgins;  1 Samuel 2:29 - habitation;  2 Samuel 7:6 - I have not;  1 Kings 11:29 - Shilonite;  Nehemiah 9:24 - thou subduedst;  Psalm 78:60 - GeneralJeremiah 41:5 - Shiloh;  Acts 7:44 - the tabernacle;  Acts 7:45 - Which

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Joshua 18:1". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/joshua-18.html.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

1.And the whole congregation of the children of Israel, etc Here we have a narrative of the celebrated convention held in Shiloh, where it was deliberated, as to the casting of the remaining lots. For although with pious zeal they had attempted the casting of lots, yet the proceeding had been interrupted, as if victory behooved to precede the distribution which depended solely on the mouth of God. They assemble, therefore, in Shiloh to determine what was necessary to be done in future. And there is no doubt that Joshua summoned this meeting in order to raise them from their lethargy. For they do not come forward spontaneously with any proposal, but he begins with upbraiding them with having been sluggish and remiss in entering on the inheritance which God had bestowed upon them. It is easy to infer from his speech that they had shown great alacrity at the outset, but that there had been no perseverance.

And yet that obedience, which shortly after grew languid, was honored with the approbation of the Holy Spirit. It is to be observed that the people are blamed, not for neglecting to proceed to the lot, but for not occupying the inheritance divinely offered to them. And, certainly, as the distribution by lot was a sign of confidence, so each district which fell out to each was a sure and faithful pledge of future possession; for the Lord was by no means deluding them in assigning to each his portion.

The word דפה, which I have translated “to cease,” signifies also to be remiss or feeble. He charges them, therefore, with base heartlessness, in that while the full time for routing the enemy had arrived, they by their delays retard and suspend the effect of the divine goodness. For had they been contented with the bare lot, and faithfully embraced the results which it gave, they would doubtless have been prompt and expeditious in carrying on the war, nay, would have hastened like conquerors to a triumph.

The ark is said to have been stationed at Shiloh, (161) not only that the consultation might be graver and more sacred, as held in the presence of God, but because it was a completely subjugated place, and safe from all external violence and injury. For it behooved to be their special care to prevent its exposure to sudden assault. No doubt the hand of God would have been stretched to ward off attacks of the enemy from any quarter; still, however, though God dwelt among them, they were to be regarded as its guardians and attendants.

But although a station for the ark was then chosen, it was not a perpetual abode, but only a temporary lodging. For it was not left to the will or suffrages of the people to fix the seat where God should dwell, but they behooved to wait for the period so often referred to in the Law, when he was to establish the memorial of his name elsewhere. This was at length accomplished when Mount Zion was set apart for the Temple. For this reason it is said in the Psalm,

“Our feet shall stand within thy gates, O Jerusalem.”
(
Psalms 122:2)

These words intimate that up to that time the ark was pilgrimating. At last the ruin and devastation of Shiloh showed that no rank or dignity can screen those who corrupt the blessings of God from his vengeance. Up to the death of Eli, God allowed his sacred name to be worshipped there; but when all religion was polluted by the impiety of the priests, and almost abolished by the ingratitude of the people, that spot became to posterity a signal monument of punishment. Accordingly, Jeremiah tells the inhabitants of Jerusalem, who were proudly boasting of their Temple, to turn their eyes to that example. Speaking in the name of the Lord, he says,

“Go you now unto my place which was in Shiloh, where I set my name at the first, and see what I did to it for the wickedness of my people Israel.” (Jeremiah 7:12)

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Calvin, John. "Commentary on Joshua 18:1". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/joshua-18.html. 1840-57.

Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible

Shiloh was in the lot of Ephraim, the tribe to which Joshua belonged, and it was proper that the tabernacle should be near the residence of the chief governor. The name of this city is the same as that by which Jacob prophesied of the Messiah, Genesis 49:10. It is supposed by some that the city was thus called, when it was chosen for the resting-place of the ark, which typified our great Peace-maker, and the way by him to a reconciled God.

Copyright Statement
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
Henry, Matthew. "Concise Commentary on Joshua 18:1". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary
>
>on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mhn/joshua-18.html. 1706.