Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Joshua 18:5

They shall divide it into seven portions; Judah shall stay in its territory on the south, and the house of Joseph shall stay in their territory on the north.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Shiloh;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Sciences;  
Dictionaries:
Easton Bible Dictionary - Shiloh;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Bochim;   Shiloh (1);   Shiloh (2);   Holman Bible Dictionary - Joshua, the Book of;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Joshua;   Manasseh;   Priests and Levites;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Shiloh ;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Conquest of Canaan;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Joshua, Book of;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Judah shall abide - on the south, and the house of Joseph - on the north - Joshua does not mean that the tribe of Judah occupied the south, and the tribe of Ephraim and Manasseh the north of the promised land; this was not the fact: but being now at Shiloh, a considerable way in the territory of Ephraim, and not far from that of Judah, he speaks of them in relation to the place in which he then was. Calmet considers him as thus addressing the deputies: "Go and examine the whole of the country which remains yet to be possessed; do not take into consideration the tribe of Judah, which is on the south, nor the tribe of Ephraim, which is on the north of where we now are, but carefully divide the remaining land which is not occupied by these tribes into seven equal parts." This makes a very good sense, and frees the place from embarrassment.

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Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Joshua 18:5". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/joshua-18.html. 1832.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And they shall divide it into seven parts,.... According to the number of the seven tribes not yet settled; and this they were to describe and divide was all the land subdued, or not subdued, only the following excepted:

Judah shall abide in their coast on the south; on the south of the land of Canaan, where their lot fell, so that needed not to be measured and described; and this tribe was to retain what they were possessed of, unless it should appear they had too much, and others wanted, and they willing to part with some of it to their brethren, as they afterwards did to the tribes of Simeon and Dan:

and the house of Joseph shall abide in their coast on the north; on the north of the tribe of Judah; not of the land of Canaan, for some other tribes lay more northerly.

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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 18:5". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/joshua-18.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

And they shall divide it into seven parts: Judah shall abide in their coast on the south, and the house of Joseph shall d abide in their coasts on the north.

(d) For these had their inheritance already appointed.
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Bibliographical Information
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Joshua 18:5". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/joshua-18.html. 1599-1645.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

And they shall divide it into seven parts: Judah shall abide in their coast on the south, and the house of Joseph shall abide in their coasts on the north.

Seven parts — Which were of equal extent or worth: for no tribe was so great, but one of these parts in its full extent would abundantly suffice them; and there was no reason why the portions should be greater or less according as the tribes at present were more or fewer in number, because of the various changes which happened therein successively; it being usual for one tribe to be more numerous than another in one age, which was fewer in the next. And if the several tribes had increased more, and not diminished their numbers by their sins, they might have sent forth colonies, and taken any part of the land, even as far as Euphrates, all which the Lord of the whole earth had given them a right to, which when they pleased they might take possession of.

Judah shall abide on the south — They shall not be disturbed in their possession, but shall keep it, except some part of it shall be adjudged to another tribe.

Joseph on the north — In respect of Judah, not of the whole land; for divers other tribes were more northern than they.

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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 18:5". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/joshua-18.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Joshua 18:5 And they shall divide it into seven parts: Judah shall abide in their coast on the south, and the house of Joseph shall abide in their coasts on the north.

Ver. 5. And they shall divide it.] With all indifferency, and so prevent all suspicion of partiality in those that were afterward to divide it by lot. "Provide things honest in the sight of all men." [Romans 12:17] "Give none offence." [1 Corinthians 10:32]

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Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Joshua 18:5". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/joshua-18.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Ver. 5. Judeah shall abide in their coast on the south, and the house of Joseph—on the north The meaning is, "The territory of the tribes of Judah, Ephraim, and Manasseh, which are now provided for, shall no more be meddled with; there is no need to measure it anew. If it be necessary to retrench it, or add any thing to it, there will always be time to do so afterwards, when a more exact plan shall be taken of all the rest." Joshua speaks agreeably to the situation of Shiloh, the place where he then was; which stood a good way within the tribe of Ephraim, and pretty near to that of Judah; one lying on the north, the other on the south. See Calmet. We shall find in the sequel, that the tribe of Judah did in fact, and doubtless with common consent, give up a part of its territories to the tribes of Dan and Simeon, who found their station too scanty, ch. Joshua 19:29; Joshua 19:41.

REFLECTIONS.—Though seven tribes were yet unsettled, there was such plenty from the spoil of the Canaanites, and they were so taken with the state of peace which they enjoyed after the toils of war, that they seem to have been not at all solicitous to proceed in the division of the land; in doing which they must not only be separated from each other, and many a comfortable connection be dissolved, but must renew their warfare, to rescue the cities in their several lots, which were in the hands of their enemies. Note; (1.) The sweets of worldly comforts and connections are very apt to draw off our minds from desire after our inheritance in heaven. (2.) The difficulties which appear in the way to heaven are often discouragements from labouring thither, though they are usually the mere creatures of our unbelief and sloth. Joshua, observing this, reproves their negligence. While they were trifling, the Canaanites might recover courage and strength, and they might have all their work to do over again. Note; To do things by halves, is always the way to have double trouble: once well done, is done for ever.

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Bibliographical Information
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Joshua 18:5". 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

Seven parts; which were of equal extent or worth; for no tribe was so great but one of these parts in its full extent would abundantly suffice them; and there was no reason why the portions should be greater or less according as the tribes at present were more or fewer in number, because of the various changes which happened therein successively; it being usual for one tribe to be more numerous than another in one age, which was fewer in the next. And if the several tribes had increased more, and not diminished their numbers by their sins, they might have sent forth colonies, and taken any part of the land, even as far as Euphrates, all which the Lord of the whole earth had given them a right to, which when they pleased they might take possession of.

Shall abide in their coast on the south: they shall not be disturbed in their possession, but shall keep it, except some part of it shall be adjudged to another tribe.

On the north; in respect of Judah, not of the whole land; for divers other tribes were more northern than they.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Joshua 18:5". 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

5.Judah shall abide — That is, shall maintain the same relative position, but not necessarily the same amount. See Joshua 19:9, where Simeon’s portion is taken out of Judah’s, to produce equality.

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Joshua 18:5". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/joshua-18.html. 1874-1909.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Joshua 18:5. Into seven parts — Their business was to divide the country into seven portions of equal extent or worth, and leave God to appoint which portion should fall to each tribe; who could have no reason to complain when the division was made by themselves. Indeed, no tribe was so great but one of these parts in its full extent would abundantly suffice them; and there was no reason why the portions should be greater or less according as the tribes at present were more or fewer in number, because of the various changes which happened therein successively; it being usual for one tribe to be more numerous than another in one age, which was fewer in the next. And if the several tribes had increased more, and not diminished their numbers by their sins, they might have sent forth colonies and taken any part of the land, even as far as Euphrates, all which the Lord of the whole earth had given them a right to, and when they pleased they might take possession of it. Judah shall abide on the south — They shall not be disturbed in their possession, but shall keep it, except some part of it shall be adjudged to another tribe. Joseph on the north — In respect of Judah, not of the whole land; for divers other tribes were more northern than they.

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Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Joshua 18:5". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/joshua-18.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

North, with respect to Silo. Juda had taken possession of his territory, as well as the tribes of Joseph.

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Joshua 18:5". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/joshua-18.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

divide it. Tracing the boundaries by the ravines, it is said that there is some resemblance in outline to the tribal signs, as given in notes on Numbers 2.

coast = boundary; put by Figure of speech Metonymy (of Adjunct) for territory. App-6.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Joshua 18:5". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/joshua-18.html. 1909-1922.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And they shall divide it into seven parts: Judah shall abide in their coast on the south, and the house of Joseph shall abide in their coasts on the north.
Judah shall
15:1-12; 19:1-9
the house
16:1-17
Reciprocal: Genesis 13:1 - the south;  1 Kings 11:28 - the house;  Proverbs 16:33 - GeneralJeremiah 13:19 - cities;  Amos 5:6 - the house

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Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Joshua 18:5". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/joshua-18.html.