Series: Thru the Bible
Message – By Lot, Sword & Spirit of the Lord
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If you remember from our last session of Thru the Bible, in chapter 18 – God told Joshua that there still remained 7 tribes who had not discovered nor taken their inheritance.
We learned much from that in that, by extension, the people of God under the New Covenant can enter the Promised Land of the New Birth, yet not completely take the land allotted to them. This can take many forms and one has to be careful to be discerning while making such comparisons. We know that God’s goal and desire is for all of His children to be 100% dedicated and sold out to Him, but we also know that the greatest majority of us are more casual about our faith than we should be. The New Testament is filled with both judgment for continued patterns of sin, which though they may be regularly confessed and hated – they are still continued and repeated sins. Then there are those whose intention is NOT defiance or rebellion but who get caught up in some sin and lack the spiritual light to even recognize it as such – for these Paul talks about turning “such a one” over to satan for the destruction of the flesh SO THAT their spirits might be saved in the day of judgment. Finally, there are those who willfully continue on in their sin, knowingly and callously – these eventually will either repent or apostate themselves out of animosity of heart to God.
The example here in Joshua is more of those who through negligence of heart fail to obey and pursue God’s gifted inheritance to them. They are not rebellious or defiant, but at the same time, they are not fearing Him, nor loving Him with all of their hearts.
As we saw in previous chapters, many who initially took their lands, only did so up to a point and it was always a point of convenience. These honored God, but only until it pushed too hard on areas of their fleshly lives they still treasured more than Him.
In the later portion of Chapter 18, the 1st of the 7 tribes was described – that was the tribe of Benjamin. So, here in chapter 19 we have the remaining 6 tribes. Those of Simeon, Zebulun, Issachar, Asher, Naphtali & Dan.
“(1) The second lot came out for Simeon, for the tribe of his descendants by their clans, but their inheritance was within the portion of Judah’s descendants. (2) Their inheritance included: Beer-sheba (or Sheba), Moladah, (3) Hazar-shual, Balah, Ezem, (4) Eltolad, Bethul, Hormah, (5) Ziklag, Beth-marcaboth, Hazar-susah, (6) Beth-lebaoth, and Sharuhen–13 cities, with their villages; (7) Ain, Rimmon, Ether, and Ashan–four cities, with their villages; (8) and all the villages surrounding these cities as far as Baalath-beer (Ramah of the south). This was the inheritance of the tribe of Simeon’s descendants by their clans. (9) The inheritance of Simeon’s descendants was within the territory of Judah’s descendants, because the share for Judah’s descendants was too large for them. So Simeon’s descendants received an inheritance within Judah’s portion.”
“(10) The third lot came up for Zebulun’s descendants by their clans. The territory of their inheritance stretched as far as Sarid; (11) their border went up westward to Maralah, reached Dabbesheth, and met the brook east of Jokneam. (12) From Sarid, it turned east toward the sunrise along the border of Chisloth-tabor, went to Daberath, and went up to Japhia. (13) From there, it went east toward the sunrise to Gath-hepher and to Eth-kazin; it extended to Rimmon, curving around to Neah. (14) The border then circled around Neah on the north to Hannathon and ended at the valley of Iphtah-el, (15) along with Kattath, Nahalal, Shimron, Idalah, and Bethlehem–12 cities, with their villages. (16) This was the inheritance of Zebulun’s descendants by their clans, these cities, with their villages.”
“(17) The fourth lot came out for the tribe of Issachar’s descendants by their clans. (18) Their territory went to Jezreel, and included Chesulloth, Shunem, (19) Hapharaim, Shion, Anaharath, (20) Rabbith, Kishion, Ebez, (21) Remeth, En-gannim, En-haddah, Beth-pazzez. (22) The border reached Tabor, Shahazumah, and Beth-shemesh, and ended at the Jordan–16 cities, with their villages. (23) This was the inheritance of the tribe of Issachar’s descendants by their clans, the cities, with their villages.”
“(24) The fifth lot came out for the tribe of Asher’s descendants by their clans. (25) Their boundary included Helkath, Hali, Beten, Achshaph, (26) Allammelech, Amad, and Mishal and reached westward to Carmel and Shihor-libnath. (27) It turned eastward to Beth-dagon, passed Zebulun and the valley of Iphtah-el, north toward Beth-emek and Neiel, and went north to Cabul, (28) Ebron, Rehob, Hammon, and Kanah, as far as Great Sidon. (29) The boundary then turned to Ramah as far as the fortified city of Tyre; it turned back to Hosah and ended at the sea, including Mahalab, Achzib, (30) Ummah, Aphek, and Rehob–22 cities, with their villages. (31) This was the inheritance of the tribe of Asher’s descendants by their clans, these cities with their villages.”
:(32) The sixth lot came out for Naphtali’s descendants by their clans. (33) Their boundary went from Heleph and from the oak in Zaanannim, including Adami-nekeb and Jabneel, as far as Lakkum, and ended at the Jordan. (34) To the west, the boundary turned to Aznoth-tabor and went from there to Hukkok, reaching Zebulun on the south, Asher on the west, and Judah at the Jordan on the east. (35) The fortified cities were Ziddim, Zer, Hammath, Rakkath, Chinnereth, (36) Adamah, Ramah, Hazor, (37) Kedesh, Edrei, En-hazor, (38) Iron, Migdal-el, Horem, Beth-anath, and Beth-shemesh–19 cities, with their villages. (39) This was the inheritance of the tribe of Naphtali’s descendants by their clans, the cities with their villages.”
“(40) The seventh lot came out for the Danite tribe by its clans. (41) The territory of their inheritance included Zorah, Eshtaol, Ir-shemesh, (42) Shaalabbin, Aijalon, Ithlah, (43) Elon, Timnah, Ekron, (44) Eltekeh, Gibbethon, Baalath, (45) Jehud, Bene-berak, Gath-rimmon, (46) Me-jarkon, and Rakkon, with the territory facing Joppa. (47) When the territory of the Danites slipped out of their control, they went up and fought against Leshem, captured it, and struck it down with the sword. So they took possession of it, lived there, and renamed Leshem after their ancestor Dan. (48) This was the inheritance of the Danite tribe by its clans, these cities with their villages. (49) When they had finished distributing the land into its territories, the Israelites gave Joshua son of Nun an inheritance among them. (50) By the LORD’s command, they gave him the city Timnath-serah in the hill country of Ephraim, which he requested. He rebuilt the city and lived in it. (51) These were the portions that Eleazar the priest, Joshua son of Nun, and the heads of the families distributed to the Israelite tribes by lot at Shiloh in the LORD’s presence at the entrance to the tent of meeting. So they finished dividing up the land.”
This is really the continuation of Numbers 35:1-8. Perhaps you will remember God told Moses to appoint 48 cities for the Levites of which 6 would be Cities of Refuge. We will see the allottments of land set apart for the Levites in Chapter 21.
As best as we were able to interpret it, not only the 6 Cities of Refuge…but ALL Levitical cities were walled cities. When we first heard God tell Moses of the need of such cities, they had not yet entered the Promised Land and so, the names and locations were not yet given. This chapter tells us where they were eventually located.
In this slide we can see all of the Promised Land and its divisions among the tribes. EACH TRIBE had its own Levites or Priests who lived there. This effectively kept ANY of the tribes from being isolated from it’s religious leaders and their influence for good in remembering the Lord God Who brought them up out of the land of Egypt to possess this good land.
Also, it gave each tribe the opportunity to minister to the ministers. They were NOT far away or out of reach. When it was time to bring the sacrifices and tithes to the Tabernacle, they were to “NOT forget the Levites within your gates”, but bring them along and share in the bounty of the celebration! Much of this is covered back in Levites & Priests in Every Tribe back on June 5, 2019.
“(1) Then the LORD spoke to Joshua, (2) “Tell the Israelites: ‘Select your cities of refuge, as I instructed you through Moses, (3) so that a person who kills someone unintentionally or accidentally may flee there. These will be your refuge from the avenger of blood. (4) When someone flees to one of these cities, stands at the entrance of the city gate, and states his case before the elders of that city, they are to bring him into the city and give him a place to live among them. (5) And if the avenger of blood pursues him, they must not hand the one who committed manslaughter over to him, for he killed his neighbor accidentally and did not hate him beforehand. (6) He is to stay in that city until he stands trial before the assembly and until the death of the high priest serving at that time. Then the one who committed manslaughter may return home to his own city from which he fled.'” (7) So they designated Kedesh in the hill country of Naphtali in Galilee, Shechem in the hill country of Ephraim, and Kiriath-arba (that is, Hebron) in the hill country of Judah. (8) Across the Jordan east of Jericho, they selected Bezer on the wilderness plateau from Reuben’s tribe, Ramoth in Gilead from Gad’s tribe, and Golan in Bashan from Manasseh’s tribe. (9) These are the cities appointed for all the Israelites and foreigners among them, so that anyone who kills a person unintentionally may flee there and not die at the hand of the avenger of blood until he stands before the assembly.”
Finally we are reading in chapter 21 about the divisions of land allotted to the Levites for cities and pastureland.
Remember that the Levites could not inherit a land of their own due to the horrible atrocities at Sheckem perpetrated by their ancestor Levi and his brother Simeon. The only reason why the tribe of Levi was honored in this special way was because they stood for the Lord with zeal on the day God judged Israel for idolatry. This was covered in “Counsel of My Sons” on August 7, 2017.
“(1) The heads of the Levite families approached Eleazar the priest, Joshua son of Nun, and the heads of the families of the Israelite tribes. (2) They told them at Shiloh in the land of Canaan: “The LORD commanded through Moses that we be given cities to live in, with their pasturelands for our livestock.” (3) So the Israelites, by the LORD’s command, gave the Levites these cities with their pasturelands from their inheritance. (4) The lot came out for the Kohathite clans: The Levites who were the descendants of Aaron the priest received 13 cities by lot from the tribes of Judah, Simeon, and Benjamin. (5) The remaining descendants of Kohath received 10 cities by lot from the clans of the tribes of Ephraim, Dan, and half the tribe of Manasseh. (6) Gershon’s descendants received 13 cities by lot from the clans of the tribes of Issachar, Asher, Naphtali, and half the tribe of Manasseh in Bashan. (7) Merari’s descendants received 12 cities for their clans from the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and Zebulun. (8) The Israelites gave these cities with their pasturelands around them to the Levites by lot, as the LORD had commanded through Moses. (9) The Israelites gave these cities by name from the tribes of the descendants of Judah and Simeon (10) to the descendants of Aaron from the Kohathite clans of the Levites, because they received the first lot. (11) They gave them Kiriath-arba (that is, Hebron) with its surrounding pasturelands in the hill country of Judah. Arba was the father of Anak. (12) But they gave the fields and villages of the city to Caleb son of Jephunneh as his possession. (13) They gave to the descendants of Aaron the priest: Hebron, the city of refuge for the one who commits manslaughter, with its pasturelands, Libnah with its pasturelands, (14) Jattir with its pasturelands, Eshtemoa with its pasturelands, (15) Holon with its pasturelands, Debir with its pasturelands, (16) Ain with its pasturelands, Juttah with its pasturelands, and Beth-shemesh with its pasturelands–nine cities from these two tribes. (17) From the tribe of Benjamin they gave: Gibeon with its pasturelands, Geba with its pasturelands, (18) Anathoth with its pasturelands, and Almon with its pasturelands–four cities. (19) All 13 cities with their pasturelands were for the priests, the descendants of Aaron. (20) The allotted cities to the remaining clans of Kohath’s descendants, who were Levites, came from the tribe of Ephraim. (21) The Israelites gave them: Shechem, the city of refuge for the one who commits manslaughter, with its pasturelands in the hill country of Ephraim, Gezer with its pasturelands, (22) Kibzaim with its pasturelands, and Beth-horon with its pasturelands–four cities. (23) From the tribe of Dan they gave: Elteke with its pasturelands, Gibbethon with its pasturelands, (24) Aijalon with its pasturelands, and Gath-rimmon with its pasturelands–four cities. (25) From half the tribe of Manasseh they gave: Taanach with its pasturelands and Gath-rimmon with its pasturelands–two cities. (26) All 10 cities with their pasturelands were for the clans of Kohath’s other descendants. (27) From half the tribe of Manasseh, they gave to the descendants of Gershon, who were one of the Levite clans: Golan, the city of refuge for the one who commits manslaughter, with its pasturelands in Bashan, and Beeshterah with its pasturelands–two cities. (28) From the tribe of Issachar they gave: Kishion with its pasturelands, Daberath with its pasturelands, (29) Jarmuth with its pasturelands, and En-gannim with its pasturelands–four cities. (30) From the tribe of Asher they gave: Mishal with its pasturelands, Abdon with its pasturelands, (31) Helkath with its pasturelands, and Rehob with its pasturelands–four cities. (32) From the tribe of Naphtali they gave: Kedesh in Galilee, the city of refuge for the one who commits manslaughter, with its pasturelands, Hammoth-dor with its pasturelands, and Kartan with its pasturelands–three cities. (33) All 13 cities with their pasturelands were for the Gershonites by their clans. (34) From the tribe of Zebulun, they gave to the clans of the descendants of Merari, who were the remaining Levites: Jokneam with its pasturelands, Kartah with its pasturelands, (35) Dimnah with its pasturelands, and Nahalal with its pasturelands–four cities. (36) From the tribe of Reuben, they gave: Bezer with its pasturelands, Jahzah with its pasturelands, (37) Kedemoth with its pasturelands, and Mephaath with its pasturelands–four cities. (38) From the tribe of Gad, they gave: Ramoth in Gilead, the city of refuge for the one who commits manslaughter, with its pasturelands, Mahanaim with its pasturelands, (39) Heshbon with its pasturelands, and Jazer with its pasturelands–four cities in all. (40) All 12 cities were allotted to the clans of Merari’s descendants, the remaining Levite clans. (41) Within the Israelite possession there were 48 cities in all with their pasturelands for the Levites. (42) Each of these cities had its own surrounding pasturelands; this was true for all the cities. (43) So the LORD gave Israel all the land He had sworn to give their fathers, and they took possession of it and settled there. (44) The LORD gave them rest on every side according to all He had sworn to their fathers. None of their enemies were able to stand against them, for the LORD handed over all their enemies to them. (45) None of the good promises the LORD had made to the house of Israel failed. Everything was fulfilled.”
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