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And now, in his old age, this Caleb comes unto Joshua in Gilgal to claim it, saying, “I am this day fourscore and five years old. As yet I am as strong this day as I was in the day that Moses sent me. Now therefore give me this mountain." “ If so be the Lord be with me, then I shall be able to drive them out.” So it was given him, and Caleb drove out the three suns of Anak. And now
“ the whole congregation of the children of Israel assembled together at Shiloh," a central spot in the country, " and set up the tabernacle of the congregation there." A survey of the yet unappropriated and partially conquered land was then made, and divided into seven portions, and given by lot to the remaining tribes.
The exact boundaries of each tribe are not very easy to describe, though their situation may be inferred pretty correctly from the names of the cities apportioned to each, as given in the book of Joshua. All this is to be seen in the usual maps of Palestine. It may be sufficient to observe now, that the whole country of Canaan was about 180 miles long, and taking the niedium between the two extremes) about 130 wide, bordered on the west by the Mediterranean Sea ; 'on the east by the river Jordan, except in respect of the two tribes and a half who lay just beyond. The boundary on the south was less determined ; but along the north rose the moun. tain wall of Lebanon and Hermon.
All this territory was of great fertility, abounding in all kinds of grain and fruit, so that a simple pastoral people might inhabit it independent of foreign supply. Its climate healthy, its seasons regular, the harvest coming in May, the vintage in September. It was truly, as was promised to Israel, a land flowing with milk and honey.
With regard to the division of this territory among the tribes, “ It may be generally remarked,” says Dr. Hales, “ that of the inidland region to the north, which was allotted to the tribes of Ephraim, Issachar, and Naphtali, and the half of Manasseh, the lot of the sons of Joseph, especially that of Ephraim, was the richest and most considerable, reaching from the Jordan eastward to the Mediterranean Sea westward. The remainder of the maritime coast, westward, was allotted to Dan, Zebulun, and Asher, from the Philistine border southward toZidon northward : for Zebulun was foretold to be a maritime tribe by Jacob (Genesis xlix. 13), and Dan and Asher are declared to be so by Deborah (Judges v. 17). "South of Ephraim lay Benjamin ; and, still further south, closing the territory in that quarter, Simeon and Judah. The remaining tribes of Reuben and Gad, and the other half of Manasseh, lay, as has before been said, on the other side of Jordan, to the north-east. “ So they made an end of dividing the country."
The two tribes and half tribe were then dismissed by Joshua, with blessings and exhortations, to their possessions beyond Jordan : on their return they built an altar by the river, “ a great altar to see to :” which, when the rest of Israel heard of, their indignation was great ; they looked upon it as a departure from the , allegiance due to the God of Israel, who only manifested himself to his people in the tabernacle now set up at Shiloh. And they zealously gathered themselves together to go against their
brethren and punish them for their defection, calling to mind all that Israel had suffered for forsaking the Lord at Peor and at Ai.
But the two tribes were innocent of offence in this matter; and they explained to the “ heads of the thousands of Israel” that they had not built this altar to supersede the necessity of going up to Shiloh, nor to offer thereon burntofferings, nor meat-offerings, nor peace-offerings; but, said they, lest, in time to come, your children should say unto our children, “ The Lord hath made Jordan a border between us and you, ye children of Reuben, and children of Gad: ye have no part in the Lord; so shall your children make our children cease from fearing the Lord." Therefore we said, let us build an altar, “ that it may be a witness between us and you, and our generations after us," that in the time to come we may be able to say, “ Behold the pattern of the altar of the Lord, which our fathers made' for a witness between us and
This answer pleased Phinehas and the princes of the congregation, who returned unto the land of Canaan, blessing God that their brethren had not committed this trespass. And the children of Reuben and of Gad called the altar Ed, that is, Witness.
Joshua once more assembled the tribes of Israel; recounted all that the Lord had done for them, and called upon them to make a new covenant with God, to serve him in sincerity and truth. He reminded them how holy and jealous of his honour Jehovah was, and how apt they were to transgress. He enjoined them never to make any covenant of peace with the Canaanitish nations, some of whom yet lingered in the hills and mountains ; for all such alliance, he said,
should be snares and traps to Israel, and
scourges in their sides, and thorns in their eyes, and, if persisted in, the means of total expulsion from that land which they had come to possess, after so much time and toil. But, on the other hand, if they remained faithful and obedient, not one thing should fail to them of all that the Lord had spoken. 6. And the people said unto Joshua, The Lord our God will we serve, and his voice will we obey. So Joshua made a covenant with the people that day, and wrote these words in the book of the law of God, and took a great stone, and set it up there under an oak, that was by the sanctuary of the Lord. And Joshua said unto all the people, Behold, this stone shall be a witness unto us; for it hath heard all the words of the Lord which He spake unto us: it shall be therefore a witness unto you, lest ye deny your God. So Joshua let the people depart, every man unto his inheritance."
And now might Joshua close his eyes in peace, for he had faithfully done his Master's work; carried his nation victoriously into the Land of Promise, and settled them by due ordinance therein. So he died, being an hundred and ten years old. And they buried him in his inheritance, in Mount Ephraim, on the north side of the city of Goash. About this time, too, Eleazar, the son of Aaron, died, " and they buried him in a hill that pertained to Phinehas, his son, which was given him in Mount Ephraim.”
“ I WILL BLESS THEM THAT BLESS THEE.” This was
a promise given to Abraham when the Lord had called him from his country and