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race ne ispb. i Israel in the Lour bre faith, inter
have no parle tribes o inima cording to them by lotForael,
interest in Cbrist; yet they are all of the tribes of Israel, and grace may be said to have come to them by lot ; for to bevery one is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ," Epb. iv. 7. It would have been improper for any of the tribes of Israel to have said to Joshua,' - We bave no part nor inheritance in the land of Canaan), for our inheritance is not so large as that of our brethren ;' and it is equally improper for any that are weak in faith, and full of doubts and fears, to conclude that they have no interest in the gospel covenant, because they have not so large an inheritance of faith and kuowledge as others have; for such are what God has appointed them by lot, as the word sig. nifies, Eph. i. 11. for if a tribe bad but a field in the land of Canaan, it proved that they had an inheritance among their brethren; and so if a soul bath only real though weak faith in Christ, even as a grain of mustard seed, it shews that that soul has an interest in the covenant of grace.
At this chapter begins the account of the dividing of the land of Canaan
among the tribes of Israel by lot; a narrative not so entertaining and instructive as that of the conquest of it, and yet is thought fit to be inserted in the sacred history, to illustrate the performance of the promise made to the fathers, that this land should be given to the seed of Jacob, to them and not to any other. The preserving of this distribution would be of great use to the Jewish nation, who were obliged by the law to keep up this first distribution, and not to transfer inheritances from tribe to tribe, Numb. xxxvi. 9. It is likewise of use to us for the explaining of other scriptures; the learned know how much light the geographical description of a country gives to the history of it. And therefore we are not to skip over these chapters of hard names, as useless and not to be regarded; where God bas a mouth to speak, and a hand to write, we should find an ear to hear, and an eye to read, and God gives us a heart to profit! In this chape ter, 1. God informs Joshua what parts of the country, that were intended in the grant to Israel, yet remained unconquered, and not got into possession, ver. 1-6. 2. He appoints him notwithstanding to make a distribntion of what was conquered, ver, 7. S. To complete this account here is a repetition of the distribution Moses had made of the land on the other side Jordan ; in general, ver. 8--14. In particular, the lot of Reubeu, ver. 15-23. of Gad, ver. 24-28. of the half-tribe of Manasseh, ver. 29–33.
VER. 33. 66 The Lord God of Israel was their inheritance, as he said unto them.”]-That is, the inberitance of the Levites, which were according to Jacob's prophecy,
that they should be "scattered in Israel ;" and though it seemed not to be pronounced as a blessing, yet it was made afterward a great blessing to their brethren; for they were to teach Israel the “ statutes and law of the Lord.” These Levites were not to go to war, but to abide by the work of the sanctuary. The tithes and first-fruits, which were offered to the Lord, were to be their's, and several parts of the sacrifices : on which account the Lord thus providing for them, is called their " inheritance and their lot;" and it may be figurative of the Lord's being the portion and inheritance of his people : see the note on Numb. xviii. 21.
Here is, 1. The general method that was taken in dividing the land, ver.
1-5. 2. The demand Caleb made of Hebron, as is by promise, and therefore not to be put into the lot with the rest, ver. 6-14. And Joshua's grant of that demand, ver. 14, 15. This was done at Gilgal, which was as yet their head quarters.
VER. 7.66 And I brought him word again, as it was in mine heart."]-In which respect Caleb was a type of a faithful minister of Jesus Christ, who speaks what is in his heart, and from his heart, what the Lord has commanded him; and as the name Caleb signifies heart, it may denote not only sincerity, but courage, heartiness, and zeal for the Lord ; and the apostle Paul said, " What mean ye to break my heart ?" for such was bis zeal, so intensely was his heart engaged, that he adds, “ for I am ready not to be bound only, but to suffer death at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus,” Acts xxi. 13.
Ver. 8. “ But I wholly followed the Lord, my God.”] -Which shews the strength of Caleb's faith, that he wholly, sincerely, and unreservedly followed the Lord his God, and that he knew bim to be his own God, trusted his word, depended on bis promises, and relied on his faithfulness, which is the only way to receive courage and strength of soul.
Ver. 12. “If so be the Lord will be with me, then I shall be able to drive tbem out.”]—Which shews Caleb's dependence to be entirely upon the Lord for assistance, strength, courage, and victory. And thus may every truc christian say, If the Lord will be with me, then I shall be
able to conquer sin, triumph over Satan, and subdue my corruptions, though they are strong, powerful, and great, and like giants and Anakims. Note, a christian cannot subdue a sin, nor conquer a corruption, but in the strength of tbe Lord.
Ver. 14. “ Hebron therefore became the inheritance of Caleb.”]-Hebron signifies fellowship or communion. As this inheritance was earnestly desired by Caleb, it may spiritually point out the desire of the christian to enjoy communion with Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, with angels and saints, both now, and in the world to come: and as Caleb had bis inheritance given bim by Joshua, it may point out that the spiritual inberitance of the saints, namely, communion with the Father, and with the Son, is given them by their spiritual Joshua, the Lord Jesus; and they are willing to engage in the strength of the Lord against all their spiritual enemies, though ever so potent and great, that they may inherit the blessing of communion with God, which is more or less given to all that, like Caleb, follow the Lord fully, John xiv. 23. Note, what may make Hebron so desirous to Caleb might be, because it was promised him by Moses, Deut. i. 36. that the very land wbere his feet had trodden upon should be his; which was upon mount Hebron, wben he was sent to spy out the land, Numb. xiii. 22, and it was near mount Hebron where Abrabam, Isaac, and Jacob lived when they dwelt in the land of Canaan; and near to it was the cave of Machpelah, where they were buried, wbich some bave thought might make Caleb disire this part for his inheritance.
The land, thongh not completely conqnered, yet being (as was said in the
close of the foregoing chapter) " at rest from war," for the present, their armies all drawn out of the field, to a geucral rendezvous at Gil. gal, there they began to divide the land, though the work was afterwards perfected at Shiloh, chap. xviii. 1, &c. In this cliapter we have the lot of the tribe of Judah, which in this, as in other things, bad the precedency: 1. 1 he borders or bounds of the inheritance of Judah, ver. 1-12. 3. The particular assignment of Hebron, and the country thereabouts to Caleb, and his family, ver. 13--19. 3. The names of the several cities that fell within Judah's lot, ver. 21–63.
VER. 19. “ And he gave her the upper springs, and the nether springs.”]-Note, It is lawful to desire the enlargements of our comforts, where they are to be enjoyed in a lawful manner. Secondly, all our requests to our parents should be with humility and reverence. Thirdly, that all parents should esteem it their highest honour to promote the happiness of their children. Fourthly, that Those act unnaturally and bencath the character of parents, that will part with nothing for their children's comfort till they die. "But as the name Achsah signifies adorned, she might in her request be figurative of the church, for she said to her father, “Give me a blessing, for thou hast given me south lands, give me also springs of water.” These south lands, which in those parts were dry and barren, may be figurative of the blessings of this life, which are barren of peace of mind, and without satisfaction of soul; and the springs of water, which the daughter of Caleb so earnestly desired, may be figurative of those springs of grace, life, and peace,that flow from the Lord Jesus, who is a “fountain of gardens, and rivers of water in a dry land," and is earnestly desired by the christian : “ and she had upper springs and nether springs ;” which may be figurative of the superaboundings of the grace of our heavenly Father doing for us "exceedingly above what we are able to ask or think.”
It is a pity this and the following chapter should be separated, for both of
them give us the lot of the children of Joseph, Epbrain, and Manasseh, who, next to Judah, were to have the post of honour, and therefore liad the first and best portion in the northern part of Canaan, as Judah now had in the southern part. In this chapter we have, (1.) A general account of the lot of these two tribes together, ver. 1-4. (2.) The borders of the lot of Ephraim in particular, ver. 5-10. That of Manasseh following in the next chapter,
VER. 10. “ But the Canaanites dwell among the Ephraimites unto this day, and serve under tribute." Ephraim significs fruitful; in which respect he was figurative of the church of God, Jer. xxxi. 18, 19. which is “as a fruitful field which the Lord bath blessed." The Canaaniles dwelling among the Ephraimites were figurative of the sins or corruptions of nature dwelling in the hearts of the children of God; and the Canaanites being under tribute to the Ephraimites, may be figurative of the power of divine grace over sin; for though there were Canaanites left among the Ephraimites, yet they were not to rule over nor reign over them, but to be in subjection to them; and though sin remains in our hearts, it ought not to reign and have dominion, but to be subdued by the strength of divine grace.
The half tribe of Manasseh comes next to be provided for; and here we
have, 1. The families of that tribe that were to be portioned, ver, 1-
VER. 14. “ Seeing I am a great people, forasmuch as the Lord hath blessed me hitherto ?” Joseph, whose name signifies to increase, was a figure of the church, Psalm Ixxx. 1. and the Lord's blessing this tribe, was typical of the blessings wbich the Lord bestows upon his people, in election, adoption, regeneration, and fresh supplies of grace in times of need : and their being a great people may denote that the people of God are a great and numerous people when gathered together, Rev. vii. 9. And their complaining to Joshua of their lot may be figurative of the children of God complaining of their providential lot in this life, that things are too strait and too narrow with them. Note, how apt is a child of God to complain if he has not those blessings which he desires.- Ver. 17, 18. The Lord often enlarges the inheritance of his people, by blessing their diligence in their callings, and their giving obedi. ence to his commands.
In this chapter we have, 1. The setting up of the tabernacle at Shiloh, ver. 1.
2. The stirring up of the seven tribes that were yet unsettled, to look after their lot, and the putting of them in a method for it, by Joshua, ver. 2-7. 3. The distributing of the land into seven lots, by certain men employed for that purpose, ver, 8, 9. 4. The determining of these seven portions to the seven tribes yet unprovided for by lot, ver. 10. 5. The particular lot of the tribe of Benjamin, the borders of it, ver, 11-20. And the cities contained in it, ver. 21-28. The other six tribes we shall find well provided for in the next chapter.