JOSHUA 15 Introduction In this chapter we have details given to the boundaries allocated by lot to the tribe of Judah.
This is followed by the assignment of Hebron to Caleb, from where he drove out the Anakim, and the assignment of ebir, which was taken by !thniel, to whom he gave his daughter in marriage. "he then made a special re#uest to her father, which was granted. This is followed by an account of several cities by name, which fell to the tribe of Judah. The Land of Judah (vv.1-12) 1 "o this was the lot of the tribe of the children of Judah according to their families$ The border of %dom at the &ilderness of 'in southward was the e(treme southern boundary. 2 And their southern border began at the shore of the "alt "ea, from the bay that faces southward. 3 Then it went out to the southern side of the Ascent of Akrabbim, passed along to 'in, ascended on the south side of )adesh *arnea, passed along to He+ron, went up to Adar, and went around to )arkaa. 4 ,rom there it passed toward A+mon and went out to the *rook of %gypt- and the border ended at the sea. This shall be your southern border. 5 The east border was the "alt "ea as far as the mouth of the Jordan. And the border on the northern #uarter began at the bay of the sea at the mouth of the Jordan. 6 The border went up to *eth Hoglah and passed north of *eth Arabah- and the border went up to the stone of *ohan the son of .euben. 7 Then the border went up toward ebir from the /alley of Achor, and it turned northward toward 0ilgal, which is before the Ascent of Adummim, which is on the south side of the valley. The border continued toward the waters of %n "hemesh and ended at %n .ogel. 8 And the border went up by the /alley of the "on of Hinnom to the southern slope of the Jebusite city 1which is Jerusalem2. The border went up to the top of the mountain that lies before the /alley of Hinnom westward, which is at the end of the /alley of .ephaim northward. 9 Then the border went around from the top of the hill to the fountain of the water of 3ephtoah, and e(tended to the cities of 4ount %phron. And the border went around to *aalah 1which is )ir5ath Jearim2. 10 Then the border turned westward from *aalah to 4ount "eir, passed along to the side of 4ount Jearim on the north 1which is Chesalon2, went down to *eth "hemesh, and passed on to Timnah. 11 And the border went out to the side of %kron northward. Then the border went around to "hicron, passed along to 4ount *aalah, and e(tended to Jabneel- and the border ended at the sea. 12 The west border was the coastline of the 0reat "ea. This is the boundary of the children of Judah all around according to their families. a. So this was the lot of the tribe of the children of Judah...1v.62$ Judah and Joseph were the two sons of Jacob on whom .euben7s forfeited birth8right has passed on. Judah had the dominion while Joseph the double portion. 1
These two tribes were first seated, Judah in the south and Joseph in the north, and between them are the other seven tribes$ *en5amin, "imeon, and an, were appendant to Judah while Issachar, 'ebulun, 3aphtali and Asher, to Joseph. Judah occupied the largest territory of the tribes, though later we read that "imeon7s possession was within Judah7s territory 1ch.69$62. b. And their southern border began at the shore of the Salt Sea fro! the ba" that faces southward 1v.:2$ The boundary on the south of Judah begins at the ead "ea and reaches the 4editerranean "ea. *eyond this boundary is %dom, the wilderness of wandering, and at a greater distance is %gypt. %dom and %gypt are allied as types of the natural world- one is wilder while the other is cultured- but both are independent of 0od7s ;aw. %dom, like Adam, pictures man in the flesh. It7s principle of action is always based on selfish and fleshly ambition. 0od7s land is to be separated from this- therefore, Judah, which means <praise<, is to be the opposite of this, giving 0od, not self, the priority in every way. c. #he east border was the Salt Sea as far as the !outh of the Jordan 1v.=2$ The east border was the ead "ea- it continues northward to the mouth of the .iver Jordan where it emptied into the ead "ea. The ead "ea, also known as the ;arge ;ake, speaks of the lake of fire. The Jordan .iver, pictured as the river of death, runs into the ead "ea, where no life is found. All these is representation of people who have no repentance or no faith at all. They drift with the current of death into the awesome death of eternal punishment 14at :=$>?2, which is the second death1.ev :@$6>2. Judah7s border separates her from the ead "ea, but the reminder is always there$ Judgment is only escaped by faith in the living 0od. d. And the border on the northern $uarter began at the ba" of the sea at the !outh of the Jordan 1v.=2$ Judah7s northern border began at the north end of the ead "ea and went generally westward till ending at the 0reat "ea- that is, the 4editerranean. /erses ? to 66 gives us its detailed description which is much more than we have found with the other borders. It ad5oins Israelite territory and there was careful marking off of the territory of Judah from the other tribes. Those many details given to Judah7s border is telling us something about praise. They indicate that praise must be kept distinct from all other virtuous aspects of our Christian7s life. And those many details should also remind us of the many occasions to 2
praise our 0od. e. #he west border was the coastline of the %reat Sea 1v.6:2$ The seacoast of the 4editerranean served as the western border of Judah. The great "ea is typical of the 0entile nations 1.ev 6A$6=2 who are spiritually unstable, oftentimes in a state of unrest, seeking to invade the land, but held in check by the power of 0od. Judah7s western border tells us that, though the world may threaten to overwhelm and destroy the testimony of the people of 0od, yet 0od is greater than the world, and will preserve His people. a!eb Occu"ie# Hebron and $ebir (vv.1%-1&) 13 3ow to Caleb the son of Jephunneh he gave a share among the children of Judah, according to the commandment of the ;!. to Joshua, namely, )ir5ath Arba, which is Hebron 1Arba was the father of Anak2. 14 Caleb drove out the three sons of Anak from there$ "heshai, Ahiman, and Talmai, the children of Anak. 15 Then he went up from there to the inhabitants of ebir 1formerly the name of ebir was )ir5ath "epher2. 16 And Caleb said, BHe who attacks )ir5ath "epher and takes it, to him I will give Achsah my daughter as wife.C 17 "o !thniel the son of )ena+, the brother of Caleb, took it- and he gave him Achsah his daughter as wife. 18 3ow it was so, when she came to him, that she persuaded him to ask her father for a field. "o she dismounted from her donkey, and Caleb said to her, B&hat do you wishDC 19 "he answered, B0ive me a blessing- since you have given me land in the "outh, give me also springs of water.C "o he gave her the upper springs and the lower springs. f. &ow to 'aleb the son of Je(hunneh he ga)e a share a!ong the children of Judah 1v.6E2$ *ecause of Caleb7s boldness and faith, 0od gave him a place of prominence, for 0od delights to honor that faith that honors Him. *oth Caleb and Joshua received greater honor than the other ten spies because of their faithfulness. Caleb was given a share among the children of Judah because it is not his birthright for his ancestor have been a 0entile brought into Israel as a proselyte or convert. '. 'aleb dro)e out the three sons of Ana* 1v.6>2$ /erse 6> tells us that in con#uering )ir5ath Arba 1or Hebron2 Caleb drove out "heshai, Ahiman and Talmai, the sons of Anak. These giants were no big deal with Caleb anymore because 0od was with him. He therefore took possession of Hebron, which means fellowship, typically possessing the communion with 0od which every believer is entitled to.
h. +or!erl" the na!e of ,ebir was -ir.ath Se(her 1v.6=2$ Having taken Hebron, Caleb went up to )ir5ath "epher, also known as <city of the book<2, but its name was changed to ebir, which means <oracle<. ,or if we are now en5oying communion with 0od, we shall then be concerned about speaking for Him. i. /e who attac*s -ir.ath Se(her and ta*es it to hi! 0 will gi)e Achsah !" daughter as wife 1v.6?2$ And now, Caleb gives opportunity to others to capture this city, promising his daughter to the man who took ebir 1vs.6=86?2. "urely this tells us that if we are in communion with 0od, we shall be glad to encourage others in 0od7s service. Caleb7s invitation did not go in vain, because !thniel responded to the challenge. !thniel means <lion of 0od,< that speaks of the courage to act for 0od, and it appears he did not delay to accomplish this victory over ebir 1v.6A2. He did not only gain ebir, the oracle that pictures the honor of speaking for 0od, but also the daughter of Caleb, Achsah, meaning <anklet,< Achsah7s faith will soon be emphasi+ed, thus making her an e(cellent wife for !thniel. (. &ow it was so when she ca!e to hi! that she (ersuaded hi! to as* her father for a field 1v.6F2$ Achsah persuaded !thniel to ask her father for a field- same is true with us as believers, we should desire a workable inheritance. "he had the e(ercise of asking before receiving, for 0od often waits for us to ask from Him. Caleb responded positively to this re#uest, giving her a land in the south. ). %i)e !e a blessing1 since "ou ha)e gi)en !e land in the South gi)e !e also s(rings of water 1v.692$ "ince the south was a warm region, both dry land and good land re#uires moisture if it was to yield produce. Therefore Achsah asked for springs of water also, and Caleb gave her both the upper and lower springs. If we come to our 0od and ask Him in faith, not doubting His kindness, we shall find Him as a generous giver 1Jam 6$=8?2. The upper springs speak of our heavenly inheritance, and the lower springs speak of 0od7s provision as we walk through the world in devoted obedience. The itie# of Judah (vv.2*-+%)
20 This was the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Judah according to their families$ 21 The cities at the limits of the tribe of the children of Judah, toward the border of %dom in the "outh, were )ab+eel, %der, Jagur, 22 )inah, 4
imonah, Adadah, 23 )edesh, Ha+or, Ithnan, 24 'iph, Telem, *ealoth, 25 Ha+or, Hadattah, )erioth, He+ron 1which is Ha+or2, 26 Amam, "hema, 4oladah, 27 Ha+ar 0addah, Heshmon, *eth Gelet, 28 Ha+ar "hual, *eersheba, *i+5oth5ah, 29 *aalah, I5im, %+em, 30 %ltolad, Chesil, Hormah, 31 'iklag, 4admannah, "ansannah, 32 ;ebaoth, "hilhim, Ain, and .immon$ all the cities are twenty8nine, with their villages. 33 In the lowland$ %shtaol, 'orah, Ashnah, 34 'anoah, %n 0annim, Tappuah, %nam, 35 Jarmuth, Adullam, "ocoh, A+ekah, 36 "haraim, Adithaim, 0ederah, and 0ederothaim$ fourteen cities with their villages- 37 'enan, Hadashah, 4igdal 0ad, 38 ilean, 4i+pah, Joktheel, 39 ;achish, *o+kath, %glon, 40 Cabbon, ;ahmas,a )ithlish, 41 0ederoth, *eth agon, 3aamah, and 4akkedah$ si(teen cities with their villages- 42 ;ibnah, %ther, Ashan, 43 Jiphtah, Ashnah, 3e+ib, 44 )eilah, Ach+ib, and 4areshah$ nine cities with their villages- 45 %kron, with its towns and villages- 46 from %kron to the sea, all that lay near Ashdod, with their villages- 47 Ashdod with its towns and villages, 0a+a with its towns and villagesHas far as the *rook of %gypt and the 0reat "ea with its coastline. 48 And in the mountain country$ "hamir, Jattir, "ochoh, 49 annah, )ir5ath "annah 1which is ebir2, 50 Anab, %shtemoh, Anim, 51 0oshen, Holon, and 0iloh$ eleven cities with their villages- 52 Arab, umah, %shean, 53 Janum, *eth Tappuah, Aphekah, 54 Humtah, )ir5ath Arba 1which is Hebron2, and 'ior$ nine cities with their villages- 55 4aon, Carmel, 'iph, Juttah, 56 Je+reel, Jokdeam, 'anoah, 57 )ain, 0ibeah, and Timnah$ ten cities with their villages- 58 Halhul, *eth 'ur, 0edor, 59 4aarath, *eth Anoth, and %ltekon$ si( cities with their villages- 60 )ir5ath *aal 1which is )ir5ath Jearim2 and .abbah$ two cities with their villages. 61 In the wilderness$ *eth Arabah, 4iddin, "ecacah, 62 3ibshan, the City of "alt, and %n 0edi$ si( cities with their villages. 63 As for the Jebusites, the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the children of Judah could not drive them out- but the Jebusites dwell with the children of Judah at Jerusalem to this day. !. As for the Jebusites the inhabitants of Jerusale! the children of Judah could not dri)e the! out 1v.?E2$ This was the chief city, the city where 0od had planned to put His name, but it has been the claim of both the Jews and their enemies for centuries. avid con#uered Jerusalem from the Jebusites 1:"a =$?8A2 and it was called <the City of avid< and the kings of Judah reigned there for many years, "ince the time of the kings, Jerusalem has become the focus of attention of Israel7s enemies, and will continue to do so until the ;ord Jesus finally come and subdue the world under His authority. Then Jerusalem, also called 'ion, will be the city of our 0od, His holy mountain. onc!u#ion It7s a good thing that it is the ;ord who assigned the territory because if they were allowed to choose their own, surely there would be competition and conflict. 5
Apostle Gaul asked, B,or who makes you differ from anotherD And what do you have that you did not receiveDC 16 Cor. >$A2. John the *aptist said, BA man can receive nothing unless it has been given to him from heavenC 1John E$:A2. &henever you envy anotherIs achievements or abilities, you are forgetting this basic spiritual principle. &henever you complain to 0od because of what you are not, instead of praising Him for what you are, you need to listen again to Gaul and John the *aptist. Caleb fought courageously to claim his 0od8given inheritance, and so did !thniel, his son8in8law. CalebIs daughter also had faith to ask for additional blessings, and she received them. &e must accept whatever inheritance 0od grants us for 0od gives and we received by faith.