Joshua 13:32, 33: The Transjordanian Inheritance Reviewed

Verse 32:[1] These are the countries which Moses did distribute for inheritance in the plains of Moab, on the other side Jordan, by Jericho, eastward.

[This possession he divided, אֵ֕לֶּה אֲשֶׁר־נִחַ֥ל] It is uncertain whether אֵלֶּה/ these refers to possessions, or tribes (Masius). It is able to be referred to things as much as to persons (Bonfrerius). [Hence they render it variously.] These are they to whom possession was given (Septuagint, Arabic, similarly Jonathan and the Syriac). Others thus: These are what he distributed (Munster, Tigurinus, similarly Pagnine, Junius and Tremellius, Castalio, Dutch).

[On the other side Jordan over against Jericho[2]] See concerning this expression on Numbers 22:1[3] (Malvenda). It is called Jordan of Jericho, because these plains, situated on the other side Jordan, were looking toward Jericho (Masius).


Verse 33:[4] (Josh. 13:14; 18:7) But unto the tribe of Levi Moses gave not any inheritance: the LORD God of Israel was their inheritance, (Num. 18:20; Deut. 10:9; 18:1, 2) as he said unto them.

[As He said, דִּבֶּר] דִּבֶּר is not rashly used of things other than ordinances of the greatest moment: which sort of weight is not in the verb אָמַר, to say (Masius).

[1] Hebrew: אֵ֕לֶּה אֲשֶׁר־נִחַ֥ל מֹשֶׁ֖ה בְּעַֽרְב֣וֹת מוֹאָ֑ב מֵעֵ֛בֶר לְיַרְדֵּ֥ן יְרִיח֖וֹ מִזְרָֽחָה׃

[2] Hebrew: מֵעֵ֛בֶר לְיַרְדֵּ֥ן יְרִיח֖וֹ.

[3] Numbers 22:1:  “And the children of Israel set forward, and pitched in the plains of Moab on this side Jordan by Jericho (מֵעֵ֖בֶר לְיַרְדֵּ֥ן יְרֵחֽוֹ׃).”

[4] Hebrew: וּלְשֵׁ֙בֶט֙ הַלֵּוִ֔י לֹֽא־נָתַ֥ן מֹשֶׁ֖ה נַחֲלָ֑ה יְהוָ֞ה אֱלֹהֵ֤י יִשְׂרָאֵל֙ ה֣וּא נַחֲלָתָ֔ם כַּאֲשֶׁ֖ר דִּבֶּ֥ר לָהֶֽם׃

1 thought on “Joshua 13:32, 33: The Transjordanian Inheritance Reviewed

  1. Joel Beeke’s “Jehovah Shepherding”: ‘The elect are God’s true Levites. Awarded but small financial remuneration for earthly life and labors, they were the only tribe pitied due to having no inheritance. Yet, possessing a heavenly inheritance, they were richest of all tribes, for “the Lord spake unto Aaron, Thou shalt have no inheritance in their land, neither shalt thou have any part among them: I am thy part and thine inheritance among the children of Israel” (Numbers 18:20). Highly blessed are all genuine Levites for whom Joshua 13:33 shall be confirmed in the notable judgment day: “But unto the tribe of Levi Moses gave not any inheritance: the Lord God of Israel was their inheritance, as He said unto them.”‘

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