Joshua 13:6: Territories not yet Conquered, Part 6

Verse 6:[1] All the inhabitants of the hill country from Lebanon unto (Josh. 11:8) Misrephoth-maim, and all the Sidonians, them (see Josh. 23:13; Judg. 2:21, 23) will I drive out from before the children of Israel: only (Josh. 14:1, 2) divide thou it by lot unto the Israelites for an inheritance, as I have commanded thee.

[Unto the waters of Misrephoth] See Joshua 11:8 (Vatablus).

[And all the Sidonians] Sidon was the name of a people before it was the name of a city: Genesis 10:15. They are called Sidones by Curtius,[2] Sidonii by Stephanus[3] and others (Grotius).

[I am He who will destroy] That I excludes the work of Joshua, not of others; for God raised up the Judges, Judges 2:18, 19: that is to say, the result of my counsels depends upon the life of no man. יָרַשׁ here signifies to drive out:[4] all translate it similarly. It signifies this when מִן/from follows. Otherwise it signifies to send into possession, or to possess (Masius). Now, that I will destroy is a conditional promise (Bonfrerius): If my people hinder not itself (Masius).

Them will I drive out from before the children of Israel, presently after thy death, if the Israelites do not hinder it by their unbelief or wickedness.

[Therefore, let it come, etc.,רַ֠ק הַפִּלֶ֤הָ לְיִשְׂרָאֵל֙ בְּֽנַחֲלָ֔ה [5]] Only cause it to fall into inheritance (Pagnine, Vatablus, Montanus); or, cause that it might fall by lot into the possession of Israel (Junius and Tremellius); or, appoint it by lots…for an inheritance (Munster, similarly Tigurinus); divide for an inheritance (Syriac, similarly Jonathan). Now, this appointing by lots of dominions not yet conquered was useful to feed the perpetual flame of hatred between the Israelites and the Barbarians, which would hinder pernicious friendships and connections between them, since what belongs to them appears to be possessed by them. In addition to these things, if only empty possessions had been distributed among the Tribes, each being content with his own lot, and being given to leisure, in the case of those things that had regard to all in common, and were yet in the hands of enemies, no one would have been induced to fight: For what things have regard to the republic all handle more negligently (Masius).

Divide thou it by lot, etc.: Though they be now unconquered, yet divide them, partly, as a pledge to assure them of my help in conquering them after thy death; partly, to lay an obligation upon the Israelites to proceed in conquering work, and to bear witness against them in case they did not; and partly, as a wall of partition between them and the Canaanites, to prevent all agreements, contracts, and confederacies with them, to which God saw they began to incline.

[As I have commanded thee] It has regard to Deuteronomy 31:7, thou shalt send the people, etc. Such predictions by God have the nature and force of commandments. And that is the reason why the ἐναλλαγαί/enallages/ interchanges of the finite and imperative moods are so common (Masius).

[1] Hebrew: כָּל־יֹשְׁבֵ֣י הָ֠הָר מִֽן־הַלְּבָנ֞וֹן עַד־מִשְׂרְפֹ֥ת מַ֙יִם֙ כָּל־צִ֣ידֹנִ֔ים אָֽנֹכִי֙ אוֹרִישֵׁ֔ם מִפְּנֵ֖י בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל רַ֠ק הַפִּלֶ֤הָ לְיִשְׂרָאֵל֙ בְּֽנַחֲלָ֔ה כַּאֲשֶׁ֖ר צִוִּיתִֽיךָ׃

[2] History of Alexander the Great 4.

[3] Stephanus Byzantium (early Middle Ages) wrote a geographical dictionary, entitled Ethnica, which only survives in fragments.

[4] Joshua 13:6a:  “All the inhabitants of the hill country from Lebanon unto Misrephoth-maim, and all the Sidonians, them will I drive out from before the children of Israel (אָֽנֹכִי֙ אוֹרִישֵׁ֔ם מִפְּנֵ֖י בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל)…”

[5] נָפַל, to fall, in the Hiphil signifies to cause to fall.

1 thought on “Joshua 13:6: Territories not yet Conquered, Part 6

  1. Matthew Henry: ‘He promises that he would make the Israelites masters of all those countries that were yet unsubdued, though Joshua was old and not able to do it, old and not likely to live to see it done. Whatever becomes of us, and however we may be laid aside as despised broken vessels, God will do his own work in his own time (Joshua 13:6): I will drive them out. The original is emphatic: “It is I that will do it, I that can do it when thou are dead and gone, and will do it if Israel be not wanting to themselves.” “I will do it by my Word,” so the Chaldee here, as in many other places, “by the eternal Word, the captain of the hosts of the Lord.” This promise that he would drive them out from before the children of Israel plainly supposes it as the condition of the promise that the children of Israel must themselves attempt their extirpation, must go up against them, else they could not be said to be driven out before them; if afterwards Israel, through sloth, or cowardice, or affection to these idolaters, sit still and let them alone, they must blame themselves, and not God, if they be not driven out. We must work out our salvation, and then God will work in us and work with us; we must resist our spiritual enemies, and then God will tread them under our feet; we must go forth to our Christian work and warfare, and then God will go forth before us.’

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