King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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Joshua 13

Bounds of the land not yet conquered. (1-6) Inheritance of Reuben. (7-33)

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Bounds of the land not yet conquered

1 Now Joshua was old and stricken in years; and the LORD said unto him, Thou art old and stricken in years, and there remaineth yet very much land to be possessed.

2 This is the land that yet remaineth: all the borders of the Philistines, and all Geshuri,

3 From Sihor, which is before Egypt, even unto the borders of Ekron northward, which is counted to the Canaanite: five lords of the Philistines; the Gazathites, and the Ashdothites, the Eshkalonites, the Gittites, and the Ekronites; also the Avites:

4 From the south, all the land of the Canaanites, and Mearah that is beside the Sidonians unto Aphek, to the borders of the Amorites:

5 And the land of the Giblites, and all Lebanon, toward the sunrising, from Baalgad under mount Hermon unto the entering into Hamath.

6 All the inhabitants of the hill country from Lebanon unto Misrephothmaim, and all the Sidonians, them will I drive out from before the children of Israel: only divide thou it by lot unto the Israelites for an inheritance, as I have commanded thee.

Inheritance of Reuben

7 Now therefore divide this land for an inheritance unto the nine tribes, and the half tribe of Manasseh,

8 With whom the Reubenites and the Gadites have received their inheritance, which Moses gave them, beyond Jordan eastward, even as Moses the servant of the LORD gave them;

9 From Aroer, that is upon the bank of the river Arnon, and the city that is in the midst of the river, and all the plain of Medeba unto Dibon;

10 And all the cities of Sihon king of the Amorites, which reigned in Heshbon, unto the border of the children of Ammon;

11 And Gilead, and the border of the Geshurites and Maachathites, and all mount Hermon, and all Bashan unto Salcah;

12 All the kingdom of Og in Bashan, which reigned in Ashtaroth and in Edrei, who remained of the remnant of the giants: for these did Moses smite, and cast them out.

13 Nevertheless the children of Israel expelled not the Geshurites, nor the Maachathites: but the Geshurites and the Maachathites dwell among the Israelites until this day.

14 Only unto the tribes of Levi he gave none inheritance; the sacrifices of the LORD God of Israel made by fire are their inheritance, as he said unto them.

15 And Moses gave unto the tribe of the children of Reuben inheritance according to their families.

16 And their coast was from Aroer, that is on the bank of the river Arnon, and the city that is in the midst of the river, and all the plain by Medeba;

17 Heshbon, and all her cities that are in the plain; Dibon, and Bamothbaal, and Bethbaalmeon,

18 And Jahaza, and Kedemoth, and Mephaath,

19 And Kirjathaim, and Sibmah, and Zarethshahar in the mount of the valley,

20 And Bethpeor, and Ashdothpisgah, and Bethjeshimoth,

21 And all the cities of the plain, and all the kingdom of Sihon king of the Amorites, which reigned in Heshbon, whom Moses smote with the princes of Midian, Evi, and Rekem, and Zur, and Hur, and Reba, which were dukes of Sihon, dwelling in the country.

22 Balaam also the son of Beor, the soothsayer, did the children of Israel slay with the sword among them that were slain by them.

23 And the border of the children of Reuben was Jordan, and the border thereof. This was the inheritance of the children of Reuben after their families, the cities and the villages thereof.

24 And Moses gave inheritance unto the tribe of Gad, even unto the children of Gad according to their families.

25 And their coast was Jazer, and all the cities of Gilead, and half the land of the children of Ammon, unto Aroer that is before Rabbah;

26 And from Heshbon unto Ramathmizpeh, and Betonim; and from Mahanaim unto the border of Debir;

27 And in the valley, Betharam, and Bethnimrah, and Succoth, and Zaphon, the rest of the kingdom of Sihon king of Heshbon, Jordan and his border, even unto the edge of the sea of Chinnereth on the other side Jordan eastward.

28 This is the inheritance of the children of Gad after their families, the cities, and their villages.

29 And Moses gave inheritance unto the half tribe of Manasseh: and this was the possession of the half tribe of the children of Manasseh by their families.

30 And their coast was from Mahanaim, all Bashan, all the kingdom of Og king of Bashan, and all the towns of Jair, which are in Bashan, threescore cities:

31 And half Gilead, and Ashtaroth, and Edrei, cities of the kingdom of Og in Bashan, were pertaining unto the children of Machir the son of Manasseh, even to the one half of the children of Machir by their families.

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

33 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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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 1. Age. Josue was now 100 years old. He lived ten more, (C.) having governed the people in all 17. H. — During the first seven years, he had performed all that could be expected from an able general, and he probably designed to conquer the whole country before he divided it. But God, who chose to leave some of the ancient inhabitants in the country, to try the fidelity of his people, &c. ordered him to proceed to the distribution, that the different tribes might take care to exterminate those idolaters, who might be found in their territory. — Lot. Heb. “to be possessed.” Only the country east of the Jordan was yet divided.

Ver. 2. Galilee. As Josue had been making such conquests in that part lately, some would translate Geliloth, “the confines” of the Philistines, in which sense it seems to be taken. C. xviii. 18, and xxii. 10. C. — Bonfrere suspects that S. Jerom wrote Galila.Gessuri, either near Mount Hermon, (M.) or bordering upon Arabia. 1 K. xv. and xxvii. 10.

Ver. 3. Egypt. Heb. “from the Shicor, (or Sichor) which is on the face, (or over-against) Egypt.” Jeremias (ii. 18,) informs us that this river was in Egypt which is not true of the torrent of Rhinocorure; which the Sept. and many commentators, understand in this place to be the boundary fixed for the promised land. Strabo, &c. attribute that torrent to PhÅ“nicia; which they extend as far as Pelusium. S. Jerom (in Amos vi.) seems dubious whether the branch of the Nile passes by that city, or the aforesaid torrent be meant. David collected all his forces from the Sichor, or the torrent of Egypt, to the entrance of Emath, 1 Par. xiii. 5. Epiphanes constituted Lysanias governor of all the countries between the Euphrates and the river of Egypt, (2 Mac. iii. 32,) and he undoubtedly had extended his conquests as far as the Nile. Though the country beyond Gaza be now mostly barren, and therefore little inhabited or noticed, yet the Israelites were entitled to assert their right to it, as they seem to have done by taking possession of Gosen. C. x. 41. Some parts were formerly well peopled, 1 K. xxvii. 8. It is not unusual for the Nile, and other great rivers, to be styled torrents. The Heb. nel, is often applied to rivers. Eccle. i. 7. The troubled state in which the waters of the Nile generally appear, is very remarkable, as their taste is most excellent. The natives have discovered a method of rendering them clear, by the mixture of almond powder. The names of this river bear some relation to the Heb. term which is here used. It was formerly called Sirius. The Ethiopians style it Schichri. Another name was Melas, or Egyptus, denoting “blackness.” The people of the country idolized this river, because it supplied the want of rain. Tibul. i. 8. C. — Accaron, the most northern city of the Philistian principalities, (H.) attributed to Juda or Dan, though neither held it for any length of time. Beelzebub was chiefly adored here, 4 K. i. 2. — Lords, who seem to have been independent. They are styled Sornim, as the next in dignity to the king of Persia was a Surena. Marcellin. 24. The Philistines took this country from the Chanaanites, or Eveans, (C.) who are a different people from the Hevites. Bochart.

Ver. 4. Chanaan. From the south to Sidon was yet undivided, and thence eastward, (H.) to Apheca of Syria, were was the capital of the kings of that country, and a famous temple of Venus, 3 K. xx. 26. Sozom. i. 58. — Amorrhite, or perhaps Aramean, (C.) though we may understand that all the country of the Amorrhite on the south, as well as the northern parts of Chanaan, were to be divided, (H.) as far as Emesa. — Will, &c. provided the Israelites observe their part of the covenant. C.

Ver. 8. With whom. That is, with the other half of that same tribe.

Ver. 9. Aroer, and part of the town of Dibon, belonged to Gad. Num. xxxii. 34.

Ver. 13. Day. The Israelites were satisfied with what they had already conquered. M. — But herein they deserved blame, as they were ordered to reduce them entirely, and never suffer them to continue their idolatrous practices in the country which God had chosen for his people. H.

Ver. 14. Victims. Heb. “the sacrifices of the Lord made by fire.”

Ver. 18. Mephaath, near the desert, where the Romans afterwards kept a garrison. It was given to the Levites, but was seized by the Moabites after the reign of David. C.

Ver. 21. The princes of Madian. It appears from hence that these were subjects of king Sehon: they are said to have been slain with him, that is, about the same time, but not in the same battle. Ch. — After the death of their sovereign, they looked upon themselves as independent. They had reigned before as viceroys of Sehon, being natives of the country, and not come from some other part, like the Amorrhites. C.

Ver. 22. Slain. Sept. “they slew Balaam…with the sword in the moment.” Num. xxii. 5. and xxxi. 8. H.

Ver. 25. Rabba, “the great,” being a title of Ar, the capital of the Moabites. The Israelites thought themselves justified in keeping what had been taken from the children of Ammon, by Sehon, (Judg. xi. 13. C.) and the Amorrhites. W.

Ver. 27. Betharan, which was enlarged by Herod, and called Livias, or Julias, as the Greeks called Livia, the wife of Augustus, Julia. Joseph. — Saphon, or “the northern part of,” &c.

Ver. 30. Towns, which were conquered by Jair, of the tribe of Juda; though he belonged, in some degree, to that of Manasses, by his grandmother. Num. xxxii. 41.