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survey into seven parts, by cities, and brought the description of it to Joshua at Shiloh ; and he and Eleazar the high priest cast lots for them before the Lord in Shiloh.
How the business of casting lots was conducted is not exactly described ; but it is supposed that the names of the countries were written upon separate pieces, and put into the lap of Joshua, and that a prince of each tribe took a lot out of it containing the names of the countries which the tribe he drew for was to possess ; these shares the tribes were to consider as of the LORD's appointment, which indeed was evidently the case, for the portion of each tribe agreed with the original allotment which Jacob, by the Divine direction, made so many years before.* Joshua and Eleazar the priest were directed by the LORD to make such an equal division, that each tribe might have a territory proportionable to the number of its families, and each family in proportion to the number of its individuals. Thus “ the LORD gave unto Israel all the land which He sware to their fathers to give them.” Joshua him. self had a little spot given him for his own habitation, not far from Shiloh.
When every thing was thus settled, Joshua called the Reubenites, and the Gadites, and the half tribe of Manasseh, and gave them an honourable dismission. He acknowledged that they had faithfully executed the condition which they promised to Moses, in helping their brethren to subdue their enemies, and com. mended their courage and fidelity. He exhorted them, now they were going to separate from their brethren, never to neglect the service of God, but to keep His commandments with the most exact fidelity. He ad, vised them to distribute to their brethren on the other side Jordan, a share of the rich booty they had taken from the Canaanites, because, though the latter had helped them in the war, they had done them great service in protecting their families at home from the in. sults of enemies on every side. Joshua then gave them a solemo blessing, and sent them away.
* See Genesis, Chap. xlix.
The seven tribes did not immediately set about conquering the remainder of the Canaanites ; after they had shewn their willingness to do it, the LORD gave them rest for a number of years, till their increasing numbers rendered it necessary to obtain greater extent of territory; in the mean while the Canaanites were permitted to remain in the cities and countries which the Lord's people did not immediately want, that they might not become. desolate, or be filled with beasts of the field, for want of inhabitants ; but the Canaanites were restrained from giving disturbance to those who were now the lawful owners of the land ; hay ing received it as the grant made for them to their progenitors, from the LORD of the whole earth.
The land of Canaan proved such as God had pro. mised to give to his people, flowing with milk and honey, abounding, not only with pecessaries, but delicacies; it was delightfully variegated with hills and yallies, enriched with corn and fruits, and stored with sheep and cattle. Canaan contained but a small tract of territory; the most authentic geographers tell us that it was 200 miles in length, and about 80 in breadth ; but, notwithstanding the narrow limits, it was so wonderfully fertilized when the Israelites dweit there, as to subsist a vast number of inhabitants. The air of this country was very temperate and serene, and the soil required scarcely any labour to mapure it. In these days it appears a poor barren spot ; this is in a great measure owing to the want of cultivation, but still more to the pe. culiar blesing of God being withheld from it.
From Joshua, Chap. xxiii. And it came to paas, a long time after that the LORD had given rest unto Israel from all their enemies round about, that Joshua waxed old, and stricken in age.
And Joshua called for all Israel, and for their elders, and for their heads, and for their judges, and for their officers, and said unto them, I am old and stricken in age : And
ye have seen all that the LORD your God hath done unto all these nations, because of you ; for the LORD
God is he that hath fought for you. Behold, I have divided unto you by lot these nations that remain, to be an inheritance for your tribes, from Jordan, with all the nations that I have cut off, even unto the great sea westward.
And the LORD your God, he shall expel them from before you, and drive them from out of your sight, and shall
possess their land, as the LORD your God hath promised unto you. Be ye therefore
very courageous to keep and to do all that is written in the book of the law of Moses, that ye turn not aside therefrom, to the right hand or to the left.
That ye come not among these nations, these that remain amongst you, neither make mention of the name of their gods, nor cause to swear by them, neither serve them, nor bow yourselves unto them : But cleave unto the Lord your God, as ye have done unto this day. Voli II.
For the Lord hath driven out from before you great nations and strong ; but as for you, no man hath been able to stand before you unto this day.
One man of you shall chase a thousand : for the LORD your God, he it is that fighteth for you, as he hath promised you.
Take good heed therefore unto yourselves, that ye love the LORD
God. Else if ye do in any wise go back, and cleave unto the remnant of these nations, even these that remain among you, and 'shall make marriages with them, and go in unto them, and they to you ;
Know for a certainty that the LORD your God will no more drive out any of these nations from before you ; but they shall be snares and traps unto you, and scourges in your sides, and thorns in your eyes, until ye perish from off this good land which the LORD your God hath
And behold, I am going the way of all the earth, and ye know in all your hearts and in all your souls, that not one thing hath failed of all the good things which the Lord your God spake concerning you ;- all are come to pass unto you, and not one thing hath fail. ed thereof.
Therefore it shall come to pass, that as all good things are come upon you, which the LORD your God promised you : so shall the Lord bring upon you all evil things, until he have destroyed you from off this good land which the Lord your God hath given you.
have transgressed the covenant of the LORD your God, which he commanded you, and have gone and served other gods, and bowed yourselves to them : then shall the anger of the Lord be kindled against you, and ye shall perish quickly from off the good land which he hath given unto you.
ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS.
We are not informed where Joshua was when he made this exhortation, but it is most likely that there was a general assembly of the people at Shiloh, to celebrate one of their great feasts : and that he took this opportunity of reminding them of their duty.
Israel had now had experience of the good things which the LORD had given them, and knew their value ; but as continued prosperity is very apt to draw the mind from God, Joshua thought it necessary to admonish them, lest, they should after his death commit those sins for which the Lord had threatened to send curses upon them. There is no need to enter into particular explanation of this pathetic address, as it is very easy to be understood, and will naturally suggest proper reflections.
JOSHUA'S EXHORTATION-MIS DEATH-THE DEATH OF
ELEAZAR THE HIGH PRIEST.
From Joshua, Chap. xxiv.
And Joshua gathered all the tribes of Israel to Shechem, and called for the elders of Israel, and for their heads, and for their judges, and for their officers ; and they presented themselves before God.
And Joshua said unto all the people, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Your fathers dwelt on the other side of the flood in old time, even Terah the father of Abraham and the father of Nachor: and they served other Gods.
And I took your father Abraham from the other side of the food, and led him throughout all the land