Joshua 15-19 is a section of Scripture many of us find difficult to comprehend and apply to our lives.1 This is certainly understandable. The verses address the disbursements of the Promised Land to various tribes of Israel and both the names of those mentioned and the geographical markers seem obscure to those of us living in 2018. However, for the people involved in receiving the land, these records serve as a reminder of God’s faithfulness to His people. For the most part, their ancestors had forfeited their right to inherit the land due to their sin and disobedience. Despite this truth, God did not give up on His people. After a period of punishment, God remains faithful to His promise to provide the people a land in which to dwell.
As you read Joshua 15 today and chapters 16-19 over the course of this week, reflect on ways that you have experienced God’s faithfulness despite the effects of your own past sinful actions or the sinful actions of others that have negatively affected your life. Take the time to thank God for how you have seen Him work in the past and ask Him to give you faith to believe that God will continue to be faithful to you in the days ahead. Finally, remember that God’s provision for us has been most fully realized through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. Because of who we are in Jesus, we now are assured that we have been given an eternal inheritance and God will make sure we receive it, not because of our ability to take possession of it, but because of God’s faithfulness to give it to us. God is faithful and in that truth, we rejoice.
1In preparing these devotions, I relied on Dr. Kenneth A. Mathews’s commentary on Joshua in the Teach the Text Commentary Series. I would commend it to you if you are looking for a good commentary to use in understanding the book of Joshua for either personal devotions or Bible studies.
Joshua 15 (ESV):
The allotment for the tribe of the people of Judah according to their clans reached southward to the boundary of Edom, to the wilderness of Zin at the farthest south. 2 And their south boundary ran from the end of the Salt Sea, from the bay that faces southward. 3 It goes out southward of the ascent of Akrabbim, passes along to Zin, and goes up south of Kadesh-barnea, along by Hezron, up to Addar, turns about to Karka,4 passes along to Azmon, goes out by the Brook of Egypt, and comes to its end at the sea. This shall be your south boundary. 5 And the east boundary is the Salt Sea, to the mouth of the Jordan. And the boundary on the north side runs from the bay of the sea at the mouth of the Jordan. 6 And the boundary goes up to Beth-hoglah and passes along north of Beth-arabah. And the boundary goes up to the stone of Bohan the son of Reuben. 7 And the boundary goes up to Debir from the Valley of Achor, and so northward, turning toward Gilgal, which is opposite the ascent of Adummim, which is on the south side of the valley. And the boundary passes along to the waters of En-shemesh and ends at En-rogel. 8 Then the boundary goes up by the Valley of the Son of Hinnom at the southern shoulder of the Jebusite (that is, Jerusalem). And the boundary goes up to the top of the mountain that lies over against the Valley of Hinnom, on the west, at the northern end of the Valley of Rephaim. 9 Then the boundary extends from the top of the mountain to the spring of the waters of Nephtoah, and from there to the cities of Mount Ephron. Then the boundary bends around to Baalah (that is, Kiriath-jearim). 10 And the boundary circles west of Baalah to Mount Seir, passes along to the northern shoulder of Mount Jearim (that is, Chesalon), and goes down to Beth-shemesh and passes along by Timnah. 11 The boundary goes out to the shoulder of the hill north of Ekron, then the boundary bends around to Shikkeron and passes along to Mount Baalah and goes out to Jabneel. Then the boundary comes to an end at the sea. 12 And the west boundary was the Great Sea with its coastline. This is the boundary around the people of Judah according to their clans.
13 According to the commandment of the Lord to Joshua, he gave to Caleb the son of Jephunneh a portion among the people of Judah, Kiriath-arba, that is, Hebron (Arba was the father of Anak). 14 And Caleb drove out from there the three sons of Anak, Sheshai and Ahiman and Talmai, the descendants of Anak. 15 And he went up from there against the inhabitants of Debir. Now the name of Debir formerly was Kiriath-sepher. 16 And Caleb said, “Whoever strikes Kiriath-sepher and captures it, to him will I give Achsah my daughter as wife.” 17 And Othniel the son of Kenaz, the brother of Caleb, captured it. And he gave him Achsah his daughter as wife. 18 When she came to him, she urged him to ask her father for a field. And she got off her donkey, and Caleb said to her, “What do you want?” 19 She said to him, “Give me a blessing. Since you have given me the land of the Negeb, give me also springs of water.” And he gave her the upper springs and the lower springs.
20 This is the inheritance of the tribe of the people of Judah according to their clans. 21 The cities belonging to the tribe of the people of Judah in the extreme south, toward the boundary of Edom, were Kabzeel, Eder, Jagur, 22 Kinah, Dimonah, Adadah, 23 Kedesh, Hazor, Ithnan, 24 Ziph, Telem, Bealoth, 25 Hazor-hadattah, Kerioth-hezron (that is, Hazor),26 Amam, Shema, Moladah, 27 Hazar-gaddah, Heshmon, Beth-pelet,28 Hazar-shual, Beersheba, Biziothiah, 29 Baalah, Iim, Ezem, 30 Eltolad, Chesil, Hormah, 31 Ziklag, Madmannah, Sansannah, 32 Lebaoth, Shilhim, Ain, and Rimmon: in all, twenty-nine cities with their villages.
33 And in the lowland, Eshtaol, Zorah, Ashnah, 34 Zanoah, En-gannim, Tappuah, Enam, 35 Jarmuth, Adullam, Socoh, Azekah, 36 Shaaraim, Adithaim, Gederah, Gederothaim: fourteen cities with their villages.
37 Zenan, Hadashah, Migdal-gad, 38 Dilean, Mizpeh, Joktheel, 39 Lachish, Bozkath, Eglon, 40 Cabbon, Lahmam, Chitlish, 41 Gederoth, Beth-dagon, Naamah, and Makkedah: sixteen cities with their villages.
42 Libnah, Ether, Ashan, 43 Iphtah, Ashnah, Nezib, 44 Keilah, Achzib, and Mareshah: nine cities with their villages.
45 Ekron, with its towns and its villages; 46 from Ekron to the sea, all that were by the side of Ashdod, with their villages.
47 Ashdod, its towns and its villages; Gaza, its towns and its villages; to the Brook of Egypt, and the Great Sea with its coastline.
48 And in the hill country, Shamir, Jattir, Socoh, 49 Dannah, Kiriath-sannah (that is, Debir), 50 Anab, Eshtemoh, Anim, 51 Goshen, Holon, and Giloh: eleven cities with their villages.
52 Arab, Dumah, Eshan, 53 Janim, Beth-tappuah, Aphekah, 54 Humtah, Kiriath-arba (that is, Hebron), and Zior: nine cities with their villages.
55 Maon, Carmel, Ziph, Juttah, 56 Jezreel, Jokdeam, Zanoah, 57 Kain, Gibeah, and Timnah: ten cities with their villages.
58 Halhul, Beth-zur, Gedor, 59 Maarath, Beth-anoth, and Eltekon: six cities with their villages.
60 Kiriath-baal (that is, Kiriath-jearim), and Rabbah: two cities with their villages.
61 In the wilderness, Beth-arabah, Middin, Secacah, 62 Nibshan, the City of Salt, and Engedi: six cities with their villages.
63 But the Jebusites, the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the people of Judah could not drive out, so the Jebusites dwell with the people of Judah at Jerusalem to this day.