Most of the text in these three chapters is about real estate, and it documents the inheritance of specific parcels of the promised land to the individual tribes of Israel and Judah. There are two additional narratives that are much more personal in nature, along with a rather understated but very poignant last word…
The first is found in 14:6-15, where Caleb reminds Joshua of Moses’ promise concerning Joshua’s inheritance. (Since Joshua would have been a very busy man at this moment, it is not surprising that Caleb would need to remind him of the promise.) The emphasis here is on the steadfast faithfulness of Caleb. His valor in war is only surpassed by his patience during the ensuing years. The narrative ends with a simple sentence: “And the land had rest from war.”
The second additional narrative involves Caleb’s promise to his men in the heat of battle (15:13-19) by which Caleb’s nephew Othniel is rewarded with marriage to Caleb’s daughter Achsah. Achsah in turn makes a specific request to her father for his blessing and for the gift of springs of water to make their land in the Negeb desert inhabitable.
Finally, the very last verse in this three-chapter narrative serves as a particularly poignant coda, for any reader who has followed the history of modern day Israel and Palestine – and especially for anyone who has visited modern day Jerusalem:
“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.”
Joshua 4-6 Israel is a weak and tired people, hungry after all their wanderings, but hopeful as they cross the Jordan River to enter the Promised Land under the new leadership of Joshua, Moses’ assistant. Through the parting of the Jordan, the Lord reminds the Israelites of his past faithfulness, when he intervened to part […]
Deuteronomy 32-34 [above: Death of Moses, Alexandre Cabanel, c. 1851, click picture for larger image] The days of Moses draw to an end and a new day begins for the people of Israel. Moses shares God’s words of blessing to his people and the baton of leadership is passed to Joshua, the son of Nun. […]
Deuteronomy 29-31 In Deuteronomy, we’re standing with the people of Israel on the far side of the Jordan, listening to sermons from Moses. He’s speaking to the second generation out of Egypt, the children of those who were delivered out of Egypt but who fearfully and faithlessly refused to enter the Promised Land. Moses has […]