Joshua 18:6
You shall therefore describe the land into seven parts, and bring the description here to me, that I may cast lots for you here before the LORD our God.
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Joshua 18:6. That I may cast lots for you here before the Lord — That is, before the ark or tabernacle, that God may be witness and judge, and be acknowledged to be the author of the division, and each tribe may be contented with its lot, as being appointed by divine authority, and that your several possessions may be secured to you as things sacred.18:2-10 After a year or more, Joshua blamed their slackness, and told them how to proceed. God, by his grace, has given us a title to a good land, the heavenly Canaan, but we are slack to take possession of it; we enter not into that rest, as we might by faith, and hope, and holy joy. How long shall it be thus with us? How long shall we thus stand in our own light, and forsake our own mercies for lying vanities? Joshua stirs the Israelites up to take possession of their lots. He is ready to do his part, if they will do theirs.Three men for each tribe - i. e. 21 in all. Their duty would be to describe the land, especially with reference to the cities it contained Joshua 18:9, that Joshua might have the means of making a first apportionment among the tribes according to their varying numbers. 4-9. Give out from among you three men for each tribe—Though the lot determined the part of the country where each tribe was to be located, it could not determine the extent of territory which might be required; and the dissatisfaction of the children of Joseph with the alleged smallness of their possession gave reason to fear that complaints might arise from other quarters, unless precautions were taken to make a proper distribution of the land. For this purpose a commission was given to twenty-one persons—three chosen from each of the seven tribes which had not yet received their inheritance, to make an accurate survey of the country. i.e. Before the ark or tabernacle, that God may be witness, and judge, and author of the division, that each may be contented with his lot, and that your several possessions may be secured to you as things sacred, and not to be alienated. Ye shall therefore describe the land into seven parts,.... Or ye shall describe the land, even the seven parts of it when divided; it seems as if they were first to describe in general all the land not disposed of, and then divide it into seven parts, and make a particular description of each part, or form a plan, or draw a map of every part:

and bring the description hither to me; not by word of mouth, but as written in a book, or marked out in a map, and laid before him, see Joshua 18:9,

that I may cast lots for you here before the Lord your God; in Shiloh, at the door of the tabernacle, and so before the Lord who dwelt in it, at whose disposal the lot was, and by which everyone of the seven tribes would have their part and portion assigned them most fitting and convenient for them, according to the will and counsel of God, in which it became them to acquiesce.

Ye shall therefore describe the land into seven parts, and bring the description hither to me, that I may cast lots for you here before the {e} LORD our God.

(e) Before the ark of the Lord.

6. before the Lord our God] i.e. before the “Tabernacle of Meeting,” where Jehovah manifested His presence to the people, enthroned above the Cherubim of the Ark of the Covenant.Verse 6. - Ye shall therefore describe the land into seven parts. Literally, ye shall write the land, seven parts. Similarly in ver. 8. That is to say, a written report was to be brought up in seven parts, a fair and equal division of the land having previously been agreed upon among the commissioners. This report having been accepted, division was afterwards made (ver. 10) by lot. Bishop Horsley and Houbigant here, as elsewhere, would rearrange the chapter, supposing it to have been accidentally transposed. But there seems no ground for the supposition. The repetition, with its additional particulars at each repetition, is quite in the style of the author (see ch. 2 and notes). That I may cast lots. Or, and I will cast a lot. The somewhat unusual word ירה to throw, is used here. The more usual word is הפּיל caused to fall, though other expressions are also used. As the answer of the children of Joseph indicated cowardice and want of confidence in the help of God, Joshua contented himself with repeating his first reply, though more fully and with the reasons assigned. "Thou art a strong people, and hast great power; there will not be one lot to thee:" i.e., because thou art a numerous people and endowed with strength, there shall not remain one lot to thee, thou canst and wilt extend thine inheritance. "For the mountain will be thine, for it is forest, and thou wilt hew it out, and its goings out will become thine." By the mountain we are not to understand the mountains of Ephraim which were assigned to the Ephraimites by the lot, but the wooded mountains mentioned in Joshua 17:15, which the children of Joseph were to hew out, so as to make outlets for themselves. "The outgoings of it" are the fields and plains bordering upon the forest. For the Canaanites who dwelt there (Joshua 17:15) would be driven out by the house of Joseph, just because they had iron chariots and were strong, and therefore only a strong tribe like Joseph was equal to the task. "Not one of the tribes of Israel is able to fight against them (the Canaanites) because they are strong, but you have strength enough to be able to expel them" (Rashi).
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