Joshua 23:4
Behold, I have divided to 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 to the great sea westward.
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(4) Behold, I have divided unto you by lot these nations that remain.—Here, as in Joshua 13:1-7, and afterwards, in Judges 2:23, the preliminary and partial nature of the conquest achieved by Joshua is distinctly recognised. He gave Israel the land to possess, and gave them the vantage-ground from which they might possess it. In Joshua 23:4-5 he bids them continue the work which he had begun.

23:1-10 Joshua was old and dying, let them observe what he said now. He put them in mind of the great things God had done for them in his days. He exhorted them to be very courageous. Keep with care, do with diligence, and regard with sincerity what is written. Also, very cautiously to endeavour that the heathen idolatry may be forgotten, so that it may never be revived. It is sad that among Christians the names of the heathen gods are so commonly used, and made so familiar as they are. Joshua exhorts them to be very constant. There might be many things amiss among them, but they had not forsaken the Lord their God; the way to make people better, is to make the best of them.All Israel, and for their elders - Omit "and," which is not in the Hebrew. The meaning is that Joshua summoned to him all Israel as represented by its elders, etc. Deuteronomy 1:15. This gathering probably took place at the tabernacle at Shiloh. Jos 23:3. By Former Benefits.

3. ye have seen all that the Lord your God hath done unto all these nations because of you—The modesty and humility of Joshua are remarkably displayed at the commencement of this address. Dismissing all thoughts of his personal services, he ascribed the subjugation and occupation of Canaan entirely to the favoring presence and aid of God; and in doing so, he spoke not more piously than truly. This had been promised (De 1:30; 3:22); and the reality of the divine aid was seen in the rapid overthrow of the Canaanites, which had already led to the division of the whole land among the tribes [Jos 23:4].

These nations that remain, not yet conquered.

to be an inheritance for your tribes; you shall certainly subdue them, and inherit their land, as you have done the rest, if you be not wanting to yourselves.

With all the nations that I have cut off, i.e. with the land of those nations; the people put for their land, as we have seen before; and as sometimes, on the contrary, the land is put for the people.

Westward, where the Philistines, your most formidable adversaries, yet survive; but them also and their land I have given to you, and you shall undoubtedly destroy them, if you will proceed vigorously in your work. Behold, I have divided to you by lot these nations that remain,.... Who are unsubdued, not yet conquered, as well as those that are

to be an inheritance for your tribes; to be possessed by them and their children for ever:

from Jordan, with all the nations I have cut off, even unto the great sea westward; the phrase, "with all the nations I have cut off", is to be read in connection with "those nations that remain"; both those that were cut off by the sword of Joshua, and those that remained unconquered, being divided by lot to the tribes of Israel; and which reached from Jordan eastward, where Joshua and Israel entered into the land, to the Mediterranean sea, called the great sea in comparison of little ones in Canaan, as the Dead sea, and the sea of Tiberias; and which great sea lay west to the land of Israel, or where the sun sets, as the phrase in the Hebrew text is.

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.
4. these nations that remain] Joshua reminds them that not only the nations who had been actually conquered, but the remnants still unsubdued, were delivered into their power.Verse 4. - Divided unto you by lot. Literally, caused to fall, the lot being of necessity understood. These nations that remain. Israel had therefore not driven them out. This, however, need not of necessity be imputed to them as a sin. For, as we have seen, the conquest was to be gradual. No doubt there was enough to be done in consolidating the conquests already made, in settling the tribes in their possessions, to occupy all the days of Joshua, and even possibly a longer period. At least we may he sure that, as long as Joshua lived, the heathen settlements were kept distinct from the Israelitish community, that intermarriages were not allowed, nor rights of citizenship granted to any but the Gibeonites. Cut off. Joshua's speech here exactly agrees with the statements in Joshua 6:21; Joshua 8:26; Joshua 10:28-41; Joshua 11:11, 14, 21. Here at least, if Joshua's speech and the history were taken from two different sources, neither of them precisely accurate, the first postulate of the destructive criticism, we might have expected some slight discrepancy. But Joshua uses a word which implies total extermination, a feature, be it observed, of the campaigns of Moses and Joshua only, and not of the later Israelitish history. Westward. Literally, the going down of the sun. They then returned to Canaan and informed the congregation. And the thing pleased them, so that they praised the Lord, sc., for having kept their brethren on the other side from rebellion, and they thought no more of going to war against them, or laying waste the land of the tribes on the east of the Jordan.
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