And the second lot came forth to Simeon, even for the tribe of the children of Simeon according to their families…
As in a shipwreck the captain is the last to leave the doomed vessel, so here the leader of the nation was the last to receive a portion. With rare self-denial he waited till every one else was provided for. Here we have a glimpse of his noble spirit. That there would be much grumbling over the division of the country he no doubt counted inevitable, and that the people would be disposed to come with their complaints to him followed as a matter of course. See how he circumvents them! Whoever might be disposed to go to him complaining of his lot knew the ready answer he would get — "You are not worse off than I am, for as yet I have got none!" Joshua was content to see the fairest inheritance disposed of to others, while as yet none had been allotted to him. He might have asked for an inheritance in the fertile and beautiful vale of Shechem, consecrated by one of the earliest promises to Abraham, near to Jacob's well and his ancestor Joseph's Comb, or under shadow of the two mountains, Ebal and Gerizim, where so solemn a transaction had taken place after his people entered the land. He asks for nothing of the kind, but for a spot on one of the highland hills of Ephraim, a place so obscure that no trace of it remains. It is described in Judges 2:9 as "Timnath-heres, in the hill country of Ephraim, on the north of the mountain of Gaash." The north side of the mountain does not indicate a spot remarkable either for amenity or fertility. In the days of his friend Paula is said to have expressed surprise that the distributer of the whole country reserved so wild and mountainous a district for himself. His choice of it was a splendid rebuke to the grumbling of his tribe, to the pride and selfishness of the "great people" who would not be content with a single lot, and wished an additional one to be assigned to them. "Up with you to the mountain," was Joshua's spirited reply; "cut down the wood, and drive out the Canaanites!" In any case, he set a splendid example of disinterested humility. How nobly contrasted with men like Napoleon, who used his influence so greedily for the enrichment and aggrandisement of every member of his family! Joshua came very near to the spirit of our blessed Lord.
(W. G. Blaikie, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And the second lot came forth to Simeon, even for the tribe of the children of Simeon according to their families: and their inheritance was within the inheritance of the children of Judah.