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might have no favor, but that he might destroy them, as the Lord commanded Moses."
At the time of making the conquests which have just been described, Joshua, also, cut off the Anakims, or race of giants, from all the mountainous regions, destroying utterly all such as he met with, and their cities. Some of them, however, escaped into the country of the Philistines, and continued there; of whom Goliath was one of the descendants. These conquests were continued for the
space of six or seven years, until the Israelites had become masters of the greatest and best part of Canaan ; when " the land rested from war," and Joshua, as we shall see, proceeded to the distribution of it among the various tribes.
What wonderful fulfillments of the promises of God to his chosen people! How numerous and powerful were the enemies with whom they had to contend, and the principal part of whom must be destroyed, before they could take undisturbed possession of the promised inheritance ! Human skill and strength could never accomplish this. God interposed his aid, and the result was made certain.
The christian has a far richer inheritance to secure, and is, if possible, still more dependent power of divine
for its attainment. Without this grace the conflict which he has to carry on with his spiritual enemies would be hopeless. Let him always feel this. Distrusting his own strength, let him look to God for aid in every emergency, with a childlike confidence, through the Saviour of sinners, and it shall be af. forded him. The success of Joshua, though in a different kind of warfare, shall be his. He shall pass from victory to victory, till his triumph is complete, and he enters upon the possession of the heavenly Canaan.
My young friend, is the God of Joshua your God? Is it in his strength, and relying on his promises, that you are waging a war with your sins, never to be ended till they cease to exist ? You or they must finally have an entire victory.
Joshua is directed to proceed to the divisio of Canaan
among the tribes. It is in part effected. Caleb's portion. The Israelites remove to Shiloh. A survey of the land made, and the division completed.
Joshua was now far advanced in life. He had probably attained the age of one hundred; having spent several years in the conquest of a considerable part of Canaan, though there remained "yet very much land to be possessed.” Time would be necessary for the complete subjugation of the country. New wars must be carried on; the conducting of which was becoming too heavy a task for one of his years, and he was called, therefore, to the discharge of other and equally important duties.
After describing the land that was yet to be taken possession of, God directed Joshua to proceed to the division by lot of their inheritance, among the nine tribes, and the half tribe of Manasseh. The tribes of Reuben and of Gad, with the other half tribe of Manasseh, it will be recol. lected, had already received their portion on the other side of the Jordan.
This division, conducted under the direction of Eleazar the high priest, of Joshua, and of the heads, or princes of the various tribes, was begun at Gilgal, where the Israelites were still encamped, and was there completed with regard to the tribes of Judah, Ephraim, and the half tribe of Manasseh. The Levites had no part assigned them, except the cities and suburbs, which were appropriated for their peculiar re. sidence.
While the preparations were making for this great work, Caleb, the son of Jephunneh, and the chief men of the tribe of Judah, to which he belonged, that they might sustain him in the request, came to Joshua with a special application in his behalf. It was to claim as his own indi. vidual portion Kirjath-arba, or Hebron, which God had promised him by Moses, for an inheritance, forty-five years before. At that time, when the spies, of whom he was one, were sent from Kadesh-barnea to spy out the promised land, he remained faithful to the trust reposed in him, while all his associates, except Joshua, gave a false and discouraging account of their expedition.
"Behold," said he, "the Lord hath kept me alive, as he said, these forty-and-five years, ever since the Lord spake this word unto Moses, while the children of Israel wandered in the wil. derness: and now, lo, I am this day fourscore and five years old. As yet I am as strong this day, as I was in the day that Moses sent me: as my strength was then, even so is my strength now, for war, both to go out, and to come in. Now therefore give me this mountain," (or mountainous region,) "whereof the Lord spake in that day; for thou heardest in that day how the Anakims were there, and that the cities were great and fenced: if so be the Lord will be with me, then I shall be able to drive them out, as the Lord said.”
His request was granted, with the blessing of Joshua
upon him ; because, as we are told, "he wholly followed the Lord God of Israel.” A sig. nal illustration this of the vigor both of body and of character attending a long course of obe. ảience to the will of God, and of the faithfulness with which the divine promises to one who pur. sues such a course are fulfilled.
Caleb, soon afterwards, took the place assigned him, driving thence the giants, the sons of Anak, and thus showing what faith in the Almighty, and a reliance on his arm, can accomplish.
He thence went up to Kirjath-sepher, intending to take it also, and declaring that whosoever would carry his design into effect should have his daughter in marriage. Othniel, one of his nephews, achieved the enterprise—the same who, afterwards, became a deliverer of his country. men, and a judge among them.
In the division which was made at Gilgal, it seems that the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh complained to Joshua, that their portion was too inconsiderable for a people as numerous as they
He told them in reply, to go up to the mountainous and woody parts, possessed by the Perizzites and giants, and there enlarge their possessions, by making themselves masters of the country. When they expressed a dread of encountering so formidable an enemy, he re
Joshua & Judges.