Read the full chapters here.
Chapters 18-19 are very similar to the three preceding them, and detail land allotments for the remaining tribes. The people gather at the tent of meeting and we read that there were seven tribes whose inheritance had not yet been appointed (v.2). Why, we’re not sure. Perhaps they had been so used to the bedouin lifestyle they were reticent to settle, perhaps they were apprehensive about putting down roots. Either way, Joshua exercises some great leadership and encourages them to take what was promised (v.3) and puts a plan into action whereby they would learn about the land then have it allotted (vv.4-10).
The rest of chapters 18-19 are very formulaic. We read of land allotted to the people of Benjamin (vv.11-28), Simeon (19.1-9), Zebulun (vv.10-16), Issachar (vv.17-23), Asher (vv.24-31), Naphtali (vv.32-39), and Dan (vv.40-48). There is also special mention for the inheritance given to Joshua in vv.49-51.
Again we’re left reading what is, essentially, a town survey: who lives where.
We’ve talked before about the promises of God being claimed and lived in by His people (ch.14).
We’ve talked before about our inheritance not being land, but life (ch.9, 13) but here in 19.49 we see a point for us to ponder today:
“When they finished dividing the land into its regions,
the Israelites gave Joshua son of Nun some land.”
(NET, emphasis added)
Joshua, as God’ appointed leader of the people (1.1-9) took his portion last. Joshua was so concerned with others (18.2-10) that he took his own portion last. Herein we see another picture and preview of Jesus,
“…who though he existed in the form of God
did not regard equality with God
as something to be grasped,
but emptied himself
by taking on the form of a slave,
by looking like other men,
and by sharing in human nature.
He humbled himself,
by becoming obedient to the point of death
—even death on a cross!
As a result God highly exalted him
and gave him the name
that is above every name,
so that at the name of Jesus
every knee will bow
—in heaven and on earth and under the earth—
and every tongue confess
that Jesus Christ is Lord
to the glory of God the Father”.
(Philippians 2.6-11, NET)
Both Joshua and Jesus were so concerned with others that the put themselves last. Joshua did it here with land, and Jesus did it for your life.