Destination: Joshua 13-24

Flight Plan:
Wednesday, September 26, 2007

In our eleventh flight over the Bible from 30,000 Feet, Pastor Skip Heitzig will give us a tour of the Promised Land. We will see how Joshua divides the land "as an inheritance to Israel," and we'll see different tribes and where they settle, both in and out of the Promised Land. Key chapters for this flight are: Joshua 13 and 20-24.

Detailed Notes:

Interactive Travel Guide

The name of the book comes from the lead character - Joshua. His name means, "Salvation of the Lord." Forty years had passed since the Israelites had left Egypt. The original generation had died in the desert and a new generation was ready to enter the Promised Land to claim it for themselves.


c. 1446-1406 B.C.
Forty years of wilderness wandering

c. 1405 B.C.
Joshua succeeds Moses

c. 1405 B.C.
The Israelites cross the Jordan into Canaan

c. 1405-1400 B.C.
Jericho and other cities are taken

c. 1398 B.C.
Canaan is apportioned to the tribes

c. 1380 B.C.
Joshua dies

c. 1375-1075 B.C.
Judges rule in Israel

c. 1050 B.C.
Saul becomes king of Israel

The high point of the book of Joshua comes when it could be said that "Joshua took the whole land" (11:23) and that he could now divide the land "for an inheritance to Israel." The first section dealt with conquering the land and the second section of the book of Joshua deals with carving up the land.

1. Tribes East of The Jordan River - Joshua 13
2. Tribes West of The Jordan River - Joshua 14-19
3. Religious Settlements - Joshua 20-22
4. Joshua's Farewell Address - Joshua 23-24

Hebron - This is the land that was given to Caleb when the Israelites entered the land. This city still exists today about 25 miles southwest of Jerusalem. When Abraham and Lot split up, Hebron was part of the land Abraham took. Hebron is a holy city both to Islam and Judaism, as it is believed that Abraham is buried there together with his wife Sarah, their sons Isaac and Jacob, Isaac's wife Rebecca, and Jacob's wife Leah, in the Machpelah cave. Over this cave, the lbrahimi Mosque now lies. The city of Hebron is famous for its charming narrow and winding streets, houses built from stone, and the lively markets.

Kirjath Arba - The former name of the city of Hebron. It means city of Arba. Arba was the founding ancestor of the Anakim and is mentioned only in Joshua 14:15 and 15:13.

Shechem - A site with an ancient tradition of religious significance and covenant making in Israel going back to Abraham's day. Archaeological excavation has uncovered a series of temples, sanctuaries and ceremonial standing stones from almost every period of it's existence.

Shiloh - Called a place of rest, a city in Ephraim, on the north side of Bethel. Here the tabernacle was set up after the Conquest (Joshua 18:1-10), where it remained during all the period of the judges till the Ark of the Covenant was captured by the Philistines.

Valley of the Son of Hinnom - First mentioned in Joshua 15:8, it is mentioned 13 times in scripture. There seems to be no information as to who Hinnom was nor his sons. However, the meaning of the term has become interesting. Gehenna is a word tracing to Greek, ultimately from Hebrew Gai-Ben-Hinnom meaning Valley of the Son of Hinnom, and is still called Gai Ben Hinnom in Modern Hebrew, though this is sometimes shortened to Gai-Hinnom in rabbinical texts. Originally it referred to a garbage dump in a deep narrow valley right outside the walls of outside Jerusalem. It served as a garbage dump in both Old Testament times and at the time of Jesus, but there's more to the word's history. It has come to have connotations relating to the afterlife and the mysteries of the underworld.

Anakim - The descendants of Anak (Joshua 11:21; Num. 13:33; Deut. 9:2) who lived in the southern part of Palestine, in the neighborhood of Hebron (Gen. 23:2; Josh. 15:13). In the days of Abraham (Gen. 14:5-6) they inhabited the region afterwards known as Edom and Moab, east of the Jordan. They were probably a remnant of the original inhabitants of Palestine before the Canaanites, a Cushite tribe from Babel, and of the same race as the Phoenicians and the Egyptian shepherd kings. They had a formidable warlike appearance, as described by the spies sent to search the land, filled the Israelites with terror. They seem to have identified them with the Nephilim, the "giants" (Gen. 6:4; Num. 13:33) from before the flood. And, indeed, there were men of very large stature among them. There were various tribes of Anakim (Josh. 15:14). Joshua finally expelled them from the land, except a remnant that found refuge in the cities of Gaza, Gath, and Ashdod (Josh. 11:22). The Philistine giants whom David encountered (2 Sam. 21:15-22) were descendants of the Anakim.

Caleb - When Moses had sent the spies into the land from Kadesh Barnea, only Joshua and Caleb came back with a positive report. He was a brave and godly warrior. He is now 85 years old and receives his inheritance at Hebron (Joshua 14:6).

Eleazar - He was the High Priest (Aaron's son) at this time and he helps Joshua divide up the land among the twelve tribes (Joshua 19:51).

Jebusites - Inhabitants of Jerusalem before the Israelites arrive. They stubbornly held on to Jerusalem because the tribe of Judah did not follow through on its obligation to destroy them completely.

Kohathites - Descendents through Aaron and Kohath, the son of Levi. These members of the Aaronic priesthood were strategically located throughout the land to serve in the temple and in the territory that remained in the hands of the descendents of Judah.

Phinehas - Eleazar's son. He also was a priest and he helped to avoid a civil war. This would have been between the tribes living on the west side of the Jordan and those who remained on the east side (Joshua 22:30).

Simeon - The Tribe of Simeon did not get an independent inheritance, but rather inherited scattered lands within Judah's allotment. This is similar to the tribe of Levi. The two were cursed for their massacre of the inhabitants of Shechem.

Abdi-Hiba letter - A letter written to Egypt during the time of Joshua's conquest of Canaan requesting aid.

Amarna tablets - Non-biblical historical letters written by pagan kings. One letter written during the time of Joshua's conquest reads as follows: "Let it be known to the king that there is great hostility against me and against Shuwardata. I ask the king, my lord, protect his land from the approaching 'Apiru' (Hebrews).

Casting Lots - The practice of casting lots is mentioned 70 times in the Old Testament and seven times in the New Testament. In spite of the many references to casting lots in the Old Testament, nothing is known about the actual lots themselves. They could have been sticks of various lengths, flat stones like coins, or some kind of dice; but their exact nature is unknown. The closest modern practice to casting lots is likely flipping a coin.

Cities of Refuge - Six towns from the north to the south and on both sides of the Jordan River mentioned in the Bible given under Mosaic Law, to provide protection for anyone who had killed another by accident. They could flee and live without fear of any retaliation from the victim's relatives, who would otherwise have right of blood vengeance. The six cities were Bezer, Ramoth, and Golan, east of the Jordan River, Kedesh, Shechem, and Hebron, west of the Jordan (Num. 25 and Joshua 20).

Memorial Stones - The purpose of the memorial stones was to be a sign for future generations, to remind parents to tell their children about what God had done. For those outside, the memorial stones are there to proclaim the power of God to "all the peoples" and to generate fear among God's people (24). "Memorial Stones," providing a visual reminder of God's presence in the midst of His people.

Division of The Tribes of Israel