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David Guzik's Commentaries
on the Bible

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A. Kings defeated by Moses.

1. (1) Introduction: kings conquered by Israel under the leadership of Moses.

These are the kings of the land whom the children of Israel defeated, and whose land they possessed on the other side of the Jordan toward the rising of the sun, from the River Arnon to Mount Hermon, and all the eastern Jordan plain:

a. These are the kings of the land whom the children of Israel defeated: The land of these kings comprised Israel's land on the eastern side of the Jordan river, on the other side of the Jordan toward the rising of the sun.

b. Why do we have such an exhaustive, and seemingly tedious list? It only seems tedious to us because we do not live in the land. For those who really had their inheritance there, these were essential matters that touched every day life, answering the question: "What land belongs to Israel?"

2. (2-3) The defeat of Sihon, king of the Amorites and his land that Israel possessed.

One king was Sihon king of the Amorites, who dwelt in Heshbon and ruled half of Gilead, from Aroer, which is on the bank of the River Arnon, from the middle of that river, even as far as the River Jabbok, which is the border of the Ammonites, and the eastern Jordan plain from the Sea of Chinneroth as far as the Sea of the Arabah (the Salt Sea), the road to Beth Jeshimoth, and southward below the slopes of Pisgah.

3. (4-5) The defeat of Og, kind of Bashan, and his land that Israel possessed.

The other king was Og king of Bashan and his territory, who was of the remnant of the giants, who dwelt at Ashtaroth and at Edrei, and reigned over Mount Hermon, over Salcah, over all Bashan, as far as the border of the Geshurites and the Maachathites, and over half of Gilead to the border of Sihon king of Heshbon.

4. (6) The eastern lands are deeded to the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and half the tribe of Manasseh.

These Moses the servant of the LORD and the children of Israel had conquered; and Moses the servant of the LORD had given it as a possession to the Reubenites, the Gadites, and half the tribe of Manasseh.

a. Half the tribe of Manasseh: Half of the tribe of Manasseh lived east of the Jordan River, and half of the tribe lived west of the Jordan River.

B. Kings defeated by Joshua.

1. (7-8) A broad description of the lands and Canaanite nations conquered by Israel under the leadership of Joshua.

And these are the kings of the country which Joshua and the children of Israel conquered on this side of the Jordan, on the west, from Baal Gad in the Valley of Lebanon as far as Mount Halak and the ascent to Seir, which Joshua gave to the tribes of Israel as a possession according to their divisions, in the mountain country, in the lowlands, in the Jordan plain, in the slopes, in the wilderness, and in the South; the Hittites, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites:

a. Again, this only seems tedious to us because it is not our land. If it were our land, we would read each line with great interest.

2. (9-24) A specific recounting of the 31 kings conquered by Joshua.

The king of Jericho, one; the king of Ai, which is beside Bethel, one; the king of Jerusalem, one; the king of Hebron, one; the king of Jarmuth, one; the king of Lachish, one; the king of Eglon, one; the king of Gezer, one; the king of Debir, one; the king of Geder, one; the king of Hormah, one; the king of Arad, one; the king of Libnah, one; the king of Adullam, one; the king of Makkedah, one; the king of Bethel, one; the king of Tappuah, one; the king of Hepher, one; the king of Aphek, one; the king of Lasharon, one; the king of Madon, one; the king of Hazor, one; the king of Shimron Meron, one; the king of Achshaph, one; the king of Taanach, one; the king of Megiddo, one; the king of Kedesh, one; the king of Jokneam in Carmel, one; the king of Dor in the heights of Dor, one; the king of the people of Gilgal, one; the king of Tirzah, one; all the kings, thirty-one.

a. These descriptions are also important because they make it clear that these things happened in real time, and in real space. These are not fairy tales that begin with "once upon a time," this is history that begins with specific places and people and rulers.

b. As well, it was a way that Israel could forever remember the great things God had done for them. "Sometimes in the course of human experience it is good to sit down and reflect on what has been conquered by the grace of God." (Redpath)

c. With all these kings conquered - with every one of these "principalities and powers" over the land defeated - there is no doubt that the land belongs to Israel, but the individual tribes still have much to possess for their own.


Copyright Statement
David Guzik's Commentaries on the Bible are reproduced by permission of David Guzik, Siegen, Germany. All other rights reserved.

Bibliography Information
Guzik, David. "Commentary on Joshua 12". "David Guzik's Commentaries
on the Bible". <http://classic.studylight.org/com/guz/view.cgi?book=jos&chapter=012>. 1997-2003.  

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