FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 16
SCRIPTURE: Joshua 15
After the fulfillment of God’s promise to Caleb was resolved in the previous chapter, Joshua gets back to the business of allotting the land in Canaan to the eight and one-half tribes. The first tribe that was drawn by lot was Judah which was the largest tribe. The section of land that was drawn by lot was also the largest piece.
One of the interesting things about the piece of land allotted to Judah is it was surrounded by fierce enemies. This would mean that Judah would be in battle mode for a long time even through the time that David would become king. Another interesting thing is Judah was the tribe from which the Messiah would come.
Beginning in verse 13 we are taken back to the story of Caleb. We are given more detail about what Caleb accomplished including driving out three of the giants: Anak, Sheshai, and Ahiman. It was as Caleb continued to fight for the land that he was given that we are introduced to his daughter and her soon to be husband, Othniel. Othniel was actually Caleb’s nephew but he would become his son-in-law. Remember this really wasn’t Arkansas.
Even after the difficult fight Caleb had to capture the land he had been given, his true character came out. He was generous to his new son-in-law. He gave him a field. And then he gave his daughter the upper and lower springs. The water in these springs would have made this place most valuable. And yet we see the generosity of a warrior when Caleb gave her this prime real estate.
I know the boundaries of the land allotted to Judah are difficult for us to follow. Undoubtedly we wonder why such was included in Scripture. For one reason, there needed to be a written account in the same way that we want legal papers, an abstract, and a deed for any land that we have. But it is also evidence that God was true to His Word when He promised long before this chapter ever happened to give this land to His people. It is also evidence that God is a God of order and not confusion. If He had not put this process in place, the tribes of Israel would surely have come to blows fighting for what they thought was the best land.
I thought it might be helpful to include a map of what historians believe the allotment process produced. Maybe this will give you a visual reference for the next few chapters: