Joshua 12 – 15

Joshua 11 & 12

  1. Again the aid of a map is needed to follow this summery of a war which lasted several years. Which area is covered here? To what causes was Joshua’s final victory due?
  2. Note the verses which point out the finality and harshness of the treatment which Joshua carried out. Why was this necessary? What spiritual lesson can we learn from this? Cf. Matt. 18:8, 9; Col. 3:5.
  3. Meditate on the statement at the end of chapter 11 in the light of the continued conflict in chapters 13ff. See especially 13:1. In what ways does this history provide encouragement and challenge to us today? Cf. the order and progress of Rom. 6-8.


  1. 11:20. See Deut. 9:4, 5; Gen. 15:16; and cf. Exod. 9:12. The Canaanites, like pharaoh, were in the end provoked to go further on their already self-chosen evil way. This brought their Judgment to a Head.
  2. In 11:21 we read that Joshua cut off the Anakites from Hebron, Debir and other places; in chapters 14 and 15 it is Caleb and Othniel who take Hebron and Debir; while in 10:36-39 we have read that at a still earlier time Joshua took Hebron and Debir, and ‘totally destroyed it and everyone in it’. The Explanation is that those whom Joshua is said to Have killed on the earlier occasion were those whom he captured in the cities when he took them the first time; a considerable part of the population must have fled before he attacked the cities, and must have returned and reoccupied them while he was away in the north. 11:21 describes in summary form operations which covered a long time, and attributes to Joshua as Commander in-Chief what was done by Caleb and others under his orders.


Joshua 13:1-15:12

  1. 13:1-7. Consider how exactly the Lord amplifies the statement at the end of 13:1. Are there in your life blessings promised to us in Christ which are not yet possessed, and remaining enemies to be subdued? Ask him to reveal them to you with similar precision
  2. Note the inheritance given to the different tribes and individuals; notice particularly the contrast between Levi and Caleb, and the reasons given for each. With 14: 6-13, cf. Num.13:17-14:10.


Note. 14:7, 10. These verses, combined with Deut. 2:14, show that the preliminary conquest of the land took seven years.

Joshua 15:13-17:18

  1. Is your environment as unpromising as the arid, giant-ridden Negev seemed to Acsah? If so, compare her attitude with Luke 11:13 and Phil. 4:19, and be thankful!
  2. Whose inheritance is described in today’s section? What attitudes were shown by the tribes and by Joshua? Why were the people of Joseph not praised as Caleb had been (14:13), when they made a particular claim to territory?
  3. Using a concordance, study the character of Ephraim. Do you agree with Ellicott’s statement that ‘They were constantly asserting their right to the supremacy in Israel, without exhibiting any qualification for it’?


Note. 15:63, together with 2 Sam. 5:6, 7, shows that this book was written before David’s time.


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