The Boundaries Of The Promised Land In Joshua Book Analysis

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The boundaries of the Promised Land in Joshua showed that a decisive military campaign was envisaged, but the settlement was partial (Wenham 1971:144). The next part of the narrative explained how the conquered land was allocated amongst the twelve tribes of Israel. This was followed by the creation of cities of refuge and the allocation of Levitical cities. Finally, the Book concluded with Joshua’s farewell exhortation to Israel at Shechem.

1. Allocation of the Land (Joshua 13-19)
With the completion of the military campaigns, Joshua set himself to the task of allocating the land to the twelve tribes. While it was recorded in the Book of Joshua that the land promised to Abraham was conquered during Joshua's conquest, the historical reality
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Interestingly, the amount of space devoted to the description of the territory of each tribe and the order of presentation corresponded to the importance of that tribe in Israel's history (Madvig 1992:322). The tribe of Levi received no land inheritance because they were set apart for the service of the Tabernacle (Ex 32:29; 38:21; Num 3:45). Instead they were assigned 48 Levitical cities in the territories of the other tribes. With the division of the land, each tribe must take personal responsibility to carry out the following: implement the promises of Moses (Josh 15:13-19; 17:3-6), accept the land given (Josh 16:4), solve tribal dissatisfaction (Josh 15:19. 17:14-18), create living space for other tribes (Josh 17:14-18), fight for territories still possessed by other people groups (Josh 15:16; 17:18) (Butler 1983:192-193). 2. Creation of Cities of Refuge (Joshua 20)
Cities of refuge were created by God as safe havens for those who committed accidental killings. While capital offences were punishable by death, provision was made to distinguish between premeditated murder and accidental killing, so that those who committed accidental killing could find refuge (Howard 1998:379). The cities of refuge seek to mediate the middle ground between responsibility for killing and prevention of blood vengeance (Butler 1983:217-218).

3. Allocation of Levitical Cities (Joshua
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First of all, Joshua bid farewell to the eastern tribes. As the campaign in the Promised Land came to an end, the eastern tribes comprising of Reuben, Gad and Manasseh returned to their territories in the Transjordan area (Josh 22). Before they crossed the River Jordan, they built an altar at Geliloth as a memorial to remind the future generations that they were also a part of the commonwealth of Israel (Josh 22:24-27). The second farewell took place when Joshua gathered the leaders of Israel to deliver his farewell address (Josh 23). The key elements of Joshua’s address were captured in Joshua 24. It began with a review of Israel's history from the call of Abraham to the present. Then the people responded with their solemn pledge to be faithful to God. Finally, Joshua made a covenant with the Israelites. Joshua 24 formed the heart of the concluding charge of Joshua to the twelve tribes at Shechem. Shechem was chosen as the site for covenant renewal and pledge because of its important place in the patriarchal history. This was where God first promised the land to Abraham (Gen

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