Summary Of Joshua's Farewell Of The Promised Land

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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 was that the land was gradually subdued (Jeffers 1969:183).
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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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