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Posted by / 16-May-2017 22:45

The description serves a theological function to show how the promise of the land was realized in the biblical narrative; its origins are unclear, but the descriptions may reflect geographical relations among the places named.

The wording of Joshua 18:1-4 suggests that the tribes of Reuben, Gad, Judah, Ephraim and Manasseh received their land allocation some time before the "remaining seven tribes", and a 21-member expedition set out to survey the remainder of the land with a view to organising the allocation to the tribes of Simeon, Benjamin, Asher, Naphtali, Zebulun, Issachar and Dan.

After which Joshua builds an altar to Yahweh at Mount Ebal (northern Canaan) and renews the Covenant.

Then they are circumcised at Gibeath-Haaraloth (translated as hill of foreskins), renamed Gilgal in memory.

Gilgal sounds like Gallothi, I have removed, but is more likely to translate as circle of standing stones.

The tribes to whom Moses had granted land east of the Jordan are authorized to return home to Gilead (here used in the widest sense for the whole Transjordan district), having faithfully 'kept the charge' (Joshua 22:3, English Revised Version) of supporting the tribes occupying Canaan. with very much livestock, with silver, with gold, with bronze, with iron, and with very much clothing" as a reward (Joshua 22:1-9).

Joshua, in his old age and conscious that he is "going the way of all the earth" (Joshua ), gathers the leaders of the Israelites together and reminds them of Yahweh's great works for them, and of the need to love Yahweh (Joshua ).

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