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Now these are the kings of the land whom the children of Israel struck, and they possessed their land beyond the Jordan toward the sunrise, from the Arnon River valley to Mount Hermon and all the east side of the Arabah: Bible

“Now these are the kings of the land whom the children of Israel struck.” Joshua 12 contains a summary of the conquests of Israel. The description is divided into two parts, the east of Jordan, then the west of Jordan. The repetition of the word “king” over and over is emphatic and suggests the subjugation and removal of human kings and human rule and government when the inheritance is given to Yahweh’s people. The men that humans call kings are removed. Eventually, all over the earth man’s kings and rulers will be removed and Yahweh will give authority to His Son.

“beyond the Jordan toward the sunrise.” The phrase “beyond the Jordan” in this context means to the east of the Jordan River; on the east side of the Jordan River. Israel was now west of the Jordan River, in the land promised to Abraham, so “beyond the Jordan” meant east of the Jordan River. The phrase “beyond the Jordan” gets used both to mean the east side of the Jordan and to mean the west side of the Jordan; the reader must determine the perspective of the writer in any given context. Joshua 12:1-6 describes the territory that Israel inherited east of the Jordan River, while Joshua 12:7-24 describes the territory that Israel inherited west of the Jordan River.


Commentary for: Joshua 12:1