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Go to Bible: Joshua 18
“Shiloh.” The camp of Israel is now said to be in Shiloh, whereas it was in Gilgal. There is no mention of when or how the move took place.
When Joshua crossed the Jordan River into the Promised Land, the Israelites camped temporarily at Gilgal, and the Tabernacle was with them. But later the Tabernacle with the ark of the covenant was set up at Shiloh (Josh. 18:1, 8, 10; 19:51; Judg. 18:31; 21:19; 1 Sam. 1:3, 24; 3:21; 4:4; Jer. 7:12). The Tabernacle stayed at Shiloh for so long that it seems to have been modified somewhat into a more permanent structure and is actually called a “Temple” (1 Sam. 1:9; 3:3). The ark of the covenant was taken from the Tabernacle when Israel fought with the Philistines, and it was captured by the Philistines, and that was the last time the Tabernacle and ark were together (1 Sam. 4:3-11). The Israelites apparently felt that the Tabernacle was in danger at Shiloh, so it was taken without the ark to Nob (1 Sam. 21:1-9). Then, when Saul killed the priests at Nob (1 Sam. 22:11-19), the Tabernacle was taken to Gibeon (1 Chron. 16:39). It was there at Gibeon until Solomon finished the Temple in Jerusalem, at which time it was placed in storage in the Temple.
[For more on Shiloh and the Tabernacle, see commentary on Jer. 26:6, “Shiloh.”]
“the Tent of Meeting.” The “Tabernacle” (“Dwelling Place”) is also referred to as the “Tent of Meeting” because it was the place where people met with God. The Hebrew phrase is 'ohel mo'ed, in which 'ohel (#0168) means “tent,” and is followed by mo'ed (#04150 מוֹעֵד or מֹעֵד) which means a “meeting” or a “place for a meeting.” Thus the 'ohel mo'ed is the “Tent of Meeting” (see commentary on Exod. 27:21).
“since the land was subdued before them.” There is a subtle parallel here to Genesis 1:28, where God said to be fruitful and multiply and “subdue” the earth. Now Joshua and his army had “subdued” the Promised Land.(top)
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“divide it among themselves.” The verb is reflexive, and it indicates a degree of participation and agreement among the representatives from each tribe.
“Judah is to remain...Joseph is to remain.” Judah and Joseph had already received their territories at this time, and they were to remain in them and not expect a change of border.(top)
“here.” In Shiloh where the Tent of Meeting was at the time.
“cast lots.” The Hebrew is “throw a lot,” but the singular verb is likely a collective singular. By using the lot, the decision about which tribe got which land area was up to Yahweh (cp. Prov. 16:33).(top)
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“fell.” The lot “fell” between Judah and Joseph.(top)
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“Luz (which is Bethel).” It is important that the border of Benjamin went on the south side of Bethel because Bethel was in Ephraim, just to the north of Benjamin.
“Lower Beth-horon.” Lower Beth-horon lies just to the west of Upper Beth-horon and a mountain lies just to the south and between them. This is very easy to see if one is in the land of Israel.(top)
“forming the west side.” When the border turns south, it forms the west side border of the tribe of Benjamin.
“near.” Literally, “upon the face,” which in this context means “near” (cp. NET Bible).
“and ended at Kiriath-baal.” The west border of Benjamin ended on the north side of Kiriath-baal, which means “the city of Baal,” which was probably a center of Baal worship.(top)
“The south side.” That is, the south side of the tribe of Benjamin.
“went out to the spring.” The border is now traveling east (a little southeast).
“spring of the Waters of Nephtoah.” This spring is just on the outskirts of the modern city of Jerusalem. This description, that the border of Benjamin goes from the Waters of Nephtoah to Kiriath-jearim is exactly the opposite of the description of the north border of Judah, which runs from Nephtoah to Kiriath-jearim (Josh. 15:9)(top)
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“Geliloth.” This is called “Gilgal” in Joshua 15:7.
“in front of the ascent of Adummim.” Geliloth/Gilgal is “in front of” the ascent of Adummim. The meaning of the Hebrew is not clear, and thus “in front of” can here mean to the east of or to the south of Gilgal. The location of this Gilgal is uncertain. This could be a different Gilgal than the one where Israel had its camp near Jericho.
“Bohan the son of Reuben.” See Joshua 15:6.(top)
“Beth-arabah.” Mentioned in Joshua 15:61 and Joshua 18:22, and called Beth-arabah in both places. Beth-arabah is in Judah, but so much on the border that the city was listed as part of Benjamin (Josh. 18:22).(top)
“Beth-hoglah.” This is a city in Benjamin (cp. Josh. 18:19), but the border of Judah was close (Josh. 15:6).
“north bay.” This refers to the north basin of the Dead Sea.(top)
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“Emek-keziz.” The location of Emek-keziz is unknown, and the name only occurs here.(top)
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