THE ISRAELITES have crossed the Jordan and defeated the giant clans in two separate campaigns through the hill countries of Judah and Israel. Today we look at the division of Canaan among the 9-1/2 tribes still waiting to occupy their inheritance. (Remember, Reuben, Gad and half of Manasseh took their shares east of the Jordan.)
We struggle through long lists of Hebrew names as we read the catalog of cities and kings that would be subject to the Israelites. We also discuss the faith of Caleb in asking for Hebron, a city owned by the Anakim (descendants of the Nephilim), as his family’s portion, and contrast that with the complaints of the tribe of Ephraim and the half-tribe of Manasseh, who were apparently unhappy with their allotment because the Canaanites in the lowlands had iron chariots and the hill country was full of trees.
For great maps to help visualize the locations described in the Bible, see this collection of maps in the public domain and these high-resolution Bible study maps.
THE PROMISE of God to Abraham was fulfilled through Isaac and Jacob. That is made clear in the chapters we studied this week, Genesis 23 through 26.
This week, we look at the death of Sarah, the faithfulness of the servant of Abraham (possibly Eliezer of Damascus) who traveled more than 500 miles on camelback to Aram-Naharaim to find a wife for Isaac. We examine the place and the people where Abraham purchased land for a burial tomb, Esau’s disposition of his birthright, and another example of the anxieties those chosen by God to bring forth His plans as Isaac repeats the lie of his father, calling his wife his “sister” while living in the land of Abimelech, the king of Gerar.
The map at left shows the routes traveled by Abraham (we subscribe to the Northern Route theory, marked in red), his servant, and Jacob as they traveled to and from Abraham’s ancestral homeland in what is today southeastern Turkey.