Chapter 12- A list of all the kings the Israelites conquered so far, 31 in total.
That’s a lot of dead people. We only get told about the 31 kings, but one would suspect that all their people got killed as well.
Chapter 13- God lists the remaining territories from which he will drive out the inhabitants. A description of what lands were given to the tribes of Reuben, Gad and half the tribe of Manasseh.
The first verse of this chapter said “Now Joshua was old, advanced in years” then verse 6 says God will drive out the remaining people from the land. I wonder if this means that God will handle the war making instead of the Israelites now that Joshua is too old to lead them in to battle. I can only hope that means I don’t have to read about brutal slaughters any more.
Remember back in Numbers 24 when Balaam the oracle blessed Israel instead of cursing them like Balak wanted? And then Balaam just walked away from the situation like nothing happened? Verse 22 here describes his fate: “The children of Israel also killed with the sword Balaam the son of Beor, the soothsayer, among those who where killed by them.”
So, if you’re not fortunate enough to be born one of God’s chosen people, don’t help them if you want to live. The key to surviving an Israelite invasion is clearly not to bless them and thwart their enemies like Balaam did, but to lie and deceive them like the people from Gibeon did. What a curious message for the Bible to send.
Chapter 14- Caleb asks Joshua to give him the land Moses promised him back when Caleb spied for Israel.
Apparently the land was to be divided by casting lots for it, but Caleb wanted to make sure he got his due. Moses had promised him the land he spied out 45 years ago. Caleb got what he wanted.
Chapter 15- The land the tribe of Judah inherited.
This chapter is really hard to read because it’s full of city names and places I’ve never heard of. Thankfully I found this handy map online, which makes it a lot more clear where all the tribes ended up.
When Caleb settles into his claimed area, he has to drive out some local people, and he asks for help in doing so. “And Caleb said, “He who attacks Kirjath Sepher and takes it, to him I will give Achsah my daughter as a wife.” So Othniel the son of Kenaz, the brother of Caleb, took it’ and he gave him Achsah his daughter as wife.” (16, 17)
Well isn’t that charming? More killing of native people, with a daughter used as a prize, which results in more incest.