Joshua – Lesson 15 - Joshua Chapter 15:1 through 16:10



Last week we saw Joshua dividing the land for an inheritance among the tribes of Israel. Most of the divisions were done by lot making it God who chose out who would receive each section of the land to eliminate any favoritism to any man or specific tribe. This week we see the beginning of the allotments of the land to the first two tribes.


I. The First of the Land to Be Given

The first two tribes to have made known to them their allotments were Judah and Joseph.

Josh 15:1 This then was the lot of the tribe of the children of Judah by their families; even to the border of Edom the wilderness of Zin southward was the uttermost part of the south coast.

Josh 15:2 And their south border was from the shore of the salt sea, from the bay that looketh southward:

Josh 15:3 And it went out to the south side to Maalehacrabbim, and passed along to Zin, and ascended up on the south side unto Kadeshbarnea, and passed along to Hezron, and went up to Adar, and fetched a compass to Karkaa:

Josh 15:4 From thence it passed toward Azmon, and went out unto the river of Egypt; and the goings out of that coast were at the sea: this shall be your south coast.

Josh 15:5 And the east border was the salt sea, even unto the end of Jordan. And their border in the north quarter was from the bay of the sea at the uttermost part of Jordan:

Josh 15:6 And the border went up to Bethhogla, and passed along by the north of Betharabah; and the border went up to the stone of Bohan the son of Reuben:

Josh 15:7 And the border went up toward Debir from the valley of Achor, and so northward, looking toward Gilgal, that is before the going up to Adummim, which is on the south side of the river: and the border passed toward the waters of Enshemesh, and the goings out thereof were at Enrogel:

Josh 15:8 And the border went up by the valley of the son of Hinnom unto the south side of the Jebusite; the same is Jerusalem: and the border went up to the top of the mountain that lieth before the valley of Hinnom westward, which is at the end of the valley of the giants northward:

Josh 15:9 And the border was drawn from the top of the hill unto the fountain of the water of Nephtoah, and went out to the cities of mount Ephron; and the border was drawn to Baalah, which is Kirjathjearim:

Josh 15:10 And the border compassed from Baalah westward unto mount Seir, and passed along unto the side of mount Jearim, which is Chesalon, on the north side, and went down to Bethshemesh, and passed on to Timnah:

Josh 15:11 And the border went out unto the side of Ekron northward: and the border was drawn to Shicron, and passed along to mount Baalah, and went out unto Jabneel; and the goings out of the border were at the sea.

Josh 15:12 And the west border was to the great sea, and the coast thereof. This is the coast of the children of Judah round about according to their families.

We see from these verses that Judah was given his portion in the southern part of Canaan. Joseph received his in the northern part of Canaan. Seeing all of these names mentioned may not make for interesting reading, but God has a reason for every scripture that was written. These show how that God did exactly as He had promised, from the time of Abraham on through the promises to Moses.

2 Pet 1:21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved

2 Tim 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

2 Tim 3:17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

Josh 15:13 And unto Caleb the son of Jephunneh he gave a part among the children of Judah, according to the commandment of the LORD to Joshua, even the city of Arba the father of Anak, which city is Hebron.

Josh 15:14 And Caleb drove thence the three sons of Anak, Sheshai, and Ahiman, and Talmai, the children of Anak.

We see in verse 13 that Caleb received a personal portion. Caleb inherited also with the tribe of Judah, for this was his tribe. Remember how that in Chapter 14 we read that Moses told Caleb that he could have this portion.

Josh 14:9 And Moses sware on that day, saying, Surely the land whereon thy feet have trodden shall be thine inheritance, and thy children's for ever, because thou hast wholly followed the LORD my God.

Does God award faithfulness in the child of God? Absolutely. We may never see land given to us like Caleb received, but we will certainly be given rewards for our faithfulness down here. It may come in this life, or in the next. There is a crown of life that we will receive one day if we have been faithful. We can be certain that we have a God that will reward those disciples that are faithful. Man may promise us much and never deliver. God does exactly what He promises.

Rev 2:10 Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.

Mat 19:29 And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.

Mat 19:30 But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first.

We see in verse 14 of our text that Caleb wen in and drove out the three sons of Anak from the land. We remember from our earlier study that these were giants in the land.


II. Caleb's Daughters

Josh 15:15 And he went up thence to the inhabitants of Debir: and the name of Debir before was Kirjathsepher.

Josh 15:16 And Caleb said, He that smiteth Kirjathsepher, and taketh it, to him will I give Achsah my daughter to wife.

Caleb promises his daughter Achsah to the man who would take Kirjath-sepher. It is interesting to note that in the east, the rather was regarded as having the right to dispose of his daughter, and it was their custom for the father to select the husband without consulting with her. Thinking on this last night made me wonder if this might make the father's feel better when it came time for the daughter to be married. Seems like no man is really worthy of your daughter, but I think I'm glad it is not still my responsibility to find the right man. Every father wants his daughter to be happy.

1 Sam 17:25 And the men of Israel said, Have ye seen this man that is come up? surely to defy Israel is he come up: and it shall be, that the man who killeth him, the king will enrich him with great riches, and will give him his daughter, and make his father's house free in Israel.

Kirjath-sepher was a city of the Anakims, one that was difficult to approach. It was situated on a hill. In verse 15 it says "He went up" indicating the city was on a hill. For any man to take up Caleb on this offer, he would have to be a brave man. Any man that brave would certainly be a worthy husband of Caleb's daughter. The challenge was great, but no matter how difficult it may be, God provides us with strength to meet the need when we look to Christ for help.

Phil 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

The challenge that Caleb put forth was taken by Othniel, Caleb's own nephew. It appears that bravery and ability to fight ran in Joshua's family. We see in Judges that Otheniel in his later years, became a deliverer and judge in Israel.

Judg 3:9 And when the children of Israel cried unto the LORD, the LORD raised up a deliverer to the children of Israel, who delivered them, even Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb's younger brother.

Judg 3:10 And the spirit of the LORD came upon him, and he judged Israel, and went out to war: and the LORD delivered Chushanrishathaim king of Mesopotamia into his hand; and his hand prevailed against Chushanrishathaim.

What a blessing to have the Spirit of the Lord upon you. The example of Othniel should encourage the young people of our church to do all they can for the Lord while they are young. David was still but a lad when he went out and fought the Philistine Giant, Goliath. If we will be willing to be used of the Lord when we are young, who knows what God may have in store for us as we grow up.

Perhaps you were thinking like I that a cousins certainly should not marry. And today, that is true. But back in those days, there was nothing in Mosaic Law that forbade the marrying of cousins. It might have been that Othniel was already in love with Caleb's daughter before the challenge was issued.

For Othniel, to marry the daughter of the man who was the chief of the tribe would be a great honor and privilege. And for you and I, to marry another of like faith is a very big blessing. So many never consider God when they look to find a mate for life, but we ought to look to God for guidance before we even consider.

2 Cor 6:14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?

This verse goes beyond just marriage, but in our daily walk of life we should not be tied to those that are Christ rejecters. But if that is the case, how much more so should we never marry a non-Christian. And if you don't marry one of a like faith, you need to decide when and how your children will be raised. After the fact is normally too late if you are thinking straight and want the very best for your children.

I believe we can be sure that Caleb's daughter was brought up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

Eph 6:4 And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

A woman such as this, the daughter of the chief of the tribe, one that was raised up in the teachings of the Lord, would be far desired over one with much money. Money can buy a lot of things in this life, but it doesn't bring peace nor happiness. And it certainly can not buy true love, the kind that comes down from the Father. Our love may never touch this great love, but our love for our mate should be a pure and perfect love to honor and glorify the heavenly Father.


III. Request for a Certain Land

Josh 15:17 And Othniel the son of Kenaz, the brother of Caleb, took it: and he gave him Achsah his daughter to wife.

Josh 15:18 And it came to pass, as she came unto him, that she moved him to ask of her father a field: and she lighted off her ass; and Caleb said unto her, What wouldest thou?

Josh 15:19 Who answered, Give me a blessing; for thou hast given me a south land; give me also springs of water. And he gave her the upper springs, and the nether springs.

We see in these verses that it says "she cam unto him" speaking of Achsah coming unto Othniel, her husband. It appears that she respected Othniel as her head, and that honored God in obeying the scriptures. Many today do not want to come under the obedience of the husband in the home, but God ordained the family in a certain way.

1 Cor 11:2 Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you.

1 Cor 11:3 But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.

The man is to be the head of the family, but in a loving, nurturing way, loving his wife as Christ loved the church.

Achsah also showed respect and reverence for her father.

Eph 6:1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.

Eph 6:2 Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise;

Eph 6:3 That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.


Gen 24:64 And Rebekah lifted up her eyes, and when she saw Isaac, she lighted off the camel.

Gen 24:65 For she had said unto the servant, What man is this that walketh in the field to meet us? And the servant had said, It is my master: therefore she took a veil, and covered herself.

Caleb knew that his daughter desired to ask him for some favor, because he asked her "What wouldest thou?"

Achsah asked for springs of water because it would add to the comfort of her settlement. She showed wisdom in not asking for jewels or servants for her own benefit. She looked for the thing which were necessary. Land without water is of little value, and can produce very little in the way of crops or cattle.

We know when Solomon came before the Lord and made his request for wisdom, that God was moved by his request. And not only granted him wisdom greater than any other earthly king before him, but also gave him great riches.

Josh 15:20 This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Judah according to their families.

Josh 15:21 And the uttermost cities of the tribe of the children of Judah toward the coast of Edom southward were Kabzeel, and Eder, and Jagur,

Josh 15:22 And Kinah, and Dimonah, and Adadah,

Josh 15:23 And Kedesh, and Hazor, and Ithnan,

Josh 15:24 Ziph, and Telem, and Bealoth,

Josh 15:25 And Hazor, Hadattah, and Kerioth, and Hezron, which is Hazor,

Josh 15:26 Amam, and Shema, and Moladah,

Josh 15:27 And Hazargaddah, and Heshmon, and Bethpalet,

Josh 15:28 And Hazarshual, and Beersheba, and Bizjothjah,

Josh 15:29 Baalah, and Iim, and Azem,

Josh 15:30 And Eltolad, and Chesil, and Hormah,

Josh 15:31 And Ziklag, and Madmannah, and Sansannah,

Josh 15:32 And Lebaoth, and Shilhim, and Ain, and Rimmon: all the cities are twenty and nine, with their villages:

Josh 15:33 And in the valley, Eshtaol, and Zoreah, and Ashnah,

Josh 15:34 And Zanoah, and Engannim, Tappuah, and Enam,

Josh 15:35 Jarmuth, and Adullam, Socoh, and Azekah,

Josh 15:36 And Sharaim, and Adithaim, and Gederah, and Gederothaim; fourteen cities with their villages:

Josh 15:37 Zenan, and Hadashah, and Migdalgad,

Josh 15:38 And Dilean, and Mizpeh, and Joktheel,

Josh 15:39 Lachish, and Bozkath, and Eglon,

Josh 15:40 And Cabbon, and Lahmam, and Kithlish,

Josh 15:41 And Gederoth, Bethdagon, and Naamah, and Makkedah; sixteen cities with their villages:

Josh 15:42 Libnah, and Ether, and Ashan,

Josh 15:43 And Jiphtah, and Ashnah, and Nezib,

Josh 15:44 And Keilah, and Achzib, and Mareshah; nine cities with their villages:

Josh 15:45 Ekron, with her towns and her villages:

Josh 15:46 From Ekron even unto the sea, all that lay near Ashdod, with their villages:

Josh 15:47 Ashdod with her towns and her villages, Gaza with her towns and her villages, unto the river of Egypt, and the great sea, and the border thereof:

Josh 15:48 And in the mountains, Shamir, and Jattir, and Socoh,

Josh 15:49 And Dannah, and Kirjathsannah, which is Debir,

Josh 15:50 And Anab, and Eshtemoh, and Anim,

Josh 15:51 And Goshen, and Holon, and Giloh; eleven cities with their villages:

Josh 15:52 Arab, and Dumah, and Eshean,

Josh 15:53 And Janum, and Bethtappuah, and Aphekah,

Josh 15:54 And Humtah, and Kirjatharba, which is Hebron, and Zior; nine cities with their villages:

Josh 15:55 Maon, Carmel, and Ziph, and Juttah,

Josh 15:56 And Jezreel, and Jokdeam, and Zanoah,

Josh 15:57 Cain, Gibeah, and Timnah; ten cities with their villages:

Josh 15:58 Halhul, Bethzur, and Gedor,

Josh 15:59 And Maarath, and Bethanoth, and Eltekon; six cities with their villages:

Josh 15:60 Kirjathbaal, which is Kirjathjearim, and Rabbah; two cities with their villages:

Josh 15:61 In the wilderness, Betharabah, Middin, and Secacah,

Josh 15:62 And Nibshan, and the city of Salt, and Engedi; six cities with their villages.

We see the people receiving their inheritance by name. While the names might not today mean a lot to us, each of these families were blessed of God with an inheritance, and their names are written in the Bible forever. What a blessing of God to be named.


IV. The Jebusites

Josh 15:63 As for the Jebusites the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the children of Judah could not drive them out: but the Jebusites dwell with the children of Judah at Jerusalem unto this day.

As far as the Jebusites, the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the children of Judah could not drive them out. Because of this, they are still there in Jerusalem today living with the descendants of Judah.

Judg 1:8 Now the children of Judah had fought against Jerusalem, and had taken it, and smitten it with the edge of the sword, and set the city on fire.

Judg 1:9 And afterward the children of Judah went down to fight against the Canaanites, that dwelt in the mountain, and in the south, and in the valley.

We see in these verses from Judges that the children of Judah had fought against Jerusalem and had taken it. They smote it with the edge of the sword and set the city on fire. From verse 9, we conclude that for the next few years, while Israel was occupied in conquering other parts of the country, the Jebusites recovered the fort of Mt. Zion. It remained in their hands until the time of David.

2 Sam 5:6 And the king and his men went to Jerusalem unto the Jebusites, the inhabitants of the land: which spake unto David, saying, Except thou take away the blind and the lame, thou shalt not come in hither: thinking, David cannot come in hither.

2 Sam 5:7 Nevertheless David took the strong hold of Zion: the same is the city of David.


V. The Land Divided – Manesseh and Epraim

Josh 16:1 And the lot of the children of Joseph fell from Jordan by Jericho, unto the water of Jericho on the east, to the wilderness that goeth up from Jericho throughout mount Bethel.

Josh 16:2 And goeth out from Bethel to Luz, and passeth along unto the borders of Archi to Ataroth,

Josh 16:3 And goeth down westward to the coast of Japhleti, unto the coast of Bethhoron the nether, and to Gezer: and the goings out thereof are at the sea.

Josh 16:4 So the children of Joseph, Manasseh and Ephraim, took their inheritance.

Josh 16:5 And the border of the children of Ephraim according to their families was thus: even the border of their inheritance on the east side was Atarothaddar, unto Bethhoron the upper;

Josh 16:6 And the border went out toward the sea to Michmethah on the north side; and the border went about eastward unto Taanathshiloh, and passed by it on the east to Janohah;

Josh 16:7 And it went down from Janohah to Ataroth, and to Naarath, and came to Jericho, and went out at Jordan.

Josh 16:8 The border went out from Tappuah westward unto the river Kanah; and the goings out thereof were at the sea. This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Ephraim by their families.

Josh 16:9 And the separate cities for the children of Ephraim were among the inheritance of the children of Manasseh, all the cities with their villages.

We see the order of procedure among the tribes of Israel. Judah first then the sons of Joseph were given the inheritance next.

1 Chr 5:1 Now the sons of Reuben the firstborn of Israel, (for he was the firstborn; but, forasmuch as he defiled his father's bed, his birthright was given unto the sons of Joseph the son of Israel: and the genealogy is not to be reckoned after the birthright.

1 Chr 5:2 For Judah prevailed above his brethren, and of him came the chief ruler; but the birthright was Joseph's:)

We see that Reuben was skipped due to the sin in his life. He was the oldest son of Jacob (Israel).

Gen 29:32 And Leah conceived, and bare a son, and she called his name Reuben: for she said, Surely the LORD hath looked upon my affliction; now therefore my husband will love me.

We see that while Reuben did receive an inheritance, it was far inferior to that of Joseph due to it lying in the wilderness side of Jordan.

Josh 13:7 Now therefore divide this land for an inheritance unto the nine tribes, and the half tribe of Manasseh,

Josh 13:8 With whom the Reubenites and the Gadites have received their inheritance, which Moses gave them, beyond Jordan eastward, even as Moses the servant of the LORD gave them;


Josh 13:15 And Moses gave unto the tribe of the children of Reuben inheritance according to their families.

Josh 13:16 And their coast was from Aroer, that is on the bank of the river Arnon, and the city that is in the midst of the river, and all the plain by Medeba;

Josh 13:17 Heshbon, and all her cities that are in the plain; Dibon, and Bamothbaal, and Bethbaalmeon,

Josh 13:18 And Jahaza, and Kedemoth, and Mephaath,

Josh 13:19 And Kirjathaim, and Sibmah, and Zarethshahar in the mount of the valley,

Josh 13:20 And Bethpeor, and Ashdothpisgah, and Bethjeshimoth,

Josh 13:21 And all the cities of the plain, and all the kingdom of Sihon king of the Amorites, which reigned in Heshbon, whom Moses smote with the princes of Midian, Evi, and Rekem, and Zur, and Hur, and Reba, which were dukes of Sihon, dwelling in the country.

The Ephramites had additional cities given to them besides the lot which fell to them.

Josh 16:10 And they drave not out the Canaanites that dwelt in Gezer: but the Canaanites dwell among the Ephraimites unto this day, and serve under tribute.

In verse 10, the Israelites failed to drive out the Canaanites that dwelt at Gezer. This failure was much worse that that of Judah not recapturing Jerusalem. At least Judah attempted to take back Jerusalem, but the sons of Joseph made no effort to drive out the Canaanites.

They had been commanded to utterly destroy them lest they teach them to follow after their abominations.

Deu 20:16 But of the cities of these people, which the LORD thy God doth give thee for an inheritance, thou shalt save alive nothing that breatheth:

Deu 20:17 But thou shalt utterly destroy them; namely, the Hittites, and the Amorites, the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites; as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee:

Deu 20:18 That they teach you not to do after all their abominations, which they have done unto their gods; so should ye sin against the LORD your God.

The Canaanites were still dwelling in Gezer until the days of Solomon

1 Ki 9:16 For Pharaoh king of Egypt had gone up, and taken Gezer, and burnt it with fire, and slain the Canaanites that dwelt in the city, and given it for a present unto his daughter, Solomon's wife.

1 Ki 9:17 And Solomon built Gezer, and Bethhoron the nether,

The king of Egypt took Gezer and gave it to Solomon who had married the daughter of the king of Egypt.

We see that the failure of God's people to complete the work of God comes back to haunt them many, many times. When we put our hands to the work, may God help us to not do just a little, but to do every bit of the work God puts in front of us.


Internet Bible Studies are prepared and distributed free of charge. The lessons may not be sold without consent. If you have questions or wish to discuss the lessons, or possibly need help in finding Jesus Christ as your Personal Lord and Savior, contact David Parham at 940-322-4343.


e-mail at:

Website: Home Page