Joshua 21:43 #VOTD | Commentary + Memorization Tutorial (Video)

Verse of the Day 2.26.18: Joshua 21:43

  1. Text
  2. C4C Translation
  3. Commentary
    1. The Promised Land
    2. Rest
    3. Complete Conquest/Rest?
    4. Will We?
  4. Memorization

Today, C4C is studying Joshua 21:43-45. In spite of Israel’s less-than-perfect faithfulness to the covenant instituted at Mount Sinai (Exodus 19f.), God, in His perfect faithfulness to the covenant, fulfilled the promises He had made to the Israelite patriarchs. They were given the Promised Land.1

Text

43 וַיִּתֵּ֤ן יְהוָה֙ לְיִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל אֶת־כָּל־הָאָ֔רֶץ אֲשֶׁ֥ר נִשְׁבַּ֖ע לָתֵ֣ת לַאֲבוֹתָ֑ם וַיִּרָשׁ֖וּהָ וַיֵּ֥שְׁבוּ בָֽהּ׃2

43 So the LORD gave Israel all the land he had sworn to give their ancestors, and they took possession of it and settled there.3





C4C Translation

And the LORD gave to Israel all of the land which He swore to give their ancestors. And they took possession of it and settled in it.

Commentary

The Promised Land

Though there was a conditional component concerning Israelite faithfulness (Num 11:12, 14:16, 23, Deut 1:35, Josh 5:6, etc.), the LORD had promised Abraham (Gen. 12:1–3; 15:18–21; 22:17–18; 24:7), Isaac (Gen 26:3), Jacob and Joseph (Gen 50:24), Moses (Deut. 1:8, 6:10), and Joshua (Josh. 1:2–3, 6, 11, 13, 15; 2:9, 24; 6:2, 16; 8:1, 7; 10:8) that He would give them the land4 “from the Wadi of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates” (Gen 15:18). The people who inhabited the land — the “Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites, Hittites, Perizzites, Rephaites, Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites and Jebusites” (Gen 15:19-21 cf. Josh 3:10, 24:11) — would be dispossessed of their land, and the LORD would give it to the Israelites as an inheritance (Deut 12:9, etc.).

Rest

The LORD also promised to give the Israelites rest from all of their enemies (Deut 12:9-10, Josh 1:13, 15; 22:4; 23:1) cf. Exod 33:14.5

The emphasis on rest from their enemies is illuminated by the chiastic structure of Josh 21:43-45 in which the Hebrew word for all (כֹּל (kōl)) is used six times.

(A) all the land
(B) just as he had sworn to give their forefathers.
(C) Not one of their enemies withstood them,
(C’)The LORD handed all their enemies,
(B’)all the LORD’s good promises
(A’)every one was fulfilled.6

Complete Conquest/Rest?

Many have noticed that Israel did not completely conquer the land (Josh 13:1-7, etc.). Some scholars note that, far from being a contradiction, in Joshua the so-called “legal limits” of the Promised Land are delineated. Others point out that though some individual nations would prove to be problematic, the coalition of foreign nations — previously seen as a “unified force” — were disintegrated.7

Perhaps more importantly, the book of Joshua demonstrates “both the fidelity of God to his promises and the need for his people to lay claim to those promises.”8 That is, although Israel failed to fully appropriate the promises of the LORD, this does not somehow leave His promises invalidated. As scholars note, the “implicit condition” for conquering and keeping the Promised Land — the conquest and rest — is faithful, covenantal obedience. “Israel’s full realization of what is promised is conditional upon the people’s obedience”9 (cf. Ex 19:5, Deut 8:1, etc.).

This rest is “a notion with ever expanding horizons.”10 David was given rest from all of his enemies (2 Sam 7:1) — as was Solomon (1 Ki 5:4).11 Yet, one could argue that the the people of God will not fully appropriate God’s promised rest until the end times. As we read in the New Testament, through Christ, we must endeavor to enter into the Sabbath-rest of God that is promised to us (Heb 4:8-11) — eternal life. For the culmination of the LORD’s rest will take place after “the final victory of Christ…” followed by “…[H]is eternal rule of salvation, health and peace (Isa. 2:1–4; Rev. 19–21).”12

Will We?

In one of Dr. William Lane Craig Defender’s classes,13 I heard the concept of election from an Arminian perspective (corporate election as opposed to individual election) described as that of a will. In a will, a person can, for example, leave an inheritance to their grandchildren — even if their grandchildren are yet to be born. However, the grandchildren need to legally appropriate the inheritance. They have the opportunity to reject or accept what to them has been promised.

Similarly, though God wants all to be saved and partake in His final Sabbath-rest (1 Tim 2:4, 2 Pet 3:9, etc.), in my view (though I am more Molinist (middle knowledge) than Arminian), we need to legally appropriate what has been promised to us — through loving, obedient faith (Jn 3:16, 36, 8:31-32, 14:15, Jn 15:14, Jas 2:26 (for obedient faith (cf. Rom 1:5, 16:26) is the only true faith), 1 Jn 5:3, etc.) with perseverance (Heb 10:36, 39).

The only question is, will we?

Memorization

Memorize Joshua 21:43 after watching a brief video tutorial demonstrating the How to Memorize Any Bible Verse in Less Than Five Minutes method below:

Sources

  1. Richard S. Hess, Joshua: An Introduction and Commentary, vol. 6, Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1996), 312.
  2. Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia: With Werkgroep Informatica, Vrije Universiteit Morphology; Bible. O.T. Hebrew. Werkgroep Informatica, Vrije Universiteit. (Logos Bible Software, 2006), Jos 21:43.
  3. The New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), Jos 21:43.
  4. Richard S. Hess, Joshua: An Introduction and Commentary, vol. 6, Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1996).
  5. Richard S. Hess, Joshua: An Introduction and Commentary, vol. 6, Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1996), 312. Marten H. Woudstra, The Book of Joshua, The New International Commentary on the Old Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1981), 314.
  6. Richard S. Hess, Joshua: An Introduction and Commentary, vol. 6, Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1996), 312.
  7. “The coalitions were defeated. Instead, the challenge of chapters 13–19 would remain. Israel must defend itself against and drive out the isolated pockets of resistance that remain.” Richard S. Hess, Joshua: An Introduction and Commentary, vol. 6, Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1996), 314.
  8. David G. Firth, The Message of Joshua, ed. Alec Motyer and Derek Tidball, The Bible Speaks Today (Nottingham, England: Inter-Varsity Press, 2015), 192.
  9. Andrew C. Bowling, “Joshua,” in Evangelical Commentary on the Bible, vol. 3, Baker Reference Library (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1995), 155.
  10. Marten H. Woudstra, The Book of Joshua, The New International Commentary on the Old Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1981), 314.
  11. Marten H. Woudstra, The Book of Joshua, The New International Commentary on the Old Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1981), 314
  12. Richard S. Hess, Joshua: An Introduction and Commentary, vol. 6, Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1996), 315.
  13. https://www.reasonablefaith.org/podcasts/defenders-podcast-series-2/s2-doctrine-of-salvation/doctrine-of-salvation-part-5/
About @DannyScottonJr 168 Articles
Imperfect servant striving to be an unapologetically apologetic ambassador for Jesus the Christ. Princeton University Alum | Palmer Theological Seminary Student