Bible Commentaries

Joshua 21

Verses 1-45

Jacob's prophecy concerning Simeon and Levi: I will divide them in Jacob, And scatter them in Israel, was fulfilled in the case of Levi in the distribution of the tribe through all the other tribes. What sounded like a curse thus proved to be a blessing. The presence of the Levites everywhere was intended to serve as a perpetual witness to the relation of the nation to God.

This second division of the Book of Joshua dealing with the settlement of the people ends with a statement that Jehovah gave and they possessed the land. His promises to them had been fulfilled. No man had been able to stand before them. Their enemies had been wholly delivered into their hands. Their responsibilities, however, had not been completely fulfilled. Not yet were all their enemies driven out. Not yet had they fully possessed their possessions. As a matter of fact, they never did completely realize the purpose of God in these matters. The failure, however, was wholly due to their own disobedience, and so the record at this point fittingly closes with the declaration of the fidelity of God "There failed not aught of any good thing which Jehovah had spoken unto the house of Israel; all came to pass." Failure to possess what God gives is always due to His people and is never the result of His unwillingness or weakness.