Yehoshua Chapter 13
Yehoshua had reached an advanced age but there was still much territory left in Israel to be conquered. This land, still in the hands of its original Canaanite inhabitants, would have to be captured by the Jewish people after Yehoshua’s death. Hashem commanded Yehoshua that, despite the fact that the conquest was not yet complete, he should begin the process of dividing the land amongst the twelve tribes. In so doing, Yehoshua would be finishing a task that was started by Moshe Rabbenu on the eastern side of the Jordan River. After defeating Sihon and Og in the Transjordan, Moshe had distributed their territory to the tribes of Reuven and Gad and half the tribe of Menashe. The chapter provides a detailed description of which portions were allocated to which tribes, and mentions that, even following the conquest led by Moshe himself, some Canaanite inhabitants remained in the area and continued dwelling alongside these tribes. The text notes twice that the tribe of Levi, consecrated to the worship of Hashem, would not receive a portion in the land – service of Hashem and its associated benefits would serve as their inheritance instead.