Joshua 1:12,15 NASB

[12]To the Reubenites and to the Gadites and to the half-tribe of Manasseh, Joshua said,

[15]until the Lord gives your brothers rest, as He gives you, and they also possess the land which the Lord your God is giving them. Then you shall return to your own land, and possess that which Moses the servant of the Lord gave you beyond the Jordan toward the sunrise."

But we still find the the tribe of Dan seeking its inheritance way after the three tribes had returned to the east of Jordan

Judges 18:1 NASB

[1]In those days there was no king of Israel; and in those days the tribe of the Danites was seeking an inheritance for themselves to live in, for until that day an inheritance had not been allotted to them as a possession among the tribes of Israel.

Did the three tribes disregard Joshua's instructions?


1 Answer 1


OP asks:

Did the three tribes disregard Joshua's instructions?

No. The "two and a half tribes" (as they are consistently called) complete their work with the rest of the Israelites in Joshua 22:

RSV 22:1 Then Joshua summoned the Reubenites, and the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh, 2 and said to them, “You have kept all that Moses the servant of the Lord commanded you, and have obeyed my voice in all that I have commanded you; 3 you have not forsaken your brethren these many days, down to this day, but have been careful to keep the charge of the Lord your God. 4 And now the Lord your God has given rest to your brethren, as he promised them; therefore turn and go to your home in the land where your possession lies, which Moses the servant of the Lord gave you on the other side of the Jordan....” 6 So Joshua blessed them, and sent them away; and they went to their homes.

What happens next is ... interesting, but they do fulfil their obligation, as laid out in Joshua 1, as OP notes. The actions of the "two and a half" tribe have no bearing on the Danite settlement (or its lack -- see Joshua 19:40-48 & Judges 1:34, noting especially Josh 19:47) as narrated in Judges 18.

  • So how do we explain what happened to Dan as witnessed in Judges 18? Did they receive an inheritance and then lose it? It looks to me that you have only answered half of the question.
    – user17080
    Commented May 6, 2017 at 17:27
  • The "two and a half tribes" in Joshua don't include Dan -- looks to me like there's two different questions here. I answered the "title" question. (The "two and a half tribes" -- or "three", as OP calls them -- aren't responsible for the Danite settlement. Josh 13-18 is a little complex on settlements, but OP's concern isn't implicated.
    – Dɑvïd
    Commented May 6, 2017 at 20:44
  • I think that you misunderstood the OP. In Numbers 32 the three tribes promise to cross the Jordan at the head of the army. Joshua 1 expands this commitment to completion of the inheritance (a question in itself). Joshua 22 indicates fulfillment of the commitment, as you correctly show, but then in Judges 18 we see that the commitment isn't fulfilled (or was fulfilled and then Dan lost its inheritance). So there is a contradiction here that requires explanation. That's the intent of the OP.
    – user17080
    Commented May 7, 2017 at 2:14
  • @AbuMunirIbnIbrahim That's not at all how I connect those texts. If you're right, that what you say represents OP's intent, then I would say the question is misconceived. One can ask about the fate of the Danite settlement, OR one can ask about the fidelity of the 2 1/2 tribes -- but to link the former and the latter as OP (and your account) seems to do yields non-sense.
    – Dɑvïd
    Commented May 7, 2017 at 7:46
  • Ok, that's interesting. You and I see completely different questions here. To me the contradiction between Joshua 1:15 and Judges 18:1 is glaring and cries out for explanation. Joshua 19:47 is very unclear about whether Dan actually settled their inheritance, but Joshua 22 goes on its merry way. To me it looks like Joshua is trying to paint a picture of complete victory and compliance, but needs to finesse the fact that Dan never actually settled it inheritance. I see this a duplicate of hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/questions/21871/…
    – user17080
    Commented May 7, 2017 at 8:40

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