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Jos 12:1 Now these are the kings of the land whom the children of Israel struck, and possessed their land beyond the Jordan toward the sunrise, from the valley of the Arnon to Mount Hermon, and all the Arabah eastward-
These "Kings of the land" form the basis for the 'kings of the earth' [same Hebrew phrase] of later Biblical prophecy. The reference is to the Canaanite rulers, those who rule in the land promised to Abraham, who are in conflict with Israel- rather than to literally every king of the planet. uses upon. “The LORD was with Joshua; and his fame was noised throughout all the country” (Josh. 6:27), the eretz. Clearly the whole planet didn’t know Joshua had invaded Canaan. Many times in Joshua and Judges we read of the people of the eretz: “For the Canaanites and all the inhabitants of the land [eretz] shall hear of it, and shall environ us round, and cut off our name from the earth [eretz]” (Josh. 7:9). Here the Israelites feared being cut off from their place in the land. They perceived the world / earth to them as the land where their enemies lived. In Josh. 12:1,7 we meet “the kings of the earth”, i.e. of the land, and this must surely be the basis of how we are to understand the references to “the kings of the earth” in Revelation. Dt. 13:7 defines “the peoples which are round about you” [Israel] as being “from the one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth” (RV). Those peoples which bordered with the Israelites were “the earth” / eretz.

Jos 12:2 Sihon king of the Amorites, who lived in Heshbon and ruled from Aroer, which is on the edge of the valley of the Arnon, and the middle of the valley, and half Gilead, even to the river Jabbok, the border of the children of Ammon-
The chapter describes the conquest of two kings (Sihon and Og) to the east of Jordan, and 31 to the West (12:24), making a total of 33 victories against the kings of Canaan- perhaps looking forward to the 33 years of Christ's life in which He overcame every potential obstacle to our inheriting the Kingdom. Their territory is mentioned in such detail in 12:2-5 because the victory against the King of the area meant that Israel were to now go and possess his territory- but they failed to do so fully.

Jos 12:3 and the Arabah to the sea of Chinneroth, eastward, and to the sea of the Arabah, even the Salt Sea, eastward, the way to Beth Jeshimoth; and on the south, under the slopes of Pisgah-
This describes the east side of the Jordan valley. Beth Jeshimoth was where they had encamped in the wilderness (Num. 33:49). Some of the places they had known in their wilderness journeys (cp. our life now after baptism, which is like crossing the Red Sea, 1 Cor. 10:1,2) were revisited and taken by Joshua (Josh. 12:3), and incorporated into God's Kingdom. Perhaps situations and places we know in this life will then become eternally ours when we possess them in God's Kingdom.  

Jos 12:4 and the border of Og king of Bashan, of the remnant of the Rephaim, who lived at Ashtaroth and at Edrei-
Ashtaroth was the capital of Og. We have another example of what was noted on :3. As noted in Num. 21:33; Dt. 3:4,10, some of the places they had known in their wilderness journeys (cp. our life now after baptism, which is like crossing the Red Sea, 1 Cor. 10:1,2) were revisited and taken by Joshua (Josh. 12:4), and incorporated into God's Kingdom. Perhaps situations and places we know in this life will then become eternally ours when we possess them in God's Kingdom.  

Jos 12:5 and ruled in Mount Hermon, and in Salecah, and in all Bashan, to the border of the Geshurites and the Maacathites, and half Gilead, the border of Sihon king of Heshbon-
Geshur was still under local control at the time of David (2 Sam. 13:37). And the other areas listed here also remained the long term homeland of the Moabites and Ammonites. The amazing victories of Joshua personally were simply not possessed or made good by the Israelites, and this was their undoing. It all speaks of the failure of probably trillions of human beings in not making good on the personal conquests and achievements of the Lord Jesus. This wasted potential is one of the most tragic features of human spiritual experience since the Lord's death. He as it were bound the strong man, and we His people are to take the spoils. But most haven't done so.  

Jos 12:6 Moses the servant of Yahweh and the children of Israel struck them. Moses the servant of Yahweh gave it for a possession to the Reubenites, the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh-
We must note the difference between the  Canaanite peoples and their kings being "struck" and their land "taken" by Joshua-Jesus; and the people of Israel permanently taking possession. This is the difference between the Lord's victory on the cross, and our taking possession of the Kingdom. Even though that possession has been "given" to us. The word used for "possession" is literally 'an inheritance'. The allusion is to the people, like us, being the seed of Abraham. The Kingdom was and is our possession, our inheritance- if we walk in the steps of Abraham. But it is one thing to be the seed of Abraham, another to take possession of the inheritance; and Israel generally did not take possession of all the land (Josh. 11:23 13:1; 16:10; 18:3; 23:4). The language of inheritance / possession is applied to us in the New Testament (Eph. 1:11,14; Col. 3:24; Acts 20:32; 26:18; 1 Pet. 1:4 etc.). Israel were promised: "You shall possess it" (Dt. 30:5; 33:23). This was more of a command than a prophecy, for sadly they were "given" the land but did not "possess" it. They were constantly encouraged in the wilderness that they were on the path to possessing the land (Dt. 30:16,18; 31:3,13; 32:47), but when they got there they didn't possess it fully.

Jos 12:7 These are the kings of the land whom Joshua and the children of Israel struck beyond the Jordan westward, from Baal Gad in the valley of Lebanon even to Mount Halak that goes up to Seir-
Note the parallel between Joshua and his people: "Joshua and the children of Israel struck". It looks forward in type to the victory of Jesus against all those obstacles which stand between us and possession of the Kingdom. Cities, confederacies, giants, military power... all these things crumbled before Joshua-Jesus. But tragically, despite all these victories, Israel did not make good on them, and did not possess what Joshua had enabled them to through his victories.

Eph. 1:14 speaks of our having received a guarantee of the "inheritance... of the purchased possession", language which is very much taken from these records of the conquest and possession of Canaan as Israel's inheritance (see too Col. 1:12 "the inheritance of the saints in light", "you shall receive the reward of the inheritance", Col. 3:24). The Abrahamic promises of possessing the gate of Israel's enemies had an initial fulfilment in these conquests of Joshua, just as in a sense we have in Christ already "obtained an inheritance" (Eph. 1:11), by turning to Christ we "receive forgiveness of sins and inheritance among them that are sanctified by faith" (Acts 26:18), "an inheritance among all them that are sanctified" (Acts 20:32). Note that the inheritance is 'among' other believers, just as Israel received an 'inheritance among' their brethren (Num. 26:62; 27:7; 33:54; Dt. 18:2; Josh. 14:3; 16:9; 17:4,6; 19:49 etc.). This emphasis upon 'inheritance among' our brethren shows that the experience of salvation is not a totally personal matter. Salvation is collective, the body of Christ has been saved, and our salvation is by reason of being amongst that body. 1 Pet. 1:4 Gk. speaks of our perpetual ['that fades not away'] inheritance being given to us at Christ's return, although it is now 'reserved in Heaven' for us (note too Heb. 9:15 "the promise of eternal inheritance"). All this is the language of Gen. 17:8 and the Abrahamic covenant.

Joshua gave it to the tribes of Israel for a possession according to their divisions-
Each tribe was divided into divisions, and each division was given a specific land inheritance within the tribal area. But it would seem they generally did not inherit as God intended. Hence Ez. 47:29 uses the same Hebrew words to describe how in the intended establishment of the Kingdom after the return from exile, the land would be "divided by lot unto the tribes of Israel for inheritance, and these are their portions [s.w. 'divisions']". This is how God works- His word comes true, even if His people fail to fulfil His intentions in one generation. His people in Ezekiel's time also failed, and so in essence the intention will still come true in that each of the new Israel will receive a specific, personal inheritance in God's Kingdom. That specific inheritance is analogous to the specific land inheritances intended for each division of Israel's tribes, but in reality the inheritance is redefined in the New Testament [see above] in terms of forgiveness, sanctification etc. This is not to say that we shall not inherit the earth, and specific parts of it [five cities, two cities, in terms of the Lord's parable], but the essence of inheritance is far more than mere land.

Jos 12:8 in the mountains, and in the lowland, and in the Arabah, and in the slopes, and in the wilderness, and in the South; the Hittite, the Amorite, and the Canaanite, the Perizzite, the Hivite and the Jebusite-
The idea is that Joshua secured all the land, of whatever terrain and difficulty, and all the tribes which had been there. That he secured the "mountains" is significant, because it was here to where the local population retreated, and the Israelites allowed them to remain there. They didn't follow up the victories of Joshua, just as we fail to capitalize on those of the Lord Jesus. Seven nations were to be destroyed (Dt. 7:1), but Josh. 12:8 lists six as having been defeated. The Girgashites are omitted from the list there. So it seems that only the Girgashites were completely destroyed as was potentially possible. The remaining six were defeated by Joshua, but remained in the land, to be thorns in the flesh for Israel.

Jos 12:9 the king of Jericho, one; the king of Ai, which is beside Bethel, one-
These kings are listed in the order in which they were defeated: Jericho first (Josh. 6:1) then Ai (Josh. 7:2) etc. There is archeological evidence for the destruction of Jericho and Ai at this time, but not for the rest of the cities mentioned here. This was surely because Israel didn't follow up on the victories Joshua won in battle against their kings. The territory described in this chapter 12, which is a summary of Joshua's campaigns, excludes the territory of the Arameans, Moab, Amalek and Philistia, which were still part of the land promised to Abraham. God as it were reduced the territory He gave to His people because He knew they couldn't cope with it all, and that those nations were too strong for Israel. But still, they failed to inherit all the land, as Judges makes clear. Just as God makes concessions to our weaknesses, giving us what He knows we can conquer, even though we have failed to live up to our maximum potential.

Jos 12:10 the king of Jerusalem, one; the king of Hebron, one-
But Jerusalem was firmly in the hands of the Jebusites by the time of Saul and David. In some areas, the Israelites followed up on Joshua's conquest, e.g. Hebron; but in others, like Jerusalem, they didn't. 

Jos 12:11 the king of Jarmuth, one; the king of Lachish, one-
"Jarmuth" is 'elevated place'. This is significant, because it was to the uplands to where the local population retreated, and the Israelites allowed them to remain there. They didn't follow up the victories of Joshua, just as we fail to capitalize on those of the Lord Jesus.

Jos 12:12 the king of Eglon, one; the king of Gezer, one-
"Eglon" is literally 'the place of the calf', and the same word is used of Jeroboam's golden calves (1 Kings 12:28). Clearly he was mixing Yahweh worship with that of the local paganism which had never been totally eradicated. And this is the abiding temptation for God's people. To worship their own idols in the name of worshipping Yahweh, to mix the flesh and the spirit, to mix paganism with true worship.   

Jos 12:13 the king of Debir, one; the king of Geder, one-
"Geder" is LXX "Gerar", again associating the conquest of the land with the earliest presence of the patriarchs there.

Jos 12:14 the king of Hormah, one; the king of Arad, one-
Zephath ['watchtower'] was renamed Hormah ["devoted"] (Jud. 1:17).  They were supportive of David when on the run from Saul (1 Sam. 30:30). What was taken from the world was devoted to Yahweh by the faithful Israelites involved in this area. And that is an abiding principle. 

Jos 12:15 the king of Libnah, one; the king of Adullam, one-
Adullam was overlooking the valley of Elah, which was in Philistine hands by the time of Saul (1 Sam. 17:19). The history of these towns is a sad testimony to Israel's failure to make good on Joshua's victory.

Jos 12:16 the king of Makkedah, one; the king of Bethel, one-
Bethel reminds us again of the early days of the patriarchs in the land of promise (Gen. 28:19); Israel were being bidden follow in their footsteps.

Jos 12:17 the king of Tappuah, one; the king of Hepher, one-
"Hepher", 'place of shame', was likely renamed that after being conquered by faithful Israelites, who perceived the Biblical connection between "shame" and idolatry.

Jos 12:18 the king of Aphek, one; the king of Lassharon, one-
"Aphek" means 'strong fortress' . The conquests of Joshua look ahead to the conquest of the Lord Jesus over all things which are humanly high and strong (2 Cor. 10:5). 

Jos 12:19 the king of Madon, one; the king of Hazor, one-
One reason we have this list of towns and kings conquered by Joshua might be that his conquest of the land was typical of that to be achieved by the Lord Jesus in the last days. And perhaps then, these places shall have significance. For Jerusalem is to fall and Israel overrun, however briefly, by her enemies- and then reconquered by the return of the Lord Jesus.

Jos 12:20 the king of Shimron Meron, one; the king of Achshaph, one-
We naturally enquire why so much detail is given of towns which are sometimes hard to locate. Perhaps it was to encourage Israel to make good on the victories of Joshua, and to remind them for all time that these towns had indeed been overcome, and they could do likewise in later times.

Jos 12:21 the king of Taanach, one; the king of Megiddo, one-
The victories by Joshua only opened up potentials, because by Jud. 1:27 this was back in Canaanite hands. Israel let the ball drop. As have the body of Christ in many aspects of His victories.

Jos 12:22 the king of Kedesh, one; the king of Jokneam in Carmel, one-
A number of these towns like Kedesh were Levitical cities and some were cities of refuge, perhaps this explains why their conquest is mentioned here.

Jos 12:23 the king of Dor in the height of Dor, one; the king of Goiim in Gilgal, one-
Dor was in Asher (Josh. 11:1,2; 12:23; 17:11; Jud. 1:27,28). Taanach was within either Issachar or Asher (Josh. 17:11,12,25; Jud. 5:19). But these towns were also given to Ephraim (1 Chron. 7:29). As each Israelite was promised some personal inheritance in the land, rather than some blanket reward which the while nation received, so we too have a personal reward prepared. But the precise nature of that reward is as it were negotiable by us now, according to our spiritual ambition. Just as Caleb chose Hebron and secured it for himself.

Jos 12:24 the king of Tirzah, one: all the kings thirty-one.
Tirzah became the early capital of Jeroboam and the ten tribes.