Reuben, Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh inherited the land east of the Jordan. “Nevertheless the children of Israel did not drive out the Geshurites or the Maachathites, but the Geshurites and the Maachathites dwell among the Israelites until this day.” Remember the Lord instructed the Israelites over and over again to drive the people out of the land and not to commingle with those walking outside the presence of the Lord. As with any other disobedience, there will be consequences to their failure to drive the people out of the land.
The remaining nine and half tribes will inherit the land west of the Jordan. “For Moses had given the inheritance of the two tribes and the half-tribe on the other side of the Jordan; but to the Levites he had given no inheritance among them. For the children of Joseph were two tribes: Manasseh and Ephraim. And they gave no part to the Levites in the land, except cities to dwell in, with their common-lands for their livestock and their property.” The Levites will be scattered amongst the tribes of Israel in order to minister to and serve the people.
The first to receive the land inheritance west of the Jordan is the faithful spy Caleb from the tribe of Judah. Caleb steps forward and requests to be given the land in Hebron where the descendants of Anak live. Remember when the twelve spies initially went to scout out the land they came back and ten of the twelve spies said, “There we saw the giants (the descendants of Anak came from giants); and we were like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight” (Numbers 13:33). Caleb, now eighty-five years old, is as strong as he was at the age of forty when he first scouted out the land, and he is just as faithful. Caleb is basically saying that this grasshopper is going to take down the Anakim because he trusts the Lord – “Now therefore, give me this mountain of which the Lord spoke in that day; for you heard in that day how the Anakim were there, and that the cities were great and fortified. It may be that the Lord will be with me, and I shall be able to drive them out as the Lord said.” And that he did!
Then Caleb says, “He who attacks Kirjath Sepher and takes it, to him I will give Achsah my daughter as wife.” Othniel, Caleb’s nephew, conquers Kirjath Sepher and as a reward he is given Caleb’s daughter in marriage. Othniel will show up again later in the story in the Judges Era as Israel’s first judge. But first, the remaining tribes have to settle into the land, so keep reading. (Joshua 12:7-15:19)