This chapter describes the land designated for Reuben, Gad, and half of Manasseh to the east of the Jordan. It’s almost all place names that no one is 100% of the location anymore. It’s also interesting that they bothered recording this, since by the time the Hebrew Bible was finished, those three tribes were no more. Continuing my theory of the Biblical conquest as a ritual reclaiming of the land lost in Exile, maybe this is also intended as a ritual way of “bringing back” the lost tribes.

There’s continuing mentions that the conquest was not as thorough as earlier chapters make it sound. It begins by noting that the Philistines, the Geshurites, the Aviim, and the Sidonians remain to be conquered. It also observes that the Geshurites and the Maacathites who live across the river were never wiped out at all and “live within Israel to this day” (v 13). No negative judgment, just a statement of fact. Did they make alliance with Israel, like the Gibeonites? Or were they a “failure,” one of the bad foreign elements that Deuteronomy blames for Israel’s eventual exile? Geshur and Maacath are only mentioned a few more times after this point in the Bible, and I’ll have to wait until Samuel and Kings to find out more.

The Japanese: ryoushu “feudal lord, liege” (v 3), kawaberi “riverbank, riverside” (9), ittai “whole region” (v 11), daikan “magistrate, bailiff” (v 21), chouson “towns and villages” (v 23), nantan “southern tip” (v 27), shuuraku “village” (v 30).

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