Study Guide

Book of Joshua Chapter 15

Chapter 15

Marrying Your Cousin Is The Cool Thing To Do

  • Chapter 15 is the real juicy center of the Book of Joshua.
  • Okay—not really. That's a total lie.
  • This chapter mainly concerns the geography of Canaan and the divvying up of land amongst the remaining tribes. Prepare to be wowed.
  • The geography is described counter-clockwise using Judah as the starting point.
  • We're not sure why it's told south, east, north, and west, but it is. Maybe it's because the sun sets in the west? Let's go with that.
  • We're not going to bore you with the written geography of Canaan when you can look at this handy dandy map (1-12).
  • Verses 13-19 take a break from the geography lesson (thank goodness) and give us vignettes about Judah's heroes.
  • Remember from the previous chapter that the tribe of Judah is given the land of Hebron.
  • Joshua gives Caleb part of Hebron. Caleb promptly drives out the three sons of Anak—Sheshai, Ahiman, and Talmai—before marching on Debir, the city formally known as Kiriath Sepher.
  • Instead of taking Debir himself, though, Caleb offers his daughter, Achsah, to whoever defeats the city. Gee thanks, Dad.
  • Surprise! Caleb's nephew, Othniel, is totally up for the challenge. He takes the city and then collects his wife/cousin. Good times.
  • Achsah, totally cool with marrying her cousin but not with living in the desert, asks her dad for land with springs of water.
  • Caleb, being a reasonable fellow, gives her the land with upper and lower springs (13-19).
  • The narrative resumes listing the towns of Judah (20-62). If only we could get Patrick Stewart or Morgan Freeman to read it out loud for us. Those two can make anything interesting.
  • The chapter ends with an explanation that the people of Judah could not drive the Jebusites out of Jerusalem (63).
  • That's totally okay though. We know from 2 Samuel 5:6-9 that David will totally capture that city and make it the capital of Israel.

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