Joshua, Judah, Judges, Jerusalem and Jebusites.By Rabbi Jack Abramowitz
The Navi now details the land given to each Tribe. Judah’s territory was in the south. It extended from the Mediterranean Sea on the west to the Dead Sea on the east. Jerusalem was at the northern end of Judah’s territory, which extended southward into the Negev desert.
The division of the land started with Judah because Caleb was from the Tribe of Judah. Since he approached Joshua to fulfill Moses’ promise in the last chapter, Joshua dealt with Judah’s portion first. Giving Caleb Hebron would have been problematic if Judah were not assigned the portion in which it fell. However, it was G-d’s will that Caleb receive Hebron, so Judah did indeed receive the right parcel of land.
Hebron was still occupied by giants when Caleb inherited it. He offered the right to marry his daughter Achsah to whoever removed the giants from the land. Caleb’s half-brother Osniel conquered Hebron and married Achsah. Caleb gave them land containing springs. (This incident actually occurred after the death of Joshua and is recorded chronologically in the Book of Judges.)
The chapter concludes with an extensive list of cities in the portion of Judah. Jerusalem, however, could not be completely conquered in the time of Joshua and the Jebusites continued to maintain a presence there.