Go and Walk Through the Land and Describe it, and Return to Me - "Crossing the Jordan River" 1st January, 2017 - Shiloh Sunday Service - Pastor James Park

Joshua 18:1-10

1 Then the whole congregation of the sons of Israel assembled themselves at Shiloh, and set up the tent of meeting there; and the land was subdued before them. 2 There remained among the sons of Israel seven tribes who had not divided their inheritance. 3 So Joshua said to the sons of Israel, “How long will you put off entering to take possession of the land which the Lord, the God of your fathers, has given you? 4 Provide for yourselves three men from each tribe that I may send them, and that they may arise and walk through the land and write a description of it according to their inheritance; then they shall return to me. 5 They shall divide it into seven portions; Judah shall stay in its territory on the south, and the house of Joseph shall stay in their territory on the north. 6 You shall describe the land in seven divisions, and bring the description here to me. I will cast lots for you here before the Lord our God. 7 For the Levites have no portion among you, because the priesthood of the Lord is their inheritance. Gad and Reuben and the half-tribe of Manasseh also have received their inheritance eastward beyond the Jordan, which Moses the servant of the Lord gave them.” 8 Then the men arose and went, and Joshua commanded those who went to describe the land, saying, “Go and walk through the land and describe it, and return to me; then I will cast lots for you here before the Lord in Shiloh.” 9 So the men went and passed through the land, and described it by cities in seven divisions in a book; and they came to Joshua to the camp at Shiloh. 10 And Joshua cast lots for them in Shiloh before the Lord, and there Joshua divided the land to the sons of Israel according to their divisions.

The Chronological framework for God’s Covenant

The chronological framework for the covenant of the torch starts with the Exodus from Egypt in 1446 BC where the Israelites came out of Egypt. The one verse in the Bible that sets the whole chronology of the Bible which is found in 1 Kings 6:1-2. In the 4th year of Solomon’s reign as King, the construction of Solomon’s Temple began and that was 480 years since the Exodus of Egypt. The construction of Solomon’s Temple began in 966 BC, and Solomon came to rule in 970 BC which is Solomon’s first year of ascension. In the 4th year, construction began of Solomon’s Temple. Thus if we count backwards from 966 BC for 480 years we can see that this is the precise date of the Exodus in 1446 BC. Thus the Bible is gives precise accurate years of when the Israelites came out of Egypt.

Important dates in the framework of God’s Covenant

Abraham was born in 2166 BC and God ratified the covenant of the torch with Abraham (Gen 15). The year of ratification took place 2082 BC when Abraham was 84 years old. Another important date regarding the covenant of God is the 40 year wilderness journey after the Exodus out of Egypt. Therefore if we subtract 40 years from the year 1446 BC, we get 1406 BC which is the precise year that the children of Israel crossed the River Jordan and entered into Canaan.After entering Canaan, Israel fought against the enemy and conquered it after 16 years. This 16 year period of the conquest of Canaan can be divided into 6 years of war (1400 BC) and 10 years of allotting the land to rest (1390 BC). The conquest of Canaan in 1390 BC is the same year Joshua died and the bones of Joseph were buried in the land of Canaan at Shechem.

Caleb’s life and chronology

After the conquest of Canaan, Caleb asked for the land of Hebron at the age of 85. At Caleb’s request; he reminded Joshua that 45 years ago at the age of 40 years he was sent out as a spy (Josh 14:7-15).After the exodus from Egypt, the tabernacle of God was set up in the wilderness after receiving the Ten Commandments and then the Israelites set out for Kadesh-barnea in 1445 BC, the 2nd year of the exodus from Egypt (Num 10:11). Caleb was 40 years old at this time in the year 1445 BC, 45 years ago. Therefore if we subtract 45 years from 1445 BC, this gives us the year that Caleb was 85 years of age in the year 1400 BC (Joshua 14:10-11). This is also how we get the 6 years of wars in the land of Canaan from 1406 BC to 1400 BC; thus we are able to calculate these dates from Caleb’s life.After conquering the land of Canaan for 6 years at Gilgal, Joshua then moves the tabernacle to Shiloh and from 1400 BC until 1102 BC, Shiloh became the Center for the History of Redemption. Therefore we need to get ready to receive the nations for a great work.

Process of Crossing the Jordan River

In order to cross over the Jordan River we have to first go after the Ark of the covenant (Joshua 3:3). This teaches us that we must follow the Ark and look at it. Secondly, in order to cross over the Jordan we must set up and follow at a distance of 2000 cubits which is about 912 Kilometers (Josh 3:4). The purpose for this distance was to ensure everyone could visibly see the Ark and know where to go which was a new path that God was taking them on. Thirdly, in order to cross over the River Jordan they were to consecrate themselves (Josh 3:5). Here God is saying we must cleanse ourselves in order to be a part of a great work for God; for God does not use dirty vessels (2 Tim 2:20-21). Finally, in order to cross over the River Jordan, the priests are to take up the Ark and go ahead of the people and clear a pathway for them to walk (Josh 3:6).


A seed has to die in the ground in order to bear much fruit (John 12:24). Therefore if we want to bear much fruit, we have to sacrifice, deny ourselves and give. Shiloh has to be able to do all of these things in order to be a headquarters for proclaiming the redemptive history and welcoming foreigners and all nations from around the world.


Created with images by vastateparksstaff - "York River State Park"

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