Clarke's Bible Commentary - Joshua 13:6 Verse 6. Misrephoth-maim] See on chap. xi. 7.
These will I drive out] That is, if the Israelites continued to be obedient; but they did not, and therefore they never fully possessed the whole of that land which, on this condition alone, God had promised them: the Sidonians were never expelled by the Israelites, and were only brought into a state of comparative subjection in the days of David and Solomon. Some have taken upon them to deny the authenticity of Divine revelation relative to this business, "because," say they, "God is stated to have absolutely promised that Joshua should conquer the whole land, and put the Israelites in possession of it." This is a total mistake. 1. God never absolutely, i.e., unconditionally, promised to put them in possession of this land. The promise of their possessing the whole was suspended on their fidelity to God. They were not faithful, and therefore God was not bound by his promise to give them any part of the land, after their first act of national defection from his worship. 2. God never said that Joshua should conquer the whole land, and give it to them; the promise was simply this: "Thou shalt bring them into the land, and thou shalt divide it among them:" both of which he did, and procured them footing by his conquests, sufficient to have enabled them to establish themselves in it for ever. 3. It was never said, Thou shalt conquer it all, and then divide it; no.
Several of the tribes, after their quota was allotted them, were obliged to drive out the ancient inhabitants. See on chap. xi. 18.
John Gill's Bible Commentary Ver. 6. All the inhabitants of the hill country , etc.] Not in Judea, but in and about Lebanon, as follows: from Lebanon unto Misrephothmaim ; of which (see Joshua 11:8); [and] all the Sidonians ; the inhabitants of the ancient city of Sidon, and the villages and lands belonging to it: these remained unconquered, and never were possessed by the Israelites: them will I drive out from before the children of Israel : which, though it may have a special respect unto the Sidonians, with whom the clause is closely connected, yet may include all the above lands unconquered, out of which, as well as Sidon, the Lord promises to drive the inhabitants, to make way for the children of Israel; that is, on condition of their obedience, for it appears that not only the Sidonians, but many others, even the chief, and most of those mentioned, were never possessed by them: only divide thou it by lot unto the Israelites for an inheritance ; that is, the whole land, as Abarbinel rightly remarks, both what was subdued and what was not; that was the business, and all the business, Joshua had now to do; he was not to be employed in making any further conquests, but leave them to others, and apply himself to the division of the land, by lot, to the tribes that as yet had no portion assigned them: as I have commanded thee ; now, at this time.
Matthew Henry Commentary Verses 1-6 - At this chapter begins the account of the dividing of the land of Canaan among the tribes of Israel by lot; a narrative showing the performance of the promise made to the fathers, that this land shoul be given to the seed of Jacob. We are not to pass over these chapter of hard names as useless. Where God has a mouth to speak, and a hand to write, we should find an ear to hear, and an eye to read; and may God give us a heart to profit! Joshua is supposed to have been about on hundred years old at this time. It is good for those who are old an stricken in years to be put in remembrance of their being so. God considers the frame of his people, and would not have them burdene with work above their strength. And all people, especially old people should set to do that quickly which must be done before they die, les death prevent them, Ec 9:10. God promise that he would make the Israelites masters of all the countries yet unsubdued, through Joshu was old, and not able to do it; old, and not likely to live to see it done. Whatever becomes of us, and however we may be laid aside a despised, broken vessels, God will do his own work in his own time. We must work out our salvation, then God will work in us, and work with us; we must resist our spiritual enemies, then God will tread the under our feet; we must go forth to our Christian work and warfare then God will go forth before us.
Original Hebrew כל 3605 ישׁבי 3427 ההר 2022 מן 4480 הלבנון 3844 עד 5704 משׂרפת מים 4956 כל 3605 צידנים 6722 אנכי 595 אורישׁם 3423 מפני 6440 בני 1121 ישׂראל 3478 רק 7535 הפלה 5307 לישׂראל 3478 בנחלה 5159 כאשׁר 834 צויתיך׃ 6680