is going well: “There remained among the people of Israel seven tribes whose
inheritance had not yet been apportioned. So Joshua said to the people of Israel, ‘How long will you put off going in to take possession of the land, which the LORD, the God of your fathers, has given you?’”(Joshua 18:2-3)
What is the reason for this negligence? In part it may be the lifestyle that
they have accepted. They have spent almost their entire lives in the desert. They have grown accustomed to living in tents, not in permanent houses. They know how to raise livestock; the vast majority of them probably have never planted anything. They may be content wandering with their tents in the newly conquered land, shepherding their livestock and feeding from the produce that grew naturally from the orchards and fields that the Canaanites planted in years past. But this is not Yahweh’s vision for their lives. Just as His tabernacle is established in one place, so they will establish themselves also.
They don’t abandon the pastoral life (Joshua 21:42), but notice how they are given cities. They will root themselves in this new land. They will learn to work it so that it produces its fruits. And the Levites will live among them all, fulfilling their
responsibilities of teaching and guiding the people in Yahweh’s law. Continual movement might allow carelessness in the education and application of Yahweh’s law; a sedentary life will permit more opportunities to develop their knowledge of the law and assure that all the members of society live orderly and in obedience to God.