February 16, 2008
Breadcrumb: Twelve minus twelve is... one?
Though we knew this already, Josh. 14:3-4 reminds us that the Levites did not, in fact, receive any land. This is to deal with any confusion that might arise from there being 12 tribes receiving land. If you weren't playing close attention before, you might think that the twelve sons of Jacob (including Levi) correspond to the twelve tribes receiving land, but you would be mistaken. Instead, there were thirteen tribes, since one was given to each of Joseph's two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh. This is both why we can have twelve tribes receiving land without the Levites getting any, and also why we never hear about the "Tribe of Joseph."