Chapter twelve brings us to the halfway point of the book and summarizes the end of the desert wandering (Numbers 21) and the first half of Joshua. In Joshua 12:1-6 Joshua recounted the defeat of “the kings of the land…on the east side of the Jordan.” These were taken care of while Moses still led the nation, before they crossed into Canaan. These included primarily the Amorites and Rephaites. This land was given to the tribes of Reuben and Gad and half of the tribe of Manasseh.
Joshua 12:7-24 lists “a total of thirty-one kings” whom Joshua led the people in defeating “on the west side of the Jordan.” These nations included “the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizites, Hivites, and Jebusites.” It is important to note that they conquered only the main fortified strongholds in these regions, not each individual village or even entire nations. It was left to the tribes to clear their lands completely.