What is the meaning of "Nichalu"?
Rashi: He caused them to inherit. Yosef counted as two Shevatim, [one extra] in place of Levi (who inherited only cities, but not land).
How did the lottery work? If the portions were equal, we do not fulfill "la'Rav Tarbeh Nachalaso" (Bamidbar 26:54). If some are bigger, what will be if a small Shevet receives a large portion?
Malbim (based on Ra'avad in Shitah Mekubetzes Bava Basra 117b), Bi'ur ha'Gra (17:14): The lottery determined the Techum (region in which each Shevet inherits), Yehoshua then adjusted the size of its inheritance 1 according to its population. 2 Also Rashi holds like this; the Meforshim misunderstood his words.
Aderes Eliyahu: The border is not straight due to these adjustments (additions to a Shevet from an adjacent Shevet).
This Perek details Yehudah's border in all directions, before the lottery determined that Shimon will be amidst Yehudah (19:1). How did Yehoshua know how big to make Yehudah's portion, before knowing that it will include also Shimon?! If he knew via Ru'ach ha'Kodesh that Shimon will be among Yehudah, we can say that in the lottery, each portion was the proper size for the Shevet that will receive it! Perhaps the verses are out of order. After all the Shevatim received via the lottery, Yehoshua made these borders for Yehudah. However, Yehoshua made Sheluchim (18:4,5) to traverse the land and divide it into seven portions for the sake of the lottery. Granted, if they made seven equal portions, or seven portions according to the size of the seven remaining Shevatim, this Shelichus was needed. However, if Yehoshua will adjust the size of each portion based on the population of the Shevet that received it, why was this needed? The Malbim there says that via Hashgachah, they made the portions the proper size for the Shevatim that would receive them. Perhaps he means that there was no need for Yehoshua to adjust the size. (PF)