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Bible Commentaries

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

Joshua 19

 

 

Verse 1

And the second lot came forth to Simeon, even for the tribe of the children of Simeon according to their families: and their inheritance was within the inheritance of the children of Judah.

The second lot came forth to Simeon. The next lot that was drawn at Shiloh gave the tribe of Simeon his inheritance within the territory which had been assigned to that of Judah. The knowledge of Canaan possessed by the Israelites when the division of the land commenced was but very general, being derived from the rapid sweep they had made over it during the course of conquest; and it was on the ground of that rough survey alone that the distribution proceeded by which Judah received an inheritance. Time showed that this territory was too large (Joshua 19:9), either for their numbers, however great, to occupy, and their arms to defend, or too large in proportion to the allotments of the other tribes. Justice, therefore, required, what kind and brotherly feeling readily dictated, a modification of their possession; and a part of it was appropriated to Simeon. By thus establishing it within the original domain of another tribe, the prophecy of Jacob in regard to Simeon was fulfilled (Genesis 49:7); for, from its boundaries being not traced, there is reason to conclude that its people were divided and dispersed among those of Judah. It seems to have obtained only what land and cities Judah could spare. It was, in fact, dispersed over the south and southwest of Canaan; and though one group of its cities, named Joshua 19:2-6, give the idea of a compact district, as it is usually represented by mapmakers, the other group (Joshua 19:7-8) were situated, two in the south and two elsewhere, with tracts of the country around them, (see the note at Joshua 15:21, etc.) There is a Jewish tradition, besides, that the tribe of Simeon were scattered over the land, discharging the offices of schoolmasters and lawyers, just as that of Levi furnished the priests (Keil on 'Joshua;' Reland, 'Palaestina,' 1: pp. 143-151).


Verse 2

And they had in their inheritance Beersheba, or Sheba, and Moladah,

Beer-sheba, and Sheba , [Septuagint, Samaa]. Keil, in reference to these towns, espouses the traditional view Beer-sheba, and Sheba , [Septuagint, Samaa]. Keil, in reference to these towns, espouses the traditional view of the Jews, that there were two places bearing the name of Beer-sheba; Reland, on the other hand, is of opinion that the Sheba of this passage is the Shema of Joshua 15:26, and supports it by an appeal to the Septuagint, who give however, a different name to Shema in the last-cited passage.


Verse 3

And Hazar-shual, and Balah, and Azem,

Balah (Joshua 15:29) - or Bilhah (1 Chronicles 4:29).


Verse 4

And Eltolad, and Bethul, and Hormah,

Bethul - or Beth-el (1 Samuel 30:27), or Bethuel (1 Chronicles 4:30) = Chesil (see the note at Joshua 15:30).


Verse 5

And Ziklag, and Bethmarcaboth, and Hazar-susah,

No JFB commentary on this verse.


Verse 6

And Bethlebaoth, and Sharuhen; thirteen cities and their villages:

Sharuhen , [Septuagint renders it hoi agroi autoon, probably reading sodiyhen] - their fields, as Reland ('Palaestina') conjectures.


Verse 7

Ain, Remmon, and Ether, and Ashan; four cities and their villages:

No JFB commentary on this verse.


Verse 8

And all the villages that were round about these cities to Baalathbeer, Ramath of the south. This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Simeon according to their families.

Ramath of the south - Ramath-negeb (according to the residing of four manuscripts), low ridges of the Negeb.


Verse 9

Out of the portion of the children of Judah was the inheritance of the children of Simeon: for the part of the children of Judah was too much for them: therefore the children of Simeon had their inheritance within the inheritance of them.

No JFB commentary on this verse.


Verse 10

And the third lot came up for the children of Zebulun according to their families: and the border of their inheritance was unto Sarid:

The third lot came up for the children of Zebulun. The boundaries of the possession assigned to them extended from the lake of Chinnereth (sea of Galilee) on the east, to the Mediterranean on the west; for although they do not seem at first to have touched on the western shore-a part of Manasseh running north into Asher (Joshua 17:10) - they afterward did, according to the prediction of Moses (Deuteronomy 33:19). The extent from south to north cannot be very exactly traced, the sites of many of the places through which the boundary line is drawn being unknown. Some of the cities were of note.


Verses 11-14

And their border went up toward the sea, and Maralah, and reached to Dabbasheth, and reached to the river that is before Jokneam;

No JFB commentary on these verses.


Verse 15

And Kattath, and Nahallal, and Shimron, and Idalah, and Bethlehem: twelve cities with their villages.

Kattath , [Septuagint, Katanath] - is supposed by Schwarz to be the Cana of Galilee.

Nahallal - or Nahalal (Joshua 21:35) [Septuagint, Nabaal].

Shimron , [Septuagint, Sumooon] - identified by Schwars with Simuniyeh (the Simonias of Josephus), a village situated a little west of Nazareth.

Idalah , [Septuagint, Hierichoo] - unknown.

Beth-lehem , [Septuagint, Baithman] - now Beit-lahm, described by Robinson as about six miles west of Nazareth.


Verse 16

This is the inheritance of the children of Zebulun according to their families, these cities with their villages. No JFB commentary on this verse.


Verses 17-23

And the fourth lot came out to Issachar, for the children of Issachar according to their families.

The fourth lot came out to Issachar. Instead of describing the boundaries of this tribe, the inspired historian gives a list of its principal cities. These cities are all in the eastern part of the plain of Esdraelon.

Jezreel (town of God) [Septuagint, Iazeel, and Iezrael (Tischendorf)] - now, Zer'in. Eusebius and Jerome ('Onomast,' art. 'Jezrael') describe it as situated between Legio (el-Lejjun) and Eleutheropolis (now Beisan) (see Robinson's 'Biblical Researches,' 3:, pp. 163-167; Porter's 'Handbook,' p. 363).

Chesulloth , [ w


Verse 24

And the fifth lot came out for the tribe of the children of Asher according to their families.

The fifth lot came out for the tribe of the children of Asher. The western boundary is traced from north to south through the cities mentioned; the site of which, however, is unknown.


Verse 25

And their border was Helkath, and Hali, and Beten, and Achshaph,

No JFB commentary on this verse.


Verse 26

And Alammelech, and Amad, and Misheal; and reacheth to Carmel westward, and to Shihorlibnath;

To Carmel westward, and to Shihor-libnath - i:e., the black or muddy river; probably the Nahr Belka, Below Dor (Tantoura); because that town belonged to Asher (Joshua 17:10). Thence the boundary line turned eastward to Beth-dagon, a town at the junction of Zebulun and Naphtali, "on the left hand," and ran northwards as far as Cabul, about three and a half miles from 'Akka (Accho, Ptolemais), now Kabul, with other towns, among which is mentioned (Joshua 19:28) "great Zidon;" so called on account of its being even then the flourishing metropolis of the Phoenicians. Though included in the inheritance of Asher, this town was never possessed by them (Judges 1:31).


Verse 27

And turneth toward the sunrising to Bethdagon, and reacheth to Zebulun, and to the valley of Jiphthah-el toward the north side of Bethemek, and Neiel, and goeth out to Cabul on the left hand,

To the valley of Jiphthah-el , [Septuagint, Ekgai kai Fthaieel] - identified with Jotapata, now Jefat, a village in the mountains of Galilee, midway between the lake of Gennesaret and the bay of Acre. The valley of Jiphthah-el is 'the wady which, commencing among the hills near Jefat, runs down westward into the plain of Akka, under the name of Wady Abilin. The border of Asher passed from Carmel until it met Zebulun' (Porter's 'Handbook,' 378).


Verse 28

And Hebron, and Rehob, and Hammon, and Kanah, even unto great Zidon;

No JFB commentary on this verse.


Verse 29

And then the coast turneth to Ramah, and to the strong city Tyre; and the coast turneth to Hosah; and the outgoings thereof are at the sea from the coast to Achzib:

And then the coast turneth to Ramah - now el-Hamra, which stood where the Leontes (Litany) ends its southern course, and flows westward.

And to the strong city Tyre. The original city appears to have stood on the mainland, and was well fortified. This is the first Scriptural notice of Tyre, which was of later origin than Zidon (Hengstenberg, 'De reb Tyr.,' pp. 6, 7). From Tyre the boundary ran to Hosah, an inland town; and then passing the unconquered district of Achzib or Ecdippa, which was above the thirty-third degree of north, latitude, and about fifteen miles north of Accho (Judges 1:31), terminated at the seacoast (see Michaelis, 'Commentary on the West Boundary of the Promised Land').


Verse 30-31

Ummah also, and Aphek, and Rehob: twenty and two cities with their villages.

No JFB commentary on these verses.


Verse 32

The sixth lot came out to the children of Naphtali, even for the children of Naphtali according to their families.

The sixth lot came out to the children of Naphtali. Although the cities mentioned have not been discovered, it is evident, from Zaananhim, which is by Kedesh - i:e., on the northwest of lake Merom (Judges 4:11) - that the boundary described (Joshua 19:34) ran from the southwest toward the northeast, up to the sources of the Jordan.


Verse 33

And their coast was from Heleph, from Allon to Zaanannim, and Adami, Nekeb, and Jabneel, unto Lakum; and the outgoings thereof were at Jordan:

No JFB commentary on this verse.


Verse 34

And then the coast turneth westward to Aznothtabor, and goeth out from thence to Hukkok, and reacheth And then the coast turneth westward to Aznothtabor, and goeth out from thence to Hukkok, and reacheth to Zebulun on the south side, and reacheth to Asher on the west side, and to Judah upon Jordan toward the sunrising.

Aznoth-tabor - on the east of Tabor toward the Jordan, because the border ran thence to Hukkok, touching upon that of Zebulun; and as the territory of Zebulun did not extend as far as the Jordan, Aznoth-tabor and Hukkok must have been border towns on the line which separated Naphtali from Asher (1 Chronicles 6:75), where it is spoken of as a city of refuge in Asher. It is elsewhere called Helkath (Joshua 19:25; Joshua 21:31). 'The reading Hukkok,' as Robinson suggests, 'is perhaps an error of copyists' ('Later Biblical Researches,' p. 81).

To Judah upon Jordan toward the sunrising. The sixty cities, Havoth-jair, which were on the eastern side of the Jordan, opposite Naphtali, were reckoned as belonging to Judah, because Jair, their possessor, was a descendant of Judah (1 Chronicles 2:4-22) (Keil).


Verse 35

And the fenced cities are Ziddim, Zer, and Hammath, Rakkath, and Chinnereth,

Ziddim , [ ha-Tsidiym (Hebrew #6661), the sides; instead of which the Septuagint, apparently reading ha-Tsudiym, render, 'these are the fenced cities of the Tyrians']. Mr. Grove (Smith's 'Dictionary') remarks, 'The Jerusalem Talmud is probably near the mark in identifying hat-Tziddim with Kefr Chittai, which Schwarz, with much probability, takes to be the present Hattin, at the northern foot of the well-known Kurn Hattin ('Horns of Hattin'), a few miles west of Tiberias' (see also Robinson's 'Biblical Researches,' 3:, p. 250).

Zer , [Septuagint, Turos, erroneously]. It seems to have been situated on the southwest side of the lake.

Hammath , [ w


Verse 36

And Adamah, and Ramah, and Hazor,

Adamah , [Septuagint, Armaith]. It was probably situated on the northwest of the lake.

Ramah. Robinson ('Biblical Researches,' 3:, p 133) found a place on the heights north of the lake Tiberias, called Rameh, which may be the modern representative of the town of Naphtali (cf. Van de Velde, 1:, p. 285).

Hazor , [Septuagint, Asoor.] The association of this town with Ramah and Kedesh, south of which it lay (cf. 2 Kings 15:29; Josephus, 'Antiquities,' b. 5:, ch. 1:, sec. 18), clearly points it out to be the capital of Jabin, the metropolis of the north of Canaan, in the plain of Huleh. It is supposed by Porter ('Handbook' p. 434) to have occupied the site of the ancient ruin called Kasyun, but by Van de Velde (1:, pp. 178, 179) to be Hazur or Haziri, one of the most extensive collections of ruins he met with anywhere.


Verse 37

And Kedesh, and Edrei, and Enhazor,

Kedesh , [Septuagint, Kades] - so called probably from having been anciently the seat of a pagan temple and hence, 'a holy city.' It has been identified by Robinson with Kades, at the western bank of the Ard el-Huleh, ten miles north of Safed, and four northwest of the sea of Merom.

Edrei , [ w


Verse 38

And Iron, and Migdal-el, Horem, and Bethanath, and Beth-she'mesh; nineteen cities with their villages.

Iron , [Septuagint, Kerooe]. Van de Velde, who carefully explored the northern districts of Palestine, found Iron in the ruins at Yarun, an hours distance southeast of Bint-jebeil. Migdal-el - tower of God: Magdala of the Gospel history, now Mejdel, on the western coast of the sea of Galilee, not far from Tiberias (Robinson, 'Biblical Researches,' 3:, p 279; Van de Velde, 2: pp. 394, 395).

Horem - now Hhurah, or Hhorah, an extensive ruin (Van de Velde, 1:, p. 178).

Beth-anath - now represented by the village Ain-ata.

Beth-shemesh. This city is mentioned also (Judges 1:33) in connection with Beth-anath.


Verse 39

This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Naphtali according to their families, the cities and their villages.

No JFB commentary on this verse.


Verse 40

And the seventh lot came out for the tribe of the children of Dan according to their families.

The seventh lot came out for the tribe ... of Dan. It lay on the west of Benjamin, and consisted of portions surrendered by Judah and Ephraim. Its boundaries are not stated, as they were easily distinguishable from the relative position of Dan to the three adjoining tribes.


Verse 41

And the coast of their inheritance was Zorah, and Eshtaol, and Irshemesh,

(See the note at Joshua 15:33.)

Ir-shemesh , [city of the sun; Septuagint, poleis Sammaus] = Beth-shemesh and mount Heres, 'mount of the sun' (Judges 1:35).


Verse 42

And Shaalabbin, and Ajalon, and Jethlah,

Shaalabbin - or Shaalbim (Judges 1:35; 1 Kings 4:9), city of foxes or jackals; not discovered.

Ajalon , [ w


Verse 43

And Elon, and Thimnathah, and Ekron,

Elon , [ w


Verse 44

And Eltekeh, and Gibbethon, and Baalath,

Eltekeh , [Septuagint, Alakatha] - unknown.

Gibbethon , [Septuagint, Begethoon] - not yet traced.

Baalath , [Septuagint, Gebeelan] - probably that referred to in 1 Kings 9:18; 2 Chronicles 8:6, but not identified.


Verse 45

And Jehud, and Beneberak, and Gathrimmon,

Jehud , [Septuagint, Azoor] - perhaps represented by an inhabited village called el-Yehudiyeh, in the district of Ludd (Robinson's 'Biblical Researches,' 3:, p. 45).

Bene-berak , [Septuagint, Banaibakat] - unknown.

Gath-rimmon - press of the pomegranate [Septuagint, Gethremmoon].


Verse 46

And Mejarkon, and Rakkon, with the border before Japho.

Me-jarkon - waters of yellowness [Septuagint, apo thalassees Ierakoon]. The name was derived from a fountain or stream in the neighbourhood of the city. Van de Velde, following Schwarz, finds this place in the old ruin, Ras el-'Ain, over against Jaffa.

Rakkon , [ w


Verse 47

And the coast of the children of Dan went out too little for them: therefore the children of Dan went up to fight against Leshem, and took it, and smote it with the edge of the sword, and possessed it, and dwelt therein, and called Leshem, Dan, after the name of Dan their father.

The coast of the children of Dan went out too little for them. The only patch of the land that remained unappropriated was the central but narrow and mountainous region which projected on the western side of Judah into the territory of the Philistines, and it was assigned to the Danites. Besides the natural smallness of the extent, it was liable to be diminished by the frequent and predatory incursions of the Amorites (Judges 1:34), so that it proved entirely inadequate to the requirements of the tribe; and their leaders were compelled to look out for some additional territory, which was at length acquired in the northern extremity of Canaan, to look out for some additional territory, which was at length acquired in the northern extremity of Canaan, (see the note at Judges 18:1-31.)

The original allotment of this tribe was the most open and exposed in the whole country, not only on the side of the sea, where Jaffa might easily serve as a point of debarkation for foreign invaders, but especially on the side of the Philistines; because the plain of Sharon was only a continuation of their territory, and there was no kind of barrier between it and the Shephelah. Thus Dan was roused by the attach of his restless enemies to act as "a young lion" (Deuteronomy 33:2) in guarding this weak frontier of the land of Israel; and most valiantly did he guard it. In fact, his vigilance being wholly directed toward that point of interest, he did not furnish the expected contingent in support of his oppressed brethren in other provinces; and for his apparent want of patriotism was denounced in the triumphant paean of Deborah (Judges 5:17). The only enemy he recognized or thought of encountering were the Philistines; and though they were his superiors both in numbers and in physical forces, he often defeated them by his ingenious stratagems and sudden surprises (Genesis 49:17).

Therefore the children of Dan went up to fight against Leshem. The Danites, finding their inheritance too small, meditated enlarging its boundaries by the sword; and having conquered Leshem (Laish), planted a colony there, calling the new settlement by the name of Dan, now Tell el-Kady (the hill of the judges). See the note at Judges 18:1-31.


Verse 48-49

This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Dan according to their families, these cities with their villages.

No JFB commentary on these verses.


Verse 50

According to the word of the LORD they gave him the city which he asked, even Timnathserah in mount Ephraim: and he built the city, and dwelt therein.

They gave him the city which he asked. It was most proper that the great leader should receive an inheritance suited to his dignity, and as a reward for his public services. But the gift was not left to the spontaneous feelings of a grateful people. It was conferred "according to the word of the Lord" - probably an unrecorded promise, similar to what had been made to Caleb (Joshua 14:9).

Timnath-serah - or Heres, on mount Gaash (Judges 2:9). Joshua founded it, and was afterward buried there (Joshua 24:30).


Verse 51

These are the inheritances, which Eleazar the priest, and Joshua the son of Nun, and the heads of the fathers of the tribes of the children of Israel, divided for an inheritance by lot in Shiloh before the LORD, at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. So they made an end of dividing the country.

These are the inheritances. This verse is the formal close of the section which narrates the history of the land distribution; and to stamp it with due importance, the names of the commissioners are repeated, as well as Shiloh, the then spiritual metropolis of the country. Viewed abstractly from the divine command in which it originated, it was a wise and prudential measure for the prevention of all private disputes and claims of preference to particular localities. Immediately on the conquest of Canaan it was divided by the supreme authority into twelve portions, which were assigned by lot to each of the twelve tribes; and these allocated cantons were again subdivided, so that a piece of land was appropriated to every family in the tribe as their patrimonial possession. It was a military division of the country, a share in the soil being given as a reward to every soldier who had fought for the promised land. But political effects of the highest importance were contemplated by this arrangement; because it was the means of converting a vast horde of nomads at once into a settled nation of peacful and industrious agriculturists. Such a result was secured by one simple law. Instead of introducing a feudal system, dividing the country to military chiefs, for whom the people should labour as serfs, he gave the land to all. Each tribe was marched to its new possession, every family entered on its humble estate, and Israel began its national existence. The miracle was as great as if immense hordes of wandering Bedouins were instantly transformed into quiet farmers ('Bibliotheca Sacra,' April, 1853, p. 358).

Thus, on their first settlement in the land of Canaan, the Israelites exhibited the unparalleled spectacle of a whole nation, comprising a population of upward of two million, all equal in rank, and nearly so in condition. They were universally trained to the cultivation of the soil; and whether Moses inherited his dislike of foreign commerce from the Egyptians, who were proverbial for their hatred of the sea, or his views of the policy best adapted to the character and destinies of the Hebrew people were derived from a higher source of inspiration, their exclusive restriction to rural employments must have produced a beneficial influence on their national character. 'For where the land, as in Judea, is divided at the beginning amidst the whole people, the absence of foreign commerce, although incompatible with any high advancement in knowledge and general cultivation of mind, is not incompatible with a large amount of national virtue and happiness' (Arnold's Miscellaneous Works, 'Essay on the Social Progress of States,' p. 99).

 


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Bibliography Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Joshua 19:4". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/joshua-19.html. 1871-8.

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