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Bible Commentaries

Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments

Joshua 19

 

 

Verses 1-51

Joshua 19:12. Chisloth-tabor, a town at the foot of mount Tabor; as on Hosea 5:1.

Joshua 19:29. The strong city of Tyre. Hebrews צר sor, or rock. See note on Isaiah 23:1.

Joshua 19:35. The fenced cities—Hammath, a small city, where hot springs rose, and near Rakkath, so as afterwards to become one city. Herod rebuilt Rakkath, and called it Tiberias, in honour of Tiberias Cæsar.—Hazor, Joshua 11:1. This city was situate near the north-east point of the lake of Mezom or Semechon. The Canaanites recovered this city, and grievously oppressed the Israelites for twenty years. Judges 4.

Joshua 19:49. Israel gave an inheritance to Joshua. Joshua sought the people’s good, but left himself and his house without any lot. He coveted no inviting abode: none among the murmurers could murmur against the servant of the Lord. Happy Israel, to have a first magistrate so pure and disinterested. He left his family undistinguished in the fluctuating dust of the present world: he was by grace more than a Cincinnátus.

REFLECTIONS.

The lot of Simeon fell out intermixed with the lot of Judah on its western border. Thus the curse of their father Jacob fell on them for the massacre of the Shechemites. “I will divide them in Jacob, and will scatter them in Israel.” It is a long time before wicked men have done with the consequences of their crimes. God may forgive on repentance; but the effects of sin remain as a sort of immortal brand to awe the world.

Zebulun’s lot turned up on the sea coast; for Jacob had said, “Zebulun shall be a haven of ships.” These districts were included in Galilee, where our Saviour was the most successful in the work of his ministry.

Issachar, strong and peaceful as the ass, had a pleasant rest. His line, reaching from the Jordan to the western sea, included Shunem, where Elisha lodged; Gilboa, where Saul and Jonathan fell; and Jezreel, where Ahab’s palace stood. Judah, Joseph, Benjamin, Reuben, Simeon, Zebulun, Issachar, and the most of Levi having received their lot, we cannot but mark the divine hand of providence in causing the sons of Jacob’s lawful wives, to inherit before the sons of the dotal maids. Surely this is an argument that the covenant blessings of heaven give a pointed preference to the children born in honourable marriage.

Asher’s lot was happy in agricultural abundance; but little remarkable is said of him; except that Anna, the prophetess, who entered the temple when our Saviour was presented, was born of this tribe.

Naphtali had the northern lot; his bounds were not exactly fixed; in that view he was “a hind let loose.”

Dan’s lot fell out in Philistia, and he was not able to conquer many of the towns repossessed by the heathen. Therefore part of this lot being wrested from him, and the best part too, 1:34, he sent out after Joshua’s death an armed colony to the north, as far as Leshem, at the foot of mount Lebanon, and called it Dan, after the name of his father. Hence came the phrase, “from Dan to Beersheba,” the one city being in the north, and the other in the south.

Lastly, we are struck with the disinterestedness of Joshua: like Moses, he sought nothing for himself. He amply rewarded Caleb, as the Lord had promised, and he equally rewarded Machir; but he overlooked himself to the last, and accepted a small gift in his own tribe on the side of a hill, whose town was destroyed. This town he was obliged to rebuild, and in great peace and quiet he spent the remains of life, making no higher figure in Israel than any other head of a great family. In this he was the more strikingly a figure of Jesus Christ, who made the people his portion, and Jacob the lot of his inheritance.

 


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Bibliography Information
Sutcliffe, Joseph. "Commentary on Joshua 19:4". Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jsc/joshua-19.html. 1835.

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