John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible
INTRODUCTION TO JOSHUA 12
This chapter gives a short account of the conquests made by the Israelites, both in the times of Moses and of Joshua, and first of the kingdom of Sihon and Og on the other side Jordan, in the times of Moses, and which he gave to the two tribes of Reuben and Gad, and the half tribe of Manasseh, and which are particularly described, Joshua 12:1; and then of the kings and the countries on this side Jordan whom Joshua conquered, Joshua 12:7; and the names of the thirty one kingdoms are recited, that so it might be exactly known and observed what were afterwards divided among the tribes and possessed by them, Joshua 12:9.
Now these are the kings of the land which the children of Israel smote,.... In the days of Moses, as Jarchi remarks, and as it clearly appears from what follows:
and possessed, their land on the other side Jordan toward the rising of the sun; on the east of the land of Canaan:
from the river Arnon unto the mount Hermon, and all the plain on the east; Arnon was the border of Moab between them and the Amorites, Numbers 21:13; and from hence to Hermon, a mountain adjoining to Lebanon, lay the country of the two kings of the Amorites after mentioned, Deuteronomy 3:8; and the plain on the east were the plains of Moab, which lay to the east of Jordan.
Sihon king of the Amorites, who dwelt in Heshbon,.... Which he took from the Moabites, and made his capital city, Numbers 21:26,
and ruled from Aroer, which is upon the bank of the river of Arnon; a city of Moab, which never fell into the hands of Sihon, and therefore he is said to rule from it but not over it:
and from the middle of the river; that is, the river Arnon, which being the boundary of the Moabites and Amorites, the king of the Amorites might be said to rule from the middle of it:
and from half Gilead even unto the river Jabbok, which is the border of the children of Ammon; so it is said to be, Deuteronomy 3:16; it should be rendered, not "from half Gilead", but "and half Gilead", as it is in the Hebrew text, and so in the Targum; for half Gilead belonged to the kingdom of Sihon, as the other half did to the kingdom of Og, as in Joshua 12:5; and so Jarchi remarks.
And from the plain,.... Or rather, "and the plain", the plains of Moab, which, before possessed by the Israelites, belonged to the kingdom of Sihon; and the plains of Jordan, which reached
to the sea of Cinneroth on the east; the same with the lake of Gennesaret, and sea of Tiberias, mentioned in the New Testament, Matthew 14:34,
and unto the sea of the plain; where stood the cities of the plain, Sodom, Gomorrah, &c.
even the salt sea on the east; the same with the dead sea, into which the plain the above cities stood on was converted:
the way to Bethjeshimoth; which was a place in the plains of Moab, Numbers 33:49,
and from the south under Ashdothpisgah; or the springs of Pisgah, which flowed from the mount of that name, Deuteronomy 3:17.
And the coast of Og king of Bashan,.... The country that he reigned over, who was another king of the Amorites, smitten by Israel in the times of Moses:
which was of the remnant of the giants; See Gill on Deuteronomy 3:11,
that dwelt at Ashtaroth and at Edrei; of which two places see Deuteronomy 1:4; it seems as if Og had a palace in each of those cities, and sometimes was at one and sometimes at another, as is usual with kings.
And reigned in Mount Hermon,.... That is, over all the people that inhabited that mount or dwelt under it, Joshua 11:17, and adjacent to it, of which mountain; see Gill on Deuteronomy 3:8 and See Gill on Deuteronomy 3:9,
and in Salcah: which was a city belonging to the kingdom of Og, Deuteronomy 3:10,
and in all Bashan; or Batanea, a country famous for pasturage, Micah 7:14, and for fat cattle, Ezekiel 39:18, and for oaks, Isaiah 2:13, frequently mentioned in Scripture:
unto the border of the Geshurites, and the Maachathites; which were two nations the Israelites never expelled, Joshua 13:13; of which see Deuteronomy 3:14,
and half Gilead; which belonged to Og, as the other half did to Sihon, before observed, which was as follows:
the border of Sihon king of Heshbon; here the two kingdoms joined, even in the midst of Gilead, which was divided between them, but now wholly fell into the hands of Israel.
Them did Moses the servant of the Lord, and the children of Israel, smite,.... That is, the inhabitants of those kingdoms they smote with the edge of the sword, and took possession of them, the history of which see in Numbers 21:1,
and Moses the servant of the Lord gave it; the whole dominion of the two kings before mentioned:
for a possession unto the Reubenites, and the Gadites, and the half tribe of Manasseh: of which grant, and the conditions of it, see Numbers 32:1.
And these are the kings of the country,.... After particularly named, Joshua 12:9,
which Joshua and the children of Israel smote on this side Jordan on the west; that is, on the west of Jordan:
from Baalgad, in the valley of Lebanon, even unto the mount Halak,
that goeth up to Seir; of which see Joshua 11:17,
which Joshua gave unto the tribes of Israel for a possession,
according to their divisions; as after related in this book.
In the mountains, and in the valleys, and in the plains, and in the springs, and in the wilderness, and in the south country,.... Which is a description of the whole land of Canaan; some parts of which were hills and mountains, others vales and champaign fields; others were dry and barren, and others well watered; some part of it lay to the north, as towards Lebanon, and others to the south, towards Seir:
the Hittites, the Amorites, and the Canaanites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites; which were the nations that inhabited the land of Canaan before it was taken and possessed by the Israelites.
The king of Jericho, one,.... Who was first taken, and so named first, Joshua 6:21,
the king of Ai, which is beside Bethel, one; who was next taken and though Bethel was so near Ai, it had a king of its own, after mentioned, see Joshua 7:1.
The king of Jerusalem, one,.... Whose name was Adonizedek, and was one of the five kings taken and hanged, Joshua 10:1,
the king of Hebron, one; another of the five kings, whose name was Hoham, Joshua 10:3.
The king of Jarmuth, one,.... Whose name was Piram, a third of the five kings before observed, Joshua 10:3,
the king of Lachish, one; another of them, whose name was Japhia, Joshua 10:3.
The king of Eglon, one,.... The last of the five kings, and his name was Debir, Joshua 10:3,
the king of Gezer, one; who came up to help Lachish, and his name was Horam, Joshua 10:33.
The king of Debir, one,.... The same with Kirjathsepher, of which place; see Gill on Joshua 10:38,
the king of Geder, one: Jerom
The king of Hormah, one,.... Which was formerly called Zephath, Judges 1:17; see Joshua 15:3,
the king of Arad, one; perhaps the same with Arath, which, Jerom
The king of Libnah, one,.... Taken at the same time as the kings of Makkedah, Debir, and of other places were, Joshua 10:29,
the king of Adullam, one; a city in the tribe of Judah, Joshua 15:35; Jerom says
The king of Makkedah, one,.... In a cave near to which five kings hid themselves, and were taken out and hanged, and the city afterwards was taken by Joshua, Joshua 10:16; which fell to the lot of the tribe of Judah, Joshua 15:41,
the king of Bethel, one; a city near to Ai, about a mile from it, and yet had a king over it: it was taken at the same time that Ai was, Joshua 7:2; and fell to the lot of Benjamin, Joshua 18:22.
The king of Tappuah, one,.... Which Jerom calls
the king of Hepher, one; mention is made of Gittahhepher as on the border of Zebulun, Joshua 19:13; the same with Gathhepher, of which place was the Prophet Jonah, 2 Kings 14:25; and of the land of Hepher in 1 Kings 4:10; which is said by Jerom to be in the same tribe, and not far from Diocaesarea or Zippore; and we read of a Chepher or Hepher in the Jewish writings
The king of Aphek, one,.... There was a place called Aphekah in the tribe of Judah, Joshua 15:53; and an Aphek that was on the border of the Amorites, Joshua 13:4; and another in the tribe of Asher, Joshua 19:30; but Adrichomius
the king of Lasharon, one; which, according to the Vulgate Latin version, is the same with Saron, which, in Acts 9:35, in some copies is called Assaron; so Adrichomius
The king of Madon, one,.... Whose name was Jobab, Joshua 11:1,
the king of Hazor, one; whose name was Jabin, and of him and his city; see Gill on Joshua 11:1.
The king of Shimronmeron, one,.... See Joshua 11:1, this place fell to the tribe of Zebulun, Joshua 19:15,
the king of Achshaph, one; see Joshua 11:1; this city fell to the lot of Asher, Joshua 19:25.
The king of Taanach, one,.... It was in the tribe of Manasseh, Joshua 17:11; Jerom says
the king of Megiddo, one; which belonged to the same tribe, Joshua 17:11; near this place were some waters where the Canaanites fought with the Israelites, Judges 5:19; and a valley where Josiah was slain, 2 Chronicles 35:22.
The king of Kedesh, one,.... Which afterwards fell to the tribe of Naphtali, and was one of the cities of refuge, Joshua 19:37; it was situated in upper Galilee on Mount Naphtali, four miles from the city of Sephet, and as many from Capernaum, and twenty miles from Tyre
the king of Jokneam of Carmel, one; a city that came to the lot of the tribe of Zebulun, Joshua 19:11; and was given to the Levites, Joshua 21:34; it was not far from Mount Carmel, from whence it is described.
The king of Dor, in the coast of Dor, one,.... Of which see Joshua 11:2; it fell to the lot of Manasseh, but never was possessed by them, as were not Taanach and Megiddo, before mentioned, Joshua 17:11 Judges 1:27,
the king of the nations of Gilgal, one; not the place where Joshua encamped after he had passed Jordan, for that was then no city; the Septuagint version renders it the land of Galilee; and Dr. Lightfoot
The king of Tirzah, one,.... To what tribe this place fell is nowhere said: Adrichomius
all the kings thirty and one: it may seem strange that, in so small a country as Canaan was, there should be so many kings in it, since the length of it from Dan to Beersheba was scarce an hundred sixty miles, as Jerom
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