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Bible Commentaries

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

Judges 1

1-8. Wars of Judah and Simeon. Defeat of Adoni-bezek. Temporary capture of Jerusalem. Judges 1:9-10. Judah and Caleb drive the Anakim out of Hebron. Judges 1:11-13. Debir conquered by Othniel. Judges 1:14-15. The request of Achsah. Judges 1:16. Notice of the Kenites. Judges 1:17-20. Further successes of Judah. Judges 1:21. Partial success of Benjamin at Jerusalem. Judges 1:22-26. Ephraim gains Bethel by treachery. Judges 1:27-36. Partial successes of Manasseh, Ephraim, Zebulon, Asher, Naphtali, and Dan.

Verse 1

(1) Now.—The “now” should rather be rendered And, as in Leviticus 1:1, Numbers 1:1, Joshua 1:1, 1 Samuel 1:1, 2 Samuel 1:1, 2 Kings 1:1. The word connects this book with the last, “as a link in the chain of books which relate in unbroken connection the sacred history of the world from the Creation to the Exile” (Bertheau).

Alter the death of Joshua.—In these first words we are met by a difficulty, for there can be little reasonable doubt that most, at any rate, of the events narrated from this verse to Judges 2:5 took place before the death of Joshua, whose death and burial are accordingly mentioned in Judges 2:8-9. For (1) the whole passage (Judges 1:1 to Judges 2:5) evidently describes the first movements of the Israelites after their establishment on the western side of the Jordan. (See Joshua 18:1-3; Joshua 21:43; Joshua 22:32; Joshua 24:28.) (2) It is inconceivable that the Israelites should have remained inactive during the long life of Joshua, who attained the age of 110 years. (3) The events in Judges 1:10-36 are evidently identical with those in Joshua 12:9-24; Joshua 12:14; Joshua 12:19 (4) The angel’s message (Judges 2:1-5) and the subsequent notices (6-18) are closely parallel with, and sometimes verbally the same as, those in Joshua 24:24-33. That these should be records of different and yet most closely analogous series of circumstances is all but impossible. Various ways of accounting for the difficulty have been suggested. (1) Some suppose that many events narrated or touched upon in the Book of Joshua (especially Judges 15:14-19; Judges 15:16-17, &c.) are narrated by anticipation. (2) Clericus arbitrarily supplies the words, “After the death of Joshua the Canaanites recovered strength, but in his lifetime the children of Israel.” (3) Schmidt renders the verbs as pluperfects: “It came to pass after the death of Joshua, the children of Israel had consulted Jehovah,” &c. (4) A more recent conjecture is that the name “Joshua” has here crept in by an error of the scribes. If we read, “After the death of Moses,” all becomes clear and coherent; and if the book, in its original form, possibly began at Judges 3:7, with the words, “And it came to pass, after the death of Joshua, that the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord,” &c., the clerical error may have been caused by the addition of prefatory matter to the book at the same time that the appendix (Judges 17-21) was added. It is in favour of the possibility of this suggestion that there are close resemblances between the style and the allusions of the preface, or perhaps we may say of the two prefaces (Judges 1:1 to Judges 2:10; Judges 2:11-23), and the style and allusions of the last five chapters: e.g., in the references to Judah, Jerusalem, and Bethlehem (Judges 1:1-21; Judges 1:19; Judges 20:18), Dan (Judges 1:34; Judges 18:1-31) and the Twelve Tribes (passim); the consultations of the Lord by Urim (Judges 1:1-2; Judges 20:26-28); the silence as to the existence of Judges; and the recurrence of various phrases, such as “set on fire,” and “with the edge of the sword” (Judges 1:8; Judges 20:48), “unto this day” (Judges 1:21; Judges 19:30), “give his daughter to wife” (Judges 1:12; Judges 21:1; Judges 21:14; Judges 21:18), &c. (5) On the other hand, the conjecture can only be regarded as possible, since it is not supported by a single MS. or suggested by any ancient commentator. It is perhaps simpler to suppose that the book originally began with the words, “Now after the death of Joshua,” and that this beginning was left unaltered as a general description of the book when the prefatory matter and appendix were attached to it.

The children of Israel.—Mainly, it would seem, the western tribes.

Asked the Lord.—The phrase is peculiar, meaning, literally, enquired in Jehovah (as we find it in the LXX.). The usual construction is “Shaal eth-Jehovah” (“asked the Lord”). This phrase (shaal be) is only found again in. Judges 20:23-27. Rabbi Tanchum (whose commentary on this book has been edited by Schnurrer and Haarbürcker) says that the phrase implies the consultation of Jehovah through the high priest by means of the Urim and Thummim. “To ask of Elohim” occurs in Judges 18:5; Judges 20:18. Similarly in Greek, “to ask God” (Xen. Mem. viii. 3) means to consult an oracle. If the narrative of this chapter be retrospective, the high priest must have been Eleazar, the son of Aaron (Joshua 14:1); if not, it must have been his son Phinehas (Joshua 24:33), as Josephus seems to imply (Jos. Antt. v. 2, § 1). On this method of inquiring of God, in the absence of any authoritative declaration on the part of a prophet, see Numbers 27:21, Joshua 9:14. On the Urim and Thummim, which was not the jewelled “breastplate of judgment,” but something which was put “in it,” see Exodus 28:30. It is probably useless to inquire as to the method by which the will of God was revealed by the Urim and Thummim. The words mean “lights and perfections,” or something closely resembling those conceptions. The Rabbis were themselves ignorant as to the exact nature of the Urim and Thummim, and the mode in which they were used. One favourite theory is that adopted by Milton, when he speaks of Aaron’s breastplate as having been “ardent with gems oracular.” It identifies the Urim with the twelve gems, and supposes that the answers of God were spelt out by a mystic light which gleamed over these gems. But not to dwell on the fact that the names of the tribes did not contain all the letters of the Hebrew alphabet, this explanation is not consistent with the distinction made between the breastplate which was on the ephod, and the Urim and Thummim that were placed inside it (Exodus 28:30). Another theory supposes that the mind of the high priest was abstracted from earthly things by gazing on the gems until the will of God was revealed to him. A third regards the Urim and Thummim as cut and uncut gems, kept in the folds of the breastplate, and used almost like lots. These are but theories, and in all probability the exact truth, which has now been forgotten for thousands of years, will never be discovered.

Who shall go up for us . . .?—At the solemn investiture of Joshua, as the successor of Moses, Moses is directed to “set him before Eleazar the priest,” who was “to ask consent for him after the judgment of Urim before the Lord: at his word they shall go out, and at his word they shall come in” (Numbers 27:18-21).

Verse 2

(2) The Lord said.—The answer is given to the priest by the Urim, and he announces it to the people.

Judah shall go up.—The phrase go up” is used in a military sense (Joshua 6:5). The question had not been, “Who shall be our leader?” but, “Which tribe shall fight first?” The reason why Judah is chosen is from the eminence and power of the tribe, which was also the most numerous at both of the censuses taken in the wilderness (Numbers 1:26; Numbers 26:19-22). Jacob’s blessing on the tribe had been, “Judah, thou art he whom thy brethren shall praise: thy hand shall be in the neck of thine enemies” (Genesis 49:8). (Comp. Numbers 34:19; Joshua 15:1.) In the arrangement of the camp, Judah was stationed at the east, with Issachar and Zebulon, and always started first on the march (Numbers 2:3-9), with its lion-standard, which was a symbol of its lion-courage (Genesis 49:9; Revelation 5:5). The same answer is given by Urim in Judges 20:18.

Verse 3

(3) Unto Simeon his brother.—Both Judah and Simeon were sons of Leah. It was natural that the two tribes should help one another, because their lots were conterminous; indeed, the lot of the Simeonites is said to lie “within the inheritance of the children of Judah” (Joshua 19:1), and was given them “out of the portion of the children of Judah” (ib., Judges 1:9), because a larger territory had been assigned to the tribe of Judah than it required. The tribe of Simeon was remarkable for its fierce valour (1 Chronicles 4:24-43), of which we find a trace even in Judith, who belonged to that tribe (Jdt. 9:2). It would, however, have been helpless without the assistance of Judah; for we see from a comparison of the first with the second census in the Desert that Simeon had decreased in strength from 59,300 to 22,200. This fearful diminution seems to have been due to the plague, which may have fallen most heavily on them from their greater guilt, as we may infer from the shamelessness of their prince Zimri (Numbers 25:14; Numbers 1:23; Numbers 26:14). Hence the tribe is omitted in the blessing of Moses (Deuteronomy 33:0). They seem to have melted away among the nomad tribes of the south, but we see them showing a last flash of vitality in the days of Hezekiah (1 Chronicles 4:41).

Into my loti.e., into the territory assigned me by lot (“Croesus devasted the lots (klerous) of the Syrians” (Herod. i. 76). The lots of Judah and Simeon fell within two lines drawn to the Mediterranean from the northern and southern extremities of the Dead Sea (Joshua 15:0).

Verse 4

(4) And Judah went up.—Under the leadership of Caleb (Joshua 14:6).

The Canaanites and the Perizzites.—See Genesis 13:7; Genesis 34:30. The former seem to have been lowlanders—“by the sea and by the coast of Jordan” (Numbers 13:29), “on the east and on the west” (Joshua 11:3; Joshua 17:16). The Perizzites were the mountain and forest tribes (Joshua 11:3; Joshua 17:15). Their antiquity and importance appear from the allusions to them in Genesis 13:7; Genesis 34:30; 1 Kings 9:20; 2EEsther 1:21. The name itself seems to imply “open villages” (1 Samuel 6:18; Deuteronomy 3:5), and may imply that they were agriculturists. The name does not occur in the genealogy of nations in Genesis 10:0

In Bezek.—The name means lightning.” There seems to be no adequate reason to distinguish this town from the one mentioned in 1 Samuel 11:8. Saul numbered the people there before his expedition to deliver Jabesh Gilead. At first sight the mention of this town is surprising, for we have no information of any Bezek except the two villages of that name referred to by Eusebius and Jerome, which were seventeen miles from Shechem, and therefore in the lot of Ephraim. It is, however, needless to conjecture that there was another Bezek in the lot of Judah. We must suppose that the two warlike tribes began their conquest by marching into the centre of Palestine to strike a blow at the main stronghold of Canaanitish power. Ewald conjectures that in this expedition they took Shiloh, and refers Genesis 49:8-12 to this fact, rendering “till he come to Shiloh” (Hist. Isr. i. 284, E. Tr.). If this chapter does not refer retrospectively to events which occurred before the death of Joshua, it might well be considered strange that this powerful king is not mentioned among those attacked by the Israelites in Joshua’s lifetime. It is, however, possible, as Ewald suggests, that a new power may have sprung up.

Verse 5

(5) They found.—The expression perhaps alludes to the suddenness of their march, which enabled them to take the lord of Bezek by surprise.

Adoni-bezek.—This is not a proper name, but a title, meaning “lord of Bezek,” as Adoni-zedek, in Joshua 10:1, and perhaps Melchi-zedek, in Genesis 14:18.

They slew the Canaanites and the Perizzites.—This seems to refer to a second battle, or perhaps to the slaughter in the city after the battle described in the last verse.

Verse 6

(6) Cut off his thumbs and his great toes.—The cutting off of his thumbs would prevent him from ever again drawing a bow or wielding a sword. Romans who desired to escape conscription cut off their thumbs (Suet. Aug. 24). The cutting off of his great toes would deprive him of that speed which was so essential for an ancient warrior, that “swift-footed” is in Homer the normal epithet of Achilles. Either of these mutilations would be sufficient to rob him of his throne, since ancient races never tolerated a king who had any personal defects. This kind of punishment was not uncommon in ancient days, and it was with the same general object that the Athenians inflicted it on the conquered Æginetans. Mohammed (Koran, Sur. 8:12) ordered the enemies of Islam to be thus punished; and it used to be the ancient German method of punishing poachers (Ælian, Var. Hist. ii. 9). The peculiar appropriateness of the punishment in this instance arose from the Lex talionis, or “law of equivalent punishment,” which Moses had tolerated as the best means to limit the intensity of those blood-feuds (Leviticus 24:19-20; Deuteronomy 19:21; comp. Judges 15:10-11). which, “because of the hardness of their hearts,” he was unable entirely to abolish.

Verse 7

(7) Threescore and ten kings.—The number might seem incredible, were it not that the title “king” was freely given to every petty Emir, and even to village Sheykhs. The “seventy” kings may have been the rulers of the towns which Adoni-bezek had taken in extending the territory of Bezek. Josephus says seventy-two kings (Antt. v. 2, § 2), and this common variation is found in some MSS. of the LXX. The Persians treated their Greek captives in this way (Curtius, v. 5,6). Mutilation in the East was so common that it was hardly accounted cruel (Xen. Anab. i. 9-13). Cutting off the hand or foot was the prescribed Mohammedan punishment for theft in British India (Mill, iii. 447), and many mutilated persons are still to be seen in Northern Scinde (see Grote’s Greece, xii. 235).

Gathered their meat under my table.—The words “their meat” are wanting in the original. Adoni-bezek, with cruel insolence, treated these subject Sheykhs like dogs “which eat of the fragments that fall from the table of their lords” (Matthew 15:27). Posidonius says that the king of Parthia used to fling food to his courtiers, who seized it like dogs (Athen. 4:152). The existence of these feuds among the Canaanites would render the task of the Israelites more easy.

As I have done, so God hath requited me.—Comp. Judges 8:19; 1 Samuel 15:33, “As thy sword hath made women childless, so shall thy mother be childless among women;” Judges 15:11, “As they (the Philistines) did unto me, so have 1 (Samson) done unto them;” Jeremiah 51:56, “The Lord God of recompences shall surely requite thee;” Exodus 18:11, “For the thing wherein they sinned came upon them.” (See Matthew 7:2; Galatians 6:7; James 2:13.) The word used for God is Elohim. In Greek theology this punishment of like by like is called “the retribution of Neoptolemus,” who murdered Priam at an altar, and was himself murdered at an altar (Pausan. v. 17, 3). The fate of Phalaris, burnt in his own brazen bull (Ovid, De Art. Am. i. 653), and of Dionysius (Ælian, Var. Hist. ix. 8), were also prominent illustrations of the law. We must not suppose that this Canaanite prince worshipped Jehovah, but only that he recognised generally that a Divine retribution had overtaken him. It is one of the commonest facts of history that

“Even-handed justice

Commends the ingredients of the poisoned chalice
To our own lips.”

This truth, “that wherewithal a man sinneth, by the same also shall he be punished,” is magnificently, if somewhat fancifully, worked out in Wisdom 11, 17, 18

They brought him to Jerusalem.—Rabbi Tanchum, author of the celebrated traditional Midrash (or “exposition”), says that this notice must be prospective, i.e., it must refer to a time subsequent to the conquest of Jerusalem mentioned in the next verse. It may, however, merely mean that they kept him with them in their camp when they advanced to the siege of Jerusalem; or the “they” may refer to his own people. The Israelites may have contemptuously spared his life, and suffered him to join his own people, as a living monument of God’s vengeance. In any case the name Jerusalem is used by anticipation, for it seems to have been called Jebus till the days of David. As it is also called Jebusi (i.e., “the Jebusite”) in Joshua 15:8; Joshua 18:16, probably the name of the town comes from that of the tribe, and the derivation of it is unknown. The meaning “dry” suggested by Ewald is very uncertain.

Verse 8

(8) Now.—Rather, And.

Had fought against Jerusalem, and had taken it.—Our version here most unwarrantably interpolates the word “had,” meaning it perhaps as a sort of explanatory gloss to imply that the conquest took place before the fact mentioned in the last verse. If we are right in supposing that these chapters refer in greater or less detail to events already touched upon in the Book of Joshua, we must then supplement this brief notice by Joshua 12:8-10; Joshua 15:63, from which it appears that though the people of Jerusalem were slaughtered, the king conquered, and the city burnt, yet the Jebusites either secured the citadel (as Josephus implies) or succeeded in recovering the city. In Judges 19:11-12, the city is called Jebus (with the remark, “which is Jerusalem”), and the Levite expressly refuses to enter it, because it is a “city of the Jebusites,” “the city of a stranger.”

With the edge of the sword.—Literally, with the mouth of the sword (Genesis 34:26; Joshua 8:24; Joshua 10:28. Comp. Judges 4:15; Judges 20:37). It seems to mean that no quarter was given.

Set the city on fire.—Literally, sent the city into fire, as in Judges 20:48; 2 Kings 8:12; Psalms 74:7. The phrase does not occur elsewhere. And at a later period Josephus tells us that the siege occupied a long time, from the strength of the position (2 Samuel 5:7).

Verse 9

(9) Went down to fight.—“Went up” is the phrase applied to military expeditions (see Judges 1:2); “went downis the phrase for special battles (1 Samuel 26:10; 1 Samuel 29:4), like the Latin descendere in aciem. No doubt the phrase arose from the custom of always encamping on hills when it was possible to do so.

In the mountain, and in the south, and in the valley.—These are three marked regions of Palestine—the “hill-country” (ha-Har, Joshua 9:1), in which were Hebron and Debir (Judges 1:10-11); the south or Negeb (Joshua 15:21), in which were Arad and Zephath; and the valley, or rather low lands (Shephelah, Joshua 11:16; Joshua 15:33), in which were the three Philistian towns of Gaza, Askelon, and Ekron (Judges 1:18). The Har is the central or highland district of Palestine, which runs through the whole length of the country, broken only by the plain of Jezreel. The Negeb, derived from a root which means “dry,” was the region mainly occupied by the tribe of Simeon. The Shephelah, or low maritime plains (of which the root is perhaps also found in Hi-Spalis, Seville—see Stanley, Sin. and Pal. 485), is Palestine proper, i.e., the region of Philistia, the sea-coast south of the Plain of Sharon. In the E.V. the name is sometimes rendered as here, “the valley” (Deuteronomy 1:7; Joshua 9:1, &c.), sometimes we find it as “the plain” (Obadiah 1:19, &c.), or “the low plains” (1 Chronicles 27:28).

Verse 10

(10) That dwelt in Hebron.—See Joshua 10:36-37. Hebron is midway between Jerusalem and Beersheba, and twenty miles from either. The first name of the city, which is one of the most ancient in the world (Numbers 13:22), was Mamre (Genesis 13:18), from the name of its chief (Genesis 14:24). It is now called El-Khulîl (“the friend”), from Abraham. It was a city of refuge (Joshua 21:11-13). If the view taken as to the chronology of this chapter is correct, this assault is identical with those touched upon in Joshua 11:21; Joshua 14:6-15; Joshua 15:13-14. The LXX. have, “Hebron came forth against Judah.” For later references to Hebron, see Nehemiah 11:25; 1Ma. 5:65.

Kirjath-arba.—That is, “the city of Arba.” The word afterwards became archaic and poetical (Psalms 48:2; Isaiah 25:2). All the cities thus named (Kir-jath-huzoth, Kirjath-jearim, &c.) existed before the conquest of Palestine. We find the root in Iskariot (i.e., man of Kerioth, a town in the south of Judah). Arba was the father of Anak (Joshua 15:13; Joshua 14:15), and Fürst interprets the name “hero of Baal.” Some, however, take Arba for the numeral “four,” so that Kirjath-arba would mean Tetrapolis; and connect the name Hebron with the Arabic “Cherbar,” a confederation, “the cities of Hebron” (2 Samuel 2:3).

Sheshai, and Animan, and Talmai.—Possibly the names of three clans of the Anakim (Numbers 13:22-23). The Anakim are connected with the Nephilim—giant races sprung from the union of the sons of God with the daughters of men. Josephus says that giant bones of the race were shown in his day (Antt. v. 2, § 3). They were doubtless the bones of extinct animals, and being taken for human remains might well lead to the conclusion of Josephus, that these giants “had bodies so large, and countenances so entirely different from other men, that they were surprising to the sight.”

Verse 11

(11) Debir.—See Joshua 15:15; Joshua 15:49. In Joshua 10:38-39, its conquest is assigned to Joshua. The name means “the oracle.” It afterwards became a Levitic town. There seem to have been two other Debirs (Joshua 15:7; Joshua 13:26). This one is identified by Dr. Rosen with Dewirban, near the spring Ain Nunkûr south-west of Hebron.

Kirjath-sepher.—The name is curious and interesting. It means “the city of the book,” and is rendered in the LXX. by “city of letters.” It was also called Kirjath-sannah (Joshua 15:49), which, according to Bochart, means “city of learning.” Perhaps, therefore, we may consider that it was a famous centre of Canaanite culture and worship. All further attempts to explain its three names must be purely conjectural. We may compare with it the name of the Egyptian Byblos (Ewald). The LXX. here fall into mere confusion.

Verse 12

(12) And Caleb said.—See Joshua 15:16. Caleb was a “Kenizzite,” which seems to imply that he was descended from Kenaz, a grandson of Esau (Genesis 36:11). In Numbers 13:6 he is mentioned as being a prince (nasi, or chief, rosh) of the tribe of Judah. He was certainly affiliated to that tribe; but if the name “Caleb” means “dog,” it would seem a very unlikely name for a pure Jew, for I cannot think that the effort to trace a sort of totem system (or naming of tribes from animals) among the ancient Jews (Journ. of Philology, June, 1880) is successful. His father’s name. Je-phunneh, is of uncertain derivation. Fürst and Meier derive Caleb from a root meaning “valiant;” but the peculiarity of the expressions used respecting him in Joshua 15:13; Joshua 14:14, together with certain marked names and features in the genealogies of his family, at least give some probability to the conjecture that he was of foreign origin.

Will I give Achsah my daughter to wife.—Comp. 1 Samuel 17:25; 1 Samuel 18:17. So the Messenian hero Aristomenes gave a peasant woman, who had saved his life, in marriage to his son. This story shows the strength and importance of this fastness of the south, which is also proved by the fact that Caleb has to refer to his unbroken strength before he gains permission to win the region by the sword (Joshua 14:11).

Verse 13

(13) Othniel.Joshua 15:15-17. It is here added that he was Caleb’s younger brother. (See Judges 3:9.) The Hebrew may mean either that Othniel was “son of Kenaz and brother of Caleb” (in which case he married his niece); or “son of Kenaz, who was Caleb’s brother” (as in “Jonadab, the son of Shimeah David’s brother,” 2 Samuel 13:3), in which case Achsah was his cousin. The Masoretes, to whom is due the punctuation, &c., of our Hebrew Scriptures, show by their pointing that they understood the words in the former sense. But though Ben-kenaz may simply mean Kenezite (Joshua 14:6; Numbers 32:12), it is strange in that case that Othniel should never be called a son of Jephunneh. If he was a brother of Caleb’s, he must have lived to extreme old age, and have been an old man when he married Achsah. For the importance of Caleb’s family, see 1 Chronicles 27:15. The Rabbis identify Othniel with the Jabez who is so abruptly introduced in 1 Chronicles 4:9-10, and connect Achsah’s petition with the prayer there recorded; and they suppose that he founded the school of scribes at Jabez (1 Chronicles 2:55), and was a teacher of law to the Kenites.

Verse 14

(14) When she came to him.—When she first reached his house as a bride.

She moved him.—He was too modest to ask for himself, and he declined her request; but she will not enter till she has gained her way.

A field.—Rather, the field. In the passage in Joshua 15:18 there is no definite article, but by the time this book was written the field then obtained by Achsah had become historical.

Lighted.—Not merely in sign of reverence (like Rebecca in Genesis 24:64, and Abigail in 1 Samuel 25:25), but “leaped off” with eager impetuosity. The Hebrew verb tsanach here used occurs in Judges 4:21, where it is rendered “fastened,” i.e., “drove it firmly by a blow.” The LXX. render it “screamed” or “shouted from the ass;” the Vulg., “sighed as she was sitting on the ass;” but they probably had a different reading. “Suddenly,” says Ewald, “as if some accident had happened to her, she fell from her ass, and on being embraced by her anxious father, she adjured him as if in words of inspiration” (Hist. Isr. ii. 366).

What wilt thou?—Caleb was unable to understand her conduct in refusing to enter the house of her bridegroom.

Verse 15

(15) A blessingi.e., “a present” (Genesis 33:11).

A south land.—The word also means “a dry and barren land” (Psalms 126:4). The LXX. read “hast given me (in marriage) into a south land.”

Springs of water.—In thus asking for the fertile land which lay at the foot of the mountain slope, she showed herself at once more provident and less bashful than her husband.

The upper springs and the nether springs.—The word here rendered springs” is gulloth, i.e., “bubblings.” Probably the district for which she asked was called “the upper Gulloth” and “the lower Gulloth,” just as we have “the upper and the nether Beth-horon” (Beit-ur el-foka and el-tahti). The addition of “the deep green glen” to the arid mountain tract of Debir enormously increased the value of her portion. “The source of this incident,” says Dean Stanley, “was first discovered by Dr. Rosen. . . . The word gulloth well applies to this beautiful rivulet. The spots are now called Ain-Nunkûr and Dewîr-ban, about one hour south-west of Hebron. Underneath the hill on which Debir stood is a deep valley, rich with verdure from a copious rivulet, which, rising at the crest of the glen, falls with a continuity unusual in Judean hills down to its lowest depth” (Jewish Church, ii. 264, and Sin. Palest., p. 165. Mr. Wilton, in his Negeb, p. 16, identifies it with Kurnuil). Othniel had a son, Hathath (1 Chronicles 4:13), and his posterity continued to late times (Jdt. 6:15).

Verse 16

(16) The children of the Kenite, Moses’ father in law.—It is difficult to disentangle the names Jethro, Reuel, or Raguel, and Hobab (Judges 4:11); but in my article on Jethro in Kitto’s Bible Cyclopœdia I have shown that Jethro and Reuel are identical, the latter name (“friend of God”) being his local title as a priest of Midian; and that he was the father of Zipporah and Hobab. When Jethro refused to stay with the Israelites (Exodus 18:27), Hobab consented to accompany them as their hybeer or caravan-guide. He is well known in the Mohammedan legends as Schocib, but is confounded with Jethro.

The Kenites were the elder branch of the tribe of Midianites. They lived in the rocky district on the shores of the gulf of Akabah (Numbers 21:1; Numbers 24:21; 1 Samuel 15:6). They seem to have been named from a chieftain Kain (Genesis 15:19; Numbers 24:22; Heb., where there is a play on Kenite and Kinneka, “thy rest”). They were originally a race of troglodytes or cave-dwellers. The Targum constantly reads Salmaa for Kenite, because the Kenites were identified with the Kinim of 1 Chronicles 2:55. Jethro, they say. was a Kenite, who gave to Moses a house (Beth) and bread (lehem) (Exodus 2:20-21). They identify Jethro with Salmaa, because in 1 Chronicles 2:5 Salma is the father of Bethlehem. They also identify Rechab, the ancestor of the Rechabites—who were a branch of the Kenites—with Rechabiah, the son of Moses.

Went up.—Probably, in the first instance, in a warlike expedition.

The city of palm trees.—Probably Jericho (see Judges 3:13; Deuteronomy 34:3; 2 Chronicles 28:15). When Jericho was destroyed and laid under a curse, it would be quite in accordance with the Jewish feeling, which attached such “fatal force and fascination” to words, to avoid even the mention of the name. The Kenites would naturally attach less importance to the curse, or at any rate would not consider that they were braving it when they pitched their nomad tents among those beautiful groves of palms and balsams, which once made the soil “a divine country” (Jos. B. J. i. 6. §6; iv. 8, § 3; Antt. v. 1, § 22), though they have now entirely disappeared. Rabbinic tradition says that Jericho was assigned to Hobab. From the omission of the name Jericho, some have needlessly supposed that the reference is to Phaenico (a name which means “palm-grove”), an Arabian town mentioned by Diod Sic. iii. 41 (Le Clerc, Bertheau, Ewald); but there is no difficulty about the Kenites leaving Jericho when Judah left it.

The wilderness of Judah.—The Midbar—not a waste desert, but a plain with pasture—was a name applied to the lower Jordan valley and the southern hills of Judea (Genesis 21:14; Matthew 3:1; Matthew 4:1; Luke 15:4). The Kenites, like all Bedouins, hated the life of cities, and never lived in them except under absolute necessity (Jeremiah 35:6-7).

In the south of Arad.—Our E.V. has, in Numbers 21:1, King Arad; but more correctly, in Joshua 15:14, “the king of Arad.” It was a city twenty miles from Hebron, on the road to Petra, and the site is still called Tell-Arad (Wilton, Negeb, p. 198). They may have been attracted by the caves in the neighbourhood, and, although they left it at the bidding of Saul (1 Samuel 15:6), they seem to have returned to it in the days of David (1 Samuel 30:29).

Among the people.—It seems most natural to interpret this of the Israelites of the tribe of Judah; hut it may mean “the people to which he belonged,” i.e., the Amalekites (Numbers 21:21), and this accords with 1 Samuel 15:21. For the only subsequent notices of this interesting people, see Judges 4:11; 1 Samuel 15:6; 1 Chronicles 2:55; Jeremiah 35:0. They formed a useful frontier-guard to the Holy Land.

Verse 17

(17) Zephath.—This name is only mentioned elsewhere in 2 Chronicles 14:10, as the scene of Asa’s battle with Zerah the Ethiopian.

Hormahi.e., “a place devoted by ban.” The name Chormah is derived from Cherem (anathema or oan), and the verb rendered “utterly destroyed” means ‘executed the ban upon it.” By their conquest the Israelites fulfilled the vow which they had made in consequence of the “defeat inflicted on them by the king of Arad,” as a punishment for their disobedient Attempt to force their way into Palestine (see Numbers 14:45; Numbers 21:1-3). The town belonged to Simeon (Joshua 19:4; 1 Chronicles 4:28-32), and was close to the lands of the Kenites (1 Samuel 30:29-30).

Verse 18

(18) Took Gaza . . . Askelon . . . Ekron.—Three of the five Philistian lordships, to which the LXX. add Ashdod (Azotus). In Joshua 13:3 these five townships are mentioned as still unconquered, and here the LXX. put in a negative—“Judah did not inherit Gaza, nor,” &c. St. Augustine had the same reading. It is, however, possible that “not” may have been conjecturally added because of the apparent discrepancy between this passage and Judges 3:8; or, again, “did not inherit” may be a sort of explanatory gloss on the “took.” Josephus (Antt. v. 2, § 4) says that Askelon and Ashdod were taken in the war, but that Gaza and Ekron escaped, because their situation in the plains enabled them to use their chariots; yet in 3, § 1, he says that the Canaanites re-conquered Askelon and Ekron. In any case, the conquest was very transitory. (See Joshua 11:22; Judges 3:3; Judges 3:13 seq.)

Verse 19

(19) The Lord was with Judah.—The Targum here has “The Word of the Lord.” The expression is frequently used to imply insured prosperity (Genesis 39:23; 1 Samuel 18:14; 2 Kings 18:7. Comp. Matthew 18:20).

But.—Rather, for (): i.e., they only dispossessed their enemies of the mountain, for, &c.

Could not.—The Hebrew seems purposely to avoid this expression, and says “there was no driving out.” Judah could have driven them out; but their faith was cowed by the (Judges 1:19) iron chariots.

The valley.—Here Emek, not Shephelah. “Broad sweeps between parallel ranges of hills,” like, e.g., the “valley of Jezreel,” i.e., the plain of Esdraelon. It differs from Gî, which means a gorge or ravine.

Chariots of iron.—See Judges 4:3; Joshua 11:6-9; Joshua 17:16; 1 Samuel 13:6. R. Tanchum makes it mean “very strong chariots;” but the phrase means either “chariots with iron-bound wheels,” or “scythed chariots.” Ktesias attributes scythed chariots to Ninus, but none are seen on the Nineveh sculptures, and it is doubtful whether they were known so early. Xenophon says that scythed chariots were invented by Cyrus, which would not be till five centuries after this period. For this clause the LXX. have,” because Rechab resisted them,” mistaking rekeb, “chariot,” for a proper name (as they often do with other words). Hence the notion of Theodoret that the Kenites, to which Rechab belonged (2 Kings 10:15-23; Jeremiah 35:2), secretly helped the Philistines, is quite groundless. We see a reason for the partial failure of the Israelites in the fact that at this time they had not attained to the same level of civilisation as the Canaanites in arts and arms. This advantage could only have been rendered unavailing by more faith and faithfulness than they showed in their conduct. “Their warriors often rather overran than subdued the land. . . . The chariots and better arms of the Canaanites rendered the conquest of the valleys and plains long and laborious, especially to Joseph, Judah, and Dan. . . . The Hebrews ‘walked upon the high places of the land’ (Psalms 18:33; 2 Samuel 22:34; Habakkuk 3:19; Isaiah 58:14; Deuteronomy 32:13; Deuteronomy 32:29; Deuteronomy 32:33); but these heights were often encompassed like islands by the inhabitants of the valleys” (Ewald, ii. 264).

Verse 20

(20) Hebron.—See Joshua 14:12-15; Joshua 15:13-14.

As Moses said.Numbers 14:21.

It is remarkable that after this time Judah is only mentioned in Judges 10:9; Judges 15:10; Judges 20:18. The tribe produced no judge, with the possible exception of Ibzan (see Judges 12:8), nor is it mentioned in the song of Deborah. Perhaps we may see a reason for this in the strength which had won for Judah so secure a position. On the other hand, their conduct towards Samson was of the most abject kind (Judges 15:13). “As the nation gained in settled position and command of the soil it lost in unity and strength of external action. Each tribe looked out for itself(Ewald, ii. 264).

Verse 21

(21) The children of Benjamin did not drive out the Jebusites.—In Joshua 15:63 we find the same statement respecting the children of Judah. (See Judges 1:8.) Jerusalem was on the borders of Judah (Joshua 16:8) and Benjamin (Judges 18:28). It belongs more properly to the latter, but the conquest of Zion by David (2 Samuel 5:7) naturally caused its closer identification with Judah. The Jebusites were tolerated inhabitants ever after this conquest, and had their own prince—Araunah (2 Samuel 24:18)—“Araunah the king.” We even find traces of them after the exile (Ezra 9:1). Jerusalem is a remarkable exception to the rule that the Israelites conquered “the hill-country,” but not the plain.

Unto this day.—The assignment of Jerusalem to Benjamin shows that this narrative, though not contemporaneous, is older than the conquest of Jerusalem by David.

Verse 22

(22) The house of Joseph.—Ephraim and Manasseh. The narrative now leaves the conquest of southern for that of central Palestine (Joshua 16, 17).

Beth-el.—The position of this town on the “highway” between Hebron and Shechem—the main thoroughfare of Palestine (Judges 20:31; Judges 21:19)—gave it great importance, as did also its sacred connection with events in the life of Abraham (Genesis 12:8-9; Genesis 13:3-4; Genesis 12:8) and Jacob (Genesis 28:10-17). For its subsequent history, see Judges 20:18-26, and the history of the northern kingdom, Hosea 10:8; Amos 5:21-23; Amos 7:10; 1 Kings 12:13; 1 Kings 12:13; 2 Kings 2:3, &c. It is now the wretched village of Beitin. Bethel belonged properly to Benjamin (Joshua 18:22), but possibly, as in the case of Jerusalem, the border of Ephraim and Benjamin separated the upper from the lower town.

Verse 23

(23) To descry Beth-el.—The word perhaps implies a regular siege, and it is so understood by the LXX. (Cod. Alex.) and the Vulgate.

Luz.—We are also told that this was the original name of the city in Genesis 28:19; but there seems to be in that verse a distinction between the city and the place of Jacob’s dream. (Comp. Joshua 16:2.) The name means either “hazel,” or “sinking,” i.e., a valley depression.

Verse 24

(24) The spies.—Perhaps, rather, the scouts of the blockading squadron. The Israelites, like most ancient nations, were little able to take cities by storm, and relied either on blockade or on internal treachery.

Saw a man come forth.—Probably he stole out secretly, and was seized by the scouts. Similarly the Persians took Sardis by seizing a path used by a man who had dropped his helmet, and descended the hill fortress to pick it up (Herod. i. 84).

We will shew thee mercy.—They bribed him. with the promise of personal safety. (Compare Joshua 2:12; Joshua 2:6)

Verse 26

(26) Into the land of the Hittites.—Probably the inhabitants of Bethel belonged to this tribe of Canaanites. In Joshua 1:4 their name is used for all the inhabitants of Canaan, but probably it means the coastdwellers. They are often conjecturally classed with the inhabitants of Citium, in Cyprus. They first appear as “children of Heth,” in Genesis 23:19, but seem at that time to have been only a small tribe. Abraham, as Ewald observes, went to the Amorites for his allies, but to the Hittites for his grave. The Talmud says that this Luz was famous for its purple dye, and partly on this account Thomson identifies it with Kulb Louzy, not far from Antioch. It was not uncommon in ancient days for the fugitives from a city to build another city elsewhere of the same name. Thus Teucer, when driven from Salamis, built a new Salamis in Cyprus:

“Ambiguam tellure novâ Salamina futuram” (Hor. Od. i. 7).

Although the site of this new Luz has not been certainly identified, it was probably in some northern district on the Phœnician frontier (Ewald).

Unto this day.—This formula implies the lapse of some time between the event and this record of it.

Verse 27

(27) Neither did Manasseh.—The sacred historian is glancing at the conquest of Canaan, advancing from the southern tribes upwards to central and northern Palestine. (See Joshua 17:11-13.)

Beth-shean.—The town to the walls of which the victorious Philistines nailed the bodies of Saul and Jonathan after the battle of Gilboa, and from which they were recovered by the gratitude of the brave people of Jabesh Gilead (1 Samuel 31:8; 2 Samuel 21:12). It is again mentioned in 1 Kings 4:12, and in later days was well known under the name of Scytho-polis, or “city of Scythians” (2Ma. 12:29), a name contemptuously given to it from the barbarism of its inhabitants (Jos. Vit. 6). Though conquered by Manasseh, it was in the lot of Issachar (Joshua 17:11). It is now called Beisan. It was in a district so rich and fruitful that the Rabbis describe it as the gate of Paradise.

And her towns.—Literally, and her daughters.

Taanach.—The name means “the sandy.” It was a town of Issachar assigned to the Levites, and was famous for Barak’s victory over Sisera. It is still called Taanuk (Robinson, Bibl. Res. i. 316).

Dor.—Properly in Asher, it seems to have been attacked by Manasseh, and was ultimately won by Ephraim (Joshua 11:2; Joshua 17:11; 1 Chronicles 7:29). It long continued to be an important place (1Ma. 15:11; Jos. Antt. xiv. 5, § 3). It lies near the foot of Carmel, and is now called Tantura. Endor (“the fountain of Dor”) was probably one of its dependencies.

Ibleam.—Also called Bileam (1 Chronicles 6:70). It was a Levitical town (Joshua 21:25). The only event connected with it in Scripture is the death of Ahaziah (2 Kings 9:27). Perhaps Khirbet-Belameh.

Megiddo.—Near Taanach. It is now called Lejjûn, from having been a station of the Romans. See Judges 1:19; 2 Kings 9:27 (the death of Ahaziah); and 2 Kings 23:29; Zechariah 12:11 (the defeat of Josiah by Pharaoh Necho). It was fortified by Solomon (1 Kings 9:15). From this town is derived the famous name Armageddon (Revelation 16:16) as a scene of battle and wailing.

The Canaanites would dwell in that landi.e., the old inhabitants obstinately and successfully held their own (Joshua 17:12).

Verse 28

(28) Did not utterly drive them out.—This is mentioned by way of blame, as the cause of their future sins and disasters (Judges 2:2; Josh. 16:16, Joshua 17:13). As to the morality of these exterminating wars, we must bear in mind that men and nations must alike be judged by the moral standard of their own day, not by the advanced morality of later ages. We learn from unanimous testimony that the nations of Canaan had sunk to the lowest and vilest depths of moral degeneracy. When nations have fallen thus low, the cup of their iniquity is full; they are practically irreclaimable. To mingle with them would inevitably be to learn their works, for their worst abominations would find an ally in the natural weakness and corruption of the human heart. The Israelites therefore believed that it was their positive duty to destroy them, and the impulse which led them to do so was one which sprang from their best and not from their worst instincts. It must not be forgotten that the teaching of Christ has absolutely changed the moral conceptions of the world. It intensified, to a degree which we can hardly estimate, our sense of the inalienable rights of humanity and of the individual man. In these days there is scarcely any amount of evidence which would convince us that we were bidden to exterminate a whole population, and involve women and children in one indistinguishable massacre. But neither the Israelites nor any other ancient nations, at this early stage of their moral development, had any conception corresponding to those which would in our minds rightly excite horror, were we to receive a command like that given by Moses, that “thou shalt save nothing alive that breatheth” (Deuteronomy 22:16), or by Samuel, “Slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass” (1 Samuel 15:3). We should instantly declare it to be impossible that God—as Christ has revealed to us the character of our Father in heaven—should give us commands which would militate against our sense of justice no less than against our sense of compassion. To quote such commands as an excuse for, or an incentive to, such horrible acts of wickedness as the Sack of Beziers, or the Massacre of St. Bartholomew, is ignorantly and recklessly to obliterate the whole results of God’s progressive moral education of our race. It is to ignore the fact that we are living under a wholly different dispensation, and to disavow every blessing which has accrued to humanity from the broadening light and divine revelation of three thousand years. But the ancient Israelites, living as they did in the “days of ignorance” which God “winked at” (Acts 17:30), had never attained to that idea of human individuality—that sense of the independence and infinite worth of each human life—which would have shown them that they knew not what manner of spirit they were of (Luke 9:56). The wild and passionate sense of severe justice, the comparative indifference to human life, the familiarity with pain and death which blunted the keen edge of pity, “the deficient sense of individuality, the exaggerated sense of the solidarity which united a criminal with all his surroundings and possessions,” prevented them from regarding the execution of their ban on guilty nations, cities, or families in any other light than that of the zeal for righteousness by which it was impelled. Their deeds must be estimated by the elements of nobleness which mingled with them, and not indiscriminately condemned by standards of judgment of which neither they nor the age in which they lived had any conception. They firmly believed that in exterminating Canaan they were acting under Divine commands; and there was nothing in such commands which would in that day have shocked the moral sense of the world. “They did not look unnatural to the ancient Jew; they were not foreign to his standard; they excited no surprise or perplexity; they appealed to a genuine but rough idea of justice which existed, when the longing for retribution upon crime in the human mind was not checked by the strict sense of human individuality” (Mozley, Lectures on the Old Test., p. 103).

Verse 29

(29) Neither did Ephraim.—See Joshua 16:10. Gezer.—This town was not won from the Canaanites till its capture by Pharaoh, who gave it as a present to his daughter, the wife of Solomon (1 Kings 9:16).

Verse 30

(30) Neither did Zebulun.—See Joshua 19:10-16. Nothing is known of the towns here mentioned. It is remarkable that Issachar is not mentioned, but it may perhaps be accounted for by the condition of contented subjection in which this tribe “bowed his shoulder to the yoke” (Genesis 49:14-15).

Verse 31

(31) Neither did Asher.—See Joshua 19:24-31.

Accho.—The seaport so famous under the names of Ptolemais (Acts 21:7; 1Ma. 5:15; 1Ma. 10:1), Acre, and St. Jean d’Acre (now Acca). Josephus called it Ako (Antt. ix. 14, § 2).

Zidon.—(Joshua 11:8.) Asher never succeeded in conquering Zidon, which was the capital of Phœnicia, though eclipsed by its neighbour Tyre. (2 Samuel 5:11; Isaiah 23:0; Jeremiah 27, 47; Matthew 11:22, &c.) It is now called Saida.

Ahlab.—An unknown town.

Achzib.—(See Joshua 19:29.) Better known as Ecdippa (Jos. B. J. i. 13, § 4), the modern Zib, about nine miles north of Akka. There was a less well-known Achzib in Judah (Chezib)—Genesis 38:5; Micah 1:14; Joshua 15:44.

Helbah.—The name is rendered “the coast” in Joshua 19:29. The site is unknown.

Aphik.—The Aphek of Joshua 19:30, now Afka (Robinson, Bible Res., 3:606). The name means “strength.” It was famous for a Temple of Venus, destroyed by Constantine. (Euseb. Vit. Const.) There seems to have been another Aphek near Hebron. (Joshua 12:18.)

Rehob.—A Levitical city (Joshua 21:31; 1 Chronicles 6:75).

Verse 32

(32) The Asherites dwelt among the Canaanites.—The change of phrase from Judges 1:30 implies that in these districts the Canaanites had the upper hand. Thus Asher reached the climax of degradation. The best summary of the moral lesson involved in the narrative is in Psalms 106:34-36 : “They did not destroy the nations concerning whom the Lord commanded them: but were mingled among the heathen and learned their works. And they served their idols, which were a snare unto them.”

Verse 33

(33) Neither did Naphtali.—See Joshua 19:32-38. Beth-shemesh.—The name means “house of the sun,” and the place was probably a great centre of Baal-worship; but this Beth-shemesh in Naphtali is not the same as Ir-shemesh (“city of the sun”) in Joshua 15:10, which was on the borders of Judah. It is the “mount of the sun” (Har-cheres) in Judges 1:35. In Isaiah 19:18, alluding to another “city of the sun” (On, i.e., Heliopolis), the prophet calls it not Is-ha-Cheres, “the city of the sun,” but Ir-ha-Heres, “the city of overthrow,” with one of those scornful plays on words of which the Jews were fond.

Beth-anath.—Nothing is known of this town. The name perhaps means “house of echo,” and some identify it with Baneas or Paneas, a place at which the echo was famous.

Nevertheless.—The tribe of Naphtali was in the same unhappy condition as that of Asher, living in the midst of a Canaanite population of superior strength to themselves. They had, however, so far succeeded as to reduce the two chief towns (out of nineteen—Joshua 19:38) to a tributary condition.

Verse 34

(34) The Amorites.—They were the Highlanders of Palestine (Joshua 10:6; Numbers 13:29; Deuteronomy 1:44).

Forced.—Literally “squeezed” or “pressed.”

Forced the children of Dan into the mountain.—The condition of this tribe was, therefore, the worst of all. So far from reducing under tribute the Canaanites of its assigned possession, as the central tribes did, the Danites did not even succeed in establishing a tolerated neutrality among them, like the northern tribes, but were driven into a few mountain-strongholds. It was probably this failure, and the consequent pressure of space under which the tribe laboured, which induced them to undertake the successful northern expedition alluded to in Joshua 19:47 and described in Judges 18:0

Verse 35

(35) Mount Heres.—(See Judges 1:33.) Cheres is used for the sun in Job 9:7. The Vatican Codex of the LXX. has the strange rendering, “in the mountains of potsherds” (comp. the Monte Testacclo at Rome), and Jerome follows them in reading תֶךֶש for תֶךֶס. The Alexandrian Codex renders it, “the mountain of the myrtle-grove,” reading Haras.

Aijalon.—The name means “gazelles,” and is still preserved in the name Yalo, a village on the south side of the beautiful valley, Merj Ibn Omeir. It is mentioned in the story of the battle of Beth-horon (Joshua 10:12), and as a scene of the defeat of the Philistines by Saul (1 Samuel 14:31). It was a Levitical town (Joshua 21:24).

Shaalbim.—The name means “jackals” (comp. Judges 15:4; and Hazar-shual, Joshua 15:28; and Shalim, 1 Samuel 9:4). The LXX. render this and Aijalon by “where the bears and foxes are.” Not far off is Zeboim, i.e. “Hyænas.”

Yet the hand of the house of Joseph prevailed.—This may imply that when Dan was unable to dislodge the Amorites they were effectually aided by the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh. Hence the LXX. render it, “The hand of the house of Joseph was heavy on the Amorites.” (Comp. 1 Samuel 5:6; Psalms 32:6.)

Tributaries.—Not to Dan, but to their conquerors, the Ephraimites; so that the assistance rendered by the house of Joseph to their weak brother was, at the best, somewhat selfish, although it enabled Dan to hold the sea-coast (Judges 1:17).

Verse 36

(36) The coast of the Amorites.—This notice is added to account for the obstinate resistance of the Amorites, by showing the extent of their domain, which reached far to the south of Petra. Hazezon Tamar, “the sanctuary of the palm,” afterwards called Engedi, “the goat’s fountain,” belonged to them (Genesis 14:7; 2 Chronicles 20:2; Tristram, Land of Israel, p. 784). Another opinion given is, that the verse is added to sum up the chapter, by showing that neither the northern, eastern, nor western boundaries were thoroughly secured, but only that of the southern tribes.

From the going up to Akrabbim.—The same as Maaleh Akrabbim (Joshua 15:3), and “the ascent of scorpions” (Numbers 34:4), probably the Wady-es-Zuweirah (De Saulcy, La Terre Sainte, i. 528), where scorpions abound to this day under every stone; or the Wady-es-Sufah. Robinson supposes it to be the line of rocks which crosses the Jordan valley at right angles, eleven miles south of the Dead Sea (Bibl. Res. Ii. 120). It is the Akrabattine of 1Ma. 5:3. It formed the southern boundary of the Holy Land, being a wall of cliffs which separates the Jordan valley from the wilderness.

From the rock.—From “Ras-Selah,” i.e., from Petra, the famous capital of Idumea (2 Kings 14:7; Isaiah 16:1; Obadiah 1:3). Keil and Delitzsch refer it to the well-known rock at Kadesh-Meribah (Numbers 20:8-10).

And upward.—It is uncertain whether this means “and beyond,” i.e., their border extended even farther south; or, “and northwards,” i.e., this was their extreme southern limit.

The history of the Twelve Tribes is nowhere separately drawn out in Scripture. The reader will find the character and career of each tribe graphically sketched in Dean Stanley’s Sinai and Palestine, Judges 3-11; and more briefly in the Lectures on the Jewish Church, 1:261-281.

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Bibliographical Information
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Judges 1". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ebc/judges-1.html. 1905.