INTRODUCTION TO JOSHUA 19
In this chapter an account is given of the lots of the six remaining tribes, and the cities in them, as of Simeon, whose cities were chiefly within the tribe of Judah, Joshua 19:1; of Zebulun, its border and cities, Joshua 19:10; of Issachar, its border and cities, Joshua 19:17; of Asher, its border and cities, Joshua 19:24; of Naphtali, its border and cities, Joshua 19:32; of Dan, its border and titles, Joshua 19:40; and lastly of a gift of inheritance to Joshua, Joshua 19:49.
And the second lot came forth to Simeon,.... That is, the second of the seven lots, of which Benjamin's was the first; otherwise there were the two lots of Judah and Joseph, which preceded both these:
even for the tribe of the children of Simeon, according to their families; for though many of their cities had been given by lot to the tribe of Judah, yet it seems as if there were others they had by a special lot cast for them, as many as were sufficient for their families:
and their inheritance was within the inheritance of the children of Judah; which was done partly because this was but a small tribe, and particularly because the lot put up, which fell to the tribe of Judah, was too large for it, more than they could occupy, too much being put to this lot by the first measurers of the land; and partly to fulfil the prophecy of Jacob, that the Simeonites should be scattered in Jacob, and divided in Israel, Genesis 49:7; and hence it is that the lots of these two tribes lying together, and being so intermixed, that the tribe of Judah called upon that of Simeon to join them in fighting against the Canaanites, and taking out of their hands the cities that belonged to them, Judges 1:3.
And they had in their inheritance Beersheba and Sheba,.... Or, Beersheba, that is, Sheba; for so the particle "vau" is sometimes used
and Moladah; another of the cities of Judah, Joshua 15:26.
And Hazarshual,.... See Gill on Joshua 15:28,
and Balah, and Azem; of these places see Gill on Joshua 15:29; for Balah is the same with Baalah there, and with Bilhah 1 Chronicles 4:29; and Azem with Ezem there.
And Eltolad, and Bethul, and Hormah. These were all cities of Judah, Joshua 15:30; Eltolad is the same with Tolad, and Bethul with Bethuel, 1 Chronicles 4:29, and with Chesil, Joshua 15:30, mentioned there along with Hormah; See Gill on Joshua 15:30.
And Ziklag,.... Another of the cities of Judah; see Gill on Joshua 15:31,
and Bethmarcaboth, and Hazarsusah; or Hazarsusim, as in 1 Chronicles 4:31; the one signifies a chariot house, and the other a court or stable for horses, which made Bochart conjecture
And Bethlebaoth, and Sharuhen,.... Whether the first is the same with Lebaoth, a city of Judah, Joshua 15:32; and with the Bethleptepha of Josephus
thirteen cities and their villages; the sum total of those enumerated above.
Ain, Remmon,.... Of the two first, which were cities of Judah; see Gill on Joshua 15:32,
and Ether, and Ashan; of the two last; see Gill on Joshua 19:42,
four cities and their villages; Ain, Remmon, therefore, could not be one city, at this time, as it seems to have been in the times of Nehemiah, Nehemiah 11:29; or otherwise there would have been but three cities.
And all the villages that were round about these cities,.... Not only the suburbs adjoining to those cities which are mentioned before, but the several small distinct towns and villages, scattered up and down in the country:
to Baalathbeer, Ramath of the south: this is the same with Baal in 1 Chronicles 4:33; and with Ramath of the south, or south Ramoth, as it is called 1 Samuel 30:27; all these are the names of one and the same city:
this is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Simeon,
according to their families; that is, the above named cities fell to the lot of the inheritance of the Simeonites, and were divided among them according to the number of their respective families; at least, these were the chief and principal of them; for all that they possessed are not mentioned, particularly one called Tochen, 1 Chronicles 4:32; and another, the name of which is Etam there, unless that is thought to be the same with Ether here in Joshua 19:7. Josephus says
Out of the portion of the children of Judah was the inheritance of the children of Simeon,.... Which is the reason why no description is given of the border of their inheritance, because that is before given in the account of the lot of Judah:
for the part of the children of Judah was too much for them: they had more cities than they could fill with people, and more land than they could cultivate; they had an hundred fourteen cities with their villages:
therefore the children of Simeon had their inheritance within the inheritance of them; the one being a small tribe, and the other large, and for the reasons given; See Gill on Joshua 19:1.
And the third lot came up for the children of Zebulun,
according to their families,.... Who, though younger than Issachar, has his lot before him, agreeably to the order in which his blessing is predicted, both by Jacob and Moses, Genesis 49:13;
and the border of their inheritance was unto Sarid; or "by Sarid", as Masius, who takes this to be the southwest border of Zebulun, being near Carmel; in which he seems to be right.
And their border went up toward the sea,.... Westward towards the Mediterranean sea, which fulfilled the prophecies of Jacob and Moses, that Zebulun should dwell by the sea, be an haven of ships, and take of the abundance of the seas, as in the places before referred to; and so Josephus says, the Zebulunites took the land unto the lake of Gennesaret, by or about Carmel and the sea:
and Maralah; which Jerom calls
and reached to the river that is before Jokneam; of Jokneam; see Gill on Joshua 12:22; and this river was either the river Kishon, or Belus, sometimes called Pagida; from whence sand was taken to make glass of
And turned from Sarid eastward,.... This describes the southern border, going on from west to east:
towards the sunrising, unto the border of Chislothtabor; this Jerom places in the tribe of Issachar, it bordered on both tribes; and he says
and then goeth out to Daberath; which also was a city in the tribe of Issachar, given to the Levites, Joshua 21:28. Jerom
and goeth up to Japhia; this Jerom
And from thence passeth on along on the east to Gittahhepher,.... Which was the native place of Jonah the prophet, 2 Kings 14:25; and where Jerom says
to Ittahkazin; of this place we have no account elsewhere, but it was not far from the former:
and goeth out to Remmonmethoar to Neah; where the eastern border ended. Some versions make Remmonmethoar distinct places; but where either of them were exactly is not known: some, as the Targum, Jarchi, and Kimchi, render the word "Methoar which goes about"; that is, the border went about from Remmon to Neah, which by Jerom is called Anna, and who observes
And the border compasseth it from the north side to Hannathon,.... This is the northern border of the tribe, which took a circuit from the last place to this; of which and the following place we have no account; Jerom only makes mention of them as in the tribe of Zebulun:
and the outgoings thereof are in the valley of Jiphthahel; here the northern border ended, which, Masius conjectures, was part of the valley of Carmel.
And Kattath, and Nahallal,.... Of the two first of these we read nowhere else, but in Joshua 21:34,
and Shimron was a royal city, the king of which Joshua took and hanged, Joshua 11:1,
and Idalah is a place Bochart conjectures
and Bethlehem is a different place from that which was the birthplace of our Lord, called Bethlehem of Judah, to distinguish it from this:
twelve cities with their villages; more are named, but some of them belonged to other tribes, and only lay on the borders of this; and others might not be properly cities, but small towns.
This is the inheritance of the children of Zebulun, according to their families,.... Which was allotted to it and divided, according to the number of its families:
these cities with their villages; before enumerated, excepting such as only bordered on them; though indeed there were other cities which belonged to them, or might be after given them, not here mentioned, as Kartah and Dimnah, Joshua 21:34.
And the fourth lot came out to Issachar,.... The fourth of the seven drawn at Shiloh:
for the children of Issachar, according to their families: among whom the inheritance that came to them by the lot was divided, according to the number of them.
And their border was towards Jezreel,.... Which was a royal seat in the time of Ahab, 1 Kings 21:1; and according to Jerom was near to Maximianopolis; See Gill on Hosea 1:5; and the same writer
and Chesulloth was different from the Chislothtabor, Joshua 19:12; that, as Masius observes, was to the north, this to the south of Mount Tabor:
and Shunem is a place well known for being the dwelling place of a certain woman in the times of Elisha, whose son the prophet raised from the dead, 2 Kings 4:8; Jerom calls it Sonam, where was the Shunammite woman; but this city here seems to be what he calls Salem, in the tribe of Issachar; and he adds, that there was shown in his day a village by this name, five miles from Mount Tabor to the south
And Hapharaim,.... The first of these is by Jerom
and Shion; of Seon or Soen, the same with Shion here, he says
and Anaharath, of which we have no account elsewhere.
And Rabbith,.... The first of these Jerom calls
and Kishion, as Masius notes, seems to given name to the river Kishon near it; some take it to be the same with Kedesh, 1 Chronicles 6:72,
and Abez, of which no mention is made elsewhere.
And Remeth,.... Remeth seems to be the same with Jarmuth, Joshua 21:29; and with Ramoth, 1 Chronicles 6:73,
and Engannim seems to be the same with Anem in 1 Chronicles 6:73, there were several of this name, which seem to have been places full of gardens, and well watered; for the word signifies a fountain of gardens. Engannim is now called Jenine, distant from Tabor twenty two miles, a place of gardens, of water, and of pleasure, as a traveller
and Enhaddah; Jerom says, in his time
and Bethpazzez; of Bethpazzez no mention is made elsewhere. "Beth" signifies a "house", and "Pazzez" in the Arabic tongue signifies "silver"; so this with the old Canaanites might be a treasure city, like those in Egypt, Exodus 1:11. But where a word begins with "Beth", as the name of a place, I always suspect there was an idol temple there; now as the word in Hebrew signifies the same as "Peor", opening, here might be a temple to that deity, or to one that was similar to the god of the Moabites, and design a Priapus, among the Canaanites like that; or as the word in the Syriac and Chaldee languages signifies to redeem, deliver, and save, this temple might be dedicated to some idol as their deliverer and saviour.
And the coast reacheth to Tabor,.... Tabor was the name of a mountain in those parts; it is generally supposed to be the mountain on which our Lord was transfigured, though it is not sufficiently evident; See Gill on Jeremiah 46:18. There was a city of this name near it, 1 Chronicles 6:77, and which is meant here, and which either gave unto or received name from the mount. The Greeks call it Itabyrium, and it is described by Polybius
and Shahazimah is not mentioned any where else:
and Bethshemesh; there seem to have been several cities, at least more than one, of the name of Bethshemesh; one in the tribe of Judah, Joshua 21:16; and another in the tribe of Naphtali, Joshua 19:38; which perhaps may be the same with this, it lying on the borders of both tribes. In this, and so in others of the same name, was a temple dedicated to the sun by the Heathens, as there was one of the same name in Egypt for the same reason, Jeremiah 43:13,
and the outgoings of their border were at Jordan; here it ended: so Josephus says, that the border of this tribe in the length of it were Mount Carmel (at one end), and the river (i.e. Jordan, at the other); and at the breadth of it the mountain Itabyrium, or Mount Tabor: it had Jordan on the east, the sea on the west, Zebulun on the north, and Manasseh on the south:
sixteen cities with their villages; which was the sum total of them.
This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Issachar,.... Which fell to them by lot, as before described:
according to their families; was divided among them, according to the number of them:
the cities and their villages; the cities before enumerated, and the villages adjacent to them.
And the fifth lot came out for the tribe of the children of Asher,.... Which entitled them to an inheritance next described:
according to their families; which was sufficient for them, and divided to them according to their number.
And their border was Helkath,.... Helkath seems to be the same with Hukok, 1 Chronicles 6:75; and according to Masius it lay ten or twelve miles above Ptolemais:
and Hali, of which we read nowhere else.
and Beten is by Jerom
and Achshaph was a royal city, whose king was taken by Joshua; see Gill on Joshua 11:1.
And Alammelech, and Amad,.... Of the two first of these there is no mention elsewhere:
and Misheal is the same with Mashal, 1 Chronicles 6:74; and is by Jerom
and reacheth to Carmel westward; or, "to the sea", as Carmel is called "Carmel by the sea"; see Gill on Jeremiah 46:18, it is hereby distinguished from Carmel in the tribe of Judah, Joshua 15:55; (Pliny
and to Shihorlibnath; the Vulgate Latin and Septuagint versions make two places of it: but the sum of the cities after given will not admit of it: more rightly Junius renders it Sihor by Libhath, and takes Sihor to be the river Belus, or Pagidus; so called either because of its likeness to the Nile, one of whose names is Sihor, Jeremiah 2:18; or because its waters might be black and muddy; it was the river out of which sand was fetched to make glass of: and Libnath, which has its name from whiteness, the same writer thinks may be the Album Promontorium, or white promontory of Pliny
And turneth towards the sunrising,.... Or eastward:
to Bethdagon; there was a city of this name in the tribe of Judah; see Gill on Joshua 15:41. Dagon, being a god of the Phoenicians, had temples built for him in various places in Canaan:
and reacheth to Zebulun; not the tribe of Zebulun, but a city so called, the same Josephus
and to the valley of Jiphthahel; see Joshua 19:14,
toward the north side of Bethemek; of Bethemek no mention is made elsewhere: perhaps here was an idol temple before dedicated to the god of the valleys; see 1 Kings 20:28,
and Neiel; which the Greek version calls Inael, of which Jerom says
and goeth out to Cabul on the left hand; not the land of Cabul, 1 Kings 9:13; but a city, which Josephus
And Hebron,.... Hebron seems to be the same with Abdon, Joshua 21:30; ר and ד being changed, of which there are other instances; and hereby this is distinguished from another Hebron in the tribe of Judah, more commonly known, Joshua 15:54,
and Rehob; in the time of Jerom
and Hammon; of this city we read nowhere else:
and Kanah; this Kanah is generally thought to be the same where Christ wrought his first miracle, John 2:1. Jerom expressly says
even unto great Zidon; of great Zidon, and why so called; see Gill on Joshua 11:8.
And then the coast turneth to Ramah,.... Which was a city in the tribe of Naphtali, Joshua 19:36; and on the borders of Asher; though Jerom
and to the strong city Tyre; it is thought this is not to be understood of the famous city, so much spoken of in other parts of Scripture, and in profane history; since, as it is observed, that is not mentioned in Scripture until the times of David; and though Homer makes frequent mention of Sidon, yet never of Tyre. The words signify the strong fortress of a rock, or a fortress on a high rock; so Kimchi and Ben Melech; and it might be a fortified city, which being built on a rock, might have the name of Zor or Tyre, and not be the famous city of that name. Jerom
and the coast turneth to Hosah; of which we nowhere else read:
and the outgoings thereof are at the sea; the Mediterranean sea; where the coast ended this way:
from the coast to Achzib; this Jerom
Ummah also,.... Ummah is not mentioned any where else:
and Aphek; of which; see Gill on Joshua 12:18,
and Rehob; of which; see Gill on Joshua 19:28,
twenty and two cities with their villages: there are more set down in the account, but some of them did not belong to the tribe, only were on the border of it.
This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Asher,.... As before described, a goodly heritage; it was, according to the prediction of Jacob and Moses, Genesis 49:20; a very fruitful country. Josephus
according to their families; the number of them, so their lot was divided to them:
these cities with their villages; before named.
The sixth lot came out to the children of Naphtali,.... The tribe of Naphtali, and directed what should be the inheritance of this tribe:
even for the children of Naphtali, according to their families; which was to be divided among them, according to the number of their, families.
And their coast was from Heleph,.... That is, their northern coast, reaching from west to east, as appears by the ending of it at Jordan; the Alexandrian copy of the Greek version calls it Mlepeh, the Targum, Meheleph, and Jerom, Mealeb, which he calls the border of Naphtali; which, though to the north, cannot be expressly said what and where it was:
from Allon to Zaanannim; or rather from the oak, or from the plain in Zaanannim
and Adami, Nekeb; some make these to be but one city, and the latter only an epithet of the former; but the Talmudists
and Jabneel; Jabneel is different from that which was on the borders of Judah, Joshua 15:11; and is called by the Jews
unto Lakum; of which we nowhere else read:
and the outgoings thereof were at Jordan; here the coast ended this way.
And then the coast turneth westward to Aznothtabor,.... This was the southern border, reaching from east to west; it began at Aznothtabor, which Jerom
and goeth out from thence to Hukkok: there the southern border ended, which was in the border of Asher, and is the same with Helkath, Joshua 19:25; with which compare 1 Chronicles 6:75,
and reacheth to Zebulun on the south side, and reacheth to Asher on the west side and to Judah upon Jordan towards the sunrising; so that as it was bounded by Lebanon, on the north, near to which some of the cities were, mentioned in Joshua 19:33, it had Zebulun on the south, Asher on the west, and Jordan to the east; for by Judah is not meant the tribe of Judah, from which Naphtali was at a great distance, but a city so called, as Fuller
And the fenced cities are Ziddim,.... The later name of Ziddim, according to the Talmud
Zer is called by Jerom
and Hammath probably was built by the youngest son of Canaan, Genesis 10:18; or had its name in memory of him; it lay to the north of the land of Israel; see Numbers 34:8,
Rakkath, and Chinnereth; Rakkath according to the Jewish writers
And Adamah,.... Adamah is different from Adami, Joshua 19:33; and may seem to confirm the notion of some, that Nekeb there is an epithet of it, and so distinguishes it from Adamah here:
and Ramah; of Ramah, as there were several places of this name; see Gill on Joshua 19:29,
and Hazor was a royal city, of which; see Gill on Joshua 11:1.
And Kedesh,.... This is Kedesh in Galilee, in Mount Naphtali, to distinguish it from others of the same name; it was one of the cities of refuge, Joshua 20:7. Jerom says
and Edrei is a different place from one of that name in the kingdom of Og, Numbers 21:33,
and Enhazor, of which we read nowhere else.
And Iron,.... Of Iron no mention is made elsewhere:
and Migdalel, which Jerom calls Magdiel, he says
and Horem is not mentioned anywhere elsewhere;
and Bethanath; Jerom also relates
and Bethshemesh was another city, in which was a temple dedicated to the sun, when inhabited by the Canaanites; see Joshua 19:22; and so in Bethanath there might be a temple dedicated to some deity, though now uncertain what:
nineteen cities with their villages; there are more mentioned, but some of them might be only boundaries, and so belonged to another tribe.
This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Naphtali,.... Which Josephus
according to their families; which was divided among them, according to the number of their families:
the cities and their villages; before enumerated.
And the seventh lot came out for the tribe of the children of Dan,.... Which was the last lot drawn, and which appointed an inheritance to this tribe:
according to their families; the number of them.
And the coast of their inheritance was Zorah, and Eshtaol,.... The tribe of Dan is not described by places the boundaries of it, as other tribes, but by its cities, which were chiefly, at least several of them, taken out of the tribe of Judah, as the two first of these most manifestly were; See Gill on Joshua 15:33,
and Irshemesh signifies the city of the sun, as the Targum interprets it, and was so called very probably from a temple in it, dedicated to the idolatrous worship of the sun, but a different place from Bethshemesh in other tribes; though those of that name, as this, had it for the like reason; and so Heliopolis, in Egypt, which signifies the same, where was a temple of the same kind; as there was another city of this name, between the mountains of Libanus and Antilibanus, now called Balbec
And Shaalabbin,.... The first of these is the same with Shaalbim, Judges 1:35; and which Jerom
and Ajalon is famous for the standing still of the moon in its valley while Joshua pursued his enemies; see Gill on Joshua 10:12,
and Jethlah, of which we read nowhere else.
And Elon,.... Of Elon no mention is made elsewhere:
and Thimnathah is a different place from Timnah in the tribe of Judah, Joshua 15:10. Jerom
and Ekron was one of the five principalities of the Philistines, and never possessed by the Israelites; it first fell by lot to the tribe of Judah, and afterwards given to the tribe of Dan, Joshua 15:45.
And Eltekeh,.... Eltekeh was a city given to the Levites, Joshua 21:23; and supposed by some to be the same with Eltekon in the tribe of Judah given to the Danites, Joshua 15:59,
and Gibbethon was in the hands of the Philistines in the reign of Asa, 1 Kings 15:21; and in the same place Jerom
and Baalath is not the same with Baalah, Joshua 15:29; but the Baalath rebuilt by Solomon, 1 Kings 9:18; called by Josephus
And Jehud,.... Of Jehud no mention is made elsewhere:
and Beneberak signifies sons of lightning; see Mark 3:17. Jerom
and Gathrimmon was in Jerom's
And Mejarkon, and Rakkon,.... Of the two first of these we read no where else.
with the border before Japho; Japho is the same with Joppa, now called at this day Jaffa, a port in the Mediterranean sea, famous for being the place where Jonah took shipping; see Gill on Jonah 1:3; and where the Apostle Peter resided some time; see Gill on Acts 9:36; and See Gill on Acts 9:38. It is not certain whether Joppa itself was in the tribe of Dan, or only on the borders of it; the coast of Dan reached "over against" it, as it may be rendered, and included the villages and little cities that were near it; for such there were, as Josephus
And the coast of the children of Dan went out too little for them,.... Being a very numerous tribe, the cities allotted them were not sufficient for them; or rather, leaving out the supplement "too little", the words will run, it "went out from them"; they lost part of it, being driven out of the valley into the mountain by the Amorites, Judges 1:34; which obliged them to seek out elsewhere for habitations:
therefore the children of Dan went out to fight against Leshem; called Laish, Judges 18:1, where the whole story is related of their lighting against this place and taking it; which, though some time after the death of Joshua, is here recorded to give at once an account of the inheritance of Dan; and which is no argument against Joshua's being the writer of this book, as is urged; since it might be inserted by another hand, Ezra, or some other inspired man, for the reason before given:
and took and smote it with the edge of the sword, and possessed it,
and dwelt therein; being a Canaanitish city, they put all in it to the sword, as the Lord had commanded, and took possession of it for an habitation:
and called Leshem Dan, after the name of Dan their father; this is the place which is always meant, where the phrase is used "from Dan to Beersheba", Judges 20:1, this being at the utmost northern border of the land of Canaan, as Beersheba was at the further part of the southern coast of it. It was, according to Jerom
This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Dan,.... Before described by its cities, which were in it. This tribe was bounded by Ephraim on the north, by Judah on the east, by Simeon on the south, and by the Mediterranean sea on the west. Josephus
according to their families; which inheritance was distributed according to the number of their families:
their cities with their villages; before named.
And when they made an end of dividing the land for inheritance by their coasts,.... That is, Eleazar, Joshua, and the ten men appointed for this, purpose; when all the lots were drawn, and the several inheritances which came up to them were divided among the families of the respective tribes, this work being finished:
the children of Israel gave an inheritance to Joshua the son of Nun among them; most interpreters observe the modesty of Joshua, that though the oldest and the greatest man in the nation, the chief governor, yet had his inheritance last of all; nor did he take any part to himself, it was given to him by the people, who had the whole land divided among them; in which he was a type of Christ; see 2 Corinthians 8:9 Philippians 2:6.
According to the word of the Lord,.... Or mouth of the Lord; either according to the oracle of Urim and Thummim, which Eleazar consulted on this occasion; or according to what the Lord had said to Moses, at the same time that Hebron was ordered to Caleb, Joshua 14:6; and
they gave him the city which he asked, even Timnathserah in Mount Ephraim; he chose a place in his own tribe, for he was of the tribe of Ephraim; and it seems that what he chose was none of the best of places; for Paula, as Jerom
and he built the city, and dwelt therein; he rebuilt it, and fitted it for his own habitation, and for those that belonged to him. (Timnathserah means "an abundant portion" or "a place in the sun". Joshua great reward was in seeing the promises of God fulfilled before his very eyes Joshua 21:45 and the children of Israel serving the Lord's during his lifetime Joshua 24:31. Joshua may have received but a small inheritance in the promised land but this was just an earnest of his future glorious inheritance in eternity. The saints of God have the best portion saved for the last John 2:10 whereas the worldling has his best portion now; his worst is yet to come. Editor.)
These are the inheritances which Eleazar the priest, and Joshua the son of Nun,.... The one the high priest, and the other the chief governor of the nation:
and the heads of the fathers of the tribes of the children of Israel; the princes appointed for this service, whose names are given Numbers 34:18; the inheritances before described in the preceding chapters by their boundaries and cities, these the said persons
divided for an inheritance by lot in Shiloh; and so has particular reference to the seven lots drawn there for seven of the tribes, by which their inheritances were assigned to them: and this was done
before the Lord, at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation; see Joshua 18:1,
so they made an end of dividing the country; though it was not as yet wholly subdued.
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Gill, John. "Commentary on Joshua 19". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/
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