Bible Commentaries

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

Joshua 15

Verse 1

This then was the lot of the tribe of the children of Judah by their families; even to the border of Edom the wilderness of Zin southward was the uttermost part of the south coast.

This then was the lot of the tribe of the children of Judah. In what manner the lot was drawn on this occasion the sacred historian does not say; but it is probable that the method adopted was similar to that described in Joshua 18:1-28. Though the general survey of the country had not been completed, some rough draught or delineation of the first conquered part must have been made, and satisfactory evidence obtained that it was large enough to furnish three cantons, before all the tribes cast lots for them; and they fell to Judah, Ephraim, and the half tribe of Manasseh. The lot of Judah came first, in token of the pre-eminence of that tribe over all the others; and its destined superiority thus received the visible sanction of God.

Even to the border of Edom. Literally rendered, the passage stands thus: [ 'el (Hebrew #413) g

Verse 2

And their south border was from the shore of the salt sea, from the bay that looketh southward:

Their south border was from the shore of the salt sea, [ miqtseeh (Hebrew #7097)] - from the extremity, explained in the following clause.

From the bay that looketh southward, [ halaashon (Hebrew #3956), the tongue (cf. Joshua 15:5; Joshua 18:19)] - a projecting point of land, called by the Arabs el lisan, 'the tongue;' not that, however, which on the eastern side forms so striking a feature of the lake, as it could not have formed the boundary either of Judah or Benjamin, but that which forms the extreme point on the south.

Verse 3

And it went out to the south side to Ma'aleh-acrabbim, and passed along to Zin, and ascended up on the south side unto Kadesh-barnea, and passed along to Hezron, and went up to Adar, and fetched a compass to Karkaa:

And it went out (i:e., from the Salt Sea) to the south side to Maaleh-acrabbim - cliff of scorpions, which form an irregular curve, sweeping across the Ghor, and extending obliquely from northwest to southeast (Robinson, 'Biblical Researches,' 2:, p. 501).

And passed along [ `aabar (H5674), over] to Zin, and ascended up on the south side unto Kadesh-barnea, and passed along [ w

Verse 4

From thence it passed toward Azmon, and went out unto the river of Egypt; and the goings out of that coast were at the sea: this shall be your south coast.

From thence it passes toward Azmon - now El Kusaimeh, or Aseimeh.

And went out unto the river of Egypt - i:e., after leaving Azmon it followed the course of El-'Arish, and terminated on the west at the shore of the Mediterranean. Notwithstanding these minute specifications, the southern boundary of Judah is involved in much obscurity, from the still imperfect exploration of the region through which the line runs, and even its real course is differently traced, according to the opinion entertained regarding the position of Kadesh. Thus, Robinson, Stanley, Porter, delineate this border as beginning at the southern point of the Dead Sea, and running directly south through the Arabah to Kadesh-barnea (Ain El-Weibeh), a distance of about thirty-five miles, whence it diverged to the west, extending in an apparently straight line to Wady El-'Arish. On the other hand, Rowland, followed by Kurtz and Wilton ('Negeb'), in fixing the site of Kadesh-barnea at Ain Kadeis, on the northern base of the Aza-zimeh hills, represents the boundary line by a very different route. Starting on the east at the southern point of the Dead Sea, where it touches the northwestern district of Idumea, it took a westerly course through the wilderness of Zin (Wady Murreli), and after ascending to the south of Kadesh-barnea (Ain Kadeis) it crossed over to Hezron, and went up to Adar. Then "it fetched a compass to Karka'a" - that is, as explained by the last-mentioned writers, 'instead of proceeding directly to the Wady El-'Arish along the Wady El-Kusaimeh, it turned southwards from the southeastern extremity of that Wady, skirted the western wall of the 'Azazimeh (or Temanite) mountains along its entire extent, and then, at the Karka'a, swept round northwest to join the 'Arish' ('Negeb,' pp. 161, 162).

Verse 5

And the east border was the salt sea, even unto the end of Jordan. And their border in the north quarter was from the bay of the sea at the uttermost part of Jordan:

The east border was the salt sea, even unto the end of Jordan - i:e., the territory of Judah was bounded on the east by the entire extent of the Dead Sea.

And their border in the north quarter was from the bay of the sea at the uttermost part of Jordan - i:e., the creek which, at the embouchure of the Jordan, forms the northwestern extremity of the Dead Sea. Commencing at this point, the northern border line ran westward, and, passing by Beth-hogla ('partridge-house,' or, according to others, 'temple of the wheel,' or the 'circulator'-a kind of Stonehenge, where the stones were ranged in a circular order, and the rites performed according to the course of the sun), now Ain Hajla, two miles from the Jordan toward Jericho (Jerome, 'Onomast.'), went on by the north of Beth-arabah (house of the desert) through the mountain defiles, and by the spot marked by the stone of Bohan (unrecognized by any traveler, except De Saulcy (vol. 2:, p. 50) and Ainsworth, who identify it with the venerable monolith called Hadjar-lasbah, at the entrance of the Wady Dabeur. Bohan was probably a Reubenite chief, who, while siding his brethren in the war of invasion in the country west of Jordan, had distinguished himself; and the stone referred to was set up as a memorial of his valour), to Debir, an unknown place (though also supposed by De Saulcy and Ainsworth to be found in the ruined khan called Thour-ed-Dabour), beside the valley of Achor, Wady Debir or Dabour [the Septuagint does not view it as a proper name, but renders the words epi to tetarton tees farangos Achoor]; thence through Adummim (the pass of the red) (Adummim is supposed by Jerome ('De locis Hebraicis') to derive its name from the blood shed by the, robbers who have always infested that spot. 'But the more natural meaning of the word is "the pass of the red-haired men, in allusion to some Arab tribe; and so the Septuagint take it as: anabasis purroon. It may be worth while to mention that there are no red rocks, as some have fancied, in order to make out a derivation. The whole pass is white limestone' (Stanley, 'Sinai and Palestine,' p. 416).

It is beside the eminence opposite Gilgal, on the south side [ lanaachal (Hebrew #5158)], of the torrent Wady Kelt), along the line of road which still conducts from Jericho (Robinson, 'Biblical Researches,' 1:, p. 558) to Enshemesh (spring of the sun), supposed to be Ain-Haud (the fountain of the apostles), about a mile below Bethany (Bonar, 'Land of Premise,' p. 309), or the fountain near Saba (Robinson, vol. 1:, p. 493), and En-rogel (the spring of the fuller, Bir Eyub); whence, going up the valley on the south side of "the Jebusite" (Jerusalem), it crossed the hill near the point where the valley of Hinnom or Tophet (2 Kings 23:10) unites with that of Jehoshaphat (Bonar, 'Land of Promise,' p. 122; also 'Appendix,' 5:, p. 492; Bovet, 'Voyage en Terre Sainte,' p. 307; Barclay, 'City,' p. 314).

Verse 6-7

And the border went up to Beth-hogla, and passed along by the north of Betharabah; and the border went up to the stone of Bohan the son of Reuben:

No JFB commentary on these verses.

Verse 8

And the border went up by the valley of the son of Hinnom unto the south side of the Jebusite; the same is Jerusalem: and the border went up to the top of the mountain that lieth before the valley of Hinnom westward, which is at the end of the valley of the giants northward:

The valley of the giants - better rendered as a local proper name, "the valley of Rephaim" (2 Samuel 5:18; 2 Samuel 5:22; 2 Samuel 23:13; Isaiah 17:5). From the top [ meero'sh (Hebrew #7218), the head or end] of the hill it extended along the bottom of the valley of Jehoshaphat to the water of Nephtoah, supposed by Robinson ('Biblical Researches,' vol. 1:, p.

493) to be the fountain now called Yalo, in Wady el-Werd (valley of roses: four miles southwest of Jerusalem); but it is generally identified, as a position more conformable with Joshua's description, with Ain-Lifta, or Lifteh, 'not far from the head of the valley that runs into Wady beit-Hanina, about two and a half miles northwest of Jerusalem' (Barclay's 'City of the Great King,' p. 545); and thence to Baalah (Baale, 2 Samuel 6:2; or Kirjath-baal, Joshua 18:14, the ancient name given by the Canaanite or Gibeonite (Joshua 9:17) idolaters), which is Kirjath-jearim (or Kirjath-arim (city of woods), identified with the modern Kuryet el-Enab (city of grapes), nine miles from Jerusalem on the road to [Diospolis] Lydda, now Ludd).

[Eusebius, peri toon topikoon.] Proceeding further westward, it came to Mount Seir horos Assar, which was, in the opinion of Dr. Robinson ('Physical Geography of the Holy Land,' p. 42), the ridge between the Wady Aly and the Wady Ghural; thence passed unto the side [ 'el (Hebrew #413) ketep (Hebrew #3802), by the shoulder] of Mount Jearim, which is Chesalon-a large village or town, so called probably from being situated on the loins of mount Jearim, identified by Robinson with the present village of Kesla, six miles to the northeast of Ain-Shems, Beth-shemesh. From Beth-shemesh it went to Timnah, or Thimnathah (Joshua 19:43), now Tibneh. The north border then went out unto the side (literally, shoulder) of Ekron [Septuagint, Akkaroon], now Akir [ kaatap (Hebrew #3802) is used here, in a geographical sense, to denote the rising ground or elevation of a country along a seacoast], and to Shicron [Septuagint, Sokchooth] (its site has not been ascertained); thence it passed along to mount Baalah and to Jabneel, now Jabneh, or Jebna, the extreme northwest frontier point of the allotted inheritance of Judah. The Mediterranean formed the boundary on the west, called the "great sea" (Joshua 1:4; Joshua 9:1; Numbers 34:6; Ezekiel 47:20).

Verses 9-12

And the border was drawn from the top of the hill unto the fountain of the water of Nephtoah, and went out to the cities of mount Ephron; and the border was drawn to Baalah, which is Kirjath-je'arim:

No JFB commentary on these verses.

Verse 13

And unto Caleb the son of Jephunneh he gave a part among the children of Judah, according to the commandment of the LORD to Joshua, even the city of Arba the father of Anak, which city is Hebron.

Unto Caleb ... he gave a part (see the note at Joshua 14:6-15) ... even the city of Arba, the father of Anak - the progenitor or founder of the race.

Which city is Hebron. It is said in general that Caleb obtained "Hebron for an inheritance" (Joshua 14:13). But as the city itself was given to "the children of Aaron ... to be a city of refuge for the slayer (see the note at Joshua 21:13), it appears that Caleb's possession consisted of the field of the city and the villages thereof [ chatseereyhaa (Hebrew #2691), pastoral enclosures] (Joshua 21:12).

Verse 14

And Caleb drove thence the three sons of Anak, Sheshai, and Ahiman, and Talmai, the children of Anak.

Drove thence the three sons of Anak - rather, three chiefs of the Anakim race (see the note at Joshua 14:15), which seem to have been divided into three clans (cf. Judges 1:20). This exploit is recorded to the honour of Caleb, as the success of it was the reward of his trust in God.

Verse 15

And he went up thence to the inhabitants of Debir: and the name of Debir before was Kirjath-sepher.

Debir - oracle. Its former name, Kirjath-sepher, signifies 'city of the book,' being probably a place where public registers were kept.

Verse 16

And Caleb said, He that smiteth Kirjath-sepher, and taketh it, to him will I give Achsah my daughter to wife.

He that smiteth Kirjath-sepher - or Kirjath-sannah (Joshua 15:9), afterward Debir. [Kirjath means a walled edifice or fortress of the Anakim placed upon a hill. Sepher denotes book, 'the city of book:' Septuagint, polis grammatoon.] It was a place of strength, requiring a bold and vigorous leader to attack it. This offer was made as an incentive to youthful bravery (see the note at 1 Samuel 17:25); and the prize was won by Othniel, son of Caleb's younger brother (Judges 1:13; Judges 3:9). This was the occasion of drawing out the latent energies of him who was destined to be the tint judge in Israel. In the East a father has the absolute right to dispose of his daughter as he pleases (1 Samuel 17:25). She is never consulted; and in most cases never sees her future husband until the marriage has been fixed for. Thus Achsah may have had no opportunity of conferring with Othniel until the moment of her departure.

Verse 17

And Othniel the son of Kenaz, the brother of Caleb, took it: and he gave him Achsah his daughter to wife.

No JFB commentary on this verse.

Verse 18

And it came to pass, as she came unto him, that she moved him to ask of her father a field: and she lighted off her ass; and Caleb said unto her, What wouldest thou?

As she came unto him [ b

Verse 19

Who answered, Give me a blessing; for thou hast given me a south land; give me also springs of water. And he gave her the upper springs, and the nether springs.

Give me a blessing, [ b

Verse 20

This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Judah according to their families.

No JFB commentary on this verse.

Verse 21

And the uttermost cities of the tribe of the children of Judah toward the coast of Edom southward were Kabzeel, and Eder, and Jagur,

There is given a list of cities within the tribal territory of Judah, arranged in four divisions, corresponding to the districts of which it consisted:-the cities [ banegeb (Hebrew #5045)] in the southern part - i:e., in the Negeb; those in the low land [ bash

Verse 22

And Kinah, and Dimonah, and Adadah,

(4) Dimonah - or Dibon (Nehemiah 11:25), identified by Wilton with the ruin Ed-Deib. [Septuagint, Regma.]

(5) Adadah, [Septuagint, Aroueel] - suggesting the great probability that [since the daleth (d) was very apt to be confounded with the resh (r)] the Hebrew reading was originally Aroer, now 'Ararah (Robinson's 'Biblical Researches,' 2:, p. 618).

Verse 23

And Kedesh, and Hazor, and Ithnan,

(6) And Kedesh, [Septuagint, Kadees] - supposed by Dr. Robinson to be 'Ain, el-Weibeh; but far more likely, by Rowland, to be 'Ain Kadeis, situated 'to the east of the highest part of Jebel Halal, toward the northern extremity, about 12 miles to the east-southeast of Moilahhi, near the point at which the longitude of Khulasah intersects the latitude of 'Ain el-Weibeh' ( Williams' 'Holy City,' pp. 488-491) (7) Hazor, and Ithnan. Omitting "and," which in all probability was inserted through the error of a transcriber, the name of this place should be Hazor-ithnan, which may be presumed to be the correct form-the Septuagint making them one word [Asoroonain]. Its site is unknown, although Wilton conjecturally places it at Hhora, north of Beer-sheba.

Verse 24

Ziph, and Telem, and Bealoth,

Ziph. Wilton rejects this from the lists as an interpolation, since there is apparently no equivalent for the name in the Septuagint, and on other grounds more or less satisfactory.

(8) And Telem - identified by Reland ('Palaestina,' p. 1020) with Telaim (Joshua 15:24), and by Wilton with el-Kuseir (little castle or fortlet), which is occupied by the Arab tribe Dhullam (see Robinson's 'Biblical Researches,' 2:; p. 473, 617; also Wilson's 'Lands of the Bible,' 1:, p. 345).

(9) And Bealoth - Baalath-beer (Joshua 19:8) or Baal (1 Chronicles 4:33), [Septuagint, balmainan.] Its position is fixed by Wilton ('Negeb,' p. 91) in the neighbourhood of the last-mentioned town, Telem (el-Kuseir), at a ruin called 'Kurnub or Kurnou', (Lindsay), on the southern declivity of the 'swell or low ridge' which bears the name of Kubbet el-Baul (see also Robinson's, 'Biblical Researches,' 2:, p. 616; Wilson's 'Lands of the Bible,' 1:, p. 344; Bonar, 'Land of Promise,' pp. 84, 85; Lord Lindsay's 'Letters,' 2:, pp. 47, 48; Van de Velde, 'Syria and Palestine,' 2:, p. 130). The latter, however, finds Bealoth in an old fortress (el-Leohieh, or Lekieh) at the entrance of the hill-country, where it arrested his attention-as the outermost frontier stronghold toward the south.

Verse 25-26

And Hazor, Hadattah, and Kerioth, and Hezron, which is Hazor,

(10) And Hazor-hadattah, [Chadat, Chaldee form of Hebrew chaadash, new; Septuagint omits, unless it be included in the words: kai hai koomai autoon ; Vulgate has Azor-nova; Bos. has: Aisoor teen kaiueen ]. This city is placed erroneously by Eusebius and Jerome ('Onomast.,' 'Azor') in the Shephela. This list comprises exclusively the cities in the Negeb; and hence, Wilton, following De Saulcy, fixes its site at a ruin called Qasr el-Adadah, about two miles northwest of the Upper Zuweirah pass, on the summit of a hill. This situation, at the head of the important pass of Ez-zuweirah, serves to explain why it should immediately follow Bealoth (Kurnub), which stands in a similar relation to the only other main route by which central Palestine is approached from the southeast ('Negeb,' p. 99).

(11) And Kerioth. Some take this as the name of a town, which Stewart ('Tent and Khan,' p. 217) suggests might be Kharbet-kourah, near Moladah. But Kerioth must be joined to the following word, dropping "and:"

Kerioth-hezron, which is Hazor-amam, [ uw-Q

Verse 27

And Hazar-gaddah, and Heshmon, and Bethpalet,

(14) And Hazar-gaddah - i:e., the enclosure of the kid (as En-gedi), identified by Wilton with Tamar (Ezekiel 47:19), the Thamara of the classics, in Wady Mubughik between Jebel and Wady Hudhrur and Wady Nedjid, at the southwestern extremity of the Dead Sea. But Eusebius and Jerome place Thamar at Kurnub (Reland, 'Palaestina,' p. 1031). (15) And Heshmon - placed by the same writer in Wady Hasb (cf. Joshua 15:3).

(16) And Beth-palet - so caller probably from the name of its founder, Peleth (1 Chronicles 2:26-33). From its position in this list before Hazar-shual and Beer-sheba, and also from its close association with Moladah, a limited range is marked within which it must be sought. 'Its site is probably found in the ruin called Jerrah, near the juncture of the Wadies 'Ar'ar'ah and Milh, Moladah. Here, therefore, I venture provisionally to locate Beth-palet; and in the present designation of the ruin (Jerrah) I am not indisposed to recognize a fragment of the name of Jerahmeel, the common ancestor of Peleth and Molid' ('Negeb, p. 136).

Verse 28

And Hazar-shual, and Beersheba, and Bizjothjah,

(17) And Hazar-shual - i:e., the habitat of the Shual. [Septuagint, [Cholaseoola]. The Scripture notices of this place, which describe it as lying between Moladah and Beer-sheba (Nehemiah 11:27), and toward Baalah, southwest of Gaza (Joshua 19:3; 1 Chronicles 4:28), sufficiently determine its whereabouts; and Van de Velde ('Syria and Palestine,' 2:, p. 136) mentions a ruin, named Saawe, on a hill near the last-mentioned town. A mud-built village, called Beni-shail, about half an hour northeast of Khanounes (Khan Yunas), was fixed upon by the Scottish Deputation ('Narrative, p. 84). The district of country in which both places are situated abounds with jackals, a small species of foxes, and gregarious (Robinson's 'Biblical Researches,' 2:, p. 624; Keith's 'Evidence of Prophecy,' p. 255, 27th edition).

(18) And Beer-sheba - now Ber es-Seba (see the note at Genesis 21:31; Genesis 26:32-33).

(19) And Bizjothjah. The Septuagint omits it, and no trace of it is to be found in the Negeb. Wilton suggests that it should be joined to the following word, Bizjothjah-baalah-the latter name being given to the place from the ancient prevalence of Baal-worship, and the former being added by the Israelites, expressing, according to the meaning of the words, 'Yahweh's contempt' of Baal. Deir el-Belah (the temple of Baal), about half-way between Khan Yunas and Gaza, and a little to the north of Beni-shail.

Verse 29

Baalah, and Iim, and Azem,

(20) And Iim. Wilton, founding on a comparison of this list with those in Joshua 19:1-51 and 1 Chronicles 4:1-43, considers Iim = Azem, as if the word, like its analogue (Numbers 33:44; Numbers 33:47), should be Ije-azem, or Azmon (Joshua 15:4; Numbers 34:4), or Kesam (Targum of Jonathan), which is placed at a ruin, el-'Ab'deh or el-'Aujeh, near a wady called Kausaimeh by Robinson, and Aseimeh by Rowland; while the ancient name is perpetuated in that of the dominant Arab tribe of the district, the Azazimeh (singular, Azmy). 'Iim means ruins, and so does 'Aujeh. It is applied, according to Robinson, to a conical hill crowned by the ruins of a town north of Jericho. Here, too, in the 'Aujeh of the Negeb, the same meaning is expressed-namely, the hill or rocky ridge on which the too, in the 'Aujeh of the Negeb, the same meaning is expressed-namely, the hill or rocky ridge on which the ancient ruins are situated' ('Negeb,' pp. 155-177).

Verse 30

And Eltolad, and Chesil, and Hormah,

(21) And Eltolad - or Tolad (1 Chronicles 4:29), 'born of God;' a name which Wilton supposes Abraham gave to this place as the scene of Isaac's nativity. It was situated in the far southwest of the Negeb, at no great distance from el-'Aujeh.

And Chesil. This name was apparently same as Bethul (Joshua 19:4), and Bethuel (1 Chronicles 4:30), and Beth-el or Beith-el (1 Samuel 30:27). [The Septuagint, Baitheel, being given probably in memory of Abraham's making it a sanctuary of the true God (Genesis 21:33-34).] When, at a later period, the place had been desecrated by the establishment of star-worship (Amos 5:4-6; Amos 8:14), the Jews on the return from the captivity called it Chesil (folly), as the northern Beth-el received the contemptuous name of Beth-aven (house of vanity); the name Chesil remained, and the site is identified with that of el-Khulasah, the Elusa of the classics, a little to the southwest of Beer-sheba, the ruins of which cover, an area of fifteen or twenty acres (Williams' 'Holy City,' p. 488; Wilson's 'Lands of the Bible,' 1:, p. 342; Stewart's 'Tent and Khan,' p. 205; Robinson, 'Biblical Researches,' 1:, pp. 296-298). The latter, however, though he recognizes the Elusa of profane history, did not find the Chesil of the Bible in Khulasah.

(23) And Hormah - i:e., laid under the ban, doomed to destruction. Its former name was Zephath (Judges 1:17), which is preserved in its modern representative es-Sepat (or Sebata), rather Tebata, about 7 miles southwest of Khulasah (Chesil), (Wilson's 'Lands of the Bible,' 1:, p. 342; Stewart's 'Tent and Khan,' p. 205; Kurtz, 3:, p.


Verse 31

And Ziklag, and Madmannah, and Sansannah,

(24) And Ziklag, [Septuagint, Sekelak]. It has been hypothetically placed at a site of ancient ruins called 'Asluj or Kasluj by Rowland ('Holy City,' 1:, pp 463-468; and Wilton, 'Negeb, p. 209), about three hours east of Sebata and southwest of Milh (Moladah), on the way to 'Aujeh (Ije-Azem) (Robinson's 'Biblical Researches,' 2:, p. 621; also 3:, 'List of Arabic Names of Places.' No. 3).

(25) And Madmannah, [Septuagint, Macharim]. It is called (Joshua 19:5) Beth-marcaboth (chariot-house or station). It must have been situated in a plain or open country where wheeled carriages could be used; and from the times of Eusebius and Jerome it has generally been placed at Meenoois, now el-Mingay, the stage south of Gaza (Robinson's 'Biblical Researches,' 3:; 'Notes and Illustrations,' 22:; 'Routes through the Desert,' No. 5:: see also Map at the end of his 'Later Biblical Researches'). (26) And Sansannah, [Septuagint, Sethennak]. It is called (Joshua 19:5) Hazar-susah, and (1 Chronicles 4:31) Hazar-susim (a depot of horses); supposed to be Wady es-Suny, where, from the vicinity to the shore of this and the preceding place, horses and wagons are in common use, as travelers testify.

Verse 32

And Lebaoth, and Shilhim, and Ain, and Rimmon: all the cities are twenty and nine, with their villages:

(27) And Lebaoth (place of lionesses). It is called (Joshua 19:6) Beth-lebaoth and (1 Chronicles 4:31) Beth-birei [Septuagint, Laboos]; placed by Wilton on a low hill northeast of 'Arad, the site of a ruin called el-Beyudh. There are numerous caves in the neighbourhood, and the footprints of lions have been discovered by several modern travelers.

(28) And Shilhim. The list of cities in the Negeb assigned to Simeon contains (Joshua 19:6) Sharuhen, and that in 1 Chronicles 4:31, Shaaraim, in lieu of Shilhim. These seem to have been variations of the name, or perhaps corruptions of a later age. Its site is supposed by Wilton to be el-Birein (the wells), and Khurbet es-Seram.

(29) And Ain. This is regarded by Robinson ('Biblical Researches,' 2:, p. 625) as a separate place, being mentioned among the cities of the south (see the note at Joshua 19:7; Joshua 21:16). But it may be taken here as qualifying the following word,

Ain Rimmon (fountain of the, pomegranate). It is called, Joshua 19:7, Remmon in our version, though neither in that passage, nor 1 Chronicles 4:32, nor Nehemiah 11:29, is there an alteration in the Hebrew form of the word [Septuagint, Eroomooth]. Wilton identifies it with Umer-rumamim (Arabic, 'the mother of pomegranates') 'beyond Beer-sheba, near the northeast angle of that portion of the Negeb formed by the junction of the hill country with the Wadies Sheriah and Khuweilifeh, the latter always an important watering-place.'

All the cities are twenty and nine, with their villages, [ w

Verse 33

And in the valley, Eshtaol, and Zoreah, and Ashnah,

In the valley, [ bash

Verse 34

And Zanoah, and Engannim, Tappuah, and Enam,

Zanoah, [ Zaanowach (Hebrew #2182), or (Nehemiah 11:30) (perhaps marsh, bog, Gesenius); Septuagint, Tanoo and Zanoo, Tischendorf's manuscripts] - now Zanua. It is described ('Onomast.,' article 'Zanohua') as in the region of Eleutheropolis (Beit-Jibrin), on the way to Jerusalem; and this description is confirmed by Dr. Robinson ('Biblical Researches,' 2:, p. 343), who says that Zanua lies on the low slope of a hill not far from Zorah and Beth-shemesh (Ain-thems).

En-gannim (fountain of gardens) - the name of a city of Judah, situated at the western base of the mountains, near to Zanoah. Its site is not yet identified. There is another place to which this name is applied (see the note at Joshua 19:21). Tappuah, [ Tapuwach (Hebrew #8599)]. The Septuagint does not notice it. It stood on the slope of the western mountains, among the other towns here enumerated; but its position is unknown (see another Tappuah in Joshua 15:53; and a third, Joshua 16:8; Joshua 17:18).

Enam, [ haa-`Eeynaam (Hebrew #5879), the two fountains; Septuagint, Maiani and Eenaeim (Tischendorf's manuscripts)] - the name of a city adjoining Timnath (see the note at Genesis 38:14). The Peshito version joins this word with the preceding, 'Pathuch-elam.'

Verse 35

Jarmuth, and Adullam, Socoh, and Azekah,

Jarmuth, [ Yarmuwt (Hebrew #3412), height; Septuagint, Hiermouth] - anciently a royal city of the Canaanites (Joshua 10:3; Joshua 12:11 : cf. Nehemiah 11:29), new Yarnuk. It stood ('Onomast.,' article 'Jermus') ten miles from Eleutheropolis (Beit-Jibrin), on the way to Jerusalem, and it is called by Eusebius, Jermucha; by Jerome, Jarimuth (Robinson's 'Biblical Researches,' 2:, p. 344; Van de Velde, 2:, p. 156).

Adullam, [ `Adulaam (Hebrew #5725) (justice of the people, Gesenins); Septuagint, Odollam] - anciently a royal city of the Canaanites (Joshua 12:15), and situated in the undulating plain below Timnath (Genesis 38:1), and near Gath (2 Chronicles 11:7-8). Eusebius and Jerome place it ('Onomast.,' article 'Adullam') near Eleutheropolis (Beit-Jibrin), at the western foot of the mountain range of Judah. It is identified by Van de Velde ('Syria and Palestine,' 2:, pp. 157, 160) with Deir-dubla'n.

Socoh, [ Sowkoh (Hebrew #7755), branch; Septuagint, Saoochoo] - the name of a city in the Shephelah of Judah; now Shuweiheh, a ruin; reckoned ('Onomast.,' article 'Soccho') at 9 miles toward Jerusalem, on another road than Jarmuth (Jarmuk), from which it is only half an hour's distance (Robinson's 'Biblical Researches,' 2:, pp. 348, 349). It is a different place from that mentioned, Joshua 15:48.

Azekah, [ `Azeeqaah (Hebrew #5825) (dug over, broken up, Gesenius); Septuagint, Azeeka and Iazeeka (Tischendorf's manuscripts)] - a town in the cultivated plain, as its name imports, near Socoh (1 Samuel 17:1). Its site has been fixed at Tell Zakariya (Reland, 'Palaestina,' pp. 660, 753; Robinson's 'Biblical Researches,' 2:, pp. 343, 344, 350).

Verse 36

And Sharaim, and Adithaim, and Gederah, and Gederothaim; fourteen cities with their villages:

Sharaim, [ Sha`arayim (Hebrew #8189), two gates. In other passages (1 Samuel 17:52; 1 Chronicles 4:31) it is in accordance with the Hebrew 'Shaaraim;' Septuagint, Sakarim and Sargareim, (Tischendorf's manuscripts)] - not far from Gath (Tell es-Safieh).

Adithaim, [ 'Adiytayim (Hebrew #5723), double prey]. The Septuagint makes no mention of it. It was the name of a town in the Shephelah: its site has not been ascertained.

Gederah, [ ha-G

Verse 37

Zenan, and Hadashah, and Migdalgad,

Zenan, [ Ts

Verse 38

And Dilean, and Mizpeh, and Joktheel, Dilean, [ Dil`aan (Hebrew #1810) gourd-field, or place of cucumbers; Septuagint, Dalad] - supposed by Van de Velde to be represented by the modern Tina, a small clay built village, bearing, however, many marks of antiquity.

Mizpeh, [ ha-Mitspeh (Hebrew #4708), the watch-tower; Septuagint, Masfa]. As it stands in this enumeration, its place must have been intermediate between Migdal-gad (Mejdel) and Lachish (um-Lakis). 'The southern part, of the Shephelah (says Porter) abounds in little tells, to any one of which the name of Mizpeh would be applicable.'

Joktheel, [ Yaaq

Verse 39

Lachish, and Bozkath, and Eglon,

Lachish, [ Laakiysh (Hebrew #3923) (either the smitten, captured, or the tenacious, impregnable, Gesenius). The Septuagint omits, but Tischendorf's manuscripts notes have lacheis] - now um-Lakis, on a tell (Porter's 'Handbook,' pp. 260, 261; Van de Velde, 2:, p. 188; but see also Robinson's 'Biblical Researches,' 2:, p. 388, where this identification is disputed).

Bozkath, [ Baats

Verse 40

And Cabbon, and Lahmam, and Kithlish,

Cabbon, [Septuagint, Chabra] - not identified.

Lahman, [the present Hebrew text has Lachmaac (Hebrew #3903), Lahmas; but 32 manuscripts read: Lachmaam, as in our version; Septuagint, Maches] - not ascertained.

Kithlish [ Kitliysh (Hebrew #3798)(aman's wall Gesenius); Septuagint Maachoos] undiscovered Kithlish, [ Kitliysh (Hebrew #3798) (a man's wall, Gesenius); Septuagint, Maachoos] - undiscovered.

Verse 41

And Gederoth, Bethdagon, and Naamah, and Makkedah; sixteen cities with their villages:

Gederoth, [ G

Verse 42

Libnah, and Ether, and Ashan,

Libnah, [ Libnaah (Hebrew #3841), whiteness; Septuagint, Lebna]. It stood on the plain between Makkedah and Lachish, a little northwest of Lachish.

Ether, [ `Eter (Hebrew #6281) (see the note at 1 Chronicles 4:32); Septuagint, Ithak] - not known.

Ashan, [ `Aashaan (Hebrew #6227) (or Chorashan, 1 Samuel 30:30)]. Eusebius describes it as 16 (and Jerome as 15) miles west from Jerusalem: unknown.

Verse 43

And Jiphtah, and Ashnah, and Nezib,

Jiphtah, [The Septuagint omits; but Tischendorf's manuscripts have Ieftha]. It was near Eleutheropolis (Beit-Jibrin); but the site has not been identified.

Ashnah, [the strong, fortified; Septuagint, Asenna] - about 16 miles southwest of Jerusalem.

Nezib, [Septuagint, Nasib] - now Beit-Nusib. Eusebius states it to have been situated 9 (and Jerome has 7) Roman miles from Beit-Jibrin, on the way to Hebron ('Onomast.,' article 'Nasib:' cf. Robinson's 'Biblical Researches,' 2:, pp. 344, 399; 3:, pp, 12, 13). 'There is a ruined tower about 60 feet square, solidly built: some of the larger blocks are leveled, but the crevices are cobbled with smaller stones. Not far from it are the foundations of another and still older structure, measuring 120 feet long by 30 wide. On a mound to the south are more ruins, and the whole surrounding ground is strewn, with square stones and fragments of columns' (Porter's 'Handbook,' p. 280).

Verse 44

And Keilah, and Achzib, and Mareshah; nine cities with their villages:

Keilah, [Septuagint, Keilam] - grouped with Nezib and Mareshah; but its site has not been fixed by modern explorers.

Achzib, [ 'Akziyb (Hebrew #392) (falsehood, a lie: cf. Micah 1:14). Septuagint, Kezib] - a town in the tribe of Judah, different from the place of the same name mentioned, Joshua 19:29.

Mareshah, [Septuagint, Batheesar] - i:e., on the top of a hill; supposed to be represented by the modern Marash, which lies south-southwest of Beit-Jibrin (Robinson's 'Biblical Researches,' 2:, pp. 422, 423). This is a separate group of nine cities, the sites of several of which have been discovered on the edges of the mountains.

Verse 45

Ekron, with her towns and her villages:

No JFB commentary on this verse.

Verse 46

From Ekron even unto the sea, all that lay near Ashdod, with their villages:

Ekron, [ `Eqrown (Hebrew #6138), eradication; Septuagint, Akkaroon] - one of the cities retained by the Philistines, situated in the northern part of their territory, which were assigned in the first instance to Judah; now 'Akir. It was situated on the northern border of Judah. According to Eusebius and Jerome ('Onomast.,' article 'Accaron') it lay between Azotus (Ashdod) and Jamnia, toward the east; 'that is to say, to the eastward of a right line between those as two places; and such is the actual position of 'Akir, relative to Esdud and Yebna, at the present day' (Robinson's 'Biblical Researches,' 3:, pp. 22-25).

Even unto the sea. [The Septuagint, instead of this latter clause, has: apo Akkaroon Gemna, or Iemnai (i:e., Jabuch); Tischendorf's various readings.]

Verse 47

Ashdod with her towns and her villages, Gaza with her towns and her villages, unto the river of Egypt, and the great sea, and the border thereof:

Ashdod, [Septuagint, Aseedooth] - now Esdud, southwest of Ekron.

With her towns - literally, her daughters.

And her villages - i:e., pastoral enclosures.

Gaza, [ `Azaah (Hebrew #5804), the strong; Septuagint, Gaza] - now Ghuzzeh, situated about three miles from the sea.

River of Egypt - el-Arish.

Verse 48

And in the mountains, Shamir, and Jattir, and Socoh,

And in the mountains, [ uwbaahaar (Hebrew #2022)] - and in the mountain, the hill-country of Judah [Septuagint, kai en tee oreinee].

Shamir, [Septuagint, Samir] - a town classed with Jattir and Socoh, which have been discovered 8 or 10 miles south of Hebron; so that it may be concluded to have stood in the same quarter; but its exact site has not been ascertained.

Jattir, [ Yatiyr (Hebrew #3492), pre-eminent; Septuagint, Iether] - perhaps the modern 'Attir (Robinson's 'Biblical Researches,' 2:, pp. 194, 625).

Socoh, [Septuagint, Soocha] - now Shaukeh, or Shuweikeh.

Verse 49

And Dannah, and Kirjath-sannah, which is Debir,

Dannah, [Septuagint, Renna]. Judging from the associated towns, it stood south or southwest of Hebron.

Kirjath-sannah, which is Debir - Kirjath-sannah = city of palms (Gesenius); so-called from its plam trees, 'the lingering traces of the desert' (Stanley, 'Sinai and Palestine,' p. 161); called also Kirjath-sepher (the city of the book). [Septuagint, polis grammatoon.] "Debir" (oracle) [Septuagint, Dabir] was the name given to this town after its capture by Caleb (see the note at Judges 1:11). It was not far from Hebron.

Verse 50

And Anab, and Eshtemoh, and Anim,

Anab, [ `Anaab (Hebrew #6024), grapetown; Septuagint, Anoon] - the Anab of the present day (Robinson's 'Biblical Researches,' 2:, pp. 194, 195).

Eshtemoh (obedience, Gesenius) [Septuagint, Es] - now Semu'a, the site of an extensive ancient town (Robinson's 'Biblical Researches,' 2:, p. 194; also 627; Bonar, 'Land of Promise,' p. 54).

Anim, [contract. for `Aaniym (Hebrew #6044), fountains (Gesenius); Septuagint, Aisam]. Eusebius and Jerome ('Onomast.,' art. Auseem) say it was about 9 miles south of Hebron. Wilson ('Lands of the Bible,' 1:, pp. 353-354) considers this Anim as el-Ghuwein; not the Ain (Joshua 15:32) as Robinson does.

Verse 51

And Goshen, and Holon, and Giloh; eleven cities with their villages:

Goshen, [Septuagint, Gosom]. Its site is unknown.

Holon (sandy) or Hilen (1 Chronicles 6:58) [Septuagint, Chalou] - not ascertained.

Giloh, [Septuagint, Geeloom] - not yet identified. This first group of eleven cities seem to have clustered round Debir, which is the largest and most important.

Verse 52

Arab, and Dumah, and Eshean,

Arab, [Septuagint, Airem or Ereb] - not discovered.

Dumah, [ Duwmaah (Hebrew #1745), silence; Septuagint, Remna] - probably el-Daumehm a ruined village 6 miles southwest of Hebron and 17 miles from Beit-Jibrin ('Onomast.,' art. 'Dumah;' Robinson's 'Biblical Researches,' 1:, p. 314). 'Although it does not lie on a hill, yet it is in the heart of a hilly region, and must itself be very considerably elevated above the level of the sea. It must have been well-watered, and surrounded by a fruitful soil; but only the name remains to us in Scripture' (Bonar, 'Land of Promise,' p. 60).

Eshean, [ 'Esh`aan (Hebrew #824), support, prop; Septuagint, Soma; Alexandrian, Esan] - not yet met with.

Verse 53

And Janum, and Bethtappuah, and Aphekah,

Janum, [ Yaaniym (Hebrew #3241), Janim (chet, in the Hebrew text); Septuagint, Iemain; Alexandrian, Anoum (Tischendorf's manuscripts)] - unknown.

Beth-tappuah, [ Beeyt-Tapuwach (Hebrew #1054), house of the citron or the apple; Septuagint, Baithachou; Alexandrian, Beththapfoue] - now Teffuh (Robinson's 'Biblical Researches,' 2:, p. 428; Porters 'Handbook,' p.

259); situated 1 hour 45 minutes, or about 5 miles, west from Hebron. 'It appears an old village on a high and broad ridge. It contains a good number of inhabitants, and lies in the midst of olive-groves and vineyards, with marks of industry and thrift on every side. Indeed, many of the former terraces along the hill-sides are still in use; and the land looks somewhat as it may have done in ancient times. Several portions of walls, apparently those of an old fortress, are visible among the houses, and seem to attest the antiquity of the place.'

Aphekah, [Septuagint, Fakoua].

Verse 54

And Humtah, and Kirjath-arba, which is Hebron, and Zior; nine cities with their villages:

Humtah, [ ChumTaah (Hebrew #2547), place of lizards; Septuagint, Euma; Alexandrian, Chammata] - not known.

Kirjath-arba, which is Hebron - (see the note at Joshua 14:15.)

Zior, [ Tsiy`or (Hebrew #6730), smallness; Septuagint, Sooraith; Alexandrian, Sioor]. Eusebius and Jerome notice it ('Onomast.,' art. 'Sioor') as lying between AElia (Jerusalem) and Eleutheropolls (Beit-Jibrin). It may, probably be represented by Sa'ir (Robinson's 'Biblical Researches,' second appendix, Arabic Lists, 4:, el-Khulil, Hebron), a village about 6 miles north of Hebron, on the road to Tekuah. This group clustered round Hebron.

Verse 55

Maon, Carmel, and Ziph, and Juttah,

Maon, [Septuagint, Maoor; Alexandrian, Maoon] - now Ma'in, a town in ruins, situated on a round hill called Tell Ma'in, twenty minutes distance from Carmel (Robinson's 'Biblical Researches,' 2:, pp. 193-195; Porters 'Handbook,' p. 61; Wilton's 'Negeb,' p. 13, where it is shown that the town Maon was in the hill-country; but the wilderness of Mann," where Nabal's flocks pastured (cf. 1. Sam. ; 23:24,25) was in the Negeb, "the south country").

Carmel, [fruitful; Septuagint, Chermel] - a city about 6 miles southeast of Hebron, now Kurmul (1 Samuel 15:12), different from the Carmel of Elijah. The ruins of Carmel are the largest of any in the whole district (Robinson's 'Biblical Researches,' 2:, p. 195; Porter's 'Handbook,' pp. 61, 62; 'Negeb,' pp. 16-18).

Ziph - a ruined city on a mound called Tell Zif. It was at the distance of an hour and a half from el-Ramah. Robinson thought the extensive ruins to the east of Tell Ziph to be those of the city itself.

Juttah - now Yutta.

Verse 56

And Jezreel, and Jokdeam, and Zanoah,

Jezreel, [Septuagint, Iarieel] - a town, undiscovered in connection with the southern Carmel.

Jokdeam, [Septuagint, Arikam] - unknown.

Zanoah - different from that mentioned, Joshua 15:34 (Robinson's 'Biblical Researches,' 2:, p. 343) [Septuagint, Zamoon] - perhaps identified in Za'nutah (Robinson's 'Appendix,' 'Arabic Lists,' 4:, No. 4, containing the places southwest of el-Khulil) (Hebron).

Verse 57

Cain, Gibeah, and Timnah; ten cities with their villages:

Cain, [ ha-Qayin (Hebrew #7014), the lance; Septuagint, Zaka naim; Alexandrian, Zanookeim] - unknown.

Gibeah, [Septuagint, Gabaa] - now Jeb'a, a village southwest of Jerusalem, on its conical hill in Wady Musurr (Robinson's 'Biblical Researches,' 2:, p. 327, and 3:, 'Appendix,' 'Arabic Lists,' 8:; Porter's 'Handbook,' p. 248).

Timnah, [Septuagint, Thamnatha] - a place associated with Maon, Carmel, etc., in the mountain region of Judah, and therefore different from that mentioned. Joshua 15:10. This group of 10 cities doubtless had a center; but it does not appear which of them served as the nexus. [The Septuagint enumerates only ennea, 7 cities, in this group.]

Verse 58

Halhul, Bethzur, and Gedor,

Halhul, [Septuagint, Ailoua; Alexandrian, Aloul] - a little village, now Hulhul. Jerome placed it near Hebron ('Onomast.,' article 'Elul:' cf. Robinson's 'Biblical Researches,' 1:, p. 319; also 3:, 'Appendix,' 'Arabic Lists,'

iv., of towns north of el-Khulil (Hebron), and east of the road from Jerusalem; also 'Later Biblical Researches,' pp. 281, 282; Porter's 'Handbook,' p. 72). Beth-zur, [ Beeyt-Tsuwr (Hebrew #1049), house of the rock; Septuagint, Beethsour]. Eusebius and Jerome ('Onomast.,' article 'Bethsur') place this town 20 miles from Jerusalem, and only two miles from Hebron: now identified with a place called Edh-Dwireh: the name of its tower is Beit-Sur (see Robinson's 'Biblical Researches,' 1:, p. 320; 3:, p. 14; Porters 'Handbook,' p. 72).

Gedor, [Septuagint, Geddoor] - now Jedur, on the brew of the mountains (cf. 1 Chronicles 12:7 with 1 Chronicles 4:39; Robinson's 'Later Biblical Researches,' pp. 282, 283).

Verse 59

And Maarath, and Bethanoth, and Eltekon; six cities with their villages:

Maarath (bare place, Gesenius) [Septuagint, Magarooth] - a town north of Hebron; not yet identified.

Beth-anoth, [ Beeyt-`Anowt (Hebrew #1042) (house of response, perhaps of echo, Gesenius); Septuagint, Baithanam] - probably the modern Beit-'Ainun, 40 degrees N. W. Hebron (Robinson's 'Biblical Researches,'

ii., p. 186; 'Later Researches,' p. 281).

Eltekon, [ 'Elt

Verse 60

Kirjath-baal, which is Kirjath-je'arim, and Rabbah; two cities with their villages:

Kirjath-baal, which is Kirjath-jearim. The first was the earlier name, doubtless from Baal, the chief object of Canaanite idolatry; the later name signified the 'city of forests' (see the note at Joshua 15:9).

Rabbah, [ Rabaah (Hebrew #7227); Septuagint, Soobeeba; Alexandrian, Arebba].

Verse 61

In the wilderness, Betharabah, Middin, and Secacah,

In the wilderness, [ bamidbaar (Hebrew #4057)] Midbar, when preceded by the article, is generally applied to designate the Arabian desert; but sometimes it is used to denote the barren regions on the confines of Palestine, as here in the valley of the Jordan, especially the western shore of the Dead Sea, and the rugged cliffs that stretch along it.

Beth-arabah, [ Beeyt-haa-`Araabaah (Hebrew #1026), house of the desert, with or without Beith (Joshua 18:18); Septuagint, Baddargeis; Alexandrian, Beetharaba] - a place situated on the north border-point of the territory assigned to Judah.

Middin, [Septuagint, Ainoon (Greek #137); Alexandrian, Madoon] - not ascertained.

Secacah, [ C

Verse 62

And Nibshan, and the city of Salt, and Engedi; six cities with their villages.

Nibshan, [ Nibshaan (Hebrew #5044), light soil; Septuagint, Naflazoon; Alexandrian, Nebsan]. Its position has not been discovered.

The city of Salt, [Septuagint, hai poleis Sadoon, and hai polis aloon]. Van de Velde, justly conceiving that this city lay at no great distance from the salt mountain, and arrested by the fountains at the ruins of Embarreg, which he considered amply sufficient to supply a town with water, was led to conclude that the "city of Salt" stood there ('Syria and Palestine,' 2:, p. 123; also De Saulcy, 'Journey round the Dead Sea,' 1:, p.


En-gedi, [ `Eeyn-Gediy (Hebrew #5872), fountain of the kid] - anciently Hazezon-tamar (see the note at Genesis 14:7) [Septuagint, Angkadees; Alexandrian, Eengaddi, now 'Ain-Jidy. 'Traces of the ancient city exist upon the plain and lower declivity of the mountain, on the south side of the brook which runs into the shore of the Dead Sea. They are rude and uninteresting, consisting merely of foundations and shapeless heaps of unhewn stones' (Porter's 'Handbook,' p. 242; Robinson's 'Biblical Researches,' 2:, pp. 209-211. Van de Velde, 'Syria and Palestine,' 2:, pp. 75:101). This group in the Arabah, on the high levels in the northern part of the tribe, comprised 6 cities, which studded a district where no trace of human habitation is to be found but the tent of the wild Arab. Seetzen remarks that 'in very early ages this country was very populous, and that the furious rage of the Arabs was able to convert into a waste this blooming region, extending from the limit of the Hedjaz to the neighbourhood of Damascus' ('Reisen,' vol. 3:, pp. 17, 18).

Verse 63

As for the Jebusites the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the children of Judah could not drive them out: but the Jebusites dwell with the children of Judah at Jerusalem unto this day.

As for the Jebusites the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the children of Judah could not drive them out. There is no discrepancy between this passage and the statement in Joshua 11:19. Although the city of Jerusalem, on the defeat of the king, did, together with the adjoining territory, become the acquisition of the victors, the fortress of Zion continued to resist and remained in the power of the Jebusites; and as the Israelites were unable to occupy, by taking immediate possession of all the places which by the fortunes of war fell into their power, the Jebusites recovered a large part of the city, from which, however they were eventually expelled (Judges 1:8), although the stronghold of Zion remained impregnable until the reign of David.

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Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Joshua 15". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". 1871-8.