Joshua 15:1 [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.
Ver. 1. This then was the lot of the tribe, &c.] The lot came forth, up, or out [Joshua 19:1; Joshua 19:10; Joshua 19:17] of the bosom, lap, [Proverbs 16:33] pot, or some other vessel in use for that purpose; for the manner of this lottery is not expressed: but that it was solemnly done with fasting and prayer premised, is probable; [ 20:26 Acts 1:24] and that it was ordered by a divine providence, is certain. [Proverbs 16:33] And hence it was that Judah’s lot came out first, and fell out in the best part of the land: to show that God had a purpose to exalt that tribe above the rest.
Joshua 15:2 And their south border was from the shore of the salt sea, from the bay that looketh southward:
Ver. 2. And their south border.] See Numbers 34:2. Where God doth, as it were, draw a map of Canaan, and showeth the bounds of it on every side.
From the bay that looketh southward.] Heb., From the tongue: some render it from the promontory running out into the sea, in form of a tongue.
Joshua 15:3 And it went out to the south side to Maalehacrabbim, and passed along to Zin, and ascended up on the south side unto Kadeshbarnea, and passed along to Hezron, and went up to Adar, and fetched a compass to Karkaa:
Ver. 3. To Maalehacrabbim,] i.e., To the ascent of scorpions, or of the mountains that were crooked as scorpions, or that abounded with scorpions. [ 1:36]
Passed along to Zin.] A city whence that wilderness, not the same with that of Sin or Sinai, had its name.
To Hezron, and went up to Adar.] These two places are [Numbers 34:4] called Hazaraddar.
Joshua 15:4 [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.
Ver. 4. This shall be your south coast.] It is God that "determineth the times before appointed, and the bounds of our habitations"; [Acts 17:26] the walls of his people’s houses are continually before him. [Isaiah 49:16]
Joshua 15:5 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:
Ver. 5. The salt sea.] The lake of Sodom, into which the river Jordan runneth, and there endeth.
Joshua 15:6 And the border went up to Bethhogla, and passed along by the north of Betharabah; and the border went up to the stone of Bohan the son of Reuben:
Ver. 6. To the stone of Bohan.] Which had its name for some unknown reason: so Migdalgad. [Joshua 15:37]
Joshua 15:7 And the border went up toward Debir from the valley of Achor, and so northward, looking toward Gilgal, that [is] before the going up to Adummim, which [is] on the south side of the river: and the border passed toward the waters of Enshemesh, and the goings out thereof were at Enrogel:
Ver. 7. At Enrogel.] Or, The fuller’s well; who hath his name in Hebrew from footing it, quia pedibus mundet vestes. So hath the talebearer. [Psalms 15:3]
Joshua 15:8 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:
Ver. 8. By the valley of the son of Hinnon.] Where with barbarous cruelty they sacrificed their children to Moloch, or Saturn. [2 Kings 23:11] Hence Gehenna for hell.
The same is Jerusalem.] Anciently Jebus, [ 19:11] afterwards Jerusalem; not quasi ιερον σολυμων vel σολομωντος, as Hegesippus dreameth, but of Jireh, [Genesis 22:14] "he will provide," and Shalom, "peace." The Hebrew here and elsewhere writeth it in the dual form, as it were the double Jerusalem, the higher and the lower town, from which the apostle gathereth an allegory. [Galatians 4:15]
Joshua 15:9 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] Kirjathjearim:
Ver. 9. Which is Kirjathjearim,] i.e., Urbs nemorum. Vat.
Joshua 15:10 And the border compassed from Baalah westward unto mount Seir, and passed along unto the side of mount Jearim, which [is] Chesalon, on the north side, and went down to Bethshemesh, and passed on to Timnah:
Ver. 10. Unto mount Seir.] Not that of the Idumeans, but another of that name, from its roughness.
Joshua 15:11 And the border went out unto the side of Ekron northward: and the border was drawn to Shicron, and passed along to mount Baalah, and went out unto Jabneel; and the goings out of the border were at the sea.
Ver. 11. Unto the side of Ekron.] Where Beelzebub was worshipped. Hence Acheron for hell,
“ Fiectere si nequeo superos, Acheronta movebo. ” - Virg.
Joshua 15:12 And the west border [was] to the great sea, and the coast [thereof]. This [is] the coast of the children of Judah round about according to their families.
Ver. 12. The great sea,] i.e., The midland sea, great in comparison of the lakes of Palestine, called also seas.
Joshua 15:13 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.
Ver. 13. And unto Caleb.] See Joshua 14:13.
Joshua 15:14 And Caleb drove thence the three sons of Anak, Sheshai, and Ahiman, and Talmai, the children of Anak.
Ver. 14. And Caleb drove thence.] Nos quoque militemus, Heaven is not to be had sine sanguine et sudore, without pains, patience, violence.
Joshua 15:15 And he went up thence to the inhabitants of Debir: and the name of Debir before [was] Kirjathsepher.
Ver. 15. And the name of Debir before was Kirjathsepher.] Which signifieth a city of books, as Debir doth a secret and sacred place. Some think it was a University, or at least, that there was a famous library, such as was afterwards the Serapion at Alexandria, furnished with the best books by Ptolomy Philadelph, who was φιλολογωτατος βασιλευς, as Cyril noteth, a great lover of learning.
Joshua 15:16 And Caleb said, He that smiteth Kirjathsepher, and taketh it, to him will I give Achsah my daughter to wife.
Ver. 16. To him will I give Achsah my daughter.] Yet with her consent, who as she was not to be forced, [Genesis 24:51; Genesis 24:57] so she might not refuse without reason, and say -
“ Non amo te Sabidi, nec possum dicere quare. ” - Martial.
Joshua 15:17 And Othniel the son of Kenaz, the brother of Caleb, took it: and he gave him Achsah his daughter to wife.
Ver. 17. The son of Kenaz, the brother of Caleb.] So that Othniel and Achsah were brothers’ children. Hence some infer the lawfulness of such marriages now.
Joshua 15:18 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?
Ver. 18. She moved him to ask.] Or, She moved her husband that she might ask another field. Covetousness is never contented, but still craving more, as the horse leeches’ daughters. Othniel hardly yielded to this motion, but she would have it so, and therefore lighted off her ass, either as discontented, or as desirous to present her request.
Joshua 15:19 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.
Ver. 19. Give me also springs of water,] i.e., Other lands well watered, whence we may derive water to the rest.
And he gave her the upper springs, and the nether springs.] What can a kind father deny his child? And shall not God give his dear children "upper and nether springs," blessings of both lives, bona throni et bona scabelli? and are they not worthily miserable that will not make themselves happy by asking? How confidently came Esau to his father for a blessing, and the prodigal for a child’s part! Now if men which are evil do give good things to their children that ask them: how much more will your heavenly Father? &c. See what he saith, [Isaiah 45:11] "Ask me of things to come concerning" (or on the behalf of) "my sons, and concerning the work of my hands command ye me." Oh that we did but understand the latitude of this royal charter!
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Joshua 15". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/
the Third Sunday after Epiphany