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JOSHUA CHAPTER 12
A catalogue of the kings, and their possessions, out of which they were driven by the Israelites; first in the time of Moses on the other side Jordan, Joshua 12:1-6.12.6, and afterwards by Joshua on this side of Jordan, Joshua 12:7-6.12.23; in all one and thirty kings, Joshua 12:24.
On the east of Jordan, called the plain, Deuteronomy 1:1, and the plains of Moab, Deuteronomy 34:1.
From the middle of the river: it is not unusual, even amongst us, for a river to be divided between two lords, and for their territories or jurisdictions to meet in the middle of the river; and besides, here is a very particular reason for this expression, because the city Ar, which was no part of Sihon’s dominions, but belonged to the Moabites, Deuteronomy 2:9,Deuteronomy 2:18, was in the middle of the river Arnon, Deuteronomy 2:36 Deuteronomy 3:16; and therefore the middle of the river is most fitly and properly here mentioned, as the bound of Sihon’s dominion on that side.
And from half Gilead, Heb. and the half Gilead, i.e. half of the country of Gilead: the particle from is not in the original, and this doth not seem to denote the term or bound from which his dominion begun, as our version implies, for so indeed it was not; but the place or country in and over which his dominion was, which, as is here said, began at Arnon, and took in half Gilead, and ended at Jabbok, beyond which was the other half of Gilead, which belonged to Og, as is expressly said, Joshua 12:5, where the words being wholly the same that are here, it is most reasonable to understand and translate them in the same manner.
To the sea of Chinneroth on the east; which words describe the situation not of the sea of Chinneroth, which was part of the western border of Sihon’s dominion, but of the plain, which is here said to lie eastward from the sea of Chinneroth, and also eastward from the Salt Sea, as it here follows. And this was indeed the situation of the plains of Moab, which are here spoken of, to wit, that they lay between the two seas, that of Chinneroth and the Salt Sea, and eastward to them both.
The sea of the plain; the Salt Sea is so called because it was a famous plain, pleasant and fruitful, before it was turned into a salt sea. From the south, or, on or towards the south.
To wit, successively; sometimes at the one, sometimes at the other city; both being his royal mansions.
The Geshurites, of which see Deuteronomy 3:14; Joshua 13:13; 2 Samuel 13:37; 2 Samuel 15:8.
The wilderness: this word here and elsewhere in Scripture notes not a land wholly desert and uninhabited, but one thin of inhabitants, as 1 Kings 2:34; 1 Kings 9:18; Matthew 3:1,Matthew 3:3.
Which is beside Beth-el: this is added to distinguish it from Ai of the Ammonites, of which Jeremiah 49:3.
Dor, of which Joshua 11:2.
Gilgal; not of that Gilgal where Joshua first lodged after his passage over Jordan; where it doth not appear that there was either king or city; but of another city of the same name, (as was frequent in those parts,) probably in Galilee towards the sea whither divers people might possibly resort for trade and merchandise, over whom this was king, as formerly Tidal seems to have been, Genesis 14:1.
Each being confined to a narrow compass, and being king only of one city, or small province belonging to it, which was by the wise and singular providence of God, that they might be more easily and successively conquered by the Israelites one after another, as they were.
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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Joshua 12". Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/
the Second Week of Advent