Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, May 21st, 2024
the Week of Proper 2 / Ordinary 7
Partner with StudyLight.org as God uses us to make a difference for those displaced by Russia's war on Ukraine.
Click to donate today!

Bible Commentaries
Joshua 18

Pett's Commentary on the BiblePett's Commentary


Chapters 13-21 The Division of the Land.

The division of the conquered land, and of some not yet conquered, is now outlined. But we must recognise what we mean by conquered. When ancient relatively minor kings moved into a land and conquered it they did not necessarily remain there or station troops there. They followed it up by demanding tribute. The question then was whether the conquest would hold. Would the people accept the position as subject people? That depended both on the strength of the king’s own forces and on the strength or weakness of the conquered people. It was a position that would have to be continually maintained by force.

That was also true in this case. Joshua had conquered the land. But settlement was a different matter. The conquered people might object, especially as they were to be driven out. In the terms of his times Canaan was conquered, but it was certainly not totally under Joshua’s control. He had not left occupying forces. The vacuum left by his invasion would soon be filled by returning refugees and those who had avoided his forces. Thus the conquest would need to be enforced, or otherwise. That was to be the task of the tribes Israel, partly by conquest and partly by slow infiltration. Canaan was a land of forests so that those who chose to do so could advance into a forested part of the land allocated to them and establish themselves there, cutting back the forest and setting up their settlements. This would cause minimal to the present inhabitants. As they then became more settled they could then expand. Others more belligerent could take over smaller cities and settle in them, taking over the fields round about them. Once they grew stronger they could then expand further. The benefit of what Joshua had done lay in the fact that they were now accepted, even if with hostility, as having a right to be in the land. They were a part of the landscape which it was best not to trifle with, because if they were trifled with they had brother tribes whom they could call on for assistance.

The descriptions of the division of the land partly reflect the efficiency of the different surveyors set to the task. Some gave full details of borders, others far sparser details while others merely named cities in the area.

Chapter 18 The Further Seven Allotments - The Allotment to Benjamin.

In this chapter we have described the gathering at Shiloh where the Tent of Meeting (the Tabernacle) was set up, for the allotting by lot of the allotments to the remaining seven tribes. Men were to be sent out to divide up the remainder of the land, which up to now had been treated as one mainly unsurveyed section, into seven portions, and this was done. Movement through the country was easily possible, for travelling traders, and strangers passing through were a regular feature of life in Canaan. Then they returned and the remaining land was divided by lot. The lot of Benjamin is then described.

Verse 1

Chapter 18 The Further Seven Allotments - The Allotment to Benjamin.

In this chapter we have described the gathering at Shiloh where the Tent of Meeting (the Tabernacle) was set up, for the allotting by lot of the allotments to the remaining seven tribes. Men were to be sent out to divide up the remainder of the land, which up to now had been treated as one mainly unsurveyed section, into seven portions, and this was done. Movement through the country was easily possible, for travelling traders, and strangers passing through were a regular feature of life in Canaan. Then they returned and the remaining land was divided by lot. The lot of Benjamin is then described.

Joshua 18:1

And the whole congregation of the children of Israel assembled themselves together at Shiloh, and set up the Tent of Meeting there. And the land was subdued before them.’

The movement of the Tabernacle from Gilgal to Shiloh was an historic move. It was an indication that Israel were firmly settled in the land. It did not take place until after the victories of Joshua, even though Shechem, to the north of Shiloh, was early within the covenant (see on Joshua 8:30-35). It was first necessary that the hill country should come into their safe possession. Then the people gathered at Shiloh, probably to celebrate one of the great feasts. No movement had as yet been made to settle the remaining seven tribes and this moving of the Tabernacle to Shiloh was probably partly Joshua’s method of hastening the process.

“The whole congregation of the children of Israel.” See Joshua 22:12. The phrase is found regularly in the Law of Moses, eight times in Exodus, twice in Leviticus, nine times in Numbers. It comprehensively sums up the whole people as gathered together in the covenant.

“Assembled themselves together at Shiloh, and set up the Tent of Meeting there.” From now on Shiloh (modern Seilun) would be the place where the Tabernacle remained permanently until Shiloh was probably destroyed by the Philistines in the days of Eli, when Samuel was a young prophet. Archaeologically speaking a destruction of Shiloh took place around 1050 BC. Shiloh, and its fate, was ever remembered as the site of the Tabernacle which finally came under the judgment of God because of Israel’s failure and sin (Psalms 78:60; Jeremiah 7:12; Jeremiah 7:14; Jeremiah 26:6; Jeremiah 26:9). But that was yet in the future.

The tabernacle was variously stationed at Gilgal (Joshua 5:10; Joshua 10:15; Joshua 10:43), Shiloh (Joshua 18:1; Joshua 18:9-10), possibly temporarily at Bethel (Judges 20:18-28; Judges 21:1-4 - although only the Ark is mentioned and that sometimes left the Tabernacle at time of war), Shiloh (Judges 18:31; Judges 21:19 by implication; 1 Samuel 1:3 to 1 Samuel 4:4), possibly at Mizpah (1 Samuel 7:5; 1 Samuel 7:9-10) and Gilgal ( 1Sa 10:8 ; 1 Samuel 11:14; 1 Samuel 13:8-10), Nob (1 Samuel 21:1-9), and finally at Gibeon ( 1Ch 16:39-40 ; 1 Chronicles 21:29; 1 Kings 3:4; 2 Chronicles 1:3), There are hints that at Shiloh various permanent elements were added to the site of the Tabernacle but this is not certain (1 Samuel 1:9; 1 Samuel 3:15). Such language could be used elsewhere of tents , and ‘the house of YHWH’ could equally refer to the Tabernacle. Thus it may well have been called a ‘temple’ after being there so long.

“And the land was subdued before them.” The reference here is probably twofold, firstly to the widespread victories of Joshua which had crushed resistance temporarily throughout Canaan, and then to the further victories by which Judah, Ephraim and Manasseh had taken possession of the hill country and had established themselves there, together with certain parts of the lowlands, the Shephelah, and the Negeb.

Verse 2

And there remained among the children of Israel seven tribes which had not yet divided their inheritances.’

At this stage Judah, Ephraim, Manasseh, Gad and Reuben had received their inheritances in principle, the first three by the casting of lots. How the process was carried through we do not know. Judah’s choice by lot was to some extent restricted by the fact that one of their princes, Caleb, was to have the regions around Hebron. Thus they would need to be in that area. The general direction of Joseph’s portion (Manasseh and Ephraim) was probably determined by recognising the need for the hill country to be occupied quickly and lots being cast for which tribe(s) should occupy the area, the lot falling to Joseph. Further allocations to Ephraim and Manasseh then being made to take into account their size. Now the remainder of the land had to be divided up.

“Seven tribes.” While this was mathematically the result of deducting five from twelve it would almost certainly be seen as significant. This was the number of divine perfection. It represented the whole of Israel who were not yet settled seen from the divine point of view.

“Divided their inheritance.” The inheritance was there to be allotted but it had not yet been divided up. The need to allocate, and settle, the hill country before this was done demonstrates that in Joshua we have no theoretical division. The procedure went forward carefully as circumstances permitted. It was not just a glib theoretical process of ‘taking over’.

Verse 3

And Joshua said to the children of Israel, “How long are you dallying from going in to possess the land, which YHWH the God of your fathers has given you?” ’

Joshua now challenged the remainder of the tribes on the need to advance. Eleazar was ‘the priest’ who acted with regard to the casting of lots but Joshua was still the recognised leader and Servant of YHWH. The whole book is consistent in presenting this picture. Notice the words which link specifically with the covenant with Abraham, ‘YHWH, the God of your fathers’. What lay before them was because of the God Who was the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob, and because of the promises that He had made to them to give their descendants the land. Thus they should not have been hanging around and delaying. They should have been eager for action.

Clearly in fact the first enthusiasm had worn off and as they foresaw the difficulties ahead, which had already become apparent with the efforts of Judah and Joseph to take their inheritances, they were hesitating to go forward. They were prepared to settle back and enjoy what they had, scraping out an existence in the hills and in the Jordan Rift Valley.

To some extent we can sympathise. They had entered the promised land, and all had seemed to be swept before them. They had probably begun to think that now all they had to do was move in easily and take over. And then had come the unexpected opposition. Though ‘defeated’, the opponents would not lie down. There were still battles to fight, opponents to defeat, hard work to be done. And they had lost heart. Later these people would be praised as being faithful to YHWH (Judges 2:10). But they were not models of perfection.

It is similar in the Christian life. Often the first enthusiasm begins to wane because of temptation and spiritual battle, because life can suddenly becomes hard, and because the expected blessings are preceded by soul testing. But we too must heed the words of Joshua and arise and possess the land.

Verses 4-6

Appoint for yourselves three men for each tribe, and I will send them and they will arise and walk through the land and describe it according to their inheritance, and they shall come to me, and they will divide it into seven portions. Judah shall abide in his border on the south, and the house of Joseph shall abide in their border on the north, and you shall describe the land into seven portions and bring it here to me, and I will cast lots for you here before YHWH your God.”

“Three men” might mean literally three, or it may mean ‘a few’ as so often with ‘three’. But the onus was thrown on the tribes for selection. As a wise leader Joshua wanted them involved in all the decisions so that then they would feel that they were theirs and would be more enthusiastic. But it was Joshua who would send them. Their final instructions and guidance would come from him. He did not want them to make mistakes and make the future more difficult by carelessness.

“And they will arise and walk through the land.” This would pose no difficulties for a few sensible travellers. They could take on various guises and routes were already well travelled by strangers and traders of all kinds passing through the land. Not that there would not be dangers. There were always dangers when travelling. That was why they needed careful instruction and guidance from an expert.

“And describe it (write it down) according to their inheritance.” Writing was a familiar art to any educated Israelite (Judges 8:14). Careful records had to be made by these surveyors so as to divide up the remaining land of their inheritance accurately and in accordance with the situations in each. They were to divide it up into seven sections, which would then be allocated by lot in the sight and presence of God at the Tabernacle.

“I will cast lots for you.” For the princes as representing the people.

Verse 7

For the Levites have no portion among you, for the priesthood of YHWH is their inheritance, and Gad and Reuben and the half tribe of Manasseh have received their inheritance Beyond Jordan Eastward, which Moses the Servant of Yahweh gave them.”

The explanation is given as to why there were only seven portions required. It was because Levi had a special inheritance. Their inheritance was the priesthood and serving the Tabernacle. Their portion was YHWH (Joshua 14:33). This has been constantly stressed. To partake in the service of God is the greatest possession a man can have, and in order to enjoy it he should put aside all earthly possessions and have his whole heart fixed on God and His service. It should be noted that the Levites were only provided with the minimum required to enable them to survive.

The other factor involved was that an inheritance had been given to Reuben, Gad and half Manasseh in Transjordan.

Verse 8

And the men arose and went, and Joshua charged those who went to describe the land, saying, “Go and walk through the land and describe it in writing, and come again to me, and I will cast lots for you here before YHWH in Shiloh.” ’

So Joshua gave his last instructions to the men in accordance with what he had told the princes (Joshua 18:4). The repetition enabled the listener to remind himself of what had been said and to be able to say it along with the narrator. It encouraged participation. The surveyors were to go through the land (whether together as a caravan, or separately in small groups is not said) and record in writing all the information needed for a fair division of the land. Then the information would be used to cast lots before YHWH at Shiloh, where they then were, in order to discover His will.

Verse 9

And the men went and passed through the land, and described it by cities into seven portions in a book, and they came to Joshua to the camp at Shiloh.’

Note that the camp of Israel has now moved from Gilgal to Shiloh along with the Tabernacle. (Gilgal is never again mentioned as the place of encampment. There is absolutely no genuine reason for denying this move, and they were not likely to leave the Tabernacle unattended at this stage). This is another indication that this area was now regarded as safe. And the presence of the whole army of Israel made it even safer. The accomplishment of the task of surveying the land is put in a sentence but it must have taken many a weary and dangerous month.

Verse 10

And Joshua cast lots for them in Shiloh before YHWH, and there Joshua divided the land to the children of Israel according to their divisions.’

The lots were cast before YHWH and the land divided according to the divisions the surveyors had made. Again there was more to it than stated. No doubt their work would be checked and approved before the final actions were taken.

Verses 11-28

The Allotments to the Tribes (Joshua 18:11 to Joshua 19:51 ).

We now have indicated how the lot divided the land among the seven remaining tribes.

1). The Lot of the Tribe of Benjamin (Joshua 18:11-28 ).

Joshua 18:11

And the lot of the tribe of the children of Benjamin came up according to their families, and the border of their lot went out between the children of Judah and the children of Joseph.’

In Psalms 68:27 Benjamin was called ‘little Benjamin’ but that was partly because they had been made so as a result of the war over Gibeah (Judges 19-21), although compared with Judah and Joseph they were little, and they received ‘according to their families’. Their lot was a strip of land in the passes between the hill countries of the two, with Dan to the west. It was good land but made them vulnerable to invasion.

“The lot came up --.” This would suggest that the lot was picked out of something such as an urn or a pocket or a plate or suchlike.

“The tribe of the children of --.” With the exception of 1 Chronicles 6:65 this phrase only occurs in Numbers 10:15-27; Numbers 34:14-29; Numbers 36:8 and in Joshua. The emphasis in the word for tribe is on the fact that this refers to the judicial overview of ‘the children of --’. They were under judges and princes, both in leading the people forward (Numbers 10:15-27), and in the reception of the lot of their inheritance (Numbers 34:14-29; 1 Chronicles 6:65). Numbers 36:8 does not quite use it in the same way and is not really a parallel. Thus in Numbers the phrase uniquely applied to the situation of being under princes. We cannot doubt that the thought is the same here and elsewhere in its use in Joshua.

Joshua 18:12-13

And their border on the north quarter was from Jordan, and the border went up to the side (shoulder, slope) of Jericho on the north, and went up through the hill country westward, and its goings out were at the wilderness of Beth-aven, and the border passed along from there to Luz, to the slope (shoulder) of Luz southward, the same is Bethel, and the border went down to Attaroth-addar, by the mountain that lies on the south of Lower Beth-horon.’

For this description compare the border of Ephraim (Joshua 16:1-5). The slightly differing descriptions reveal the work of different surveyors using their own markers. The border starts from the Jordan and climbs the slope of Jericho (compare the ‘waters of Jericho’ which indicate a similar point - Joshua 16:1), probably the rising ground three miles to the north, then on north-westward via the wilderness of Beth-haven to Luz, then on to the southward slope of Luz, which was Bethel, and then via the mountain that lies to the south of Lower Beth-horon to Attaroth-addar. Note that Beth-aven, Luz and Bethel are distinguished, although at times each can be used for the other. They clearly each had a distinct significance while able to be used for the whole. Thus Luz/Bethel was a part of Benjamin while the slope of Luz (Bethel) was not.

Joshua 18:14

And the border was drawn and turned about on the west quarter southward, from the mountain that lies before Beth-horon southward, and its goings out were at Kiriath-baal, the same is Kiriath-jearim, a city of Judah. This was the west quarter.’

Having given the northern border, the west border is now given, from south of Beth-horon down to north of Kiriath-baal, thus excluding the latter.

Joshua 18:15-16

And the south quarter was from the furthest point of Kiriath-jearim, and the border went out westward and went out to the spring of the waters of Nephtoah. And the border went down to the uttermost point (the base?) of the mountain which lies before the valley of the son of Hinnom, which is the vale of Rephaim northward, and it went down to the valley of Hinnom to the slope of the Jebusite southward, and went down to En-rogel.’

Here the southern border of Benjamin is given which corresponds with the northern border of Judah (Joshua 15:6-9) but is traced in the opposite direction. Again evidence of different surveyors. We also note again that Kiriath-jearim is excluded. The border begins by going westward but then proceeds eastward to the waters of Nephtoah near Jerusalem (Joshua 15:9), proceeds to the base of the mountain (compare Joshua 15:8) as described and then through the valley of Hinnom to the southern slope of the Jebusite and on to En-rogel, thus encompassing at least part of Jerusalem. En-rogel (‘well of the launderer’) was just outside Jerusalem (2 Samuel 17:17; 1 Kings 1:9) and is known today as Job’s Well

Jerusalem as a whole was divided between Benjamin and Judah. It was built on two mountains with a valley between, the Jebusite stronghold being on top of the southeast ridge with terraces constructed eastward. Houses would also be built outside the walls forming part of ‘Jerusalem’. It may well be these that Judah captured (Judges 1:8) although they may have caught the fortress unprepared and empty of troops away on an expedition. But they did not permanently occupy it and later could not drive the Jebusites out (Joshua 15:63). Benjamin made no attempt to drive out the Jebusites in their part (Judges 1:21).

Joshua 18:17-19

And it was drawn on the north, and went out at Enshemesh, and went out to Geliloth, which is over against the Ascent of Adummim, and it went down to the stone of Bohan the son of Reuben. And it passed along to the side over against the Arabah northward, and went down to the Arabah. And the border passed along to the side of Beth-hoglah northwards, and the goings out of the border were at the north tongue of the Salt Sea at the south end of Jordan. This was the south border.’

See on Joshua 15:5-7 where more detail is given, in the reverse direction. (Note that Joshua 15:7 calls Geliloth (‘regions’) ‘Gilgal’ (a cartwheel). It is not the Gilgal in the Jordan valley). The whole description is an interesting contrast between two surveyors. Some of the language was no doubt technical so that we are not able to follow it fully. Even LXX had difficulty with it.

Joshua 18:20

And Jordan was the border of it on the east quarter. This was the inheritance of the children of Benjamin, by its borders round about, according to their families.’

The final quarter (border) was the Jordan. Then follows a formula similar to the official formula found at the end of each portion (see Joshua 18:28 b), here applied to the Benjamite boundaries for solemn confirmation.

Joshua 18:21-24

Now the cities of the tribe of the children of Benjamin, according to their families, were Jericho, and Bethhoglah, and Emek-keziz, and Betharabah, and Zemaraim,and Bethel, and Avvim, and Parah, and Ophrah, and Chephar-ammoni, and Ophni, and Geba. Twelve cities with their villages.’

This was the first of two regions into which Benjamin was divided, east and west of the road between Jerusalem and Shechem. While Jericho was not rebuilt as a city the area around was inhabited, and probably called Jericho. And its mound stood there as a reminder of its presence.

Beth-hoglah has been identified with the ruins of Kasr Hajleh, and is four kilometres (three miles) north of the present Dead Sea. Beth-arabah (‘house of the Arabah’) was in the barren, rocky country between the Central Range and the Dead Sea, sometimes called Jeshimon (waste, desert) mentioned in 1 Samuel 23:19; 1 Samuel 23:24. In verse 61 it belongs to Judah. Here it is a Benjamite border town. As with many border towns it was probably shared between them, the boundary going through it. It would have lands at both sides. Each might see it as their own. Emek-keziz (‘the valley or plain of Keziz’ whose name is applied to the city) is unknown. Zemariam was probably situated near Mount Zemaraim in the hill country of Ephraim (2 Chronicles 13:4). Various sites have been suggested (e.g Khirbet al-Samra; Ras al-Zaimara and Ras al-Tahuna).

Bethel is slightly complicated in that it can be represented by Luz (Judges 1:23), Beth-aven (Hosea 4:15; Hosea 5:8; Hosea 10:5) and the Bethel sanctuary (Genesis 28:19 - compare ‘the shoulder of Luz’? (Joshua 18:13)), although in Joshua Bethaven is distinguished from Bethel (Joshua 7:2) . In Judges 1:22-25 Luz was captured from the Canaanites by Ephraim (we are never told of it being taken earlier). See also 1 Chronicles 7:28. Here some section of what was called Bethel was named as Benjamite.

“And Avvim, and Parah.” Avvim may be a variation of the name Ai (Joshua 7:2 - both have the article). The name Parah may survive in Khirbet Farah, five kilometres (three miles) north east of Anathoth, near the junction of Wadi Farah with Wadi es-Suweinit. Ophrah (not that in Judges 6:11) which is that in the direction to which the Philistine spoilers came in 1 Samuel 13:17. Called Ephron in 2 Chronicles 13:19, it is modern et-Tayibeh, about eight kilometres (five miles) east of Bethel.

“Chephar-ammoni, and Ophni, and Geba.” Chephar-ammoni means ‘the village of the Ammonite’. Its site is unknown. Ophni is also unknown. Geba (meaning ‘a hill’) was eleven kilometres (seven miles) north of Jerusalem and five kilometres (three miles) from Gibeah (see Joshua 18:28; Judges 19:12) from which it is to be distinguished, and is the modern town of Jeba. It was assigned to the Levites and it was on the descent from here that Jonathan and his armourbearer made themselves known to the Philistines during their daring attack (1 Samuel 14:5). It was seen as the northernmost point of Josiah’s kingdom (2 Kings 23:8). ‘’Twelve cities with their villages.’ Forming the eastern region of Benjamin.

Joshua 18:25-28 a

‘Gibeon, and Ramah, and Beeroth, and Mizpeh, and Chephirah, and Mozah, and Rekem, and Irpeel, and Taralah, and Zelah, Eleph and the Jebusite (the same is Jerusalem), Gibeath, Kiriath. Fourteen cities with their villages.’

These were the cities of the western region of Benjamin. Gibeon is the city from where the Gibeonites came to deceive Israel, along with its companion cities, also mentioned here, Beeroth and Chephirah (Joshua 9:17). It was a fairly important ‘city’ over a small confederation of smaller ‘cities’ (it was ‘as one of the royal cities’ - Joshua 10:2 and see Joshua 9:17) inhabited by the Hivites/Horites (Joshua 18:7 - compare Genesis 26:2 with Genesis 26:20) and ruled over by a council of elders (Joshua 18:11). It was what we now know as El-Jib, nine kilometres (five to six miles) north of Jerusalem. The handles of storage jars were found at the site, stamped with a royal seal or inscribed with the owners’ names and the name Gibeon. In the time of David the Tabernacle was set up there (1 Chronicles 16:39; 1 Chronicles 21:29 see also 1 Kings 3:4-5)

The site has not yet revealed traces of a late bronze age settlement but burials at the time do indicate that it was then occupied. Thus it was probably not then a large city or with good defensive capability. It was described as ‘greater than Ai’ (Joshua 10:2), but Ai were ‘but few’.

Ramah is probably er-Ram, eight kilometres (five miles) north of Jerusalem at a height of about 700 metres (2,300 feet). It was a resting place on the way north (Judges 19:13). From Ramah Samuel would judge Israel (1 Samuel 7:17). Part of it was pulled down by Asa in order to use the materials to fortify Geba and Mizpah (1 Kings 15:17; 1 Kings 15:21-22), and it was where Nebuzaradan later gathered the exiles after the fall of Jerusalem, releasing Jeremiah (Jeremiah 40:1). It featured in the messages of the prophets (Isaiah 10:29; Jeremiah 31:15; Hosea 5:8).

Beeroth, one of the Gibeonite confederacy, means ‘wells’. This may be el-Bireh where there are several wells and ruins. It is eight kilometres (five miles) north east of Gibeon.

Mizpeh was in the neighbourhood of Gibeon and Ramah (1 Kings 15:22). The word means ‘watchtower, place for watching’ and suggests that it was built on an elevated place. It was here that Israel gathered to revenge the rape and murder of the Levite’s concubine (Judges 20-21), and that Samuel gathered Israel for prayer after the Ark had been returned to Kiriath-jearim (1 Samuel 7:5-6). It was one of the three places visited regularly by Samuel as judge of Israel (1 Samuel 7:16). The site was probably Tell en-Nasbeh (note the similarity by assonance), an isolated hill about thirteen kilometres (eight miles) north of Jerusalem. An alternative would be Nebi Samwil, seven kilometres (four to five miles) north west of Jerusalem, 895 metres (2900 feet) above sea level and 150 metres (490 feet) above the surrounding country.

Chephirah was a Hivite fortress on a spur eight kilometres (five miles) west of Gibeon, now modern Khirbet Kefireh, dominating the Wadi Qatneh that leads down to Aijalon. Ezra 2:25; Nehemiah 7:29 link it with Kiriath-jearim. Mozah, and Rekem, and Irpeel, and Taralah are unknown.

Zelah was the burial place of Saul and his family (2 Samuel 21:14), Eleph is unknown, Jebusi (the Jebusites) was probably a short form of ‘the city of the Jebusites’, compare ‘the shoulder of the Jebusites’ (Joshua 18:16), and refers to Jerusalem. Gibeath is the town of Gibeah, Tell el-Ful, a bare, conical hill five kilometres (three miles) north of Jerusalem. This was where the great crime would be committed against the Levite’s concubine that almost resulted in the extermination of Benjamin (Judges 19:0). It was later the birthplace of Saul (1 Samuel 10:26) and served as his residence while he was king, containing a small fortress. Because it was away from running water it depended on preserving water in cisterns and at the time of Joshua only a small settlement was found there, developing in the iron age. An iron plough-tip was found from this latter period. Later occupation on the site was spasmodic.

Kiriath (‘city’) is probably Kiriath-jearim (‘city of forests’), a border city between Benjamin and Judah, partially claimed by each. It is possibly Kuriet el-‘Enab, fourteen kilometres west of Jerusalem in a once well wooded district on the Jaffa Road. ‘Fourteen cities with their villages.’ Making up the western region.

Joshua 18:28 b

‘This is the inheritance of the children of Benjamin according to their families.’

This is the formula, (sometimes with as an addition ‘the (these) cities with their villages’), that finalises the inheritance of each of the eleven tribes apart from Levi.

Bibliographical Information
Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Joshua 18". "Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/pet/joshua-18.html. 2013.
Ads FreeProfile