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Bible Commentaries
Joshua 15

Whedon's Commentary on the BibleWhedon's Commentary

Verse 1

1. Even to the border of Edom The latter part of this verse should be rendered, to the border of Edom the wilderness of Zin southward from the extremity of Teman. Teman was a district in the land of Edom, and lay, perhaps, not far southeast of the Dead Sea. Its position, however, is unknown. The sense of the whole verse is: Judah’s lot extended into the extreme south, bordering on Edom and the desert of Zin. The Edomites occupied the mountainous region directly south of the Dead Sea, and the wilderness of Zin was the desert tract extending westward from this, in which lay Kadesh. See on Numbers 20:1; Numbers 33:36.

Verses 1-63

ORIGINAL LOT OF JUDAH, Joshua 15:1-63.

[The tribe of Judah received the first allotment, and a very disproportionate share of the Land of Promise, for its territory embraced nearly the half of western Palestine. This original lot, however, was afterwards diminished by assigning a part of it to Simeon. Joshua 19:1. The original borders, districts, and cities of Judah are detailed with great minuteness in this chapter, and to a much greater extent than those of any other tribe. Grove suggests that “this may be due either to the fact that the lists were reduced to their present form at a later period, when the monarchy resided with Judah, and when more care would naturally be bestowed on them than on those of any other tribe; or to the fact that the territory was more important, and more thickly covered with towns and villages, than any other part of Palestine.” Smith’s Bib. Dict. Many and great were the prophetic blessings pronounced on Judah by his father. Genesis 49:8-12. He was to be the pride and glory of his brethren, the mighty conqueror, whose symbol was the lion, and whose pre-eminence was represented by the sceptre and the ruler’s staff, never to depart “until Shiloh come.” The same prophetic blessing also characterized his section of the Promised Land. “The elevation of the hills and tablelands of Judah is the true climate of the vine, and at Hebron, according to the Jewish tradition, was its primeval seat. He bound ‘his foal unto the vine, and his ass’s colt unto the choice vine; he washed his garments in wine, and his clothes in the blood of grapes.’ Genesis 49:11. A vineyard on a hill of olives, with the ‘fence,’ and the ‘stones gathered out,’ and the ‘tower in the midst of it,’ is the natural figure which, both in the prophetical and evangelical records, represents the kingdom of Judah. Isaiah 5:1; Matthew 21:33. The vine was the emblem of the nation on the coins of the Maccabees, and in the colossal cluster of golden grapes which overhung the porch of the second temple.” Stanley.

Verse 2

2. Their south border seems to have fetched a curve or semicircle from the south end of the Dead Sea, sweeping far round by the wilderness of Zin, and thence northwesterly to the Mediterranean.

Salt sea Now commonly called the Dead Sea, and supposed to cover the ancient vale of Siddim and the destroyed cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. See on Genesis 14:3; Genesis 19:25.

The bay that looketh southward Literally, the tongue that turneth southward. The southernmost portion of the Dead Sea somewhat resembles a tongue in shape. Compare Isaiah 11:15.]

Verse 3

3. It went out to the south side Or, on the south side. That is, it started out on its southward course.

Maaleh-acrabbim The word means ascent of scorpions, and was probably the name of a pass in the bald mountain (Halak) eight miles south of the Dead Sea, described in note, Joshua 11:17. It doubtless derived its name from its scorpions, which abound in all this region.

Passed along to Zin That is, went along till it joined the edge of the wilderness of Zin, which stretches off to the west and southwest of Mount Hor.

Kadesh-barnea The modern Ain Gadis. See Joshua 10:41, note. Hezron, Adar, and Karkaa are now unknown. Compare Numbers 34:1-5.

Verse 4

4. Azmon is also unknown.

River of Egypt Wady-el-Arish. See note Joshua 13:3.

At the sea The Mediterranean Sea.

Verse 5

5. East border was the salt sea Which formed a boundary line for nearly fifty miles.

End of Jordan That is, the month of the Jordan; called also in this same verse the uttermost part of Jordan.

Bay of the sea The northern tongue or extremity of the Dead Sea, at the point where it receives the waters of the Jordan.

Verse 6

6. Beth-hogla The modern Ain Hadjla, a fine spring of beautiful sweet water at the north of the Dead Sea, about two miles west of the Jordan.

Beth-arabah House of solitude: in the desert of Judah, and apparently not far from Beth-hogla. It is mentioned again in Joshua 15:61 and Joshua 18:22, and in Joshua 18:18 is called simply Arabah; first allotted to Judah, then relinquished to Benjamin.

Stone of Bohan This cannot be located. It was a memorial of a Reubenite warrior slain in the conquest of the land.

Verse 7

7. Achor See Joshua 7:24, note. This Debir is not the same with that named in Joshua 10:38, but another, evidently not far from the Valley of Achor. Its site is unknown.

Gilgal See on Joshua 5:9. It is called Geliloth, Joshua 18:17. [

Adummim Literally, the ascent of the red ones, and so called because of the frequent effusion of blood there by robbers, (compare Luke 10:30, note,) or else from some early tribe of red men (possibly Edomites) who dwelt there. Keil thinks the name originated in the red colour of the rocks; but Stanley says there are no red rocks here, but the whole pass is white limestone. Adummim was probably at or near the modern ed-Dem, marked on Menke’s map about half way between Jerusalem and Jericho. This is on the south side of Wady Kelt, which is doubtless the river here referred to.]

En-shemesh The fountain of the sun, usually identified with the Well of the Apostles, below Bethany on the road to Jericho; but Dr. Robinson says, “It may very possibly have been the fountain near St. Saba.”

En-rogel The fountain of the fuller. The Arabic version of this verse calls it the Well of Job, which is its modern name. [An old tradition and common opinion has identified it with the deep well situated just below the junction of the Valley of Hinnom with that part of the Valley of Jehoshaphat. It is also called the Well of Nehemiah. But Dr. Bonar identifies it with the Fountain of the Virgin, and more recently M. Ganneau maintains the same opinion, having discovered a rock Zehwele near this fountain, which he identifies with the Stone of Zoheleth mentioned 1 Kings 1:9.

Verse 8

8. Valley of the son of Hinnom A long-standing and almost unanimous opinion of all explorers of the Holy Land identifies this valley with the deep and narrow ravine that bounds Jerusalem on the west and south. But Capt. Warren, of the Palestine Exploration Company, is convinced that the Hinnom is identical with the Kedron Valley, which is on the east of Jerusalem. In Jeremiah 19:2, the valley is said to be “by the entry of the east gate,” but there the Hebrew is the Charsuth, or Potter’s Gate, and the precise meaning is by no means clear. But Robinson (Bib. Res., vol. i, p.

269) says that several Arabic writers of the twelfth century call the Kedron valley Jehennam. According to Capt. Warren the border of Judah and Benjamin ran over the southern slope of the mount of Olives, “across from the rock Zoheleth in Siloam to the Virgin’s Fount, thence up the Kedron until nearly opposite the south-southeast angle of the noble sanctuary, where it crossed over the hill of Moriah at the southern side of the temple, thence up the Tyropoean Valley to the Jaffa Gate, and so on to Lifta.” But this needs confirmation, and ill agrees with what follows.

South side of the Jebusite That is, the boundary line ran south of Jerusalem, the city of the Jebusite. The Jebusite citadel, which was taken by David and called the stronghold of Zion, (2 Samuel 5:7,) is commonly supposed to have been on the modern Zion; but Capt. Warren’s topography places the boundary on the north side of the modern Zion.

The mountain that lieth before the valley of Hin-nom westward This most naturally indicates the eminence west of Jerusalem which forms the western side or wall of the upper part of what is now commonly called the Valley of Hinnom. The brow of this hill, according to Robinson, is a rocky ridge.

Which is at the end of the valley of the giants northward This is obscure. What is at the end of the valley? and is this point north of the valley, or the valley north of the point in question? We take the meaning to be, that the mountain (just mentioned) is at the northern end of the Valley of the Giants. The valley of the giants, or of Rephaim, is usually identified with the upland plain to the southwest of Jerusalem. “This plain,” says Robinson, “is broad, and descends gradually towards the southwest until it contracts in that direction into a deeper and narrower valley, called lower down Wady el-Werd, which unites further on with Wady Ahmed, and finds its way to the western plain.” So it is sufficiently enclosed with hills to be called a valley, ( emek,) and no other valley or plain so well answers the Scripture notices as this. Here the Philistines encamped when they came to war with David. 2 Samuel 5:18.]

Verse 9

9. Nephtoah is identified by Dr. Barclay with Ain Lifta, a spring three miles northwest of Jerusalem, near a village of the same name. Mount Ephron is probably the range of hills on the west side of the Wady Beit Hanina, the traditional Valley of the Terebinth. Baalah, or Kirjath-jearim, is identified by Dr. Robinson with the modern Kuryet-el-Enab. See Joshua 9:17, note.

Verse 10

10. Compassed That is, encompassed; described a curve. Mount Seir must not be confounded with that of Idumea. It is a range running southwest from Kirjath-jearim, between the Wady Aly and the Wady Ghurab. The name still continues in the place called Sairah. Chesalon is the modern Kesla, seen by Dr. Robinson on a high point of the lofty ridge south of the Wady Ghurab. [He also recognized Beth-shemesh in the modern Ain-shems, just south of the great Wady Surar. The ruins, which consist of many foundations and remains of ancient walls of hewn stone, are “upon and around the plateau of a low swell or mound between the Surar on the north and a smaller wady on the south.” To this place the Ark was brought after its capture by the Philistines. 1 Samuel 6:9.] Timnah, from which Samson fetched his wife, is the modern Tibneh, about two miles west of Beth-shemesh. This Timnah must be distinguished from another place of the same name on the mountains, mentioned at Joshua 15:57.

11. Unto the side of Ekron northward That is, on the north side of Ekron. This was the most northerly of the five great Philistine cities. Compare Joshua 13:3. It was the last place to which the captured Ark was taken, (1 Samuel 5:10,) and thence it was transported on the new cart to Beth-shemesh. Its site is found in the modern Akir, in a northwesterly direction from Beth-shemesh, and about half way between the latter city and the sea. The site of Shicron is unknown. Mount Baalah is also uncertain, but probably was the name of a range of hills seen from Ekron on the east of Wady Rubin. Jabneel is doubtless the same as Jabneh, which Uzziah took from the Philistines. 2 Chronicles 26:6. The name and site are still found in Yebna, a village situated on an eminence in the midst of a rich plain, two miles from the sea and three from Ekron.

The goings out… at the sea That is, the northern boundary terminated at the Mediterranean Sea.

Verse 12

12. To the great sea and the coast That is, the coast of the Mediterranean from Jebneel southward formed Judah’s western boundary.

The writer, having now given the boundaries of Judah, is about to give a list of the cities within these bounds. But before proceeding to do so he enters a brief account of Caleb’s conquest of his portion, which Joshua had allotted him. See Joshua 14:6-15. As Caleb’s possession included the most important city and central seat of the whole tribe of Judah, it is natural that the fact of its conquest should be recorded here.

As Joshua 15:13-19 are nearly identical with Judges 1:10-20, some have supposed that this passage in Joshua was copied from that in Judges; and others, on the contrary, maintain that the passage in Judges was taken from this. Keil, however, urges that both passages were drawn from one common source, a document older than either the Book of Joshua or that of Judges.]

Verse 13

13. Hebron See at Joshua 14:12.

Verse 14

14. The three sons of Anak Joshua had cut off the Anakim from the mountains and destroyed their cities, (Joshua 11:21,) but after his army retired northward these three old chieftains had rallied their scattered adherents and repossessed their cities.

Verse 15

15. Debir See on Joshua 10:38.

We have now, in 16-19, a glimpse of romance in Hebrew history. It was memorable tradition connected with the capture of Debir, and with the history of one of the princely families of the period.

Verse 16

16. Caleb said The veteran leader finding Debir, perhaps after his previous conquests, a more difficult fortress, arouses his warriors with the promise of a prize.

Smiteth Kirjath-sepher The old name of the city, as quoting the warrior’s own words.

My daughter to wife Said in the spirit of the Oriental as well as the Roman rule, by which the parent was absolute lord of his children, and of the Oriental custom of marrying parties without regard to previous affection or even acquaintance. Saul thus promised his daughter to the slayer of Goliath. 1 Samuel 17:25.

Verse 17

17. Othniel the son of Kenaz, the brother of Caleb The Septuagint, by mistake, here makes Othniel to be the brother of Caleb, thus making him marry his own brother’s daughter, his niece; a marriage if not unlawful, yet questionable. But the Septuagint corrects itself at Judges 1:13, where all versions agree that Kenaz was Caleb’s brother, and Othniel Kenaz’s son. Othniel therefore married his own cousin.

Gave him Achsah In being offered as a prize to the warriors it is probable that, in accordance with the spirit of the times, Achsah found a gratification to her feminine pride. The onset of battle was to be made all the more bravely for her beauty, rank, and dower. Of course, all the probabilities of winning lay within the circle of a few well-known heroes, and she would have the assurance of marrying the bravest man of Caleb’s princedom. And her best ambition was gratified, since Providence and Othniel’s bravery gave her the man of her probable choice certainly the man who raised her from the rank of daughter of the sheikh to that of wife of the ruler of all the united tribes. Judges 3:9.

Verse 18

18. And it came to pass We have now full proof that Caleb acted from affection to his daughter and with her confiding love.

As she came In bridal procession, all riding upon asses, from her father’s house to the house of her bridegroom, by whom she is escorted to his and her future home. See note on Matthew 25:1-6.

She moved him Her bridegroom, by the side of whom, probably, she rode in procession. She believes the request of Othniel would be with Caleb even more powerful than her own; but he, perhaps silently, declines.

To ask… a field “Underneath the hill on which Debir stood is a deep valley, rich with verdure from a copious rivulet, which, rising at the crest of the glen, falls, with a continuity unusual in the Judean hills, down to its lowest depth. On the possession of these upper and lower ‘bubblings,’ so contiguous to her lover’s prize, Achsah had set her heart.” Stanley.

Lighted off At her bridegroom’s door, where she and her father meet each other.

What wouldest thou The heart of her father at this melting moment is open to any request, and she seizes the golden chance.

Verse 19

19. A blessing A special favour, a gift.

Springs of water As her portion was a field having a southern exposure to blazing suns and sultry winds, she argues the eminent propriety of supplementing the gift by adding a well-watered adjoining tract. He gave her the upper springs and the nether, a tract of hill and dale abounding in water.

The cities of Judah are grouped in four divisions corresponding to the physical geography of Judah’s lot: the NEGEB, or south country, Joshua 15:21-32; the SHEPHELAH, or valley, Joshua 15:33-47; the MOUNTAIN, Joshua 15:48-60; and the WILDERNESS, Joshua 15:61-62. The cities of the Shephelah and the Mountain are enumerated by groups. These cities are nearly all unknown. For an elaborate attempt to identify them, see Wilton’s Negeb, Part III, page 70. In the following notes nothing is said on the names of those places of which no modern trace has been certainly discovered.

Verse 26

26. Moladah, afterwards given to Simeon, is the modern el Milh, about twenty miles south of Hebron. [This place was identified by Dr. Robinson. It has two wells about forty feet deep, and the ruins of a former city cover a space around of nearly half a mile square. It was inhabited again after the exile. Nehemiah 11:26. The sides of the wells are, according to Tristram, “of hard marble, polished and deeply fluted all round by the ropes of the water drawers, perhaps for four thousand years. Eight ancient water-troughs stand irregularly around, some oblong, many cup-shaped, and others apparently the scooped pedestals of ancient columns, which have once supported a portico over the well.”]

Verse 28

28. Beer-sheba This spot, so much associated with patriarchal history, has been identified with the modern Bir-es-Seba, some thirty miles southwest of Hebron. It afterwards became famous as the southern limit of the Holy Land, in the formula “From Dan to Beer-sheba.” For the origin of the name and history see at Genesis 21:31; Genesis 26:33. Two deep wells are still found there, and a number of smaller ones. The largest well is twelve and a half feet in diameter, and about fifty in depth.

Verse 30

30. Hormah This is doubtless the same city whose king Joshua smote, and whose original name was Zephath. It is located by Robinson and others at the pass es-Sufah, far to the south of Hebron; but Palmer, more correctly, identified it with Sebaita some twenty-five miles southwest of Beer-sheba. See note on Judges 1:17.

Verse 32

32. All the cities are twenty and nine This does not agree with the names detailed in the text, which are thirty-six at least. To remove this discrepancy the Rabbins assume that the cities given to Simeon are not counted. But there were twelve or fifteen given to that tribe. Others suggest that several of these places were mere hamlets, and were not counted; or that compound names have been separated, or epithets prefixed been made into names; still others, that one place may have had several names, or that there is an error in the numerical letters for twenty-nine. The Syriac reads thirty-six, an evident change in that version to meet the difficulty. It is more probable that several names were added by a later hand after the country was more thickly peopled, possibly to gratify local pride, and the number twenty-nine was not changed.

Verse 33

33. In the valley Hebrews, Shephelah, the lowland. See on Joshua 10:40. These cities are enumerated in four groups. A portion of these in the north was afterwards conceded to Dan. Eshtaol and Zoreah afterwards became famous in the tribe of Dan as the scene of Samson’s childhood and first daring exploits, (Judges 13:25,) and also the place of his burial. Judges 16:31. The exact site of Eshtaol is unknown; but Zoreah, or Zorah, still exists in the modern Surah, just below the summit of a sharp-pointed hill on the north side of the Wady Ghurab. The prospect from the top of this hill is extensive and fine.

Verse 34

34. Zanoah is very probably the modern Zanuah, a little to the east of Zorah.

35. Jarmuth was one of the five cities whose kings joined in a league against the Gibeonites, and were defeated in the great battle of Beth-horon. Joshua 10:3. It has been identified with the modern village Yarmuk, about eight miles northeast of Eleutheropolis. It is situated on the crest of a rugged hill, and well named Jarmuth, which means the lofty. Socoh became afterwards distinguished from being associated with the combat between David and Goliath. 1 Samuel 17:1. It was identified by Robinson with the ruins of Shuweikeh, a few miles south of Jarmuth and on the opposite side of the Wady-es-Sumpt.]

Verse 36

36. Fourteen cities Fifteen are enumerated, which discrepancy may be explained as that in Joshua 15:32, or by supposing, as is very probable, that the last named city, Gederothaim, is an ancient gloss introduced by some confusion of Gederah with the Gederoth of Joshua 15:41.

Verses 37-41

37-41. This second group of the cities in the Shephelah, sixteen in number, are now nearly all unknown. On Lachish and Eglon, see Joshua 10:3.

Verse 42

42. The third group lay southeast of the second. On Libnah, see Joshua 10:29.

Verse 43

[ 43. Nezib has been identified by Drs. Robinson and Porter with the ruins of Beit Nusib, about seven miles east of Eleutheropolis, on the way to Hebron. “It is neither in the mountains nor in the plain, but in the low hilly country which connects the two. The ruins are of considerable extent. The most important are a massive tower sixty feet square, the masonry of which appears to be of the Jewish type. Near it are the foundations of another great fabric, and the site is strewn with broken columns and large building stones.” Porter. ]

Verse 44

44. Keilah was a walled town not far from Nezib. Its inhabitants were delivered from the oppression of the Philistines by David and his men, who afterwards for a time settled in the town. 1 Samuel 23:1-13. “Eight Roman miles from the ancient Eleutheropolis, on the way to Hebron, is a large ruined tower or castle called Kela. It stands on a projecting cliff on the right bank of Wady-el-Feranj. There can be little doubt that this is the long lost Keilah.” Porter. [ Achzib is probably identical with Chezib, (Genesis 38:5,) now Kusaba, fifteen miles southwest of Beit-jibrin. Mareshah is supposed by Robinson and Tobler to be the ruins called Marash, one mile and a half south of Beit-jibrin, on a gently-swelling hill leading down from the mountains to the great western plain. The ruins are not extensive, but Robinson thinks they were used in building the neighbouring Eleutheropolis.]

Verse 45

45. The fourth group lay on the Philistine coast, and were then in the possession of the Philistines.

Ekron See chap. 13, note.

Verse 47

47. Ashdod and Gaza See on Joshua 11:22; Joshua 10:41. These cities of the Philistines are thus aggregated, because they were not conquered.

Verse 48

48. Mountains The highlands of Judah were bounded by the lowlands on the west, the wilderness adjacent to the Dead Sea on the east, the Negeb on the south, and a line touching Jerusalem on the north. At Hebron the land is three thousand feet above the level of the sea. Many fruitful valleys, whose lower declivities are clothed with verdure, wind into the mountain from the lowlands between rugged chalk cliffs. The cities of this district are enumerated in five groups, or, if we accept the text of the Septuagint between Joshua 15:59-60, we have six groups. Jattir Robinson identifies with the ruins of Attir, ten miles south of Hebron. Socoh must be distinguished from Socoh on the plain. See on Joshua 15:35. Robinson recognized it in Shuweikeh, (the diminutive of Shaukeh,) a little northwest of Jattir.

Verse 49

49. Kirjath-sannah The English reader will be assisted in his understanding of many of these names if he remembers that Kirjath means city. The word following completes the sense, as Kirjath-sannah, city of literature.

Debir See on Joshua 10:38.

Verse 50

50. Anab is still existing northwest of Socoh, without change of name. Eshtemoh is probably the modern Semua, “a considerable village, with remains of a wall, built of stones more than ten feet in length.” Robinson.

Verse 51

51. Giloh, perhaps identical with the modern Rafat, a little south of Eshtemoh, was the birth-place of Ahithophel, and the scene of his suicide. 2 Samuel 15:12; 2 Samuel 17:23.

Verse 52

52. This next group of cities was north of the last named, in the vicinity of Hebron.

Dumah Robinson passed the ruins of Ed-Daumeh six miles southwest of Hebron, which are probably the remains of this place.

Verse 53

53. Beth-tappuah, five miles west of Hebron, is now called Teffuh. It is well peopled, and stands in the midst of olive groves and vineyards, with marks of thrift. Portions of an old wall and fortress are visible among the houses. Aphekah is probably the same as Aphek. See on Joshua 12:18.

Verse 54

54. Hebron See Joshua 10:3, note.

Verse 55

55. The third cluster of mountain cities lies east of the other two, toward the desert.

Maon, modern Main, nine miles south-southeast of Hebron, is conspicuously situated on a conical hill. The summit is crowned with ruins, foundations of hewn stone, a square enclosure, and several cisterns. The view is fine. Many towns of Judah are in sight.

Carmel, now called Kurmul, is a few miles northwest of Maon. Robinson says that here he found more extensive ruins than he had yet anywhere seen, unless perhaps at Beth-el. The city was built in a semicircular amphitheatre shut in by rocks, in which there is an artificial reservoir one hundred and seventeen by seventy-four feet. The ruins consist chiefly of foundations and broken walls, scattered in every direction, and thrown together in mournful confusion and desolation.

Ziph, modern Zif, five miles southeast of Hebron, is in ruins. Twice did its treacherous people attempt to betray David, the youthful outlaw, into the hands of his persecutor, Saul. 1Sa 23:19 ; 1 Samuel 26:1.

Juttah is in the vicinity of Ziph, at the southwest, and is now called Yutta. Robinson describes it as having the appearance of a large Mohammedan town, on a low eminence, with trees around. He agrees with Reland that this is the city Juda, (Luke 1:39,) the residence of Zacharias and Elizabeth, and the birthplace of John the Baptist. The pronunciation is softened in the New Testament.

Verse 56

56. Jezreel cannot be located. It was the country of Ahinoam. 1 Samuel 25:43. It must not be confounded with the city in the plain of Esdraelon. Joshua 15:57.

Gibeah, meaning hill, is identified by Robinson with Jebah, a village upon a detached hill in Wady-el-Mu-surr, ten miles southwest of Jerusalem.

Timnah is a different place from that near to Adullam, (Joshua 15:10; Joshua 15:35,) though some have confounded them.

Verse 58

58. Halhul still retains its name, and is found four miles north of Hebron. Here is a ruined mosque, the reputed sepulchre of the prophet Jonah, “looking,” says Robinson, “much like the church of a New England village.” Beth-zur, house of the rock, is five miles north of Hebron, and is still called Beit-zur, the exact Arabic of the Hebrew name. “Its principal ruin is the tower, of which only one side is now standing. There are hewn stones and fragments of columns scattered about, and many foundations of buildings.” Robinson. The tradition that Philip baptized the Eunuch here is improbable, since it is not on the route from Jerusalem to Gaza. Gedor is identified by Robinson with the modern ruins called Jedur, about eight miles north of Hebron.

Verse 59

[ 59. Bethanoth is found in the ruined village Beit-ainun, about three miles northeast of Hebron. “The principal ruin is a building eighty-three feet long and seventy-two broad. The remains of the town lie on a gentle slope north of this edifice. The foundations remain, and the streets and forms of the dwellings can still be traced.” Robinson. ] Between the 59th and 60th verses the LXX in the Codex Alexandrinus and Vaticanus insert another group of eleven cities, namely, Tekoah, Ephratha or Bethlehem, Phagor, Aitan, Khulan, Tatam, Thobes, Karem, Galem, Thether, and Manocho. Whether these cities have been added by the LXX without authority, or were really found in the earliest MSS. of this book, is a question which is not easy to determine. Hengstenberg maintains the former opinion and Keil the latter. Some find a motive for the erasure of the whole group from the Hebrew text in the desire of the Jews to deny that Jesus sprang from the tribe of Judah.

Verse 60

60. On Kirjath-baal see note on Joshua 9:17.

Verse 61

61. The wilderness The wild and rugged territory along the west side of the Dead Sea. Only six cities are mentioned as belonging to this entire district.

Verse 62

62. Engedi is the modern Ain Jidy, on the western shore of the Dead Sea. Here is a rich plain, half a mile square, where are found foundations and heaps of stone. Its vineyards were celebrated by Solomon, its balsam by Josephus, its palms by Pliny.

[ 63. The Jebusites The hardy and warlike mountaineers who inhabited Jerusalem. They occupied the strongest natural fortress in the country, and it was not until the time of David that they were dispossessed of this their ancient seat. 2 Samuel 5:6-10.

Judah could not drive them out Their inability arose from a decay of heroism and perseverance. They failed to meet the condition on which all their successes depended. “Be strong and of good courage.” It seems that the united army under Joshua made no direct attempt on Jerusalem after king Adonizedek was slain at Makkedah. And when Joshua, by reason of age, ceased to go to war, and the several tribes were left, like Caleb, to subdue and possess their own allotted territory, Judah’s courage and faith failed, and the Jebusites continued to dwell among them. They succeeded, however, at one time in capturing and burning the lower city, (Judges 1:8, note,) but the old mountaineers held the high citadel. Benjamin also tried, but ineffectually, to drive them out. Judges 1:21.

Unto this day This shows that at the time of the writer David had not yet dislodged the Jebusite from his stronghold, and we must date this book before his day.]

Bibliographical Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Joshua 15". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/whe/joshua-15.html. 1874-1909.
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