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Bible Commentaries

Lange's Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Critical, Doctrinal, and Homiletical
Joshua 18

 

 

Verses 1-51

3. The Territories of the Seven remaining Tribes: Benjamin, Simeon, Zebulun, Issachar, Asher, Naphtali, Dan; and the Possession of Joshua

Joshua 18, 19

a. Setting up of the Tabernacle at Shiloh. Description of the Land yet to be divided

Joshua 18:1-10

1And the whole congregation of the children [sons] of Israel assembled together at Shiloh, and set up the tabernacle of the congregation there: and the land was subdued before them 2 And there remained among the children of Israel seven tribes, which had not yet [omit: yet] received their inheritance 3 And Joshua said unto the children of Israel, How long are ye slack to go to possess the land which the Lord [Jehovah] God of your fathers hath given you? 4Give out from among [for] you three men for each tribe: and I will send them, and they shall rise, and go [about] through the land, and describe it according to the inheritance of them [their possession]: 5and they shall come again [omit: again] to me. And they shall divide it into seven parts: Judah shall abide in their coast [stand on his border] on the south, and the house of Joseph shall abide in their coasts [stand on their border] in the north 6 Ye shall therefore [And ye shall] describe the land into seven parts, and bring the description [so Bunsen, but properly: them or it] hither to me, that I:7 may cast lots for you here before the Lord [Jehovah] our God. But [For] the Levites have no part among you; for the priesthood of the Lord [Jehovah] is their inheritance [possession]: and Gad, and Reuben, and half the tribe of Prayer of Manasseh, have received their inheritance [possession] beyond [the] Jordan on the east, which Moses the servant of the Lord [Jehovah] gave them 8 And the men arose, and went away: and Joshua charged them that went to describe the land, saying, Go, and walk through the land, and describe it, and come again to me, that I may here cast lots for you before the Lord [Jehovah] in Shiloh 9 And the men went and passed through the land, and described it by [the] cities into seven parts in a book, and came again [omit: again] to Joshua to the host [camp] at Shiloh 10 And Joshua cast lots for them in Shiloh before the Lord [Jehovah]: and there Joshua divided the land unto the children of Israel according to their divisions.

b. The Territory of the Tribe of Benjamin

Joshua 18:11-28

α. Its boundaries

Joshua 18:11-20

11And the lot of the tribe of the children [sons] of Benjamin came up according to their families: and the coast [border] of their lot came forth between the children of Judah and the children of Joseph 12 And their border on the north side was [De Wette: began; but properly: There was for them the border, etc.] from [the] Jordan, [Fay: at the Jordan]; and the border went up to the side of Jericho on the north side [omit: side], and went up through [on] the mountains westward; and the goings out thereof were at the wilderness of Beth-aven 13 And the border went over from thence toward Luz, to the side of Luz (which is Beth-el) southward; and the border descended to Ataroth-adar, near [on] the hill [mountain] that lieth on the south side of the nether Beth-horon 14 And the border was drawn thence, and compassed the corner of the sea [and bent around toward the west side] southward, from the hill [mountain] that lieth before Beth-horon southward; and the goings out thereof were at Kirjath-baal (which is Kirjath-jearim), a city of the children [sons] of Judah. This was the west quarter [side].

15And the south quarter [side] was from the end of Kirjath-jearim, and the border went out on [toward] the west, and went out to the well [fountain] of the waters of Nephtoah 16 And the border came [went] down to the end of the mountain that lieth before the valley [ravine] of the son of Hinnom, and [omit: and] which is in the valley of the giants [Rephaim] on the north, and descended to the valley [ravine] of Hinnom, to the side [prop.: shoulder] of Jebusi on the south [De Wette: on the south side of the Jebusite; Fay: on the side of the Jebusite toward the south], and descended to En-rogel, 17and was drawn from [on] the north, and went forth to En-shemesh, and went forth toward Geliloth, which is over against the going up of Adummim, and descended to the stone of Bohan the son of Reuben, 18And passed along toward the side [shoulder] over against [מוּל] [the] Arabah [Jordan-valley] northward and went down unto [the] Arabah: 19And the border passed along to the side [shoulder] of Beth-hoglah northward: and the outgoings of the border [it, the border] were at the north bay [tongue] of the salt sea, at the south end of [the] Jordan. This was the south coast [border].

20And [the] Jordan was the border of it [bordered it], on the east side. This was the inheritance of the children [sons] of Benjamin, by the coasts [borders] thereof round about, according to their families.

β. Cities of the Tribe of Benjamin

Joshua 18:21-28

21Now [And] the cities of the tribe of the children [sons] of Benjamin, according to their families, were Jericho, and Beth-hoglah, and the valley of [Emek] 22Keziz, And Beth-arabah, and Zemaraim, and Beth-el, 23And Avim, and Parah, and 24 Ophrah, And Chephar-haammonai, and Ophni, and Gaba; twelve cities with25[and] their villages: Gibeon, and Ramah, and Beeroth, 26And Mizpeh, and Chephirah, 27and Mozah, And Rekem, and Irpeel, and Taralah, 28And Zelah, Eleph, and Jebusi (which is Jerusalem), Gibeath, and Kirjath; fourteen cities with [and] their villages. This is the inheritance of the children of Benjamin according to their families.

c. The Territory of the Tribe of Simeon

Joshua 19:1-9

1And the second lot came forth to [for] Simeon, even [omit: even] for the tribe of the children [sons] of Simeon according to their families: and their inheritance [possession] was within the inheritance [possession] of the children of Judah 2 And they had in their inheritance [possession], Beer-sheba, and Sheba, and 3 Moladah, And Hazar-shual, and Balah, and Azem, 4and Eltolad, And Bethul, and 56 Hormah, And Ziklag, and Beth-marcaboth, and Hazar-susah, And Beth-lebaoth, and Sharuhen; thirteen cities and their villages: 7Ain, Remmon, and Ether, and Ashan; four cities and their villages: 8And all the villages that were round about these cities to Baalath-beer, Ramath of the south. This is the inheritance [possession] of the tribe of the children [sons] of Simeon, according to their families 9 Out of the portion of the children of Judah was the inheritance [possession] of the children [sons] of Simeon: for the part of the children [sons] of Judah was too large for them; therefore [and] the children [sons] of Simeon had their inheritance [possession] within the inheritance [possession] of them.

d. The Territory of the Tribe of Zebulun

Joshua 19:10-16

10And the third lot came up for the children [sons] of Zebulun according to their families: and the border of their inheritance was unto Sarid: 11And their border went up toward the sea [westward], and Maralah, and reached to Dabbasheth, and reached to the river [water-course] that is before Jokneam: 12And turned from Sarid eastward, toward the sun-rising, unto the border of Chisloth-tabor, and then goeth13[and went] out to Daberath, and goeth [went] up to Japhia, And from thence passeth [it passed] on along on the east [toward the east, toward the rising of the sun] to Gittah-hepher, to Ittah-kazin, and goeth [went] out to Remmon-methoar14[Remmon which stretches] to Neah; And the border compasseth [bent around] it on the north side [northward] to Hannathon: and the out-goings thereof are [were] in the valley of Jiphthah-el: 15And Kattath, and Nahallal, and Shimron, and Idalah, 16and Beth-lehem; twelve cities with [and] their villages. This is the inheritance [possession] of the children [sons] of Zebulun according to their families, these cities with [and] their villages.

e. The Territory of the Tribe of Issachar

Joshua 19:17-23

17And [omit: and] the fourth lot came out to [for] Issachar, for the children18[sons] of Issachar according to their families. And their border was toward Jezreel, 1920and Chesulloth, and Shunem, And Hapharaim, and Shihon, and Anaharath, And Rabbith, and Kishion, and Abez, 21And Remeth, and En-gannim, and En-haddah, and Beth-pazzez; 22And the coast [border] reacheth to [struck] Tabor, and Shahazimah, and Beth-shemesh; and the out-goings of their border were at [the] 23Jordan; sixteen cities with [and] their villages. This is the inheritance [possession] of the tribe of the children [sons] of Issachar, according to their families, the cities and their villages.

f. The Territory of the Tribe of Asher

Joshua 19:24-31

24And the fifth lot came out for the tribe of the children [sons] of Asher according to their families 25 And their border was Helkath, and Hali, and Beten, and Achshaph, 26And Alammelech, and Amad, and Misheal; and reacheth to [it struck] 27Carmel westward, and to [omit: to] Shihor-libnath; And turneth [turned] toward the sun-rising to Beth-dagon, and reacheth to [stuck] Zebulun, and to [omit: to] the valley [ravine] of Jiphthah-el, toward [on] the north side of Beth-emek, and Neiel, and goeth [went] out to Cabul on the left hand, 28And Hebron, and Rehob, 29and Hammon, and Kanah, even unto great Zidon; And then [omit: then] the coast [border] turneth [turned] to Ramah, and to the strong [fortified] city Tyre; and the coast [border] turneth [turned] to Hosah; and the out-goings thereof are 30 at the sea from the coast to Achzib [in the district of Achzib]: Ummah also [and Ummah], and Aphek, and Rehob: twenty and two cities with [and] their villages 31 This is the inheritance [possession] of the tribe of the children [sons] of Asher according to their families, these cities with [and] their villages.

g. The Territory of the Tribe of Naphtali

Joshua 19:32-39

32The sixth lot came out to [for] the children [sons] of Naphtali, even [omit even] for the children [sons] of Naphtali according to their families 33 And their coast [border] was from Heleph, from Allon to Zaanannim, [the oak of Zaanannim], and Adami, Nekeb [or Adami-nekeb], and Jabneel, unto Lakum; and the 34 out-goings thereof were at [the] Jordan: And then [omit: then] the coast [border] turneth [turned] westward to Aznoth-tabor, and goeth [went] out from thence to Hukkok, and reacheth to [struck] Zebulun on the south side, and reacheth to [struck] Asher on the west side, and to [omit: to] Judah upon [the] Jordan toward the sun-rising 35 And the fenced [fortified] cities are Ziddim, Zer, and Hammath, 3637Rakkath, and Cinneroth, And Adamah, and Ramah, and Hazor, And Kedesh, and Edrei, and En-hazor, 38And Iron, and Migdal-el, Horem, and Beth-anath, 39and Beth-shemesh; nineteen cities with [and] their villages. This is the inheritance [possession] of the tribe of the children [sons] of Naphtali, the cities and their villages.

h. The Territory of the Tribe of Dan

Joshua 19:40-48

40And [omit: and] the seventh lot came out for the tribe of the children [sons]of Daniel, according to their families 41 And the coast [border] of their inheritance42[possession] was Zorah, and Eshtaol, and Ir-shemesh, And Shaalabbim, and Ajalon, 4344and Jethlah, And Elon, and Thimnathah, and Ekron, And Eltekeh, and Gibbethon, and Baalath, 45And Jehud, and Bene-berak, and Gath-rimmon, 46And Me-jarkon, and Rakkon, with the border before [over against] Japho 47 And the coast [border] of the children [sons] of Dan went out too little for them [Fay: went out from them (i.e., the children of Dan extended their border further); De Wette: and the border of the sons of Dan went out (afterwards) further from them; Bunsen: and the border of the children of Dan went yet further than this; Zunz: went beyond these]; therefore [and] the children [sons] of Dan went up to fight against Leshem, and took it, and smote it with the edge of the sword, and possessed it, and dwelt therein, and called Leshem, Daniel, after the name of Dan their father 48 This is the inheritance [possession] of the tribe of the children [sons] of Dan according to their families, these cities with [and] their villages.

i. Joshua’s Possession

Joshua 19:49-50

49[And] when they had made an end of dividing the land for inheritance by their coasts [according to its borders], the children [sons] of Israel gave an inheritance50[possession] to Joshua the son of Nun among them: According to the command [mouth] of the Lord [Jehovah] they gave him the city which he asked, even Timnath-serah, in mount Ephraim; and he built the city, and dwelt therein.

j. Conclusion

Joshua 19:51

51These are the inheritances [possessions], which Eleazar the priest, and Joshua the son of Nun, and the heads of the fathers of the tribes of the children of Israel, divided for an inheritance [possession] by lot in Shiloh before the Lord [Jehovah], at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. So [And] they made an end of dividing the country [land].

c. The Territory of the Tribe of Simeon

Joshua 19:1-9

1And the second lot came forth to [for] Simeon, even [omit: even] for the tribe of the children [sons] of Simeon according to their families: and their inheritance [possession] was within the inheritance [possession] of the children of Judah 2 And they had in their inheritance [possession], Beer-sheba, and Sheba, and 3 Moladah, And Hazar-shual, and Balah, and Azem, 4and Eltolad, And Bethul, and 56 Hormah, And Ziklag, and Beth-marcaboth, and Hazar-susah, And Beth-lebaoth, and Sharuhen; thirteen cities and their villages: 7Ain, Remmon, and Ether, and Ashan; four cities and their villages: 8And all the villages that were round about these cities to Baalath-beer, Ramath of the south. This is the inheritance [possession] of the tribe of the children [sons] of Simeon, according to their families 9 Out of the portion of the children of Judah was the inheritance [possession] of the children [sons] of Simeon: for the part of the children [sons] of Judah was too large for them; therefore [and] the children [sons] of Simeon had their inheritance [possession] within the inheritance [possession] of them.

d. The Territory of the Tribe of Zebulun

Joshua 19:10-16

10And the third lot came up for the children [sons] of Zebulun according to their families: and the border of their inheritance was unto Sarid: 11And their border went up toward the sea [westward], and Maralah, and reached to Dabbasheth, and reached to the river [water-course] that is before Jokneam: 12And turned from Sarid eastward, toward the sun-rising, unto the border of Chisloth-tabor, and then goeth13[and went] out to Daberath, and goeth [went] up to Japhia, And from thence passeth [it passed] on along on the east [toward the east, toward the rising of the sun] to Gittah-hepher, to Ittah-kazin, and goeth [went] out to Remmon-methoar14[Remmon which stretches] to Neah; And the border compasseth [bent around] it on the north side [northward] to Hannathon: and the out-goings thereof are [were] in the valley of Jiphthah-el: 15And Kattath, and Nahallal, and Shimron, and Idalah, 16and Beth-lehem; twelve cities with [and] their villages. This is the inheritance [possession] of the children [sons] of Zebulun according to their families, these cities with [and] their villages.

e. The Territory of the Tribe of Issachar

Joshua 19:17-23

17And [omit: and] the fourth lot came out to [for] Issachar, for the children18[sons] of Issachar according to their families. And their border was toward Jezreel, 1920and Chesulloth, and Shunem, And Hapharaim, and Shihon, and Anaharath, And Rabbith, and Kishion, and Abez, 21And Remeth, and En-gannim, and En-haddah, and Beth-pazzez; 22And the coast [border] reacheth to [struck] Tabor, and Shahazimah, and Beth-shemesh; and the out-goings of their border were at [the] 23Jordan; sixteen cities with [and] their villages. This is the inheritance [possession] of the tribe of the children [sons] of Issachar, according to their families, the cities and their villages.

f. The Territory of the Tribe of Asher

Joshua 19:24-31

24And the fifth lot came out for the tribe of the children [sons] of Asher according to their families 25 And their border was Helkath, and Hali, and Beten, and Achshaph, 26And Alammelech, and Amad, and Misheal; and reacheth to [it struck] 27Carmel westward, and to [omit: to] Shihor-libnath; And turneth [turned] toward the sun-rising to Beth-dagon, and reacheth to [stuck] Zebulun, and to [omit: to] the valley [ravine] of Jiphthah-el, toward [on] the north side of Beth-emek, and Neiel, and goeth [went] out to Cabul on the left hand, 28And Hebron, and Rehob, 29and Hammon, and Kanah, even unto great Zidon; And then [omit: then] the coast [border] turneth [turned] to Ramah, and to the strong [fortified] city Tyre; and the coast [border] turneth [turned] to Hosah; and the out-goings thereof are 30 at the sea from the coast to Achzib [in the district of Achzib]: Ummah also [and Ummah], and Aphek, and Rehob: twenty and two cities with [and] their villages 31 This is the inheritance [possession] of the tribe of the children [sons] of Asher according to their families, these cities with [and] their villages.

g. The Territory of the Tribe of Naphtali

Joshua 19:32-39

32The sixth lot came out to [for] the children [sons] of Naphtali, even [omit even] for the children [sons] of Naphtali according to their families 33 And their coast [border] was from Heleph, from Allon to Zaanannim, [the oak of Zaanannim], and Adami, Nekeb [or Adami-nekeb], and Jabneel, unto Lakum; and the 34 out-goings thereof were at [the] Jordan: And then [omit: then] the coast [border] turneth [turned] westward to Aznoth-tabor, and goeth [went] out from thence to Hukkok, and reacheth to [struck] Zebulun on the south side, and reacheth to [struck] Asher on the west side, and to [omit: to] Judah upon [the] Jordan toward the sun-rising 35 And the fenced [fortified] cities are Ziddim, Zer, and Hammath, 3637Rakkath, and Cinneroth, And Adamah, and Ramah, and Hazor, And Kedesh, and Edrei, and En-hazor, 38And Iron, and Migdal-el, Horem, and Beth-anath, 39and Beth-shemesh; nineteen cities with [and] their villages. This is the inheritance [possession] of the tribe of the children [sons] of Naphtali, the cities and their villages.

h. The Territory of the Tribe of Dan

Joshua 19:40-48

40And [omit: and] the seventh lot came out for the tribe of the children [sons]of Daniel, according to their families 41 And the coast [border] of their inheritance42[possession] was Zorah, and Eshtaol, and Ir-shemesh, And Shaalabbim, and Ajalon, 4344and Jethlah, And Elon, and Thimnathah, and Ekron, And Eltekeh, and Gibbethon, and Baalath, 45And Jehud, and Bene-berak, and Gath-rimmon, 46And Me-jarkon, and Rakkon, with the border before [over against] Japho 47 And the coast [border] of the children [sons] of Dan went out too little for them [Fay: went out from them (i.e., the children of Dan extended their border further); De Wette: and the border of the sons of Dan went out (afterwards) further from them; Bunsen: and the border of the children of Dan went yet further than this; Zunz: went beyond these]; therefore [and] the children [sons] of Dan went up to fight against Leshem, and took it, and smote it with the edge of the sword, and possessed it, and dwelt therein, and called Leshem, Daniel, after the name of Dan their father 48 This is the inheritance [possession] of the tribe of the children [sons] of Dan according to their families, these cities with [and] their villages.

i. Joshua’s Possession

Joshua 19:49-50

49[And] when they had made an end of dividing the land for inheritance by their coasts [according to its borders], the children [sons] of Israel gave an inheritance50[possession] to Joshua the son of Nun among them: According to the command [mouth] of the Lord [Jehovah] they gave him the city which he asked, even Timnath-serah, in mount Ephraim; and he built the city, and dwelt therein.

j. Conclusion

Joshua 19:51

51These are the inheritances [possessions], which Eleazar the priest, and Joshua the son of Nun, and the heads of the fathers of the tribes of the children of Israel, divided for an inheritance [possession] by lot in Shiloh before the Lord [Jehovah], at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. So [And] they made an end of dividing the country [land].

EXEGETICAL AND CRITICAL

As chapters16. and17. belonged together, so do these two chapters18,19, which contain the account of the allotments of the remaining seven tribes, Benjamin, Simeon, Zebulun, Issachar, Asher, Naphtali, and Dan. At the end follows a notice of the possession given to Joshua ( Joshua 19:49-50), with the conclusion of the whole section ( Joshua 18:28). There are seven tribes only left to be noticed, because the tribe of Levi was to receive no inheritance, as had been already before said ( Joshua 13:14; Joshua 13:33) and repeated ( Joshua 18:7). This distribution was effected at Shiloh ( Joshua 18:1), while Judah and the house of Joseph—Ephraim and Manasseh—had received their possessions, as may be confidently inferred from Joshua 14:6, in the camp at Gilgal (see on14:6). But before proceeding to divide the land, twenty-one men were sent out to survey and describe it ( Joshua 18:3; Joshua 18:10).

a. Joshua 18:1-10. Erection of the Tabernacle at Shiloh. Description of the Land yet to be divided. The whole congregation comes together at Shiloh, where they set up the tent of the congregation (tabernacle). The land is completely subdued, but seven tribes still remain, which have not yet received any possession, since the most powerful tribe of Judah, Ephraim, and the half tribe of Manasseh (to say nothing of the tribes east of the Jordan, previously spoken of), had first obtained their portion ( Joshua 18:1-2). Joshua reproaches them for their listlessness, and, in order to discharge the remaining duty as impartially as possible, perhaps also bearing in mind the complaint of the sons of Joseph ( Joshua 17:14-18), he provides that twenty-one men, three from each of the seven tribes, shall first “describe” the land ( Joshua 18:3-7). This is done ( Joshua 18:8-9), and now Joshua casts lots and distributes the still remaining territory ( Joshua 18:10). Eleazar is not mentioned here, while in Joshua 14:1-2 [also19:51] he and the patriarchs of the tribes are introduced with Joshua.

Joshua 18:1. And the whole congregation of the sons of Israel assembled together at Shiloh. “The congregation of the sons of Israel,” here as Exodus 16:1-2; Exodus 16:9; more briefly, “congregation of Israel,” Exodus 12:3, or merely “the congregation,” Leviticus 4:15. The same is the “congregation of Jehovah” (עדה from יָעַד, for יְעַדָה, by aphæresis, Gesen.). It is called also קְהַל יִשִׂרָאל (קָהָל, convocation, from קָהַל, to call together, in Kal not used while Hiphil is found Numbers 8:9; Numbers 10:7; Numbers 20:8; and Niphal, Numbers 16:3, and in this passage, Gesen.), Deuteronomy 31:30; קִהַל יְהוָֹה, Numbers 16:3; Numbers 20:4, or simply הַקָּהָל, Leviticus 4:13, precisely like הָעֵדָה. Shiloh (שִׂלהֹ or שִׁילֹה, 1 Kings 2:27, or שִׁילוֹ, Judges 21:21, שִׁלוֹ, Judges 21:19, shortened from שִׁילוֹן, from שָׁלָח, to rest, “a place of rest”), in Joseph. Ant. v1, 20, 21. Σιλοῦν (hence pointing back to the form שִׁילוֹן, from which שִׁילוֹנִי, 1K11:29; 12:15; Nehemiah 11:5, with which Gesen. very aptly compares גּלהֹ and גִּלבֹי, Joshua 15:51; 2 Samuel 15:12), now Seilun, first correctly made out in modern times by Robinson (iii 84 ff.) from its position, which is accurately given Judges 21:19. Eusebius and Jerome already give the distances from Neapolis (Onom. art. “Selo”) incorrectly; “the knights of the cross, also, found Silo at Neby Samwil, where the monks and pilgrims continued, with little variation, to seek the place until the middle of the sixteenth century.” About this time there appears in Bonifacius (De Perenni Cultu) a more correct view concerning the sites of the holy places, but it was soon lost (Rob. iii89). Among the ruins, to which one ascends by a gentle slope, whose fertile soil, when Furrer visited Shiloh, was covered with wheat fields (p225), there are still found (Rob. l. c.) many large stones, and some fragments of columns which indicate the site of an ancient town. The tabernacle stood here from Joshua to Samuel ( Joshua 18:1; 1 Samuel 4:3). Afterward Shiloh was rejected by God ( Psalm 78:60-68; 1 Samuel 3:4; Jeremiah 7:12; Jeremiah 7:14; Jeremiah 26:6), and at a very early period utterly destroyed; for Jerome says: “Silo tabernaculum et arca Domini fuit, vix altaris fundamenta monstrantur” (von Raumer, p221; Rob. l. c.). Josephus (Ant. v1, 19) assumes that Joshua brought the tabernacle (τὴν ἱερὰν σκηνήν) to Shiloh, because the place by its beauty seemed to him appropriate, until an opportunity should be offered them to build a temple (’Ιησοῦς ἱστᾶ τὴν ἱερὰν σκηνὴν κατὰ Σιλοῦν πόλιν, ἐπιτήδειον γὰρ ἐδόκει τὸ χωρίον διά τὸ κάλλος, ἕως ἂν οἰκοδομεῖν ναὸν αὐτοῖς τὰ πράγματα παρέσχη). The site in the midst of the land was very suitable and also very beautiful, so that Josephus may at bottom have very nearly hit the truth. How Genesis 49:10 is to he explained does not concern us here. See Lange, Com. on Genesis, in l, on the various interpretations of this difficult passage. Finally, let it be noticed that Shiloh lies eight and a half hours north of Jerusalem, and nearly five hours south of Shechem (Furrer, p413).

And set up the tabernacle of the congregation there; and the land was subdued before them. As regards the אֹהֶל־מוֹעֵד, Luther’s translation Stiftshütte, i.e. tent of the covenant, Isaiah, as Gesen. remarks, the Greek σκηνὴ τοῦ μαρτυρίου, Lat. tabernaculum testimonii, according to a derivation from עוּד, testari; cf. מִשְׁכַּן הָעֵדוִת, tent of the law, Numbers 9:15. It is more probable that, with Gesen. and after him most of the moderns, מיֹעֵד is to be derived not from עוּד but from יָעד (Niph. נוֹעד), and accordingly we translate tent of the congregation, place where the עֵדָה meets.[FN1] If the national sanctuary is called also מִשּׁכַּן־הָעֵדוּת ( Numbers 9:15), or אֹחֶלהָעֵדרּת ( Numbers 9:15; Numbers 18:2), the two names agree well with each other, in so far as the tent where the congregation met was, at the same time, the tent in whose most holy recess the law was preserved within the אֲרוֹן הָעֵדוּת ( Exodus 25:22). Concerning the construction and interior arrangement of the tabernacle, comp. Winer (ii529 ff.) as well as Riggenbach. The land was subdued (נִכְבְּשָׁה from כָּבַשׁ, prop. to tread under the feet; in the same sense as here, Genesis 1:28; Jeremiah 34:16, and with the addition לַעֲבָדִים, 2 Chronicles 28:10; Jeremiah 34:11; Nehemiah 5:6; the Niphal, Numbers 32:22-29, Gesen.) before them. Because the land was subdued it might be divided.

Joshua 18:3-10. The mission of the twenty-one men for the description of the land is now related. Knobel refers this section to the Jehovist, and to the second of his documents; on which compare the Introduction. But when Knobel (p451) further supposes it improbable that such an occupation of the land would take place under Joshua, and maintains that the taking up the land and people must have been effected at a later period, say in the time of Judges 1:19-34 f, or Judges 4:2 ff, we may urge, against this totally unsupported suggestion, that the time of Joshua, when the Canaanites were filled with terror and distress through the strange conqueror ( Joshua 2:9-11), and had lost all confidence in themselves, was much better suited for the perilous accomplishment of such a result than the following age, in which the Israelites did indeed gain victories but were then immediately enslaved again ( Judges 2:14-23; Judges 3:8; Judges 3:13-14; Judges 6:1, etc.). Besides, a man of the circumspection of Joshua would, surely if any leader of the people, conceive the idea of occupying the land before he went forward hap-hazard to the division of it. For, although he acted under the divine command, he assuredly did not act without human consideration which was not at all excluded thereby. That Joshua, as Josephus (Ant. v1, 21) of his own invention relates, sent with these men some skilled in the art of mensuration (’Ιησοῦς.…ἄνδρας τοὺς ἐκμετρησομένους τὴν χώραν αὐτῶν ἐξέπεμψε, παράδους αὐτοῖς τινας γεωμετρίας ἐπιστήμονας), our text is altogether ignorant. Josephus may, indeed, as Keil also (in loc.) observes, have rightly judged when he makes the men attentive to the quality of the soil of Palestine, and assumes that the several inheritances were rather estimated than measured (καὶ διὰ τοῦτο,—on account of the diverse quality of the soil—τιμητοὺς μᾶλλον μετρητοὺς τοῦς κλήρους δεῖν ὑπέλαβε, πολλον̀ς ἑνὸς πλέθρου κἄ̣ν χιλίων ἀνταξὶου γενομένου (Ant. v1, 21).

Joshua 18:3. A reproof to the remaining seven tribes who doubtless could not yet effectually resolve to give up their previous nomadic life, and accustom themselves to settled abodes, especially when these would in great part have yet to be conquered.

Joshua 18:4. Joshua will not longer tolerate this lethargy, and therefore demands of each tribe to choose three men whom he will send out, and these shall rise (וְיָקֻמוּ) and go through the land and describe it according to their possession. There were accordingly7 X:3 = 21men, and not merely ten as Josephus reports, reckoning one to each tribe (Ant. v1, 20), but in all ten (v1–21), because three surveyors were included in the total number. In the description was included particularly, according to Joshua 18:9, an accurate designation of the cities, while at the same time situation and soil might be more particularly taken into account. לפִּי נַחֲלָתָם, i.e. “with reference to its being taken in possession by the seven tribes” (Knobel).

Joshua 18:5. More minute statement of the errand of the men sent out, Joshua 18:4. They should divide the remaining land into seven parts, yet Judah should remain on his border in the south, and the house of Joseph in the north on his border, that is to say, no change should be made in the possessions of these tribes. With them it should remain as it was.

Joshua 18:6. When they had described the land thus into seven parts, they should bring the same, i.e. the list as Bunsen for distinctness translates, to Joshua at Shiloh ( Joshua 18:4), and then would he cast the lots before Jehovah their God. This last should be done at a consecrated place before God’s face, that it might stand fast inviolably.

Joshua 18:7. Reason why there should be only seven parts. First,the Levites have no part among you; for the priesthood of Jehovah is their possession. Essentially the same reason for the lack of a possession as is given, Joshua 13:14; Joshua 13:33; yet here instead of “the sacrifices of Jehovah, 13:14, or simply ‘Jehovah God of Israel,’ 13:33, we have ‘the priesthood of Jehovah,’ “as Numbers 16:10; Exodus 29:9; Exodus 40:15; Numbers 3:10; Numbers 18:1-7; Numbers 25:13 “(Knobel). Second,Gad, and Reuben, and half the tribe of Prayer of Manasseh, have received their possession beyond the Jordan on the east, etc.

Joshua 18:8. At the departure of the men Joshua repeats his command.

Joshua 18:9. They go and describe the land according to the cities into seven parts in a book,i.e. they describe it and divide it with special reference to the cities found therein, into seven parts. Rosenmüller, incorrectly: “לֶערִים, per urbes, i.e. additis etiam et adscriptis urbibus, quœ in quaque regione erant;” the cities rather give the proper ground of division. How long a time the messengers spent in this service we are not informed. Josephus makes up a story of seven months (Ant. v1, 1: Οἱ δὲ ἄνδρες οἱ πεμ́θέςτεςµ…πεδιοδσύσεντµτς τε καὶ τιμησάμενοι τὴν γῆν, ἐν ἑβδόμῳ μηνὶ παρῆσαν πρὸς αυτὸν εἰς Σιλοῦν πόλιν, ἔνθα τὴν σκηνὴν ἑστάκεισαν). The Jewish historian appears to have been led to the seven months by the seven parts into which the land was divided. The statement is “of no value” (Bunsen), and is “of no more consequence than the assertion of the Rabbins that the division at Shiloh was made seven years after that at Gilgal” (Keil).

Joshua 18:10. After they have returned Joshua casts lots and effects the division. On כִּמַהלְקֹתָם, comp. Joshua 11:23; Joshua 12:7.

b. Joshua 18:11-28. The Territory of the Tribe of Benjamin. First are given α. its boundaries, Joshua 18:11-20, then β. its cities, Joshua 18:21-28. It was in general mountainous, in part very desert, but in part also, as in the neighborhood of Jericho and Jerusalem (Joseph. Ant. v1, 21; Bell. Jud. iv8, 3), a well cultivated, fruitful land. The land of Benjamin now makes the impression of solitude and desolation, as if the breath of death rested upon it (Furrer, p218–327 [Stanley, S. & P. has an instructive chapter on the Heights and Passes of Benjamin]).

a. Joshua 18:11-20. Its Boundaries, Joshua 18:11. The territory of Benjamin lay, according to this verse, between the sons of Judah on the south, and the sons of Joseph on the north.

Joshua 18:12. The border which is here drawn is the north border, on the north side. It went out from the Jordan, and ascended, north of Jericho, on to the mountains westward,i.e. ascended north of Jericho, on the mountain lying west (and northwest) of this city, and already familiar ( Joshua 16:1). Its goings out were at the wilderness of Beth-aven. In Joshua 7:2, Beth-aven is clearly distinguished, as lying east of Beth-el, from this latter city which itself is often called by the prophets בֵּית־אָוֶן (Idol-house, Amos 4:5; Hosea 4:15; Hosea 5:8; Hosea 10:5; Hosea 10:8). Since Michmash again, according to 1 Samuel 13:5, lay east of Beth-aven, this place must have been situated between Beth-el and Michmash. Kiepert has introduced Beth-aven on his map somewhat to the northeast of Michmash, whose immediate surroundings, contrasted with the bare and rocky heights to the east and north, might be called green and fertile (Furrer, p217). “The bare and rocky heights” to the east and north of Michmash are no other than those of Beth-aven.

Joshua 18:13. And the border went over from thence toward Luz, to the side of Luz (which is Beth-el) southward. Here the difficulty which we met in Joshua 16:2 from the distinction between Beth-el and Luz falls away, since it is said that the border between Benjamin and Ephraim went over out of the wilderness of Beth-aven toward Luz, that is Beth-el, and more particularly on the south side of Luz, thus excluding Beth-el from the cities of Benjamin, while yet, in Joshua 18:22, it belongs to them. In this way contradiction would arise which Knobel seeks to obviate, thus: “The author does not say that the border went merely to the south side of Beth-el; it went to the south side of the ridge (כֶּתֶף) of Beth-el, i.e. toward Bethel.” Beth-el (בֵּית־אֵל, Genesis 28:11-19; Genesis 31:13, earlier לוּז = almond-tree), familiar through all the history of Israel, from the patriarchs to the Maccabees ( 1 Maccabees 9:50), and even later (Joseph. Bell. Jud. iv9, 9), now a seat of the worship of God, again a place of idolatry, lies on the right of the road from Jerusalem toward Shechem (von Raumer, p178), is now called Beitin (Robinson, p225 ff.), and was first recognized by the Missionary Nicolayson in1836 (von Raumer, p174). Ruins cover three or four acres, and there are interesting remains of a great reservoir which Furrer saw (p221). Beitin lies1,767 feet high, three and three-quarters or four hours from Jerusalem (von Raumer, p179; Furrer, p413). From this position of Beth-el we may understand how the border went down (יָרַד) from thence toward Ataroth-addar, which is identical with the place of the same name, Joshua 16:2, but different from the Ataroth, Joshua 16:7. “Robinson found an Atara about six miles south, and a second one about four miles north of Gophna. The southern one appears to be the same as Ataroth-addar, past which ran the north border of Benjamin from Beth-el toward lower Beth-horon, Joshua 16:2-3; Joshua 16:5; Joshua 18:13-14.” So von Raumer, (p175), with whom Knobel agrees, while Robinson himself, according to the passage cited by Knobel (ii315), holds that this southern Atara cannot be Ataroth-addar, because it lies too far within the territory of Benjamin. He has been followed by Kiepert, Van de Velde, and Menke on their maps. Von Raumer, also has only marked this northern Ataroth, and entirely omitted the southern one which, according to his view and that of Knobel, should be = Ataroth-addar. We, like Keil (on Joshua 16:2), adopt the view of Robinson.

From Beth-el the border went thus northwestwardly toward Ataroth-addar, and thence on toward the southwest, upon (De Wette: on; Bunsen: over) the mountain that lieth on the south side of the nether Beth-horon. This is the north border of Benjamin, which, as far as lower Beth-horon, coincides with the south border of Ephraim. Beth-horon (בֵּית־תֹרוֹן = house of the hollow) mentioned, Joshua 10:11, in the history of the battle of Gibeon, and in Joshua 16:3-5, as here, as a border city between Benjamin and Ephraim, a city of Levites, Joshua 21:22, fortified by Song of Solomon, 1 Kings 9:17; 2 Chronicles 8:5), spoken of in the Maccabæan wars ( 1 Maccabees 3:15-24; 1 Maccabees 7:39 ff; 1 Maccabees 9:50), and in the history of the wars of the Jews (Joseph. Bell. Jud. ii19, 18). There was, as appears from Joshua 16:3; Joshua 16:5; 1 Kings 9:17; 1 Chronicles 7:24; 2 Chronicles 8:5, as well as from the passage before us, an upper and a lower Beth-horon. Both places are still recognized. The upper is now called Beit ur el-Forka, the lower Beit ur et-Tahta. The latter place stands on the top of a low ridge (Robinson, iii58 f.) and is separated from the upper Beth-horon by a wady. Robinson and his companion passed through this, and then began to ascend the long and steep pass. “The ascent is very rocky and rough; but the rock has been cut away in many places and the path formed into steps; showing that this is an ancient road..… The pass between the two places was called both the ascent (מַעֲלָה) and descent (מוֹרָד) of Beth-horon, Joshua 10:10-11 (Gr.: ἀνάβασις καὶ κατάβασις βαιθωρῶν, 1 Maccabees 3:15-24).” (Robinson, 58–60). Remains of ancient walls are found in both places as well as in the pass between them (3:58). Furrer (p14) found the hill on which stands the village of lower Beth-horon, partly covered with olive trees. The barley fields in the low ground were mingled with patches full of dark green beans. He also describes the pass as “rocky, steep, and extremely laborious.” Seldom does a trader drive his camels through it (contrast Israel’s hope, Isaiah 60:5-6; Isaiah 60:9). The land on almost all sides is burnt up like a desert, through which no one passes (Furrer, p15).

Joshua 18:14. At this point, namely, at the mountain south of Lower Beth-horon, the boundary line of Benjamin bends southwardly toward Kirjath-baal, or Kirjath-jearim, separating this territory from that of Dan on the west; while the border of Ephraim runs out in a northwest direction past Gezer to the sea. Of this west border of Benjamin, of which we now read for the first time, it is said: and the border was drawn (ותָאַר, as Joshua 15:11, and often) and bent around toward the west side southward from the mountain that lieth before Beth-horon southward; and the goings out thereof were at Kirjath-baal (which is Kirjath-jearim), a city of the children of Judah. This was the west side.פְּאַת־ָם = sea-side [side toward the sea]. פֵּאָה is properly “mouth” = to פֶּה, from פָּאָה (cogn. with פָּעָה,פָּתָה) to blow; then, like Lat. ora (from os), “side,” which is turned to any quarter of the heavens. As here פְּאַת־יָם, so Joshua 18:15 we have פּ' נֶגְבָּה, and Exodus 26:20, פ׳ צָפוֹן [comp. Joshua 18:12 of this chap.]. Kirjath-baal: see Joshua 15:60.

Joshua 18:15-19. South Border. This coincides entirely with the north border of Judah, Joshua 15:5-9. “יָמָה merely indicates that the south border started from the west and ran toward the east.’ That Kirjath-baal (Kirjath-jearim) belonged to the cities of Judah and not to those of Benjamin, is plainly apparent from Joshua 15:60. The border, therefore, on Kiepert’s Map requires correction; Menke has drawn it right.

Joshua 18:20. The east border consists of the Jordan.

β. Joshua 18:21-28. Cities of the Tribe of Benjamin. They fall into two groups of twelve and fourteen cities, the former lying in the east, the latter in the west. Jericho, Joshua 2:1, and often. Beth-hoglah, Joshua 15:6. Emek (vale of) keziz. There is a Wady el-Kaziz east of Jerusalem (Van de Velde, Mem. p328, apud Knobel).

Joshua 18:22. Beth-arabah, Joshua 15:6, now Kaffr Hajla. Zemaraim, probably a place of ruins. Sumrah, northeast of the Wady el-Kaziz, near the road from Jerusalem to Jericho, opposite the Khan Hadschur. See Van de Velde’s Map. Bethel, Joshua 18:13.

Joshua 18:23. Avim. Since Avim (הָעַוִּים) here follows directly after Beth-el, while Ai (עי) which stood near Beth-el ( Joshua 7:2; Joshua 12:9), and to the east of it, is not mentioned, it is natural with Knobel to regard Avim as identical with Ai, which is called also Aiah ( Nehemiah 13:11) and Aiath ( Isaiah 10:23). The signification of all these names is essentially the same: ruins, heaps, stone-heaps, Micah 1:6 (see Gesen.). Where Ai lay is not accurately made out. Van de Velde, following Finn, supposes, as may be seen from his map, that it was the same as Tel el-Hadshar (Stone-hill), thirty-five minutes east of Beth-el (ii251–255, and Mem. p282, apud von Raumer, p169). Robinson (ii119, 312 f.) sought it twice, but after all his investigation only reached the conclusion that the most probable site of Ai is the place of ruins exactly south of Deir Dirvan, one hour distant from Beth-el. The direction would be south-east. Knobel on the passage before us has not kept the two views sufficiently distinct. Furrer also visited the region, but undertook no further researches. He too speaks of “many stones” existing there (p219). [Tristram, 168 f. confidently agrees with Robinson’s view.] The tent of Abraham once stood here between Beth-el and Ai ( Genesis 12:8; Genesis 13:3). The history of the conquest of Ai has been treated above, ch. viii. Hitzig (ubi sup. pp99, 100) disputes the existence of a city of Ai altogether, and proposes the view that Ai signifies in Turkish “moon,” and can therefore have been the Scythian, perhaps Amoritish name for Jericho as Dibon was the Hebraized Dirvan Council (??). After the Exile, Benjamites dwelt there again ( Nehemiah 11:31; Nehemiah 7:32; Ezra 2:28), so that the city had been rebuilt.

Parah, a place of ruins, Fara, west of Jericho on Van de Velde’s Map. Ophrah, in Saul’s time attacked by the Philistines ( 1 Samuel 13:17), perhaps, as Robinson (ii124) conjectures, the modern Taiyibeh. Von Raumer (p216, n, 235 c) suggests that Ophrah may be the same as Ephraim or Ephron ( John 11:54).

Joshua 18:24. Chephar-haamonai, Ophni, mentioned only here, and hitherto undiscovered. Gaba (גֵבַע = גִבְעָה) “height,” “hill.” This Gaba is according to Joshua 18:28 distinct from Gibeath or Gibeah, with which further 1 Samuel 13:2-3; Isaiah 10:29 are to be compared. Now since between Anathoth and Michmash (see Kiepert’s Map) there is a place called Jeba, the question has arisen whether this Jeba was Gaba or Gibeah. Robinson (ii114, 316) was at first inclined to regard Jeba as = Gibeah, the Gibeah of Saul, but afterward became satisfied (comp. Bibl. Sac, Aug1844, p598) that Gibeah of Saul was rather, as Gross suspected, to be looked for on the hill Tuleil el-Fuleh (“hill of beans,” Rob. p317), where von Raumer also, and Van de Velde, and Kiepert place it, while our Gaba, as the similarity of the name renders probable, has been preserved in the Jeba just spoken of. Knobel on the contrary identifies Gaba and Gibeah of Saul in accordance with Robinson’s earlier view, and proposes a variety of conjectures in regard to Gibeath of Joshua 18:28. For the distinctness of Gaba and Gibeah of Saul, Isaiah 10:29, Isaiah, we may remark in conclusion, decisive, a passage whose vividness of description Furrer (who likewise regards the two places as clearly different, pp212, 213, compared with215, 216), was constrained on the spot to admire (pp216, 217). To this eastern division belong also the two cities of priests, Anathoth and Almon, Joshua 21:18, of which more hereafter.

Joshua 18:25-28. “The fourteen west Benjamite cities.”

Joshua 18:25. Gibeon,גִּבעֹן, properly the same name again as גּבְעת, גִּבְעָה, גֶּבַע quite familiar to us from the narrative, in this book, of the wiles of its inhabitants ( Joshua 9.) and from the battle at Gibeon ( Joshua 10:1-15); later ( Joshua 21:17) a Levite city as well as Geba. It is the modern el-Jib lying on an oblong hill or ridge of limestone rock, which rises above a very fertile and well cultivated plain (Robinson, ii135 ff.). Of the fertile plain Furrer also (p16) makes mention. He found the hill on which el-Jib is situated well cultivated in terraces. Vines, figs, and olives flourish on the eastern slope, while on the north the Tel falls off somewhat abruptly (Furrer, pp16, 17). Historical associations with days subsequent to Joshua attach to this place where stood the Tabernacle under David and Solomon ( 1 Kings 3:5 ff.; 1 Chronicles 16:39; 1 Chronicles 21:29; 2 Chronicles 1:3; 2 Samuel 20:9). To Gibeon belonged Chephirah ( Joshua 18:26), Beeroth ( Joshua 18:25), Kirjath-jearim ( Joshua 15:9-60; Joshua 18:14).

Ramah (רָמָה = height, a frequently occurring name of places, on which compare Gesen.), not to be confounded with the Ramah of Samuel or Ramathaim (von Raumer, p217, No148); near Gibeah ( Judges 19:13; Hosea 5:8), noted in the contests with Syria ( 1 Kings 15:17; 2 Chronicles 16:1) and Assyria ( Isaiah 10:29); the place where Jeremiah was set free ( Jeremiah 40:1, compared with31:15); inhabited again after the exile ( Ezra 2:26; Nehemiah 7:30; Nehemiah 11:33); now er-Ram (Robinson, ii315); a wretched village north of Gibeah, on a hill (Furrer, p214). Furrer discovered here remains of Roman milestones, and supposes that a Roman road ran from Gibeah, Rama, Geba down toward the narrow pass of Michmash (p215).

Beeroth mentioned, Joshua 9:17, as belonging to Gibeon, or allied with Gibeon; home of the murderers of Ish-bosheth ( 2 Samuel 4:2), and of Joab’s Armor-bearer ( 2 Samuel 23:37), likewise rebuilt after the exile ( Nehemiah 7:29). Robinson (ii132) regards the present Bireh as Beeroth, a village with old foundations, remains of a Gothic church, and about seven hundred Mohammedan inhabitants. With him agree Keil and Knobel, while von Raumer disputes the view of Robinson as contradicting the statements of Jerome (p197, n187). But compare, for a defense of Robinson, Keil on Joshua 9:17.

Joshua 18:26. Mizpeh, not the same as the Mizpeh in the lowland, Joshua 15:38; already in the time of the Judges a place of assembling for Israel ( Judges 20:1; Judges 21:1); but specially celebrated on account of Samuel ( 1 Samuel 7:5-15; 1 Samuel 10:17); after the fall of Judah, the seat of the Chaldæan governor Gedaliah ( 2 Kings 25:23; 2 Kings 25:25; Jeremiah 40:6 ff; Jeremiah 41:1 ff.); now the Nebi Samwil, i.e. prophet Samuel, five hundred feet above the level of the plain, 2,484feet above the sea (von Raumer, after Symonds, p213), with a very rich and extensive prospect (Robinson, ii143, 144). Here they would have it that Samuel was buried under the half-decayed mosque on the mountain. Thus Nebi Samwil would be = the Rama of Samuel. Robinson has, however, among others, shown that this is not Song of Solomon, but that Mizpeh is probably to be sought here. He is followed by Keil, Knobel, Tobler, Van de Velde, Kiepert, Furrer (p212). The last named writer from the Scopus near Jerusalem perceived Nebi Samwil in the northwest, “the high watch-tower of the land of Benjamin.”

Chephirah, like Beeroth belonging to Gibeon ( Joshua 9:17; Ezra 2:25); the present place of ruins Kefir on the mountain east of Ajalon (Jalo). See Robinson (Later Bibl. Res. p146). The name is related to כֶּפָר, village, instead of which כּפִיר occurs, Nehemiah 6:2. Mozah, mentioned only here and unrecognized.

Joshua 18:27. Rekem, Irpeel, and Taralah, also unrecognized, and like Mozah mentioned only in this place,—a proof again of the integrity of the LXX. in Joshua 15:59.

Zelah (צֵלַע, rib, side), burial-place of Saul and Jonathan ( 2 Samuel 21:14); unknown; and so with Eleph.—Jebusi, i.e. Jerusalem. See Joshua 15:8.

Gibeath (גִּבְעַת). This is the Gibeah of Saul (גּבעַת שָׂאוּל, 1 Samuel 10:26; 1 Samuel 11:4; 1 Samuel 15:34, and often); as was already shown above on Joshua 18:24, to be sought on the hill Tuleil el-Ful. Here occurred before Saul’s time the outrage reported in Judges 19 which resulted in the destruction of the city, and the extirpation of the Benjamites except six hundred ( Judges 20). Comp. also Hosea 9:9; Hosea 10:9. After Saul’s death its inhabitants hung seven of his descendants, on the mountain of Gibeah ( 2 Samuel 21:6-9), but Mephibosheth was spared Furrer accomplished the way from Jerusalem to Tel el-Ful, on foot, in one hour and twenty-five minutes (p412). He found the summit completely strown with ruins. There the traveller was rewarded with a wide and glorious prospect scarcely inferior to that of Mizpeh. “The land of Benjamin with its many famous old cities lay spread out around me. Over the heights of Hizmeh, Anathoth, and Isawijeh, the eye swept downward to the Jordan valley, which here appeared more beautiful than on the mount of Olives. In the southeast the dark blue of the Dead Sea enlivened wonderfully the stiff yellow mountain rocks of its neighborhood. On the far distant horizon the mountain chains of Moab were traced in soft and hazy lines. Northward lay Ramah and the hill of Geba. Further west and around toward the south followed Gibeon, ‘the glorious height,’ Mizpeh, the queen among the mountains of Benjamin, and then in the south, the most beautiful of all, the Holy City” (pp212, 213). Excellently descriptive!

Kirjath, not to be confounded with Kirjath-jearim, Joshua 18:14, Joshua 15:60, which belonged to Judah. Perhaps, as Knobel conjectures, Kerteh, west of Jerusalem (Scholtz, Reise, p161).

c. Joshua 19:1-9. The Territory of the Tribe of Simeon. The second lot came out for the tribe of Simeon, who, since the portion assigned to the tribe of Judah was too large for them ( Joshua 19:9), received their possession out of that of Judah; concerning which comp. Genesis 49:7. Two groups of cities are enumerated, one of thirteen or fourteen (comp. on this difference, Joshua 15:32), all lying in the land of the south, the other of four cities. Of these latter, Ashan and Ether lay, according to Joshua 15:42, in the Shephelah. When now Ain and Rimmon, which in Joshua 15:32 are ascribed to the Negeb, are here placed with Ashan and Ether, the author seems, as Knobel remarks, to refer them here to the Shephelah also. “The dividing line between the Negeb and Shephelah was not so accurately determined.” The province of Simeon, although only the cities and villages are mentioned, appears to have been a continuous one, namely the Negeb, with a small part of the Shephelah, while the Levites, as we learn from ch. xxi. acquired particular cities with their appurtenant pasture-ground throughout the whole land. The list of the abodes of Simeon is found again, 1 Chronicles 4:28-32, with slight deviations (see Keil, p420). The explanations concerning the places see on Joshua 15:24-32; Joshua 15:42.

d. Joshua 19:10-16. The Territory of the Tribe of Zebulun. The third lot fell to Zebulun ( Genesis 49:13; Deuteronomy 33:19), the bounds of which, from the data given, can be but imperfectly determined. Josephus (Ant. v1, 22) assigns the sea of Gennesaret as the eastern border, Carmel and the sea as the western. He says: Ζαβουλωνίται δὲ τὴν μέτρησιν μέχρι Γεννησαρίτιδος, καθήκουσαν δὲ περὶ Κάρμηλον καὶ θάλλασσαν ἔλαχον. In general this statement agrees with our book, only Zebulun appears not to have reached to the sea. His province was, especially in the interior where it embraced the beautiful valley el-Buttauf (Robinson, iii189), fertile, toward the sea of Gennesaret mountainous but pleasant and well cultivated, higher than the plain of Jezreel and lower than the mountains of Naphtali: “a land of mountain terraces” (Knobel [cf. Robinson, iii190]).

Joshua 19:10. South Border, given as at Joshua 16:6; Joshua 19:33, from a central point toward west and east. It went to Sarid. Where this Sarid (שָׂריִד) lay cannot be made out. Von Raumer is entirely silent concerning it; Masius and Rosemüller seek the place south of Carmel, near the Mediterranean Sea, which however does not answer well on account of Joshua 19:11; Keil and Knobel, just on account of this verse, place it more in the interior,—north or east of Legio (Lejijim) in the plain of Esdraelon (Keil), or one hour southeast of Nazareth (Knobel). The latter, however, supposes no place to be intended but, since Sarid may signify brook, incision (according to שָׂרַד, perforavit, and שָׂרַט, incidit), “the southern mouth of the deep and narrow wady descending from the basin of Nazareth.” It is possible that Sarid lay here, and was named after the mouth of this wady. But that this itself was intended appears to me contrary to all analogy in the other determinations of boundary.

Joshua 19:11. From hence the boundary went up toward the sea (westward), and (more particularly) toward Maralah, and struck Dabbasheth, and struck the water-course that is before Jokneam. Maralah is unfortunately altogether unknown; perhaps on account of עָלָה, to which Keil calls attention, to be sought somewhere on Carmel. Dabbasheth (דַּבֶּשֶׁת, camel’s hump, Isaiah 30:6, therefore a name like שֶׁכֶם) perhaps situated on the height of Carmel (Keil). Knobel refers to Jebata (Robinson, iii201) between Mujeidil and Kaimon, near the edge of the mountains which border the plain of Jezreel, or to Tel Tureh somewhat further toward the southwest (Robinson, Later Bibl. Res. p115). These are pure conjectures without any firm foundation. The water-course that is before Jokneam (see Joshua 12:22) Isaiah, without doubt, the Kishon, (קִישׁוֹן, i.e. which curves, winds about, from קוּשׁ), now Nahr el-Mukattáa (Mukattua) with clear, green water (von Raumer, p50). “It flows through the slender valley which separates Carmel from the hills lying along to the north of it. Dense oleander thickets skirt the bed of the brook, and follow its pleasantly winding course (Furrer, p280). The Kishon is historically celebrated for the events recorded, Judges 4:7; Judges 4:13; Judges 5:21 (comp. Psalm 83:10), and 1 Kings19:40. With reference to Judges 5:9, Furrer observes, “The water flowed in a swift stream of about a foot in depth, strong enough to carry away corpses.” Differing from all other commentators, Knobel will see nothing of the Kishon here, but thinks of the Wady el-Milh on whose eastern bank Kaimea (Jokneam) should lie. The grounds of his view are given in his Commentary, p458.

Joshua 19:12. As the border turned from Sarid westward, so also it turned from the same point toward the east: Eastward, toward the sun-rising, unto the border of Chisloth-tabor, and went out to Daberath, and went up to Japhia. Chisloth-tabor (כִּסְלוֹת־תָּבֹר, like כְּסָלוֹן, Joshua 15:10, from כָּסָל, to be strong), probably =כְּסֻלּוֹת, Joshua 19:18, in the tribe of Issachar; now Iksal, Ksal, Zal, on a rocky height west of Tabor, with many tombs in the rock (Rob3:182). The rocky height on which it stands lies more in the plain (Rob. l. c.). Daberath, a Levitical city, Joshua 21:28; 1 Chronicles 6:72, pertaining to Issachar; now Deburijeh, a small and unimportant village “lying on the side of a ledge of rocks directly at the foot of Tabor” (Rob. iii210). Furrer describes its situation thus “A little valley running north and south divides Tabor from the low hills in the west. Near the mouth of this wady, in the northeast arm of the valley of Jezreel, lies the village of Deburijeh” (p306). Japhia (יַפִיעַ, “glancing,” Gesen.). Jafa, somewhat over half an hour southwest of Nazareth in another valley. It contains thirty houses with the remains of a church and a couple of solitary palm trees..… The Japha fortified by Josephus was probably the same, a large and strong village in Galilee, afterward conquered by Trajan and Titus under the orders of Vespasian (Rob. iii200). When it is said of the border that it ascended (עָלָה) toward Japhia, this is correct, for “Monro ascended the Galilean mountains from the plain of Jezreel, ‘in a ravine’ toward Jaffa” (Monro, i276 ap. von Raumer, p128). With this comp. Knobel’s remark: “עָלָה stands correctly, since according to von Schubert, iii169, the valley of Nazareth lies about four hundred feet higher than the plain at the western foot of Tabor.”

Joshua 19:13. From Japhia the border ran still in an easterly direction: Eastward, toward the rising (of the sun), to Gittah-hepher, to Ittah-kazin, and went out to Remmon, which stretches to Neah. Gath-hepher (גַּתָּה־חֵפֶה, גַּת with ה local), the birth-place of the prophet Jonah ( 2 Kings 14:25), whose grave is shown in a mosque = el Meschad, one hour northeast of Nazareth (Rob. iii209). Robinson says concerning it (note, p209): “At el-Meshhad is one of the many tombs of Neby Yunas, the prophet Jonah; and hence modern monastic tradition has adopted this village as the Gath-hepher where the prophet was born ( 2 Kings 14:25; Quaresimus, ii855).” Ittahkazin (עִתָּה־קָצין, עֵת with ה local), unknown. The name signifies, “time of the judge.” Remmon, a city of Levites, Joshua 21:35; 1 Chronicles 6:62, perhaps the present Rummaneh, north of Nazareth (Rob. iii194, 195; von Raum. p138). Which extends to Neah. Thus, according to the very simple and therefore obvious conjecture of Knobel: רִמֹּנָה מִהֹאָר. The LXX. made a proper name out of הַמִתֹאָר, Αμμαθαρίμ, Vulg. Amthar. Fürst renders the participle by “marked off, staked out.” With him agree Knobel and Bunsen. Gesenius, Rosenmüller, De Wette, on the other hand, translate it, “which stretches toward.” Since תָאַר everywhere else is employed of the boundary, we side with Knobel.[FN2]Neah (נֵעָה, perhaps “inclination,” slope, declivity, r. נוּעַ, Gesen.), unknown; “perhaps the same as נִעִיאֵל, Joshua 19:27, which lay south of Jiphtha-el, as they said also יַבְנֶה for יַבְנְאֵל, Joshua 15:11” (Knobel).

Joshua 19:14. And the border bent around it (Neah) northward to Hannathon: and the outgoings thereof were in the valley of Jiphthahel (God opens). Compassed Neah, not Rimmon (Keil), and went in a northerly direction toward Hannathon (חַנָּתֹן, pleasant), in which Knobel and Keil (Bibl. Com. ii1, in loc.) suspect the New Testament Cana ( John 2:1; John 2:11; John 4:46; John 21:2); the present Kana el-Jelil between Jefat and Rummaneh. Jiphtha-el (יִפְתָה־אֵל) is perhaps the Japata defended by Josephus, now Jefat, midway between the sea of Tiberias and the Bay of Accho (von Raumer, p129; Knobel and Keil). The valley would be, according to this view, the great Wady Abilie, which commences above in the hills near Jefat (Rob. Later Bib. Res. p103 f.). It empties into the Nahr Amar (Belus), as Van de Velde’s map clearly shows. Comp. Joshua 19:27. Keil remarks very correctly, “that this verse should describe the northern boundary,” but, as is to be inferred also from the other expressions of Keil, does this very imperfectly.

Joshua 19:15. This verse beginning with וְ is evidently a fragment. There must something before have fallen out, in favor of which is the circumstance also, that at the close of the verse twelve cities and their villages are summed up, while only five are named. We must conclude, as Keil also assumes, that there is here a chasm in the text where we are left in the lurch even by the LXX, who at Joshua 15:59 offered so helpful a supplement. Probably there has dropped out (a) the statement of the west border, which Knobel also feels to be wanting; (b) the enumeration of seven cities among which it is likely that Nazareth would not have failed to be. In respect to this last city, it cannot help striking one without needing to agree with Jerome on Joshua 15:59, that here Nazareth is wanting as there Bethlehem. As regards the missing west border, it is indicated Joshua 19:27, in connection with Asher, but “in a very general and vague manner.” The five cities are: Kattath, perhaps = קָרְתָּה ( Joshua 21:34), Kireh, a place of ruins one and a half hour’s south of Kaimon (Knobel, on the authority of Rob. Later Bibl. Res. p116). Nahallal or Nahalol, a Levitical city, Joshua 21:35; Judges 1:30; unknown. Shimron ( Joshua 11:1), likewise. Idalah, the same. Beth-lehem, now Beitlahm, west-northwest of Nazareth (Rob. Later Bibl. Res. p113); von Raumer, p122.

e. Joshua 19:17-23. The Territory of the Tribe of Issachar. The borders of the tribe of Issachar are not particularly noted by the author, having been given by him in connection with the other tribes, except the eastern part of the north border and the east border, Joshua 19:22. Issachar touched in the north on Zebulun and Naphtali; in the west on Asher and Manasseh; in the south likewise on Manasseh in part, and in part also (see the maps) on Ephraim; in the east on the Jordan. Its most important and most beautiful section of country was the fertile plain of Jezreel (von Raumer, Palest. p39 ff.; Ritter, xvi689 ff.; Furrer, p258 ff.). Josephus observes concerning the boundaries, merely: Καὶ μετὰ τον́τοις ̓Ισαχαρις, Κάρμηλόυ τε ὄρος καί τὸν ποταμὸν τον͂ μήκονς ποιησαμένη τέρμονα, τὸ δ̓ Ιταβύριον (Tabor) ὄρος τον͂ πλάτους (Ant. v1, 22).

Joshua 19:18. Jezreel (יִזְרְעֵאל), “i. e, God’s planting. Esdraela, among the Greeks, from which Stradela; at the time of the crusades, Little Gerinum (Parvum Gerinum); now Zerin” (von Raumer, p157). It stands on the brow of a very steep rocky slope of one hundred feet or more toward the northeast, commanding a wide and noble view of the country around in all directions (Rob. iii 161 ff.). The present village is small and poor. The inhabitants live in constant strife with the Bedouins of the plain of Jezreel, who, with violence or craft, practice incessant provocations and robberies on the wretched people (Furrer, pp262–264). The splendid site induced Ahab and his house to reside here, perhaps more especially in the summer (Keil), to keep court, 1 Kings 18:45-46; 1 Kings 21:1 ff.; 2 Kings 8:29; 2 Kings 9:15-37; 2 Kings 10:1-11. Hosea refers to the blood-guiltiness of Jezreel ( Joshua 1:4; Joshua 1:11; Joshua 2:22). Chesulloth = Chisloth-tabor, Joshua 19:12

Shunem, שׁוּנֵם (prop, according to Gesenius, “two resting-places,” for שׁוּנַים, for which, as Eusebius informs us, שׁוּלֵם also was employed), now Solam or Sulem (Rob. iii169), on the declivity at the western end of Mount Duhy (little Hermon), over against Zerin, but higher. Furrer required one and a half hours between Zerin and Shunem. The ground in the broad valley rose and fell in gentle undulations. The village itself lies behind tall cactus hedges and trees (Furrer, p264, 265). Here the Philistines encamped before Saul’s last battle ( 1 Samuel 28:4). Shunem was the home of Abishag ( 1 Kings 1:3). In the house of a Shunamite woman Elisha often lodged, and her son he raised from death ( 2 Kings 4:8-37; 2 Kings 8:1-6). Shunem (Shulem) was probably also the birthplace of the Shulamite ( Song of Solomon 6:12).

Joshua 19:19. Chepharaim, perhaps = Chepher, the residence of a Canaanitish king mentioned Joshua 12:17; according to the Onom., Affarea, according to Knobel, Afuleh, west of Shulem, and more than two hours northeast of Lejun. Shihon, not found.

Anaharath. According to Knobel either Na’urah, on the east side of Little Hermon (Rob. Later Bibl. Res. p339) on an elevation, or—since Cod. A of the LXX. gives instead of this name, ̔Pενάθ and, ̓Αῤῥανέθ, therefore ארחנת—Arraneh, north of Jenin, in the plain (in Seetzen, ii156; Rob. iii157, 160).

Joshua 19:20. Rabbith, “conjecturably Arabboneh, somewhat further toward the northeast on Gilboa, in Rob. iii158” (Knobel).

Kishion, a Levitical city, Joshua 21:28, is erroneously called קֶדֶשׁ, 1 Chronicles 6:57 (Knobel, Keil). The site is unknown.

Abez, not identified.

Joshua 19:21. Remeth, “or Ramoth, or Jarmuth, belonging to the Levites ( Joshua 21:29, 1 Chronicles 6:58); the name signifies height” (Knobel). Concerning Knobel’s further conjectures, see Keil, Bib. Com. on the O. T. ii145, rem. Unknown.

En-Gannim,עֵין־גּנִּים, i.e., Garden-spring, a Levitical city, Joshua 21:29, “without doubt,” as Knobel rightly says, “the present Jenin.” For, according to Robinson (iii155), this town lies in the midst of gardens of fruit-trees, which are surrounded by hedges of the prickly pear; but having for its most remarkable feature a beautiful, flowing, public fountain, rising in the hills back of the town, and brought down so that it issues in a noble stream in the midst of the place. Furrer describes it as an important place on the border of the Samaritan mountain, and mentions not only the copiousness of the water, but the fruitfulness of the gardens there (p257). In Josephus (Ant. xx6, 1; Bell. Jud. iii3, 4), En-gannim is called Γιναία, from which Jenin has come, as Robinson rightly conjectured (iii156, note1).

En-Haddah and Beth-pazzaz, not yet identified. En-haddah may have been the same as Judeideh or Beit Kad, Kadd on Gilboa (Rob. iii157, Knobel.

Joshua 19:22. And the border struck Tabor and Shahazimah, and Beth-shemesh; and the outgoings of their border were at the Jordan. In this the eastern part of the north border is given. The western point of beginning was Tabor, here probably not the mountain of this name, but a city lying on this mountain (Knobel and Keil), which was given to the Levites ( 1 Chronicles 6:62). Remains of walls have been found there by Seetzen, Robinson (iii 213 ff.), Buckingham, Rusegger, and most recently Furrer (p307 ff.). The largest and best preserved mass of ruins is found, according to Furrer’s representation, on the southeast corner of the plateau of the mountain, where the large closely-jointed blocks of cut stone lie firmly one upon the other, from fifteen to twenty feet high. Shahazimah (the Kethib reads שַׁחֲצוּם) = heights, therefore a city lying on a height, perhaps Hazetheth, on the hills east of Tabor toward the Jordan (Knobel). Beth-shemesh, not to be confounded with Beth-shemesh in the tribe of Judah ( Joshua 15:10, mentioned besides in Judges 1:33), per haps = Bessum (Rob. iii237), a conjecture of Knobel’s with which Keil agrees. “The eastern portion of the north border of Issachar toward Naphtali may have run from Tabor northeastward through the plain to Kefr Sabt, and thence along the Wady Bessum to the Jordan. But how far the territory of Issachar extended down into the Jordan Valley is not stated” (Keil).

Sixteen cities. The number is correct if Tabor is taken as a city. This city would then be ascribed here to Issachar, while in 1 Chronicles 6:62 it is reckoned to Zebulun; not a remarkable thing in the case of a border town.

f. Joshua 19:24-31. The Territory of the Tribe of Asher. The fifth lot fell to the tribe of Asher, which received its territory on the slope of the Galilean mountains toward the Mediterranean; in general, likewise, a very beautiful and fertile region, whose olive trees ( Deuteronomy 33:24) were formerly famous for their rich product. Even yet there are in that region “ancient olive trees, large gardens with all kinds of southern fruit trees, and green corn-fields” (Furrer, p291). From the Franciscan cloister at Accho “the eye sweeps eastward over the wide, fertile, grassy plains up to the mountains of Galilee” (ibid. p294). Here Asher had his beautiful possession. This was the κοιλάς of which Josephus speaks: Τὴν δὲ ἀπὸ τοῦ Καρμήλον, κοιλάδα προδαλορευομένην διὰ τὸ καὶ τοιαύτηι εἶναι, Ασηρίται Φέρονται πᾶσαν τὴν ἐπὶ Σιδῶνος τετραμμένην (Ant. v1, 22). The description begins in the vicinity of Accho ( Joshua 19:25), goes first toward the south ( Joshua 19:26-27), then northward ( Joshua 19:28-30).

Joshua 19:25. Helkath, a city of the Levites, Joshua 21:31 = Jelka or Jerka, northeast of Accho (Robinson iii. App. p133), on the slope of the mountains by a little wady.

Hali, passed over by von Raumer, possibly Julis or Gulis, in the same region, somewhat to the southwest of Helkath and more toward the sea.

Beten (בֶּטֶן, Belly, = Valley, κοιλάς, Gesen. with which the designation used by Josephus for the whole region is suggestively accordant), not yet identified; according to the Onom. called Beth-beten or Βεβετέν, eight Roman miles east of Ptolemais. Von Raumer (p121, Rem18, E.) inquires whether it is identical with Ekbatana not far from Ptolemais (Plin. v17, 5; Reland, p617).

Achshaph, Joshua 11:1; Joshua 12:20.

Joshua 19:26. Alammelech. The name is preserved in the Wady el-Malek which empties into the Kishon from the northeast.

Amad. Knobel supposes this to be the modern Haifa, about three hours south of Accho, on the sea, called by the ancients Sycaminon, i e. Sycamore-town, since the Hebrew name עַמְעָד must, according to the Arab, be interpreted by Sycomorus. Knobel further thinks that since d passes into r, for which Exodus 2:15 is cited, the old name Amad may be preserved in Ammara as the country people call Haifa.

Misheal, a Levitical city ( Joshua 21:30; 1 Chronicles 6:59), according to the Onom. s. v. Masan, situated on the sea, juxta Carmelum. This suits with the following statement of the direction of the boundary: and struck Carmel westward and Shihor-libnath,—Shihor-libnath. The brook of Egypt was called simply שִׁיהוֹר, Joshua 13:8. Here by שׁ׳לִבְנָה is intended not the Belus (Nahr Raaman), which empties into the Mediterranean north of Carmel, but, from the direction which the description takes, and with respect to Joshua 17:10, a stream south of Carmel, and quite probably the Nahr Zerka or Crocodile Brook. Its name Zerka, “blue,” bluish stream, as Knobel and Keil suppose, might answer both to the שִׁיהוֹר, “black,” and to the לְבְנָה, “white.”

Joshua 19:27. From that point the border returned toward the sunrising, to Beth-dagon. This Beth-dagon, different from the Beth-dagon in the Shephelah which was assigned to Judah, Joshua 15:41, has not been discovered. Proceeding in a northeasterly direction the border struck Zebulun and the ravine of Jiphtha-el, that Isaiah, according to the explanations on Joshua 19:14, the Wady Abilin, to the north of Beth-emek and Neiel.—Beth-emek is not identified. Neiel is perhaps the same as Neah, Joshua 19:13.—From hence the border went out to Cabul on the left hand, i.e. “on the north side of it. Cabul, northeast of the Wady Abilin, four hours southeast of Accho still bears the same name; in the LXX. Καβώλ; in Josephus κώμη Καβωλώ (Vit. § 43). Comp. Robinson, Later Bibl. Res. p88.

Joshua 19:28-30. The main province proper of the tribe of Asher having been marked out in the preceding verses, the northern district is now more particularly defined (Knobel).

Joshua 19:28. Hebron, probably a mistake of the copyist for Abdon, which is named Joshua 21:30; 1 Chronicles 6:59, among the Levitical cities (=עֶבְרֹן עַבְדוֹן). Not yet recognized; neither is Rehob, Hammon, or Kanah. See Conjectures in Knobel, pp464, 465; and Keil, Bibl. Com. ii2, in l. [also Dict. of the Bible]. The limitation even unto Great Zidon indicates that these places are to be sought for in that direction. Concerning Sidon, see on Joshua 11:8.

Joshua 19:29. From Sidon the border returned southward toward Ramah and to the fortified city of Tyre (Zor). Ramah Isaiah, according to Robinson (Later Bibl. Res. p63), Rameh, southeast of Tyre, on a solitary hill (hence the name) in the midst of a basin of green fields and surrounded by greater heights. מִבצַר־צֹר “ ‘Fortress of Zor,’ i.e. Tyre, is not the island of Tyre, out the city of Tyre standing on the main land, now Sur” (Keil). At present the once mighty Tyre is a “small and wretched” town, in respect to which the predictions of the prophets have been fulfilled ( Isaiah 23:7-8; Ezekiel 26:12, 27). For the future also “she seems destined to remain necessarily a miserable market spot” (Furrer, p385). The site is a noble one. The name צֹר signifies “rock” = צוּר. Notice the alliteration צֹר מִבְצַר. Comp. further, Ritter, Erdk. xvii. p320 ff. and Movers, Phönizier, ii1, 118 ff. (in Keil). Now the border turned toward Hosah, which is unknown, and finally ran out to the sea in the region of Achzib. “Achziph. Hœc est Ecdippa in nono milliario Ptolemaidis pergentibus Tyrum” (Onom.), Now Zib, three hours north of Accho; the ̓Αρκή or ̓Ακτιπούς of Josephus (Ant. v1, 22). Another Achzib belonged to Judah, Joshua 15:44. The name is probably = to אַכְזָב, “Winter-brook,” Gesen. In fact, “Pococke saw (ap. Ritter, xvi811) a brook pass along on the south side, over which, a beautiful bridge having an arch crossed.” By a wide circuit the author has arrived again at the vicinity of Accho.

Joshua 19:30. Finally he names still three cities by themselves, Ummah and Aphek, and Rehob, of which only the Aphek on Lebanon, Joshua 13:14, can with certainty be made out, as was there stated. Possibly, nay probably, Ummah and Rehob also lay in that mountain region. It is to be noted that the name Rehob (רְחֹב, from רָחַב, “to be wide, spacious”) occurs twice in the territory of Asher, namely, here and in Joshua 19:28 above. (It is a name precisely analogous to מִצְפֶּה and רָמָה). The total twenty-two does not agree with the enumeration, as is often the case.

g. Joshua 19:32-39. The Territory of the Tribe of Naphtali. The sixth lot came to the tribe of Naphtali, which is designated in Genesis 49:21 as the “hind let loose” (אַיָּלָה שְׁלוּחָה). Their province was bounded east by the sea of Gennesaret and the Jordan, west by Asher, south by Zebulun and Issachar. In the north it reached far up into Cœ Leviticus -syria, and so to the very extremity of west Palestine. The possession of the tribe, through which runs the mountain of Naphtali rising to the height of3,000 feet—the modern Jebel Safed,—sinks down on the west into the plain on the sea, while in the east it falls off to the Jordan valley and the sea of Merom. The soil Isaiah, generally speaking, fruitful, the natural scenery of great beauty. Comp. besides the former travellers, Furrer, pp306–331, for the vicinity of the sea of Merom, p 361 ff.

Joshua 19:33. Knobel assumes that here, as in Joshua 19:10 and Joshua 16:6, the author, proceeding from a central point, describes the west border first toward the north, then toward the south. To us it appears more simple, since Heleph is not repeated like Sarid ( Joshua 19:10; Joshua 19:12), to understand with Keil that in Joshua 19:33 the west border toward Asher, with the north and east border is described, in Joshua 19:34 the south border.

Heleph is unknown. On the other hand we know from Judges 4:11, where Allon, the Oak, i.e, according to Genesis 12:6, the oak forest (אלוֹן taken collect.) near Zaannanim lay, namely, by Kadesh northwest of the sea of Merom. Here Sisera was slain ( Judges 4:21) by Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite, who had pitched his tent there ( Judges 4:11). The name צַעֲנַנִּים is derived from צָעַן, “to wander,” a place, therefore, where the tents of the wanderers, the nomads, stand Such a nomadic herdsman was Heber. Even to the present day the Bedouins more or less friendly disposed wander about in the north of Palestine, in the plain of Jezreel, on Gilboa, and on Tabor. Comp. Furrer, p311, and often. Robinson notices the oaks growing in this region (3. p370; Later Bibl. Res. p365 [Stanley, S. & P. pp142, 355 n.]). Furrer clearly perceived from Tibnin, looking eastward, near the elevated Biraschit, the mighty Messiah-tree, “a solitary, majestic oak” (indicated on Van de Velde’s Map). Forests, however, nowhere met the view, however eagerly he sought to discern them. He is led accordingly to the remark: “Other travellers have praised the abundance of trees in northern Galilee. They could not, I think, have followed my road. An atmosphere of death seemed to me to lie on the holy land here as in Benjamin” (Furrer, p337).

Adami-nekeb (אֲדָמִי־הַנֶּקֶב, i.e. Adami of the depth, hollow, “of the pass” (Knobel and Keil). The name אֲדָמִי (reddish) recalls אָדָם, Joshua 3:16.

Jabneel, Lakum, like the preceding, unrecognized, although Knobel thinks he has found Adami-nekeb in Deir-el-ahmar, i.e. red cloister, three hours northwest of Baalbec. See particulars, Knobel, p466; a different view, Keil, ii1, p149.

And the outgoings thereof were at the Jordan ( Joshua 19:22). The upper Jordan is meant, the Nahr Hasbany, as a source of the Jordan, comp. Numbers 34:10-12.

Joshua 19:34. And the border returned westward,i.e. from the Jordan, the border, namely, the south border of Naphtali turned back, probably following the Wady Bessum westward to Aznath-tabor.שָׁב, as in Joshua 19:12. Aznath-tabor Isaiah, according to the Onom. a “vicus ad regionem Diocœsareœ pertinens in campestribus.” Not discovered. From this notice it stood near Diocæsarea = Sepphoris = Sefurieh, perhaps, as Knobel and Keil suppose, southeast of this city, toward Mount Tabor. Thence it ran on to Hukkok, which cannot be identified.

And struck Zebulun on the south, and struck Asher on the west, and Judah; the Jordan (was) toward the sun-rising. The south and west boundary is to be understood, which grazed Zebulun in the south, and Asher and Judah in the west, while the Jordan is noticed as the east border. Great difficulties are raised by the enigmatical בּיהוּדָה. The LXX. do not have it, but read: καὶ συνάψειτῷ Ζαβυλὼν ἀπὸ νότου, καί τῷ ̓Ασὴρ συνάψει κατὰ θάλάσσαν, καὶ ̓Ιορδάνης ἀπὸ ἀναταλῶν ἡλίου. Either the word was wanting in their text, or, which is more likely, they left it out because they knew not what to do with it. The Vulgate translates, disregarding the punctuation of the Masoretes: “Et in Juda ad Jordanem.” This Luther [and the Eng. Ver.] followed; but von Raumer (p 233 ff.) has labored to show that this Judah on the Jordan consisted in the sixty Jair villages on the east side of the Jordan. His reason is that Jair, who is brought in, 13:40; Numbers 32:41, contra morem (i.e. contrary to the rule proposed Numbers 36:7, as a descendant of Prayer of Manasseh, from Machir the Manassite) was actually, according to 1 Chronicles 2:5; 1 Chronicles 2:21 f, descended through Hezron, on his father’s side, from Judah, and therefore to be designated properly and regularly a descendant of Judah. Keil also has adopted this view, which, however, after all the care with which von Raumer has labored to develope it, appears not sufficiently established by that solitary passage in Chronicles combined with Josephus, Ant. viii2, 3. Rather “it is hard to believe that the possession of Jair, which belonged, from Joshua 13:30, to Prayer of Manasseh, could have borne the name of Judah” (Bunsen). Not more satisfactory are the attempts of older writers; of Masius, who supposes that a narrow strip of the land of Naphtali stretched along down the west shore of the Sea of Galilee to Judah; of Bachiene, who places a city Judah on the Jordan; of Reland, who says that sometimes all Palestine, the whole land of the twelve tribes, was called Judæa, therefore the land east of the Jordan might be so called. Hence alterations of the text have been resorted to. From the omission of ובהודה by the best Codices of the LXX. (Vat, Alex, and Ald.), Clericus had proposed to treat it simply as not belonging to the text. Maurer, followed by Bunsen, referring to Joshua 17:10; Joshua 19:22, would read גְּבוּלָם, and, translates accordingly: “et terminus eorum erat Jordanus ab oriente.” Concerning the LXX. he says briefly and well: “Sept. ובהודהsuo Marte omiserunt, cfr. ad Joshua 19:15; Joshua 19:30; Joshua 19:38 al.” Knobel thinks “it would be more suitable to read בְּיִשָּׂשְכָר, since Naphtali bordered on Issachar on the west and south.” He says further, “If we retain בִּיהוּדָה, we must assume that the part of Issachar bordering on Naphtali was called Judah, of which, however there is no evidence.” But what if not an adjacent portion of Issachar, but a place in Asher, which was mentioned immediately before בִּהוּדָה, was so called? And this appears in fact to have been the case, for on Van de Velde’s Map there is a place north of Tibnin marked el-Jehudi-jeh, in whose name the old name has been preserved, since Jehudijeh might come from יְהוּדָה as well as from יְהוּד, Joshua 19:45 (see below). Furrer reached this Jehudijeh from Tibnin in an hour (p339111, compared with 14 from bottom). After first descending the steep path, which winds down along the west slope from Tibnin, he went up then out of the ravine (the Wady Ilmah is meant) toward the west, and came to the little village Jehudijeh, “Jews village,” surrounded by many trees. Of ruins, Furrer found there a finely chiseled block of stone which he regards as the slight trace of a synagogue. In this manner we may solve the riddle, simply and easily, as it seems to us, without any change of the text and holding fast the Masoretic punctuation. If, however, we were to change the text, Maurer’s conjecture would deserve the preference over that of Knobel, because וביהודה, from the similarity of the letters, might very easily have arisen from וּגבוּלם, which is not the case with בישׂשכר.

Joshua 19:35-39. Fortified Cities of Galilee, ver35. Ziddim, unknown. Zer, likewise unknown Hammath, to be kept distinct from the often mentioned Hamath, the northern boundary-town of Palestine; a Levitical city; Joshua 21:32, called also Hammoth-dor or Hammon ( 1 Chronicles 6:61). The name indicates warm springs, such as existed at Ammaus south of Tiberias (’Αμμαοῦς in Joseph. Ant. 8:2, 3; Bell Judges 4:1; Judges 4:3; see Menke’s Map v, side map of Galilee), and still exist.

Rakkath, situated, as the Jews have thought on the site of the later Tiberias.

Cinneroth (כִּנֶּרֶת or כִּנָּרוֹת, Joshua 11:2; Targ.: גִּנּוֹסַר,גִּינוֹסַר,גִּנֵיסַר, Γεννησάρ, Joseph. Bell. Jud. iii10, 7, 8), the city already mentioned, Joshua 14:2, which gave name to the beautiful and fertile plain, pictured by Josephus (l. c.) in the most splendid colors, and to the sea ( Joshua 12:3; Joshua 13:27; Numbers 34:11), but which has itself disappeared. Knobel supposes the Khan Minijeh to be the place where it stood. The plain, which is about an hour long and twenty minutes broad, extends from near Mejdel to Khan Minijeh. Comp. further Furrer, p319 ff.; Robinson, 3:290). כִּנֶּרֶת signifies probably “low ground,” a hollow, κοιλάς, from כָּנַע (Knobel).

Verse36. Adamah, unknown. Ramah, the present Rameh, southwest of Safed, on a plain, a large, beautiful village surrounded with plantations of olive trees. Hazor, see on Joshua 11:1.

Joshua 19:37. Kadesh, see on Joshua 12:22. Edrei, not to be confounded with Edrei in Bashan, Joshua 12:4, unknown. En-hazor, doubtless Ain Hazur south of Rameh.

Joshua 19:38. Iron, now Jaron, Jarun, on a height northwest of el-Jisch (Giscala) in a fertile and cultivated region with ruins near by. Seetzen, ii. p123 f.; Van de Velde, Narr. i 174 ff, apud Knobel.

Migdal-el (מִגְּדַּל־אֵל, God’s tower). The name speaks for Magdala ( Matthew 15:39), now el-Mejdel, which it is supposed to be by Gesen. and Robinson (iii278), only it is remarkable that Migdal-el was not before ( Joshua 19:35) included in the cities lying on the Sea of Gennesaret, rather than here among such as lie further west. On this account Knobel, contrary to the Masoretic pointing מגדל־אמ, joins it with the following חְָרֵם, and then finds the place in Mejdel Kerum, west of Rama, three hours east of Accho (Robinson, Later Bibl. Res. p86). Too far west.

Horem, unless one accepts Knobel’s combination, not yet found. So with Beth-anath ( Judges 1:33), and Beth-shemesh, which is different from Beth-shemesh in Judah ( Joshua 15:10), and Beth-shemesh in Issachar ( Joshua 19:22). Nineteen cities. The number detailed is sixteen.

g. Joshua 19:40-48. The Territory of the Tribe of Dan. This tribe received the seventh lot, which fell to them in “pleasant places” ( Psalm 16:6), west of Benjamin, north of Judah, south of Ephraim. Their country lay mostly in the Shephelah, but hindered by the Amorites ( Judges 1:34) from taking possession of their province, the warlike tribe conquered, besides, a small tract far up in the mountains of the north ( Judges 18:1 ff.). Josephus does not mention this (Ant. v1, 27), but our author does ( Joshua 19:47).

Joshua 19:41. Zorah, Eshtaol, and Ir-shemesh, three cities of Judah which were yielded to the Danites, but of which they did not occupy Irshemesh, a city assigned to the Levites ( Joshua 21:16).

Joshua 19:42. Shaalabbin (שַׁעֲלַבִּין or שַׁעַלְבּוֹן, Gesenius: place of jackals, comp. חַצַר־שׁוּעָל, Joshua 15:28), 2 Samuel 23:32; 1 Chronicles 11:33; 1 Kings 4:9; now Salbit (Robinson, Later Bibl. Res. p144, n3 [Selbit]. Ajalon, Joshua 10:12.

Jethlah. According to Knobel contained in the Wady Atallah west of Jalo (Ajalon) (Robinson, Later Bibl Res. pp144, 145).

Joshua 19:43. Elon, perhaps Ellin (Robinson, iii. Ap. p120). Thimnathah, Joshua 15:10. Ekron, Joshua 15:11.

Joshua 19:44. Eltekeh, a city of the Levites, ch.21:23, otherwise unknown.

Gibbethon, Joshua 21:23, a Levitical city also. Mentioned 1 Kings 15:27; 1 Kings 16:15; 1 Kings 16:17, in the contests with the Philistines; not yet discovered in modern times.

Baalath, fortified by Song of Solomon, 1 Kings 9:18; unknown. Whether identical with Baala, Joshua 15:11? (Knobel).

Joshua 19:45. Jehud, very probably el-Yehudijeh, two hours north of Ludd (Robinson, 3:45), in a beautiful, well-cultivated plain.

Bene-berak, now Ibn Abrak, one hour to the west of Yehudijeh.

Gath-rimmon, a Levitical city, Joshua 21:24; 1 Chronicles 6:54, to be sought according to the Onom. in the vicinity of Thimnah, but not yet discovered (Keil).

Joshua 19:46. Me-jarkon (aquœ flavedinis, yellow water), unknown.

Rakkon (רַקּוֹן from רַקָּה≡רָקַק, “cheek,” Gesen.) unknown.

With the border before Japho. These words indicate that Me-jarkon and Rakkon are to be sought in the region of Japho.

Japho (יָפוֹ, beauty) is mentioned elsewhere in the O. T. only 1 Kings 5:9; 2 Chronicles 2:16; Ezekiel 3:7; Jonah 1:3. Under the Greek name of Ιοππη Lat. Joppe, it occurs often in the books of Maccabees ( 1 Maccabees 10:74; 1 Maccabees 10:76; 1 Maccabees 12:34; 1 Maccabees 14:15; 1 Maccabees 14:34; 1 Maccabees 15:28; 1 Maccabees 15:35; 2 Maccabees 12:3-7), and in the Acts of the Apostles ( Acts 9:36-43; Acts 10:5; Acts 10:8; Acts 10:23; Acts 10:32; Acts 11:5). The place is now called Jaffa, in which the old name Japho is preserved, and it has, since the times of the Crusaders to the present day been the landing-place of pilgrims who go thence to Jerusalem. The population amounts to not far from five thousand souls, including about three thousand Mohammedans, six hundred Christians, and only about one hundred and twenty Jews (von Raum. p205). The city is very old, built, as the ancients thought, before the Flood: “Est Joppe ante diluvium, ut ferunt condita” (Pomp. Mela, 1:11); “Joppe Phœnicum antiquior terrarum inundatione, ut ferunt” (Plin. Hist. Nat. v13) (apud von Raumer, p204). On the east the town is surrounded by a wide circle of gardens and groves of noble trees. Oranges, almonds, figs, apricots, peaches, pomegranates, apples and plums, sugar-cane and cotton, all flourish admirably here (Furrer, pp6, 7). Even to these gardens extended, according to the passage before us, the territory of Dan. Concerning Joppa, comp. further, Ritter, 16:574 ff. [Gage’s transl4:253–259]), Winer in the Realwörterbuch, Robinson,[FN3] Tobler, Wanderung, and Nazareth, nebst Anhang u. s. w, p302. This author found civilization so far advanced there in1865 that houses were numbered, and “in genuine Arabic numerals,” and their “gates named, e.g. Tarif el-Baher, Sea-gate.”

And the border of the children of Dan went out from them, i.e. the children of Dan extended their territory as is related in Judg. xviii; not, however, in the immediate vicinity, but rather, after having through five scouts become satisfied of the feasibility of their undertaking ( Judges 18:7-10), at the foot of Anti-Lebanon in Laish (לַיִשׁ, Judges 18:7; Judges 18:27), or לֶשֶׁם, as the place is called in the latter half of our verse. The reason for this migration lay in the pressure of the Amorites who did not allow the Danites to spread themselves in the plain ( Judges 1:34). With the peaceful and quiet Sidonians they were able more easily to deal and then conquer them also. For the children of Dan went up to fight against Leshem, and took it, and smote it with the edge of the sword, and possessed it, and dwelt therein, and called Leshem Daniel, after the name of Dan their father. This Leshem or Lais which was called Dan by the Danites, and per prolepsin, is called so also in Genesis 14:14, is preserved in the present name of the place, Tel el-Kadi (hill of the judge), hill of Daniel, for דָּן means Judges, as Wilson, 2:172, apud von Raumer, p125, Rem24 a, has pointed out, and with this Genesis 49:16 may be compared. It is a pleasant green hill of not more than twenty or thirty feet in height on the north side, while toward the south it falls off to a considerably greater depth (Furrer, p365, 366). Furrer saw no trace of an ancient city except some heaps of stones near the southwest edge. The same traveller describes very vividly the capture of Leshem by the Danites, p367. Comp. Robinson, 3:351, 358; Later Bibl. Res. p392; Ritter, xv. p207 [Gage’s transl2:204–207], von Raumer, p125. The name was most familiar from the expression “from Dan to Beersheba,” Judges 20:1; 1 Samuel 3:20; 1 Samuel 30:30; 2 Samuel 17:11. Jeroboam established here the worship of the calves, the “Neo-Israelitish worship,” 1 Kings 12:28-29. Jehu was still devoted to it, 2 Kings 10:29; Amos 8:13-14. May not the old name Leshem have been retained in that of the middle source of the Jordan, el-Leddan (Keil, 1:2, p53)?

i. Joshua 19:49-50. Joshua’s Possession. According to his desire, the moderation of which has already been alluded to, Joshua 17:14 ff, Joshua received, after the land had been divided, Timnathserah (remaining portion, Gesen.), or Timnathheres (portion of the sun), as a possession, on Mount Ephraim. There on the mountain Gaash was he buried, Joshua 24:30; Judges 2:8-9. It is now Tibneh between Gophnah and el-Mejdel, first discovered by Smith in 1843 on an affluent of the Wady Belat. The ruins are of considerable importance; the tombs there are similar to the royal tombs at Jerusalem (Bib. Sacra, 1843, p 484 ff. in von Raumer, p166). Robinson, Later Bibl. Res. p141. Ritter, xvi. p 562 ff. [Gage’s transl4:246 f.]. The place is not to be confounded with Timnath ( Joshua 19:43) Joshua 15:10.

k. Joshua 19:51. Conclusion. This general re mark in closing the narrative, directly refers, by the statement that the division was made in Shiloh, only to Joshua 18:1, because there the majority of the tribes had received their portions.

Footnotes:

FN#1 - Professor Plumtre (Dict. of the Bible, p3152) leads us rather to “the Tabernacle of meeting” (meeting-tent?) as the proper equivalent to the Hebrew designation, but with a deeper sense than would commonly be attached to the phrase. He well says: “The primary force of יָעַד is ‘to meet by appointment,” and the phrase אֹהֶל מוֹעד has therefore the meaning of “a place of or for a fixed meeting.” “The real meaning of the word is to be found in what may be called the locus classicus, as the interpretation of all words connected with the tabernacle, Exodus 29:42-46. The same central thought occurs in Exodus 25:22, ‘there I will meet with thee’ (comp. also Exodus 30:6; Exodus 30:36; Numbers 17:4). It is clear therefore that ‘congregation’ Isaiah, inadequate. Not the gathering of the worshippers only, but the meeting of God with his people, to commune with them, to make himself known to them, was what the name embodied. Ewald has accordingly suggested Offenbarungs zelt = Tent of Revelation, as the best equivalent (Alterthümer, p130). This made the tent a sanctuary. Thus it was that the tent was the dwelling, the house of God (Bähr, Symbolik, 1:81).”—Tr.]

FN#2 - The author translates precisely with Gesenius, indeed here seems to be little difference in conception between these critics.—Tr.]

FN#3 - Robinson gives no original information concerning Joppa; see3:31, note.—Tr.]

 


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Bibliography Information
Lange, Johann Peter. "Commentary on Joshua 18:4". "Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Critical, Doctrinal, and Homiletical". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/lcc/joshua-18.html. 1857-84.

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