Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Joshua 13:4

to the south, all the land of the Canaanite, and Mearah that belongs to the Sidonians, as far as Aphek, to the border of the Amorite;
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Geshur;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Theocracy, the, or Immediate Government by God;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Aphek;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Caleb;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Joshua, Theology of;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Aphik;   Lebanon;   Mearah;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Aphek;   Canaan;   Joshua, the Book of;   Lebanon;   Mearah;   Palestine;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Aphek;   Conquest of Canaan;   Joshua, the Book of;   Mearah;   Sidon and Tyre;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Aphek;   Avvim;   Joshua;   Mearah;   Priests and Levites;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Aphek ;   Mearah ;   South;   Zidonians, Sidonians ;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Mearah;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Aphek;   Smith Bible Dictionary - A'phek;   Leb'anon,;   Mea'rah;   Sido'nians,;   Zido'nians,;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Aphek;   Avvim;   Cave;   Joshua, Book of;   Mearah;   Negeb;   Palestine;   Phoenicia;   Sidonians;   Kitto Biblical Cyclopedia - Aphek;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Gentile;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

The land of the Canaanites - This lay on the south of the country of the Philistines, towards the sea-coast.

Mearah - Supposed to be the city Maratha, on the Mediterranean Sea. - Calmet. Or the river Majora, which falls into the Mediterranean Sea, between Sidon and Berytus. See Pliny, Hist. Nat. lib. v., c. 20.

Aphek - See on Joshua 12:18; (note).

To the borders of the Amorites - Though the term Amorite is sometimes used to designate the inhabitants in general of the land of Canaan, yet it must be considered in a much more restricted sense in this place. As no Amorites are known to have dwelt in this quarter, Calmet supposes we should read Aramites or Syrians. Joshua, says he, proceeds from Sidon to Aphek, a city of Syria, between Heliopolis and Babylon where was the temple of the Venus of Aphek, and which is spoken of in 1 Kings 20:26; 2 Kings 13:17, as the capital of the kings of Syria. From this Joshua passes on to the frontiers of the Syrians, towards Gebal or Gabala, which, according to Ptolemy, was situated in Phoenicia. This conjecture of Calmet is not supported by any authority either from the ancient versions or MSS. Houbigant, however, approves of it: the emendation is simple as it consists in the interchange of only two letters in the same word, הארמי haarammi, for האמרי haemori .

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Joshua 13:4". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/joshua-13.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Read “on the south,” and connect the words with the verse preceding. They indicate the southern limit of the still unconquered territory in this neighborhood, as Joshua 13:3 gives the northern one.

Mearah - The “cave” (see the margin) has been referred to “Mugar Jczzin” (“cave of Jezzin”), between Tyre and Sidon, or to a district characterized by deep cave-like ravines near Sidon and Dan-Laish.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Joshua 13:4". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/joshua-13.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

From the south, all the land of the Canaanites,.... That is, of those Canaanites who were particularly so called, in distinction from those of the other nations or tribes, and who dwelt in several parts of the land, some in the east and others in the west, see Joshua 11:3; and, as it seems here, some in the south: now on the side of the south, as Kimchi interprets it, all the land of the Canaanites was left, that is, remained unconquered and not possessed:

and Mearah that is beside the Sidonians; the inhabitants of Sidon, and parts adjacent: what this place was, which belonged to the Sidonians, for so it may better be rendered, is not certain; some take it to be a cave belonging to them: SandysF2Travels, l. 3. p. 169. Ed. 5. speaks of a number of caves cut out of the rock in those parts, called the caves of the Sidonians, and afterwards the caves of Tyre; so it is interpreted by the Targum, and in the Syriac and Arabic versions others take it to be the river Magoras, PlinyF3Nat. Hist. l. 5. c. 20. makes mention of as on the borders of Lebanon near Zidon and Berytus: mention is made of the waters of Mearah along with the waters of Tiberias in Jewish writingsF4Misn. Sabbat. c. 22. sect. 5. T. Hieros. Sabbat, fol. 6. 1. ; but rather something of more importance than a cave or a river is meant; most likely a tract of land near Sidon, and which belonged to it, and reached

unto Aphek, to the borders of the Amorites; of this place; see Gill on Joshua 12:18.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
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Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Joshua 13:4". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/joshua-13.html. 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

all the land of the Canaanites, and Mearah — (“the cave”)

that is beside the Sidonians — a mountainous region of Upper Galilee, remarkable for its caves and fastnesses.

unto Aphek — now Afka; eastward, in Lebanon.

to the borders of the Amorites — a portion of the northeastern territory that had belonged to Og. The third district that remained unsubdued:

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This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Joshua 13:4". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/joshua-13.html. 1871-8.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

From the south, all the land of the Canaanites, and Mearah that is beside the Sidonians, unto Aphek, to the borders of the Amorites:

From the south — That is, from those southern parts of the sea-coast, now possessed by the Philistines, all the more northern parts of the sea-coast being yet inhibited by the Canaanites, almost as far as Sidon.

The Amorites — The Amorites were a very strong and numerous people, and we find them dispersed in several parts, some within Jordan, and some without it, some in the south and others in the north, of whom he speaks here.

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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Bibliographical Information
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Joshua 13:4". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/joshua-13.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Joshua 13:4 From the south, all the land of the Canaanites, and Mearah that [is] beside the Sidonians, unto Aphek, to the borders of the Amorites:

Ver. 4. All the land of the Canaanites.] Who yet held out against the Israelites, but hindered them not from dividing the land. No more shall those remnants of corruption hinder the saints from possession of their mansions prepared for them by Christ. [John 14:2]

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Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Joshua 13:4". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/joshua-13.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Ver. 4. From the south, all the land of the Canaanites To the south of the country of the Philistines, on the sea-coast, lay the Canaanites, properly so called, who remained still unconquered. Mearah, a city unknown, towards the north, but in the territory of Sidon, was in the same class. See Calmet. Aphek was probably the city which we find in the tribe of Asher, not very distant from Sidon, but farther eastward.

To the borders of the Amorites There were Amorites in all the land of Canaan, to the north as well as to the south and east. Joshua proceeds from Sidon to Aphek, a city in Syria, betwixt Heliopolis and Byblos, where stood the temple of Venus of Aphek, and which is spoken of 1 Kings 20:26. 2 Kings 13:17 as the capital of Syria. From this place, in the verse following, he passes on to the borders of the Syrians, towards Gabal, or Gebala, which, according to Ptolemy, lay in Phoenicia.

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Joshua 13:4". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/joshua-13.html. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

i.e. From those southern parts of the sea-coast now possessed by the Philistines, all the more northern parts of the sea-coast being yet inhabited by the Canaanites, almost as far as Sidon, as it here follows; for there is no mention made of any conquests of Joshua upon the sea-coast. The Canaanites, properly so called, are said to

dwell by the sea, Numbers 13:29, and these are here spoken of, though some of them dwelt in other parts of the land.

Mearah; a strong place; it matters not whether it was a city, or an impregnable cave, which some writers mention to be in those parts.

Aphek; not that of Judah, of which Joshua 15:53 but another in the tribe of Asher, of which Joshua 12:18 Jude 1:31.

To the borders of the Amorites: the Amorites were a strong and very numerous people, and we find them dispersed in several parts, some within Jordan, and some without it; some in the south, and others in the north, of whom he speaks there.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Joshua 13:4". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/joshua-13.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

4.[From the south — This is to be connected with the Avites in the preceding verse, and stands in contrast with northward in the same verse. The Masoretic pointing is here noticeably wrong. Joshua 13:2-3 describe the unconquered territory in the south, from its northern limit, Ekron, to its southern, the land occupied by the Avites; Joshua 13:4-6 describe the northern lands.] Mearah belonged to the Sidonians. The word beside is a mis-translation. Mearah signifies a cavern. Its location is a matter of conjecture. Aphek is identified by Gesenius with Aphaca of classical times, famous for its temple of Venus. Its modern name is Afka, situated some eighteen miles northeast of Beyroot. It was assigned to the tribe of Asher. Joshua 19:30.

To the borders of the Amorites — This is taken by most interpreters to refer to the land of Bashan, which formerly belonged to the Amorites and was ruled by Og.

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Joshua 13:4". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/joshua-13.html. 1874-1909.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Joshua 13:4. From the south — That is, from those southern parts of the sea- coast now possessed by the Philistines, all the more northern parts of the sea-coast being yet inhabited by the Canaanites, almost as far as Sidon. The Amorites — The Amorites were a very strong and numerous people, and we find them dispersed in several parts, some within Jordan, and some without it, some in the south, and others in the north, of whom he speaks here.

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Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Joshua 13:4". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/joshua-13.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Chanaan. From the south to Sidon was yet undivided, and thence eastward, (Haydock) to Apheca of Syria, were was the capital of the kings of that country, and a famous temple of Venus, 3 Kings xx. 26. (Sozom. i. 58.) --- Amorrhite, or perhaps Aramean, (Calmet) though we may understand that all the country of the Amorrhite on the south, as well as the northern parts of Chanaan, were to be divided, (Haydock) as far as Emesa. --- Will, &c., provided the Israelites observe their part of the covenant. (Calmet)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Joshua 13:4". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/joshua-13.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

From = on. The Syriac punctuates Joshua 13:3 and Joshua 13:4, thus: "also the Avites on the south",

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Joshua 13:4". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/joshua-13.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

From the south, all the land of the Canaanites, and Mearah that is beside the Sidonians, unto Aphek, to the borders of the Amorites:

All the land of the Canaanites, and Mearah that is beside the Sidonians. The second division of the unconquered country comprised on the northwest the portion of Canaan which was then within the Sidonian territory, and a mountainous region of Upper Galilee, remarkable for its caves and fastnesses. "Mearah" signifies cave; and several writers have suggested its identification with a particular cave such as that which was a stronghold of the Crusaders (Robinson's 'Biblical Researches,' 3:, p. 412). But this is an unreliable guess, and, besides, is objectionable, as the original word wants the definite article, which would have been prefixed had there been a reference to some remarkable cave. Far more likely is it the designation of that special district which is known as the cave-country of the Sidonians, where, among the mountains, between which the river Kadisha flows, there are 800 caves or grottoes (De la Roque, 'Palestine').

Unto Aphek - a northern city (see the note at Joshua 19:30), the Aphaca of the classics, situated in Lebanon, on the river Adonis, and famous for a temple of Venus. The modern Afka probably marks its site, which was quite distinct from that of Aphek (1 Kings 20:26-30), and another place of the same name in Esdraelon (1 Samuel 29:1).

To the borders of the Amorites. In tracing the outline of the unconquered country, the historian seems to pass across the country from Aphek, in a northeasterly direction, to a part of Bashan. The third district that remained unsubdued was.

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Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Joshua 13:4". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/joshua-13.html. 1871-8.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

From the south, all the land of the Canaanites, and Mearah that is beside the Sidonians, unto Aphek, to the borders of the Amorites:
the land of
10:40; 11:3; 12:7,8
Mearah
or, the cave. Aphek. This is probably the Aphek spoken of in 1 Ki 20:26. 2 Ki 13:18, as the capital of the kings of Syria; and the same as is mentioned by Sozomen, Eusebius, and Theophanes, as situated near the river Adonis (now Nahr Ibrahim,) between Heliopolis and Byblos, and celebrated for the infamous temple of Venus the Aphacite. The village Afka, situated in the bottom of a valley, and hour and three quarters from Akoura, and three hours' distance from Lake Liemoun, is supposed to occupy its site. Burckhardt, however, could not hear of any remains of antiquity in it neighbourhood.
19:30; 1 Samuel 4:1
the Amorites
Judges 1:34-36
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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Joshua 13:4". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/joshua-13.html.