Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Joshua 18:11

Now the lot of the tribe of the sons of Benjamin came up according to their families, and the territory of their lot lay between the sons of Judah and the sons of Joseph.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Benjamin;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Benjamin, Tribe of;  
Dictionaries:
Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Benjamin;   Bethel;   Palestine;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Benjamin;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Joshua, the Book of;   Tribes of Israel, the;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Benjamin;   Joshua;   Priests and Levites;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Lots;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Benjamin;   Joshua (2);   Joshua, Book of;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Benjamin;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

And the lot - of Benjamin came up - On the manner of casting the lot, see on Joshua 14:2; (note), and Numbers 26:55; (note). There were probably two urns, one of which contained the names of the seven tribes, and the other that of the seven portions. They therefore took out one name out of the first urn, and one portion out of the second, and thus the portion was adjudged to that tribe.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Joshua 18:11". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/joshua-18.html. 1832.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

THE BOUNDARIES OF BENJAMIN

"And the lot of the tribe of the children of Benjamin came up according to their families: and the border of their lot went out between the children of Judah and the children of Joseph. And their border on the north quarter was from the Jordan; and the border went up to the side of Jericho on the north, and went up through the hill-country westward; and the goings out thereof were at the wilderness of Bethaven. And the border passed along from thence to Luz (the same is Bethel), southward; and the border went down to Ataroth-addar, by the mountain that lieth on the south of Beth-horon the nether. And the border extended thence, and turned about on the west quarter southward, from the mountain that lieth before Beth-horon southward; and the goings out thereof were at Kiriath-baal (the same is Keilath-jearim), a city of the children of Judah: this was the west quarter. And the south quarter was from the uttermost part of Kiriath-jearim; and the border went out westward, and went on to the fountain of the waters of Nephtoah; and the border went down to the uttermost part of the mountain that lieth before the valley of the son of Hinnom, to the side of the Jebusite southward, and went down to En-rogel; and it extended northward, and went out at En-shemesh, and went out to Geliloth, which is over against the ascent of Adummim; and it went down to the stone of Bohan the son of Reuben; and it passed along to the side over against the Arabah northward, and went down unto the Arabah; and the border passed along to the side of Beth-hoglah northward; and the goings out of the border were at the north bay of the Salt Sea, at the south end of the Jordan: this was the south border. And the Jordan was the border of it on the east quarter. This was the inheritance of the children of Benjamin, by the borders thereof round about, according to their families."

Travelers have often mentioned the fact that all of the geographical landmarks mentioned here are clearly discernible today, and that there are no "mistakes" in the directions here given. Philbeck's summary of Benjamin's territory is as follows:

"Benjamin's holdings were bounded by Ephraim on the north and Judah on the south. His land extended from the Jordan river on the east to lower Beth-horon and Keilath-jearim on the west. This represents a maximum distance of 25 miles east to west, and ten miles north to south."[12]

As we shall see in the next paragraph, some of the most important and historic cities of ancient Palestine lay within the limited area of Benjamin's territory.

"The Arabah ..." "This was the name given by the Hebrews to the whole of that great depressions from the Sea of Galilee to the Gulf of Akabah."[13]

This allotment for Benjamin was providential. It fulfilled the prophecy of Deuteronomy 32:12 by placing the ultimate site of the Temple within Benjamin, and it also made Benjamin a kind of buffer state between the two powerful and mutually jealous tribes of Judah and Ephraim. This arrangement contributed to the unity and glory of the kingdom during the early phase of the monarchy.

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Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
Bibliographical Information
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Joshua 18:11". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/joshua-18.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And the lot of the tribe of the children of Benjamin came up according to their families,.... This was the first lot of the seven that came up; it was but a small lot, and therefore called "little Benjamin", Psalm 68:27; but the land was very pleasant and fruitful. JosephusF8Antiqu. l. 5. c. 1. sect. 22. says, this lot was very strait, because of the goodness of the soil, for it took in Jericho, and the city of Jerusalem:

and the coast of their lot came forth between the children of Judah and the children of Joseph; having Judah on the south, and Joseph on the north; this was so ordered by the providence of God, that Benjamin should lie close to Joseph, being own brothers, and the only children of Rachel, Jacob's beloved wife; and that it should be next to Judah, with whom it was to unite, both in religious and civil affairs, and both met in and had a part of Jerusalem, the metropolis of Israel; and this lot fell exactly according to the prediction of Moses, and the order of it, who places Benjamin between Judah and Joseph, the tribe of Levi having no share in the division of the land, Deuteronomy 33:7.

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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.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Joshua 18:11". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/joshua-18.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

And the lot of the tribe of the children of Benjamin came up according to their families: and the coast of their lot came forth i between the children of Judah and the children of Joseph.

(i) Their inheritance bordered on Judah and Joseph.
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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Joshua 18:11". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/joshua-18.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Benjamin came up — It has been supposed that there were two urns or vessels, from which the lots were drawn: one containing the names of the tribes, the other containing those of the seven portions; and that the two were drawn out simultaneously.

the coast of their lot came forth between the children of Judah and the children of Joseph — Thus the prophecy of Moses respecting the inheritance of Benjamin was remarkably accomplished. (See on Deuteronomy 33:12).

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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Joshua 18:11". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/joshua-18.html. 1871-8.

Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary

The lot of Benjamin forms an interesting part in the portion of Israel. He was the beloved child of the Patriarch Jacob ' s old age: and the tenderness of his father ' s heart towards him we have largely recounted in the book of Genesis 42:36-38. It was certainly from the Lord's special appointment that the border of Benjamin was placed so near to the border of Joseph; for the Reader will recollect, that Joseph and Benjamin were of the same mother, Rachel. Genesis 35:24.

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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Joshua 18:11". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pmc/joshua-18.html. 1828.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

And the lot of the tribe of the children of Benjamin came up according to their families: and the coast of their lot came forth between the children of Judah and the children of Joseph.

And the children of Joseph — Wherein we see the wisdom of Divine Providence, this being the only place in which that prophecy, Deuteronomy 33:12, could have been accomplished. Providence cast Benjamin next to Joseph on the one hand, because Benjamin was own and only brother to Joseph, and next to Judah on the other hand, that this tribe might hereafter unite with Judah, in an adherence to the throne of David, and the temple at Jerusalem.

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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 18:11". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/joshua-18.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Joshua 18:11 And the lot of the tribe of the children of Benjamin came up according to their families: and the coast of their lot came forth between the children of Judah and the children of Joseph.

Ver. 11. Between the children of Judah and the children of Joseph.] This was as well as heart could wish; what could God do more for Jacob’s darling, and for the fulfilling of Moses’s prophecy? [Deuteronomy 33:12] It is a great happiness doubtless to be well neighboured; and yet a greater to be near the place where God’s honour dwelleth. The league betwixt Judah and Benjamin lasted, as if they had been but one tribe, when the rest revolted with Jeroboam. The city of Jerusalem was divided betwixt them, though the greater part of it belonged to Benjamin, and when the Jebusites were to be thence expelled, both these tribes joined their forces together, [ 1:8; 1:21] as Judah and Simeon did in a like case. [ 1:3]

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Joshua 18:11". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/joshua-18.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Ver. 11. And the lot of the tribe of the children of Benjamin came up, &c.— By a very peculiar direction of Providence, the name of Benjamin, the only brother of Joseph, and, like him, descended from Rachel, the beloved wife of Jacob, was first drawn. Thus this tribe stood the first after those of the sons of Joseph, and by the side of them, to receive the country which God assigned to it, and which was afterwards divided in a more particular manner among the families of which it was composed.

And the coast of their lot came forth, &c.— A fresh token of the direction of Providence. In the benedictions of Moses, Deuteronomy 33:12. Benjamin had been placed between Judah and Joseph; and the event now justifies that prediction.

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Joshua 18:11". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/joshua-18.html. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Wherein we see the wisdom of Divine Providence, this being the only place in which that prophecy, Deuteronomy 33:12, could have been accomplished.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Joshua 18:11". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/joshua-18.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

BENJAMIN’S LOT, Joshua 18:11-28.

Benjamin’s lot lay on the south of the sons of Joseph, so that the descendants of Rachel were all adjoining, and in the very heart of the land. As Benjamin’s lot included Mount Moriah, the site of the sacred edifice, we find here a remarkable fulfilment of the prophecy in Deuteronomy 33:12. “Hemmed in as it was between the two powerful neighbours of Ephraim and Judah, the tribe of Benjamin, nevertheless, retained a character of its own, eminently indomitable and insubordinate. The wolf which nursed the founders of Rome was not more evidently repeated in the martial qualities of the people of Romulus, than the wolf to which Benjamin is compared in his father’s blessing, (Genesis 49:27,) appears in the eager, restless character of his descendants.” — Stanley.

11.Lot’ of Benjamin came up — “The lot comes up when it is drawn out of the urn.” — Masius.

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Joshua 18:11". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/joshua-18.html. 1874-1909.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Joshua 18:11. The lot of Benjamin came up — No doubt it was by peculiar direction of Providence that the children of Benjamin should have the first lot of these seven, next to the children of Joseph, they two being the only sons of Rachel, the beloved wife of Jacob. For thus it happened that their coast, or the portion assigned them, lay between the children of Judah, who were on the south of them, and the children of Joseph, the Ephraimites in particular, who lay on the north of them; the only place in which the prophecy contained in Deuteronomy 33:12, could have been accomplished. And it is observable, that, in that blessing of Moses, Benjamin is placed between Judah and Joseph, Levi having no inheritance among them. But Providence placed Benjamin here, not only that he might be next to Joseph, his own and only brother, on the one hand; but that, being next to Judah on the other, this tribe might hereafter unite with Judah, in an adherence to the throne of David, and the temple of Jerusalem.

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Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Joshua 18:11". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/joshua-18.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

First. A person might proclaim that the tribe, whose name was drawn first out of the urn, should have the territory which was described in the book by the land surveyors; or the names of the seven tribes might be in one urn, and seven parcels of land in another. (Calmet)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Joshua 18:11". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/joshua-18.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

came forth. i.e. from the bag containing the Urim and Thummim, See note on Exodus 28:30. Numbers 26:55.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Joshua 18:11". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/joshua-18.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

And the lot of the tribe of the children of Benjamin came up according to their families: and the coast of their lot came forth between the children of Judah and the children of Joseph.

The lot of ... Benjamin came up. It has been supposed that there were two urns or vessels from which the lots were drawn, one containing the names of the tribes, the other containing those of the seven portions, and that the two were drawn out simultaneously.

The coast of their lot ... between the children of Judah the children of Joseph. It lay intermediate on the south of Ephraim and northeast of Judah (cf. Joshua 15:5-9). Its northern border, commencing on the east from the Jordan, extended on the north of Jericho as far as the wilderness of Beth-aven. From this point its western border ran to the nether Beth-horon, whence, west (not by "the sea," as in our version), it descended southward to the wooded district of Kirjath-jearim, forming there an angle with the north border of the canton of Judah. The southern border was drawn from Jericho to Jerusalem, the principal landmarks which divided it from Judah being Nephtoah, Eu-rogel, Eu-shemesh (now Bir el-Haoud), and the stone of Bohan (see the note at Joshua 15:6). The eastern border was the Jordan. It was the smallest allotment of all the tribes, in consequent, as Josephus says, of the superior richness of the soil ('Antiquities,' b. 5:, ch. 1:, sec. 22). Thus the prophecy of Moses respecting the inheritance of Benjamin was remarkably accomplished (see the note at Deuteronomy 33:12).

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Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Joshua 18:11". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/joshua-18.html. 1871-8.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And the lot of the tribe of the children of Benjamin came up according to their families: and the coast of their lot came forth between the children of Judah and the children of Joseph.
between the children
15:1-8; 16:1-10; Deuteronomy 10:1-22; 13:12
Reciprocal: Leviticus 16:8 - cast lots;  Numbers 26:55 - by lot;  Numbers 33:54 - give the less inheritance;  Numbers 34:17 - are the names;  Deuteronomy 33:12 - The beloved;  Joshua 18:20 - GeneralJoshua 19:10 - third;  Judges 1:21 - General

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Joshua 18:11". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/joshua-18.html.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

In the lot of Benjamin nothing occurs particularly deserving of notice, unless that a small tribe takes precedence of the others. I admit, indeed, that its limits were narrowed in proportion to the fewness of its numbers, because it obtained only twenty-six cities; but still an honor was bestowed upon it in the mere circumstance of its receiving its inheritance before more distinguished tribes. We may add, that in this way they were conjoined and made neighbors to the other (165) children of Joseph, with whom their relationship was more immediate. For they were placed in the middle between the children of Ephraim and Manasseh on the one side, and those of Judah on the other. They had also the distinguished honor of including Jerusalem in their inheritance, though they afterwards granted it by a kind of precarious tenure to the children of Judah for a royal residence. (166)

It is strange, however, that having obtained such a quiet locality, they did not live on peaceful and friendly terms with their neighbors. But we possess the prophecy of Jacob,

“Benjamin shall ravin as a wolf; in the morning he shall devour the prey, and at night he shall divide the spoil.” (Genesis 49:27)

They must, therefore, have been by nature of a covetous and turbulent disposition, or from some necessity not now known to us, they must have been impelled to live upon plunder. In regard to the city of Luz, the other name is added, (“the same is Bethel,”) because then only did the name given by Jacob come into common use. (Genesis 28:19) It was at no great distance from Beth-Aven, whose name, as it was opprobrious and infamous, was transferred to Bethel itself, after it was corrupted and polluted by impious superstitions. (167) It is probable that Ciriath-Baal was called Ciriath-Jeharim, to take away the name of the idol, which would have been a stain on its true piety. For it certainly would have been base and shameful that the lips of the people should have been polluted by the name of a protector who was an enemy to the true God.

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on Joshua 18:11". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/joshua-18.html. 1840-57.