Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Joshua 18:21

Now the cities of the tribe of the sons of Benjamin according to their families were Jericho and Beth-hoglah and Emek-keziz,
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Benjamin;   Beth-Hogla;   Jericho;   Keziz;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Benjamin, Tribe of;   Valleys;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Beth-Hoglah;   Jericho;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Benjamin;   Bethel;   Gibeah;   Kiriath-jearim;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Benjamin;   Jericho;   Keziz;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Beth-Hoglah;   Hiel;   Jericho;   Keziz;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Beth-Hoglah;   Emek-Keziz;   Tribes of Israel, the;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Benjamin;   Emek-Keziz;   Jericho;   Joshua;   Priests and Levites;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Jericho;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Bethhogla, Bethhoglah ;   Jericho;   Keziz ;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Jericho;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Beth-Hog'la;   Jer'icho;   Ke'ziz;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Jericho;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Emek-Keziz;   Jericho;   Joshua, Book of;   Michmash;   Vale;   Kitto Biblical Cyclopedia - Benjamin;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Jericho;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Now the cities - Some of these cities have been mentioned before, and described; of others we know nothing but the name.

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Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Joshua 18:21". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/joshua-18.html. 1832.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

THE CITIES OF BENJAMIN

"Now the cities of the tribe of the children of Benjamin according to their families were Jericho, and Beth-hoglah, and Emek-keziz, and Beth-arabah, and Zemaraim, and Bethel, and Avvim, and Parah, and Ophra, and Chephar-ammoni, and Ophni, and Geba; twelve cities with their villages: Gibeon, and Ramah, and Beeroth, and Mizpeh, and Chephirah, and Mozah, and Rekem, and Irpeel, and Taralah, and Zelah, Eleph, and the Jebusite (the same is Jerusalem), Gibeath, and Kiriath; fourteen cities with their villages. This is the inheritance of the children of Benjamin according to their families."

As Cook said, "nothing is known of a number of these places."[14] Yet there are included in this list a number of the best known and most important places in all of Palestine: Jericho, Jerusalem, Bethel, Gibeon, Ramah, Beth-horon, Mizpeh, and Gibeah.

Boling's assertion that these boundaries of Benjamin set up "contradictory claims"[15] on territory already allotted fails to take account of the fact, as mentioned by Plummer, above, that these seven allotments were deliberately designed to reduce the allotments of both Judah and Ephraim. What a superficial view it is to make this readjustment of the territories in any sense a "contradiction"! Under the circumstances, it must be understood that Benjamin's territory, as outlined here, took precedence over certain territories already assigned to Ephraim and Judah.

THE CITIES OF BENJAMIN

Jericho. This was one of the most important cities of the entire Jordan valley. Located ten miles northwest of the present mouth of the Jordan at the Dead Sea, one mile northwest of er-Riha village (modern Jericho), and about 17 miles east-northeast of Jerusalem, it lies near the western extremity of the plain of the Arabah; and the mountains of eastern Palestine rise abruptly between Jericho and Jerusalem. Going "up to Jerusalem" and "down to Jericho" are most circumstantially accurate expressions. The elevation of Jericho Isaiah 825 feet below sea level, and that of Jerusalem Isaiah 2,500 feet above sea level, meaning that the 17 miles between Jericho and Jerusalem encompasses more than a 3,800-foot rise in altitude![16]

Jerusalem. Originally, this place was a Jebusite stronghold, and it remained so until David subdued it and made it the capital of his kingdom. This is by far the most important city of Palestine. It was called by Jesus himself, "the city of the great king": and its name adorns the Celestial City, the city that hath the foundations, whose builder and maker is God, which John saw "coming down from God out of heaven," and which is called the New Jerusalem, where the most exalted hopes of the human family are enshrined! The history of the first millennium B.C. and until the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. is in a very significant degree concerned with the story of Jerusalem and the Jewish people.

Beth-hoglah. This was Benjamin's city on the border of Judah. It is identified with `Ain Hajlah, 4 miles southeast of Jericho'.[17]

Emek-keziz. "This place located somewhere near Jericho remains unidentified."[18]

Beth-arabah. This one of the towns of Judah situated down in the Arabah, but which was ceded to Benjamin in a re-adjustment of the territory. It became a southern city of Benjamin.[19] The name means "place of the desert."

Zemaraim. "Some writers identify this place with Ras ex-Zeimara, a ruin about 3 miles northeast of Bethel.[20]

Bethel. This name means "place of God," and was given to the place by Jacob, who said, "Surely God is in this place." When the apostate Israel later adopted pagan worship and made Bethel one of the principal shrines of paganism, the Jews called it Beth-aven, which means "place of vanity." "It lay about twelve miles north of Jerusalem, originally Luz; it was assigned to Benjamin, but later we find it taken by the children of Joseph (Judges 1:22-26)."[21] The northern Israel convened it into a major pagan shrine.

Avvim. "A city south of Bethel in Benjamin."[22] This could be the same as Ai.[23]

Parah. What is stated here is all that is known of this place.

Ophrah. "This is a different `Ophrah' from that in Judges 6:11. It is probably the `Ephraim' of 2 Chronicles 13:19 and John 11:54."[24]

Chephar-ammoni. "The name means `village of the Ammonites.' Some identify it with Kefrana, a site of ruins about two miles northeast of Bethel."[25]

Ophni. "Perhaps the same as the Gophna of Josephus, and the Bethgufnin of the Talmud, which still survives in the modern Jufna, two and one half miles northwest of Bethel."[26]

Geba. "This is probably the Gibeah of Saul."[27] It first belonged to Judah, then (as in this chapter) ceded to Benjamin. It was also one of the cities assigned to the Levites. This place, called Gibeah in Hosea 9:9; 10:9, was pointed out by the prophet as the very end of the tap-root and nerve center of the Northern Israel's gross wickedness and apostasy from the Lord. (See my extensive comment on those passages in Vol. 2 of the series on the minor prophets.) The two fundamental sins of Israel which are identified with this place are: (1) the rejection of the theocracy, and (2) their shameless homosexuality.

Gibeon. This place lies five or six miles from Jerusalem. It was an important Levitical city, and it was one of the four cities of the Hivites who tricked Joshua and the Israelites into making a treaty with them![28]

Ramah. Ramah was the city of Samuel. It is the same as er-Ram, five miles north of Jerusalem near the traditional tomb of Rachel.[29]

Beeroth. The exact location of this city is disputed, but it is one of the cities of the Gibeonites who made the treaty with Joshua. Naharai, Joab's armor-bearer was from Beeroth. Ish-bosheth was assassinated there. And some of the returnees from Babylon settled there.[30]

Mizpeh. This is not the Mizpeh of Joshua 15:38, but the place where Samuel judged the people and called them together to elect a king."[31]

Chephirah. This is another of the towns of the Gibeonites who made that treaty with Joshua. It is about eight miles from Jerusalem.[32]

Mozah. Nothing is known of this place except what is given here.

Rekem. Identification is uncertain.

Irpeel. Identity of this place is unknown.

Taralah. This appears to have been in the hill-country northwest of Jerusalem.[33]

Eleph. Nothing is known of this place except what is stated in this chapter.

Gibeath. No certain information is available on this place.

Kiriath. Several cities have this prefix, but it is not known which is intended by this. The meaning of this is "city (village) of."

These are the cities of Benjamin. From this small tribe, Israel received its first king (Saul), but the glory of Benjamin is in another Saul, even Saul of Tarsus, who was converted to Christianity and became the most gifted and successful of the apostles!

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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 18:21". "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

Now the cities of the tribe of the children of Benjamin,

according to their families, were Jericho,.... Which though destroyed, and not to be rebuilt as a city, was yet a place inhabited, and in future times was rebuilt, and in great splendour, and continued to the time of Christ; of which see Joshua 2:1,

and Bethhoglah, where or near to which was the threshing floor of Atad, at which lamentation was made for Jacob; see Gill on Genesis 1:10, and See Gill on Joshua 15:6,

and the valley of Keziz; or Emekkeziz; so the Greek version calls it Amecasis: it is highly probable it was in the valley or plain of Jericho, and perhaps might have its name from the incision of the balsam tree there; which, as PlinyF14Nat. Hist. l. 12. c. 25. says, was cut with glass or a stone, or with knives made of bone; if cut with iron, it kills it.

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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 18:21". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/joshua-18.html. 1999.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Now the cities of the tribe of the children of Benjamin according to their families were Jericho, and Bethhoglah, and the valley of Keziz,

Jericho — For tho' the city was destroyed, the territory remained.

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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 18:21". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/joshua-18.html. 1765.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Jericho; for though the city was destroyed, the territory remained, and some houses probably were built and inhabited there, though it was not made a city with walls and gates, which was the only thing forbidden, Joshua 6:26.

Keziz, or, Emec-keziz, the proper name of a city or great town.

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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Joshua 18:21". 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

21. Cities of’ Benjamin — In this list, as in that of the cities of Judah, no note is made on those cities that are now unknown.

Jericho Joshua 2:1.

Beth-hoglah Joshua 15:6.

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Bibliographical Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Joshua 18:21". "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 18:21. The cities of the tribe — Having given a description of the bounds of the country, the historian sets down the principal cities in it. The first of which, Jericho, was well known; the territory of which remained, though the city itself was destroyed. And the valley of Keziz — Rather, Emir-keziz, for a city is here meant, and not a valley. Or it may be interpreted, Keziz in the valley; that is, in the plain of Jericho.

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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Joshua 18:21". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/joshua-18.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Vale of Casis, "incision," so called, as some pretend, on account of the balm, which was extracted by cutting the bark with a stone, or with glass. But this etymology seems too far fetched, and there is no proof that balm was cultivated there in the days of Josue. (Calmet) --- Some of the cities of Benjamin have been here omitted, as two others are mentioned, chap. xxi. 18. (Menochius)

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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Joshua 18:21". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/joshua-18.html. 1859.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

Now the cities of the tribe of the children of Benjamin according to their families were Jericho, and Beth-hoglah, and the valley of Keziz,

The cities of the tribe of ... Benjamin ... were Jericho (see the note at Joshua 11:1)

... Beth-hoglah (see the note at Joshua 15:6)

... the valley of Keziz, [Septuagint, Amekasis] - situated toward the eastern boundary of the territory. The name is derived from a root verb signifying to cut off; and hence, Mr. Grove remarks suggestively, 'Is it possible that this place can have any connection with the general circumcision which took place at Gilgal, in the neighbourhood?'

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Joshua 18:21". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/joshua-18.html. 1871-8.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Now the cities of the tribe of the children of Benjamin according to their families were Jericho, and Bethhoglah, and the valley of Keziz,
Jericho
12; 2:1; 6:1; Luke 10:30; 19:1
Beth-hoglah
19; 15:6
Reciprocal: Joshua 10:40 - all the country;  Jeremiah 6:1 - O ye;  Ezekiel 48:23 - Benjamin;  Obadiah 1:19 - Benjamin

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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Joshua 18:21". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/joshua-18.html.