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In this chapter an account is given of the lots of the six remaining tribes, and the cities in them, as of Simeon, whose cities were chiefly within the tribe of Judah, ( Joshua 19:1-9); of Zebulun, its border and cities, ( Joshua 19:10-16); of Issachar, its border and cities, ( Joshua 19:17-23); of Asher, its border and cities, ( Joshua 19:24-31); of Naphtali, its border and cities, ( Joshua 19:32-39); of Dan, its border and titles, ( Joshua 19:40-48); and lastly of a gift of inheritance to Joshua, ( Joshua 19:49-51).
Ver. 1 . And the second lot came forth to Simeon , etc.] That is, the second of the seven lots, of which Benjamin’s was the first; otherwise there were the two lots of Judah and Joseph, which preceded both these: [even] for the tribe of the children of Simeon, according to their families ; for though many of their cities had been given by lot to the tribe of Judah, yet it seems as if there were others they had by a special lot cast for them, as many as were sufficient for their families: and their inheritance was within the inheritance of the children of Judah ; which was done partly because this was but a small tribe, and particularly because the lot put up, which fell to the tribe of Judah, was too large for it, more than they could occupy, too much being put to this lot by the first measurers of the land; and partly to fulfil the prophecy of Jacob, that the Simeonites should be scattered in Jacob, and divided in Israel, ( Genesis 49:7); and hence it is that the lots of these two tribes lying together, and being so intermixed, that the tribe of Judah called upon that of Simeon to join them in fighting against the Canaanites, and taking out of their hands the cities that belonged to them, ( Judges 1:3).
Ver. 2 . And they had in their inheritance Beersheba and Sheba , etc.] Or, Beersheba, that is, Sheba; for so the particle “vau” is sometimes used f425 , and must be so used here; or otherwise, instead of thirteen, it will appear that there are fourteen cities, contrary to the account of them, ( Joshua 19:6); so Kimchi and Ben Melech make them one city. And it may be observed, that in the enumeration of the cities of Simeon, ( 1 Chronicles 4:28); Sheba is left out, and only Beersheba is mentioned; which, was a well known place in, the farthest border of the land of Israel southward, and the reason of its name is manifest, ( Genesis 21:31); (see Gill on “ Joshua 15:28”); and Moladah ; another of the cities of Judah, ( Joshua 15:26).
Ver. 3 . And Hazarshual , etc.] (See Gill on “ Joshua 15:28”); and Balah, and Azem ; of these places see Gill “Joshua 15:29” ; for Balah is the same with Baalah there, and with Bilhah ( 1 Chronicles 4:29); and Azem with Ezem there.
Ver. 4 . And Eltolad, and Bethul, and Hormah .] These were all cities of Judah, ( Joshua 15:30); Eltolad is the same with Tolad, and Bethul with Bethuel, ( 1 Chronicles 4:29,30), and with Chesil, ( Joshua 15:30), mentioned there along with Hormah; (see Gill on “ Joshua 15:30”).
Ver. 5 . And Ziklag , etc.] Another of the cities of Judah, (see Gill on “ Joshua 15:31”); and Bethmarcaboth, and Hazarsusah ; or Hazarsusim, as in ( Chronicles 4:31); the one signifies a chariot house, and the other a court or stable for horses, which made Bochart conjecture f426 , that they were places where Solomon kept his chariots and horses; but it should be observed that these were the names by which these places went in the times of the old Canaanites; and seem to me rather where some of their kings had their horses and chariots; or rather where there were temples dedicated to the horses and chariots of the sun; (see 2 Kings 23:11).
Ver. 6 . And Bethlebaoth, and Sharuhen , etc.] Whether the first is the same with Lebaoth, a city of Judah, ( Joshua 15:32); and with the Bethleptepha of Josephus f427 , and the Betholene of Pliny f428 , is not certain: in this place secret to have been an idol temple of the Canaanites, dedicated to lions, as in Egypt there was a city called Leontopolis, from whence was the Leontopolitan nome, the inhabitants of which worshipped lions f429 ; and the Egyptians had temples dedicated to them, as Aelianus relates. Both these places are thought to be the same with Bethbirei and Shaaraim in ( 1 Chronicles 4:31); of the latter of which (see Joshua 15:36). Those who take Sheba, ( Joshua 19:2), to be the same with Shema, ( Joshua 15:26), make but one city here, and take away the last, as the Greek version does, and render the word “and their fields”, and so the number still is as follows: thirteen cities and their villages ; the sum total of those enumerated above.
Ver. 7 . Ain, Remmon , etc.] Of the two first, which were cities of Judah, (see Gill on “ Joshua 15:32”); and Ether, and Ashan ; of the two last, see Gill “Joshua 19:42” ; four cities and their villages ; Ain, Remmon, therefore, could not be one city, at this time, as it seems to have been in the times of Nehemiah, ( Nehemiah 11:29); or otherwise there would have been but three cities.
Ver. 8 . And all the villages that [were] round about these cities , etc.] Not only the suburbs adjoining to those cities which are mentioned before, but the several small distinct towns and villages, scattered up and down in the country: to Baalathbeer, Ramath of the south : this is the same with Baal in ( Chronicles 4:33); and with Ramath of the south, or south Ramoth, as it is called ( 1 Samuel 30:27); all these are the names of one and the same city: this [is] the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Simeon , according to their families ; that is, the above named cities fell to the lot of the inheritance of the Simeonites, and were divided among them according to the number of their respective families; at least, these were the chief and principal of them; for all that they possessed are not mentioned, particularly one called Tochen, ( 1 Chronicles 4:32); and another, the name of which is Etam there, unless that is thought to be the same with Ether here in ( Joshua 19:7). Josephus says f431 , this tribe took by lot that part of Idumea which lay near to Egypt and Arabia.
Ver. 9 . Out of the portion of the children of Judah [was] the inheritance of the children of Simeon , etc.] Which is the reason why no description is given of the border of their inheritance, because that is before given in the account of the lot of Judah: for the part of the children of Judah was too much for them : they had more cities than they could fill with people, and more land than they could cultivate; they had an hundred fourteen cities with their villages: therefore the children of Simeon had their inheritance within the inheritance of them ; the one being a small tribe, and the other large, and for the reasons given; (see Gill on “ Joshua 19:1”).
Ver. 10 . And the third lot came up for the children of Zebulun , according to their families , etc.] Who, though younger than Issachar, has his lot before him, agreeably to the order in which his blessing is predicted, both by Jacob and Moses, ( Genesis 49:13 Deuteronomy 33:18); and the border of their inheritance was unto Sarid ; or “by Sarid”, as Masius, who takes this to be the southwest border of Zebulun, being near Carmel; in which he seems to be right.
Ver. 11 . And their border went up toward the sea , etc.] Westward towards the Mediterranean sea, which fulfilled the prophecies of Jacob and Moses, that Zebulun should dwell by the sea, be an haven of ships, and take of the abundance of the seas, as in the places before referred to; and so Josephus says, the Zebulunites took the land unto the lake of Gennesaret, by or about Carmel and the sea: and Maralah ; which Jerom calls the ascent of Zebulun; for from hence it went up from the sea, and reached to Dabbasheth; which Jerom calls Dasbath; the word signifies a hump that is on a camel’s back, ( Isaiah 30:6); so called because when that is hurt by burdens it is cured with honey f433 ; it seems to denote some place or city at a point of land or promontory, that stood out towards the sea, as that of Carmel; or some city on the back of Carmel, resembling a camel’s hump: and reached to the river that [is] before Jokneam ; of Jokneam, (see Gill on “ Joshua 12:22”); and this river was either the river Kishon, or Belus, sometimes called Pagida; from whence sand was taken to make glass of f434 , and was near Carmel, as Jokneam was.
Ver. 12 . And turned from Sarid eastward , etc.] This describes the southern border, going on from west to east: towards the sunrising, unto the border of Chislothtabor ; this Jerom places in the tribe of Issachar, it bordered on both tribes; and he says f435 , that in his time there was a little village called Chaselus, eight miles from Diocaesarea, at the foot of Mount Tabor in the plains: and then goeth out to Daberath ; which also was a city in the tribe of Issachar, given to the Levites, ( Joshua 21:28). Jerom speaks of a little village of the Jews by Mount Tabor, of the country belonging to Diocaesarea, called Dabira; this place is still in being. Mr. Maundrell says f437 , at the bottom of Tabor westward stands Debarah, supposed by some to take its name from Deborah, the famous judge and deliverer of Israel: and goeth up to Japhia ; this Jerom says is the town called Sycamine, as you go from Caesarea to Ptolemais, above the sea, because of Mount Carmel, called Epha, thought by some to be the Jebba of Pliny f439 . It seems, however, to be the Japha of Josephus f440 , which he speaks of as being a strong fortified place both by nature and art.
Ver. 13 . And from thence passeth on along on the east to Gittahhepher , etc.] Which was the native place of Jonah the prophet, ( 2 Kings 14:25); and where Jerom says his grave was shown, and was a small village in his time two miles from Sippore, then called Diocaesarea, to Ittahkazin ; of this place we have no account elsewhere, but it was not far from the former: and goeth out to Remmonmethoar to Neah ; where the eastern border ended. Some versions make Remmonmethoar distinct places; but where either of them were exactly is not known: some, as the Targum, Jarchi, and Kimchi, render the word “Methoar which goes about”; that is, the border went about from Remmon to Neah, which by Jerom is called Anna, and who observes f442 , that there is another village called Anna, ten miles from Neapolis, as you go to Aelia; and by whom also Methoar is reckoned a distinct place, and called Amathar.
Ver. 14 . And the border compasseth it from the north side to Hannathon , etc.] This is the northern border of the tribe, which took a circuit from the last place to this; of which and the following place we have no account; Jerom only makes mention of them as in the tribe of Zebulun: and the outgoings thereof are in the valley of Jiphthahel ; here the northern border ended, which, Masius conjectures, was part of the valley of Carmel.
Ver. 15 . And Kattath, and Nahallal , etc.] Of the two first of these we read nowhere else, but in ( Joshua 21:34,35 Judges 1:30); and Shimron was a royal city, the king of which Joshua took and hanged, ( Joshua 11:1 12:20); and Idalah is a place Bochart conjectures where the goddess Venus was worshipped, Idalia being one of her names; and Bethlehem is a different place from that which was the birthplace of our Lord, called Bethlehem of Judah, to distinguish it from this: twelve cities with their villages ; more are named, but some of them belonged to other tribes, and only lay on the borders of this; and others might not be properly cities, but small towns.
Ver. 16 . This is the inheritance of the children of Zebulun, according to their families , etc.] Which was allotted to it and divided, according to the number of its families: these cities with their villages ; before enumerated, excepting such as only bordered on them; though indeed there were other cities which belonged to them, or might be after given them, not here mentioned, as Kartah and Dimnah, ( Joshua 21:34,35).
Ver. 17 . [And] the fourth lot came out to Issachar , etc.] The fourth of the seven drawn at Shiloh: for the children of Issachar, according to their families : among whom the inheritance that came to them by the lot was divided, according to the number of them.
Ver. 18 . And their border was towards Jezreel , etc.] Which was a royal seat in the time of Ahab, ( 1 Kings 21:1); and according to Jerom was near to Maximianopolis; (see Gill on “ Hosea 1:5”); and the same writer says in his day a large village of this name was shown in the great plain between Scythopolis and Legion (he means the plain of Jezreel), and it was the border of Issachar: and Chesulloth was different from the Chislothtabor, ( Joshua 19:12); that, as Masius observes, was to the north, this to the south of Mount Tabor; and Shunem is a place well known for being the dwelling place of a certain woman in the times of Elisha, whose son the prophet raised from the dead, ( 2 Kings 4:8); Jerom calls it Sonam, where was the Shunammite woman; but this city here seems to be what he calls Salem, in the tribe of Issachar; and he adds, that there was shown in his day a village by this name, five miles from Mount Tabor to the south f445 : according to Bunting f446 , it was forty eight miles from Jerusalem to the north, not far from Nain.
Ver. 19 . And Hapharaim , etc.] The first of these is by Jerom called Aphraim, a city of the tribe of Issachar; and adds, there is at this day a village called Affarea, six miles from Legion to the north; and Shion ; of Seon or Soen, the same with Shion here, he says f448 , there was a village of this name shown in his time near Mount Tabor; and Anaharath , of which we have no account elsewhere.
Ver. 20 . And Rabbith , etc.] The first of these Jerom calls Rabboth in the tribe of Issachar; and Kishion , as Masius notes, seems to given name to the river Kishon near it; some take it to be the same with Kedesh, ( 1 Chronicles 6:72); and Abez , of which no mention is made elsewhere.
Ver. 21 . And Remeth , etc.] Remeth seems to be the same with Jarmuth, ( Joshua 21:29); and with Ramoth, ( 1 Chronicles 6:73); and Engannim seems to be the same with Anem in ( 1 Chronicles 6:73): there were several of this name, which seem to have been places full of gardens, and well watered; for the word signifies a fountain of gardens.
Engannim is now called Jenine, distant from Tabor twenty two miles, a place of gardens, of water, and of pleasure, as a traveller of ours tells us; who also declares f451 , that, in his whole journey from Damascus to Jerusalem, he saw not more fruitful ground, and so much together, than he did in twenty two miles of riding between Mount Tabor and Engannim.
This seems to be the same place Mr. Maundrell calls Jeneen, a large old town on the outskirts of Esdraelon. Dr. Lightfoot is inclined to believe, that Nain, where the widow’s son was raised to life, ( Luke 7:11), is the same with Engannim, for which he gives various reasons; and Enhaddah ; Jerom says, in his time there was a village called Enadda, ten miles from Eleutheropolis, as you go from thence to Aelia; but seems not to be the same with Enhaddah here; and Bethpazzez ; of Bethpazzez no mention is made elsewhere. “Beth” signifies a “house”, and “Pazzez” in the Arabic tongue signifies “silver”; so this with the old Canaanites might be a treasure city, like those in Egypt, ( Exodus 1:11). But where a word begins with “Beth”, as the name of a place, I always suspect there was an idol temple there; now as the word in Hebrew signifies the same as “Peor”, opening, here might be a temple to that deity, or to one that was similar to the god of the Moabites, and design a Priapus, among the Canaanites like that; or as the word in the Syriac and Chaldee languages signifies to redeem, deliver, and save, this temple might be dedicated to some idol as their deliverer and saviour.
Ver. 22 . And the coast reacheth to Tabor , etc.] Tabor was the name of a mountain in those parts; it is generally supposed to be the mountain on which our Lord was transfigured, though it is not sufficiently evident; (see Gill on “ Jeremiah 46:18”). There was a city of this name near it, ( Chronicles 6:77), and which is meant here, and which either gave unto or received name from the mount. The Greeks call it Itabyrium, and it is described by Polybius as situated on a hill rising in the form of a pap or breast, and has an ascent of more than fifteen furlongs, and he calls it a city; and Shahazimah is not mentioned any where else; and Bethshemesh ; there seem to have been several cities, at least more than one, of the name of Bethshemesh; one in the tribe of Judah, ( Joshua 21:16); and another in the tribe of Naphtali, ( Joshua 19:38); which perhaps may be the same with this, it lying on the borders of both tribes. In this, and so in others of the same name, was a temple dedicated to the sun by the Heathens, as there was one of the same name in Egypt for the same reason, ( Jeremiah 43:13); and the outgoings of their border were at Jordan ; here it ended: so Josephus says, that the border of this tribe in the length of it were Mount Carmel (at one end), and the river (i.e. Jordan, at the other); and at the breadth of it the mountain Itabyrium, or Mount Tabor: it had Jordan on the east, the sea on the west, Zebulun on the north, and Manasseh on the south: sixteen cities with their villages ; which was the sum total of them.
Ver. 23 . This [is] the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Issachar , etc.] Which fell to them by lot, as before described: according to their families ; was divided among them, according to the number of them: the cities and their villages ; the cities before enumerated, and the villages adjacent to them.
Ver. 24 . And the fifth lot came out for the tribe of the children of Asher , etc.] Which entitled them to an inheritance next described: according to their families ; which was sufficient for them, and divided to them according to their number.
Ver. 25 . And their border was Helkath , etc.] Helkath seems to be the same with Hukok, ( 1 Chronicles 6:75); and according to Masius it lay ten or twelve miles above Ptolemais; and Hali , of which we read nowhere else. and Beten is by Jerom called Bathne, and was in his time a village by the name of Bethebem, eight miles from Ptolemais to the east. Reland f457 seems to think it might be the Ecbatana of Pliny f458 , which he speaks of as near Mount Carmel, and not far from Ptolemais; and Achshaph was a royal city, whose king was taken by Joshua, (see Gill on “ Joshua 11:1”).
Ver. 26 . And Alammelech, and Amad , etc.] Of the two first of these there is no mention elsewhere; and Misheal is the same with Mashal, ( 1 Chronicles 6:74); and is by Jerom called Masan, and said to be near Carmel to the sea: and reacheth to Carmel westward ; or, “to the sea”, as Carmel is called “Carmel by the sea”, (see Gill on “ Jeremiah 46:18”): it is hereby distinguished from Carmel in the tribe of Judah, ( Joshua 15:55); (Pliny calls it a promontory): and to Shihorlibnath ; the Vulgate Latin and Septuagint versions make two places of it: but the sum of the cities after given will not admit of it: more rightly Junius renders it Sihor by Libhath, and takes Sihor to be the river Belus, or Pagidus; so called either because of its likeness to the Nile, one of whose names is Sihor, ( Jeremiah 2:18); or because its waters might be black and muddy; it was the river out of which sand was fetched to make glass of: and Libnath, which has its name from whiteness, the same writer thinks may be the Album Promontorium, or white promontory of Pliny f461 , which he places near Ptolemais, between Ecdippa and Tyre, and is very probable.
Ver. 27 . And turneth towards the sunrising , etc.] Or eastward, to Bethdagon ; there was a city of this name in the tribe of Judah, (see Gill on “ Joshua 15:41”). Dagon, being a god of the Phoenicians, had temples built for him in various places in Canaan: and reacheth to Zebulun ; not the tribe of Zebulun, but a city so called, the same Josephus calls a strong city of Galilee, which had the name of Men, perhaps from the populousness of it, and separated Ptolemais from Judea; and to the valley of Jiphthahel ; (see Joshua 19:14); toward the north side of Bethemek ; of Bethemek no mention is made elsewhere: perhaps here was an idol temple before dedicated to the god of the valleys; (see 1 Kings 20:28); and Neiel ; which the Greek version calls Inael, of which Jerom says f463 , it is a certain village called Betoaenea, fifteen miles from Caesarea, situated on a mountain to the east, on which are said to be wholesome baths: and goeth out to Cabul on the left hand ; not the land of Cabul, ( 1 Kings 9:13); but a city, which Josephus calls a village on the borders of Ptolemais. The Jews speak of a city of this name, destroyed because of contentions in it.
Ver. 28 . And Hebron , etc.] Hebron seems to be the same with Abdon, ( Joshua 21:30 1 Chronicles 6:74); r and d being changed, of which there are other instances; and hereby this is distinguished from another Hebron in the tribe of Judah, more commonly known, ( Joshua 15:54); and Rehob ; in the time of Jerom f466 , there was a village called Rooba, four miles from Scythopolis, and which he says was a city separated to the Levites, as this was, or one of the same name in this tribe; for there was another, ( Joshua 19:30); (see Joshua 21:31); but whether either of them is the same with this is not certain; and Hammon ; of this city we read nowhere else: and Kanah ; this Kanah is generally thought to be the same where Christ wrought his first miracle, ( John 2:1,11). Jerom expressly says f467 , there was a Cana in the tribe of Asher, where our Lord and Saviour turned water into wine, ( John 2:1), and from whence was Nathanael, ( John 21:2); and it is at this day, adds he, a town in Galilee of the Gentiles. Phocas f468 places Cana between Sippori and Nazareth, which is now shown six Roman miles from Sippori to the west, a little inclining to the north; and there is also in the same tract Cephar Cana, four miles from Nazareth to the north, inclining to the east; and it is disputed which of these two is Cana of Galilee the New Testament: with this account agrees pretty much what our countryman Mr. Maundrell gives of his travels in those parts: “taking leave of Nazareth, (he says,) and going at first northward, we crossed the hills that encompassed the vale of Nazareth at that side; after which we turned to the westward, and passed in view of Cana of Galilee, the place signalized with the beginning of Christ’s miracles, ( John 2:11); in an hour and a half more we came to Sepharia;” or Sippori: [even] unto great Zidon ; of great Zidon, and why so called, (see Gill on “ Joshua 11:8”).
Ver. 29 . And [then] the coast turneth to Ramah , etc.] Which was a city in the tribe of Naphtali, ( Joshua 19:36); and on the borders of Asher; though Jerom distinguishes them, and speaks of a Ramah in Asher, and another in Naphtali, as different cities of the same name; as there were several of this name, so called from their being built on an eminence.
Masius conjectures it is the same with Sarepta, ( Luke 4:26); famous for its wine; and Bacchus, as the poet says, loves the hills: and to the strong city Tyre ; it is thought this is not to be understood of the famous city, so much spoken of in other parts of Scripture, and in profane history; since, as it is observed, that is not mentioned in Scripture until the times of David; and though Homer makes frequent mention of Sidon, yet never of Tyre. The words signify the strong fortress of a rock, or a fortress on a high rock; so Kimchi and Ben Melech; and it might be a fortified city, which being built on a rock, might have the name of Zor or Tyre, and not be the famous city of that name. Jerom renders it the fortified city of the Assyrians: and the coast turneth to Hosah ; of which we nowhere else read: and the outgoings thereof are at the sea ; the Mediterranean sea; where the coast ended this way: from the coast to Achzib ; this Jerom says is Ecdippa, nine miles from Ptolemais, as you go to Tyre; and this is confirmed by a learned traveller of our own nation f473 ; it is now called Zib; (see Gill on “ Micah 1:14”).
Ver. 30 . Ummah also , etc.] Ummah is not mentioned any where else; and Aphek ; of which, (see Gill on “ Joshua 12:18”); and Rehob ; of which, (see Gill on “ Joshua 19:28”); twenty and two cities with their villages : there are more set down in the account, but some of them did not belong to the tribe, only were on the border of it.
Ver. 31 . This [is] the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Asher , etc.] As before described, a goodly heritage; it was, according to the prediction of Jacob and Moses, ( Genesis 49:20 Deuteronomy 33:24,25); a very fruitful country. Josephus says, the country from Carmel called the valley, because it was such, even all over against Sidon, fell to the Asherites, Asher had Mount Libanus on the north, Naphtali on the east, Zebulun on the south and southeast, the sea on the west: according to their families ; the number of them, so their lot was divided to them: these cities with their villages ; before named.
Ver. 32 . The sixth lot came out to the children of Naphtali , etc.] The tribe of Naphtali, and directed what should be the inheritance of this tribe: [even] for the children of Naphtali, according to their families ; which was to be divided among them, according to the number of their, families.
Ver. 33 . And their coast was from Heleph , etc.] That is, their northern coast, reaching from west to east, as appears by the ending of it at Jordan; the Alexandrian copy of the Greek version calls it Mlepeh, the Targum, Meheleph, and Jerom, Mealeb, which he calls the border of Naphtali; which, though to the north, cannot be expressly said what and where it was: from Allon to Zaanannim ; or rather from the oak, or from the plain in Zaanannim f475 ; for it seems to be the same with the plain of Zanaaim, ( Judges 4:11). and Adami, Nekeb ; some make these to be but one city, and the latter only an epithet of the former; but the Talmudists make them two, as we do, and call the first Damin, and the latter Ziadetha; but what and where either of them were exactly is not known; for Adami cannot be the same with Adam, ( Joshua 3:16); as some think; for that was in Peraea, on the other side Jordan; (see Gill on “ Joshua 3:16”): and Jabneel ; Jabneel is different from that which was on the borders of Judah, ( Joshua 15:11); and is called by the Jews since Cepherjamah; unto Lakum ; of which we nowhere else read: and the outgoings thereof were at Jordan ; here the coast ended this way.
Ver. 34 . And [then] the coast turneth westward to Aznothtabor , etc.] This was the southern border, reaching from east to west; it began at Aznothtabor, which Jerom says was a village in his time belonging to the country of Diocaesarea, in the plains; there is another place called Chislothtabor, on the borders of Zebulun, ( Joshua 19:12); and goeth out from thence to Hukkok : there the southern border ended, which was in the border of Asher, and is the same with Helkath, ( Joshua 19:25); with which compare ( 1 Chronicles 6:75); and reacheth to Zebulun on the south side, and reacheth to Asher on the west side and to Judah upon Jordan towards the sunrising ; so that as it was bounded by Lebanon, on the north, near to which some of the cities were, mentioned in ( Joshua 19:33), it had Zebulun on the south, Asher on the west, and Jordan to the east; for by Judah is not meant the tribe of Judah, from which Naphtali was at a great distance, but a city so called, as Fuller seems rightly to conjecture.
Ver. 35 . And the fenced cities [are] Ziddim , etc.] The later name of Ziddim, according to the Talmud f480 , was Cepharchitiya, or the village of wheat, perhaps from the large quantity or goodness of wheat there; Zer is called by Jerom Sor, and interpreted Tyre, the metropolis of Phoenicia, very wrongly, and, in the tribe of Naphtali; and Hammath probably was built by the youngest son of Canaan, ( Genesis 10:18); or had its name in memory of him; it lay to the north of the land of Israel; (see Numbers 34:8); Rakkath, and Chinnereth ; Rakkath according to the Jewish writers is the same with Tiberias, as Chinnereth with Gennesaret, from whence the lake or sea of Tiberias, and the country and lake of Gennesaret, had their names, often mentioned in the New Testament. Gennesaret was a most delicious and fruitful spot, and fulfilled the prophecy of Moses, ( Deuteronomy 33:23); concerning Naphtali.
Ver. 36 . And Adamah , etc.] Adamah is different from Adami, ( Joshua 19:33); and may seem to confirm the notion of some, that Nekeb there is an epithet of it, and so distinguishes it from Adamah here; and Ramah ; of Ramah, as there were several places of this name, (see Gill on “ Joshua 19:29”); and Hazor was a royal city, of which, (see Gill on “ Joshua 11:1”).
Ver. 37 . And Kedesh , etc.] This is Kedesh in Galilee, in Mount Naphtali, to distinguish it from others of the same name; it was one of the cities of refuge, ( Joshua 20:7). Jerom says in his day it was called Cidissus, and was twenty miles from Tyre by Paneas; (see Gill on “ Joshua 12:22”). and Edrei is a different place from one of that name in the kingdom of Og, ( Numbers 21:33); and Enhazor , of which we read nowhere else.
Ver. 38 . And Iron , etc.] Of Iron no mention is made elsewhere; and Migdalel , which Jerom calls Magdiel, he says was shown a small village, five miles from Dara, as you go to Ptolemais; and Horem is not mentioned anywhere elsewhere; and Bethanath ; Jerom also relates f485 , that Bathana, in the tribe of Naphtali, was a village that went by the name of Betbanes, fifteen miles from Caesarea; and Bethshemesh was another city, in which was a temple dedicated to the sun, when inhabited by the Canaanites; (see Joshua 19:22); and so in Bethanath there might be a temple dedicated to some deity, though now uncertain what: nineteen cities with their villages ; there are more mentioned, but some of them might be only boundaries, and so belonged to another tribe.
Ver. 39 . This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Naphtali , etc.] Which Josephus thus describes; “the country to the east, as far as Damascus the city, and upper Galilee, the Naphtalites took, unto Mount Lebanon, and the fountains of Jordan, which flow out of the mount, reaching the northern border of the city Arce:” according to their families ; which was divided among them, according to the number of their families: the cities and their villages ; before enumerated.
Ver. 40 . [And] the seventh lot came out for the tribe of the children of Dan , etc.] Which was the last lot drawn, and which appointed an inheritance to this tribe: according to their families ; the number of them.
Ver. 41 . And the coast of their inheritance was Zorah, and Eshtaol , etc.] The tribe of Dan is not described by places the boundaries of it, as other tribes, but by its cities, which were chiefly, at least several of them, taken out of the tribe of Judah, as the two first of these most manifestly were; (see Gill on “ Joshua 15:33”); and Irshemesh signifies the city of the sun, as the Targum interprets it, and was so called very probably from a temple in it, dedicated to the idolatrous worship of the sun, but a different place from Bethshemesh in other tribes; though those of that name, as this, had it for the like reason; and so Heliopolis, in Egypt, which signifies the same, where was a temple of the same kind; as there was another city of this name, between the mountains of Libanus and Antilibanus, now called Balbec f487 , where the ruins of the temple are yet to be seen: but this was a different place, the Septuagint version calls it Sammaus, and it was, according to Jerom f488 , the same with Emmaus, afterwards called Nicopolis; which, if the same Emmaus with that in ( Luke 24:13); though some doubt it, was sixty furlongs from Jerusalem, or seven miles and a half.
Ver. 42 . And Shaalabbin , etc.] The first of these is the same with Shaalbim, ( Judges 1:35); and which Jerom calls Selab, in the tribe of Dan; and which he says was in his day shown a large village on the borders of Sebaste, by the name of Selaba. and Ajalon is famous for the standing still of the moon in its valley while Joshua pursued his enemies, (see Gill on “ Joshua 10:12”); and Jethlah , of which we read nowhere else.
Ver. 43 . And Elon , etc.] Of Elon no mention is made elsewhere; and Thimnathah is a different place from Timnah in the tribe of Judah, ( Joshua 15:10,57). Jerom speaks of the Thamnitic country, so called from the village Thamna, which seems to be this; and Ekron was one of the five principalities of the Philistines, and never possessed by the Israelites; it first fell by lot to the tribe of Judah, and afterwards given to the tribe of Dan, ( Joshua 15:45).
Ver. 44 . And Eltekeh , etc.] Eltekeh was a city given to the Levites, ( Joshua 21:23); and supposed by some to be the same with Eltekon in the tribe of Judah given to the Danites, ( Joshua 15:59); and Gibbethon was in the hands of the Philistines in the reign of Asa, ( Kings 15:21 16:15); and in the same place Jerom calls Gabatha a city of the strangers, or Philistines; and which lie places near Bethlehem in the tribe of Judah; and Baalath is not the same with Baalah, ( Joshua 15:29); but the Baalath rebuilt by Solomon, ( 1 Kings 9:18); called by Josephus f492 Baleth, and spoken of by him as near to Gazara in the land of the Philistines; of these two last cities, the Talmudists say that their houses belonged to Judah, and their fields to Dan.
Ver. 45 . And Jehud , etc.] Of Jehud no mention is made elsewhere; and Beneberak signifies sons of lightning; (see Mark 3:17). Jerom f494 speaks of tills as the name of two places, Bane in the tribe of Dan, and Barach in the same tribe, and which was in his day near Azotus. This place was famous in later times among the Jews for being a place where one of their noted Rabbins, R. Akiba, abode and taught for some time f495 : and Gathrimmon was in Jerom’s time a very large village, twelve miles from Diospolis, or Lydda, as you go from Eleutheropolis to it; it was a city given to the Levites, ( Joshua 21:24).
Ver. 46 . And Mejarkon, and Rakkon , etc.] Of the two first of these we read no where else. with the border before Japho ; Japho is the same with Joppa, now called at this day Jaffa, a port in the Mediterranean sea, famous for being the place where Jonah took shipping, (see Gill on “Jon 1:3”); and where the Apostle Peter resided some time, (see Gill on “ Acts 9:36”); and (see Gill on “ Acts 9:38”). It is not certain whether Joppa itself was in the tribe of Dan, or only on the borders of it; the coast of Dan reached “over against” it, as it may be rendered, and included the villages and little cities that were near it; for such there were, as Josephus testifies.
Ver. 47 . And the coast of the children of Dan went out [too little] for them , etc.] Being a very numerous tribe, the cities allotted them were not sufficient for them; or rather, leaving out the supplement “too little”, the words will run, it “went out from them”; they lost part of it, being driven out of the valley into the mountain by the Amorites, ( Judges 1:34,35); which obliged them to seek out elsewhere for habitations: therefore the children of Dan went out to fight against Leshem ; called Laish, ( Judges 18:1-31), where the whole story is related of their lighting against this place and taking it; which, though some time after the death of Joshua, is here recorded to give at once an account of the inheritance of Dan; and which is no argument against Joshua’s being the writer of this book, as is urged; since it might be inserted by another hand, Ezra, or some other inspired man, for the reason before given: and took and smote it with the edge of the sword, and possessed it , and dwelt therein ; being a Canaanitish city, they put all in it to the sword, as the Lord had commanded, and took possession of it for an habitation: and called Leshem Dan, after the name of Dan their father ; this is the place which is always meant, where the phrase is used “from Dan to Beersheba”, ( Judges 20:1 1 Samuel 3:20 2 Samuel 3:10 17:11 24:2,15 1 Kings 4:25), this being at the utmost northern border of the land of Canaan, as Beersheba was at the further part of the southern coast of it. It was, according to Jerom f498 , situated near Paneas, out of which the river Jordan flowed; and Kimchi on the text observes, their Rabbins say, that Leshem is Pamias (i.e. Paneas), and that Jordan flows from the cave of Pamias, and had its name ˆdm ddwyç because it descended from Dan; and so Josephus says, that Panium is a cave under a mountain, from whence rise the springs of Jordan, and is the fountain of it; and Pliny also says f501 , the river Jordan rises out of the fountain Paneas. This city was enlarged and beautified by Philip Herod, and he called it by the name of Caesarea Philippi, both in honour of Tiberius Caesar and after his own name, by which name it goes in ( Matthew 16:13 Mark 8:27); and is called in the Jerusalem Targum on ( Genesis 14:14), Dan of Caesarea.
Ver. 48 . This [is] the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Dan , etc.] Before described by its cities, which were in it. This tribe was bounded by Ephraim on the north, by Judah on the east, by Simeon on the south, and by the Mediterranean sea on the west. Josephus says, the Danites enjoyed the vale which lies to the setting sun, bounded by Azotus and Doris, and all Jamnia and Getta, from Accaron (or Ekron) to the mountain from whence the tribe of Judah begins: according to their families ; which inheritance was distributed according to the number of their families: their cities with their villages ; before named.
Ver. 49 . And when they made an end of dividing the land for inheritance by their coasts , etc.] That is, Eleazar, Joshua, and the ten men appointed for this, purpose; when all the lots were drawn, and the several inheritances which came up to them were divided among the families of the respective tribes, this work being finished: the children of Israel gave an inheritance to Joshua the son of Nun among them ; most interpreters observe the modesty of Joshua, that though the oldest and the greatest man in the nation, the chief governor, yet had his inheritance last of all; nor did he take any part to himself, it was given to him by the people, who had the whole land divided among them; in which he was a type of Christ; (see 2 Corinthians 8:9) ( Philippians 2:6,7).
Ver. 50 . According to the word of the Lord , etc.] Or mouth of the Lord; either according to the oracle of Urim and Thummim, which Eleazar consulted on this occasion; or according to what the Lord had said to Moses, at the same time that Hebron was ordered to Caleb, ( Joshua 14:6); and they gave him the city which he asked, [even] Timnathserah in Mount Ephraim ; he chose a place in his own tribe, for he was of the tribe of Ephraim; and it seems that what he chose was none of the best of places; for Paula, as Jerom relates, when she travelled into those parts, wondered that the distributor of the possessions of the children of Israel should choose such a rough and mountainous place for himself; of its situation, (see Joshua 24:30); and he built the city, and dwelt therein ; he rebuilt it, and fitted it for his own habitation, and for those that belonged to him. (Timnathserah means “an abundant portion” or “a place in the sun”. Joshua great reward was in seeing the promises of God fulfilled before his very eyes ( Joshua 21:45 23:14) and the children of Israel serving the Lord’s during his lifetime ( Joshua 24:31). Joshua may have received but a small inheritance in the promised land but this was just an earnest of his future glorious inheritance in eternity. The saints of God have the best portion saved for the last ( John 2:10) whereas the worldling has his best portion now; his worst is yet to come. Editor.)
Ver. 51 . These [are] the inheritances which Eleazar the priest, and Joshua the son of Nun , etc.] The one the high priest, and the other the chief governor of the nation: and the heads of the fathers of the tribes of the children of Israel ; the princes appointed for this service, whose names are given ( Numbers 34:18-28); the inheritances before described in the preceding chapters by their boundaries and cities, these the said persons divided for an inheritance by lot in Shiloh ; and so has particular reference to the seven lots drawn there for seven of the tribes, by which their inheritances were assigned to them: and this was done before the Lord, at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation ; (see Joshua 18:1,10); so they made an end of dividing the country ; though it was not as yet wholly subdued.