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Barnes' Notes on the Bible
1And the second lot came forth to Simeon, even for the tribe of the children of Simeon according to their families: and their inheritance was within the inheritance of the children of Judah.
The inheritance of Simeon was taken out of the portion of Judah, which proved on experience to be larger than the numbers of that tribe required. The Simeonite territory is described by its towns, of which fourteen were in the Negeb, and four others Joshua 19:7 partly in the Negeb and partly in "the valley." On the narrow confines here assigned to Simeon, and its insignificant position altogether among the Twelve tribes, see Deuteronomy 33:6 note.
2And they had in their inheritance Beersheba, or Sheba, and Moladah,
3And Hazarshual, and Balah, and Azem,
4And Eltolad, and Bethul, and Hormah,
5And Ziklag, and Bethmarcaboth, and Hazarsusah,
6And Bethlebaoth, and Sharuhen; thirteen cities and their villages:
Thirteen - Fourteen names have been given. The error is probably due to the use of letters for numbers, which has led to many similar mistakes in other places (see Joshua 15:32).
7Ain, Remmon, and Ether, and Ashan; four cities and their villages:
8And all the villages that were round about these cities to Baalathbeer, Ramath of the south. This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Simeon according to their families.
9Out of the portion of the children of Judah was the inheritance of the children of Simeon: for the part of the children of Judah was too much for them: therefore the children of Simeon had their inheritance within the inheritance of them.
10And the third lot came up for the children of Zebulun according to their families: and the border of their inheritance was unto Sarid:
Sarid, not yet identified, was evidently a leading topographical point on the south frontier of Zebulun. The boundary passed westward until it touched the Kishon, near "Tell Kaimon" (Joshua 12:22 note), and thence, turned northward, leaving Carmel, which belonged to Asher, on its west. The territory of Zebulun accordingly would not anywhere reach to the Mediterranean, though its eastern side abutted on the sea of Galilee, and gave the tribe those "outgoings" attributed to it in the Blessing of Moses (Deuteronomy 33:18). Daberath (Joshua 19:12) is probably "Deburieh."
11And their border went up toward the sea, and Maralah, and reached to Dabbasheth, and reached to the river that is before Jokneam;
12And turned from Sarid eastward toward the sunrising unto the border of Chislothtabor, and then goeth out to Daberath, and goeth up to Japhia,
13And from thence passeth on along on the east to Gittahhepher, to Ittahkazin, and goeth out to Remmonmethoar to Neah;
Gittah (or Gath)- hepher, the birthplace of the prophet Jonah 2 Kings Jonah 14:25, is probably the modern village of El-Meshhad, where the tomb of the prophet is still shown, a short way from Nazareth, on the road to Tiberias.
Remmon-methoar to Neah - Read "and goeth out to Remmon, which reacheth to Neah." (See the margin.) Rimmon, a Levitical city Joshua 21:35; 1 Chronicles 6:77 is probably the modern "Rummaneh," in the plain of "El Buttauf," about six miles north of Nazareth.
14And the border compasseth it on the north side to Hannathon: and the outgoings thereof are in the valley of Jiphthahel:
Hannathon, more properly Channathon, has been supposed by some to be the Cana of Galilee of the New Testament, and Jiphthah-el is probably the present "Jefat"; the "Jotapata" of Roman times, which was so long and valiantly defended by Josephus against the legions of Vespasian. The "Valley" is the "Wady Abilin"; and Bethlehem Joshua 19:15 is the present miserable village of "Beit-Lahin."
15And Kattath, and Nahallal, and Shimron, and Idalah, and Bethlehem: twelve cities with their villages.
Twelve cities - Only five have been mentioned, and the names in the verses preceding are apparently not names of Zebulonite cities, but merely of points in or near the boundary line. It would therefore appear that seven names have disappeared from the text, and perhaps also the definition of the western frontier.
16This is the inheritance of the children of Zebulun according to their families, these cities with their villages.
17And the fourth lot came out to Issachar, for the children of Issachar according to their families.
18And their border was toward Jezreel, and Chesulloth, and Shunem,
Jezreel and its famous and fertile plain are the choicest part of the inheritance of Issachar Joshua 17:16.
Shunem - Here the Philistines pitched before the battle of Gilboa 1 Samuel 28:4. The place is also known as the home of Abishag 1 Kings 1:3, and in connection with Elisha 2 Kings 4:8; 2 Kings 8:1. It is identified with "Solam" (or, Sulem), a small and poor village on the slope of Little Hermon.
19And Hapharaim, and Shion, and Anaharath,
20And Rabbith, and Kishion, and Abez,
21And Remeth, and Engannim, and Enhaddah, and Bethpazzez;
En-gannim - i. e. "fountain of gardens;" also a Levitical city Joshua 21:29, and called Ahem 1 Chronicles 6:73, the modern "Jenin," a place on the main road from Jerusalem to Nazareth, just where it enters the plain of Jezreel. Many of the places enumerated in these verses are not known. Tabor Joshua 19:22 is perhaps not the famous mountain, but the town on it of the same name 1 Chronicles 6:77, given up to the Levites. Beth-shemesh (perhaps "Bessum") is not the same as Beth-shemesh of Judah Joshua 15:10, nor of Naphtali Joshua 19:38.
22And the coast reacheth to Tabor, and Shahazimah, and Bethshemesh; and the outgoings of their border were at Jordan: sixteen cities with their villages.
23This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Issachar according to their families, the cities and their villages.
24And the fifth lot came out for the tribe of the children of Asher according to their families.
25And their border was Helkath, and Hali, and Beten, and Achshaph,
Helkath, a Levitical town Joshua 21:31, is probably Yerka, a village about seven or eight miles north-west of Acre, in a Wady of the same name. Alammelech was in the "Wady Melik," which joins the Kishon from the northeast, not far from the sea.
Shihor-libnath - i. e. "black-white." The two words are now generally admitted to be the name of a river, probably the modern "Nahr Zerka," or Blue River, which reaches the sea about 8 miles south of Dor, and whose name has a correspondence both to black and white. Possibly we have in the occurrence of the term Shihor here a trace of the contact, which was close and continuous in ancient times, between Phoenicia and Egypt Joshua 13:3. Cabul Joshua 19:27 still retains its ancient name; it lies between four and five miles west of Jotapata and about ten miles southeast of Acre.
26And Alammelech, and Amad, and Misheal; and reacheth to Carmel westward, and to Shihorlibnath;
27And turneth toward the sunrising to Bethdagon, and reacheth to Zebulun, and to the valley of Jiphthahel toward the north side of Bethemek, and Neiel, and goeth out to Cabul on the left hand,
28And Hebron, and Rehob, and Hammon, and Kanah, even unto great Zidon;
These verses refer to the northern portion of the territory of Asher, on the Phoenician frontier. Some names may have dropped out of the text, the number Joshua 19:30 not tallying with the catalogue. Ramah still retains its ancient name, and lies about twelve miles southeast of Tyre. Achzib is the modern "Zib," on the coast, eight or nine miles north of Acre.
29And then the coast turneth to Ramah, and to the strong city Tyre; and the coast turneth to Hosah; and the outgoings thereof are at the sea from the coast to Achzib:
30Ummah also, and Aphek, and Rehob: twenty and two cities with their villages.
31This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Asher according to their families, these cities with their villages.
32The sixth lot came out to the children of Naphtali, even for the children of Naphtali according to their families.
33And their coast was from Heleph, from Allon to Zaanannim, and Adami, Nekeb, and Jabneel, unto Lakum; and the outgoings thereof were at Jordan:
From Allon to Zaanannim - Render "from the oak forest at Zaanannim." From Judges 4:11 it appears that this oak or oak-forest was near Kedesh.
Adami, Nekeb - Render "Adami of the Pass." Possibly the ancient "Deir el Ahmar" ("red cloister"), which derives its name from the color of the soil in the neighborhood, as perhaps Adami did. The spot lies about 8 miles northwest of Baalbek.
34And then the coast turneth westward to Aznothtabor, and goeth out from thence to Hukkok, and reacheth to Zebulun on the south side, and reacheth to Asher on the west side, and to Judah upon Jordan toward the sunrising.
Aznoth-tabor - This place ("ears of Tabor") was no doubt in the neighborhood of Mount Tabor - probably on the eastern slope; and Hukkok on the western slope.
To Judah upon Jordan - i. e. to the "Havoth-jair" Numbers 32:41, which were on the opposite side of Jordan. Jair, from whom these towns or villages were named, traced his ancestry in the male line through Hezron to Judah Numbers 27:1; and it is likely that he was assisted by large numbers of his kinsmen of that tribe in his rapid conquest of Bashan. Hence, the Havoth-jair were, in all likelihood, largely colonised by Judahites, especially perhaps that portion of them nearest the Jordan. Thus, that part of the river and its valley adjacent to these settlements was spoken of as "Judah upon Jordan," or more literally "Judah of the Jordan" (compare Numbers 22:1).
35And the fenced cities are Ziddim, Zer, and Hammath, Rakkath, and Chinnereth,
The number of the fortified cities of Naphtali is remarkable, though it does not tally with the catalogue. It was no doubt good policy to protect the northern frontier by a belt of fortresses, as the south was protected by the fenced cities of Judah. Hammath, a Levitical city (compare Joshua 21:32; 1 Chronicles 6:76), is not to be confounded with the Hamath on the northeastern frontier of the land Numbers 13:21. The name (from a root signifying "to be warm") probably indicates that hot springs existed here; and is perhaps rightly traced in Ammaus, near Tiberias. Rakkath was, according to the rabbis, rebuilt by Herod and called Tiberias. The name ("bank, shore") suits the site of Tiberias very well. Migdal-el, perhaps the Magdala of Matthew 15:39, is now the miserable village of "El Mejdel."
36And Adamah, and Ramah, and Hazor,
37And Kedesh, and Edrei, and Enhazor,
38And Iron, and Migdalel, Horem, and Bethanath, and Bethshemesh; nineteen cities with their villages.
39This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Naphtali according to their families, the cities and their villages.
40And the seventh lot came out for the tribe of the children of Dan according to their families.
41And the coast of their inheritance was Zorah, and Eshtaol, and Irshemesh,
42And Shaalabbin, and Ajalon, and Jethlah,
43And Elon, and Thimnathah, and Ekron,
44And Eltekeh, and Gibbethon, and Baalath,
45And Jehud, and Beneberak, and Gathrimmon,
46And Mejarkon, and Rakkon, with the border before Japho.
Japho (the modern Jaffa, or Yafa), elsewhere (see the margin) called Joppa, is often mentioned in the history of the Maccabees and was, as it still is, the leading port of access to Jerusalem both for pilgrims and for merchandise. It is a very ancient town.
47And the coast of the children of Dan went out too little for them: therefore the children of Dan went up to fight against Leshem, and took it, and smote it with the edge of the sword, and possessed it, and dwelt therein, and called Leshem, Dan, after the name of Dan their father.
The words "too little" are an insertion of the King James Version Render rather, "the border of the children of Dan was extended." The Hebrew appears to mean "the children of Dan enlarged their border because they had not room enough."
The reason of this was that the Danites, a numerous tribe (Numbers 26:5 note), found themselves Judges 1:34-35 cooped up among the hills by the powerful and warlike Amorites. Hence, the Danite expedition (see the marginal reference), which surprised the Sidonion inhabitants of Leshem, an unwarlike and peaceable race, exterminated them, and annexed their city and territory to the portion of Dan.
48This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Dan according to their families, these cities with their villages.
49When they had made an end of dividing the land for inheritance by their coasts, the children of Israel gave an inheritance to Joshua the son of Nun among them:
50According to the word of the LORD they gave him the city which he asked, even Timnathserah in mount Ephraim: and he built the city, and dwelt therein.
Nothing is said of any express command of God respecting the inheritance of Joshua. But as such special portion appears to have been promised to Caleb at the time when he and Joshua alone out of the twelve spies remained faithful Joshua 14:6-9, it is probable that a like promise was made to Joshua. The name of the place is also written Timnath-heres Judges 2:9, by a transposition of the letters. The rabbinical explanation that the name Timnath-heres (i. e. "portion of the sun") was given because a representation of the sun was affixed to the tomb in memory of Joshua's command to the sun to stand still, appears to be an afterthought. The name Timnath-serah ("portion that remains") was perhaps conferred on the spot in consequence of its being allotted to Joshua, the last allotment made in the whole distribution of his conquests. The site has been conjectured to be "Tibneh," a village about five miles north-west of Lydda (or, by Conder, Kerr Hares, nine miles south of Nablous).
51These are the inheritances, which Eleazar the priest, and Joshua the son of Nun, and the heads of the fathers of the tribes of the children of Israel, divided for an inheritance by lot in Shiloh before the LORD, at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. So they made an end of dividing the country.