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AND all the children of Israel assembled together in Silo, and there they set up the tabernacle of the testimony, and the land was subdued before them.

Ver. 1.  Silo was delightfully situated, about the midst of the country, 12 miles south of Sichem.  Hither the Israelites removed the ark from Galgal after having had their camp in the latter place seven years at least; the Jews say 14.  But Josue might reproach the Israelites for their indolence, (v. 3,) without waiting seven years after the country was divided.

 

--- Tabernacle.  The Jews pretend that this was not the same as that set up by Moses; and others say that a house was built for the Lord at Silo, 1 K. i. 23.  But there seems to be no reason for these assertions.  David informs us that the ark of the Lord was covered with skins, 2 K. vii. 2.  If any repairs were found necessary for the tabernacle erected by Moses, they might be made.  The ark was certainly in it till the Israelites unfortunately sent it into the camp, where it was taken by the Philistines.  When they sent back the ark, it was deposited at Gabaa, and not in the tabernacle, which was at Silo.  Then it was sent to Nobe.  We find the tabernacle was at Gabaon some time after the ark was translated to Jerusalem.  C.

 

--- Them.  They might, therefore, removed the ark into the interior, and measure the country without danger.  M.

 

--- The greatest part of the country had submitted to Josue.  C.




2 But there remained seven tribes of the children of Israel, which as yet had not received their possessions. 3 And Josue said to them: How long are you indolent and slack, and go not in to possess the land which the Lord the God of your fathers hath given you?

Ver. 3.  Slack.  These seven tribes had been accustomed to live in indolence, having their food provided for them in a miraculous manner.  They were perhaps afraid lest, if the army of Israel should be divided, the different tribes would be too weak to make head against the enemy.  C.

 

--- Josue had, however, made all things easy, and they might at their leisure conquer the few towns which yet remained in the hands of the Chanaanites, if they had not cherished this indolent disposition, which was so displeasing to God, and brought upon them so many evils.  H.


4 Choose of every tribe three men, that I may send them, and they may go and compass the land, and mark it out according to the number of each multitude: and bring back to me what they have marked out.

Ver. 4.  Tribe: it is not clear whether any but these seven were concerned.

 

--- Out.  Josephus says, that people well skilled in geometry accompanied them.  C.

 

--- They had to mark out seven portions of land, which might suffice for these remaining tribes, (H.) who would receive them by lot, to take away all cause of discontent.  They still received according to their numbers.  Num. xxvi. 54.  W.


5 Divide to yourselves the land into seven parts: let Juda be in his bounds on the south side, and the house of Joseph on the north.

Ver. 5.  North, with respect to Silo.  Juda had taken possession of his territory, as well as the tribes of Joseph.




6 The land in the midst between these mark ye out into seven parts; and you shall come hither to me, that I may cast lots for you before the Lord your God.

Ver. 6.  The land in the midst, between these mark ye out into seven parts: that is to say the rest of the land, which is not already assigned to Juda or Joseph.  Ch.

 

--- For we must not suppose that Joseph occupied the most northern parts of the country, so as, with Juda on the south, to enclose all the other tribes.  H.

 

--- Heb. "As for you, you shall describe the land into seven parts."  C.

 

--- Only the tribe of Benjamin was between these two tribes, (v. 11,) so that Serarius thinks that mediam had been substituted for aliam, "the other."  M.

 

--- Lots.  The deputies divided the country into seven portions, equal in goodness, though not in extent.  After the lots were drawn, some alterations might be made by common consent, and those tribes which were too much straitened for room, received what was requisite among those who had too large a territory.  Hence we find Joseph occupying the cities of Issachar, &c.  C. xvii. 10.  It was equally inconvenient to have too much or too little.


7 For the Levites have no part among you, but the priesthood of the Lord is their inheritance. And Gad and Ruben, and the half tribe of Manasses have already received their possessions beyond the Jordan eastward: which Moses the servant of the Lord gave them.

Ver. 7.  Priesthood, and the rights attached to it, tithes, &c.  C.

 

--- It was therefore necessary to make eight portions.  M.




8 And when the men were risen up, to go to mark out the land, Josue commanded them, saying: Go round the land and mark it out, and return to me: that I may cast lots for you before the Lord in Silo.


9 So they went: and surveying it divided it into seven parts, writing them down in a book. And they returned to Josue, to the camp in Silo.

Ver. 9.  Book.  Heb. "described it, according to the cities, into seven parts, in a volume," (H.) or table, resembling a map.  The ancients commonly wrote on boards covered with wax, and engraved on stone, lead, &c.




10 And he cast lots before the Lord in Silo, and divided the land to the children of Israel into seven parts.


11 And first came up the lot of the children of Benjamin by their families, to possess the land between the children of Juda, and the children of Joseph.

Ver. 11.  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.  C.




12 And their border northward was from the Jordan: going along by the side of Jericho on the north side, and thence going up westward to the mountains, and reaching to the wilderness of Bethaven,

Ver. 12.  Bethaven, or Bethel.  Josephus says, (Ant. v. 3,) that the territory of Benjamin extended as far as the Mediterranean: but it only went to Ataroth, v. 13.  M.



Bethaven

Bethaven (Gen 12:8): poss. Kh, Haiyân, also called El-Jîr, E. of Beitîn. — 1 Samuel 13:5, Bethoron should probably be read instead of Bethaven. --- Bethaven and Bethel are the same place; (S. Jerom. C.) though many distinguish them, with Cellarius. The former name means "the house of iniquity," because Jeroboam there set up a golden calf. Bethel was its former appellation, in consequence of the vision of Jacob. Gen. xxviii.

13 And passing along southward by Luza, the same is Bethel: and it goeth down into Ataroth-addar to the mountain, that is on the south of the nether Beth-horon.

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Beth-Horon

Bethoron. There were two cities of this name in the tribe of Ephraim, rebuilt by Sara. 1 Par. vii. 24. The lower was twelve miles from Jerusalem

Ataroth-addar

(Num 34:4; Josh 15:3), also Addar and Adder: S. limit of Juda, N.W. of Cades. There is in that region a Jebel Hadhîreh.

Bethel

Bethel, 1 see s.v. — 2 (Josh 12:16; Simeon) another name for Bethul. --- Bethel, as it was called in the days of Moses, being the ancient Luza. C. --- Bethel signifies the house of God, being honoured with two altars. H.

14 And it bendeth thence going round towards the sea, south of the mountain that looketh towards Beth-horon to the southwest: and the outgoings thereof are into Cariathbaal, which is called also Cariathiarim, a city of the children of Juda. This is their coast towards the sea, westward.

Beth-Horon

Bethoron. There were two cities of this name in the tribe of Ephraim, rebuilt by Sara. 1 Par. vii. 24. The lower was twelve miles from Jerusalem

15 But on the south side the border goeth out from part of Cariathiarim towards the sea, and cometh to the fountain of the waters of Nephtoa.

Ver. 15.  Sea, on the west.  H.

 

--- The northern limits of Juda form the southern ones of Benjamin, only here Josue proceeds in a contrary direction, from west to east.  M.  See C. xv. 5, 8.




16 And it goeth down to that part of the mountain that looketh on the valley of the children of Ennom: and is over against the north quarter in the furthermost part of the valley of Raphaim, and it goeth down into Geennom (that is the valley of Ennom) by the side of the Jebusite to the south: and cometh to the fountain of Rogel,

Ver. 16.  Part.  Heb. "end, or summit."  C.

 

--- That is, &c. and explication added by S. Jerom.  Some say this dreadful vale (H.) was on the south of Jerusalem.  Button.




17 Passing thence to the north, and going out to Ensemes, that is to say, the fountain of the sue: 18 And it passeth along to the hills that are over against the ascent of Adommim: and it goeth down to Abenboen, that is, the stone of Been the son of Ruben: and it passeth on the north side to the champaign countries; and goeth down into the plain,

Ver. 18.  Hills.  Heb. Geliloth, "the limits," (C.) or Galgal, on the road to Jerusalem from Jericho, and different from that where the Israelites encamped, C. xv. 7.

 

--- Adommim is a narrow pass in the vicinity, much infested with robbers.

 

--- Abenboen.  The explication is alone given.  C. xv. 6.

 

--- Plain.  Sept. "and it shall pass by Betharaba, on the south from the north, and it shall descend."  Grabe supplies "to Araba;" or the plain desert country.  H.

 

--- Betharaba is, in effect, mentioned as one of the cities of Benjamin, (v. 22,) as it had before been assigned to Juda, (C.) being inhabited by both tribes.  H.


19 And it passeth by Bethhagla northward: and the outgoings thereof are towards the north of the most salt sea at the south end of the Jordan:

Ver. 19.  Towards, (contra linguam) " the bay on the north," &c.  H.

 

--- There is another on the south.  C. xv. 2.




20 Which is the border of it on the east side. This is the possession of the children of Benjamin by their borders round about, and their families. 21 And their cities were, Jericho and Bethhagla and Vale-Casis,

Ver. 21.  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.  C.

 

--- Some of the cities of Benjamin have been here omitted, as two others are mentioned, C. xxi. 18.  M.




22 Betharaba and Samaraim and Bethel,

Bethel

Bethel, 1 see s.v. — 2 (Josh 12:16; Simeon) another name for Bethul. --- Bethel, as it was called in the days of Moses, being the ancient Luza. C. --- Bethel signifies the house of God, being honoured with two altars. H.

23 And Avim and Aphara and Ophera,

Avim

Avim (Josh 18:23, Benjamin). Some identify it with Hai.

Aphara

Aphara (Josh 18:23; Benjamin), commonly identified with Tell el-Fârah, S.E. of Beitîn.

24 The town Emona and Ophni and Gabee: twelve cities, and their villages.

Ver. 24.  Ophni, the Gophna so celebrated in latter times, fifteen miles from Gabaa.  S. Jerom attributes it to Ephraim, as perhaps it was chiefly inhabited by people of that tribe.

 

--- Gabee.  The wickedness of its citizens almost involved the whole tribe in destruction.  Judg. xix.  It was twenty mile north of Jerusalem.  Joseph. v. 2.




25 Gabam and Rama and Beroth,

Beroth

Beroth was one of the towns of the Gabaonites. It is not certain that the inhabitants retired, in consequence of the persecution of Saul; but they went to the territory of Geth, or to another town of Benjamin. 2 Esd. xi. 33. C.

26 And Mesphe, and Caphara, and Amosa,

Ver. 26.  Mesphe, where Samuel assembled the people, 1 K. vii. 5.  It was regarded as a place of devotion, while the temple was in the hands of the profane, 1 Mac. iii. 46.



Amosa

Amosa (Josh 18:26): either Qolonieh, or Beit-Mizzeh, N. of Qolonieh.

27 And Recem, Jarephel and Tharela,


28 And Sela, Eleph and Jebus, which is Jerusalem, Gabaath and Cariath: fourteen cities, and their villages. This is the possession of the children of Benjamin by their families.

Ver. 28.  Jebus.  The city was called Salem in the days of Abraham.  Gen. xiv. 18.  Ps. lxxv. 3.  S. Jerom supposes that Melchisedec resided near Scythopolis, at Salem.  Gen. xxxiii. 17. ep. ad Evag.  Usher thinks he lived at Salim.  Jo. iii. 23.

 

--- Gabaath.  There seems to have been two cities of this name; one famous for the tomb of Habacuc, (S. Jer.) and the other in the tribe of Ephraim.  C. xxiv. 33.  C.




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