Page images
PDF
EPUB

giants, if mount Ephraim be too narrow for thee.

16 And the children of Joseph said, The hill is not enough for us: and all the Canaanites that dwell in the land of the valley have chariots of iron, both they who are of Beth-shean and her towns, and they who are of the valley of Jezreel.

17 And Joshua spake unto the house of

| Joseph, even to Ephraim and to Manasseh, saying, Thou art a great people, and hast great power: thou shalt not have one lot only:

• Or, Rephaim.

18 But the mountain shall be thine; for it is a wood, and thou shalt cut it down: and the outgoings of it shall be thine: for thou shalt drive out the Canaanites, though they have iron chariots, and though they be strong.

Verse 1. "Machir the firstborn of Manasseh, the father of Gilead...had Gilead and Bashun.”—This must doubtless be understood of the descendants of Machir, not of himself personally; for he was old enough to have a son before the death of his grandfather Joseph (Gen. 1. 23), which took place 190 years before the first division of the lands in Canaan. For the same reason, it is not likely that even Gilead was alive at this time, he being born at least 190 years before the present date.

11

- he was a man of war."-Expositors differ whether to understand this of Machir himself, or as describing the warlike character of his descendants. If it applies to Machir, it would seem that he must have acquired this distinction in Egypt: perhaps in the Egyptian army, before that other king arose "that knew not Joseph;" or else, in the sanguinary conflicts in which the Israelites were sometimes engaged, on their own account, during their sojourn in Goshen. See 1 Chron. vii. 21, and the note there.

4. "He gave them an inheritance among the brethren of their father."-See Num. xxvii. 7. This has been variously understood. The Talmud says that the daughters of Zelophehad had four out of ten shares-in the right of their grandfather Hepher, their father Zelophehad, and their father's brother, who is alleged to have died in the wilderness without children. The truth rather seems to be, that there was a portion for each of the six leading families; but Zelophehad having no sons, his portion was divided among his five daughters.

11. "Beth-shean."-See 1 Sam. xxxi. 10.

"En-dor."-Famous for the visit which Saul, when encamped in the neighbourhood, paid to the place, in order to consult the woman that had a familiar spirit. See the note on 1 Sam. xxviii. 7.

"Dor...Taanach...Megiddo.”—See chap. xii. Tirzah, also mentioned in that chapter, was in this tribe.

12. "The children of Manasseh could not drive out the inhabitants of those cities."-We suppose this means that they felt that they could not do so on their own resources, and they allowed this consciousness to discourage them from making the attempt; forgetful that God had promised to exert his omnipotence, to put them in possession of the land he had promised to their fathers. If they could not drive out the inhabitants, it must be because God did not assist them; and if he did not assist them, it was because they tacitly declined his assistance. The great "captain of the Lord's host" was not bound to lead and fight for those who did not seek his counsel, and who chose to act independently of his supreme authority and direction. The fact seems to be, that except when Joshua, who knew his duty, led them in person, they did not seek the Divine aid, and were therefore left to their own resources, unless when extraordinary occasions led them to implore that help which they habitually neglected. This accounts for the fact, that many of the tribes left so much territory unconquered. See further on Judges ii. 21.

CHAPTER XVIII.

The tabernacle is set up at Shiloh. 2 The remainder of the land is described, and divided into seven parts. 10 Joshua divideth it by bot. 11 The lot and border of Benjamin. 21 Their cities. AND the whole congregation of the children of Israel assembled together at Shiloh, and set up the tabernacle of the congregation there. And the land was subdued before them.

14. "Why hast thou given me but one lot and one portion to inherit ?"-The conduct of Joshua in the ensuing transaction will be the better understood, when it is recollected that he was himself an Ephraimite; and that, therefore, the tribes of Joseph seem to have flattered themselves that, in virtue of their relationship, they might hope for some special mark of his favour. They were much mistaken in his character: and got nothing from him but good advice. It seems that, being a great people, they found that the hills in their lot were insufficient. The plain they could not possess on account of the iron chariots of the enemy; and the hills to which they were confined were much occupied with woods, which seem to have afforded retreats to the old inhabitants. Joshua's answer is plain and forcible. He retorts their argument. He had no wish that they should be confined within their present limits. But if they were so great a people as they said, what hindered them, relying upon the Lord's assistance, from clearing the wood country, and from expelling the Canaanites from the plains, even though they had iron chariots and though they were strong?

2 And there remained among the children of Israel seven tribes, which had not yet received their inheritance.

3 And Joshua said unto the children of Israel, How long are ye slack to go to possess the land, which the LORD God of your fathers hath given you?

4 Give out from among you three men for each tribe: and I will send them, and they shall rise, and go through the land, and describe it according to the inheritance of them; and they shall come again to me.

5 And they shall divide it into seven parts: Judah shall abide in their coast on the south, and the house of Joseph shall abide in their coasts on the north.

[graphic][merged small]

7 But the Levites have no part among you; for the priesthood of the LORD is their inheritance: and Gad, and Reuben, and half the tribe of Manasseh, have received their inheritance beyond Jordan on the east, which Moses the servant of the LORD gave them.

[ocr errors]

|

6 Ye shall therefore describe the land into seven parts, and bring the description hither to me, that I may cast lots for you here before the LORD our God.

land, and describe it, and come again to me, that I may here cast lots for you before the LORD in Shiloh.

9 And the men went and passed through the land, and described it by cities into seven parts in a book, and came again to Joshua to the host at Shiloh.

8¶ And the men arose and went away: and Joshua charged them that went to describe the land, saying, Go and walk through the

10 And Joshua cast lots for them in Shiloh before the LORD and there Joshua divided the land unto the children of Israel according to their divisions.

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 toward Geliloth, which is over against the children of Joseph.

going up of Adummim, and descended to the stone of Bohan the son of Reuben,

12 And their border on the north side was from Jordan; and the border went up to the side of Jericho on the north side, and went up through the mountains westward; and the goings out thereof were at the wilderness of Beth-aven.

13 And the border went over from thence toward Luz, to the side of Luz, which is Beth-el, southward; and the border descended to Ataroth-adar, near the hill that lieth on the south side of the nether Bethhoron.

14 And the border was drawn thence, and compassed the corner of the sea southward, from the hill that lieth before Beth-horon southward; and the goings out thereof were at Kirjath-baal, which is Kirjath-jearim, a city of the children of Judah: this was the west quarter.

15 And the south quarter was from the end of Kirjath-jearim, and the border went out on the west, and went out to the well of waters of Nephtoah:

16 And the border came down to the end of the mountain that lieth before the valley of the son of Hinnom, and which is in the valley of the giants on the north, and descended to the valley of Hinnom, to the side of Jebusi on the south, and descended to En-rogel.

17 And was drawn from the north, and went forth to En-shemesh, and went forth

1 Chap. 15. 6.

18 And passed along toward the side over against Arabah northward, and went down unto Arabah:

19 And the border passed along to the side of Beth-hoglah northward: and the outgoings of the border were at the north bay of the salt sea at the south end of Jordan: this was the south coast.

20 And Jordan was the border of it on the east side. This was the inheritance of the children of Benjamin, by the coasts thereof round about, according to their families.

21 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,

22 And Beth-arabah, and Zemaraim, and Beth-el,

23 And Avim, and Parah, and Ophrah, 24 And Chephar-haammonai, and Ophni, and Gaba; twelve cities with their villages: 25 Gibeon, and Ramah, and Beeroth, 26 And Mizpeh, and Chephirah, and Mozah,

27 And Rekem, and Irpeel, and Taralah, 28 And Zelah, Eleph, and Jebusi, which is Jerusalem, Gibeath, and Kirjath; fourteen cities with their villages. This is the inheritance of the children of Benjamin according to their families.

8 Heb. tongue.

Or, the plain.

Verse 1. "Shiloh."-The camp, with the tabernacle, had remained a long time at Gilgal; and now Joshua, doubtless according to the Divine intimation, determines to remove both to a more central situation at Shiloh. This place was in the tribe of Ephraim, about twenty-five miles north of Jerusalem. The ark remained here about 300 years, that is, till it was taken by the Philistines (1 Sam. iv. 3). From some expressions in Jeremiah (vii. 14, and xxvi. 6, 9), it would appear that the town had at some period been desolated, as a punishment for its iniquity and disobedience. Jerome says that in his time there were scarcely any ruins of Shiloh to be seen: a demolished altar only continued to be

shown

3. "How long are ye slack to go to possess the land?"-From this reproof of the dilatoriness of the seven tribes, compared with the duration assigned to "a long time," in xi. 18, Dr. Hales thinks we are to date this second division six years after that to which the preceding chapters refer. This agrees with the Jewish accounts, which usually assign six or seven years for the conquest of the land, and an equal period till it was finally divided, making twelve or fourteen years altogether.

9. "Described it by cities into seven parts in a book."—The attentive reader of the previous portion of Scripture will feel no surprize to meet thus early with a regular survey of the land, the particulars being written down, and probably described in maps, and the whole territory being fairly divided into seven provinces. An undertaking of so much difficulty and importance, and of a character so perfectly scientific, affords an interesting point of attention. It renders it certain that there existed, even at this time, some degree of mathematical science. This may have been acquired in Egypt; the people of which country prided themselves upon being the authors of geometrical science, which, they say, originated in the peculiar circumstances of their territory. (See the note on Num. xix. 14.) Beside the frequent remeasurement of private boundaries, which the annual inundations of the Nile rendered necessary, the country at large was divided into nomes or provinces, and these into lesser districts. Even the book of Genesis bears witness to this division of Egypt into provinces. When Joseph became Pharaoh's prime-minister, he is represented as visiting the diffe provinces of the empire in order to acquaint himself with their condition, and to take the measures necessary against the seven years of threatened famine. The Hebrews had therefore only to apply to their new country the rules of surveying and principles of division, with which they had become acquainted in Egypt. No doubt the surveyors made maps of the described country. The idea of a map is exceedingly simple. Maps were in use among not only the Mexicans, but the North American Indians: and in his late expedition, Captain Ross found that the Esquimaux readily seized

ent

the idea of the object and uses of mapped plans, and themselves, for his information, traced on paper rude maps, exhibiting the outlines of the coasts with which they were acquainted. We have said that the reader ought to be quite prepared for that knowledge of the processes of geographical description, which this chapter exhibits. At the very beginning of the Bible (Gen. ii.) we have a most complete and excellent example of geographical description, in the account which is given of the terrestrial paradise. Goguet thus refers to it: "When we examine with attention the manner in which Moses speaks of the abode of the first man, we cannot fail to recognise all the traits which characterise an exact geographical description. He says that the garden was situated in the land of Eden, towards the east; that out of Eden there went forth a river which divided itself into four branches. He describes the course of each of these streams, and names the countries which they watered: and not only this, but he enumerates the more conspicuous and characterizing productions which each of these countries offered to notice. He even specifies them in a particular manner: he not only tells us that the land of Havilah produces gold, but adds that the gold of that land is good: 'there also,' continues he, are found the bdellium and the onyx-stone.' Such details render it sufficiently evident that long before the time of Moses, the science of geography must have made some considerable progress." Origine des Lois,' tome i. p. 292. This writer derives the same conclusion from the geographical notices which are found in the accounts given by Moses of the journeys of the patriarchs. He observes, that the details concerning the names and situations of the towns to which the patriarchs came, and the countries which they traversed, are given with much precision; and that such exactness in the topography of so many different countries, necessarily intimates that care had been taken in the most early times to make observations upon distances, bearings, and the situation and character of the different countries which were then known. (See also Jahn's Archæologia Biblica,' sect. 104.)

21. "The cities of the tribe of.... Benjamin."-The principal towns in the following list are Jerusalem (see 2 Sam. v. 6), and Jericho (see 1 Kings xvi. 34)-already referred to future texts; Ai, Beeroth, Bethel, Gibeon, and Gilgal— already noticed; Ramah (see 1 Kings xv. 17), Mizpeh: there were several places of this name in Palestine. This is one of the four principal; and another has been already noticed under Gen. xxxi. 49. The present Mizpeh seems to have been about fifteen miles west of Jerusalem. It appears to have been much used as a place where the public assemblies were held till the time of the kings (Judg. xxi. 1; 1 Sam. vii.); in allusion to which the book of Maccabees (1 Macc. iii. 46), which calls it Maspha, describes it as "the place where they prayed aforetime in Israel." It is one of the three places (all in Benjamin) to which Samuel was accustomed, as judge in Israel, to visit every year (1 Sam. vii. 16), and where he convened the tribes to draw lots for the kingly dignity, which devolved on Saul (1 Sam. x. 1). After the separation into two kingdoms, Mizpeh, becoming a frontier town, was strengthened and fortified, if not rebuilt, by king Asa, as a defence against the northern kingdom (1 Kings xv. 22; 2 Chron. xvi. 6). It seems, in aftertimes, to have become the seat of the governor whom the king of Babylon appointed to rule the remnant left in the land he had desolated (2 Kings xxv. 23, 25; Jer. xl. 6; Nehem. iii. 7). Zelah (v. 28): the bones of Saul and Jonathan were buried here in the family sepulchre (2 Sam. xxi. 14). Gibeath, or Gibeah, is frequently called Gibeath of Saul, because that monarch was born there, and made it the seat of his government. Josephus says that it was between twenty and thirty furlongs north of Jerusalem, and seated upon a hill, as its name imports. Its proximity to Jerusalem is indicated in the story of the Levite (Judg. xix.), whose infamous treatment by the people of this town resulted in the all but total extermination of the tribe of Benjamin.

CHAPTER XIX

1 The lot of Simeon, 10 of Zebulun, 17 of Issachar, 24 of Asher, 32 of Naphtali, 40 of Dan. 46 The children of Israel give an inheritance to Joshua.

AND 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.

5 And Ziklag, and Beth-marcaboth, and Hazar-susah,

10 And the third lot came up for the children of Zebulun according to their faBeer-milies: and the border of their inheritance was unto Sarid:

2 And they had in their inheritance sheba, Sheba, and Moladah,

3 And Hazar-shual, and Balah, and Azem,

11 And their border went up toward the sea, and Maralah, and reached to Dabba4 And Eltolad, and Bethul, and Hor- sheth, and reached to the river that is before mah,

6 And Beth-lebaoth, and Sharuhen; thirteen cities and their villages:

tribe of the children of Simeon according to their families.

7 Ain, Remmon, and Ether, and Ashan; four cities and their villages:

8 And all the villages that were round about these cities to Baalathbeer, Ramath of the south. This is the inheritance of the

9 Out 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.

Jokneam;

12 And turned from Sarid eastward toward the sunrising unto the border of Chisloth-tabor, and then goeth out to Daberath, and goeth up to Japhia,

13 And from thence passeth on along on the east to Gittah-hepher, to Ittah-kazin, and goeth out to Remmon-'methoar to Neah;

14 And the border compasseth it on the

1 Or, which is drawn,

CHAP. XIX.]

north side to Hannathon: and the outgoings | thereof are in the valley of Jiphthah-el:

15 And Kattath, and Nahallal, and Shimron, and Idalah, and Beth-lehem: twelve cities with their villages.

16 This is the inheritance of the children of Zebulun according to their families, these cities with their villages.

17 And the fourth lot came out to Issachar, for the children of Issachar according to their families.

18 And their border was toward Jezreel, reth, and Chesulloth, and Shunem,

19 And Haphraim, and Shihon, and Anaharath,

20 And Rabbith, and Kishion, and Abez, 21 And Remeth, and En-gannim, and En-haddah, and Beth-pazzez;

22 And the coast reacheth to Tabor, and Shahazimah, and Beth-shemesh; and the outgoings of their border were at Jordan: sixteen cities with their villages.

23 This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Issachar according to their families, the cities and their villages.

24 And the fifth lot came out for the tribe of the children of Asher according to their families.

25 And their border was Helkath, and Hali, and Beten, and Achshaph,

26 And Alammelech, and Amad, and Misheal; and reacheth to Carmel westward, | and to Shihor-libnath;

27 And turneth toward the sunrising to Beth-dagon, and reacheth to Zebulun, and to the valley of Jiphthah-el toward the north side of Beth-emek, and Neiel, and goeth out to Cabul on the left hand,

28 And Hebron, and Rehob, and Hammon, and Kanah, even unto great Zidon;

29 And 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:

30 Ummah also, and Aphek, and Rehob: twenty and two cities with their villages.

from Allon to Zaanannim, and Adami, Ne keb, and Jabneel, unto Lakum; and the outgoings thereof were at Jordan:

34 And then the coast turneth westward to Aznoth-tabor, 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.

31 This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Asher according to their families, these cities with their villages.

32 The sixth lot came out to the children of Naphtali, even for the children of Naphtali according to their families.

33 And their coast was from Heleph,

35 And the fenced cities are Ziddim, Zer, and Hammath, Rakkath, and Chinne

36 And Adamah, and Ramah, and Hazor, 37 And Kedesh, and Edrei, and Enhazor,

38 And Iron, and Migdal-el, Horem, and Beth-anath, and Beth-shemesh; nineteen cities with their villages.

39 This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Naphtali according to their families, the cities and their villages.

40 ¶ And the seventh lot came out for the tribe of the children of Dan according to their families.

41 And the coast of their inheritance was Zorah, and Eshtaol, and Ir-shemesh,

42 And Shaalabbin, and Ajalon, and Jethlah.

43 And Elon, and Thimnathah, and Ekron,

44 And Eltekeh, and Gibbethon, and Baalath,

45 And Jehud, and Bene-berak, and Gath-rimmon,

46 And Me-jarkon, and Rakkon, with the border before Japho.

47 And 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.

48 This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Dan according to their families, these cities with their villages.

49 When 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:

50 According to the word of the LORD they gave him the city which he asked, even "Timnath-serah in mount Ephraim: and he built the city, and dwelt therein.

2 Heb. Tzor. Or, over against. 4 Or, Joppa, Acts 9, 36. 5 Judges 18. 29. 6 Chap. 24. 30.

« PreviousContinue »