JOSHUA CHAPTER 15.
Territory of the Tribe of Judah.
the boundaries of judah. — V. 1. This, then, was the lot of the tribe of the children of Judah by their families, as it was drawn from the urn or as it fell upon casting; even to the border of Edom, the land be longing to the Edomites, south of the Dead Sea, the Wilderness of Zin southward was the uttermost part of the south coast. The territory of Judah thus extended to the very edge of the great desert in which the people had spent so many weary years. V. 2. And their south border was from the shore of the Salt Sea, the Dead Sea, from the bay that looketh southward, the swampy tongue or branch of the Dead Sea toward the southwest; v. 3. and it went out to the south side to Maaleh-acrabbim, where the country rises to the foothills of the mountains which form the boundary of the wilderness, and passed along to Zin, either a city or a mountain in the Wilderness of Zin, and ascended up on the south side unto Kadesh-barnea, Num. 34, 3, and passed along to Hezron, turning to the west after passing Kadesh, and went up to Adar, and fetched a compass to Karkaa; v. 4. from thence it passed toward Azmon, and went out unto the river of Egypt, Num. 34, 4. 5; and the goings out of that coast were at the sea, the boundary followed this brook or river to the Mediterranean Sea; this shall be your south coast. V. 5. And the east border was the Salt Sea, even unto the end, the mouth, of Jordan. And their border in the north quarter, on the north side, was from the bay of the sea at the uttermost part of Jordan, just where it entered the Dead Sea; v. 6. and the border went up to Bethhogia, between Jericho and the Jordan, and passed along by the north, that is, northwardly, of Betharabah, not far from the northwest end of the Dead Sea; and the border went up to the stone of Bohan, the son of Reuben, toward the west or southwest; v. 7. and the border went up toward Debir, in the neighborhood of Gilgal, from the Valley of Achor, where Achan was executed, chap. 7, 26, and so northward, looking toward Gilgal, that is before the going up to Adummim, which is on the south side of the river, of a small watercourse coming down from the neighborhood of Jerusalem; and the border passed toward the waters of Enshemesh, the sun-spring, some two or three miles northeast of Jerusalem, and the goings out thereof were at Enrogel, the fullers' spring on the south side of Jerusalem, at the junction of the Kidron and the Hinnom valleys; v. 8. and the border went up, almost due west, by the valley of the son of Hinnom unto the south side of the Jebusite, just below the city of Jerusalem; the same is Jerusalem; and the border went up to the top of the mountain that lieth before the Valley of Hinnom westward, which is at the tend of the Valley of the Giants northward, a rocky ridge overlooking the fertile valleys; v. 9. and the border was drawn, brought around, bent, from the top of the hill unto the fountain of the water of Nephtoah, one hour northwest of Jerusalem, and went out to the cities of Mount Ephron, a prominent ridge, and the border was drawn to Baalah, which is Kirjath-jearim, three hours northwest of Jerusalem; v. 10. and the border compassed from Baalah westward unto Mount Seir, a small range of hills, and passed along unto the side of Mount Jearim, which is Chesalon, on the north side, toward the north, a wooded hill, now called Kesia, and went down, on the other side of the mountain, to Bethshemesh, and passed on to Timnah, later the home of Samson, Judg. 14, 1-4; v. 11. and the border went out unto the side of Ekron, the Philistine city, a small line of hills running parallel with the coast, and went out unto Jabneel, the small Philistine town of Jabneh; and the goings out of the border were at the sea. V. 12. And the west border was to the Great Sea, the Mediterranean Sea, and the coast thereof, from Jabneh to the river of Egypt. This is the coast of the children of Judah round about according to their families. It was a large and rich territory, well suited for the governing tribe in Israel.
caleb's possession. — V. 13. And unto Caleb, the son of Jehunneh, he, Joshua, gave a part among the children of Judah, according to the commandment of the Lord to Joshua, even the city of Arba, the father of Anak, the ancestor of the Anakim, which city is Hebron. V. 14. And Caleb drove thence, as he had promised, chap. 14, 12, the three sons of Anak, Sheshai, and Ahiman, and Talmai, the children of Anak. V. 15. And he went up thence to the inhabitants of Debir; and the name of Debir before was Kirjathsepher, which, meanwhile, seems to have been fortified very strongly. V. 16. And Caleb said, He that smiteth Kirjathsepher and taketh it, to him will I give Achsah, my daughter, to wife, this being the reward or prize held out before the young men to spur them on to their best efforts. V. 17. And Othniel, the son of Kenaz, the brother of Caleb, took it; and he, Caleb, gave him Achsah, his daughter, to wife. V. 18. And it came to pass, as she came unto him, on her way over from Hebron in the company of her father, to celebrate the nuptials, that she moved him, her husband-to-be, to ask of her father a field, a piece of land fit for cultivation as her dowry; and she lighted, quickly sprang down, off her ass, thus humbling herself before her father; and Caleb said unto her, What wouldest thou? V. 19. Who answered, Give me a blessing; for thou hast given me a south land, by marrying her to Othniel, he had caused her to inhabit a dry land, at and near Debir; give me also springs of water, a piece of land containing springs. And he gave her the upper springs and the nether springs, a strip of land well watered in every respect. V. 20. This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Judah according to their families. This is the subscription or conclusion of the first division of this chapter, with which the description of the bounds of the inheritance of Judah closes.
catalog of the cities of judah. — V. 21. And the uttermost of the tribe of the children of Judah toward the coast of Edom southward were Kabzeel, and Eder, and Jagur, v. 22. and Kinah, and Dimonah, and Adadah, v. 23. and Kedesh, and Hazor, and Ithnan, v. 24. Ziph, and Telem, and Bealoth, v. 25. and Hazor, Hadattah, and Kerioth, and Hezron, or Kerioth-hezron, which is Hazor, v. 26. Amam, and Shema, and Moladah, v. 27. and Hazargaddah, and Hesh-mon, and Beth-palet, v. 28. and Hazar-shual, and Beer-sheba, and Bizjothjah, v. 29. Baalah, and lina, and Azem, v. 30. and Eitolad, and Chesil, and Hormah, v. 31. and Ziklag, and Madmannah, and Sansannah, v. 32. and Lebaoth, and Shilhim, and Ain, and Bimmon. All the cities are twenty and nine, with their villages, in addition to which seven cities are named which were afterwards occupied by the tribe of Simeon, chap. 19, 1. These were cities of the south country, in the extreme southern part. V. 33. And in the valley, in the lowland and foothills, Eshtaol, and Zoreah, and Ashnah, v. 34. and Zanoah, and En-gannim, Tappuah, and Enam, v. 35. Jarmuth, and Adullam, Socoh, and Azekah, v. 36. and Sharaim, and Adithaim, and Gederah, and Gederothaim: fourteen cities with their villages, for the last two are probably the same city, and the names should be connected with "or." V. 37. Zenan, and Hadashah, and Migdalgad, v. 38. and Dilean, and Mizpeh, and Joktheel, v. 39. Lachish, and Bozkath, and Eglon, v. 40. and Cabbon, and Lahmam, and Kithlish, v. 41. and Gederoth, Bethdagon, and Waamah, and Makkedah: sixteen cities with their villages. V. 42. Libnah, and Ether, and Ashan, v. 43. and Jiphtah, and Ashnah, and Nezib, v. 44. and Keilah, and Achzib, and Mareshah: nine cities with their villages; v. 45. Ekron, with her towns and her villages; v. 46. from Ekron even unto the sea, all that lay near Ashdod, with their villages: v. 47. Ashdod, with her towns and her villages, Gaza, with her towns and her villages, unto the river of Egypt and the Great Sea and the border thereof. V. 48. And in the mountains, Shamir, and Jattir, and Socoh, v. 49. and Dannah, and Kirjath-sannah, which is Debir, v. 50. and Anab, and Eshtemoh, and Anim, v. 51. and Goshen, and Holon, and Giloh: eleven cities with their villages; v. 52. Arab, and Dumah, and Eshean, v. 53. and Janum, and Beth-tappuah, and Aphekah, v. 54. and Humtah, and Kirjatharba, which is Hebron, and Zior: nine cities with their villages; v. 55. Maon, Carmel, and Ziph, and Juttah, v. 56. and Jezreel, and Jokdeam, and Zanoah, v. 57. Cain, Gibeah, and Timnah: ten cities with their villages; v. 58. Halhul, Bethzur, and Gedor, v. 59. and Maarath, and Bethanoth, and Eitekon; six cities with their villages; v. 60. Kirjathbaal, which is Kirjathjearim, and Babbah: two cities with their villages. V. 61. In the wilderness, near the Dead Sea, Betharabah, Middin, and Secacah, v. 62. and Nibshan, and the City of Salt, and Engedi: six cities with their villages. Some of these cities, as those in the Philistine country, were not occupied by the tribe of Judah, and others were in the hands of the children of Israel for only a short time. The site of a large number of these cities has been fixed with a fair degree of certainty, while others are mentioned in the various narratives and will be located as the history calls for a more exact geographical description. V. 63. As for the Jebusites, the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the children of Judah could not drive them out; but the Jebusites dwell with the children of Judah at Jerusalem unto this day. It was not till the time of David that this city was finally taken by the army of the Lord's people, 2 Sam. 5, 5-9. It is a dangerous thing for the soldiers of the Lord to grow weary in battle, for then their enemies are likely to gain strength beyond their ability to overcome them.