JOSHUA CHAPTER 19.
The Territory of the Six Remaining Tribes.
the possession of simeon, zebulun, issachar, asher, naphtali, and dan. — V. 1. And the second lot came forth to Simeon, was drawn forth from the urn, 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. Since the territory assigned to the latter tribe was too large for them, Simeon was given certain cities within their boundaries, the curse of Jacob concerning the distribution of Simeon in Jacob, Gen. 49, 7, thus being fulfilled. The tribe of Simeon afterwards practically lost its identity, although the genealogical records were carefully preserved. V. 2. And they had in their inheritance Beersheba, a city known from the time of the patriarchs, in the center of the southern steppes, and Sheba, and Moladah, v. 3. and Hazar-shual, and Balah, and Azem, v. 4. and Eitolad, and Bethul, and Hormah, on the extreme southern boundary, v. 5. and Zik-lag, in the Philistine country, and Beth-marcaboth, and Hazar-susah, v. 6. and Beth-lebaoth, and Sharuhen: thirteen cities and their villages: v. 7. Ain, Remmon, and Ether, and Ashan: four cities and their villages; v. 8. and all the villages that were round about these cities to Baalath-beer, Ramath of the south. All these cities have already, chap. 15, 26-32. 42, been enumerated in the list of the cities of Judah, and are again listed 1 Chron. 4, 28-32. That the prophecy of the scattering was literally fulfilled appears even at this point, for the cities inhabited by Simeon were not even grouped according to any definite plan. This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Simeon according to their families. V. 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, literally, "in the midst of their inheritance," and not in a specially defined part of Canaan. V. 10. And the third lot came up for the children of Zebulun according to their families; and the border of their inheritance was unto Sarid, this city, from the whole description, being the center of the southern boundary; v. 11. and their border went up, from Sarid, toward the sea, westward toward the Mediterranean, and Mara-lah, and reached to, or struck, Dabbasheth, and reached to, or struck, the river that is before Jokneam, this watercourse very probably being the Kishon, which flows at the foot of the Carmel range; v. 12. and turned from Sarid, as the starting-point, eastward toward the sun-rising unto the border of Chisloth-tabor, on the slopes of Mount Tabor, and then goeth out to Daberath, also in the foothills of Tabor, a city of the Levites, and goeth up to Japhia, a little farther to the east, v. 13. and from thence passeth on along on the east, still toward the east, to Gittah-hepher, to Ittah-kazin, and goeth out to Bemmon [-methoar], which is drawn to Neah, thus extending to a place which was somewhat north of Nazareth; v. 14. and the border compasseth it, the territory of Zebulun, on the north side to Hannathon, this being the eastern boundary, going north; and the outgoings thereof are in the Valley of Jiphthahel, a wide valley extending down toward the Kishon; v. 15. and Kattath, and Nahallal, and Shimron, and Idalah, and Bethlehem, these cities indicating the western or northwestern boundary of Zebulun: twelve cities with their villages. V. 16. This is the inheritance of the children of Zebulun according to their families, these cities with their villages. It was a fertile country with an outlet to the sea, which assured the inhabitants a participation in its blessings also, as Jacob had foretold. V. 17. And the fourth lot came out to Issachar, for the children of Issachar according to their families. V. 18. And their border was toward Jezreel, their territory included the fertile and beautiful Plain of Jezreel, or Esdraelon, and Chesulloth, and Shunem, on the western slopes of the Little Hermon, appearing several times in later history, v. 19. and Haphraim, or Chepharaim, and Shihon, and Anaharath, v. 20. and Babbith, and Kishion, or Kedesh, a city of the Levites, and Abez, v. 21. and Bemeth, and En-gan-nim, another Levitical city, with a rich supply of fine water from large springs above the town, and En-haddah, and Beth-pazzez; v. 22. and the coast reacheth to Tabor, a city on the boundary of Zebulun, and Sha-hazimah, and Beth-shemesh, in the Jordan Valley, near Mount Tabor; and the outgoings of their border were at Jordan: sixteen cities with their villages. V. 23. This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Issachar according to their families, the cities and their villages. So Issachar was richly blessed with material prosperity and gave himself up to the enjoyment of the pleasures of life. V. 24. And the fifth lot came out for the tribe of the children of Asher according to their families. V. 25. And their border was Helkath, a Levitical city northeast of Acco, and Hali, and Beten, and Achshaph, v. 26. and Alammelech, not far from the Kishon, and Amad, on or near the site of the modern Haifa, and Misheal, a Levitical city on the sea, near Mount Carmel; and reacheth to Carmel westward, and to Shihor-libnath, a small stream on the southern slopes of Carmel; v. 27. and turneth toward the sunrising to Beth-dagon, and reacheth to Zebulun, and to the valley of Jiphthahel toward the north side of Beth-emek and Neiel, places on the boundary of Zebulun, and goeth out to Cabul on the left hand, on the north side of it, four hours southeast of Acco, v. 28. and Hebron, or Abdon, and Rehob, and Hammon, and Kanah, even unto great Zidon, the ancient capital of Phenicia. V. 29. And then the coast turneth to Ramah, and to the strong city Tyre, fortified strongly even at that time, and later the rich and proud capital of Phenicia; and the coast turneth to Hosah; and the outgoings thereof are at the sea from the coast to Achzib, three hours north of Acco; v.30. Umnah also, and Aphek, and Rehob, in the foothills of the Lebanon range: twenty and two cities with their villages. Thus the territory of Asher extended from the southern slopes of Mount Carmel to Acco along the Mediterranean Sea, and from there to the northern boundary of Canaan, just skirting the narrow coast country of the Pheriicians, with the cities Tyre and Sidon. V. 31. This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Asher according to their families, these cities with their villages. Asher was also richly blessed, both the agricultural and the commercial possibilities of the country being exceptionally good. V. 32. The sixth lot came out to the children of Naphtali, even for the children of Naphtali according to their families. V. 33. And their coast was from Heleph, from Allon to Zaanannim, northwest of the Sea of Merom, and Adami, on the road that leads through the pass toward Baalbek, Nekeb, and Jabneel, unto Lakum; and the outgoings thereof were at Jordan, the upper Jordan, also above the Waters of Merom; v. 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, here apparently a city on the boundary of Asher; upon Jordan toward the sun-rising, for the upper Jordan was Naphtali's eastern boundary. V. 35. And the fenced cities, the fortified towns, are Ziddim, Zer, and Ham-math, Rakkath, and Chinnereth, v. 36. and Adamah, and Ramah, and Hazor, v. 37. and Kedesh, and Edrei, not that in Bashan, and En-hazor, v. 38. and Iron, and Mig-dal-el, Horem, and Beth-anath, and Beth-shemesh, not to be confounded with the cities of the same name in Judah and Issachar: nineteen cities with their villages. So Naphtali's territory was largely in the forested foothills of the Lebanon and Anti-Lebanon ranges. The tribe was a liberty-loving mountain people, for which reason they had been compared by Jacob with a hind let loose. V. 39. This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Naphtali according to their families, the cities and their villages. V. 40. And the seventh lot came out for the tribe of the children of Dan according to their families. V. 41. And the coast of their inheritance, west. of Benjamin, north of Judah, south of Ephraim, was Zorah, and Eshtaol, and Irshemesh, three cities of Judah which were yielded to the Danites, the last named being assigned to the Levites, v. 42. and Shaalabbin, and. Ajalon, and Jethlah, v. 43. and Elon, Thimnathah, and Ekron, chap. 15, 10. 11, v. 44. and Elte-keh, and Gibbethon, and Baalath, v. 45. and Jehud, and Beneberak, and Gath-rimmon, v. 4G. and Me-jarkon, and Bak-kon, with the border before Japho, over against Joppa, or Jaffa, that is, extending to the gardens or suburbs of this nourishing seaport. V. 47. And the coast of the children of Dan went out too little for them, there was hardly room enough for their rapidly growing tribe; therefore the children of Dan went up to fight against Leshem, or Laish, in the extreme northern part of Canaan, north of the territory of Naphtali, 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 story of this campaign is related in detail Judg. 18. V. 48. This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Dan according to their families, these cities with their villages. The Danites did not occupy the territory allotted to them altogether, being hindered in their attempts by the heathen inhabitants of the plains, Judg. 1, 34, and apparently unable to muster men and courage for a successful venture.
the inheritance of joshua. — V. 49. When they had made an end of dividing the land for inheritance by their coasts, according to the allotment of the various parts of the Promised Land, the children of Israel gave an inheritance to Joshua, the son of Nun, among them, a special tract of land belonging to him exclusively; v. 50. according to the word of the Lord, probably a divine promise which was given to Joshua at the same time when Caleb was assured a distinct inheritance in Canaan, they gave him the city which he asked, even Timnath-serah in Mount Ephraim, now the ruins of Tibneh, seven hours north of Jerusalem; and he built the city and dwelt therein. V. 51. These 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, as the representatives of the people, divided for an inheritance by lot in Shiloh before the Lord, chap. 18, 1. 10, at the door of the Tabernacle of the Congregation, before the face, in the presence, of the Lord. So they made an end of dividing the country. It was the Lord Himself who decided the division of the country, and in such a manner as to fulfill the prophecies of Jacob and Moses. It is God who distributes to all His children what they need in this life, but the most blessed portion is reserved for them in heaven.