Joshua 12:9-24: Kings Conquered by Joshua, Part 3

[1451 BC] Verse 9:[1] (Josh. 6:2) The king of Jericho, one; (Josh. 8:29) the king of Ai, which is beside Beth-el, one…

[Jericho] Concerning these cities either mention has been made above, or they shall be found below (Bonfrerius).

[Ai, which is on the side of Beth-el] He shows it in this way because there was another Ai of the Ammonites, Jeremiah 49:3 (Masius).

Which is beside Beth-el: this is added to distinguish it from Ai of the Ammonites, of which Jeremiah 49:3.


Verse 10:[2] (Josh. 10:23) The king of Jerusalem, one; the king of Hebron, one…


Verse 11:[3] The king of Jarmuth, one; the king of Lachish, one…


Verse 12:[4] The king of Eglon, one; (Josh. 10:33) the king of Gezer, one…


Verse 13:[5] (Josh. 10:38) The king of Debir, one; the king of Geder, one…


Verse 14:[6] The king of Hormah, one; the king of Arad, one…


Verse 15:[7] (Josh. 10:29) The king of Libnah, one; the king of Adullam, one…


Verse 16:[8] (Josh. 10:28) The king of Makkedah, one; (Josh. 8:17; Judg. 1:22) the king of Beth-el, one…


Verse 17:[9] The king of Tappuah, one; (1 Kings 4:10) the king of Hepher, one…


Verse 18:[10] The king of Aphek, one; the king of Lasharon (or, Sharon, Is. 33:9[11]), one…

[The king of Sharon (thus Tigurinus); the King of the Sharonim, see 1 Chronicles 27:29 (Junius), מֶ֥לֶךְ לַשָּׁר֖וֹן] The Vulgate determined the ל/l to be a sign of the genitive. The name of the place is indeed Sharon (Masius). Indeed, Sharon is twofold, one on this side of Jordan (Jerome in Bonfrerius); and the other across Jordan, 1 Chronicles 5:16. But nowhere else is mention made of Lasharon (Bonfrerius). Nevertheless, others translate it Lasharon (thus Jonathan, Arabic, Munsters, Pagnine, Masius, Drusius). It is the same as Ἀσσαρὼν/ Assaron in the Acts of the Apostles, near Lydda[12] (Masius).


Verse 19:[13] The king of Madon, one; (Josh. 11:10) the king of Hazor, one…


[1450 BC] Verse 20:[14] The king of (Josh. 11:1; 19:15) Shimron-meron, one; the king of Achshaph, one…


Verse 21:[15] The king of Taanach, one; the king of Megiddo, one…


Verse 22:[16] (Josh. 19:37) The king of Kedesh, one; the king of Jokneam of Carmel, one…

[The King of Jokneam of Carmel, מֶֽלֶךְ־יָקְנֳעָ֥ם לַכַּרְמֶ֖ל] The King of Jokneam[17] (of Jokneam[18] [Junius and Tremellius]) of Carmel[19] (Pagnine), that is, which was near Carmel (Vatablus), of Carmel[20] (Munster, Tigurinus, English), and of Carmel (Syriac), with Carmel (Junius), near Carmel (Jonathan, Dutch).


Verse 23:[21] The king of Dor in the (Josh. 11:2) coast of Dor, one; the king of (Gen. 14:1, 2; Is. 9:1) the nations of Gilgal, one…

[The King of Dor and of the province of Dor, מֶ֥לֶךְ דּ֛וֹר לְנָפַ֥ת דּ֖וֹר] The King of Dor and of Nepheth-dor (Syriac). The King of Dor of Naphath-dor itself (Pagnine). Others: The King of Dor to the tract of Dor (Montanus), or, with the tract of Dor (Junius and Tremellius), or, of the region (or, unto the regions [Jonathan]) of Dor (Munster, Tigurinus), or, of the land, or province, of Dor, that is, which was in the province of Dor (Vatablus). Concerning Dor see Joshua 11:2 (Bonfrerius).

Dor, of which Joshua 11:2.

[The King of the Nations of Gilgal, מֶֽלֶךְ־גּוֹיִ֥ם לְגִלְגָּ֖ל] [They vary.] The King of the nations, or peoples, at, or of, Gilgal (Jonathan, Montanus, Munster). To others, גּוֹיִם/nations/Gentiles/Goyim is a proper name. The King of Goyim (of the Goii [Castalio]) in Gilgal (Tigurinus), or, which was in Gilgal (Pagnine) [as if it were the name of a city]. The King of Gei of Galilee (Septuagint). It is certain that Gilgal here is not the Gilgal where Joshua, with Jordan crossed, fixed camp, for there was no city, no King, in that place. Therefore, Gilgal is the same as Galil (only with the letter ג/Gimel doubled, which is common among the Hebrews), or Galilee (Lapide, Bonfrerius), namely, that which is called the upper (because it moves away into the North), and Galilee of the Nations. Thus it is called, either, because it, being well-provided with harbors and suited for trade, brought in various nations, of which, as it happens, it is likely many men also remained there (Masius): or, because it has Tyre and Sidon as neighbors, and other Nations: or, because in it dwelt various nations of the Canaanites and other peoples mixed together (Tostatus in Lapide): or, because Solomon gave to Hiram, King of Tyre, a Gentile, twenty cities in Galilee[22] (Jerome in Lapide). [This does not satisfy Bonfrerius.] 1. Although the Roman codex of the Septuagint[23] has Γαλιλαίας, of Galilee, yet the other codices has Γέλγελ/Gelgel. But Galilee is not called גִּלְגָּל/Gilgal, as it is found here, but גָּלִיל/Galil. 2. It is said that Galilee was not yet divided, Joshua 13:2.[24] But the King of Gilgal was killed, and the land was occupied. 3. It was not yet called Galilee of the Nations, but afterwards in the time of Solomon, after the twenty cities were given to Hiram (Bonfrerius). But this gift did not originally introduce the name, but rather confirmed the name already introduced (Lapide). See the further discussion on Joshua 13:2 (Lapide, Bonfrerius).

Gilgal; not of that Gilgal where Joshua first lodged after his passage over Jordan; where it doth not appear that there was either king or city; but of another city of the same name, (as was frequent in those parts,) probably in Galilee towards the sea whither divers people might possibly resort for trade and merchandise, over whom this was king, as formerly Tidal seems to have been, Genesis 14:1.


Verse 24:[25] The king of Tirzah, one: all the kings thirty and one.

[Thirty-one] And those were only of the other part, namely, the northern, of the Promised Land (Malvenda). Jerome notes in his Epistle to Dardanus that this land in length, from Dan to Beer-sheba, contains only one hundred and sixty Italian miles, and in breadth, from Joppa to Jordan sixty miles. In which so many Kings and peoples argue that there was formerly a remarkable fertility to that soil (Lapide out of Masius); and show the severe judgment of God, who rendered that land so infertile that instead of milk and honey it could appear to have been sown now with salt (Masius).

All the kings thirty and one: Each being confined to a narrow compass, and being king only of one city, or small province belonging to it, which was by the wise and singular providence of God, that they might be more easily and successively conquered by the Israelites one after another, as they were.

[1] Hebrew: מֶ֥לֶךְ יְרִיח֖וֹ אֶחָ֑ד מֶ֧לֶךְ הָעַ֛י אֲשֶׁר־מִצַּ֥ד בֵּֽית־אֵ֖ל אֶחָֽד׃

[2] Hebrew: מֶ֤לֶךְ יְרוּשָׁ֙לִַם֙ אֶחָ֔ד מֶ֥לֶךְ חֶבְר֖וֹן אֶחָֽד׃

[3] Hebrew: מֶ֤לֶךְ יַרְמוּת֙ אֶחָ֔ד מֶ֥לֶךְ לָכִ֖ישׁ אֶחָֽד׃

[4] Hebrew: מֶ֤לֶךְ עֶגְלוֹן֙ אֶחָ֔ד מֶ֥לֶךְ גֶּ֖זֶר אֶחָֽד׃

[5] Hebrew: מֶ֤לֶךְ דְּבִר֙ אֶחָ֔ד מֶ֥לֶךְ גֶּ֖דֶר אֶחָֽד׃

[6] Hebrew: מֶ֤לֶךְ חָרְמָה֙ אֶחָ֔ד מֶ֥לֶךְ עֲרָ֖ד אֶחָֽד׃

[7] Hebrew: מֶ֤לֶךְ לִבְנָה֙ אֶחָ֔ד מֶ֥לֶךְ עֲדֻלָּ֖ם אֶחָֽד׃

[8] Hebrew: מֶ֤לֶךְ מַקֵּדָה֙ אֶחָ֔ד מֶ֥לֶךְ בֵּֽית־אֵ֖ל אֶחָֽד׃

[9] Hebrew: מֶ֤לֶךְ תַּפּ֙וּחַ֙ אֶחָ֔ד מֶ֥לֶךְ חֵ֖פֶר אֶחָֽד׃

[10] Hebrew: מֶ֤לֶךְ אֲפֵק֙ אֶחָ֔ד מֶ֥לֶךְ לַשָּׁר֖וֹן אֶחָֽד׃

[11] Isaiah 33:9:  “The earth mourneth and languisheth:  Lebanon is ashamed and hewn down:  Sharon (הַשָּׁרוֹן) is like a wilderness; and Bashan and Carmel shake off their fruits.”

[12] Acts 9:35:  “And all that dwelt at Lydda and Saron (Σάρωνα, in the Textus Receptus; Ἀσσάρωνα, in the majority of Byzantine texts) saw him, and turned to the Lord.”  Lydda was of the tribe of Benjamin, about ten miles off of the Mediterranean coast.

[13] Hebrew: מֶ֤לֶךְ מָדוֹן֙ אֶחָ֔ד מֶ֥לֶךְ חָצ֖וֹר אֶחָֽד׃

[14] Hebrew: מֶ֣לֶךְ שִׁמְר֤וֹן מְראוֹן֙ אֶחָ֔ד מֶ֥לֶךְ אַכְשָׁ֖ף אֶחָֽד׃

[15] Hebrew: מֶ֤לֶךְ תַּעְנַךְ֙ אֶחָ֔ד מֶ֥לֶךְ מְגִדּ֖וֹ אֶחָֽד׃

[16] Hebrew: מֶ֤לֶךְ קֶ֙דֶשׁ֙ אֶחָ֔ד מֶֽלֶךְ־יָקְנֳעָ֥ם לַכַּרְמֶ֖ל אֶחָֽד׃

[17] Latin: Rex Jokneham.

[18] Latin: Rex Joknehami, in an expressly Genitive form.

[19] Latin: Carmeli.

[20] Latin: de Carmel.

[21] Hebrew: מֶ֥לֶךְ דּ֛וֹר לְנָפַ֥ת דּ֖וֹר אֶחָ֑ד מֶֽלֶךְ־גּוֹיִ֥ם לְגִלְגָּ֖ל אֶחָֽד׃

[22] 1 Kings 9:11-13

[23] The Roman or Sixtine Septuagint was published in 1587, under the direction of Cardinal Antonio Carafa and by authority of Pope Sixtus V.  It uses Codex Vaticanus as a base text.

[24] Joshua 13:2:  “This is the land that yet remaineth:  all the borders (גְּלִילוֹת/Geliloth; Galilæa, in the Vulgate) of the Philistines, and all Geshuri…”

[25] Hebrew: מֶ֥לֶךְ תִּרְצָ֖ה אֶחָ֑ד כָּל־מְלָכִ֖ים שְׁלֹשִׁ֥ים וְאֶחָֽד׃

Joshua 12:8: Kings Conquered by Joshua, Part 2

Verse 8:[1] (Josh. 10:40; 11:16) In the mountains, and in the valleys, and in the plains, and in the springs, and in the wilderness, and in the south country; (Ex. 3:8; 23:23; Josh. 9:1) the Hittites, the Amorites, and the Canaanites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites…

The wilderness: this word here and elsewhere in Scripture notes not a land wholly desert and uninhabited, but one thin of inhabitants, as 1 Kings 2:34; 9:18; Matthew 3:1, 3.

[Was the Hittite and the Amorite, etc. (thus Pagnine, Tigurinus, Munster): they refer to these are the kings, verse 7 (Bonfrerius), הַחִתִּי וגו״] The Hittite (Septuagint, Jonathan, Syriac), supply, he gave (Arabic). [They refer to the preceding, he gave for a possession (Septuagint, Jonathan).] Others: the words of the Hittites, etc., are attached to the noun, Kings, which is to be repeated (Masius). Others: the land of the Chittæus (Junius and Tremellius), that is, of the Chittæi (Piscator).

[1] Hebrew: בָּהָ֣ר וּבַשְּׁפֵלָ֗ה וּבָֽעֲרָבָה֙ וּבָ֣אֲשֵׁד֔וֹת וּבַמִּדְבָּ֖ר וּבַנֶּ֑גֶב הַֽחִתִּי֙ הָֽאֱמֹרִ֔י וְהַֽכְּנַעֲנִי֙ הַפְּרִזִּ֔י הַחִוִּ֖י וְהַיְבוּסִֽי׃

Joshua 12:7: Kings Conquered by Joshua, Part 1

Verse 7:[1] And these are the kings of the country (Josh. 11:17) which Joshua and the children of Israel smote on this side Jordan on the west, from Baal-gad in the valley of Lebanon even unto the mount Halak, that goeth up to Seir; which Joshua gave unto the tribes of Israel for a possession according to their divisions…

[These are the kings of the land] Kings, that is, Petty Kings. Formerly the Lords of individual cities were called Kings, as is witnessed by Aristotle in his Politics 3, Strabo in his Geography 16, and Pliny in his Natural History 6:9 (Lapide). Such were these: but unto every city were pertaining towns, villages, and country districts (Masius, Drusius, similarly Lapide, Vatablus).

[From Baal-gad] From the plain of Gad (Vatablus). Thus Jonathan everywhere explains בַּעַל/Baal when it is joined with the name גָּד/Gad (Munster).

[1] Hebrew: וְאֵ֣לֶּה מַלְכֵ֣י הָאָ֡רֶץ אֲשֶׁר֩ הִכָּ֙ה יְהוֹשֻׁ֜עַ וּבְנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֗ל בְּעֵ֤בֶר הַיַּרְדֵּן֙ יָ֔מָּה מִבַּ֤עַל גָּד֙ בְּבִקְעַ֣ת הַלְּבָנ֔וֹן וְעַד־הָהָ֥ר הֶחָלָ֖ק הָעֹלֶ֣ה שֵׂעִ֑ירָה וַיִּתְּנָ֙הּ יְהוֹשֻׁ֜עַ לְשִׁבְטֵ֧י יִשְׂרָאֵ֛ל יְרֻשָּׁ֖ה כְּמַחְלְקֹתָֽם׃

Joshua 12:5, 6: Kings Conquered by Moses, Part 5

Verse 5:[1] And reigned in (Deut. 3:8) mount Hermon, (Deut. 3:10; Josh. 13:11) and in Salcah, and in all Bashan, (Deut. 3:14) unto the border of the Geshurites and the Maachathites, and half Gilead, the border of Sihon king of Heshbon.

[In mount Hermon] Concerning which see Joshua 11:3. It is a part of Libanus on the other side of Jordan toward the East. But Nahmanides asserts (certainly with plausibility) that חֶרְמוֹן/Hermon is not the proper name of a place, but a description of Libanus, ascribed to it from its inhospitality or desolation. For חֶרֶם signifies a thing ruined, and which is of no use. Libanus is certain such, since it lies buried in snow; whence it is also called שָׁנִיר/Shenir, which the Chaldean renders snowy.[2] And Jerome relates that from Hermon snow is wont to flow down to Tyre (Masius). Although this mountain was pertaining to Og, whose dominion the Israelites were already holding, the Canaanites yet possessed some part of it, Joshua 11:17, which Joshua afterwards occupied (Bonfrerius).

[Unto the borders of Gessuri, etc.] Concerning these see what things are on Deuteronomy 3:14 (Malvenda). Moreover, Geshuri and Maachathi were two cities towards mount Hermon, which everywhere, as in Joshua 13:11 and Deuteronomy 3:14, are established as borders of that region (Bonfrerius). The Geshurites and Maachathites were lying in those regions, which were extending to Syria of Damascus: For Absalom also locates Geshur in Syria, 2 Samuel 15:8. Although it is certain that there were also other Geshurites near the Amalekites[3] (Masius). Unto the border: Something is to be understood, in which part it was extending itself unto, etc. (Vatablus).

The Geshurites, of which see Deuteronomy 3:14; Joshua 13:13; 2 Samuel 13:37; 15:8.


Verse 6:[4] (Num. 21:24, 33) Them did Moses the servant of the LORD and the children of Israel smite: and (Num. 32:29, 33; Deut. 3:11, 12; Josh. 13:8) Moses the servant of the LORD gave it for a possession unto the Reubenites, and the Gadites, and the half tribe of Manasseh.

[Moses, the servant of the Lord] Question: Why is not Joshua likewise called the servant of the Lord here? Responses: 1. When it treats of Joshua as yet living, he was not to be celebrated with a tribute of such absolute excellence. 2. This is attributed to Moses above others; that is to say, as an interpreter and minister of God; namely, because of the Law of God, which he had declared (Masius).

[1] Hebrew:  וּ֠מֹשֵׁל בְּהַ֙ר חֶרְמ֤וֹן וּבְסַלְכָה֙ וּבְכָל־הַבָּשָׁ֔ן עַד־גְּב֥וּל הַגְּשׁוּרִ֖י וְהַמַּעֲכָתִ֑י וַחֲצִי֙ הַגִּלְעָ֔ד גְּב֖וּל סִיח֥וֹן מֶֽלֶךְ־חֶשְׁבּֽוֹן׃

[2] For example, Deuteronomy 3:9:  “(Which Hermon the Sidonians call Sirion; and the Amorites call it Shenir [שְׂנִיר; טֻור תַלגָא, snowy mountain, in the Chaldean])…”

[3] See 1 Samuel 27:8.

[4] Hebrew: מֹשֶׁ֧ה עֶֽבֶד־יְהוָ֛ה וּבְנֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל הִכּ֑וּם וַֽ֠יִּתְּנָהּ מֹשֶׁ֙ה עֶֽבֶד־יְהוָ֜ה יְרֻשָּׁ֗ה לָרֻֽאוּבֵנִי֙ וְלַגָּדִ֔י וְלַחֲצִ֖י שֵׁ֥בֶט הַֽמְנַשֶּֽׁה׃

Joshua 12:4: Kings Conquered by Moses, Part 4

Verse 4:[1] And (Num. 21:35; Deut. 3:4, 10) the coast of Og king of Bashan, which was of (Deut. 3:11; Josh. 13:12) the remnant of the giants, (Deut. 1:4) that dwelt at Ashtaroth and at Edrei…

[The border of Og] It was indeed the purpose to enumerate the conquered Kings; but here the kingdom of Og is described instead of the King himself (Masius).

[Of the remnants of the Rephaim[2] (similarly Montanus, Junius and Tremellius, Pagnine, Tigurinus, Drusius, Aquila and Symmachus and Theodotion in Masius)] Others: of the remnants of the giants (Vatablus, Masius, Munster, Syriac), or, of the mighty (Jonathan). The giants descending from Rapha were called Rephaim, just as those descending from Anak were called Anakim[3] (Lapide). Nahmanides [who is Gerundensis in Drusius] thinks it altogether probable that this is a family name of the Hivites, who, as (elsewhere) they were called חִוִּים, that is Hivites, from the serpents that dwell in the hollows of the earth,[4] so (here) they are called רְפָאִים, that is to say, those below, and those abiding under the earth. Thus it is taken in Isaiah 26:14.[5] He maintains that to these were related those that the Sacred history calls חוּרִים/Hurim, that is, τρωγλοδύτας/Troglodytes, cave-dwellers.[6] See on Joshua 11:21 (Masius). Now, that, concerning the remnants, they explain as of the race (Vatablus, Syriac). They are related to the profligate Rephaim near Ashteroth Karnaim, Genesis 14:5. For my part, even if I be unwilling to deny that Og was of their race, nevertheless, inasmuch as he is said to have been a remnant, I assert that it rather has regard the ruin brought upon those giants by the Ammonites, Deuteronomy 2:20, 21. This certainly appears to be signified by that iron bed, which the Ammonites were afterwards showing in their Rabbath, as a monument of the illustrious victory won over the giants; although perhaps Og escaped to the neighboring Amorites, and on account of the singular might and excellence was made King by them (Masius).

[That dwelt in Ashtaroth] Ashtaroth was a city, 1 Chronicles 6:71, not a mountain, as Nahmanides imagines (Masius). Named after Astarte, a form of Diana, or Juno, that is, of Luna, who was worshipped there (Lapide out of Masius): whence also it was called Karnaim,[7] that is, of the two horns,[8] because Luna, while it waxes, is two-horned (Lapide). Now, Ashtaroth here and Ashteroth-Karnaim in Genesis 14 are one and the same place. Thus Jerome and Gerundensis (Masius).

[And in Edrei] This was his other royal city (Bonfrerius). Neither is it strange that Og had two palaces in this most ample and populous kingdom. Edrei appears to me to be the Adra[9] of Ptolemy (Masius).

That dwelt at Ashtaroth and at Edrei: To wit, successively; sometimes at the one, sometimes at the other city; both being his royal mansions.

[1] Hebrew: וּגְב֗וּל ע֚וֹג מֶ֣לֶךְ הַבָּשָׁ֔ן מִיֶּ֖תֶר הָרְפָאִ֑ים הַיּוֹשֵׁ֥ב בְּעַשְׁתָּר֖וֹת וּבְאֶדְרֶֽעִי׃

[2] Hebrew: מִיֶּ֖תֶר הָרְפָאִ֑ים.

[3] See Numbers 13:22, 28, 33; Deuteronomy 9:2.

[4] חויא, serpent in Syriac, has a phonetic similarity to חִוִּי/Hivite.

[5] Isaiah 26:14:  “They are dead, they shall not live; they are deceased, they shall not rise (רְפָאִ֖ים בַּל־יָקֻ֑מוּ):  therefore hast thou visited and destroyed them, and made all their memory to perish.”

[6] See, for example, Genesis 14:6:  “And the Horites (הַחֹרִי) in their mount Seir, unto El-paran, which is by the wilderness.”

[7] Hebrew: קַרְנַיִם.

[8] קַרְנַיִם is composed of קֶרֶן/horn and the dual ending (ַיִם).

[9] Adra was in the northern part of Arabia Petrea.

Joshua 12:3: Kings Conquered by Moses, Part 3

Verse 3:[1] And (Deut. 3:17) from the plain to the sea of Chinneroth on the east, and unto the sea of the plain, even the salt sea on the east, (Josh. 13:20) the way to Beth-jeshimoth; and from the south (or, Teman[2]), under (Deut. 3:17; 4:49) Ashdoth-pisgah (or, the springs of Pisgah, or, the hill[3])…

[And from the wilderness unto the sea of Chinneroth] Here the Northern and Western border of the kingdom of Sihon is described (Bonfrerius).

[וְהָעֲרָבָה] And to the field (Malvenda); and to the fields (Junius and Tremellius); and in the plain (Masius). It is called planities solitudinis, a plain of wilderness, in Deuteronomy 3:17.[4] Evidently this is a plain that runs from East to West (as does also the very torrent through this plain), even unto the sea of Chinneroth, into which the torrent flows, where Jordan erupts from the sea of Chinneroth, and so it is able to be said to flow either into Jordan, or into the sea of Chinneroth: whereby it happens that in Deuteronomy 3 Jordan and the end of the sea of Chinneroth are conjoined (Bonfrerius). Described here is the plain that we are wont to call the plain of the Moabites, which lies between the two seas, the sea of Tiberias and the Dead Sea (Masius).

[Towards the east] Refer this to the plain, which is said to be to the East of the sea of Chinneroth (Bonfrerius). For on the West it is enclosed by that tract of Jordan, where that river, having escaped from the sea of Tiberias, flows into the Dead Sea (Malvenda).

To the sea of Chinneroth on the east; which words describe the situation not of the sea of Chinneroth, which was part of the western border of Sihon’s dominion, but of the plain, which is here said to lie eastward from the sea of Chinneroth, and also eastward from the Salt Sea, as it here follows. And this was indeed the situation of the plains of Moab, which are here spoken of, to wit, that they lay between the two seas, that of Chinneroth and the Salt Sea, and eastward to them both.

[Unto the sea of the desert; or of the wilderness (Syriac, Montanus, Vatablus), וְ֠עַד יָ֣ם הָעֲרָבָ֤ה] To the plain (Jonathan); to the sea of the field, or fields (Malvenda, Junius and Tremellius, Masius, Drusius, Vatablus). Thus it is called, because it stands in a flat and level place (Masius): because a great plain lies next to it (Vatablus).

The sea of the plain; the Salt Sea is so called because it was a famous plain, pleasant and fruitful, before it was turned into a salt sea.

[By the way that leads to Beth-jeshimoth, בֵּ֣ית הַיְשִׁמ֑וֹת] That is to say, a House or place, vast and desolate.[5] The place was in the fields of Moab, Numbers 33:49 (Masius, similarly Junius). See Ezekiel 25:9 (Junius). [To most interpreters it is a proper name; but to Montanus, by way of the house of the wilderness.] This, indeed, it signifies, and the place is thus named, because further towards the Salt Sea nothing else remains but wilderness (Bonfrerius).

From the south, or, on or towards the south.

[Which lies beneath Ashdoth-pisgah, תַּ֖חַת אַשְׁדּ֥וֹת הַפִּסְגָּֽה׃[6]] Under the slopes of the hill (Junius and Tremellius); beneath the outpourings of waters of the hill Pisgah (Pagnine); beneath the springs of the hills (Munster, Tigurinus); under the descent (that is, at the roots) of mount Pisgah (thus the Notes of Vatablus in the Tigurine Bible, similarly Masius). Under the slopes of Pisgah. אַשְׁדּוֹת/Ashdoth signifies the roots of the mountains, and those parts by which those are made steeper. See what things are on Joshua 10:40.[7] He traces here the Southern borders of the kingdom of Sihon, from Jordan or the mouth of Arnon (for these are near to each other), in the opposite direction of the course of Arnon, unto the roots of mount עֲבָרִים/Abarim (part of which is clearly Pisgah,[8] whether it be a proper name, or signify a peak or precipice). We see how accurately fixed borders were set around those possessions of the Israelites. This was done, 1. so that the Israelites settled apart from the profane nations: so that also by this matter it might be made clear to all of what great size God made them. 2. So that the neighboring dominions of Ammon and Moab might be separated from the possessions of the Israelites on all sides (Masius).

[1] Hebrew: וְהָעֲרָבָה֩ עַד־יָ֙ם כִּנְר֜וֹת מִזְרָ֗חָה וְ֠עַד יָ֣ם הָעֲרָבָ֤ה יָם־הַמֶּ֙לַח֙ מִזְרָ֔חָה דֶּ֖רֶךְ בֵּ֣ית הַיְשִׁמ֑וֹת וּמִ֙תֵּימָ֔ן תַּ֖חַת אַשְׁדּ֥וֹת הַפִּסְגָּֽה׃

[2] Hebrew: וּמִתֵּימָן.

[3] Hebrew: אַשְׁדּ֥וֹת הַפִּסְגָּֽה׃.

[4] Thus the Vulgate.

[5] בֵּית signifies house; יָשַׁם, to be desolate.

[6] אֲשֵׁדָה signifies foundation or slope; פִּסְגָּה/Pisgah, hill.

[7] Joshua 10:40:  “So Joshua smote all the country of the hills, and of the south, and of the vale, and of the springs (וְהָאֲשֵׁדוֹת), and all their kings:  he left none remaining, but utterly destroyed all that breathed, as the Lord God of Israel commanded.”

[8] See Numbers 33:47, 48; Deuteronomy 32:49; 34:1.

Joshua 12:2: Kings Conquered by Moses, Part 2

Verse 2:[1] (Num. 21:24; Deut. 2:33, 36; 3:6, 16) Sihon king of the Amorites, who dwelt in Heshbon, and ruled from Aroer, which is upon the bank of the river Arnon, and from the middle of the river, and from half Gilead, even unto the river Jabbok, which is the border of the children of Ammon…

[He ruled from Aroer, which was situated upon the bank of the torrent Arnon, and of the middle part in the valley, and of half Gilead: It is obscure by what these expressions, of the middle part in the valley, and of half Gilead, are governed: and nearly the same difficulty is in the Hebrew (Bonfrerius): מֹשֵׁ֡ל מֵעֲרוֹעֵ֡ר אֲשֶׁר֩ עַל־שְׂפַת־נַ֙חַל אַרְנ֜וֹן וְת֤וֹךְ הַנַּ֙חַל֙ וַחֲצִ֣י הַגִּלְעָ֔ד] [They render it variously.] And he was ruling from Aroer, which is (or, which was situated [Pagnine]) near, or at, or upon, the bank (lip [Montanus, Drusius]) of the torrent, or river, Arnon (Munster, Pagnine, similarly Jonathan, Syriac, Arabic, Montanus, Tigurinus, Masius), and ruling the midst of the torrent (Montanus, similarly Jonathan, Arabic), and in the inmost part of the torrent (Syriac), and the half Gilead (Montanus). Others: from the midst of the torrent, and the half of Gilead (Tigurinus, similarly Munster). This version makes all governed by the preposition מִן/from, by which Aroer is governed. Objection: It is not fittingly said that he governed from half Gilead, since the middle of Gilead comprehended his entire kingdom. Response: Gilead here signifies, not the region, but the mountain. Compare Deuteronomy 3:16. And so the sense is that he governed from Aroer, which was on the bank…of Arnon, proceeding from there to the midst of the torrent, and finally arriving at mount Gilead. Therefore, with these words he described the Southern and Eastern boundaries (Bonfrerius). [Some refer those words, וְתוֹךְ וגו״, and the middle, etc., to מֹשֵׁל/ruled, or to the dominion of Sihon.] And who ruled from Aroer, which was situated near the bank of the torrent Arnon, both in the midst of the torrent, and in the middle part of Gilead. [Thus Pagnine, whom Bonfrerius incorrectly understand concerning the situation of the city of Aroer.] Who ruled from Aroer, which is near the bank of the river Arnon, both to the midst of that river, and to half Gilead (Junius and Tremellius). Who, with his government placed, from Aroer unto the bank of Arnon, was possessing those things that were contained in the midst of the sea, and half Gilead (Castalio). That, and half Gilead, I would assert to be dative, and to be governed by the verb, he ruled, and would think the same concerning the Hebrew text, except everywhere I see מָשַׁל, to rule, taking a servile ב/in, which does not happen here; although perhaps the ב is able to be said to be understood (Bonfrerius). [Others understand this of the situation of the city of Aroer.] Thus a great man, as Bonfrerius testifies. Thus Masius [says Bonfrerius], within the torrent, and in the middle part of Gilead. It is elsewhere expressly called the city within the torrent, Deuteronomy 2:36.[2] That city appears to have been positioned relative to the Arnon in such a way that houses of great size were built all the way into the midst of the river-basin. The words are able thus to be interpreted, that the side of the kingdom of Sihon that was extended to the East was from the city of Aroer…upward through Gilead, unto the torrent Jabbok. Josephus’ Antiquities 4: The kingdom of Sihon was situated in the midst of three rivers, as if it were an island; for it was surrounded by Arnon on the south, Jabbok on the North, and the bank of Jordan on the West. If he had placed the mountains of Arabian to the East, he would have omitted nothing from this most clearly defined description. Moreover, the Southern borders were extending from the Dead Sea in the direction of Arnon to the foot of mount Pisgah. The torrent Jabbok was separating the dominion of Sihon from the Ammonites, just as Arnon from the Moabites. Now, עֲרוֹעֵר/Aroer, which is often expressed with the word halved, עַר/Ar,[3] is the Ἀρεόπολις/Areopolis of the Greeks, and the רַבַּת מוֹאָב, Rabbath Moab, of the Hebrews, that is to say, a most populous city of the Moabites.[4] Now, mount Gilead is extended upward toward Libanus, of which it is, as it were, an appendage, or, as Jerome maintains, the beginning. On the same mountain is also the city of Gilead, Numbers 32:39. Between this mountain and Jordan lies open a pleasant region called Gilead, Josephus’ Antiquities 1:27 (Masius). What the others translate as torrent, the Greeks translate as valley. But it invalidates this interpretation, that it is said, upon the bank, or lip. For what is the lip of a valley (Drusius)?

From the middle of the river: it is not unusual, even amongst us, for a river to be divided between two lords, and for their territories or jurisdictions to meet in the middle of the river; and besides, here is a very particular reason for this expression, because the city Ar, which was no part of Sihon’s dominions, but belonged to the Moabites, Deuteronomy 2:9, 18, was in the middle of the river Arnon, Deuteronomy 2:36; 3:16; and therefore the middle of the river is most fitly and properly here mentioned, as the bound of Sihon’s dominion on that side. And from half Gilead; Hebrew, and the half Gilead,[5] that is, half of the country of Gilead: the particle from is not in the original, and this doth not seem to denote the term or bound from which his dominion begun, as our version implies, for so indeed it was not; but the place or country in and over which his dominion was, which, as is here said, began at Arnon, and took in half Gilead, and ended at Jabbok, beyond which was the other half of Gilead, which belonged to Og, as is expressly said, Joshua 12:5, where the words being wholly the same that are here, it is most reasonable to understand and translate them in the same manner.

[1] Hebrew: סִיחוֹן֙ מֶ֣לֶךְ הָאֱמֹרִ֔י הַיּוֹשֵׁ֖ב בְּחֶשְׁבּ֑וֹן מֹשֵׁ֡ל מֵעֲרוֹעֵ֡ר אֲשֶׁר֩ עַל־שְׂפַת־נַ֙חַל אַרְנ֜וֹן וְת֤וֹךְ הַנַּ֙חַל֙ וַחֲצִ֣י הַגִּלְעָ֔ד וְעַד֙ יַבֹּ֣ק הַנַּ֔חַל גְּב֖וּל בְּנֵ֥י עַמּֽוֹן׃

[2] Deuteronomy 2:36a:  “From Aroer, which is by the brink of the river of Arnon, and from the city that is by the river (מֵעֲרֹעֵ֡ר אֲשֶׁר֩ עַל־שְׂפַת־נַ֙חַל אַרְנֹ֜ן וְהָעִ֙יר אֲשֶׁ֤ר בַּנַּ֙חַל֙), even unto Gilead, there was not one city too strong for us…”

[3] See Numbers 21:15, 28; Deuteronomy 2:9, 18, 29.

[4] רַבָּה/Rabba signifies great or populous.

[5] Hebrew: וַחֲצִ֣י הַגִּלְעָ֔ד.

Joshua 12:1: Kings Conquered by Moses, Part 1

[1452 BC] Verse 1:[1] Now these are the kings of the land, which the children of Israel smote, and possessed their land on the other side Jordan toward the rising of the sun, (Num. 21:24) from the river Arnon (Deut. 3:8, 9) unto mount Hermon, and all the plain on the east…

[These are the kings] Because the intention is to set forth hereafter the distribution of the whole land, he first sets in view all the places that pertain to the distribution, and that by the naming of the Kings rather than the places. For this is both more advantageous for a brief narration, because many places were under one King; and more illustrative of the glory of the victory, since among the Nations the name and dignity of the King was always the greatest (Masius). Each one’s kingdom was confined within its own heartland, says Justinus[2] concerning the most ancient times. Now, Strabo speaks particularly concerning these peoples, Τὸ παλαιὸν μὲν οὖν οἱ Ἀράδιοι καθ᾽ αὑτοὺς ἐβασιλεύοντο παραπλησίως, ὥσπερ καὶ τῶν ἄλλων ἑκάστη πόλεων τῶν Φοινικίδων, In ancient times the Aradii (the Kings) were ruling near each other, just like also all the Phœnician cities[3] (Grotius).

[From the torrent Arnon (thus Symmachus, Pagnine, Drusius, Masius), מִנַּ֤חַל אַרְנוֹן֙] From the stream, or river (Junius and Tremellius). Thus Josephus’ Antiquities 4:4, and others (Drusius). Thus נַחַל is taken in Ecclesiastes 1:7[4] (Hebrews in Drusius). A river is called נָהָר, and it runs continually: a torrent is called נַחַל, which is dried in the summer. But נַחַל also signifies river (Drusius). נַחַל is a place more deeply depressed into a sort of trough, whether there be water in it, or not (Masius, Drusius). The Arnon separated the Moabites from the Trans-jordanian Amorites, Numbers 21:13 (Masius).

[Unto mount Hermon] That Hermon is part of Libanus towards the East is demonstrated from this verse (Masius). That Trans-jordanian region is contained by two borders, the Arnon in the south, and Hermon in the North (Bonfrerius).

[And all the eastern plain, etc., וְכָל־הָעֲרָבָ֖ה מִזְרָֽחָה׃] And all the land of Arabah on the east (Septuagint); and all the fields, etc. (Junius and Tremellius), or plain, etc. (Masius, Drusius, Jonathan, Syriac, Arabic, Symmachus in Masius). For so that place was described in Deuteronomy 3:8-10, …all the cities הַמִּישֹׁר, that is, of the plain (Masius, Drusius). This plain is what is wont often to be called the fields of Moab, that is, those plains that, extending upward from Arnon, lie between Jordan on the left and the Arabian mountains on the right. Question: Whether it was lawful for the Israelites to settle on the other side of Jordan in these places, since the promises appear to have regard to the land that was enclosed by Jordan? For it was as a punishment for rebellion that Moses and Aaron were not able to enter into the latter. Wherefore to occupy that region appears to be nothing other than to annul the borders of the inheritance established by God, and to divide the body of the Church. Response: That that Trans-jordanian part pertains to the Promised Land appears to be able thence to be gathered; 1. that the Canaanites were to be expelled; but the Amorites (of whom Sihon and Og were Kings[5]) were Canaanites.[6] 2. From Deuteronomy 2:24, …begin to possess….[7] He appears to say distinctly that the possession of the Promised land is to take its beginning here. For יָרַשׁ is wont to signify the right of inheritance. God did not speak so concerning the land of the Amalekites, neither were the Israelites asking for that.[8] Now, that the land across Jordan is generally presented as the Promised Land alone, since a crossing of Jordan is determined in advance for the people, one may suppose to have been done for these reasons, both because that was the principal portion, and because the mystery of human Salvation was formerly designed to be revealed in it, and for this reason also, that the sanctuary of God was established there. Therefore, since that part alone was hallowed for sacred worship, Moses and Aaron were possessed of the greatest desire to see it, and esteemed it as a punishment that it was denied to them. Add that Moses was concerned about the outcome of the promises because of some new obstinacy of the people, etc. You will say, If those kingdoms of Sihon and Og, into which Moses had already led the people, had pertained to the Promised Land, he was able in great measure to be to be relieved of that concern. But this is not so. For this part was only going to be the people’s by right of inheritance, when that other, holier part across Jordan was occupied, and the worship of God was established in it, Numbers 32:22, 29. You will say, if these things were so, why did Moses so sharply inveigh against the Tribes that asked for this part? Response: He does not accuse them so severely because they asked that land for an inheritance, but because they said, Do not make us cross over Jordan:[9] For in this way they were able to deter the rest from crossing. Now, this part, as already mentioned, was not able to be obtained as an inheritance without the other. And, since they were promising that they were going to cross over, etc., they obtain what they were asking with perfect ease, neither does Moses charge them either with violating the covenant of God, or moving the bounds of the inheritance, or rending the body of the Church. At the same time, I would not argue, if one should think that the two Tribes, etc., placed the covenant of God after their interests; but that God in His secret counsel enlarged the old promise with a new liberality, and at the same time pardoned them for their fault, that is He turned their secret lust into an occasion of His illustrious kindness unto all. Meanwhile, notice that God willed that the richest Tribes remain outside of the Holier land. Thus Matthew 19:24, the rich do not easily enter into heaven (Masius).

On the other side Jordan…all the plain of the east: On the east of Jordan, called the plain, Deuteronomy 1:1, and the plains of Moab, Deuteronomy 34:1.

[1] Hebrew: וְאֵ֣לֶּה׀ מַלְכֵ֣י הָאָ֗רֶץ אֲשֶׁ֙ר הִכּ֤וּ בְנֵֽי־יִשְׂרָאֵל֙ וַיִּֽרְשׁ֣וּ אֶת־אַרְצָ֔ם בְּעֵ֥בֶר הַיַּרְדֵּ֖ן מִזְרְחָ֣ה הַשָּׁ֑מֶשׁ מִנַּ֤חַל אַרְנוֹן֙ עַד־הַ֣ר חֶרְמ֔וֹן וְכָל־הָעֲרָבָ֖ה מִזְרָֽחָה׃

[2] Philippic History 1:1:3.

[3] Geography 16:2:14.

[4] Ecclesiastes 1:7:  “All the rivers (הַנְּחָלִים) run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; unto the place from whence the rivers (שֶׁהַנְּחָלִים) come, thither they return again.”

[5] See Numbers 32:22; Deuteronomy 4:47.

[6] See Genesis 10:15, 16.

[7] Deuteronomy 2:24:  “Rise ye up, take your journey, and pass over the river Arnon:  behold, I have given into thine hand Sihon the Amorite, king of Heshbon, and his land:  begin to possess it (הָחֵ֣ל רָ֑שׁ), and contend with him in battle.”

[8] The Amalekites appear to have lived on the southern border of Canaan and southward.  See Exodus 17.

[9] Numbers 32:5.

Joshua 12 Outline

A catalogue of the kings, and their possessions, out of which they were driven by the Israelites; first in the time of Moses on the other side Jordan, 1-6, and afterwards by Joshua on this side of Jordan, 7-23; in all one and thirty kings, 24.