Joshua 13:2: Territories not yet Conquered, Part 2

Verse 2:[1] (Judg. 3:1) This is the land that yet remaineth: (Joel 3:4) all the borders of the Philistines, and all (Josh. 13:13; 2 Sam. 3:3; 13:37, 38) Geshuri…

That yet remaineth unconquered by thee, and to be conquered by the Israelites, if they behave themselves aright.

[All Galilee, the Philistines] I suspect that there is an error here, and that Galilee crept into the text from the margin. For, 1. Galilee is always called גָּלִיל or גְּלִילָה, never גְּלִילוֹת in the plural number.[2] 2. הַפְּלִשְׁתִּים/Philistines is not able to stand by itself, for it signifies men, not a land, which is called פְּלֶשֶׁת/Philistia. 3. It does not at all appear true that Galilee was not yet subdued, since that war in Joshua 10 was conducted in Galilee (Bonfrerius).

[כָּל־גְּלִיל֥וֹת הַפְּלִשְׁתִּ֖ים[3]] [They take גְּלִילוֹת appellatively, and thus they translate it:] The limits, or boundaries, or confines, or borders (Septuagint, Jonathan, Junius and Tremellius, Montanus, Pagnine, Drusius, Tigurinus, Symmachus in Drusius, Kimchi and Rabbi Salomon in Masius), or, the provinces, of the Philistines (Munster, Castalio). The coasts (Masius), or shores to seas and rivers: which are so called, either, because of the sinuous recesses of shores and banks; or, because waves ebb and flow there and dance billow by billow; or, from the mounds of sand heaped up there (Masius).

[All Geshuri, וְכָל־הַגְּשׁוּרִי] And all of the Geshurite (Vatablus), a singular in the place of the plural, or, of the Geshurites, supply, the borders. Thus Deuteronomy 3:14, the border of the Geshurite[4] (Drusius). Understand this concerning that Geshuri, which was neighbor to Egypt and the Amalekites, not concerning that which was in Syria, Deuteronomy 3:14 (Drusius, Masius, Malvenda). [Others otherwise:] I understand this, not concerning that which was near the Amalekites, but concerning that land which the Geshurites had occupied, that is, on the sea, along the Northern coast next to Syra (Menochius, similarly Bonfrerius). I take this of the region near Hermon towards the Nothern tract across Jordan, concerning which Deuteronomy 3:14. Although that was allotted to the Manassites, Joshua 13:11, it appears that they never possessed it, verse 13. See 2 Samuel 3:3; 13:37, 38 (Bonfrerius). Question: How is Geshuri said not to have been occupied, when Jair the Gileadite is said to have captured it, 1 Chronicles 2:23; but this event Jair had already anticipated, as it is evident from Numbers 32:41; Deuteronomy 3:14? Response: It is to be said that Jair had occupied some of the region of Geshuri, and perhaps the city of Geshur, but that the Canaanites had recovered what was wrested from them: or that whatever was left in that region unoccupied is here called all Geshuri (Bonfrerius).

Geshuri; a people in the north-east of Canaan, of which see Deuteronomy 3:14, as the Philistines are on the south-west.

[1] Hebrew: זֹ֥את הָאָ֖רֶץ הַנִּשְׁאָ֑רֶת כָּל־גְּלִיל֥וֹת הַפְּלִשְׁתִּ֖ים וְכָל־הַגְּשׁוּרִֽי׃

[2] Note the feminine, plural termination (וֹת-).

[3] גְּלִילָה signifies a circuit or boundary, from גָּלָל, to roll.

[4] Deuteronomy 3:14a:  “Jair the son of Manasseh took all the country of Argob unto the coasts of Geshuri (עַד־גְּב֥וּל הַגְּשׁוּרִ֖י) and Maachathi…”

Joshua 13:1: Territories not yet Conquered, Part 1

[1445 BC] Verse 1:[1] Now Joshua (see Josh. 14:10; 23:1) was old and stricken in years; and the LORD said unto him, Thou art old and stricken in years, and there remaineth yet very much land to be possessed (Heb. to possess it;[2] Deut. 31:3[3]).

[Old and of advanced age, זָקֵ֔ן בָּ֖א בַּיָּמִ֑ים] He grew old, and came (or, had proceeded [Masius]) unto days (Vatablus). It is not a tautology. Thus elsewhere, old and full of days.[4] Old signifies age growing heavy; full of days, age more mature and nearly the last (Masius, Drusius). To come into days the Latin express by to be full of years (Vatablus). Moreover, hardly ever are others said to have proceeded unto days, or to be full of days, than those that lived holily, since with respect to them the exact days did not fail, nor were they passed in vain through empty pursuits, but through the excellent deeds of virtue. For the ignoble, etc., pass their days as if in sleep, and therefore, when those have passed by, they suppose that they were as nothing (Masius).

Thou art old, therefore delay not to do the work which I have appointed and commanded thee to do.

[And a very extensive region has been left, which has not yet been divided by lot, וְהָאָ֛רֶץ נִשְׁאֲרָ֥ה הַרְבֵּֽה־מְאֹ֖ד לְרִשְׁתָּֽהּ׃] And a great amount of land has been left to be possessed; that is, a great part of the region remains to be subdued, so that it might afterwards be possessed (Vatablus). The Vulgate does not rightly translate it, divided by lot; for not yet was any of the land at all divided (Masius). It is probable that Joshua thought that all the Canaanites were to be driven out before it would be possible to begin the distribution. Therefore, although the inconveniences of old age were already multiplying, he saw that great provinces remained to be subdued; undoubtedly various thoughts prodded his heart. Therefore, God helps and settles him, restless with concerns: that is to say, Many enemies remain to be conquered, but it is not the case that therefore you ought to delay the distribution, etc. For I will drive out the rest, etc. (Masius).

To be possessed; to be conquered, and so possessed by the people.

[1] Hebrew: וִיהוֹשֻׁ֣עַ זָקֵ֔ן בָּ֖א בַּיָּמִ֑ים וַיֹּ֙אמֶר יְהוָ֜ה אֵלָ֗יו אַתָּ֤ה זָקַ֙נְתָּה֙ בָּ֣אתָ בַיָּמִ֔ים וְהָאָ֛רֶץ נִשְׁאֲרָ֥ה הַרְבֵּֽה־מְאֹ֖ד לְרִשְׁתָּֽהּ׃

[2] Hebrew: לְרִשְׁתָּהּ.

[3] Deuteronomy 31:3a:  “The Lord thy God, he will go over before thee, and he will destroy these nations from before thee, and thou shalt possess them (וִירִשְׁתָּם)…”

[4] See, for example, Genesis 35:29; 1 Chronicles 23:1; Job 42:17.

Joshua 13 Outline

God makes known to Joshua the bounds of the land not yet conquered, 1-6; commands it to be divided among the nine tribes and a half, 7. The inheritance of the two tribes and a half on the other side Jordan, 8-13. The Lord and his sacrifices the inheritance of Levi, 14. The portion of the Reubenites, 15-23; of the Gadites, 24-28; of the half tribe of Manasseh, 29-32.