Joshua 13:7: Command to Divide the Land among the Nine and a Half Tribes

Verse 7:[1] Now therefore divide this land for an inheritance unto the nine tribes, and the half tribe of Manasseh…

[For a possession[2]] For an inheritance. He often drives home the language of inheritance, so that the people might understand that their patrimony is being discussed. For it would be of the most abject idleness to neglect their paternal right, for which men are wont to fight as for hearth and home (Masius).

[1] Hebrew: וְעַתָּ֗ה חַלֵּ֞ק אֶת־הָאָ֧רֶץ הַזֹּ֛את בְּנַחֲלָ֖ה לְתִשְׁעַ֣ת הַשְּׁבָטִ֑ים וַחֲצִ֖י הַשֵּׁ֥בֶט הַֽמְנַשֶּֽׁה׃

[2] Hebrew: בְּנַחֲלָה.

Joshua 13:6: Territories not yet Conquered, Part 6

Verse 6:[1] All the inhabitants of the hill country from Lebanon unto (Josh. 11:8) Misrephoth-maim, and all the Sidonians, them (see Josh. 23:13; Judg. 2:21, 23) will I drive out from before the children of Israel: only (Josh. 14:1, 2) divide thou it by lot unto the Israelites for an inheritance, as I have commanded thee.

[Unto the waters of Misrephoth] See Joshua 11:8 (Vatablus).

[And all the Sidonians] Sidon was the name of a people before it was the name of a city: Genesis 10:15. They are called Sidones by Curtius,[2] Sidonii by Stephanus[3] and others (Grotius).

[I am He who will destroy] That I excludes the work of Joshua, not of others; for God raised up the Judges, Judges 2:18, 19: that is to say, the result of my counsels depends upon the life of no man. יָרַשׁ here signifies to drive out:[4] all translate it similarly. It signifies this when מִן/from follows. Otherwise it signifies to send into possession, or to possess (Masius). Now, that I will destroy is a conditional promise (Bonfrerius): If my people hinder not itself (Masius).

Them will I drive out from before the children of Israel, presently after thy death, if the Israelites do not hinder it by their unbelief or wickedness.

[Therefore, let it come, etc.,רַ֠ק הַפִּלֶ֤הָ לְיִשְׂרָאֵל֙ בְּֽנַחֲלָ֔ה [5]] Only cause it to fall into inheritance (Pagnine, Vatablus, Montanus); or, cause that it might fall by lot into the possession of Israel (Junius and Tremellius); or, appoint it by lots…for an inheritance (Munster, similarly Tigurinus); divide for an inheritance (Syriac, similarly Jonathan). Now, this appointing by lots of dominions not yet conquered was useful to feed the perpetual flame of hatred between the Israelites and the Barbarians, which would hinder pernicious friendships and connections between them, since what belongs to them appears to be possessed by them. In addition to these things, if only empty possessions had been distributed among the Tribes, each being content with his own lot, and being given to leisure, in the case of those things that had regard to all in common, and were yet in the hands of enemies, no one would have been induced to fight: For what things have regard to the republic all handle more negligently (Masius).

Divide thou it by lot, etc.: Though they be now unconquered, yet divide them, partly, as a pledge to assure them of my help in conquering them after thy death; partly, to lay an obligation upon the Israelites to proceed in conquering work, and to bear witness against them in case they did not; and partly, as a wall of partition between them and the Canaanites, to prevent all agreements, contracts, and confederacies with them, to which God saw they began to incline.

[As I have commanded thee] It has regard to Deuteronomy 31:7, thou shalt send the people, etc. Such predictions by God have the nature and force of commandments. And that is the reason why the ἐναλλαγαί/enallages/ interchanges of the finite and imperative moods are so common (Masius).

[1] Hebrew: כָּל־יֹשְׁבֵ֣י הָ֠הָר מִֽן־הַלְּבָנ֞וֹן עַד־מִשְׂרְפֹ֥ת מַ֙יִם֙ כָּל־צִ֣ידֹנִ֔ים אָֽנֹכִי֙ אוֹרִישֵׁ֔ם מִפְּנֵ֖י בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל רַ֠ק הַפִּלֶ֤הָ לְיִשְׂרָאֵל֙ בְּֽנַחֲלָ֔ה כַּאֲשֶׁ֖ר צִוִּיתִֽיךָ׃

[2] History of Alexander the Great 4.

[3] Stephanus Byzantium (early Middle Ages) wrote a geographical dictionary, entitled Ethnica, which only survives in fragments.

[4] Joshua 13:6a:  “All the inhabitants of the hill country from Lebanon unto Misrephoth-maim, and all the Sidonians, them will I drive out from before the children of Israel (אָֽנֹכִי֙ אוֹרִישֵׁ֔ם מִפְּנֵ֖י בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל)…”

[5] נָפַל, to fall, in the Hiphil signifies to cause to fall.

Joshua 13:5: Territories not yet Conquered, Part 5

Verse 5:[1] And the land of (1 King 5:18;[2] Ps. 83:7; Ezek. 27:9) the Giblites, and all Lebanon, toward the sunrising, (Josh. 12:7) from Baal-gad under mount Hermon unto the entering into Hamath.

[And its confines, וְהָאָ֣רֶץ הַגִּבְלִ֗י] And the land of Gebal (Malvenda, Pagnine), of the Giblites, or the Gabalenes (Tigurinus, Masius). I myself think that they were the men of Byblos,[3] or certainly people neighboring to Byblos. The Septuagint translates גְבַל/Gebal as Βύβλον/Byblos, Ezekiel 27:9.[4] On the coast of Byblos is the promontory Gabale, Pliny’s Natural History 5:20. Byblos itself is today called Giblet, that is, גִּבְלִית. Now, it is evident that the men of Byblos dwelt near Libanus. Moreover, the Giblites, or Gabalenes, are praised as craftsmen, both in Ezekiel and in 1 Kings 5:18. But there were other Giblites, or Gabalenes, in the South, who are reckoned with the Idumeans, etc., Psalm 83:7. And of these the Septuagint appears to understand this place; but this is absurd, since we are dealing with the region near Libanus (Masius).

The Giblites; a people dwelling near Sidon in Gebal, of which see 1 Kings 5:18; Ezekiel 27:9.

[The region of Libanus also toward the east, etc.] These words, if I am not mistaken, denote the remaining inhabitants or neighbors of Libanus (Masius). They had reached all the way to Libanus in the storming of cities, Joshua 11:17; 12:7 (Bonfrerius). Indeed, Joshua had routed enemies at the waters of Merom, all the way to Sidon and Libanus, but he had not rooted them out altogether; but, indeed, he appears to have stopped on the near side of Sidon and Libanus (Masius).

[From Baal-gad, etc.] That is, from the extremity of the East, he proceeds to Labo-Hamath,[5] concerning which there is to be discussion elsewhere (Masius). There was a twofold Hamath: 1. the greater, which was Antioch; 2. the lesser, which was Epiphania.[6] Of this they understand almost how far Judea was extending (Lapide). Now, Hamath was a royal city for the Northern region in the vicinity of Libanus; see 2 Samuel 8:9. And so it easily appears that those dwelling near Libanus are here indicated. LABO HEMATH, that is, the entering of Hamath, appears to have been almost in the middle part of the northern coast, which formed the boundary of the Holy Land near Libanus, where there was a road to Epiphania of Cœlesyria[7] (Masius).

[1] Hebrew: וְהָאָ֣רֶץ הַגִּבְלִ֗י וְכָל־הַלְּבָנוֹן֙ מִזְרַ֣ח הַשֶּׁ֔מֶשׁ מִבַּ֣עַל גָּ֔ד תַּ֖חַת הַר־חֶרְמ֑וֹן עַ֖ד לְב֥וֹא חֲמָֽת׃

[2] 1 Kings 5:18:  “And Solomon’s builders and Hiram’s builders did hew them, and the stone-squarers (וְהַגִּבְלִים, and the Giblites):  so they prepared timber and stones to build the house.”

[3] Byblos is a city on the coast of Lebanon.

[4] Ezekiel 27:9:  “The ancients of Gebal (גְבַל/Gebal; Βυβλίων/Byblos, in the Septuagint) and the wise men thereof were in thee thy calkers:  all the ships of the sea with their mariners were in thee to occupy thy merchandise.”

[5] Hebrew: לְב֥וֹא חֲמָֽת׃.

[6] Epiphania, now known as Hama, is located in Syria about one hundred and thirty miles north of Damascus.

[7] Cœlesyria was the valley between the Libanus and Antilibanus mountain ranges.

Joshua 13:4: Territories not yet Conquered, Part 4

Verse 4:[1]  From the south, all the land of the Canaanites, and Mearah (or, the cave[2]) that is beside the Sidonians, (Josh. 19:30) unto Aphek, to the borders of (see Judg. 1:34) the Amorites…

[On the southFrom the South (thus all in Bonfrerius).  Thus I explain it:  with those five dominions of the Philistines left behind from the south, and by making progress towards the North, Mearah of the Sidonians is passed by unto Aphek (Montanus).

[מִתֵּימָן]  From Theman (Septuagint).  That was a city in Idumæa; but because the whole of Idumæa was South of Judea, Teman is often put for the South, Joshua 15:1;[3] Job 9:9;[4] Isaiah 21:14 (Bonfrerius).

[All the land of Canaan]  Understanding, remains to be subdued (Vatablus).  Take this, either, 1.  of the dominion of the King of Arad, etc., near the wilderness of Paran, Zin, etc.:  see Numbers 21:1.  The Israelites had indeed conquered those peoples, and had suppressed them; but they had not altogether overthrown and driven them out:  for the city of Zephath was overthrown after Joshua, Judges 1:17.  Or, rather, 2.  of Phœnicia, which was peculiarly called Canaan.  For, 1.  thus from the Philistines unto these, as from the South unto the North, shall progress be made.  2.  To jump from the extremity of the South unto the plains of the Sidonians [which follows in the text] is certainly not to progress in an orderly manner.  3.  There is no mention that that coast of the sea was conquered by Joshua (Masius).  [But I wish it to be considered, whether מִתֵּימָן (from the south) is able to be used aptly of Phœnicia, which was the northern part of the Promised Land; and doe not the sense flow better if we take it in this way, from the south all Canaan, that is, the southern part of the land of Canaan, and then we supply, with Vatablus, is to be conquered.]

From the south, that is, from those southern parts of the sea-coast now possessed by the Philistines, all the more northern parts of the sea-coast being yet inhabited by the Canaanites, almost as far as Sidon, as it here follows; for there is no mention made of any conquests of Joshua upon the sea-coast.  The Canaanites, properly so called, are said to dwell by the sea, Numbers 13:29, and these are here spoken of, though some of them dwelt in other parts of the land.

[And Mearah of the Sidonians, וּמְעָרָ֛ה אֲשֶׁ֥ר לַצִּידֹנִ֖ים]  [They render it variously.]  Some maintain that it is the proper name either of a city, or of a river (Dutch).  Mearah, which is of the Sidonians (Pagnine).  Magora, etc., as Pliny calls it, Natural History 5:20.  ע is wont to be changed into ג/g.  Now, it is a river on the coast lying near to Libanus, between Sidon and Berytus (Junius).  Others take it appellatively:  The cave (or caves [Arabic]) of the Sidonians (Jonathan, Syriac, Arabic, Montanus, Munster, Bonfrerius).  1.  Thus מְעָרָה often and certainly signifies.  2.  Adrichomius and William of Tyre[5] make mention of an impregnable cave in a Sidonian field.  But, because a certain entire region appears to be understood, understand the preposition from, from Mearah [or, from the cave].  For, from the particle unto is able to be gathered that the two boundaries on both sides of a certain region are assigned (Bonfrerius).  [Thus Castalio certainly takes it, and translates it, and the Sidonian recess from Aphek unto the borders of the Amorites (Castalio).]  Others translate it, the plains of the Sidonians:  I suspect that they are the fields teeming with life, which near the shore of the sea are stretched out from Sidon unto Aphek.  For עָרָה often signifies green vegetation.  Hence the Chaldean translates מְעָרָה as a field or plain, Judges 20:33.[6]  Or, you might not ineptly translate it, the neighborhood of the Sidonians, or, the Sidonians themselves on every side (Masius).  מְעָרָה signifies vicinity in 1 Kings 7:36[7] (Hebrews in Masius).  Others:  and the side descending toward the Sidonians (Tigurinus).  They understand the entire region of the Sidonians.  But the Sidonians not yet conquered are treated in verse 6 (Bonfrerius).

Mearah; a strong place; it matters not whether it was a city, or an impregnable cave, which some writers mention to be in those parts.

[Unto Aphek and the borders of the Amorites]  Hebrew:  unto Aphek, unto the borders of the Amorites.[8]  It could be asked whether one and the same border is being signified in diverse words, or whether the borders of the Amorite are diverse from the town of Aphek.  I prefer the latter:  for those words, unto Aphek, unto the borders of the Amorites, appear to trace out the breadth of a certain region (Bonfrerius).  Moreover, Aphek is twofold:  one in the tribe of Judah, Joshua 15:53, concerning which 1 Samuel 4; 29; the other in the tribe of Asher, Joshua 19:30, concerning which Judges 1:31 (Bonfrerius).  I take it of the latter (Bonfrerius, Malvenda, Masius).  And, although its King was killed, Joshua 12:18, the land does not yet appear to have been possessed, Judges 1:31 (Bonfrerius).  Now, it was situated near the Album promontory (Masius), which is between Tyre and Acre or Ptolemais (Malvenda).  This Aphek is not in the region of Dor, for its King was overthrown[9] (Masius).  Moreover, the Amorites were twofold:  1.  who were in the Southern borders of Judea, of which we spoke on Joshua 9:1.  It is manifest that this is not understood of these.  2.  The Transjordanian Amorites:  and Masius takes it of these (Bonfrerius).  That, unto the borders of the Amorites, signifies those places from Aphek unto that part of mount Hermon near to Paneas and the fountain of Jordan:  For Eusebius writes that the Amorites dwelt there, and those nations were not able to be ejected, Judges 1:31-33 (Masius).  But I do not see how this is able to be taken of these, while in the following verse another region not yet occupied is related, the region of Libanus from Baal-gad under mount Hermon, while thou enterest into Hamath, which should necessarily be comprehended here, if the Transjordanian Amorites are understood, for the way unto those Amorites would be through Hamath and the fountains of Jordan.  Wherefore it is settled for me that there were certain western Amorites, yet for whom it would be difficult to establish fixed seats, because nowhere that I know of does the Scripture assign to the Amorites a specific seat near the Sidonians, and because in various places these dwelt, scattered in the midst of other Canaanites (Bonfrerius).

Aphek; not that of Judah, of which Joshua 15:53; but another in the tribe of Asher, of which Joshua 12:18; Judges 1:31.  To the borders of the Amorites:  the Amorites were a strong and very numerous people, and we find them dispersed in several parts, some within Jordan, and some without it; some in the south, and others in the north, of whom he speaks there.

[1] Hebrew:  מִתֵּימָ֞ן כָּל־אֶ֣רֶץ הַֽכְּנַעֲנִ֗י וּמְעָרָ֛ה אֲשֶׁ֥ר לַצִּידֹנִ֖ים עַד־אֲפֵ֑קָה עַ֖ד גְּב֥וּל הָאֱמֹרִֽי׃

[2] Hebrew:  וּמְעָרָה.  מְעָרָה signifies cave.

[3] Joshua 15:1:  “This then was the lot of the tribe of the children of Judah by their families; even to the border of Edom the wilderness of Zin southward was the uttermost part of the south coast (נֶ֖גְבָּה מִקְצֵ֥ה תֵימָֽן׃, southward was the uttermost part of Teman).”

[4] Job 9:9:  “Which maketh Arcturus, Orion, and Pleiades, and the chambers of the south (תֵמָן).”

[5] William (c. 1130-1186) was archbishop of Tyre.  He wrote the Historia Rerum in Partibus Transmarinis Gestarum (History of Affairs Conducted in Parts beyond the Sea), or Historia Hierosolymitana; it covers the history of the Crusades and the Kingdom of Jerusalem through the year 1184.

[6] Judges 20:33b:  “…and the liers in wait of Israel came forth out of their places, even out of the meadows of Gibeah (מִמַּעֲרֵה־גָבַע; מִמֵישַׁר גִבעְתָא, in the Chaldean).”

[7] 1 Kings 7:36:  “For on the plates of the ledges thereof, and on the borders thereof, he graved cherubims, lions, and palm trees, according to the proportion of every one (כְּמַעַר־אִישׁ), and additions round about.”

[8] Hebrew:  עַד־אֲפֵ֑קָה עַ֖ד גְּב֥וּל הָאֱמֹרִֽי׃.

[9] See Joshua 11; 12:23.

Joshua 13:3: Territories not yet Conquered, Part 3

Verse 3:[1] (Jer. 2:18) From Sihor, which is before Egypt, even unto the borders of Ekron northward, which is counted to the Canaanite: (Judg. 3:3; 1 Sam. 6:4, 16; Zeph. 2:5) five lords of the Philistines; the Gazathites, and the Ashdothites, the Eshkalonites, the Gittites, and the Ekronites; also (Deut. 2:23) the Avites…

[From the turbid river, מִן־הַשִּׁיחוֹר[2]] From the Black (Montanus); from Sihor (Jonathan, Junius and Tremellius, Tigurinus, Drusius). Sihor signifies any black, that is, turbid, not clear, river. I might believe that thence Sicoris was named by the Phœnicians in Hispania.[3] Thus he calls the Nile, Jeremiah 2:18. Dionysius Afer, …Σῖρις ὑπ᾽ Αἰθιόπων κικλήσκεται· οἱ δὲ Συήνης Ἐνναέται στρεφθέντι μετ᾽ οὔνομα Νεῖλον ἔθεντι, that is, it is called Siris by the Ethiopians, but, with the name changed, Nile by the inhabitants of Syene.[4] And hence Siris has its name, because the Nile proceeds to settle down there (Grotius). Question: But what river then is the Sihor? Responses: 1. It is the Nile (thus Munster, Pagnine, Vatablus, Masius, Lyra, Menochius, Tirinus, Lapide, Bonfrerius). Concerning which, in Jeremiah 2:18, he does not allow us to doubt. This was called μέλας/black by the Greeks, because of the waters clouded with mud, and thence Egypt was called μελάμβωλος, that is, negrigleba, having black soil (Masius). [2. Others think otherwise.] It is thought to be the river that, flowing past Arabia Petra, runs into the Serbonian Bog, and separates Egypt from the Promised Land. To me it is rather the Rhinocolura,[5] as Epiphanius well says.[6] See on Numbers 34:5 (Junius). To some this is the same as that which is elsewhere called the river of Egypt. Thus Cajetan and the Samaritan Text (Bonfrerius). And Jerome maintains there is a river that separates Egypt from Canaan other than the Nile: but among approved Geographers no mention is made of such a river. Now, Strabo, the most diligent of all, in addition to the great Pelusiac mouth of the Nile[7] makes another small mouth near Mount Casius,[8] unto which mountain he extends Judea, Geography 16, not far from which is the city Rhinocolura, at which Jerome leads his little river into the sea. Pliny also positions Rhinocolura as the last city of Judea.[9] Therefore, I think that it is a little river different from the Nile, but derived from it, and that therefore it retains the name of the Nile (Masius, certain interpreters in Vatablus). It is a rivulet of the Nile, namely, that flows into the Pelusiac sea near Gaza. Objection: But how is the Nile set as the border of Canaan? Responses: 1. Because that torrent of the desert, which is the natural border of the land, is a stream of the Nile (Lapide). 2. Since nothing lies between the Nile and that torrent, or the Rhinocorura, except wilderness, the matter comes to the same thing, whether you define whatever belongs to inhabited land in Palestine by that torrent, or by the Nile, the greater and more famous river (Bonfrerius out of Lapide for the most part). The land is not reckoned useless and uninhabited, neither is there any reason for that (Lapide). They think that it is Hyperbole, when the borders of Judea are extended all the way to the Nile (Masius).

Sihor; a river, of which see Isaiah 23:3; Jeremiah 2:18.

[Which waters Egypt, אֲשֶׁ֣ר׀ עַל־פְּנֵ֣י מִצְרַ֗יִם] Which is on the upper part (or, upon, or on, the face [Pagnine, Montanus, Septuagint]) of Egypt (Munster). Which is before Egypt, or, in view of Egypt (Tigurinus, Junius and Tremellius, Drusius). עַל־פְּנֵי is the same as לִפְנֵי, in view of, before (Drusius).

[Over against the North] Ekron here is placed as the last satrapy of the Philistines toward the North. And so Adrichomius incorrectly places Gath further North than it, from whom for that reason all dissent (Bonfrerius). Ekron appears to have been positioned above Gath Northward, even it today it is commonly thought otherwise (Masius).

[The land of Canaan, which is divided among the five petty kings of the Philistines, לַֽכְּנַעֲנִ֖י תֵּחָשֵׁ֑ב חֲמֵ֣שֶׁת׀ סַרְנֵ֣י וגו״] To the Canaanite (unto the Canaanite [Munster], among the Canaanites [Tigurinus], of the Canaanite himself [Pagnine]) it shall be reputed (Montanus) (it is reputed [Pagnine, Tigurinus], it is reckoned [Munster], to the Canaanites it is assigned [Junius and Tremellius, similarly Masius]), namely, five principalities (or, prefectures [Munster, Castalio], or, satrapies [Tigurinus, Junius and Tremellius], or rather, satraps [Piscator, Pagnine, Dutch, Montanus, similarly Jonathan, Syriac, Arabic]). Something must be understood, and in that place are, or dwell, five, etc. (Vatablus). Now, those words, from Sihor unto the borders of Ekron towards the North it is to be reckoned to the Canaanites, are spoken by way of parenthesis, and contain a πρόληψιν/prolepsis. For they forestall what things might be able to be objected, why these are reckoned to the land promised to the Hebrews, since this nation was not descended from that devoted stock of the Canaanites, but of Mizraim. But, says the Sacred Text, although the Philistines dwell there, that region is to be considered as land of the Canaanites (Masius, Bonfrerius). He alleges not reason for this matter, yet it is able manifestly to be gathered from other Scriptures (Bonfrerius). Because formerly the Canaanites inhabited those places, and were in the end cast out from there by force by the Philistines, or Caphtorim (who, it is certain, were of the race of the Philistines). See Deuteronomy 2:23 (Masius, Bonfrerius), and Genesis 10:14 (Bonfrerius). That סְרָנִים/lords appears to have been a term peculiar to the Philistines, and to signify satraps, princes, or magnates. Now, here it is used by metonymy in the place of the dominions themselves (Masius). But he enumerates six satrapies, while he says that there are five; but that the Avites, or Hivites, are not of the satrapies of the Philistines. Others say that the five more excellent are enumerated; that the Avite is more obscure: which is not approved by the learned (Vatablus).

[And the Hivites] Some transfer these to the following verse. Thus the Latin (so that he might make them diverse from the Philistines), in imitation of the Septuagint, says Masius [with what trustworthiness, let each consider, for in our exemplars of the Septuagint, the matter is otherwise]: thus also some of the Hebrew Doctors (Masius). He rightly transfers that הָעַוִּים, the Avites, into the new sentence, contrary to the Hebrew division,[10] which, while it had promised that it was going to enumerate five, enumerates six (Grotius). [But others refer this to the preceding verse (Septuagint, Jonathan, Syriac, Arabic, Munster, Pagnine, Tigurinus, Masius).] Moreover, in the word עַוִּים/Avites the letter Ain (ע) is put in the place of the letter Heth (ח), as Nahmanides proves with many examples. For they are cognate letters, and are often used interchangeably. Thus we use חַוְיָא and עַוְיָא for serpent in Genesis Rabbah (Masius). [Bochart otherwise:] With the חִוִּים/Hivites I see the הָעַוִּים/Havites confounded everywhere, even by the Hebrews; which has not quite been proven to me: for the names do not agree, neither was their seat the same; for the former were inhabiting Hermon, the latter Philistia (as was here said); having been driven from there by the Caphtorim, Deuteronomy 2:23, they are thought to have crossed Euphrates, and thence they were carried into Samaria by the Assyrians, 2 Kings 17:31. Moreover, they do not appear to have been of the race of the Canaanites (Bochart’s Sacred Geography “Phaleg” 4:36:345). Mention is made here of the Avites because, as it is plausible, many of those, although ignoble and rustic, remained unto the times of Joshua in those places, from which formerly their ancestors were driven by the Caphtorim (Masius).

Which is counted to the Canaanite, that is, which, though now possessed by the Philistines, who drove out the Canaanites, the old inhabitants of it, Deuteronomy 2:23; Amos 9:7; yet is a part of the land of Canaan, and therefore belongs to the Israelites. The Avites, or the Avims, as they are called, Deuteronomy 2:23; who though they were expelled out of their ancient seat, and most of them destroyed by the Caphtorims or Philistines, as is there said, yet many of them probably escaped, and planted themselves in some other place not very far from the former.

[1] Hebrew: מִֽן־הַשִּׁיח֞וֹר אֲשֶׁ֣ר׀ עַל־פְּנֵ֣י מִצְרַ֗יִם וְעַ֙ד גְּב֤וּל עֶקְרוֹן֙ צָפ֔וֹנָה לַֽכְּנַעֲנִ֖י תֵּחָשֵׁ֑ב חֲמֵ֣שֶׁת׀ סַרְנֵ֣י פְלִשְׁתִּ֗ים הָעַזָּתִ֤י וְהָאַשְׁדּוֹדִי֙ הָאֶשְׁקְלוֹנִ֣י הַגִּתִּ֔י וְהָעֶקְרוֹנִ֖י וְהָעַוִּֽים׃

[2] שִׁיחוֹר/Sihor may be related to שָׁחַר, to be black.

[3] The Segre, formerly known as Sicoris, is in the north-eastern part of Spain.

[4] Syene was a Roman frontier town, on the eastern bank of the Nile just below the Lesser Cataract.

[5] The Rhinocolura was the easternmost branch of the Nile.

[6] Against Heresies 46.

[7] The Pelusiac mouth would be the easternmost branch in the Nile Delta.

[8] Casius is a small mountain located near the Serbonian Bog.

[9] Natural History 5:14.

[10] Joshua 13:3:  “From Sihor, which is before Egypt, even unto the borders of Ekron northward, which is counted to the Canaanite:  five lords of the Philistines; the Gazathites, and the Ashdothites, the Eshkalonites, the Gittites, and the Ekronites; also the Avites (וְהָעַוִּֽים׃)…”  The Silluq (ֽ׃) is the strongest disjunctive accent, and stands at the end of each verse.

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.