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׃

1 thought on “Joshua 12:5, 6: Kings Conquered by Moses, Part 5

  1. Matthew Henry: ‘The distribution of this country. Moses assigned it to the two tribes and a half, at their request, and divided it among them (Joshua 12:6), of which we had the story at large, Numbers 32. The dividing of it when it was conquered by Moses is here mentioned as an example to Joshua what he must do now that he had conquered the country on this side Jordan. Moses, in his time, gave to one part of Israel a very rich and fruitful country, but it was on the outside of Jordan; but Joshua gave to all Israel the holy land, the mountain of God’s sanctuary, within Jordan: so the law conferred upon some few of God’s spiritual Israel external temporal blessings, which were earnests of good things to come; but our Lord Jesus, the true Joshua, has provided for all the children of promise spiritual blessings—the privileges of the sanctuary, and the heavenly Canaan. The triumphs and grants of the law were glorious, but those of the gospel far exceed in glory.’

Leave a Reply to Steven Dilday Cancel reply