Joshua 15:37-44: The Cities of Judah, Part 4

Verse 37:[1] Zenan, and Hadashah, and Migdal-gad…

[Migdal-gad, וּמִגְדַּל־גָּד] So called perhaps from some eminent deed of some Gadite, just like the stone of Bohan the son of Reuben, in verse 6, which you may see, if you wish (Malvenda).


Verse 38:[2] And Dilean, and Mizpeh, (2 Kings 14:7) and Joktheel…

[Mizpeh, וְהַמִּצְפֶּה] There were several. One in the tribe of Judah, in the borders of Eleutheropolis,[3] says Eusebius;[4] and again in another place he says that the Mizpeh of Judah was neighboring the city of Kirjath-Jearim[5] (Masius). Here (says Eusebius) Jephthah dwelt.[6] But he is incorrect; for that Mizpeh was not this Mizpeh of Judah, but of Gilead on the other side of Jordan (Malvenda).

[Joktheel, וְיָקְתְאֵל[7]] This is Petra of Arabia. See 2 Kings 14:7 (Junius). You will learn that this name was not given to a city of the Arabs before the times of Amaziah,[8] 2 Kings 14:7 (Grotius). And that war of Amaziah was indeed conducted near Petra of Arabia. Nevertheless, others by Petra in that passage understand a certain stone, or rock,[9] in the plains of the lot of Judah, fortified by nature; but that Joktheel they think to be same as this Joktheel in our passage: and hence they gather that this book of Joshua was not finalized until after the times of the Kings (Malvenda).


Verse 39:[10] Lachish, and Bozkath, and Eglon…


Verse 40:[11] And Cabbon, and Lahmam, and Kithlish…

Verse 41:[12] And Gederoth, Beth-dagon, and Naamah, and Makkedah; sixteen cities with their villages…


Verse 42:[13] Libnah, and Ether, and Ashan…

Libnah; Hebrew, Libnah.[14] See Joshua 10:29.


Verse 43:[15] And Jiphtah, and Ashnah, and Nezib…


Verse 44:[16] And Keilah, and Achzib, and Mareshah; nine cities with their villages…

[1] Hebrew: צְנָ֥ן וַחֲדָשָׁ֖ה וּמִגְדַּל־גָּֽד׃

[2] Hebrew: וְדִלְעָ֥ן וְהַמִּצְפֶּ֖ה וְיָקְתְאֵֽל׃

[3] Eleutheropolis was roughly thirty-three miles southwest of Jerusalem, on the way to Gaza.

[4] Onomasticon.

[5] Kirjath-Jearim is about nine miles due west of Jerusalem.

[6] See Judges 11:34.

[7] The etymology of  יָקְתְאֵלis uncertain, but it may be from יָקְתֶּה אֵל, subdued by God.  In Arabic, קתא signifies to serve.

[8] Circa 827 BC.

[9] 2 Kings 14:7:  “He slew of Edom in the valley of salt ten thousand, and took Selah (הַסֶּלַע, the rock/cliff; petram, in the Vulgate) by war, and called the name of it Joktheel unto this day.”

[10] Hebrew: לָכִ֥ישׁ וּבָצְקַ֖ת וְעֶגְלֽוֹן׃

[11] Hebrew: וְכַבּ֥וֹן וְלַחְמָ֖ס וְכִתְלִֽישׁ׃

[12] Hebrew: וּגְדֵר֕וֹת בֵּית־דָּג֥וֹן וְנַעֲמָ֖ה וּמַקֵּדָ֑ה עָרִ֥ים שֵׁשׁ־עֶשְׂרֵ֖ה וְחַצְרֵיהֶֽן׃

[13] Hebrew: לִבְנָ֥ה וָעֶ֖תֶר וְעָשָֽׁן׃

[14] The Vulgate reads Labana.

[15] Hebrew: וְיִפְתָּ֥ח וְאַשְׁנָ֖ה וּנְצִֽיב׃

[16] Hebrew: וּקְעִילָ֥ה וְאַכְזִ֖יב וּמָֽרֵאשָׁ֑ה עָרִ֥ים תֵּ֖שַׁע וְחַצְרֵיהֶֽן׃

1 thought on “Joshua 15:37-44: The Cities of Judah, Part 4

  1. John Calvin: ‘He had formerly, indeed, traced out the boundaries of the children of Judah; but it is now shown for a different reason how large and fertile the territory was which the Lord in his great liberality had bestowed upon them. One hundred and thirteen cities with their towns and villages are enumerated. The number attests not only the populousness, but also the fertility of the country. And there cannot be a doubt that by the divine blessing a new degree of fertility was imparted to it. The goodness of God was, however, manifested in the very nature of the land selected for his people, a land abounding in all kinds of advantages.’

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