Joshua 18:11: Benjamin’s Lot

Verse 11:[1] And the lot of the tribe of the children of Benjamin came up according to their families: and the coast of their lot came forth between the children of Judah and the children of Joseph.

[And came up the lot] וַיַּעַל here is able to be either from the Qal form, and it came up, that is, it was drawn up, or extracted; or from the Hiphil, and he, namely, Joshua, caused to ascend, or drew out (Malvenda). The lot is said to come up from Jordan, as from a lower place, toward Jerusalem, which was in a higher place (Lyra). But a ὑπαλλαγῇ/hypallage[2] is not at all necessary. For a lot comes up, when it is drawn out of the urn; and borders go forth from the same pot together with the lot, for this designate what those are (Masius). Now, this lot of Benjamin was exceedingly narrow with respect to space, but was chief with respect to goodness, as Josephus testifies, Antiquities 5:1 (Bonfrerius, Masius).

[Between the children of Judah and the children of Joseph] The Divine providence is here to be observed, whereby they are placed nearest both to the Josephites, with whom they were conjoined in the closest bond of family,[3] and to the Judahites, with whom they were going to be in the future associates in protecting the sacred things of their ancestors against the defection of the other tribes. This lot is most exactly adapted to the prediction of Moses, Deuteronomy 33:12 (Masius).

Between the children of Judah and the children of Joseph: Wherein we see the wisdom of Divine Providence, this being the only place in which that prophecy, Deuteronomy 33:12, could have been accomplished.

[1] Hebrew: וַיַּ֗עַל גּוֹרַ֛ל מַטֵּ֥ה בְנֵֽי־בִנְיָמִ֖ן לְמִשְׁפְּחֹתָ֑ם וַיֵּצֵא֙ גְּב֣וּל גּֽוֹרָלָ֔ם בֵּ֚ין בְּנֵ֣י יְהוּדָ֔ה וּבֵ֖ין בְּנֵ֥י יוֹסֵֽף׃

[2] That is, a reversal of an expected syntactical relationship between two words.

[3] Joseph and Benjamin were the two sons of Jacob’s beloved wife, Rachel.  See Genesis 30:22-24; 35:16-19.

1 thought on “Joshua 18:11: Benjamin’s Lot

  1. Matthew Henry: ‘We have here the lot of the tribe of Benjamin, which Providence cast next to Joseph on the one hand, because Benjamin was own and only brother to Joseph, and was little Benjamin (Psalm 68:27), that needed the protection of great Joseph, and yet had a better protector, for the Lord shall cover him all the day long, Deuteronomy 33:12. And it was next to Judah on the other hand, that this tribe might hereafter unite with Judah in an adherence to the throne of David and the temple at Jerusalem.’

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