Joshua 18:18-20: Benjamin’s Southern Border, Part 2

Verse 18:[1] And passed along toward the side over against (Josh. 15:6) Arabah (or, the plain[2]) northward, and went down unto Arabah…

[And it passes along from the side of the North unto the plains] Masius thus translates it, and it was extended to the side adjacent to the desert from the North, that is, so that the wilderness might remain on the right hand [or, on the South] in the borders of Judah (Masius).

[And it descends into the plain, or, into the field (Munster, Tigurinus), וְיָרַ֖ד הָעֲרָבָֽתָה׃] But to others it is the name of a place: It descends into Arabah (Pagnine, Junius and Tremellius, Vatablus, Masius). This was hereafter called Beth-arabah, which was in a wilderness. See what things are on Joshua 15:6 (Masius).

Arabah, called Beth-arabah, Joshua 15:6.


Verse 19:[3] And the border passed along to the side of Beth-hoglah northward: and the outgoings of the border were at the north bay (Heb. tongue[4]) of the salt sea at the south end of Jordan: this was the south coast.

[And it passes by over against the North of Beth-hoglah, צָפוֹנָה] Northward (Masius out of the Chaldean). This is not to be taken in this way, that the line leaves Beth-hoglah toward the South, and so it is the Northern border of Beth-hoglah (Bonfrerius, Masius); for thus it would exclude it from that inheritance, although the following review shows that it is to be included[5] (Masius): but in this way, that the border leaves Beth-hoglah toward the North (Bonfrerius). It signifies that this tract does not extend directly toward the East, but turns somewhat toward the North. Or, I would grant it, if one should prefer that Beth-hoglah belongs to the Judahites, but that here it is reviewed as set on the border. For Beth-arabah, which also belonged to the Judahites, Joshua 15, is here reviewed also (Masius).

[Over against the tongue of the sea, etc.] Toward the extension of the salt sea, that is, toward the place in which that sea extends into the land (Vatablus).

At the north bay of the Salt Sea, where an arm of that sea runs into the land, which is opposed to the south bay that was in the south border of the tribe of Judah, Joshua 15:2. At the south end of Jordan, where it enters into the Salt Sea, which is here opposed to the north end of it, or the spring-head, which was in the north.


Verse 20:[6] And Jordan was the border of it on the east side. This was the inheritance of the children of Benjamin, by the coasts thereof round about, according to their families.

[1] Hebrew: וְעָבַ֛ר אֶל־כֶּ֥תֶף מוּל־הָֽעֲרָבָ֖ה צָפ֑וֹנָה וְיָרַ֖ד הָעֲרָבָֽתָה׃

[2] Hebrew: הָעֲרָבָה.

[3] Hebrew: וְעָבַ֙ר הַגְּב֜וּל אֶל־כֶּ֣תֶף בֵּית־חָגְלָה֮ צָפוֹנָה֒ וְהָיָ֣ה ׀ תֹּצְא֣וֹתָיו הַגְּב֗וּל אֶל־לְשׁ֤וֹן יָם־הַמֶּ֙לַח֙ צָפ֔וֹנָה אֶל־קְצֵ֥ה הַיַּרְדֵּ֖ן נֶ֑גְבָּה זֶ֖ה גְּב֥וּל נֶֽגֶב׃

[4] Hebrew: לְשׁוֹן.

[5] See verse 21.

[6] Hebrew: וְהַיַּרְדֵּ֥ן יִגְבֹּל־אֹת֖וֹ לִפְאַת־קֵ֑דְמָה זֹ֡את נַחֲלַת֩ בְּנֵ֙י בִנְיָמִ֧ן לִגְבֽוּלֹתֶ֛יהָ סָבִ֖יב לְמִשְׁפְּחֹתָֽם׃

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