Joshua 19:35-39: The Cities of Naphtali

Verse 35:[1] And the fenced cities are Ziddim, Zer, and Hammath, Rakkath, and Chinnereth…

[And Emath] Or Hammath. It was twofold: 1. greater (which is called great, Amos 6:2), namely, Antioch; 2. lesser, which is Epiphaneia,[2] concerning which in this place (Bonfrerius). But, But when Ptolemy locates Antioch higher than Damascus by two and half degrees, but Epiphaneia by almost one and half, I infer (I do not know how rightly) that this is another and third Hamath, near which is Riblah, 2 Kings 23:33, which is below the source of Jordan, Numbers 34:11. Although it was able to happen that the Nephthalim were lying extended above the fountains of Jordan toward the North and East (Masius). Some ascribe to them Damascus, Abilene,[3] Chalchis,[4] Palmyra,[5] Emesa,[6] and other most famous cities toward Euphrates: But it was not yet conceded to them to dwell near Euphrates. See what things are on Joshua 1:4 (Masius).

Hammath, or, Hamath; of which see Numbers 34:8; 1 Kings 8:65; 2 Kings 23:33.

[And Chinnereth] Whence the lake afterwards called Gennesaret received its name (Junius, Lapide, similarly Masius, Bonfrerius). This city was near the sea of Gennesaret, where the Jordan flows into that; and so it was not able to be Tiberias,[7] as it appears in Masius and Montanus (since it moves away from that part of the lake toward the south), but rather Capernaum, or another city near to it in situation (Bonfrerius). Nevertheless, others maintain that there were two Chinnereths, one in the tribe of Naphtali, the other in Zebulun, which is also called Tiberias (thus Eusebius in Masius, Adrichomius in Bonfrerius).

Chinnereth; whence the lake of Chinnereth or Gennesaret received its name.


Verse 36:[8] And Adamah, and Ramah, and Hazor…


Verse 37:[9] And Kedesh, and Edrei, and En-hazor…


Verse 38:[10] And Iron, and Migdal-el, Horem, and Beth-anath, and Beth-shemesh; nineteen cities with their villages.

[Nineteen cities] But we have twenty-three locations here. Therefore, the others were names of obscurer villages (Bonfrerius).

Nineteen cities: see on verse 15, 22, 30.


Verse 39:[11] This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Naphtali according to their families, the cities and their villages.

[1] Hebrew:  וְעָרֵ֖י מִבְצָ֑ר הַצִּדִּ֣ים צֵ֔ר וְחַמַּ֖ת רַקַּ֥ת וְכִנָּֽרֶת׃

[2] Located in west-central Syria.

[3] Abilene was a region/plain, reaching from the eastern slopes of the Anti-Libanus to the south and east of Damascus.

[4] Located in north-western Syria.

[5] Located in central Syria.

[6] Located in west-central Syria.

[7] Located on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee.

[8] Hebrew: וַאֲדָמָ֥ה וְהָרָמָ֖ה וְחָצֽוֹר׃

[9] Hebrew: וְקֶ֥דֶשׁ וְאֶדְרֶ֖עִי וְעֵ֥ין חָצֽוֹר׃

[10] Hebrew: וְיִרְאוֹן֙ וּמִגְדַּל־אֵ֔ל חֳרֵ֥ם וּבֵית־עֲנָ֖ת וּבֵ֣ית שָׁ֑מֶשׁ עָרִ֥ים תְּשַֽׁע־עֶשְׂרֵ֖ה וְחַצְרֵיהֶֽן׃

[11] Hebrew: זֹ֗את נַחֲלַ֛ת מַטֵּ֥ה בְנֵֽי־נַפְתָּלִ֖י לְמִשְׁפְּחֹתָ֑ם הֶעָרִ֖ים וְחַצְרֵיהֶֽן׃

1 thought on “Joshua 19:35-39: The Cities of Naphtali

  1. Matthew Henry: ‘Naphtali lay furthest north of all the tribes, bordering on Mount Libanus. The city of Leshem, or Laish, lay on the utmost edge of it to the north, and therefore when the Danites had made themselves masters of it, and called it Dan, the length of Canaan from north to south was reckoned from Dan to Beersheba. It had Zebulun on the south, Asher on the west, and Judah upon Jordan, probably a city of that name, and so distinguished from the tribe of Judah on the east. It was in the lot of this tribe, near the waters of Merom, that Joshua fought and routed Jabin, Joshua 11:1. etc. In this tribe stood Capernaum and Bethsaida, on the north end of the sea of Tiberias, in which Christ did so many mighty works; and the mountain (as is supposed) on which Christ preached, Matthew 5:1.’

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