Joshua Chapter 19
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Go to Bible: Joshua 19
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“Beth-marcaboth.” Meaning, “house of chariots.”
“Hazar-susah.” Means, a fenced area for horses.(top)
|Jos 19:6||- (top)|
|Jos 19:7||- (top)|
|Jos 19:8||- (top)|
“in the midst of Judah’s inheritance.” The Hebrew is “in the midst of their inheritance,” but in English, it then reads like Simeon had an inheritance inside their own inheritance, which is not what the text is saying. Simeon’s inheritance was inside Judah’s inheritance. Over time it seems that Simeon was absorbed into Judah, because at the split of the United Kingdom of Israel into the two smaller countries of Israel and Judah, “Judah” is said to consist only of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin, but Simeon would have been in Judah.(top)
“Zebulun.” Zebulun was the sixth son of Leah (Gen. 30:19-20).
“Sarid.” The city of Sarid is in the Valley of Jezreel just below the Nazareth ridge. That makes it the southwest corner of the territory of Zebulun.(top)
“went up westward to Maralah.” That is, the border went up westward from Zarid (cp. Josh. 19:10).(top)
“Chisloth-tabor.” This literally means, “the Slopes of Tabor.” This is almost certainly the modern Arabic town of Exaloth, a town just to the south of the Nazareth ridge and west of Mount Tabor.(top)
“Gath-hepher.” Jonah was from Gath-hepher (2 Kings 14:25). Gath-hepher was just over 4 miles (about 6.5 km) north-northeast from Nazareth, and about 3.5 miles (about 5.5 km) southeast of Sepphoris.(top)
|Jos 19:14||- (top)|
“Bethlehem.” This is the northern town of Bethlehem, and it is in the tribe of Zebulun.(top)
|Jos 19:16||- (top)|
“Issachar.” Issachar was the fifth son of Jacob’s wife Leah (Gen. 30:18).(top)
“Jezreel.” This is the town of Jezreel, in the Valley of Jezreel.(top)
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“Tabor.” That is, Mount Tabor.
“Beth-shemesh.” This means, “House of the Sun.” This is not the Beth-shemesh of Judah.(top)
|Jos 19:23||- (top)|
“the children of Asher.” Asher was the second son of Leah’s slave Zilpah. “Gad” was Zilpah’s first son (Gen. 30:10-13).(top)
“Helkath.” This city is likely known, close to the Kishon River in the Valley of Jezreel. In this context, Joshua is using Helkath as a city of departure, as he did when speaking of the territories of other tribes. From Helkath, the territory goes west (Josh. 19:26). Also from Helkath it goes eastward (northeastward) (Josh. 19:27).(top)
“On the west.” This is also the southwest, but it is west of the other cities that had been mentioned.
“Shihor-libnath.” This is likely Haifa on the Mediterranean Sea.(top)
“It turned toward the sunrise to Beth-dagon.” Joshua gets his reference point from Helkat (Josh. 19:25-26. See commentary on Josh. 19:25).
“the valley of Iphtah-el.” In Joshua 19:14, “the valley of Iphtah-el” is the north border of Zebulun, and here it is the south border of Asher.
“on the left.” Some versions have “north,” and “the left hand” is usually north, but in this case, it seems clear that the border of Asher went north with Cabul on the left.(top)
“great Sidon.” Also occurred in Joshua 11:8.(top)
|Jos 19:29||- (top)|
“Ummah also, and Aphek and Rehob.” These are not border cities, but cities included in Asher.(top)
|Jos 19:31||- (top)|
“Naphtali.” “Naphtali” means “wrestling,” and he was the second son of Bilhah, the slave of Rachel (Gen. 30:7-8).(top)
“the Jordan.” The Jordan River.(top)
“The border turned westward to Aznoth-tabor.” It seems clear that Joshua is doing what he has done for other tribal measurements: picking a city as a starting place and going out from there. The city is likely Heleph (Josh. 19:33), and from there he went east to the Jordan, and now he is describing the border in a westerly direction. It seems clear that since the first city is Aznoth-tabor (the “ears of Tabor”), that Heleph is near Mount Tabor, likely slightly east of Mount Tabor because he went west to Aznoth-tabor.
“as far as Zebulun.” That is, as far as the tribal territory of Zebulun.
“and to Judah at the Jordan.” This is not the tribal area of Judah, but a town called “Judah” on the Upper Jordan (north of the Sea of Galilee). The location is unknown.(top)
“Chinnereth.” The same name as the Sea of Chinnereth (the Sea of Galilee), but it refers to a city on the northwest side of the sea.a There is archaeological evidence at Chinnereth that dates to the time of Joshua.
David Howard, Joshua [NAC].
|Jos 19:36||- (top)|
“Kedesh.” This became one of the cities of refuge (Josh. 20:7; Num. 35:9-34; Deut. 19:1-13).(top)
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“Dan.” Dan was the first son of Bilhah, the slave of Jacob’s wife Rachel. Dan was the full brother of Naphtali. (Gen. 30:5-6).(top)
“Ir-shemesh.” Almost certainly another name of Beth-shemesh.(top)
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“Me-jarkon.” The name means “waters of the Yarkon,” the Yarkon River. This would be a city near the source of the Yarkon River. The Yarkon River flows powerfully from Aphek to the Mediterranean Sea.(top)
“But the territory of the children of Dan was lost to them.” The real story is given in Judges 1:34. The Danites could not, or would not, defeat the Amorites who lived in the territory assigned to Dan, so the Danites went north and conquered Laish, which they renamed “Dan.” That turned out to be a very poor decision for them because they became the first tribe attacked by every army that came from the north: Syria, Assyria, Babylonia, Persia, Greece, and Rome. They were effectively wiped out by the Assyrians around 725 BC, and archaeological surface surveys of the Galilee show very little organized occupation for many years after the Assyrians came through.
The Hebrew text plays with the words to make the action of the children of Dan stand out. The text says that “the territory of the children of Dan ‘went out’ from them,” and also that the “children of Dan ‘went up’ and fought.” The words, “went out” and “went up” have been used to describe the direction of the borders or the tribes, but now Joshua uses them to describe the people of Dan.
“Leshem.” Called Laish in Judges 18.
“the mouth of the sword.” Used to show great destruction, as if the sword was eating its victims (see commentary on Josh. 6:21).
“their father.” Here “father” is used commonly of “ancestor.”(top)
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“in the hill country of Ephraim.” Joshua was from the tribe of Ephraim (Num. 13:8) so the city he received as an inheritance was in the tribal area of Ephraim. Joshua and Caleb were the two faithful spies who searched out the Promised Land when Moses sent out the 12 spies from the wilderness of Paran (Num. 13:3), and each of them got a city as a reward for their faithfulness (cp. Caleb’s city; Josh. 15:13). Joshua is a type of Christ, and the inheritance that he received as the reward for his faithfulness foreshadows the special land-reward that Jesus will get in the Millennial Kingdom for his faithfulness (cp. Ezek. 48:21).(top)
“the Tent of Meeting.” The “Tabernacle” (“Dwelling Place”) is also referred to as the “Tent of Meeting” because it was the place where people met with God. The Hebrew phrase is 'ohel mo'ed, in which 'ohel (#0168) means “tent,” and is followed by mo'ed (#04150 מוֹעֵד or מֹעֵד) which means a “meeting” or a “place for a meeting.” Thus the 'ohel mo'ed is the “Tent of Meeting” (see commentary on Exod. 27:21).(top)