Sacred Texts  Bible  Bible Commentary  Index 
Numbers Index
  Previous  Next 

Notes on the Bible, by Albert Barnes, [1834], at

Numbers Chapter 34

Numbers 34:2

num 34:2

The land of Canaan - The name Canaan is here restricted to the territory west of the Jordan.

Numbers 34:3

num 34:3

The southern boundary commenced at the Dead Sea. The broad and desolate valley by which the depressed bed of that sea is protected toward the south, is called the Ghor. A deep narrow glen enters it at its southwest corner; it is called Wady-el-Fikreh, and is continued in the same southwestern direction, under the name of Wady el-Marrah; a wady which loses itself among the hills belonging to "the wilderness of Zin;" and Kadesh-barnea (see Num 13:26 note), which is "in the wilderness of Zin," will be, as the text implies, the southernmost point of the southern boundary. Thence, if Kadesh be identical with the present Ain el-Weibeh, westward to the river, or brook of Egypt, now Wady el-Arish, is a distance of about seventy miles. In this interval were Hazar-addar and Azmon; the former being perhaps the general name of a district of Hazerim, or nomad hamlets (see Deu 2:23), of which Adder was one: and Azmon, perhaps to be identified with Kesam, the modern Kasaimeh, a group of springs situate in the north of one of the gaps in the ridge, and a short distance west of Ain el-Kudeirat.

(Others consider the boundary line to have followed the Ghor along the Arabah to the south of the Azazimeh mountains, thence to Gadis round the southeast of that mountain, and thence to Wady el-Arish.)

Numbers 34:7

num 34:7

The northern border. On the "Mount Hor," compare Num 20:22 note. Here the name denotes the whole western crest of Mount Lebanon, 80 miles in length, commencing east of Zidon, and terminating with the point immediately above the entrance of Hamath (compare Num 13:21). The extreme point in the northern border of the land was the city of Zedad (Sadad), about 30 miles east of the entrance of Hamath. Hence, the border turned back southwestward to Ziphron (Zifran), about 40 miles northeast of Damascus. Hazar-enan may be conjecturally identified with Ayun ed-Dara, a fountain situate in the very heart of the great central chain of Antilibanus.

Numbers 34:10

num 34:10

Shepham, the first point after Hazar-enan, is unknown. The name Riblah is by some read Har-bel, i. e., "the Mountain of Bel;" the Har-baal-Hermon of Jdg 3:3. No more striking landmark could be set forth than the summit of Hermon, the southernmost and by far the loftiest peak of the whole Antilibanus range, rising to a height of 10,000 feet, and overtopping every other mountain in the Holy land. Ain, i. e. the fountain, is understood to be the fountain of the Jordan; and it is in the plain at the southwestern foot of Hermon that the two most celebrated sources of that river, those of Daphne and of Paneas, are situate.

The "sea of Chinnereth" is better known by its later name of Gennesaret, which is supposed to be only a corruption of Chinnereth. The border ran parallel to this sea, along the line of hill about 10 miles further east.

Numbers 34:16

num 34:16

Of the representatives now selected through Moses beforehand, who were all princes, i. e. heads of chief families, in their respective tribes (see Num 13:2), Caleb alone, of the tribe of Judah, is otherwise known to us (see Num 13:4 ff). The order in which the tribes are named is peculiar to this passage. If they be taken in pairs, Judah and Simeon, Benjamin and Dan, Manasseh and Ephraim, Zebulun and Issachar, Asher and Naphtali, the order of the pairs agrees with the order in which the allotments in the Holy land, taken also in couples, followed each other in the map from south to north.

Next: Numbers Chapter 35