Sacred Texts  Bible  Bible Commentary  Index 
Joshua Index
  Previous  Next 

Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament, by Carl Friedrich Keil and Franz Delitzsh, [1857-78], at

Joshua Chapter 15


jos 15:0

Inheritance of the Tribe of Judah - Joshua 15

Under the superintending providence of God, the inheritance which fell to the tribe of Judah by lot was in the southern part of Canaan, where Caleb had already received his inheritance, so that he was not separated from his tribe. The inheritance of Judah is first of all described according to its boundaries (Jos 15:1-12); then for the sake of completeness it is stated once more with regard to Caleb, that he received Kirjath-arba for his inheritance, and took possession of it by expelling the Anakites and conquering Debir (Jos 15:13-20); and after this a list is given of the towns in the different parts (vv. 21-63).

Joshua 15:1

jos 15:1

Boundaries of the inheritance of the tribe of Judah. - Jos 15:1. Its situation in the land. "And there was (i.e., fell, or came out; cf. Jos 16:1; Jos 19:1) the lot to the tribe of Judah according to its families to the frontier of Edom (see at Num 34:3), to the desert of Zin southward, against the extreme south" (lit. from the end or extremity of the south), i.e., its inheritance fell to it, so that it reached to the territory of Edom and the desert of Zin, in which Kadesh was situated (see at Num 13:21), on the extreme south of Canaan.

Jos 15:2-4

The southern boundary. This was also the southern boundary of the land of Israel generally, and coincided with the southern boundary of Canaan as described in Num 34:3-5. It went out "from the end of the salt sea, namely, from the tongue which turneth to the south," i.e., from the southern point of the Dead Sea, which is now a salt marsh.

Jos 15:3-4

Thence it proceeded "to the southern boundary of the ascent of Akrabbim," i.e., the row of lofty whitish cliffs which intersects the Arabah about eight miles below the Dead Sea (see at Num 34:4), "and passed across to Zin," i.e., the Wady Murreh (see at Num 13:21), "and went up to the south of Kadesh-barnea," i.e., by Ain Kudes (see at Num 20:16), "and passed over to Hezron, and went up to Adar, and turned to Karkaa, and went over to Azmon, and went out into the brook of Egypt," i.e., the Wady el Arish. On the probable situation of Hezron, Adar, Karkaa, and Azmon, see at Num 34:4-5. "And the outgoings of the boundary were to the sea" (the Mediterranean). The Wady el Arish, a marked boundary, takes first of all a northerly and then a north-westerly course, and opens into the Mediterranean Sea (see Pent. p. 358). היה in the singular before the subject in the plural must not be interfered with (see Ewald, 316, a.). - The words "this shall be your south coast" point back to the southern boundary of Canaan as laid down in Num 34:2., and show that the southern boundary of the tribe-territory of Judah was also the southern boundary of the land to be taken by Israel.

Jos 15:5

"The eastern boundary was the salt sea to the end of the Jordan," i.e., the Dead Sea, in all its length up to the point where the Jordan entered it.

Jos 15:5-11

In Jos 15:5-11 we have a description of the northern boundary, which is repeated in Jos 18:15-19 as the southern boundary of Benjamin, though in the opposite direction, namely, from west to east. It started "from the tongue of the (salt) sea, the end (i.e., the mouth) of the Jordan, and went up to Beth-hagla," - a border town between Judah and Benjamin, which was afterwards allotted to the latter (Jos 18:19, Jos 18:12), the present Ain Hajla, an hour and a quarter to the south-east of Riha (Jericho), and three-quarters of an hour from the Jordan (see at Gen 50:11, note), - "and went over to the north side of Beth-arabah," a town in the desert of Judah (Jos 15:61), afterwards assigned to Benjamin (Jos 18:22), and called Ha-arabah in Jos 18:18, about twenty or thirty minutes to the south-west of Ain Hajla, in a "level and barren steppe" (Seetzen, R. ii. p. 302), with which the name very well agrees (see also Rob. Pal. ii. pp. 268ff.). "And the border went up to the stone of Bohan, the son of Reuben." The expression "went up" shows that the stone of Bohan must have been on higher ground, i.e., near the western mountains, though the opposite expression "went down" in Jos 18:17 shows that it must have been by the side of the mountain, and not upon the top. According to Jos 18:18-19, the border went over from the stone of Bohan in an easterly direction "to the shoulder over against (Beth) Arabah northwards, and went down to (Beth) Arabah, and then went over to the shoulder of Beth-hagla northwards," i.e., on the north side of the mountain ridge of Beth-arabah and Beth-hagla. This ridge is "the chain of hills or downs which runs from Kasr Hajla towards the south to the north side of the Dead Sea, and is called Katar Hhadije, i.e., a row of camels harnessed together."

Jos 15:7

The boundary ascended still farther to Debir from the valley of Achor. Debir is no doubt to be sought for by the Wady Daber, which runs down from the mountains to the Dead Sea to the south of Kasr Hajla, possibly not far from the rocky grotto called Choret ed Daber, between the Wady es Sidr and the Khan Chadrur on the road from Jerusalem to Jericho, about half-way between the two. On the valley of Achor see at Jos 7:24. Then "it turned northwards to Gilgal, opposite to the ascent of Adummim south of the brook." Gilgal, which must not be confounded, as it is by Knobel, with the first encampment of the Israelites in Canaan, viz., the Gilgal between Jericho and the Jordan, is called Geliloth in Jos 18:17. The situation of this place, which is only mentioned again in Jdg 3:19, and was certainly not a town, probably only a village or farm, is defined more precisely by the clause "opposite to the ascent of Adummim." Maaleh Adummim, which is correctly explained in the Onom. (s. v. Adommim) as ἀνάβασις πύῤῥηων, ascensus rufforum, "was formerly a small villa, but is now a heap of ruins, which is called even to the present day Maledomim - on the road from Aelia to Jericho" (Tobler). It is mentioned by ancient travellers as an inn called a terra ruffa, i.e., "the red earth;" terra russo, or "the red house." By later travellers it is described as a small place named Adomim, being still called "the red field, because this is the colour of the ground; with a large square building like a monastery still standing there, which was in fact at one time a fortified monastery, though it is deserted now" (Arvieux, Merk. Nachr. ii. p. 154). It is the present ruin of Kalaat el Dem, to the north of the road from Jerusalem to Jericho, or Kalaat ed Domm, near the Khan Chadrur. Gilgal, or Geliloth (circle), was probably the "small round valley" or "field of Adommim," of which Pococke speaks as being at the foot of the hill on which the deserted inn was standing (viz., ed Domm; see Pococke, Reise ins Morgenland, ii. p. 46). The valley (nachal, rendered river) to the south of which Gilgal or the ascent of Adummim lay, and which was therefore to the north of these places, may possibly be the Wady Kelt, or the brook of Jericho in the upper part of its course, as we have only to go a quarter or half an hour to the east of Khan Chadrur, when a wide and splendid prospect opens towards the south across the Wady Kelt as far as Taiyibeh; and according to Van de Velde's map, a brook-valley runs in a northerly direction to the Wady Kelt on the north-east of Kalaat ed Dem. It is probable, however, that the reference is to some other valley, of which there are a great many in the neighbourhood. The boundary then passed over to the water of En Shemesh (sun-fountain), i.e., the present Apostle's Well, Ain el Hodh or Bir el Kht, below Bethany, and on the road to Jericho (Tobler, Topogr. v. Jerus. ii. pp. 398, 400; Van de Velde, Mem. p. 310), and then ran out at the fountain of Rogel (the spies), the present deep and copious fountain of Job or Nehemiah at the south-east corner of Jerusalem, below the junction of the valley of Hinnom and the valley of Jehoshaphat or Kedron valley (see Rob. Pal. i. p. 491, and Tobler, Topogr. v. Jerus. ii. pp. 50ff.).

Jos 15:8

It then went up into the more elevated valley of Ben-hinnom, on the south side of the Jebusite town, i.e., Jerusalem (see at Jos 10:1), and still farther up to the top of the mountain which rises on the west of the valley of Ben-hinnom, and at the farthest extremity of the plain of Rephaim towards the north. The valley of Ben-hinnom, or Ben-hinnom (the son or sons of Hinnom), on the south side of Mount Zion, a place which was notorious from the time of Ahaz as the seat of the worship of Moloch (Kg2 23:10; Ch2 28:3; Ch2 33:6; Jer 7:31, etc.), is supposed there, but of whom nothing further is known (see Robinson, Pal. i. pp. 402ff.). The plain of Rephaim (lxx γῆ Ῥαφαείν, in Sa2 5:18, Sa2 5:22; Sa2 23:13 κοιλὰς τῶν Τιτάνων), probably named after the gigantic race of Rephaim, and mentioned several times in 2 Sam. as a battle-field, is on the west of Jerusalem, and is separated from the edge of the valley of Ben-hinnom by a small ridge of rock. It runs southwards to Mar Elias, is an hour long, half an hour broad, and was very fertile (Isa 17:5); in fact, even to the present day it is carefully cultivated (see Rob. Pal. i. p. 323; Tobler, Topogr. v. Jerus. ii. pp. 401ff.). It is bounded on the north by the mountain ridge already mentioned, which curves westwards on the left side of the road to Jaffa. This mountain ridge, or one of the peaks, is "the mountain on the west of the valley of Hinnom," at the northern end of the plain referred to.

Jos 15:9

From this mountain height the boundary turned to the fountain of the waters of Nephtoah, i.e., according to Van de Velde's Mem. p. 336, the present village of Liftah (nun and lamed being interchanged, according to a well-known law), an hour to the north-west of Jerusalem, where there is a copious spring, called by the name of Samuel, which not only supplies large basons, but waters a succession of blooming gardens (Tobler, Topogr. v. Jerus. ii. pp. 758ff.; Dieterici, Reisebilder, ii. pp. 221-2). It then "went out to the towns of Mount Ephraim," which is not mentioned again, but was probably the steep and lofty mountain ridge on the west side of the Wady Beit Hanina (Terebinth valley), upon which Kulonia, a place which the road to Joppa passes, Kastal on a lofty peak of the mountain, the fortress of Milane, Soba, and other places stand (Seetzen, R. ii. pp. 64, 65; Rob. Bibl. Res. p. 158). The boundary then ran to Baala, i.e., Kirjath-jearim, the modern Kureyet el Enab, three hours to the north-west of Jerusalem (see at Jos 9:17).

Jos 15:10

From this point "the boundary (which had hitherto gone in a north-westerly direction) turned westwards to Mount Seir, and went out to the shoulder northwards (i.e., to the northern side) of Har-jearim, that is Chesalon, and went down to Beth-shemesh, and passed over to Timnah." Mount Seir is the ridge of rock to the south-west of Kureyet el Enab, a lofty ridge composed or rugged peaks, with a wild and desolate appearance, upon which Saris and Mishir are situated (Rob. Bibl. Res. p. 155). Chesalon is the present Kesla on the summit of a mountain, an elevated point of the lofty ridge between Wady Ghurb and Ismail, south-west of Kureyet el Enab (Rob. Bibl. Res. p. 154). Beth-shemesh (i.e., sun-house), a priests' city in the territory of Judah (Jos 21:16; Ch1 6:44), is the same as Ir-shemesh (Jos 19:41), a place on the border of Dan, where the ark was deposited by the Philistines (Sa1 6:9.), and where Amaziah was slain by Joash (Kg2 14:11-12; Ch2 25:21). It was conquered by the Philistines in the time of Ahaz (Ch2 28:18). According to the Onom. it was ten Roman miles, i.e., four hours, from Eleutheropolis towards Nicopolis. It is the present Ain Shems, upon a plateau in a splendid situation, two hours and a half to the south-west of Kesla (Rob. Pal. iii. p. 17; Bibl. Res. p. 153). Timnah, or Timnatah, belonged to Dan (Jos 19:43); and it was thence that Samson fetched his wife (Jdg 14:1.). It is the present Tibneh, three-quarters of an hour to the west of Ain Shems (Rob. Pal. i. p. 344).

Jos 15:11-12

Thence "the border went out towards the north-west to the shoulder of Ekron (Akir: see at Jos 13:3), then bent to Shichron, passed over to Mount Baalah, and went out to Jabneel." Shichron is possibly Sugheir, an hour to the south-west of Jebna (Knobel). But if this is correct, the mountain of Baalah cannot be the short range of hills to the west of Akir which runs almost parallel with the coast Rob. Pal. iii. p. 21), as Knobel supposes; but must be a mountain on the south side of the Wady Surar, since the boundary had already crossed this wady between Ekron and Shichron. Jabneel is the Philistine town of Jabneh, the walls of which were demolished by Uzziah (Ch2 26:6), a place frequently mentioned in the books of Maccabees as well as by Josephus under the name of Jamnia. It still exists as a good-sized village, under the name of Jebnah, upon a small eminence on the western side of Nahr Rubin, four hours to the south of Joppa, and an hour and a half from the sea (Rob. Pal. iii. p. 22). From Jabneh the boundary went out to the (Mediterranean) Sea, probably along the course of the great valley, i.e., the Nahr Rubin, as Robinson supposes (Pal. ii. p. 343). The western boundary was the Great Sea, i.e., the Mediterranean.

Joshua 15:13

jos 15:13

The account of the conquest of the inheritance, which Caleb asked for and received before the lots were cast for the land (Jos 14:6-15), by the extermination of the Anakites from Hebron, and the capture of the fortified town of Debir, is repeated with very slight differences in Jdg 1:10-15, in the enumeration of the different conflicts in which the separate tribes engaged after the death of Joshua, in order to secure actual possession of the inheritance which had fallen to them by lot, and is neither copied from our book by the author of the book of Judges, nor taken from Judges by the author of Joshua; but both of them have drawn it from one common source, upon which the accounts of the conquest of Canaan contained in the book of Joshua are generally founded.

Jos 15:13

As an introduction to the account of the conquest of Hebron and Debir, the fact that they gave Caleb his portion among the sons of Judah, namely Hebron, is first of all repeated from Jos 14:13. נתן impers., they gave, i.e., Joshua (Jos 14:13). The words "according to the command of Jehovah to Joshua" are to be explained from Jos 14:9-12, according to which Jehovah had promised, in the hearing of Joshua, to give Caleb possession of the mountains of Hebron, even when they were at Kadesh (Jos 14:12). The "father of Anak" is the tribe father of the family of Anakites in Hebron, from whom this town received the name of Kirjath-arba; see at Num 13:22 and Gen 23:2.

Jos 15:14

Thence, i.e., out of Hebron, Caleb drove (ויּרשׁ, i.e., rooted out: cf. יכּוּ, Jdg 1:10) the three sons of Anak, i.e., families of the Anakites, whom the spies that were sent out from Kadesh had already found there (Num 13:22). Instead of Caleb, we find the sons of Judah (Judaeans) generally mentioned in Jdg 1:10 as the persons who drove out the Anakites, according to the plan of the history in that book, to describe the conflicts in which the several tribes engaged with the Canaanites. But the one does not preclude the other. Caleb did not take Hebron as an individual, but as the head of a family of Judaeans, and with their assistance. Nor is there any discrepancy between this account and the fact stated in Jos 11:21-22, that Joshua had already conquered Hebron, Debir, and all the towns of that neighbourhood, and had driven out the Anakites from the mountains of Judah, and forced them back into the towns of the Philistines, as Knobel fancies. For that expulsion did not preclude the possibility of the Anakites and Canaanites returning to their former abodes, and taking possession of the towns again, when the Israelitish army had withdrawn and was engaged in the war with the Canaanites of the north; so that when the different tribes were about to settle in the towns and districts allotted to them, they were obliged to proceed once more to drive out or exterminate the Anakites and Canaanites who had forced their way in again (see the remarks on Jos 10:38-39, p. 86, note).

Jos 15:15-16

From Hebron Caleb went against the Inhabitants of Debir, to the south of Hebron. This town, which has not yet been discovered (see at Jos 10:38), must have been very strong and hard to conquer; for Caleb offered a prize to the conqueror, promising to give his daughter Achzah for a wife to any one that should take it, just as Saul afterwards promised to give his daughter to the conqueror of Goliath (Sa1 17:25; Sa1 18:17).

Jos 15:17

Othniel took the town and received the promised prize. Othniel, according to Jdg 3:9 the first judge of the Israelites after Joshua's death, is called כלב אחי קנז בּן, i.e., either "the son of Kenaz (and) brother of Caleb," or "the son of Kenaz the brother of Caleb." The second rendering is quite admissible (comp. Sa2 13:3, Sa2 13:32, with Ch1 2:13), but the former is the more usual; and for this the Masorites have decided, since they have separated achi Caleb from ben-Kenaz by a tiphchah. And this is the correct one, as "the son of Kenaz" is equivalent to "the Kenizzite" (Jos 14:6). According to Jdg 1:13 and Jdg 3:9, Othniel was Caleb's younger brother. Caleb gave him his daughter for a wife, as marriage with a brother's daughter was not forbidden in the law (see my Bibl. Archol. ii. 107, note 14).

Jos 15:18-19

When Achzah had become his wife ("as she came," i.e., on her coming to Othniel, to live with him as wife), she urged him to ask her father for a field. "A field:" in Jdg 1:14 we find "the field," as the writer had the particular field in his mind. This was not "the field belonging to the town of Debir" (Knobel), for Othniel had no need to ask for this, as it naturally went with the town, but a piece of land that could be cultivated, or, as is shown in what follows, one that was not deficient in springs of water. What Othniel did is not stated, but only what Achzah did to attain her end, possibly because her husband could not make up his mind to present the request to her father. She sprang from the ass upon which she had ridden when her father brought her to Othniel. צנח, which only occurs again in Jdg 4:21, and in the parallel passage, Jdg 1:14, is hardly connected with צנע, to be lowly or humble (Ges.); the primary meaning is rather that suggested by Frst, to force one's self, to press away, or further; and hence in this case the meaning is, to spring down quickly from the animal she had ridden, like נפל in Gen 24:64. Alighting from an animal was a special sign of reverence, from which Caleb inferred that his daughter had some particular request to make of him, and therefore asked her what she wanted: "What is to thee?" or, "What wilt thou?" She then asked him for a blessing (as in Kg2 5:15); "for," she added, "thou hast given me into barren land." הנּגב ארץ (rendered a south land) is accus. loci; so that negeb is not to be taken as a proper name, signifying the southernmost district of Canaan (as in Jos 15:21, etc.), but as an appellative, "the dry or arid land," as in Psa 126:4. "Give me springs of water," i.e., a piece of land with springs of water in it. Caleb then gave her the "upper springs and lower springs:" this was the name given to a tract of land in which there were springs on both the higher and lower ground. It must have been somewhere in the neighbourhood of Debir, though, like the town itself, it has not yet been found.

Joshua 15:20

jos 15:20

Jos 15:20 contains the closing formula to vv. 1-19, i.e., to the description of the territory of Judah by its boundaries (vid., Jos 18:20).

Joshua 15:21

jos 15:21

In vv. 21-63 there follows a list of the towns of the tribe of Judah, arranged in the four districts into which the land was divided, according to the nature of the soil, viz., the south-land (negeb), the lowland (shephelah) on the Mediterranean Sea, the mountains, and the desert of Judah.

Jos 15:21-32

The towns in the south land. - Negeb (south-land) was the name given to the southernmost district of Canaan in its full extent, from the Arabah, at the southern end of the Dead Sea, right across to the coast of the Mediterranean, and from the southern border of Canaan, as described in Jos 15:2-4, as far north as Wady Sheriah, below Gaza, on the western side, and up to the mountains and desert of Judah on the east, stretching across the wadys of es Seba, Milh, and Ehdeib, above which that part of Palestine commences where rain is more abundant, and to which, as we have already observed at Num 13:17, the Negeb formed a kind of intermediate link between the fertile land and the desert. It was a line of steppe-land, with certain patches here and there that admitted of cultivation, but in which tracts of heath prevailed, for the most part covered with grass and bushes, where only grazing could be carried on with any success. The term which Eusebius and Jerome employ for Negeb in the Onom. is Daromas, but they carry it farther northwards than the Negeb of the Old Testament (see Reland, Pal. Ill. pp. 185ff.). The numerous towns mentioned in Jos 15:21-32 as standing in the Negeb, may none of them have been large or of any importance. In the list before us we find that, as a rule, several names are closely connected together by the copula vav, and in this way the whole may be divided into four separate groups of towns.

Jos 15:21-23

First group of nine places. - Jos 15:21. The towns "from," i.e., at "the end of the tribe-territory of Judah, towards the territory of Edom." Kabzeel: the home of the hero Benaiah (Sa2 23:20), probably identical with Jakabzeel, which is mentioned in Neh 11:25 in connection with Dibon, but has not been discovered. This also applies to Eder and Jagur.

Jos 15:22

Kinah: also unknown. Knobel connects it with the town of the Kenites, who settled in the domain of Arad, but this is hardly correct; for which the exception of Jdg 1:16, where the Kenites are said to have settled in the south of Arad, though not till after the division of the land, the Kenites are always found in the western portion of the Negeb (Sa1 15:6; Sa1 27:10; Sa1 30:29), whereas Kinah is unquestionably to be looked for in the east. Dimonah, probably the same as Dibon (Neh 11:25); possibly the ruins of el Dheib, on the south side of the wady of the same name, to the north-east of Arad (V. de Velde, Mem. p. 252), although Robinson (Pal. ii. p. 473) writes the name Ehdeib. Adadah is quite unknown.

Jos 15:23

Kedesh, possibly Kadesh-barnea (Jos 15:3). Hazor might then be Hezron, in the neighbourhood of Kadesh-barnea (Jos 15:3). Ithnan is unknown.

Jos 15:24-25

Second group of five or six places. - Of these, Ziph and Telem are not met with again, unless Telem is the same as Telaim, where Saul mustered his army to go against the Amalekites (Sa1 15:4). Their situation is unknown. There was another Ziph upon the mountains (see Jos 15:55). Knobel supposes the one mentioned here to be the ruins of Kuseifeh, to the south-west of Arad (Rob. Pal. ii. p. 620). Ziph would then be contracted from Ceziph; but the contraction of Achzib (Jos 19:29) into Zib does not present a corresponding analogy, as in that case the abbreviated form is the later one, whereas in the case of Ziph a lengthening of the name must have taken place by the addition of a D. Bealoth, probably the same as the Simeonitish Baaloth-beer (Jos 19:8), which is called Baal simply in Ch1 4:33, and which was also called Ramath-negeb (Jos 19:8) and Ramoth-negeb (Sa1 30:27). It is not to be identified with Baalath, however (Jos 19:45; Kg1 9:18), as V. de Velde supposes (Reise, ii. pp. 151-2). Knobel fancies it may be the ridge and place called Kubbet el Baul, between Milh and Kurnub (Rob. ii. p. 617); but Baul and Baal are very different. Hazor Hadatta (Chazor Chadathah), i.e., new Hazor, might be the ruins of el Hudhaira on the south of Jebel Khulil (Rob. Appendix). Kenoth was supposed by Robinson (Pal. ii. p. 472, and Appendix) to be the ruins of el Kuryetein, on the north-east of Arad and at the foot of the mountains, and with this V. de Velde agrees. Reland (Pal. p. 708) connects the following word Hezron with Kenoth, so as to read Kenoth-hezron, i.e., Hezron's towns, also called Hazor. This is favoured by the Sept. and Syriac, in which the two words are linked together to form one name, and probably by the Chaldee as well, also by the absence of the copula vav (and) before Hezron, which is not omitted anywhere else throughout this section, except at the beginning of the different groups of towns, as, for example, before Ziph in Jos 15:24, and Amam in Jos 15:26, and therefore ought to stand before Hezron if it is an independent town. The Masoretic pointing cannot be regarded as a decisive proof of the contrary.

Jos 15:26-28

Third group of nine towns. - Jos 15:26. Amam is not mentioned again, and is quite unknown. Shema, which is called Sheba in Jos 19:2, and is mentioned among the towns of the Simeonites between Beersheba and Moladah, is supposed by Knobel to the ruins of Sawe (Sweh) between Milh and Beersheba (see V. de Velde, ii. p. 148). Molada, which was given to the Simeonites (Jos 19:2; Ch1 4:28) and was still inhabited by Jews after the captivity (Neh 11:26), was the later Μάλαδα, an Idumaean fortress (Josephus, Ant. 18:6, 2), which Eusebius and Jerome describe as being twenty Roman miles, i.e., eight hours, to the south of Hebron on the road to Aila (Elath). It has been identified by Robinson (Pal. ii. p. 621) in the ruins of el Milh, by the Wady Malath or Malahh.

Jos 15:27

Hazar-gaddah, Heshmon, and Beth-palet have not yet been identified. The last of the three is mentioned again in Neh 11:26, by the side of Molada, as still inhabited by Judaeans.

Jos 15:28

Hazor-shual, i.e., fox-court, which was assigned to the Simeonites (Jos 19:3) and still inhabited after the captivity (Neh 11:27), answers, so far as the name if concerned, to the ruins of Thly (Rob. Pal. iii. App.). Beersheba, which was a well-known place in connection with the history of the patriarchs (Gen 21:14., Jos 22:19, etc.), and is frequently mentioned afterwards as the southern boundary of the land of Israel (Jdg 20:1; Sa2 17:11, etc.), was also given up to the Simeonites (Jos 19:2), and still inhabited after the captivity (Neh 11:27). It is the present Bir es Seba on the Wady es Seba (see at Gen 21:31). Bizjothjah is unknown.

Jos 15:29-32

The four groups of thirteen towns in the western portion of the Negeb.

Jos 15:29

Baalah, which was assigned to the Simeonites, is called Balah in Jos 19:3, and Bilhah in Ch1 4:29. Knobel identifies it with the present Deir Belah, some hours to the south-west of Gaza Rob. iii. App.; Ritter, Erdk. xvi. pp. 41, 42); but it cannot have been so far to the west, or so near the coast as this. Iim (or Ivvim, according to the Αυεἴμ of the lxx) is probably the ruins of Beit-auwa (Rob. iii. App.). Azem, which was also given up to the Simeonites (Jos 19:3; Ch1 4:29), is supposed by Knobel to be Eboda, the present Abdeh, eight hours to the south of Elusa, a considerable mass of ruins on a ridge of rock (Rob. i. p. 287), because the name signifies firmness or strength, which is also the meaning of the Arabic name-a very precarious reason.

Jos 15:30-31

Eltolad, which was given to the Simeonites (Jos 19:4), and is called Tolad (without the Arabic article) in Ch1 4:29, has not been discovered. Chesil, for which the lxx have Βαιθήλ, is probably, as Reland supposes, simply another name, or as Knobel suggests a corrupt reading for, Bethul or Bethuel, which is mentioned in Jos 19:4 and Ch1 4:30, between Eltolad and Hormah, as a town of the Simeonites, and the same place as Beth-el in Sa1 30:27. As this name points to the seat of some ancient sanctuary, and there was an idol called Khalasa worshipped by the Arabs before the time of Mohamet, and also because Jerome observes (vita Hilar. c. 25) that there was a temple of Venus at Elusa, in which the Saracens worshipped Lucifer (see Tuch, Deutsch. Morgenl. Ztschr. iii. pp. 194ff.), Knobel supposes Bethul (Chesil) to be Elusa, a considerable collection of ruins five hours and a half to the south of Beersheba (see Rob. i. p. 296): assuming first of all that the name el Khulasa, as the Arabs called this place, was derived from the Mahometan idol already referred to; and secondly, that the Saracen Lucifer mentioned by Jerome was the very same idol whose image and temple Janhari and Kamus call el Khalasa. Hormah: i.e., Zephoth, the present Sepata (see at Jos 12:14). Ziklag, which was assigned to the Simeonites (Jos 19:5; Ch1 4:30), burnt down by the Amalekites (Sa1 30:1.), and still inhabited after the captivity (Neh 11:28), is supposed by Rowland to be the ancient place called Asluj or Kasluj, a few hours to the east of Zepata, with which Knobel, however, in a most remarkable manner, identifies the Asluj to the south-west of Milh on the road to Abdeh, which is more than thirty-five miles distant (see Rob. Pal. ii. p. 621). Both places are too far to the south and east to suit Ziklag, which is to be sought for much farther west. So far as the situation is concerned, the ruins of Tell Sheriah or Tell Mellala, one of which is supposed by V. de Velde to contain the relics of Ziklag, would suit much better; or even, as Ritter supposes (Erdk. xvi. pp. 132-3), Tell el Hasy, which is half an hour to the south-west of Ajlan, and in which Felix Fabri found the ruins of a castle and of an ancient town, in fact of the ancient Ziklag, though Robinson (i. pp. 389ff.) could discover nothing that indicted in any way the existence of a town or building of any kind. Madmannah and Sansannah cannot be traced with any certainty. Madmannah, which is confounded in the Onom. (s. v. Medemena) with Madmena, a place to the north of Jerusalem mentioned in Isa 10:31, though elsewhere it is correctly described as Menois oppidum juxta civitatem Gazam, has probably been preserved in the present Miniay or Minieh, to the south of Gaza. Sansannah, Knobel compares with the Wady Suni, mentioned by Robinson (i. p. 299), to the south of Gaza, which possibly received its name from some town in the neighbourhood. But in the place of them we find Beth-marcaboth (i.e., carriage-house) and Hazar-susa (i.e., horse-court) mentioned in Jos 19:5 and Ch1 4:31 among the towns of the Simeonites, which Reland very properly regards as the same as Madmannah and Sansannah, since it is very evident from the meaning of the former names that they were simply secondary names, which were given to them as stations for carriages and horses.

Jos 15:32

Lebaoth, one of the Simeonite towns, called Beth-lebaoth (i.e., lion-house) in Jos 19:6, and Beth-birei in Ch1 4:31, has not been discovered yet. Shilchim, called Sharuchen in Jos 19:6, and Shaaraim in Ch1 4:31, may possibly have been preserved in Tell Sheriah, almost half-way between Gaza and Beersheba (V. de Velde, ii. p. 154). Ain and Rimmon are given as Simeonite towns, and being written without the copula, are treated as one name in Jos 19:7 and Ch1 4:32, although they are reckoned as two separate towns in Jos 19:7. But as they were also called En Rimmon after the captivity, and are given as one single place in Neh 11:29, they were probably so close together that in the course of time they grew into one. Rimmon, which is mentioned in Zac 14:10 as the southern boundary of Judah, probably the Eremmon of the Onom. ("a very large village of the Judaeans, sixteen miles to the south of Eleutheropolis in Daroma"), was probably the present ruin called Um er Rummanim, four hours to the north of Beersheba (Rob. iii. p. 8). Not more than thirty or thirty-five minutes distant from this, between Tell Khuweilifeh (Rob. iii. p. 8) or Chewelfeh (V. de Velde) and Tell Hhora, you find a large old but half-destroyed well, the large stones of which seem to belong to a very early period of the Israelitish history (V. de Velde, ii. p. 153). This was mentioned as a very important drinking-place even in the lifetime of Saladin, whilst to the present day the Tillah Arabs water their flocks there (see Rob. iii. p. 8). To all appearance this was Ain (see V. de Velde, Mem. p. 344). "All the cities were twenty and nine, and their villages." This does not agree with the number of towns mentioned by name, which is not twenty-nine, but thirty-six; to that the number twenty-nine is probably an error of the text of old standing, which has arisen from a copyist confounding together different numeral letters that resembled one another.

(Note: Some commentators and critics explain this difference on the supposition that originally the list contained a smaller number of names (only twenty-nine), but that it was afterwards enlarged by the addition of several other places by a different hand, whilst the number of the whole was left just as it was before. But such a conjecture presupposes greater thoughtlessness on the part of the editor than we have any right to attribute to the author of our book. If the author himself made these additions to his original sources, as Hvernick supposes, or the Jehovist completed the author's list from his second document, as Knobel imagines, either the one or the other would certainly have altered the sum of the whole, as he has not proceeded in so thoughtless a manner in any other case. The only way in which this conjecture could be defended, would be by supposing, as J. D. Michaelis and others have done, that the names added were originally placed in the margin, and that these marginal glosses were afterwards interpolated by some thoughtless copyist into the text. But this conjecture is also rendered improbable by the circumstance that, in the lists of towns contained in our book, not only do other differences of the same kind occur, as in v. 36, where we find only fourteen instead of fifteen, and in Jos 19:6, where only thirteen are given instead of fourteen, but also differences of the very opposite kind, - namely, where the gross sum given is larger than the number of names, as, for example, in Jos 19:15, where only five names are given instead of twelve, and in Jos 19:38, where only sixteen are given instead of nineteen, and where it can be shown that there are gaps in the text, as towns are omitted which the tribes actually received and ceded to the Levites. If we add to this the fact that there are two large gaps in our Masoretic text in Jos 15:59-60, and Jos 21:35, which proceed from copyists, and also that many errors occur in the numbers given in other historical books of the Old Testament, we are not warranted in tracing the differences in question to any other cause than errors in the text.)

Jos 15:33-47

Towns in the lowland or shephelah. - The lowland (shephelah), which is generally rendered ἡ πεδινή in the Sept., rarely τὸ πεδιόν (Deu 1:7), but which is transferred as a proper name ἡ Σεφηλά in Oba 1:19; Jer 32:44; Jer 33:13, as well as in 1 Macc. 12:38, where even Luther has Sephela, is the name given to the land between the mountains of Judah and the Mediterranean Sea, - a broad plain of undulating appearance, intersected by heights and low ranges of hills, with fertile soil, in which corn fields alternate with meadows, gardens, and extensive olive groves. It is still tolerably well cultivated, and is covered with villages, which are situated for the most part upon the different hills. Towards the south, the shephelah was bounded by the Negeb _(Jos 15:21); on the north, it reached to Ramleh and Lydda, or Diospolis, where the plain of Sharon began, - a plain which extended as far as Carmel, and was renowned for the beauty of its flowers. Towards the east the hills multiply and shape themselves into a hilly landscape, which forms the intermediate link between the mountains and the plain, and which is distinguished from the shephelah itself, in Jos 10:40 and Jos 12:8, under the name of Ashedoth, or slopes, whereas here it is reckoned as forming part of the shephelah. This hilly tract is more thickly studded with villages than even the actual plain (See Rob. Pal. ii. p. 363, and iii. p. 29.) The towns in the shephelah are divided into four groups.

Jos 15:33-36

The first group contains the towns in the northern part of the hilly region or slopes, which are reckoned as forming part of the lowland: in all, fourteen towns. The most northerly part of this district was given up to the tribe of Dan on the second division (Jos 19:41.). Eshtaol and Zoreah, which were assigned to the tribe of Dan (Jos 19:41), and were partly inhabited by Danites (Jdg 13:25; Jdg 18:2, Jdg 18:8,Jdg 18:11) and partly by families of Judah, who had gone out from Kirjath-jearim (Ch1 1:53; Ch1 4:2), probably after the removal of the 600 Danites to Laish-Dan (Jos 19:47; Jdg 18:1), were situated, according to the Onom. (s. v. Esthaul and Saara), ten Roman miles to the north of Eleutheropolis, on the road to Nicopolis. Zoreah, the home of Samson, who was buried between Zoreah and Eshtaol (Jdg 13:2; Jdg 16:31), was fortified by Rehoboam, and still inhabited by Judaeans after the captivity (Ch2 11:10; Neh 11:29); it has been preserved in the ruins of Sur, at the south-western end of the mountain range which bounds the Wady es Surar on the north (Rob. ii. p. 341, and Bibl. Res. p. 153). Eshtaol has probably been preserved in Um Eshteiyeh, to the south-west (Rob. ii. p. 342). Ashnah is possibly to be read Ashvah, according to the lxx, Cod. Vat. (Ἄσσα). In that case it might resemble a town on the east of Zorea (Tobler, p. 180), as Knobel supposes.

Jos 15:34

Zanoah was still inhabited by Judaeans after the captivity (Neh 11:30; Neh 3:13), and is the present Zanua, not far from Zoreah, towards the east (see Rob. ii. p. 343). Engannim and Tappuah are still unknown. Enam, the same as Enaim (Gen 38:14 : rendered "an open place"), on the road from Adullam to Timnah on the mountains (Jos 15:57), has not yet been discovered.

Jos 15:35

Jarmuth, i.e., Jarmk; see Jos 10:3. Adullam has not yet been discovered with certainty (see at Jos 12:15). Socoh, which was fortified by Rehoboam, and taken by the Philistines in the reign of Ahaz (Ch2 11:7; Ch2 28:18), is the present Shuweikeh by the Wady Sumt, half an hour to the south-west of Jarmk, three hours and a half to the south-west of Jerusalem (see Rob. ii. pp. 343, 349). The Onom. (s. v. Socoh) mentions two viculi named Sochoth, one upon the mountain, the other in the plain, nine Roman miles from Eleutheropolis on the road to Jerusalem. On Azekah, see at Jos 10:10.

Jos 15:36

Sharaim, which was on the west of Socoh and Azekah, according to Sa1 17:52, and is called Σακαρίμ or Σαργαρείμ in the Sept., is probably to be sought for in the present Tell Zakariya and the village of Kefr Zakariya opposite, between which there is the broad deep valley called Wady Sumt, which is only twenty minutes in breadth (Rob. ii. p. 350). This is the more probable as the Hebrew name is a dual. Adithaim is unknown. Gederah is possibly the same as the Gederoth which was taken by the Philistines in the time of Ahaz (Ch2 28:18), and the Gedrus of the Onom. (s. v. Gaedur, or Gahedur), ten Roman miles to the south of Diospolis, on the road to Eleutheropolis, as the Gederoth in Jos 15:41 was in the actual plain, and therefore did not stand between Diospolis and Eleutheropolis. Gederothaim is supposed by Winer, Knobel, and others, to be an ancient gloss. This is possible no doubt, but it is not certain, as neither the omission of the name from the Sept., nor the circumstance that the full number of towns is given as fourteen, and that this is not the number obtained if we reckon Gederothaim, can be adduced as a decisive proof, since this difference may have arisen in the same manner as the similar discrepancy in Jos 15:32.

Jos 15:37-41

The second group, containing the towns of the actual plain in its full extent from north to south, between the hilly region and the line of coast held by the Philistines: sixteen towns in all.

Jos 15:37

Zenan, probably the same as Zaanan (Mic 1:11), is supposed by Knobel to be the ruins of Chirbet-es-Senat, a short distance to the north of Beit-jibrin (Tobler, Dritte Wand. p. 124). Hadashah, according to the Mishnah Erub. v. vi. the smallest place in Judah, containing only fifty houses, is unknown, and a different place from the Adasa of 1 Macc. 7:40, 45, and Joseph. Ant. xii. 10, 5, as this was to the north of Jerusalem (Onom.). - Migdal-gad is unknown. Knobel supposes it to be the small hill called Jedeideh, with ruins upon it, towards the north of Beit-jibrin (V. de Velde, R. ii. pp. 162, 188).

Jos 15:38

Dilean is unknown; for Bet Dula, three full hours to the east of Beit-jibrin, with some relics of antiquity (Tobler, pp. 150-1), with which Knobel identifies it, is upon the mountains and not in the plain. Mizpeh, i.e., specula, a different place from the Mizpeh of Benjamin (Jos 18:26), was on the north of Eleutheropolis, according to the Onom. (s. v. Maspha), and therefore may possibly be the castle Alba Specula, or Alba Custodia of the middle ages, the present Tell es Saphieh, in the middle of the plain and upon the top of a lofty hill, from which there is an extensive prospect in all directions (see Rob. ii. p. 363). Joktheel has possibly been preserved in the ruins of Keitulaneh (Rob. Pal. iii. App.), which are said to lie in that neighbourhood.

Jos 15:39

Lachish, i.e., Um Lakis (see at Jos 10:3). Bozkath is unknown: according to Knobel, it may possibly be the ruins of Tubakah, on the south of Um Lakis and Ajlan (Rob. ii. pp. 388, 648). Eglon, i.e., Ajlan; see at Jos 10:3.

Jos 15:40

Cabbon, probably the heap of ruins called Kubeibeh or Kebeibeh, "which must at some time or other have been a strong fortification, and have formed the key to the central mountains of Judah" (v. de Velde, R. ii. p. 156), and which lie to the south of Beit-jibrin, and two hours and a half to the east of Ajlan (Rob. Pal. ii. p. 394). Lachmas: according to Knobel a corruption of Lachmam, which is the reading given in many MSS and editions, whilst the Vulgate has Leheman, and Luther (and the Eng. Ver). Lahmam. Knobel connects it with the ruins of el Lahem to the south of Beit-jibrin (Tobler). Kithlish (Chitlis) is unknown, unless it is to be found in Tell Chilchis, to the S.S.E. of Beit-jibrin (V. de Velde, R. ii. p. 157).

Jos 15:41

Gederoth, Beth-dagon, and Naamah have not yet been traced. The village mentioned in the Onom. (s. v. Beth-dagon) as grandis vicus Capher-dagon, and said to lie between Diospolis and Jamnia, the present Beit-dejan (Rob. iii. p. 30), was far beyond the northern boundary of the tribe of Judah. Makkedah: see at Jos 10:10.

Jos 15:42-44

The third group, consisting of the towns in the southern half of the hilly region: nine towns.

Jos 15:42

Libnah: see at Jos 10:29. Ether and Ashan, which were afterwards given to the Simeonites (Jos 19:7), and are probably to be sought for on the border of the Negeb, have not yet been discovered. The conjecture that Ether is connected with the ruins of Attrah (Rob. iii. App.) in the province of Gaza, is a very uncertain one. Ashan, probably the same as Kor-ashan (Sa1 30:30), became a priests' city afterwards (Ch1 6:44; see at Jos 21:16).

Jos 15:43

Jiphtah, Ashnah, and Nezib have not yet been traced. Beit-nesib, to the east of Beit-jibrin on the Wady Sur (Rob. ii. p. 344, and iii. p. 13), the Neesib of the Onom., seven Roman miles to the east of Eleutheropolis, does not suit this group so far as its situation is concerned, as it lies within the limits of the first group.

Jos 15:44

Keilah, which is mentioned in the history of David (1 Sam 23), and then again after the captivity (Neh 3:17), is neither the Κεελά, Ceila of the Onom., on the east of Eleutheropolis, the present Kila (Tobler, Dritte Wand. p. 151), which lies upon the mountains of Judah; nor is it to be found, as Knobel supposes, in the ruins of Jugaleh (Rob. iii. App.), as they lie to the south of the mountains of Hebron, whereas Keilah is to be sought for in the shephelah, or at all events to the west or south-west of the mountains of Hebron. Achzib (Mic 1:14), the same as Chesib (Gen 38:5), has been preserved in the ruins at Kussbeh, a place with a fountain (Rob. ii. p. 391), i.e., the fountain of Kesba, about five hours south by west from Beit-jibrin. Mareshah, which was fortified by Rehoboam (Ch2 11:8; cf. Mic 1:15), and was the place where Asa defeated Zerah the Ethiopian (Ch2 14:9), the home of Eliezer (Ch2 20:37), and afterwards the important town of Marissa (see v. Raumer, Pal. pp. 211-12), was between Hebron and Ashdod, since Judas Maccabaeus is represented in 1 Macc. 5:65-68 (where the reading should be Μαρίσσαν instead of Σαμάρειαν, according to Joseph. Ant. xii. 8, 6) as going from Hebron through Marissa into the land of the Philistines, and turning to Ashdod. According to the Onom. (s. v. Mareshah), it was lying in ruins in the time of Eusebius, and was about two Roman miles from Eleutheropolis-a description which applies exactly to the ruins of Maresh, twenty-four minutes to the south of Beit-jibrin, which Robinson supposes for this reason to be Maresa (Rob. ii. p. 422), whereas Knobel finds it in Beit-mirsim, a place four hours to the south of Beit-jibrin.

(Note: Knobel founds his opinion partly upon Ch2 14:9, according to which Mareshah was in the valley of Zephatah, which is the bason-like plain at Mirsim, and partly upon the fact that the Onom. also places Moraste on the east (south-east) of Eleutheropolis; and Jerome (ad Mich. Jos 1:1) describes Morasthi as haud grandem viculum juxta Eleutheropolin, and as sepulcrum quondam Micheae prophetae nunc ecclesiam (ep. 108 ad Eustoch. 14); and this ecclesia is in all probability the ruins of a church called Santa Hanneh, twenty minutes to the south-east of Beit-jibrin, and only ten minutes to the east of Marash, which makes the assumption a very natural one, that the Maresa and Morasthi of the fathers are only different parts of the same place, viz., of Moreseth-gath, the home of Micah (Mic 1:1, Mic 1:14; Jer 26:18). But neither of these is decisive. The valley of Zephatah might be the large open plain which Robinson mentions (ii. p. 355) near Beit-jibrin; and the conjecture that Morasthi, which Euseb. and Jer. place πρὸς ἀνατολὰς, contra orientem Eleutheropoleos, is preserved in the ruins which lie in a straight line towards the south from Beit-jibrin, and are called Marash, has not much probability in it.)

Jos 15:45-47

The fourth group, consisting of the towns of the Philistine line of coast, the northern part of which was afterwards given up to the tribe of Dan (Dan Jos 19:43), but which remained almost entirely in the hands of the Philistines (see at Jos 13:3).

(Note: There is no force in the reasons adduced by Ewald, Bertheau, and Knobel, for regarding these verses as spurious, or as a later interpolation from a different source. For the statement, that the "Elohist" merely mentions those towns of which the Hebrews had taken possession, and which they held either partially or wholly in his own day, and also that his list of the places belonging to Judah in the shephelah never goes near the sea, are assertions without the least foundation, which are proved to be erroneous by the simple fact, that according to the express statement in Jos 15:12, the Mediterranean Sea formed the western boundary of the tribe of Judah; and according to Jos 13:6, Joshua was to distribute by lot even those parts of Canaan which had not yet been conquered. The difference, however, which actually exists between the verses before us and the other groups of towns, namely, that in this case the "towns" (or daughters) are mentioned as well as the villages, and that the towns are not summed up at the end, may be sufficiently explained from the facts themselves, namely, from the circumstance that the Philistine cities mentioned were capitals of small principalities, which embraced not only villages, but also small towns, and for that very reason did not form connected groups, like the towns of the other districts.)

Jos 15:45

Ekron, i.e., Akir (see Jos 13:3). "Her daughters" are the other towns of the principality of Ekron that were dependent upon the capital, and חצרים the villages and farms.

Jos 15:46

Judah was also to receive "from Ekron westwards all that lay on the side of Ashdod and their (i.e., Ekron's and Ashdod's) villages." The different places in this district are not given, because Judah never actually obtained possession of them.

Jos 15:47

Ashdod, now Esdd, and Gaza, now Ghuzzeh: see at Jos 13:3. Also "the daughter towns and villages, unto the brook of Egypt (Wady el Arish: see Jos 15:4), and the great sea with its territory," i.e., the tract of land lying between Gaza and the coast of the Mediterranean. Gath and Askalon are not mentioned, because they are both of them included in the boundaries named. Askalon was between Ashdod and Gaza, by the sea-coast (see at Jos 13:3), and Gath on the east of Ekron and Ashdod (see Jos 13:3), so that, as a matter of course, it was assigned to Judah.

Jos 15:48-60

The towns on the mountains are divided into five, or more correctly, into six groups. The mountains of Judah, which rise precipitously from the Negeb, between the hilly district on the west, which is reckoned as part of the shephelah, and the desert of Judah, extending to the Dead Sea on the east (Jos 15:61), attain the height of 3000 feet above the level of the sea, in the neighbourhood of Hebron, and run northwards to the broad wady of Beit-hanina, above Jerusalem. They are a large rugged range of limestone mountains, with many barren and naked peaks, whilst the sides are for the most part covered with grass, shrubs, bushes, and trees, and the whole range is intersected by many very fruitful valleys. Josephus describes it as abounding in corn, fruit, and wine; and to the present day it contains many orchards, olive grounds, and vineyards, rising in terraces up the sides of the mountains, whilst the valleys and lower grounds yield plentiful harvests of wheat, millet, and other kinds of corn. In ancient times, therefore, the whole of this district was thickly covered with towns (see Rob. ii. pp. 185, 191-2, and C. v. Raumer, Pal. pp. 45ff.).

Jos 15:48-51

The first group consists of eleven towns on the south-west of the mountains.

Jos 15:48

Shamir has probably been preserved in the ruins of Um Shaumerah, mentioned by Robinson (iii. App.), though the situation of these ruins has not yet been precisely determined. Jattir, which was given up to the priests (Jos 21:14), and is mentioned again in Sa1 30:27, is described in the Onom. (s. v. Jether) as a large placed inhabited by Christians, twenty miles from Eleutheropolis, in interiori Daroma juxta Malathan, - a description which suits the ruins of Attir, in the southern portion of the mountains (see Rob. ii. p. 194; called Ater by Seetzen, R. iii. p. 6). Socoh, two hours N.W. of this, the present Shuweikeh (Rob. ii. p. 194), called Suche by Seetzen (R. iii. p. 29), a village about four hours from Hebron.

Jos 15:49

Dannah (Sept., Syr., Renna) is unknown. Knobel imagines that Dannah should be Danah, for Deanah, plur. Deanoth, which would then be suggestive of Zanute, the last inhabited place upon the mountains, five hours from Hebron, between Shuweikeh and Attir (see Rob. ii. p. 626; Seetzen, iii. p. 27, 29). Kirjath-sannah, or Debir, has not been traced (see at Jos 10:38).

Jos 15:50

Anab, on the north-east of Socoh (see at Jos 11:21). Eshtemoh, or Eshtemoa, which was ceded to the priests (Jos 21:14; Ch1 6:42), and is mentioned again in Sa1 30:28; Ch1 4:17, Ch1 4:19, is the present Semua, an inhabited village, with remains of walls, and a castle of ancient date, on the east of Socoh (Rob. ii. pp. 194, 626; Seetzen, iii. 28; and v. Schubert, R. ii. p. 458). Anim, contracted, according to the probable conjecture of Wilson, from Ayanim (fountains), a place still preserved in the ruins of the village of el Ghuwein, on the south of Semua, though Robinson erroneously connects it with Ain (Jos 15:32 : see Rob. Pal. ii. p. 626).

Jos 15:51

Goshen, Holon, and Giloh, are still unknown. On Goshen, see at Jos 10:41. Holon was given up to the priests (Jos 21:15; Ch1 6:43); and Giloh is mentioned in Sa2 15:12 as the birth-place of Ahithophel.

Jos 15:52-54

The second group of nine towns, to the north of the former, in the country round Hebron.

Jos 15:52

Arab is still unknown; for we cannot connect it, as Knobel does, with the ruins of Husn el Ghurab in the neighbourhood of Semua (Rob. i. p. 312), as these ruins lie within the former group of towns. Duma, according to Eusebius the largest place in the Daromas in his time, and seventeen miles from Eleutheropolis, is probably the ruined village of Daumeh, by the Wady Dilbeh (Rob. i. p. 314), which is fourteen miles in a straight line to the south-east of Eleutheropolis according to the map. Es'an (Eshean) can hardly be identified with Asan (Ch1 4:32), as Van de Velde supposes, but is more likely Korasan (Sa1 30:30). In that case we might connect it with the ruins of Khursah, on the north-west of Daumeh, two hours and a half to the south-west of Hebron (Rob. iii. p. 5). As the Septuagint reading is Σομά, Knobel conjectures that Eshean is a corrupt reading for Shema (Ch1 2:43), and connects it with the ruins of Simia, on the south of Daumeh (Seetzen, iii. 28, and Rob. iii. App.).

Jos 15:53

Janum is still unknown. Beth-tappuah has been preserved in the village of Teffuh, about two hours to the west of Hebron (Rob. ii. p. 428). Apheka has not been discovered.

Jos 15:54

Humtah is also unknown. Kirjath-arba, or Hebron: see at Jos 10:3. Zior has also not been traced; though, "so far as the name is concerned, it might have been preserved in the heights of Tugra, near to Hebron" (Knobel).

Jos 15:55-57

The third group of ten towns, to the east of both the former groups, towards the desert.

Jos 15:55

Maon, the home of Nabal (Sa1 25:2), on the border of the desert of Judah, which is here called the desert of Maon (Sa1 23:25), has been preserved in Tell Man, on a conical mountain commanding an extensive prospect, east by north of Semua, three hours and three-quarters to the S.S.E. of Hebron (Rob. ii. p. 193). Carmel, a town and mountain mentioned in the history of David, and again in the time of Uzziah (Sa1 15:12; Sa1 25:2.; Ch2 26:10). In the time of the Romans it was a large place, with a Roman garrison (Onom.), and is the present Kurmul, on the north-west of Maon, where there are considerable ruins of a very ancient date (Rob. ii. pp. 196ff.). Ziph, in the desert of that name, to which David fled from Saul (Sa1 23:14., Sa1 26:2-3), was fortified by Rehoboam (Ch2 11:8), and has been preserved in the ruins upon the hill Ziph, an hour and three-quarters to the south-east of Hebron (Rob. ii. p. 191). Juttah, which was assigned to the priests (Jos 21:16), and was a vicus praegrandis Judaeorum in the time of the fathers (Onom. s. v. Jethan), was eighteen Roman miles to the south (south-east) of Eleutheropolis, and is the present Jutta or Jitta, a large Mahometan place with ruins, an hour and three-quarters to the south of Hebron (Seetzen, iii. p. 8; Rob. ii. p. 191, 628).

Jos 15:56

Jezreel, the home of Ahinoam (Sa1 25:43; Sa1 27:3, etc.), a different place from the Jezreel in the plain of Esdraelon, has not yet been discovered. This also applies to Jokdeam and Zanoah, which are only met with here.

Jos 15:57

Cain (Hakkain) is possibly the same as Jukin, on the south-east of Hebron (Rob. ii. p. 449). Gibeah cannot be the Gabatha near Bethlehem, mentioned in the Onom. (s. v. Gabathaon), or the Gibea mentioned by Robinson (ii. p. 327), i.e., the village of Jeba, on a hill in the Wady el Musurr, as this does not come within the limits of the present group; it must rather be one of the two places (Gebaa and Gebatha) described as viculi contra orientalem plagam Daromae, though their situation has not yet been discovered. Timnah, probably the place already mentioned in Gen 38:12., has not been discovered.

Jos 15:58-59

The fourth group of six towns, on the north of Hebron or of the last two groups. - Halhul, according to the Onom. (s. v. Elul) a place near Hebron named Alula, has been preserved in the ruins of Halhl, an hour and a half to the north of Hebron (Rob. i. p. 319, ii. p. 186, and Bibl. Res. p. 281). Beth-zur, which was fortified by Rehoboam (Ch2 11:7), and is frequently mentioned in the time of the Maccabees as a border defence against the Idumaeans (1 Macc. 4:29, 61, etc.), was twenty (? fifteen) Roman miles from Jerusalem, according to the Onom. (s. v. Beth-zur), on the road to Hebron. It is the present heap of ruins called Beit-zur on the north-west of Halhl (Rob. Bibl. Res. pp. 276-7; Ritter, Erdk. xvi. pp. 236, 267-8). Gedor, the ruins of Jedr, an hour and a half to the north-west (Rob. ii. p. 338; Bibl. Res. pp. 282-3).

Jos 15:59

Maarath and Eltekon have not yet been discovered. Beth-anoth (probably a contraction of Beth-ayanoth) has been discovered by Wolcott in the ruins of Beit-anum, on the east of Halhl (Rob. Bibl. Res. p. 279; cf. Pal. ii. p. 186).

Between Jos 15:59 and Jos 15:60, the fifth group of towns given in the Septuagint is wanting in the Masoretic text. This group lay to the north of the fourth, and reached as far as Jerusalem, It comprised a district in which even now there are at least fifteen places and ruins, so that we have not an arbitrary interpolation made by the lxx, as Jerome assumed, but rather a gap in the Hebrew text, arising from the fact that an ancient copyist passed by mistake from the word וחצריהן in Jos 15:59 to the same word at the close of the missing section. In the Alexandrian version the section reads as follows in Cod. Al. and Vat.: Θεκώ καὶ Ἐφραθά, αὕτη ἐστὶ Βαιθλέεμ, καὶ Φαγώρ καὶ Αἰτὰν καὶ Καολὸν καὶ Τατὰμ καὶ Θωβἠς (Cod. Al. Σωρὴς) καὶ Καρέμ καὶ Γαλὲμ καὶ Θεθὴρ (Cod. Al. Βαιθῆρ) καὶ Μαμοχώ, πόλεις ἕνδεκα καὶ αἱ κῶμαι αὐτῶν. - Theko, the well-known Tekoah, the home of the wise woman and of the prophet Amos (Sa2 14:2; Amo 1:1), was fortified by Rehoboam, and still inhabited after the captivity (Ch2 11:6; Neh 3:5, Neh 3:27). It is the present Tekua, on the top of a mountain covered with ancient ruins, two hours to the south of Bethlehem (Rob. ii. pp. 181-184; Tobler, Denkbl. aus Jerus. pp. 682ff.). Ephratah, i.e., Bethlehem, the family seat of the house of David (Rut 1:1; Rut 4:11; Sa1 16:4; Sa1 17:12.; Mic 5:2), was fortified by Rehoboam (Ch2 11:6), and is a place frequently mentioned. It was the birth-place of Christ (Mat 2:1.; Luk 2:4), and still exists under the ancient name of Beit-lahm, two hours to the south of Jerusalem (Seetzen, ii. pp. 37ff.; Rob. ii. pp. 159ff.; Tobler, Topogr. v. Jerus. ii. pp. 464ff.). Bethlehem did not receive the name of Ephratah for the first time from the Calebite family of Ephrathites (Ch1 2:19, Ch1 2:50; Ch1 4:4), but was known by that name even in Jacob's time (Gen 35:19; Gen 48:7). Phagor, which was near to Bethlehem according to the Onom. (s. v. Fogor), and is also called Phaora, is the present Faghur, a heap of ruins to the south-west of Bethlehem (Rob. Bibl. Res. p. 275). Aetan was fortified by Rehoboam (Ch2 11:6), and has been preserved in the Wady and Ain Attan between Bethlehem and Faghur (Tobler, Dritte Wand. pp. 88, 89). Kulon, the present village of Kulomeh, an hour and a half west by north from Jerusalem on the road to Ramleh (see Rob. ii. p. 146; Bibl. Res. p. 158: it is called Kolony by Seetzen, ii. p. 64). Tatam cannot be traced. Sores (for Thobes appears to be only a copyist's error) is probably Saris, a small village four hours to the east of Jerusalem, upon a ridge on the south of Wady Aly (Rob. Bibl. Res. pp. 154-5). Karem, now Ain Karim, a large flourishing village two hours to the wets of Jerusalem, with a Franciscan convent dedicated to John the Baptist in the middle, and a fountain (Rob. ii. p. 141; Bibl. Res. p. 271). Galem, a different place from the Gallim on the north of Jerusalem (Isa 10:30), has not yet been discovered. Baither, now a small dirty village called Bettir or Bittir, with a beautiful spring, and with gardens arrange din terraces on the western slope of the Wady Bittir, to the south-west of Jerusalem (Rob. Bibl. Res. p. 266). Manocho, possibly the same place as Manachat (Ch1 8:6), has not been found.

Jos 15:60

The sixth group of only two towns, to the west of Jerusalem, on the northern border of the tribe of Judah. - Kirjath-baal, or Kirjath-jearim, the present Kureyet el Enab; see at Jos 15:9, and Jos 9:17. Rabbah (Ha-rabbah, the great) is quite unknown.

Jos 15:61-62

The towns in the desert of Judah, which ran along the Dead Sea from the northern border of Judah (Jos 15:6, Jos 15:7) to Wady Fikreh on the south, and reached to the districts of Maon, Ziph, Tekoah, and Bethlehem towards the west. This tract of land is for the most part a terrible desert, with a soil composed of chalk, marl, and limestone, and with bald mountains covered with flint and hornstone, and without the slightest trace of vegetation on the side bordering on the Dead Sea (see v. Schubert, Reise, iii. pp. 94, 96; Rob. ii. pp. 202, 475, 477). Yet wherever there are springs even this desert is covered with a luxuriant vegetation, as far as the influence of the water extends (Seetzen, ii. pp. 249, 258); and even in those parts which are now completely desolate, there are traces of the work of man of a very ancient date in all directions (Rob. ii. p. 187). Six towns are mentioned in the verses before us. Beth-arabah: see at Jos 15:6. Middin and Secaca are unknown. According to Knobel, Middin is probably the ruins of Mird or Mardeh, to the west of the northern end of the Dead Sea (Rob. ii. p. 270).

Jos 15:62

Nibsan, also unknown. The city of salt (salt town), in which the Edomites sustained repeated defeats (Sa2 8:13; Psa 60:2; Kg2 14:7; Ch1 18:12; Ch2 25:11), was no doubt at the southern end of the Dead Sea, in the Salt Valley (Rob. ii. p. 483). Engedi, on the Dead Sea (Eze 47:10), to which David also fled to escape from Saul (Sa1 24:1.), according to the Onom. (s. v. Engaddi) a vicus praegrandis, the present Ain-Jidi, a spring upon a shelf of the high rocky coast on the west of the Dead Sea, with ruins of different ancient buildings (see Seetzen, ii. pp. 227-8; Rob. ii. pp. 214ff.; Lynch, pp. 178-9, 199, 200).

Jos 15:63

In Jos 15:63 there follows a notice to the effect that the Judaeans were unable to expel the Jebusites from Jerusalem, which points back to the time immediately after Joshua, when the Judaeans had taken Jerusalem and burned it (Jdg 1:8), but were still unable to maintain possession. This notice is not at variance with either Jos 18:28 or Jdg 1:21, since it neither affirms that Jerusalem belonged to the tribe of Judah, nor that Judah alone laid claim to the possession of the town to the exclusion of the Benjamites (see the explanation of Jdg 1:8).

Next: Joshua Chapter 16