Joshua 19 Commentary

 


Jensen's Survey of the NT - used by permission

Paul J Bucknell - Biblical Foundations for Freedom

LAND ALLOTMENTS
(Joshua 13-21)
Jensen's Survey of the NT - used by permission

Jensen's Survey of the NT - used by permission

Click charts to enlarge Charts from Jensen's Survey of the NT - used by permission

JOSHUA
A BOOK ON SPIRITUAL WARFARE and REST
HOW TO POSSESS YOUR POSSESSIONS

CONQUEST
OF THE PROMISED LAND

DIVISION
OF THE PROMISED LAND

CLOSE OF JOSHUA'S LIFE

ACTION ALLOCATION APPEAL
Josh 1:1-5:15 Josh 6:1-12:24 Joshua 13:1-21:45 Josh 22:1-24:33

WARLORDS IN
CANAAN

LANDLORDS IN
CANAAN

ENTERING
CANAAN

CONQUERING
CANAAN

DIVIDING
CANAAN

SECURING THE
LAND

SETTLING THE
LAND

Preparation

Conquest

Possession

Consecration

ca. 1 Month ca 7 Years ca. 18 Years

See also more detailed Chart by Charles R Swindoll


Map to help you visualize the descriptions of boundaries
(Click here for another excellent map of the Tribal Allotments)
Here is another excellent map of the Tribal Allotments

SUMMARY OF LAND ALLOTMENTS

Tribe
(Number of male warriors)

Location

Significance
of Location

Description
Resources

Josh 18:11–28
BENJAMIN
45,600

-between Judah and Ephraim

-location of holy Jerusalem
-encouraged close association with Judah

-mountains and ravines
-rough terrain
-not productive

Josh 19:1–9
SIMEON
22,200

-part of Judah on the south

-enemy exposed

  mostly flat and desert

Josh 19:10–16 ZEBULUN 60,500

-included plain of Megiddo
-had access to the coast

-next to its wilderness encampment neighbor, Issachar

-fertile plain
-road to sea
-very productive

Josh 19:17–23 ISSACHAR 64,300

-east of Zebulun
-south of Sea of Galilee

-valley of Jezreel a noted battlefield of Palestine

-beautiful location
-in traffic of plain
-very productive

Josh 19:24–31 ASHER
53,400

-south of enemy Sidonians
-coastal land from Carmel to Sidon

-Asher’s strength protected Israel from northern coastal enemies

-fertile coastal plains
-famous for olives

Josh 19:32–39
NAPHTALI
45,400

 

 -east of Asher

 -west of Sea of Galilee and Merom

-important lands in N.T. history

 -north-south ridge through the land
-fertile, productive valleys

Josh 19:40–48
DAN
64,400

-west of Benjamin
-access to Great Sea

-original location too small
-exposed to Philistines on SW

-productive section in Philistines’ hands

-- Irving Jensen Joshua- Everyman's Bible Commentary: Rest-Land Won

Joshua 19:1  Then the second lot fell to Simeon, to the tribe of the sons of Simeon according to their families, and their inheritance was in the midst of the inheritance of the sons of Judah.

  • second lot: Jos 18:6-11 
  • in the midst of the inheritance of the sons of Judah.Jos 19:9 Ge 49:5-7 
  • Joshua 19 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

Map to help visualize descriptions of boundaries of Simeon
Zondervan Atlas of the Bible: C. Rasmussen (recommended resource - do not reproduce)
CLICK TO ENLARGE


DISTRIBUTION BY LOT

THE SECOND LOT:
AN "ENCLAVE" TO SIMEON

Joshua 19 covers the land allotments for Simeon, Zebulun, Issachar, Asher, Naphtali, and Dan.

An outline of Joshua 19

  1. SIMEON - Joshua 19:1-9
  2.  ZEBULUN - Joshua 19:10-16
  3.  ISSACHAR - Joshua 19:17-23
  4. ASHER -Joshua 19:24-31
  5. NAPHTALI - Joshua 19:32-39
  6. DAN - Joshua 19:40-48
  7. JOSHUA  - Joshua 19:49-51

Enclave   A country or part of a country lying wholly within the boundaries of another. A distinctly bounded area enclosed within a larger unit

Then the second lot (goralfell to Simeon, to the tribe of the sons of Simeon according to their families, and their inheritance was in the midst of the inheritance of the sons of Judah - The map above shows Simeon surrounded by Judah, like an enclave. Simeon means "hearing" and is from shama, to hear. 

Recall Jacob's deathbed prophecy in Genesis 49:5-7  “Simeon and Levi are brothers; Their swords are implements of violence.  6 “Let my soul not enter into their council; Let not my glory be united with their assembly; Because in their anger they slew men, And in their self-will they lamed oxen. 7 “Cursed be their anger, for it is fierce; And their wrath, for it is cruel. I will disperse them in Jacob, And scatter them in Israel. 

Comment - So even at the outset Simeon is surrounded by Judah and in subsequent mentions of Simeon we see their declining numbers and loss of identity, fulfilling Jacob's prophecy. However God does not forget them nor cast them off for the final book of the Bible we read of the inclusion in the listing of the 144,000 Jews, John writing "from the tribe of Simeon twelve thousand." (Rev 7:7+)

Related Resources:

Francis Schaeffer - In the second lot thrown at Shiloh, the remaining tribes received their land. Simeon did not receive a separate inheritance because, as you remember, Jacob said he was going to be scattered. He was given a place in the midst of Judah. So while in the fulfilling of the prophecy of Genesis 49:5–7 the Levites became the special servants of God scattered throughout the people, the Simeonites had no real share of the land. (The Complete Works)

Campbell points out that " it was not long before Simeon was to lose her individuality as a tribe, for her territory was incorporated eventually into that of Judah and many of her citizens migrated north to Ephraim and Manasseh (cf. 2 Chron. 15:9; 34:6). This explains why after the division of the kingdom following Solomon there were 10 tribes in the north and only 2 in the south (Judah and Benjamin)." (The Bible Knowledge Commentary Old Testament)

Rasmussen - Although the allotment of land to the tribe of Simeon is described later in Joshua, the tribe received territory inside the allotment of Judah. Of the seventeen cities mentioned as being assigned to Simeon (Josh 19:2–7), fifteen were previously mentioned in the city list of Judah—most in the Negev district but a few in the Shephelah. Simeon’s primary location was in the western Negev, between Beer sheba and the Mediterranean Sea. It should be noted that Simeon did not lose its tribal identity by being absorbed into the tribe of Judah, for it was still a distinct and growing tribe during the days of the Judean king Hezekiah (715–686 BC; 1 Chron 4:41–43). Indeed, the Chronicler describes its expansion northwestward toward Gedor (LXX, “Gerar”) and eastward toward the Hill Country of Seir (1 Chron 4:39). Since Simeon’s territory received only 10 inches of rain each year, the tribe specialized in keeping flocks, although in most years some grain crops could be grown. (Zondervan Atlas of the Bible

Pulpit Commentary on in the midst of the inheritance - Literally, in the midst of. ἀνὰ μέσον, LXX.; in medio, Vulgate (cf. ver. 9). Simeon, at the last census (Numbers 26:14), was the smallest of the tribes of Israel, a fulfilment of the prophecy of Jacob, and possibly the result of the command given in Numbers 25:5, since the Simeonites were the chief offenders on that occasion (Numbers 25:14; see also 1 Chronicles 4:27). The distribution of territory was in accordance with this, and it is possible that the lot only determined the priority of choice among the tribes. The territory of Judah seems to have been recognised as too large, in spite of the importance of the tribe. They therefore willingly gave up a portion of their territory to the Simeonites.

Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary - Verses 1-9. The men of Judah did not oppose taking away the cities within their border, when convinced that they had more than was right. If a true believer has obtained an unintended and improper advantage in any thing, he will give it up without murmuring. Love seeketh not her own, and doth not behave unseemly; it will induce those in whom it richly dwells, to part with their own to supply what is lacking to their brethren. 



Casting Lots in the Bible

Lot (01486)(goral) refers to any kind of small object (e.g., stick, pebble, shard) used for making decisions by a "random" outcome (see Pr 16:33 on what controls "random") or for determining the will of God. Lot is often translated in the Septuagint with  kleros which can also mean inheritance.

Baker - A masculine noun indicating a portion or lot. A lot was cast, probably a stone or stones, to decide questions or appoint persons for various reasons; for apportioning land (Num. 26:55; 33:54; Josh. 18:6, 11); for assignments of various kinds, such as goats on the Day of Atonement (Lev. 16:8–10); priests, singers, musicians, etc. to their duties (1 Chr. 24:5, 31; 25:8; 26:13); for living in Jerusalem (Neh. 11:1), etc. (Judg. 20:9; Neh. 10:34[35]); for allotting slaves (Joel 3:3[4:3]). Lots were cast to distribute garments (Ps. 22:18[19]). The word also is used to refer to things allotted such as land (Josh. 15:1; 17:1; 21:40[38]) or even the boundary itself of an allotment (Josh. 18:11). It refers figuratively to one’s destiny or fortune (Prov. 1:14) but notes an allotted share or portion in the age to come (Dan. 12:13). Finally, it can designate a portion or allotment for someone in the sense of recompense or retribution (Isa. 17:14; Jer. 13:25). (Old Testament Word Study)

Vine on Lot Gôrâl (גֹּרָל, Strong's #1486), “lot.” This word is attested 77 times and in all periods of the language (if a traditional view of the formation of the canon is accepted). Gôrâl represents the “lot” which was cast to discover the will of God in a given situation: “And Aaron shall cast lots upon the two goats; one lot for the Lord, and the other lot for the scapegoat” (Lev. 16:8—the first occurrence). Exactly what casting the “lot” involved is not known. Since the land of Palestine was allocated among the tribes by the casting of the “lot,” these allotments came to be known as their lots: “This then was the lot of the tribe of the children of Judah by their families; even to the border of Edom …” (Josh. 15:1). In an extended use the word gôrâl represents the idea “fate” or “destiny”: “And behold at eveningtide trouble; and before the morning he is not. This is the portion of them that spoil us, and the lot of them that rob us” (Isa. 17:14). Since God is viewed as controlling all things absolutely, the result of the casting of the “lot” is divinely controlled: “The lot is cast into the lap, But its every decision is from the LORD.” (Pr 16:33). Thus, providence (divine control of history) is frequently (ED: I WOULD SAY ALWAYS) figured as one’s “lot.”

Goral - 77x in 67v  all translated "lot" - Lev. 16:8; Lev. 16:9; Lev. 16:10; Num. 26:55; Num. 26:56; Num. 33:54; Num. 34:13; Num. 36:2; Num. 36:3; Jos. 14:2; Jos. 15:1; Jos. 16:1; Jos. 17:1; Jos. 17:14; Jos. 17:17; Jos. 18:6; Jos. 18:8; Jos. 18:10; Jos. 18:11; Jos. 19:1; Jos. 19:10; Jos. 19:17; Jos. 19:24; Jos. 19:32; Jos. 19:40; Jos. 19:51; Jos. 21:4; Jos. 21:5; Jos. 21:6; Jos. 21:8; Jos. 21:10; Jos. 21:20; Jos. 21:40; Jdg. 1:3; Jdg. 20:9; 1 Chr. 6:54; 1 Chr. 6:61; 1 Chr. 6:63; 1 Chr. 6:65; 1 Chr. 24:5; 1 Chr. 24:7; 1 Chr. 24:31; 1 Chr. 25:8; 1 Chr. 25:9; 1 Chr. 26:13; 1 Chr. 26:14; Neh. 10:34; Neh. 11:1; Est. 3:7; Est. 9:24; Ps. 16:5; Ps. 22:18; Ps. 125:3; Prov. 1:14; Prov. 16:33; Prov. 18:18; Isa. 17:14; Isa. 34:17; Isa. 57:6; Jer. 13:25; Ezek. 24:6; Dan. 12:13; Joel 3:3; Obad. 1:11; Jon. 1:7; Mic. 2:5; Nah. 3:10

Related Resources: 

  • Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament Lots
  • The Jewish Encyclopedia Lots

GEORGE BUSH  Notes Critical and Practical on the Book of Joshua - Chapter 19

1. The second lot came forth. Out of the urn. See on ch. 18:11.

For the tribe of the children of Simeon. Exegetical of the preceding word ‘simeon,’ showing that the names of persons are employed, as we have often elsewhere remarked, in a collective sense for the political bodies, the tribes, kingdoms, or countries of which they are the founders.

Their inheritance was within the inheritance of the children of Judah. It would seem that the first rude survey had led to an erroneous impression of the extent of the country. They had supposed it to be much larger than it really was. Under this impression they had assigned a large territory to Judah, taking it for granted that the lots of the other tribes would be in the same proportion. But upon closer examination it was found that at that rate of assignment the land would not hold out, and some of the tribes must be very much scanted or left wholly destitute of their just inheritance. The obvious expedient was to take a part of the territory of Judah and allot it to Simeon. The inheritance of this tribe therefore is said to have fallen within the inheritance of Judah, because it was included within the original limits of the latter tribe, and is elsewhere seldom or never spoken of as a distinct district. In this arrangement the providence of God is to be especially noted, as Jacob, in the spirit of prophecy, had foretold that Simeon and Levi should be ‘divided in Jacob, and scattered in Israel.’ Gen. 49:7. This was accordingly most literally fulfilled in the manner in which these tribes were now disposed of. Levi was ‘scattered’ throughout all the land, not having received any distinct inheritance, but only certain ‘cities to dwell in;’ and Simeon, as we here learn, was ‘divided,’ or dispersed over the territories of Judah instead of having one of their own. This arrangement brought them into confederacy with the tribe of Judah, Judg. 1:3, and afterwards was the occasion of the adherence of many of this tribe to the house of David at the time of the revolt of the ten tribes to Jeroboam. 2 Chron. 15:9, ‘Out of Simeon they fell to Asa in abundance.’

Joshua 19:2  So they had as their inheritance Beersheba or Sheba and Moladah,

  • and Moladah: Jos 15:28 Ge 21:31 1Ch 4:28-30, Bilhah, Ezem, Tolad, Bethuel, Ne 11:26-30 
  • Joshua 19 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

No boundaries are mentioned for Simeon, only cities. 

So they had as their inheritance Beersheba or Sheba and Moladah - See map aboveBeersheba "means “well of oath”. It is one of the most southern cities. It was part of the idiomatic phrase, “from Dan to Beersheba” which described the Promised Land." (Utley) By the time of the monarchy Simeon being surrounded entirely by Judah had faded considerably so that in 1Ki 19:3 Beersheba in now said to belong to Judah.

Moladah - Holman Bible Dictionary Place name meaning, “generation.” City near Beersheba in southern Judah assigned both to Judah (Joshua 15:26 ) and to Simeon (Joshua 19:2 ), perhaps reflecting the political realities of different times or the dependence of Simeon on Judah. The similarity to the name Molid suggests that Moladah was a Jerahmeelite settlement (1 Samuel 27:10; 1 Chronicles 2:29 ). The city was among those repopulated by Jews returning from Exile (Nehemiah 11:26 ). Moladah is perhaps identical to the Edomite village of Malathah which served as a retreat for Herod Agrippa I. Various sites have been proposed: khirbet Kuseifeh twelve miles east of Beersheba; tell el-Milh southeast of Beersheba; and khereibet el-Waten east of Beersheba.

Beer-Sheba - Holman Bible Dictionary Beer-sheba and its surrounding area factors significantly in the Old Testament from the earliest sojourns of the patriarchs (Genesis 21:1; Genesis 22:1; Genesis 26:1 ) to the return of the Hebrew exiles with Nehemiah (Nehemiah 11:27 ,Nehemiah 11:27,11:30 ). Since it was an important crossroad to Egypt in the geographic center of the dry, semi-desert region known as the Negeb, Beersheba also served as the administrative center of the region. Settlement of the Beersheba area began before 3000 B.C.

Abraham and a nearby king, Abimelech, swore to protect Abraham's right to the water of this region (Genesis 21:22-33 ). Abraham then named the place “Beer-sheba,” meaning “well of the oath” or preferably “well of the seven,” referring to seven lambs involved in the agreement. Here he called on the Lord (Genesis 21:33 ) and lived for some time (Genesis 22:19 ). The Lord confirmed His promises with Isaac at Beer-sheba (Genesis 26:23-25 ), where Isaac renamed his father's well “Shibah.” A well is found today outside the ruins of biblical Beer-sheba (Tell es-Sabaspgr), however, it cannot be the patriarchal well since it is dated much later, around the twelfth century. Isaac also lived in the area of Beer-sheba, and his son Jacob left there for Haran to seek a wife (Genesis 28:10 ). A crossroad to Egypt, Beer-sheba was a stopping place for Jacob many years later when he was encouraged by the Lord to continue on to Egypt where Joseph was awaiting him (Genesis 46:1-5 ). Because of these patriarchal events at Beer-sheba, it is thought that the city eventually and unfortunately became a pilgrimage destination for idolatry later during the monarchy (Amos 5:5; Amos 8:14 ).

Joshua gave Beer-sheba to the tribe of Judah (Joshua 15:28 ), and then to the tribe of Simeon whose territory lay within Judah's boundaries (Joshua 19:1-2 ,Joshua 19:1-2,19:9 ). Samuel's sons Joel and Abiah were unfair judges in Beer-sheba right before the monarchy began with Saul (1 Samuel 8:1-3 ).

Beer-sheba is mentioned idiomatically twelve times to indicate the northern and southern extremes of Israel, “Dan to Beersheba” (2 Samuel 24:2 , 1 Kings 4:25 ). This type of phrase served to speak of Israel in its entirety and its unity; for instance, in its resolve to punish the tribe of Benjamin (Judges 20:1 ) and its recognition of Samuel as a true prophet (1 Samuel 3:20 ). This idiom also served to show the extent of the reforms of three southern kings: Jehoshaphat (2 Chronicles 19:4 , “Beer-sheba to mount Ephraim”), Hezekiah (2 Chronicles 30:5 , “Beer-sheba even to Dan”), and Josiah (2 Kings 23:8 , “from Geba to Beer-sheba”).

Archaeology has shown Beer-sheba to be the administrative center of the Negeb by uncovering its large commercial storerooms and fortifications which were superior to the lesser cities in the area. The fortifications were inadequate, however, against the Assyrians who sacked the city and left in ruins until the Persian period. After the punitive Exile of Judah, the people returned to Beer-sheba and its surrounding satellite towns with Nehemiah in the fifth century (Nehemiah 11:27 ,Nehemiah 11:27,11:30 ).

As the “gateway to the desert,” Beer-sheba was in a precarious place climatically, which is the backdrop of two person's prayers concerning death. Hagar pleads at a distance not to see her son die (Genesis 21:14-16 ), and Elijah prays for death in the desert rather than at the order of Queen Jezebel (1 Kings 19:3-4 ). Daniel C. Fredericks


GEORGE BUSH  Notes Critical and Practical on the Book of Joshua - Chapter 19

Beersheba Sheba. Heb. ‘Beersheba and (or even) Sheba.’ That one and the same city is designated by both these names, is clear from the fact that otherwise there would have been fourteen cities instead of thirteen. Besides, in 1 Chr 4:28, where Simeon’s cities are enumerated, the mention of Sheba is omitted as superfluous. As to the import of these names, see on Gen. 21:31, 32. In the description of the lots of Judah and Benjamin, an account is given both of the limits by which they were bounded and of the cities contained in them. In that of Ephraim and Manasseh the boundaries are given, but not the cities. In this chapter Simeon and Dan are described by their cities only, and not by their borders, because they were small, and the former lay within the limits of another tribe. The rest have both their borders described, and their cities named.


Norman Geisler - When Critics Ask: A Popular Handbook on Bible Difficulties

JOSHUA 19:2–7—Were these cities in the territory of Judah or of Simeon?

PROBLEM: Here they are listed in the land of Simeon, but in Joshua 15:26–32 they are in Judah.

SOLUTION: The inheritance of Simeon fell within the boundaries of Judah (Josh. 19:1, 9). So it was proper to speak of them as in either place.

Joshua 19:3  and Hazar-shual and Balah and Ezem,

and Hazar-shual and Balah and Ezem See map above

Hazar-Shual - Holman Bible Dictionary Place name meaning, “encampment of the foxes.” Town near Beersheba in tribal territory of Judah (Joshua 15:28 ) but allotted to tribe of Simeon (Joshua 19:3; 1 Chronicles 4:28). Jews returning from Exile in Babylon lived there (Nehemiah 11:27). It may be modern khirbet el-Watan. 

Balah - Holman Bible Dictionary  Place name meaning, “used, worn out.” City in tribal territory of Simeon (Joshua 19:3 ), apparently the same as Baalah (Joshua 15:29 ) and Bilhah (1 Chronicles 4:29 ). Location in southwest Judah is unknown. 

Ezem - Holman Bible Dictionary Place name meaning, “mighty” or “bone.” Town in Judah's tribal territory but settled by tribe of Simeon (Joshua 15:29; Joshua 19:3; 1 Chronicles 4:29 ). KJV spells Azem in Joshua. Ezem is modern Umm el-Azam about fifteen miles south of Beersheba and southwest of Aroer. Archaeologists at tell esh-Sharia about thirteen miles northwest of Beersheba have found a broken piece of pottery with the name Ezem on it.

Joshua 19:4  and Eltolad and Bethul and Hormah,

  • Eltolad: Jos 15:30 
  • Hormah: Jdg 1:17
  • Joshua 19 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

and Eltolad and Bethul and Hormah See map above

Eltolad - McClintock and Strong's Bible Encyclopedia meaning, “plea for a child.”-- a city in the south of Judah, mentioned between Azem and Chesil (Joshua 15:29), but afterwards assigned to Simeon, and mentioned between Azem and Bethul (Joshua 19:4). It remained in possession of the latter tribe in the time of David (1 Chronicles 4:29, where it is called simply TOLAD).

 Bethul - Smith's Bible Dictionary   (dweller in God). A town of Simeon, in the south, named with Eltolad and Hormah, Joshua 19:4, called also Chesil, and Bethuel. Joshua 15:30; 1 Chronicles 4:30.

Hormah - Fausset's Bible Dictionary  Joshua (Joshua 12:14) struck its king. In ancient times, Zephath (Judges 1:17). Capital of a Canaanite tribe in S. Palestine. Taken by Judah and Simeon (Judges 1:17). Judah appropriated it (Joshua 15:30; 1 Samuel 26:30). But Simeon's territory was so blended with that of Judah that elsewhere it is enumerated among Simeon's towns (1 Chronicles 4:30). In Numbers 14:45 it is called Hormah by anticipation. After Israel's unbelief, consequent on the spies' report, and subsequent presumptuous advance toward Canaan, in defiance of the Lord who no longer would go with them since they had refused to go when He invited them, the Amalekites from the hill "smote them and discomfited them even unto Hormah" Then followed the wandering in the wilderness for 38 years.

Then they came again to Hormah (Numbers 21:3), i.e. the place under the ban (Leviticus 27:28-29), devoted to destruction. "Zephath" is compared with es Safah on the S.E. frontier of Canaan, the pass by which Israel probably ascended from the Et Tih desert and the Arabah. Rowlands however identifies it with Sebatah where are extensive ruins, and near is a ruined fortress El Meshrifeh, the presumed site of the "watchtower." The site suggested in the Speaker's Commentary is some miles E. of Sebatah, namely, Rakhmah, an anagram of Hormah, the more permanent name. Israel marching N.N.W. from the Arabah, past Rakhmah or Hormah, would come to the wide plain, es Sir, the "Seir" of Deuteronomy 1:44.

Twenty miles' further march would have brought them to Arad royal city (Numbers 21:1); but before they could reach it the king drove them back to Hormah Numbers 15-19 belong to the dreary period of the 38 years' wandering after a year spent at Sinai; Numbers 20 presents them at the same point they started from 38 years before, Kadesh, in the 40th year; Numbers 21 introduces Arad assailing Israel and taking prisoners, then defeated by Israel in answer to prayer, and Hormah utterly destroyed. Israel not wishing to remain there marched S.E.

The Canaanites reoccupied the place and restored it under the old name Zephath. Not until northern Canaan was subdued did Israel reach it again in the extreme S., and Joshua conquered the king. Finally under the judges Judah and Simeon consummated the ban of Moses and his contemporaries on it, so that henceforth its name was permanently Hormah. This sets aside the objection to Numbers 14:45 and Numbers 21:3 as if these passages were post-Mosaic because of Judges 1:17.

Joshua 19:5  and Ziklag and Beth-marcaboth and Hazar-susah,

  • Ziklag: Jos 15:31 1Sa 27:6 30:1 
  • Hazarsusah: 1Ch 4:31, Hazar-susim
  • Joshua 19 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

and Ziklag and Beth-marcaboth and Hazar-susah - See map above

Ziklag - Holman Bible Dictionary A village in the southern Judean plain; variously identified either as tell el-Khuweilifeh, 10 miles north northeast of Beersheba, tell esh-Shariah, 9 miles north northwest of Beersheba, or khirbet el-Mashash. City in tribal inheritance of Judah given to Simeon (Joshua 15:31; Joshua 19:5 ). Ziklag appears to have belonged to the Philistines, taken during a period of rapid expansion in the time of Israel's judges (1 Samuel 27:6 ). The town was given to David by Achish, king of Gath, during David's “outlaw” period. The gift may have been a means of shortening Philistia's over-extended borders. Ziklag appears never to have been a part of Philistia proper.David made the town his headquarters as he gathered his private army and made raids against the Amalekites. On returning to his base following Philistia's refusal to allow him to fight with them against Saul, David found the town had been raided and burned by the Amalekites and his family taken hostage. A daring night raid on the base of the enemy resulted in the rescue of his people and their return to Ziklag (1 Samuel 30:1 ). Jews returning from Babylonian Exile inhabited Ziklag (Nehemiah 11:28 ). 

Beth-Marcaboth - McClintock and Strong's Bible Encyclopedia house of chariots, in Chron.; Sept. Βαιθμαρχαβώθ v. r. Βαιθμαριμώθ; or with the art. in Josh., Beth- ham-markaboth', בֵּיתאּהמִּרְכָּבֹת, house of the chariots; Sept. Βηθαμερχαβώθ v. r. Βαιθμαχερέβ, and Βαιθαμμαρχασβώθ ), one of the towns of Simeon, situated to the extreme south of Judah, with Ziklag and Hormah (Joshua 19:5; 1 Chronicles 4:31). What "chariots" can have been in use in this rough and thinly-inhabited part of the country, at a time so early as that at which these lists of towns purport to have been made out, we know not. At a later period — that of Solomon — "chariot cities" are named, and a regular trade with Egypt in chariots was carried on (1 Kings 9:19; 2 Chronicles 8:6; 1 Kings 10:29; 2 Chronicles 1:17), which would naturally require depots or stopping-places on the road "up" to Palestine (Stanley, p. 160). In the parallel list, Joshua 15:30-31, MADMANNAH (See MADMANNAH) (q.v.) occurs in place of Beth- marcaboth; possibly the latter was substituted for the former after the town had become the resort of chariots. 

Hazar-Susah - McClintock and Strong's Bible Encyclopedia village of the horse, Joshua 19:5; Sept. Ἀσερσουσίμ,Vulg. Hasersusa), or HA'ZAR-SUSIM (Chatsar' Susim', חֲצִר סוּסַים, village of horses, 1 Chronicles 4:31; Sept. ἣμισυ Σωσίμ,Vulg. Hasersusim), a city of the tribe of Simeon, mentioned between Beth-marcaboth and Beth-lebaoth or Beth-birei; doubtless, as thought by Schwarz (Palest. p. 124), the same as SANSANNAH, in the south border of Judah (Joshua 15:31), one of Solomon's "chariot-cities" (2 Chronicles 1:14). 

Joshua 19:6  and Beth-lebaoth and Sharuhen; thirteen cities with their villages;

 and Beth-lebaoth and Sharuhen; thirteen cities with their villages - See map above

Beth-lebaoth - Smith's Bible Dictionary (house of lionesses). A town in the lot of Simeon, Joshua 19:6, in the extreme south of Judah. See Joshua 15:32. See Lebaoth. In 1 Chronicles 4:31, the name is given Beth-Birei. 

Sharuhen - Fausset's Bible Dictionary A town in Judah allotted to Simeon (Joshua 19:6). Called SHILHIM in Joshua 15:32, SHAARAIM in 1 Chronicles 4:31. The name may be preserved in Tell Sheriah, half way between Gaza and Beersheba, ten miles W. of the latter, Bir es Seba, at the head of wady Sheri'ah i.e. "the watering place

Joshua 19:7  Ain, Rimmon and Ether and Ashan; four cities with their villages;

  • Ain: Jos 15:32 
  • Remmon: Nu 33:19,20 1Ch 4:32, Rimmon
  • Ether: Jos 15:42 
  • Joshua 19 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

Ain, Rimmon and Ether and Ashan; four cities with their villages;

Ziese - This collection of 17 sites scattered throughout Judah (and in most cases, also assigned to Judah) raises questions of definition. How can tribal identity be maintained, organized, connected in such a setup? Most significantly, how can an “inheritance within an inheritance” be sustained over time? Simeon’s subordination to Judah is clear as the campaign conquest continues (Judg 1:3, 17) yet continues to find memory in the time of David’s reign (1 Chr 4:24–43, but consider 4:27). Such notices are scant, however, and by the time of the exile, Simeon disappears altogether. (Joshua College Press NIV Commentary)

Ain - People's Bible Dictionary (eye, spring) A city of southern Palestine, first given to Judah, Joshua 15:32; afterward assigned to Simeon, Joshua 19:7; and then to the Levites, Joshua 21:16; 1 Chronicles 4:32. The same place as Ashan, 1 Chronicles 6:59; and possibly as En-rimmon, Nehemiah 11:29. 

Rimmon - Easton's Bible Dictionary One of the "uttermost cities" of Judah, afterwards given to Simeon (Joshua 15:21,32; 19:7; 1 Chronicles 4:32 ). In Joshua 15:32 Ain and Rimmon are mentioned separately, but in 19:7 and 1 Chronicles 4:32 (Compare Nehemiah 11:29 ) the two words are probably to be combined, as forming together the name of one place, Ain-Rimmon=the spring of the pomegranate. It has been identified with Um er-Rumamin, about 13 miles south-west of Hebron.

Ether - Jewish Encyclopedia Place name meaning, “smoke of incense.” One of the cities in the lowland of Judah allotted to Simeon (Joshua 15:42, 19:7). 

Ashan - Fausset's Bible Dictionary (Joshua 15:42): a city of the low country of Judah. In 1 Chronicles 4:32 mentioned as of Simeon. In 1 Chronicles 6:59 a priests' city; holding the same place as the similar Ain in Joshua's list (Joshua 21:16). In 1 Samuel 30:30 Chor-ashan is in "the south."

Joshua 19:8  and all the villages which were around these cities as far as Baalath-beer, Ramah of the Negev. This was the inheritance of the tribe of the sons of Simeon according to their families.

  • Baalathbeer: 1Ch 4:33 
  • Ramath: 1Sa 30:27, Ramoth
  • Joshua 19 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

and all the villages which were around these cities as far as Baalath-beer, Ramah of the Negev (south). This was the inheritance of the tribe of the sons of Simeon according to their families. 

Baalath-Beer - Holman Bible Dictionary Place name meaning, “the baal of the well” or the “lady of the well.” A city in the tribal allotment of Simeon (Joshua 19:8 ), identified with Ramath of the south (KJV) or Ramah of the Negev (NAS, NIV, NRSV). It may be identical with Baal (1 Chronicles 4:33 ) and/or with Bealoth (Joshua 15:24 ).

Ramah - Holman Bible Dictionary Place name meaning, “high,” applied to several cities located on heights, especially military strongholds. A city of the Negev, the arid desert south of Judea, in the tribal inheritance of Simeon (Joshua 19:8 ). David once gave presents to this town following his successful battle with the Amalekites (1 Samuel 30:27 ).

Joshua 19:9  The inheritance of the sons of Simeon was taken from the portion of the sons of Judah, for the share of the sons of Judah was too large for them; so the sons of Simeon received an inheritance in the midst of Judah's inheritance.

  • too much: Ex 16:18 2Co 8:14,15 
  • therefore: Jos 19:1 
  • Joshua 19 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

SIMEON'S INHERITANCE
FROM TRIBE OF JUDAH

The inheritance of the sons of Simeon was taken from the portion of the sons of Judah, for the share of the sons of Judah was too large for them; so the sons of Simeon received an inheritance in the midst of Judah's inheritance.

Pulpit Commentary - Of the later history of the children of Simeon we find a little recorded in 1 Chronicles 4:39-42, and some suppose that the event recorded there is a fulfilment of the prophecy in Obadiah 1:19. 


GEORGE BUSH  Notes Critical and Practical on the Book of Joshua - Chapter 19

The part of the children of Judah was too much for them. Too large in proportion to the other tribes, and too large for their actual necessities; although, as being the most numerous of all the tribes, it might justly claim a more extensive territory than any of the rest. Yet when it was found that they could not insist upon the original allotment without manifest injustice to the other tribes, the men of Judah submitted without a murmur to relinquish a part of their possession. They will take no advantage of an unintentional error by withholding that which equity and kindness would require them to give up. The same generous principle will operate in like manner with every good man. If he has chanced, through the inadvertency or mistake of another, to gain an undue advantage in a contract, he will cheerfully waive his right and make all the concessions which, in similar circumstances, he would wish to have made to himself. He will, as the apostle enjoins, look upon the things of others, as well as upon his own.

Joshua 19:10  Now the third lot came up for the sons of Zebulun according to their families. And the territory of their inheritance was as far as Sarid.

  • third: Jos 18:6,11 
  • Zebulun: Ge 49:13 De 33:18-19 
  • Joshua 19 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

Related Passage:

Genesis 49:13   “Zebulun will dwell at the seashore; And he shall be a haven for ships, And his flank shall be toward Sidon. 

Deuteronomy 33:18-19  Of Zebulun he said, “Rejoice, Zebulun, in your going forth, And, Issachar, in your tents.  19“They will call peoples to the mountain; There they will offer righteous sacrifices; For they will draw out the abundance of the seas, And the hidden treasures of the sand.” 


Map to help visualize descriptions of boundaries
Zondervan Atlas of the Bible: C. Rasmussen (recommended resource - do not reproduce)
CLICK TO ENLARGE

THIRD LOT TO
ZEBULUN

Now the third lot (goralcame up for the sons of Zebulun according to their families. And the territory of their inheritance was as far as Sarid - See map for Zebulun in lower Galilee which includes the town Nazareth. "Zebulun was allotted a landlocked area in lower Galilee that included Nazareth and was traversed by trade routes." (Ryrie)

Rasmussen - Zebulun was situated near several major trade routes that ran through the Jezreel Valley (ED: SEEN AT SOUTHERN ASPECT OF ZEBULUN'S BOUNDARY ABOVE), the east–west route that ran through Hannathon to Acco, and the route that connected Megiddo with Acco via Shimron and Hannathon. Because of its proximity to these routes, the Zebulunites were open to considerable outside influences and probably maintained commercial relations with Mediterranean port cities (Deut 33:18–19).(Zondervan Atlas of the Bible

Gangel - Divine wisdom placed the Leah tribes, Zebulun and Issachar, to the north of the Rachel tribes in order to cement the union of all Israel. Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun had camped in the wilderness (Nu 2:3-7), and these ties persisted for centuries. Mary and Joseph, both of the tribe of Judah, lived in the old territory of Zebulun. The Zebulunites named one of their towns Bethlehem (Josh 19:15) after the town in Judah.And what did Jacob say about his son Zebulun? "Zebulun will live by the seashore and become a haven for ships; his border will extend toward Sidon" (Gen. 49:13). No commendation; no condemnation. Simply geographical boundaries placing Zebulun due west of the Sea of Galilee though not actually on the coast. The Kishon River connected Zebulun to the Mediterranean Sea, a destination reached by passing through the territory of Asher.  (Holman Old Testament Commentary - Joshua)

Sarid - Holman Bible Dictionary Place name meaning, “survivor.” Border town of tribe of Zebulun (Joshua 19:10 ). Spelled Sedud by some early versions, Sarid is probably modern tell Shadud at the northern edge of the Jezreel Valley about six miles northeast of Megiddo and five miles southeast of Nazareth.

Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary - Verses 10-16. In the division to each tribe of Israel, the prophetic blessings of Jacob were fulfilled. They chose for themselves, or it was divided to them by lot, in the manner and places that he foresaw. So sure a rule to go by is the word of prophecy: we see by it what to believe, and it proves beyond all dispute the things that are of God.


GEORGE BUSH  Notes Critical and Practical on the Book of Joshua - Chapter 19

The third lot came up for the children of Zebulun. Though Zebulun was younger than Issachar, yet both in the prophetic blessing of Jacob and of Moses he came before him, and in like manner he has the precedence here also in the allotment of his inheritance. Providence is wonderful in its correspondence with prophecy. The lot of this tribe was washed by the Mediterranean on the west, and by the sea of Galilee on the east, agreeably to Jacob’s prediction, Gen. 49:13, that Zebulun should be ‘a haven of ships.’


QUESTION - What can we learn from the tribe of Zebulun?

ANSWER - Zebulun is one of Israel’s twelve tribes. In the time of Moses, Zebulun was divided into three clans: the Seredites, the Elonites, and the Jahleelites, named after Zebulun’s sons (Numbers 26:26). The tribes were named for Jacob’s children (or grandchildren, in the cases of Ephraim and Manasseh).

Jacob’s tenth son, Zebulun, was the youngest of six sons borne by Leah. When Zebulun was born, Leah said, “God has presented me with a precious gift. This time my husband will treat me with honor, because I have borne him six sons” (Genesis 30:20). Zebulun means “dwelling” or “honor.”

Zebulun was one of six tribes chosen to stand on Mount Ebal and pronounce curses (Deuteronomy 27:13). By means of these curses, the people promised God they would refrain from certain behaviors. For example, one curse says, “Cursed is the man who carves an image or casts an idol – a thing detestable to the Lord” (Deuteronomy 27:15). Another states, “Cursed is the man who withholds justice from the alien, the fatherless or the widow” (Deuteronomy 27:19). Still another: “Cursed is the man who does not uphold the words of this law by carrying them out” (Deuteronomy 27:26). In all, Zebulun helped deliver twelve admonishments of this sort (Deuteronomy 27:15-26).

Upon entering the Promised Land, Zebulun failed to drive out the Canaanites living in Kitron and Nahalol, although Zebulun did subject them to forced labor (Judges 1:30). This was incomplete obedience to God’s clear command to drive out all the inhabitants of the land (Numbers 33:52). Not responding fully to God’s Word, as Zebulun demonstrated, is a trait to which we all can relate. How often do we choose to follow our own paths for various reasons, many of which may not be in concert with God’s wishes?

Later, Zebulun returned to God and followed His commands. They participated in the battles led by Deborah and Barak, and they fought valiantly (Judges 4:6; 5:18). The judge Elon was a Zebulunite (Judges 12:11). During the kingdom years, Zebulun joined David at Hebron to transfer Saul’s kingdom to David (1 Chronicles 12:23, 33, 40). This, too, provides insight into our behavior. While at times we turn away from God, His love for us, and ours for Him, draws us back into communion with Him and compliance with His will.

Zebulun’s territory was located in what later became known as Galilee, in Northern Israel. Moses’ blessing on the tribe was that they would prosper in their overseas dealings with Gentile nations (Deuteronomy 33:18-19). Isaiah prophesied, “In the past [God] humbled the land of Zebulun . . . but in the future he will honor Galilee” (Isaiah 9:1). Isaiah’s prediction is Messianic: Galilee (including Zebulun) would be honored as the first to hear Christ’s preaching, and this would more than compensate for their humiliation at the hands of the Assyrians centuries before.

Numerous verses in the Bible, especially in the Psalms, extol God for His unfailing patience, love, and faithfulness. Indirectly, Zebulun’s history reminds us that God is always present when we return to Him. No matter how battered or bruised we may be or how ashamed we may feel about past transgressions, God can still use us.GotQuestions.org

Related Resource:

Joshua 19:11  Then their border went up to the west and to Maralah, it then touched Dabbesheth and reached to the brook that is before Jokneam.

  • brook: The brook Kishon, which empties itself into the Mediterranean near mount Carmel, in the vicinity of which Jokneam was situated.
  • Jokneam: Jos 12:22 1Ki 4:12 1Ch 6:68, Jokmeam
  • Joshua 19 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

Then their border went up to the west and to Maralah, it then touched Dabbesheth and reached to the brook that is before Jokneam - See map for these towns. For Jokneam see this map.

Maralah - Holman Bible Dictionary Place name meaning “site on mountain ledge.” Border town in Zebulun (Joshua 19:11 ). The site is perhaps tell Ghalta in the Jezreel Valley north of Megiddo or tell Thorah. 

Dabbesheth - ISB Encyclopedia A town on the western boundary of Zebulun (Joshua 19:11 ). It is probably identical with the modern Dabsheh , a ruined site to the East of Acre. 

Jokneam - ISB Encyclopedia see this map. A royal city of the Canaanites taken by Joshua and described as "in Carmel" ( Joshua 12:22 ), in the territory of Zebulun, and allotted to the Merarite Levites (Joshua 21:34 ). The border of Zebulun "reached to the brook that is before Jokneam" (Joshua 19:11 ).

Joshua 19:12  Then it turned from Sarid to the east toward the sunrise as far as the border of Chisloth-tabor, and it proceeded to Daberath and up to Japhia.

  • Chislothtabor: Called Chasalus by Eusebius and Jerome, and placed at the foot of mount Tabor, eight miles east of Diocesarea. Jos 19:22 Jdg 4:6,12 Ps 89:12 
  • Daberath: Josephus, who calls this town Dabaritta, or Darabitta, places it in the plain of Jezreel, or Esdraelon, on the confines of Samaria and Galilee.  It is probably the Dabira which Jerome place towards amount Tabor, in the district of Diocesarea; and the Debora or Daboura, mentioned by travellers as a village at the foot of mount Tabor. Jos 21:28, Dabareh, 1Ch 6:72 
  • Japhia: Probably Japha, a city of Galilee, near Jotapata, mentioned by Josephus.
  • Joshua 19 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

Then it turned from Sarid to the east toward the sunrise as far as the border of Chisloth-tabor, and it proceeded to Daberath and up to Japhia See map

Chisloth-Tabor - Holman Bible Dictionary See map  Place name meaning, “on the hips.” A border town of the tribe of Issachar (Joshua 19:18 ), probably the same as the border town of Zebulon called Chisloth-tabor in Joshua 19:12 . It is the modern Iksal, four miles south of Nazareth. 

Daberath - Jewish Encyclopedia See map A town on the eastern boundary of Zebulun (Joshua 19:12), but belonging to the domain of Issachar, and assigned to the Levites (Joshua 21:28; 1 Chronicles 6:58). It is the modern Deburich, an important strategic position at the foot of Mount Tabor and overlooking the entrance into the great plain of Esdraelon. It was here, perhaps, that Barak mustered his troops  

Japhia - Holman Bible Dictionary  (map) meaning, “place situated high above” or “may He bring shining light.”   Border town of tribal territory of Zebulun (Joshua 19:3 ). In the Amarna Letters, the Egyptian pharaoh required the town to supply forced laborers after Labayu of Shechem destroyed Shunem. It is modern Yafa, southwest of Nazareth. 

Joshua 19:13  From there it continued eastward toward the sunrise to Gath-hepher, to Eth-kazin, and it proceeded to Rimmon which stretches to Neah.

  • Gittah hepher: Placed by Jerome two miles from Sephoris, or Diocesarea, towards Tiberias. 2Ki 14:25, Gath-hepher, methoar, or, which is drawn
  • Joshua 19 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

From there it continued eastward toward the sunrise to Gath-hepher, to Eth-kazin, and it proceeded to Rimmon which stretches to Neah -  See map

Gath-Hepher - Holman Bible Dictionary  Place name meaning, “winepress on the watering hole.” A city on the eastern border of Zebulun's tribal allotment (Joshua 19:13 ). The prophet Jonah came from Gath-hepher (2 Kings 14:25). It is located at modern el-Meshed or nearby khirbet ez-Zurra, three miles northeast of Nazareth. 

Ethkazin - Holman Bible Dictionary  Place name perhaps meaning, “time of the chieftain.” Town in tribal territory of Zebulun (Joshua 19:13 ). Its location is not known. 

Neah - Smith's Bible Dictionary (shaking). A place, which was one of the landmarks, on the boundary of Zebulun. In Joshua 19:13 only. It has not yet been certainly identified.

Joshua 19:14  The border circled around it on the north to Hannathon, and it ended at the valley of Iphtahel.

NORTHERN BOUNDARY
OF ZEBULUM

The border circled around it on the north to Hannathon (See map) , and it ended at the valley of Iphtahel. 

Hannathon - Smith's Bible Dictionary  (gracious). One of the cities of Zebulun. Joshua 19:14

Iphtahel - Holman Bible Dictionary Place name meaning, “God opens.” Valley separating tribal territories of Zebulun and Asher (Joshua 19:14 ,Joshua 19:14,19:27 ). It is modern wadi el-Melek.

Joshua 19:15  Included also were Kattah and Nahalal and Shimron and Idalah and Bethlehem; twelve cities with their villages.

  • Kattath: etc. Jos 21:34,35 Jdg 1:30. Nahalol
  • Shimron: Jos 11:1 12:20 
  • Bethlehem: 2Sa 23:15 2Ch 11:6 
  • Joshua 19 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

Included also were Kattah and Nahalal and Shimron and Idalah and Bethlehem; twelve cities with their villages - See map Not "Bethlehem-Ephratah, Too little to be among the clans of Judah" (Micah 5:2) but  a place lying a great distance to the north of the Bethlehem in Judah where our Lord was born.

Kattath - Holman Bible Dictionary Place name meaning, “small.” A town in the tribal territory of Zebulun (Joshua 19:15 ). Probably the same as Kitron (Judges 1:30 ). See Kitron . 

Nahalal - Holman Bible Dictionary  Place name meaning, “pasture” with alternate forms: Nahallal (Joshua 19:15 ); Nahalol (Judges 1:30 ). Town Zebulun's territory allotted to the Levites (Joshua 19:15; Joshua 21:35 ). The Israelites were unable to drive out the Canaanite inhabitants of the city (Judges 1:30 ). The site is uncertain. Tell-en-Nahl north of the Kishon River at the southern end of the plain of Acco is possible as are modern Nahalal about six miles west of Nazareth and tell el-Beida. 

Shimron - McClintock and Strong's Bible Encyclopedia  A town of Zebulon (Joshua 19:15, where it is named between Nahallal and Idalah),one of those which joined the northern confederacy under Jabin against Joshua. Joshua 11:5), and apparently the same elsewhere (12:20) more fully called Shimron-meron (q.v.) 

Idalah - Easton's Bible Dictionary Snares(?), a city near the west border of Zebulun (Joshua 19:15 ). It has been identified with the modern Jeida, in the valley of Kishon.

Joshua 19:16  This was the inheritance of the sons of Zebulun according to their families, these cities with their villages.

SUMMARY OF INHERITANCE
OF ZEBULUN

This was the inheritance of the sons of Zebulun according to their families, these cities with their villages.

Joshua 19:17  The fourth lot fell to Issachar, to the sons of Issachar according to their families.


Map to help visualize descriptions of boundaries
Zondervan Atlas of the Bible: C. Rasmussen (recommended resource - do not reproduce)
CLICK TO ENLARGE

THE FOURTH LOT
TO ISSACHAR

The fourth lot (goralfell to Issachar, to the sons of Issachar according to their families.

Campbell on Issachar - Lying east of Zebulun and south of the Sea of Galilee Issachar was to occupy the fertile and beautiful valley of Jezreel, also a noted battlefield. Until the time of David, however, its people remained in the mountainous district at the eastern end of the valley. (The Bible Knowledge Commentary Old Testament)

Gangel - The tribe of Issachar wandered for forty years in the desert, remembering Jacob's words about the good things their hard work would bring: "Issachar is a rawboned donkey lying down between two saddlebags. When he sees how good is his resting place and how pleasant is his land, he will bend his shoulder to the burden and submit to forced labor" (Gen. 49:14-15).Issachar's territory included the Valley of Jezreel and from Mount Tabor on the west to the southern tip of the Sea of Galilee. Indeed, Issachar played such a small role in the future of Israel that the tribe is not even mentioned in the blessings of the tribes offered by Moses in Deuteronomy 33 except as a side note with Zebulun. Most notable in this allocation is the great battlefield Jezreel and the significance of Mount Tabor. Ultimately, of course, all the territory of Ephraim, Manasseh, Issachar, and Zebulun became known as Samaria.  (Holman Old Testament Commentary - Joshua)

Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary - Verses 17-51. Joshua waited till all the tribes were settled, before he asked any provision for himself. He was content to be unfixed, till he saw them all placed, and herein is an example to all in public places, to prefer the common welfare before private advantage. Those who labour most to do good to others, seek an inheritance in the Canaan above: but it will be soon enough to enter thereon, when they have done all the service to their brethren of which they are capable. Nor can any thing more effectually assure them of their title to it, than endeavouring to bring others to desire, to seek, and to obtain it. Our Lord Jesus came and dwelt on earth, not in pomp but poverty, providing rest for man, yet himself not having where to lay his head; for Christ pleased not himself. Nor would he enter upon his inheritance, till by his obedience to death he secured the eternal inheritance for all his people; nor will he account his own glory completed, till every ransomed sinner is put in possession of his heavenly rest. 


QUESTION - What can we learn from the tribe of Issachar?

ANSWER - Each of the twelve sons of Israel / Jacob received a blessing from his father just before Jacob’s death. The twelve sons were the progenitors of the twelve tribes of Israel, and Jacob’s blessings contained prophetic information about each tribe. In the case of the tribe of Issachar, Jacob prophesied, “Issachar is a rawboned donkey, lying down between two burdens; He saw that rest was good, and that the land was pleasant; He bowed his shoulder to bear a burden, and became a band of slaves” (Genesis 49:14-15).

The first part of the prophecy about the tribe of Issachar, whose name means either “he will bring a reward” or “man of wages,” is somewhat obscure. The word translated “rawboned” in the NIV is translated “strong” in other versions. It can also mean “bony” as in “nothing but skin and bones.” Therefore, the prophecy could either mean that the descendants of Issachar would be strong and robust, able to bear burdens, or that they would be thin and weak and unable to do so.

The image of a donkey lying down between its burdens can also be interpreted two ways. On one hand, it could portray a sturdy animal resting for the task ahead. On the other hand, donkeys also are known to stubbornly crouch between their burdens to keep from having to do the work! Again, the prophecy eludes a dogmatic interpretation. The subsequent history of Issachar in the Bible does not conclusively favor either construal.

As for the second part of the prophecy, some commentators believe it is an indication that the descendants of Issachar would be farmers—the reference to “a band of slaves” means they would be servants of the land. Others see it as a prediction of forced labor, although nothing in Scripture indicates that the tribe of Issachar was ever forced into slavery of any kind. In fact, the Hebrew wording is so obscure that English translations vary widely. Consider the following:

KJV: “Issachar is a strong ass couching down between two burdens: And he saw that rest was good, and the land that it was pleasant; and bowed his shoulder to bear, and became a servant unto tribute.”

ESV: "Issachar is a strong donkey, crouching between the sheepfolds. He saw that a resting place was good, and that the land was pleasant, so he bowed his shoulder to bear, and became a servant at forced labor.”

NASB: “Issachar is a strong donkey, Lying down between the sheepfolds. When he saw that a resting place was good And that the land was pleasant, He bowed his shoulder to bear burdens, And became a slave at forced labor.”

NIV: “Issachar is a rawboned donkey lying down between two saddlebags. When he sees how good is his resting place and how pleasant is his land, he will bend his shoulder to the burden and submit to forced labor.”

There is another reference to the men of Issachar during the time of David’s struggle against Saul (1 Chronicles 12:32). The two hundred chiefs of Issachar who are faithful to David are described as those who “understood the times and knew what Israel should do.” Scholars are divided on the meaning of the phrase “understood the times.” Some portray the men of Issachar as politically astute, knowing how to use current events to their own advantage. Others interpret the phrase to mean they were known for their understanding of astronomy and physical science. Still others see them as men of prudence and wisdom who, because of their religious scholarship, knew that this was the proper time for David to become king. The truth is that we really don’t know for sure.

As part of the Northern Kingdom of Israel, the territory of Issachar was conquered by the Assyrians around 720 B.C. and the tribe exiled. After that, all explicit biblical references to the tribe cease.

How are we to understand these references to Issachar and their different interpretations, and what do they mean to us as Christians? First, it’s important to understand that Jacob’s prophecies to his sons were just that—prophecies to his sons. We should be very careful when applying Old Testament passages to the Church Age or to Christians in general. We can, however, glean certain general principles regarding work and its rewards. The Bible makes it clear that work is a gift from God for the benefit of His people (Ecclesiastes 3:12-13; 5:18-20) and those who don’t work shouldn’t eat (2 Thessalonians 3:10). The Bible contains numerous references to those who work as reaping rewards, both in the temporal and spiritual realms (2 Chronicles 15:7; 1 Corinthians 3:8,14; 2 John 1:8; Revelation 2:23; 22:12).

There are some who would point to the different translations of Genesis 49:14-15 as evidence of the unreliability of the Bible. However, it must be remembered that such cases of obscurity are extremely rare, and none of the cardinal doctrines of the Christian faith are ever in question. Whether the donkey was bony or robust does not affect the Bible’s teaching on sin, death, judgment, heaven, hell, the atonement of Christ, or a myriad other doctrines. Scripture contains ample information regarding these doctrines to make them clearly understood to all who have “ears to hear” (Mark 4:9, 23). GotQuestions.org

Related Resource:

Joshua 19:18  Their territory was to Jezreel and included Chesulloth and Shunem,

  • Jezreel: 1Ki 21:1,15,16 2Ki 8:29 9:15,30 Ho 1:4,5 
  • Chesulloth: Probably the same as Chisloth-tabor. Jos 19:12 
  • Shunem: 1Sa 28:4 1Ki 1:3 2:17,21 2Ki 4:8,12 
  • Joshua 19 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

Their territory was to Jezreel and included Chesulloth and Shunem See map

Chesulloth - Holman Bible Dictionary Place name meaning, “on the hips.” A border town of the tribe of Issachar (Joshua 19:18 ), probably the same as the border town of Zebulon called Chisloth-tabor in Joshua 19:12 . It is the modern Iksal, four miles south of Nazareth. 

Shunem - Holman Bible Dictionary  Place name of uncertain meaning. Town in tribal territory of Issachar (Joshua 19:18 ). Place where Philistines camped against Saul, who, in fear, sought to talk to the dead Samuel through a medium (1 Samuel 28:4 ). Abishag from Shunem warmed David on his death bed (1 Kings 1:3 ). See 2 Kings 4:1 ). Shunem is modern Solem on the southern edge of the Nebi Dachi across from Mount Gilboa. It is three miles east of Affuleh and three and a half miles north of Jezreel.

Joshua 19:19  and Hapharaim and Shion and Anaharath,

  • Haphraim: A town called Aiphraim, in the time of Eusebius, six miles north of Legio.
  • Shihon: A town called Seon by Eusebius, at the foot of mount Tabor. Jos 19:19 
  • Joshua 19 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

and Hapharaim and Shion and Anaharath, See map

Hapharaim - Hasting's Bible Dictionary  A town in Issachar ( Joshua 19:19 ). The Onomasticon places it 6 Roman miles N. of Legio.  

Anaharath - McClintock and Strong's Bible Encyclopedia  a town on or within the border of Issachar, mentioned between Shihon and Rabbith (Joshua 19:19). Its site was apparently unknown in the time of Eusebius and Jerome (Onomast. s.v. Ἀνέρθ, Anerith). It was, perhaps, in the northern part of the tribe, possibly at Meskarah, where there are ruins (Van de Velde, Map).

Joshua 19:20  and Rabbith and Kishion and Ebez,

and Rabbith and Kishion and Ebez,  See map

Rabbith - Holman Bible Dictionary  Unidentified site in territory of Issachar (Joshua 19:20 ). Rabbith is possibly a corruption of Daberath, a site included in other lists of Issachar's territory (Joshua 21:28; 1 Chronicles 6:72 ) but missing in Joshua 19:1 . 

Kishion - Easton's Bible Dictionary  Hardness, a city of Issachar assigned to the Gershonite Levites (Joshua 19:20 ), the same as Kishon (21:28).

 Ebez - Holman Bible Dictionary  Place name with unknown meaning. Town allotted to Issachar (Joshua 19:20 ).

Joshua 19:21  and Remeth and En-gannim and En-haddah and Beth-pazzez.

and Remeth and En-gannim and En-haddah and Beth-pazzez. See map

Remeth - Holman Bible Dictionary Place name meaning, “height.” Town in Issachar's territory (Joshua 19:21 ), likely identical with Ramoth (1 Chronicles 6:73 ) and Jarmuth (Joshua 21:29 ).

En-gannim - Smith's Bible Dictionary A city on the border of Issachar, Joshua 19:21, allotted with its "suburbs," to the Gershonite Levites, Joshua 21:29, probably Jenin, the first village encountered on the ascent from the great plain of Esdraelon, into the hills of the central country. 

En-Haddah - Holman Bible Dictionary City in tribal lot of Issachar (Joshua 19:21 ). It is apparently el-Hadetheh about six miles east of Mount Tabor 

Beth-pazzez - Smith's Bible Dictionary  (house of the dispersion). A town of Issachar, named with En-haddah, Joshua 19:21, and of which nothing is known.

Joshua 19:22  The border reached to Tabor and Shahazumah and Beth-shemesh, and their border ended at the Jordan; sixteen cities with their villages.

  • Tabor: Jos 19:12 Jdg 4:6 1Ch 6:77 Jer 46:18 
  • Bethshemesh: Jos 19:38 21:16 1Sa 6:9-19 1Ki 4:9 2Ki 14:11-13 
  • Joshua 19 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

The border reached to Tabor and Shahazumah and Beth-shemesh, and their border ended at the Jordan; sixteen cities with their villages - See map This Beth-shemesh ("house of sun") is not the same as the city by the same name the one in Judah (Josh 15:10) or in Naphtali (Josh 19:38).

Tabor - Smith's Bible Dictionary . Tabor is mentioned in the lists of 1 Chronicles 6, as a city of the Merarite Levites, in the tribe of Zebulun. 1 Chronicles 6:77. The list of the towns of Zebulun. Joshua 19, contains the name of Chisloth-tabor. Joshua 19:12. It is, therefore, possible, either that Chisloth-tabor is abbreviated into Tabor by the chronicler, or that, by the time these later lists were compiled, the Merarites had established themselves on the sacred mountain, and that Tabor is Mount Tabor. 

Shahazumah - Holman Bible Dictionary Modern translation spelling of Shahazimah following the written Hebrew text rather than the notes of the earliest Hebrew scribes. ISBE = A town in the territory of Issachar on the boundary which ran from Tabor to the Jordan ( Joshua 19:22). The site, which has not yet been recovered, must be sought, probably, to the Southeast of the mountain.

Beth-Shemesh - Holman Bible Dictionary Place name meaning, “house of the sun.” Beth-shemesh is a name applied to four different cities in the Old Testament. The name probably derives from a place where the Semitic god Shemesh (Shamash) was worshiped.  Beth-shemesh of Issachar was situated on the tribal border with Naphtali between Mt. Tabor and the Jordan River (Joshua 19:22). Present scholarship identifies the city with either el-Abeidiyeh, two miles south of Galilee, or khirbet Shemsin, east of Tabor.

Joshua 19:23  This was the inheritance of the tribe of the sons of Issachar according to their families, the cities with their villages.

SUMMARY OF INHERITANCE
OF ISSACHAR

 This was the inheritance of the tribe of the sons of Issachar according to their families, the cities with their villages

Joshua 19:24  Now the fifth lot fell to the tribe of the sons of Asher according to their families.

  • The lot Asher lay upon the coast of the great sea.  We read of only one remarkable person of this tribe, and that was Anna, the prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, a widow of about four-score and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day.
  • Lu 2:26-38 
  • Joshua 19 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

Map to help visualize descriptions of boundaries
Zondervan Atlas of the Bible: C. Rasmussen (recommended resource - do not reproduce)
CLICK TO ENLARGE

FIFTH LOT TO
ASHER

Now the fifth lot (goralfell to the tribe of the sons of Asher according to their families - From the map above, it is clear that Asher was received the Mediterranean coastal lands from Mount Carmel on the south to Sidon and Tyre toward the north. This tribe would guard the northern border from the coastal enemies like the Phoenicians. 

Gangel - Inscriptions from Seti I dated approximately 1310 b.c. and also of Rameses II contain references to a people called Asaru in a territory roughly corresponding to southern Phoenicia. This indicates that Asher had begun to settle by the end of the fourteenth century. Asher's blessing from Jacob was strictly culinary: "Asher's food will be rich; he will provide delicacies fit for a king" (Gen. 49:20).  (Holman Old Testament Commentary - Joshua)

Asher was also described in Deuteronomy

Of Asher he said, “More blessed than sons is Asher; May he be favored by his brothers, And may he dip his foot in oil.  25 “Your locks will be iron and bronze, And according to your days, so will your leisurely walk be.  26“There is none like the God of Jeshurun, Who rides the heavens to your help, And through the skies in His majesty.  27 “The eternal God is a dwelling place, And underneath are the everlasting arms; And He drove out the enemy from before you, And said, ‘Destroy!’ 

Campbell notes that "By virtue of her (ASHER'S) vital position she was to protect Israel from northern coastal enemies such as the Phoenicians. By David’s time Asher had faded into insignificance though her tribal identity was not lost. Anna the prophetess, who along with Simeon gave thanks for the birth of Jesus, was from the tribe of Asher (cf. Luke 2:36–38)" (The Bible Knowledge Commentary Old Testament)


QUESTION -  What can we learn from the tribe of Asher?

ANSWER - Asher is one of Israel’s twelve tribes. In the time of Moses, Asher was divided into five clans: the Imnites; the Ishvites; and the Berites; and, through Beriah, the Berite patriarch, two more clans: the Heberites and the Malkielites. The first three clans were named after Asher’s sons; the fourth and fifth after Beriah’s sons (Numbers 26:44-45).

Asher was Jacob’s eighth son. His mother was Leah’s maidservant, Zilpah, and he was her second and last child with Jacob. When Asher was born, Leah said, “How happy am I! The women will call me happy” (Genesis 30:13). Asher’s name means “happy.”

Asher was one of six tribes chosen to stand on Mount Ebal and pronounce curses (Deuteronomy 27:13). Through these curses, the people promised God they would refrain from bad behavior. For example, one curse says, “Cursed is the man who dishonors his father or his mother” (Deuteronomy 27:16). Another states, “Cursed is the man who leads the blind astray on the road” (Deuteronomy 27:18). Still another: “Cursed is the man who sleeps with his mother-in-law” (Deuteronomy 27:23). In all, Asher delivered twelve admonishments (Deuteronomy 27:15-26).

When Jacob blessed his sons, he said, “Asher’s food will be rich; he will provide delicacies fit for a king” (Genesis 49:20). Later, Moses blessed the tribe, saying, "Most blessed of the sons is Asher; let him be favored by his brothers, and let him bathe his feet in oil. The bolts of your gates will be iron and bronze, and your strength will equal your days” (Deuteronomy 33:24). Washing one’s feet in oil was a sign of prosperity, and Jacob’s reference to Asher’s food being “rich” indicated that Asher would possess fertile lands. In Joshua 19:24-31, we learn that Asher received land along the Mediterranean coast.

Despite all its blessings, the tribe of Asher failed to drive out the Canaanites, and “because of this the people of Asher lived among the Canaanite inhabitants of the land” (Judges 1:31-32). In the time of Deborah and Barak, “Asher remained on the coast and stayed in its coves” rather than join the fight against Jabin, a Canaanite king (Judges 5:17). This failure to aid their fellow tribes could indicate a lack of reliance on God, a lack of effort, a fear of the enemy, or a reluctance to upset those with whom they did business. Thus, the example set here is a negative one: although Asher was richly blessed, they did not behave admirably; when the time for action came, they failed to trust in God and honor His plan.

Later in Judges, Asher does respond to Gideon’s call to repel the Midianites, Amalekites, and others from the East (Judges 6:35). In another important gesture, Asher accepts Hezekiah’s invitation to the tribes from the Northern Kingdom to join the Passover celebration in Jerusalem (2 Chronicles 30:11). This was considered an act of humility, proof of a contrite heart before God.

In the end, we find that Asher received many great blessings from God. Having received a blessing, they were expected to obey the Lord’s commands. In this they sometimes succeeded and sometimes failed. We, too, have been blessed by God (Ephesians 1:3), and the Lord expects us to obey His commands (John 14:15). Just as Asher received a prophetic blessing from Jacob, God’s children have been told, “In his great mercy [God] has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time” (1 Peter 1:3–5). Praise the Lord for His wonderful plans for us. What a comfort!GotQuestions.org

Related Resource:

Joshua 19:25  Their territory was Helkath and Hali and Beten and Achshaph,

  • Helkath: 2Sa 2:16 
  • Beten: Probably the same as Bebeten or Batnai, mentioned by Eusebius, eight miles east from Ptolemais; and perhaps the Ecbatana which Pliny places not far from Ptolemais.
  • Achshaph: Jos 11:1 12:20 
  • Joshua 19 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

Their territory was Helkath and Hali and Beten and Achshaph - See map

Helkath - Holman Bible Dictionary Place name meaning, “flat place.” Border town in the tribal allotment of Asher (Joshua 19:25 ) given to the Levites (Joshua 21:31 ). It is called Hukok in the parallel passage (1 Chronicles 6:75 ). It is either modern tell Qassis on the west bank of the Kishon River or tell tel-Harbaj just south of Acco. 

Hali - Holman Bible Dictionary Place name meaning, “jewel.” Border town assigned to tribe of Asher (Joshua 19:25 ). It may be khirbet Ras Ali, north of Mount Carmel. 

Beten - Holman Bible Dictionary Place name meaning, “womb.” Border town of tribe of Asher (Joshua 19:25 ). It may be located at khirbet Abtun eleven miles south of Acco. 

Achshaph - Holman Bible Dictionary Place name meaning, “place of sorcery.” City state which joined Jabin, King of Hazor, in opposing Joshua as he invaded northern Israel (Joshua 11:1 ). Achshaph was a border city for Asher (Joshua 19:25 ). It was probably located near Acco, but its precise location is not


GEORGE BUSH  Notes Critical and Practical on the Book of Joshua - Chapter 19

And their border. The word ‘border’ or ‘boundary’ both here and in what follows, is not to be understood simply of the boundary line, but also of all the towns and lands which it embraces. It might be rendered, ‘district’ or’ ‘territory.’

Joshua 19:26  and Allammelech and Amad and Mishal; and it reached to Carmel on the west and to Shihor-libnath.

  • Misheal: Situated, according to Eusebius, near mount Carmel, on the sea coast. Jos 21:30 1Ch 6:74, Marshal
  • Carmel: 1Sa 15:12 1Ki 18:20,42 Song 7:5 Isa 33:9 35:2 37:24 Jer 46:18 
  • Joshua 19 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

and Allammelech and Amad and Mishal; and it reached to Carmel on the west and to Shihor-libnath - See map

Allammelech - Holman Bible Dictionary Place name meaning, “king's oak,” or “royal holy tree.” Border town of Asher (Joshua 19:26 ) whose specific location is not known. 

Amad - Holman Bible Dictionary Place name of unknown meaning. City allotted to tribe of Asher (Joshua 19:26 ). 

Mishal - Easton's Bible Dictionary  A city of the tribe of Asher (Joshua 21:30; 1 Chronicles 6:74 ). It is probably the modern Misalli, on the shore near Carmel. 

Shihor-Libnath - Holman Bible Dictionary Place name perhaps meaning, “swamp of Libnath.” Border of tribal territory of Asher (Joshua 19:26 ), variously identified as the Nahr ez-Zerqa on the southern border of Asher; the swampy territory between the rivers Nahr ed-Difleh and Nahr ez-Zerqa, and tell Abu Hawam at the mouth of the Kishon.

Joshua 19:27  It turned toward the east to Beth-dagon and reached to Zebulun, and to the valley of Iphtahel northward to Beth-emek and Neiel; then it proceeded on north to Cabul,

  • Beth dagon: 1Sa 5:2 
  • valley: Jos 19:14 
  • Cabul: Supposed to be the same town which Josephus calls [Choboulo,] and which he says was situated near the sea side, near Ptolemais. 1Ki 9:13 
  • Joshua 19 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

It turned toward the east to Beth-dagon and reached to Zebulun, and to the valley of Iphtahel northward to Beth-emek and Neiel; then it proceeded on north to Cabul - See map

Utley - “east … north” The ancient Hebrews denoted compass directions by facing “east” (the rising sun). The tabernacle faced east. It became a symbol of help and hope. The Messiah will come from the east. As a person faces east, the right hand points south and the left hand points north. North came to be a symbol of invasion and bad news because the Mesopotamian powers always invaded from the coastal plain through Phoenicia (because of the desert to the east of Palestine). (Commentary)

Beth-Dagon - Holman Bible Dictionary   Place name meaning, “house of Dagon.” Apparently the name indicates a worship place of Philistine god Dagon ("little fish") TWO TOWNS - 1. Town in tribal territory of Judah (Joshua 15:41). It is probably modern khirbet Dajun on the road connecting Ramalleh and Joppa. 2. Town in Asher (Joshua 19:27 ) without certain present location.

Iphtahel - Holman Bible Dictionary Place name meaning, “God opens.” Valley separating tribal territories of Zebulun and Asher (Joshua 19:14 ,Joshua 19:14,19:27 ). It is modern wadi el-Melek. 

Beth-Emek - Holman Bible Dictionary Place name meaning, “house of the valley.” A border town in the tribal territory of Asher (Joshua 19:27 ). Located at modern tel Mimas, six and a half miles northeast of Acco. 

Cabul - Holman Bible Dictionary Place name meaning, “fettered” or “braided.” 1. Town on northeast border of Asher (Joshua 19:27 ). May be located at modern Kabul nine miles southeast of Acco.

Joshua 19:28  and Ebron and Rehob and Hammon and Kanah, as far as Great Sidon.

  • Rehob: Jos 19:30 
  • Kanah: This seems a different Cana from that in Lower Galilee; and to be that which is placed in some maps east of Tyre, between Libanus and Antilibanus, and south of the river Cassimer, or Leitani. Joh 2:1,11 4:46, Cana
  • great: Jos 11:8 Jdg 1:31 Isa 23:2,4,12
  • Joshua 19 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

and Ebron and Rehob and Hammon and Kanah, as far as Great Sidon - See map

Ebron - Holman Bible Dictionary  City in territory of Asher (Joshua 19:28 ), spelled Hebron in KJV. Several manuscripts in Joshua 19:28 plus the lists in Joshua 21:30; 1 Chronicles 6:39 have Abdon 

Rehob - Holman Bible Dictionary  Town in the territory of Asher (Joshua 19:28 ,Joshua 19:28,19:30 ). Asher was not able to drive out the Canaanite inhabitants (Judges 1:31 ). Elsewhere, Rehob in Asher is assigned to the Levites (Joshua 21:31; 1 Chronicles 6:75 ). The site is perhaps tell el-Gharbi about seven miles east-southeast of Acco. 

Hammon - Jewish Encyclopedia A place in the territory of Asher, mentioned in Joshua 19:28, between Rehob and Kanah. It is believed that the ruins now called "Ummel-'Amud" (or "'Awamid") occupy its site. A city allotted to the Levites out of the tribe of Naphtali, and assigned with its suburbs to the descendants of Gershom (1 Chronicles 6:61 [A. V. 76]). B. P. 

Kanah - Easton's Bible Dictionary A town in the north of Asher (Joshua 19:28 ). It has been identified with 'Ain-Kana, a village on the brow of a valley some 7 miles south-east of Tyre. About a mile north of this place are many colossal ruins strown about. And in the side of a neighbouring ravine are figures of men, women, and children cut in the face of the rock. These are supposed to be of Phoenician origin. 

Sidon - Hasting's Dictionary  Sidon, called ‘Great Zidon’ (Joshua 11:8), was one of the maritime cities of Phcenicia, about 25 miles N. of Tyre, its ‘rival in magnitude, fame, and antiquity’ (Strabo, xvi. ii. 22). After the coming of Alexander the Great, whom Sidon rapturously welcomed and Tyre frantically opposed, the two cities shared the same political fortunes, being for two centuries bones of contention between the Greek kings of Syria in the north and Egypt in the south. So long, however, as their civic autonomy was secure, their factories busy, their overseas traffic prosperous, the quarrels of their alternate overlords did not greatly trouble them. And, while their wealth was apparently almost as great as ever, they added a new interest to life by learning the language and assimilating the culture of Greece. They were not now a mere race of merchant princes or pedlars, wholly absorbed in getting and spending. Strabo says that in his time-the beginning of our era-the Sidonians not only ‘cultivate science and study astronomy and arithmetic, to which they are led by the application of numbers and night sailing, each of which concerns the merchant and seaman,’ but there are ‘distinguished philosophers, natives of Sidon, as Bcethus, with whom I studied the philosophy of Aristotle, and Diodotus his brother’ (xvi. ii. 24).

The two sister cities now consistently advocated a policy of peace with all their neighbours. Not possessing a fraction of the army and navy with which they once defied empires, they could no longer assert themselves even when they were in the right. When Herod Agrippa was ‘highly displeased with the Tyrians and Sidonians’ (Acts 12:20), they indulged in no useless heroies. Raising no question as to whether the king’s displeasure was just or not, and facing the plain fact that ‘their country was fed from the king’s country,’ they looked about for a friend at Court and humbly asked for peace. If there was any thought of peace with honour, it was suppressed. Dependents could not afford to be angry, and the king could do no wrong. To this had great Sidon and proud Tyre now come.

No details are given of our Lord’s visit to Sidon, though it is definitely stated that He came through it, or at least its surrounding territory (reading διά not καί in Mark 7:31, with the best Manuscripts ), on His way to Decapolis, which He probably reached by the highway over the Lebanon to Damascus (see H. J. Holtzmann, Die Synoptiker3, 1901 [Handkommentar zum NT], and A. B. Bruce, Expositor’s Greek Testament , ‘Mark,’ 1897, in loc). Nothing is known of the actual introduction of Christianity into Sidon. One of its bishops attended the Council of Nicaea in a.d. 325.

‘Sidonian’ was originally an ethnic name like ‘Hittite,’ Sidon and Heth being named together as sons of Canaan in Genesis 10:15. In Homer ‘Sidonia’ is equivalent to Phcenicia and ‘Sidonian’ to Phcenician. In the Latin poets, too, when the adjective qualifies such words as ‘Dido’ (Virg. aen. xi. 74), ‘nautae,’ ‘rates,’ ‘murex,’ ‘vestis,’ ‘chlamys,’ it means Phcenician. The modern town, called by the Arabs Saida, has about 15,000 inhabitants. Some very remarkable sarcophagi have been found in the necropolis to the S.E. of the town.

Joshua 19:29  The border turned to Ramah and to the fortified city of Tyre; then the border turned to Hosah, and it ended at the sea by the region of Achzib.

  • Ramah: Probably the Rama mentioned by Theodoret as a city of Syria; and placed in some maps between Sarepta and Sidon, eastward, near Lebanon.
  • Tyre: Heb. Tzor, 2Sa 5:11 Isa 23:1-18 Eze 26:1-28:26 
  • Achzib: Ge 38:5 Jdg 1:31 Mic 1:14 
  • Joshua 19 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

The border turned to Ramah and to the fortified city of Tyre; then the border turned to Hosah, and it ended at the sea by the region of Achzib. - See map

Ramah - Holman Bible Dictionary Place name meaning, “high,” applied to several cities located on heights, especially military strongholds. A city of the Negev, the arid desert south of Judea, in the tribal inheritance of Simeon (Joshua 19:8 ). David once gave presents to this town following his successful battle with the Amalekites (1 Samuel 30:27 ). 

Tyre - Smith's Bible Dictionary (a rock). A celebrated commercial city of Phoenicia, on the coast of the Mediterranean. Its Hebrew name, Tzor, signifies a rock; which well agrees with the site of Sur, the modern town, on a rocky peninsula, formerly an island. There is no doubt that, previous to the siege of the city by Alexander the Great, Tyre was situated on an island; but, according to the tradition of the inhabitants, there was a city on the mainland, before there was a city on the island; and the tradition receives some color from the name of Palaetyrus, or Old Tyre, which was borne in Greek times, by a city on the continent, thirty stadia to the south. 

Hosah - Holman Bible Dictionary Personal and place name perhaps meaning, “seeker of refuge.” 1. Coastal city in tribal territory of Asher (Joshua 19:29 ), probably modern tell Rashidiyeh near Tyre and known in ancient Egyptian and Assyrian texts as Usu. Other biblical geographers would see the fortified city of Tyre as tell Rashidiyeh (Usu) and locate Hosah further from Tyre and the coast. 

Achzib - Holman Bible Dictionary Place name meaning, “deceitful.” 1. Town in southern Judah, perhaps modern Tel el-Beida near Lachish (Joshua 15:44 ). Micah 1:14 makes a wordplay using Achzib, literally the houses of deceitfulness will be deceitful. 2. A border town of Asher ( Joshua 19:29 ) which the Israelite tribe could not conquer (Judges 1:31 ). It may be modern Tel Akhziv, near Acco.

Joshua 19:30  Included also were Ummah, and Aphek and Rehob; twenty-two cities with their villages.

  • Aphek: Jos 12:18 13:4 1Sa 4:1 1Ki 20:30 
  • Rehob: Jos 19:28 21:31 Nu 13:11 
  • Joshua 19 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

Included also were Ummah, and Aphek and Rehob; twenty-two cities with their villages - Only a few of these 22 cities are actually recorded in this section.  - See map

Ummah - McClintock and Strong's Bible Encyclopedia -  a town of the tribe of Asher, mentioned between Achzib and Aphek (Joshua 19:30). Its site was evidently unknown to Eusebius and Jerome 

Aphek - Holman Bible Dictionary  City assigned to Asher (Joshua 19:30 ) but not conquered (Judges 1:31 ). This may be modern Tell Kerdanah three miles from Haifa and six miles southeast of Acco. 4. City east of Jordan near the Sea of Galilee where Benhadad led Syria against Israel about 860 but met defeat as a prophet predicted for Israel (1 Kings 20:26-30 ). A wall of Aphek fell on 27,000 Syrians (1 Kings 20:30 ). Also Elisha promised Joash victory over the Syrians in Aphek (2 Kings 13:17 ). 

Rehob - Holman Bible Dictionary Town in the territory of Asher (Joshua 19:28 ,Joshua 19:28,19:30 ). Asher was not able to drive out the Canaanite inhabitants (Judges 1:31 ). Elsewhere, Rehob in Asher is assigned to the Levites (Joshua 21:31; 1 Chronicles 6:75 ). The site is perhaps tell el-Gharbi about seven miles east-southeast of Acco.


GEORGE BUSH  Notes Critical and Practical on the Book of Joshua - Chapter 19

Twenty and two cities. The above enumeration gives us nearly thirty cities instead of twenty-two, but probably several are mentioned which were only frontier towns, sometimes reckoned as belonging to one tribe, and sometimes to another, or perhaps some of the appendant villages are named, as well as the towns.

Joshua 19:31  This was the inheritance of the tribe of the sons of Asher according to their families, these cities with their villages.

SUMMARY OF INHERITANCE
OF ASHER

This was the inheritance of the tribe of the sons of Asher according to their families, these cities with their villages.

Joshua 19:32  The sixth lot fell to the sons of Naphtali; to the sons of Naphtali according to their families.


Map to help visualize descriptions of boundaries
Zondervan Atlas of the Bible: C. Rasmussen (recommended resource - do not reproduce)
CLICK TO ENLARGE

SIXTH LOT TO
NAPHTALI

The sixth lot (goralfell to the sons of Naphtali; to the sons of Naphtali according to their families - See the map above which shows that Naphtali was bounded on the southwest by Zebulun, on the south by Issachar and on the west by Asher. The Scripture does not record the extent of its northern boundary. From the map, the eastern boundary of Naphtali was the Jordan River and the Sea of Kinnereth (Galilee). 

Campbell comments that "While not highly significant as a region in the Old Testament period, Naphtali occupied lands that were important in New Testament history because the Galilean ministry of Jesus Christ was centered there. Isaiah the prophet contrasted Naphtali’s early gloom (due to Assyrian invasion) with its glory when Christ would be there (cf. Isa. 9:1–2; Matt. 4:13–17). (The Bible Knowledge Commentary Old Testament)

Isaiah 9:1-2+ But there will be no more gloom for her who was in anguish; in earlier times He treated the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali with contempt, but later on He shall make it glorious, by the way of the sea, on the other side of Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles. 2 The people who walk in darkness Will see a great light; Those who live in a dark land, The light will shine on them. 

Matthew 4:13-17+ and leaving Nazareth, He came and settled in Capernaum, which is by the sea, in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali. 14 This was to fulfill what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet:  15 “THE LAND OF ZEBULUN AND THE LAND OF NAPHTALI, BY THE WAY OF THE SEA, BEYOND THE JORDAN, GALILEE OF THE GENTILES–  16“THE PEOPLE WHO WERE SITTING IN DARKNESS SAW A GREAT LIGHT, AND THOSE WHO WERE SITTING IN THE LAND AND SHADOW OF DEATH, UPON THEM A LIGHT DAWNED.”  17 From that time Jesus began to preach and say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” 

The book of Judges records the sad commentary that 

Naphtali did not drive out the inhabitants of Beth-Shemesh, or the inhabitants of Beth-Anath, but lived among the Canaanites, the inhabitants of the land; and the inhabitants of Beth-shemesh and Beth-anath became forced labor for them.  (Jdg 1:33+)

Comment - Beth-Anath (Wikipedia) meant "house of Anath” and was apparently a worship center for the Canaanite goddess Anath. Clearly they either forgot, disregarded or willfully disobeyed God's clear directive in Exodus 23:32-33+ "You shall make no covenant with them or with their gods. They shall not live in your land, because they will make you sin against Me; for if you serve their gods, it will surely be a snare to you.” (cf Ex 34:12-16)


QUESTION -  What can we learn from the tribe of Naphtali?

ANSWER - Israel’s tribes were named for Jacob’s children. Naphtali, being the sixth son of Jacob, is one of Israel’s twelve tribes. In the time of Moses, Naphtali was divided into four clans: the Jahzeelites, the Gunites, the Jezerites, and the Shillemites, named after Naphtali’s sons (Numbers 26:48–49). Naphtali was borne by Rachel’s maidservant, Bilhah. He was her second and last child with Jacob. When Naphtali was born, Rachel said, “I have had a great struggle with my sister, and I have won” (Genesis 30:8). Naphtali means “my struggle.”

Naphtali was one of six tribes chosen to stand on Mount Ebal and pronounce curses (Deuteronomy 27:13). By means of these curses, the people promised God they would refrain from certain behaviors. For example, one curse says, “Cursed is the man who moves his neighbor’s boundary stone” (Deuteronomy 27:17). Another states, “Cursed is the man who withholds justice from the alien or fatherless or the widow” (Deuteronomy 27:19). Still another: “Cursed is the man who kills his neighbor secretly” (Deuteronomy 27:24). In all, Naphtali helped deliver twelve such admonishments (Deuteronomy 27:15–26).

When Jacob blessed his twelve sons, he said, “Naphtali is a doe set free that bears beautiful fawns” (Genesis 49:21). The image presented is of one who springs forth with great speed and provides good news. Later, Moses blessed the tribe: “Naphtali is abounding with the favor of the Lord and is full of his blessing; he will inherit southward to the lake” (Deuteronomy 33:23). In Joshua 19:32–39, we learn that Napthali’s land was in northern Israel, bordering Asher’s territory, and the Sea of Kinnereth (or Galilee) touched the southern portion of its territory.

Despite all their blessings, the tribe of Naphtali failed to obey God’s command to drive out all the Canaanites living in their territory. Therefore, “the Naphtalites too lived among the Canaanite inhabitants of the land, and those living in Beth Shemesh or Beth Anath became forced labor for them” (Judges 1:33).

In Judges 4:6–9, we learn that Barak was a Naphtalite. He had been chosen by God to lead a military force of 10,000 of his tribe against their Canaanite oppressors. However, when the time came for action, Barak responded in fear and cowardice, agreeing to fight against King Jabin’s army only if Deborah the judge would accompany him. Deborah consents, but she prophesies that the honor for the victory would go to a woman and not to Barak. The prophecy was fulfilled in Judges 4:17–22.

“The Song of Deborah and Barak” (Judges 5) relates that the tribe of Naphtali risked their lives “on the heights of the field” (verse 18) and so was honored in the victory over the Canaanites.

Later, Naphtali responded to Gideon’s call to repel the Midianites, Amalekites, and others from the East from their encampment in the Jezreel Valley (Judges 6:35). Along with the tribes of Asher and Manasseh, Naphtali followed Gideon into battle and chased the Midianites to Zererah and Abel Meholah (Judges 7:23).

When the time came for David to assume the throne, the tribe of Naphtali provided “1,000 officers, together with 37,000 men carrying shields and spears,” along with a caravan of food, to help him (1 Chronicles 12:34, 40). When King Solomon was building the temple, he hired Huram, a man whose mother was a Naphtalite, to do the bronze work (1 Kings 7:13–47).

In the time of Christ, the land of Naphtali was part of the area of Galilee, and it was viewed by the Jews in Judea as a place of dishonor, full of Gentile pagans (see John 1:46; 7:52). But Isaiah had prophesied that Naphtali would be honored: “In the past he humbled . . . the land of Naphtali, but in the future he will honor Galilee of the Gentiles, by the way of the sea, along the Jordan” (Isaiah 9:1). This honor came with the coming of Jesus Christ. All Jesus’ disciples but Judas, who betrayed Him, hailed from Galilee, and much of Jesus’ ministry took place there. Thus, “on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned” (Isaiah 9:2).

The tribe of Naphtali had its ups and downs. Its history includes incomplete obedience and shades of cowardice, but it also includes bravery under Gideon and a godly support of King David. Probably the greatest lesson we can take from Naphtali is that God exalts the humble. Naphtali (as part of Galilee) was despised, and Nazareth was the lowest of the low. Yet Nazareth was Jesus’ hometown, and Galilee was exactly where Jesus chose to begin His ministry. For our sakes, He became “despised and rejected by men” (Isaiah 53:3). The King of kings had the most unpretentious start. He is truly “humble in heart” (Matthew 11:29).GotQuestions.org

Related Resource:

Joshua 19:33  Their border was from Heleph, from the oak in Zaanannim and Adami-nekeb and Jabneel, as far as Lakkum, and it ended at the Jordan.

NAPHTALI'S TERRITORY 
FIRST SKETCHED WITH BOUNDARIES

Joshua 19:33-34 give the boundary outline of their territory, followed by specific cities in Josh 19:35-38. 

Their border was from Heleph - See the map above From here the boundary proceeds eastward. 

from the oak in Zaanannim and Adami-nekeb and Jabneel, as far as Lakkum, and it ended at the Jordan (River).See the map above 

Utley on “from the oak” Trees often were associated with holy sites (cf. Gen. 13:18; 14:13; 18:1; 21:33; 35:4; Jdgs. 4:5, 11; 6:11, 19; 9:6, 37; 1 Sam. 10:3), possibly because of the presence of underground water which was so valuable to desert and semi-desert peoples.  (Commentary)

Rasmussen points out that "Naphtali controlled the Jabneel Valley, while Issachar was situated on the heights to the south of it."

Heleph - Holman Bible Dictionary Place name meaning, “replacement settlement” or “settlement of reeds.” Border city of the tribal allotment of Naphtali (Joshua 19:33 ). It is often identified with khirbet Arbathah just northeast of Mount Tabor, but some Bible students think this location is too far south. Others think Heleph represents the southern border of Naphtali. 

Zaanannim - Holman Bible Dictionary  Place name of uncertain meaning. Town on northeastern corner of tribal allotment of Naphtali near Kadesh (Joshua 19:33; Judges 4:11 ). The “plain of Zaanaim” (Judges 4:11 KJV) is literally translated, “great tree in Zaanannim” (NIV) or “oak in Zaanannim” (NAS; note transliterations of REB, NRSV). This probably indicates a “sacred tree” associated with a worship center. See Elon; Terebinth . 

Adami-Nekeb - ISB Encyclopedia  "the ground of the piercing," that is of the pass, or defile): A place mentioned in indicating the border of Naphtali (Joshua 19:33 ). In the King James Version, Adami and Nekeb are given as separate names, and it is an open question which view of the matter is correct. Most of the Greek texts give the names as two. The Vulgate has "Adami quae est Neceb." The Jerusalem Talmud gives two names, though instead of Hannekeb or Nekeb it has Ṣı̄yadāthāh (Meg 1 1, or Neubauer's Geog du Talmud , 225). In the list of places conquered by Thothmes III of Egypt occurs the name NḲBU (Tomkins, Rec of Past, new series, V, 47), which seems to be the same with Neḳeb . The list of names for the border of Naphtali (Joshua 19:33 , Joshua 19:34 ) has no name in common with the list of cities (Joshua 19:35-38 ) unless Adami and Adamah are the same. The PE S urvey maps locate Adamah at Damieh, about seven miles northwest of the exit of the Jordan from the Lake of Galilee, and Adami at Khurbet Adamah, five or six miles south of the exit. Conder, Tomkins and others place Adami at Damieh, and identify Nekeb by its Talmudic name in the neighboring ruin Ṣeiyâdeh . Conder says (art. "Nekeb," HDB ) that the "pass" implied in the name Nekeb "is probably one leading from the eastern precipices near Tiberias." 

Jabneel - Holman Bible Dictionary  Place name meaning, “God builds.”1. Town marking northwestern boundary of tribal territory of Judah in land of Philistines (Joshua 15:11 ); modern Yibna. Uzziah took the town, called by the shortened Hebrew form Jabneh, from the Philistines (2 Chronicles 26:6 ). Later the city was called Jamnia and became a center of scribal activity for the Jews. See Joshua 19:33 ); modern tell en-Naam or khirbet Yemma, west-southwest of the Sea of Galilee and northeast of Mount Tabor.

Lakkum - Holman Bible Dictionary Transliteration of modern translations for Lakum. See Lakum . Place name perhaps meaning “rising” or “fortification.” Border town in tribal allotment of Naphtali (Joshua 19:33 ). It may be modern khirbet el-Mansurah near the southern end of the Sea of Galilee.

Joshua 19:34  Then the border turned westward to Aznoth-tabor and proceeded from there to Hukkok; and it reached to Zebulun on the south and touched Asher on the west, and to Judah at the Jordan toward the east.

  • the border turned westward : De 33:23 
  • Aznoth-tabor: Apparently the same as Azanoth, which Eusebius places in the plain not far from Diocesarea or Sephoris. Jos 19:12,22 
  • Judah: As it is certain that the tribe of Naphtali did not border upon that of Judah, there being several tribes between, we should probably omit Judah, with the Septuagint; though it may have been a town so called.
  • Joshua 19 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

NAPHTALI'S INHERITANCE

Then the border turned westward to Aznoth-tabor and proceeded from there to Hukkok - See the map above The border proceeded westward from Heleph to the Mount Tabor area and then northward along its common line with Asher.

Rasmussen points out that is notable that "Mount Tabor served as the meeting point for the boundaries of three tribes—Issachar, Naphtali, and Zebulun."

And it reached to Zebulun on the south and touched Asher on the west, and to Judah at the Jordan toward the east - See map above.

NET Note on Judah - The Masoretic Text reads "Judah, the Jordan"; the LXX omits "Judah." Perhaps there was a town named Judah, distinct from the tribe of Judah, located near the northern end of the Jordan. 

 Aznoth-Tabor - Holman Bible Dictionary Place name meaning, “ears of Tabor.” A border town of the tribe of Naphtali (Joshua 19:34 ). It may be modern Umm Jebeil near Mount Tabor.

Hukkok - Smith's Bible Dictionary  ncised). A place on the boundary of Naphtali. Joshua 19:34. It has been recovered in Yakuk, a village in the mountains of Naphtali, west of the upper end of the Sea of Galilee.


GEORGE BUSH  Notes Critical and Practical on the Book of Joshua - Chapter 19

To Judah upon Jordan. How this is to be understood is not clear. It is certain that the tribe of Naphtali did not border on the east nor in any other direction, upon Judah, for there were several tribes that lay between them. Both tribes, however, were bounded by the Jordan on the east, and they might be considered as in some sort conjoined by the easy communication with each other by means of that river. This we deem the only plausible interpretation of the passage, and thus understood it goes strikingly to illustrate the obscure prediction of Moses, Deut. 33:23, that Naphtali should ‘possess the west and the south,’ i. e. that although his settlement should be in the west or northwest, yet by means of the navigation of the Jordan, he should avail himself of the advantages of traffic with all the southern section of the land.

Joshua 19:35  The fortified cities were Ziddim, Zer and Hammath, Rakkath and Chinnereth,

  • Hammath: Ge 10:18 Nu 13:21 34:8 34:8 1Ki 8:65, Hamath
  • Chinnereth: Jos 11:2, Chinneroth, Jos 13:27 Mk 6:53, Gennesaret
  • Joshua 19 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

NAPHTALI'S INHERITANCE

The fortified cities were Ziddim, Zer and Hammath, Rakkath and Chinnereth See the map above

Ziddim - Holman Bible Dictionary  Place name meaning, “sides.” Fortified town in Naphtali (Joshua 19:35 ), perhaps identifical with Hattin el-Qadim about eight miles west northwest of Tiberias. Some commentators see it as copyist's repetition of “fenced cities.”

Zer - Smith's Bible Dictionary  (flint). A fortified town in the allotment of Naphtali, Joshua 19:35 only, probably in the neighborhood of the southwest side of the Lake of Gennesareth.

Hammath - Holman Bible Dictionary  Place name meaning, “hot spot,” probably due to hot spring, and personal name meaning, “hot one.” 1. Fortified city in the tribal territory of Naphtali (Joshua 19:35 ); probably the same as the levitical town of Hammoth-dor (Joshua 21:32 ). It may be located at tell Raqqat, just north of Tiberias. Others have tried to locate it at the famous hot springs of Hammam Tabiriyeh, south of Tiberias, but archaeologists have found no evidence of Iron Age occupation there. 1 Chronicles 6:76 reads “Hammon,” apparently the same place, in listing the Levitical towns. 2. Original ancestor of Kenites and Rechabites ( 1 Chronicles 2:55; KJV reads, “Hamath”; TEV, REB see a verbal construction meaning, “intermarried” or “connected by marriage.”). The context and grammatical construction of the verse makes certain understanding impossible. Hammath could be the founder of the city Hammath. 

Rakkath - Holman Bible Dictionary Place name meaning, “spit,” “narrow,” or “swamp.” Fortified town in the territory of Naphtali (Joshua 19:35 ), either at Tiberias or else at tell Eqlatiyeh about one and one half miles northwest of Tiberias. Artifacts spanning the Bronze Age have been recovered from the latter site. 

Chinnereth - Holman Bible Dictionary Place name meaning, “harp-shaped.” 1. The sea or lake otherwise called the Sea of Galilee, Lake of Gennesaret, or Sea of Tiberias. It formed the eastern border of Canaan, the Promised Land (Numbers 34:11 ), marking the western boundary of the tribe of Gad (Joshua 13:27 ). 2 . A city on the western edge of the Sea of Chinnereth, also called Chinneroth (Joshua 11:2 ), though this could be a reference to the Sea. The city belonged to the tribe of Naphtali (Joshua 19:35 ). The city apparently gave its name to the Sea and to the surrounding region with its several bays, thus explaining the plural form in 1 Kings 15:20 , which tells of Ben-hadad of Syria defeating the area in answer to the request of King Asa of Judah. Thothmes III of Egypt also claimed to have conquered the city about 1475 B.C. The city is the modern tell al-Oreimeh.

Joshua 19:36  and Adamah and Ramah and Hazor,

NAPHTALI'S INHERITANCE

 and Adamah and Ramah and Hazor, See the map above

Adamah - Holman Bible Dictionary lace name and common noun meaning, “soil, farmland.” 1. The earth or cultivated ground from whose dust God formed mankind, forming the wordplay Adam from dust of adamah . (Genesis 2:7 ). Compare Genesis 2:19 . Pottery was also made from the soil (Isaiah 45:9 ), as were altars (Exodus 20:24 ). The dead return to the earth (Psalm 146:4 ), but the soil also produces harvests (Deuteronomy 7:13; Deuteronomy 11:7 ). 2 . A city in Naphtali's territory (Joshua 19:36 ) near where the Jordan River joins the sea of Tiberias, perhaps modern Hagar ed-Damm. 

Ramah - Holman Bible Dictionary Place name meaning, “high,” applied to several cities located on heights, especially military strongholds. 1. Border town in tribal territory of Asher (Joshua 19:29 ). The precise location of the city is unknown, although most scholars would place it in the vicinity of Tyre. 2. Fortified city of tribal territory of Naphtali (Joshua 19:36 ), this town is probably to be identified with present-day er-Rameh. Ramah of Asher and Ramah of Naphtali could have been the same community since the boundaries of Asher and Naphtali join

.Hazor - Holman Bible Dictionary  Place name meaning, “enclosed settlement.” 1. Hazor was located in upper Galilee on the site now known as tell el-Qedah, ten miles north of the Sea of Galilee and five miles southwest of Lake Huleh.

The site of Hazor is composed of a 30-acre upper tell or mound rising 40 meters above the surrounding plain and a 175-acre lower enclosure which was well fortified. These dimensions make Hazor the largest city in ancient Canaan. Estimates set the population at its height at over 40,000.

The upper tell had twenty-one separate levels of occupation beginning between 2750,2500 B.C. and continuing down to the second century B.C. Canaanites occupied Hazor until Joshua destroyed it. The Israelites controlled it until 732 B.C. when the Assyrians captured the city. Hazor then served as a fortress for the various occupying powers until the time of the Maccabees.

The lower enclosure had five levels of occupation beginning about 1750 B.C. and continuing until Joshua destroyed it. It was never rebuilt.

Hazor's location was strategic both economically and militarily. It overlooked the Via Maris, the major overland trade route from Egypt to the north and east, and thus became a major trading center. It is mentioned extensively in both Egyptian and Mesopotamian records in conjunction with the other major trading cities of the day. Hazor also overlooked the Huleh Valley, a critical defense point against armies invading from the north.

Joshua 11:1-15; Joshua 12:19 relate how Jabin, king of Hazor, rallied the forces of the northern cities of Canaan against Joshua. Hazor was “the head of all those kingdoms” ( Joshua 11:10 ), that is, it was the dominant city-state of the Canaanite kingdoms. Joshua defeated the Canaanite forces, slew the leaders, including Jabin, and burned the city of Hazor. Modern archaeology lends support to this biblical account. The size and location of the city of Hazor, as well as references to it in other ancient literature, would indicate that Hazor probably controlled a vast portion of Canaan. Yadin's excavation of Hazor indicated that the city was destroyed by fire in the second third of the thirteenth century B.C.

The next mention of Hazor in the Old Testament is troublesome. In Judges 4:1 we again find a Jabin as king of Canaan ruling from Hazor. His troops led by Sisera of Harosheth-hagoyim were routed by Deborah and Barak. Some Bible students see a discrepancy between this story and the story in Joshua, saying Jabin was killed generations earlier and Hazor destroyed and taken into Israelite control. The traditional solution to this discrepancy stresses that Jabin is referred to in the past tense—”who reigned in Hazor.” Jabin was not alive at the time of the battle with Deborah, but Sisera had previously been commander of Jabin's forces. Hazor need not exist at this time as Sisera lived at Harosheth-ha-goiim (location unknown.) A different solution on the basis of archaeological excavations claims the story concerning Jabin in Joshua is accurate. The city was destroyed by Joshua and was not rebuilt as a city until the time of Solomon. The most ancient account of the defeat of Sisera by Deborah and Barak appears in the poetic account of Judges 5:1 , which mentions neither Jabin nor Hazor (compare 1 Samuel 12:9 ). This approach sees Judges 4:1 as a later account influenced by the story in Joshua. The straight biblical narrative seems to assume Joshua destroyed but did not occupy it, though it was allotted to Naphtali: ( Joshua 19:36 ). The Canaanite dynasty of Jabin maintained or regained control with one or more kings named Jabin. 1 Kings 9:15 mentions that Solomon rebuilt the walls of Hazor, Megiddo and Gezer. Excavations have discovered conclusive evidence to support this short portion of Scripture. Two layers of Israelite occupation of Hazor between the destruction of the Canaanite city by Joshua and the rebuilding of the city by Solomon show merely semi-nomadic Israelite encampments, evidenced by tent or hut foundation rings, cooking pits, and storage pits. Apparently, no formal city or fortifications existed during the time of the Judges. The city was clearly rebuilt at the time of Solomon, evidenced by the characteristiclly Solomonic gate structures, that is, casehymate walls and a six-chamber gatehouse (three on each side) with two square towers. Comparing the gates at Hazor with those at Gezer and Megiddo, Yadin found them to be identical in both design and dimension. The Solomonic city was much smaller than the Canaanite city. It only covered half of the upper tell.

2 Kings 15:29 records that Tiglath-pileser III, king of Assyria, captured Hazor and carried its people captive to Assyria. The evidence of this destruction is very great. No less than three feet of ashes and rubble cover the ruins left by this destruction. Prior to the Assyrian invasion, Hazor had been greatly enlarged and strengthened by King Ahab of Israel in anticipation of the attack. The city had grown to fill the entire upper tell. Its fortifications had been strengthened and enlarged, and a special water shaft and tunnel 40 meters deep was dug down to the water table to bring the water supply inside the city.

2. Town in tribal inheritance of Judah (Joshua 15:23 ), probably to be read with earliest Greek translation as Hazor-Ithnan. This may be modern el-Jebariyeh.

3. Town in southern part of tribal inheritance of Judah, probably to be read as Hazor-Hadattah (Joshua 15:25 ) with most modern translations. This may be modern el-Hudeira near the Dead Sea's southern end.

4. Town identified with Hezron (Joshua 15:25 ). See Hezron .

5. Town where part of tribe of Benjamin lived in time of Nehemiah (Nehemiah 11:33 ). This may be modern khirbet Hazzur four miles north northwest of Jerusalem.

6. Name of “kingdoms” that Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon threatened (Jeremiah 49:28-33 ). Apparently, small nomadic settlements of Arab tribes are meant. Such settlements would still have rich treasures the Babylonian king coveted.

Joshua 19:37  and Kedesh and Edrei and En-hazor,

NAPHTALI'S INHERITANCE

and Kedesh and Edrei and En-hazor, See the map above

Kedesh - Holman Bible Dictionary Place name meaning, “sacred place” or “sanctuary.” 1. A city in the southern part of Judah (Joshua 15:23 ). Probably the same as Kadesh-Barnea. See Kadesh-Barnea .

2. A Canaanite town in eastern Galilee defeated by Joshua (Joshua 12:22 ). The town was allotted to Naphtali (Joshua 19:32 ,Joshua 19:32,19:37 ) and was called Kedesh in Naphtali (Judges 4:6 ). It was also called Kedesh in Galilee and given to the Gershonite Levites as one of their cities (Joshua 20:7; Joshua 21:32 ). See Judges 4:6 ) and the place where Deborah and Barak gathered their forces for battle (Judges 4:1-10 ). Heber the Kenite pitched his tent in the vicinity where Sisera met his death at the hands of Jael, Heber's wife (Judges 4:21; Judges 5:24-27 ). Kedesh in Naphtali was captured by Tiglath-pileser III during the reign of Pekah of Israel. The inhabitants were exiled to Assyria (2 Kings 15:29 ). Usually identified with modern khirbet Qedish, about two miles south of Tiberias.

3. A city in Issachar allotted to the Gershomite Levites (1 Chronicles 6:72 ). The town is also called Kishon (Joshua 21:28 KJV; Kishion in other versions). It has been suggested that “Kedesh in Issachar” may have arisen from a misreading of “Kishon” for “Kedesh.” The site is uncertain. Perhaps modern tell Abu Qudeis, about two miles southeast of Megiddo. 

Edrei - Holman Bible Dictionary  Place name of unknown meaning. 1. Royal city of Og, king of Bashan (Joshua 12:4 ). Invading Israel defeated Og there (Numbers 21:33-35 ). It is also known from Egyptian records. Its location is modern Dera halfway between Damascus and Amman. The clan of Machir in the tribe of Manasseh laid claim to the city (Joshua 13:31 ). 2 . A fortified city in the tribal territory of Naphtali (Joshua 19:37 ). 

En-Hazor - Holman Bible Dictionary  Place name meaning, “spring of the enclosed village.” A fortified city in the tribal territory of Naphtali (Joshua 19:37 ). It may be located at khirbet Hazireh, west of Kadesh. Others would locate it southwest of Kedesh on the border joining Naphtali and Asher.

Joshua 19:38  and Yiron and Migdal-el, Horem and Beth-anath and Beth-shemesh; nineteen cities with their villages.

  • Bethanath: Eusebius mentions a town of the name of [Batanaian,] fifteen miles from Cesarea. (Diocesarea or Sephoris probably.)
  • Bethshemesh: Jos 19:22 
  • Joshua 19 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

NAPHTALI'S INHERITANCE

and Yiron and Migdal-el, Horem and Beth-anath and Beth-shemesh; nineteen cities with their villages  See the map above

Yiron - Holman Bible Dictionary NAS spelling of Iron (Joshua 19:38 ). See Iron . 

Migdal-el - Holman Bible Dictionary  Place name meaning, “fortress of God.” Fortified town in Naphtali (Joshua 19:38 ). Migdal-el was located in northern Galilee in the vicinity of Iron (Yiron). 

Horem - Smith's Bible Dictionary  (sacred). One of the fortified places, in the territory of Naphtali; named with Iron and Migdalel. Joshua 19:38. Van Deuteronomy Velde suggests Hurah, as the site of Horem. 

Beth-Anath - Holman Bible Dictionary Place name meaning, “house of Anath.” A fortified city in the territory of the tribe of Naphtali (Joshua 19:38 ). The tribe could not drive out the Canaanites from the city (Judges 1:33 ). Beth-anath was apparently a worship center for the Canaanite goddess Anath. It may have been located at modern Safed el-Battik, fifteen miles east of Tyre.

 Beth-Shemesh - Holman Bible Dictionary Place name meaning, “house of the sun.” Beth-shemesh is a name applied to four different cities in the Old Testament. The name probably derives from a place where the Semitic god Shemesh (Shamash) was worshiped. 1. Beth-shemesh of Issachar was situated on the tribal border with Naphtali between Mt. Tabor and the Jordan River (Joshua 19:22 ). Present scholarship identifies the city with either el-Abeidiyeh, two miles south of Galilee, or khirbet Shemsin, east of Tabor. 2. Beth-shemesh of Naphtali was probably located in central upper Galilee because of its association with Beth-anath (Joshua 19:38; Judges 1:33 ). This Canaanite town remained independent and unconquered until the time of David. The site khirbet er-Ruweisi has been suggested as a possible location. 3. Beth-shemesh of Egypt is to be identified with Heliopolis (five miles northeast of Cairo) according to the Septuagint or early Greek translation (Jeremiah 43:13 ). Jeremiah told of the Lord's judgment upon the gods of Egypt by depicting the destruction of the worship centers. 4. Beth-shemesh of Dan is located on the south tribal border with Judah (Joshua 15:10; Joshua 19:41 ) overlooking the Sorek Valley about 24 miles west of Jerusalem. The ancient name was preserved in the Arab village of Ain Shems, and the “tell” is identified with tell er-Rumeilah. Beth-shemesh guarded the lush farmlands of the Sorek Valley at the point at which the Shephelah (foothills) borders the Judean hill country. It was also situated in the strategic “buffer zone” between the Philistines and the Israelites during the judges period.

The Danite tribe was unable to control the lands of its inheritance because of the Amorites (Judges 1:34-35 ) and/or the Philistines. Some were forced into the hills near Zorah and Eshtaol (as was Samson's family, Judges 13:1-2 ). Beth-shemesh was apparently controlled by Israel (ca. 1050 B.C.) when the ark of the covenant passed through the city upon returning from the Philistines (1 Samuel 6:13 ). Around 795 B.C., the city was the scene of a battle in which Jehoash of Israel was victorious over Amaziah of Judah, resulting in the pillaging of the Temple (2 Kings 14:11-14; 2 Chronicles 25:21-24 ). Beth-shemesh is last mentioned in Scripture during the decadent reign of Ahaz. The Philistines captured Beth-shemesh from Judah (ca. 734), seen as judgment from God (2 Chronicles 28:18-19 ).

Beth-shemesh was excavated by D. Mackenzie in 1911-1912 and Haverford College in 1928-31,1933. The city was first settled about 2200 B.C. by a relatively small group. The city achieved importance after being conquered and rebuilt by the Hyksos about 1720 B.C. A huge city wall, three defensive towers, and several tombs were uncovered. The Hyksos city was captured by the Egyptians of the Eighteenth Dynasty about 1550 B.C. Beth-shemesh flourished in the Late Bronze Age under Egyptian and Canaanite rule, evidenced by imported wares from Mycenae and Egypt, as well as quality Canaanite finds, including inscriptions. Iron Age I (Judges) finds show that Beth-shemesh was heavily influenced by the Philistines, but the city was in general decline. After David defeated the Philistines, the city was rebuilt. Excavations indicate the Israelite city had olive oil, wine, copper, fabric dyeing, and wheat production industries. After Beth-shemesh was destroyed by the Babylonians (588-587 B.C.) under Nebuchadrezzar, the city was largely unoccupied, except for remnants of the Roman/Byzantine city at Ain Shems (monastery on the corner of the tell).

Joshua 19:39  This was the inheritance of the tribe of the sons of Naphtali according to their families, the cities with their villages.

SUMMARY OF INHERITANCE
OF NAPHTALI

This was the inheritance of the tribe of the sons of Naphtali according to their families, the cities with their villages

Joshua 19:40  The seventh lot fell to the tribe of the sons of Dan according to their families.


Map to help you visualize the descriptions of boundaries
(Click here for another excellent map of the Tribal Allotments)
Here is another excellent map of the Tribal Allotments

SEVENTH LOT TO
DAN

The seventh lot (goralfell to the tribe of the sons of Dan according to their families Dan's territory was west of Benjamin, with its eastern boundary, on the western slopes of the mountains overlooking the coastal plain which, coincided with the western boundary of Benjamin. Dan's southern border was identical to Judah’s northern border and followed the Sorek Valley to the Mediterranean Sea (Josh 15:10–11) Dan’s northern boundary is not outlined

Gangel points out that "To further strengthen the union of Israel, God separated Dan from Naphtali and his wilderness campmate Asher. Dan was placed between Benjamin and the Mediterranean Sea, but part of that territory was lost to the Amorites in the Philistine Plain. Only once in these two chapters do we have a negative mention of a tribe unable to secure the boundaries that were allotted to it.  (Holman Old Testament Commentary - Joshua)

The book of Judges records the sad record that the Danites were forced to run for the hills...

Then the Amorites forced the sons of Dan into the hill country, for they did not allow them to come down to the valley  (Jdg 1:34+)

Campbell comments "The least desirable portion fell to Dan. Surrounded by Ephraim and Benjamin on the north and east and by Judah on the south, her boundaries coincided with theirs so Dan’s borders are not described. Only towns are included, which numbered 17. Not only was their original location too small but after part of the territory of Dan was lost to the Amorites (Jdg 1:34) most of the tribe migrated to the far north, and attacked and settled in the city of Leshem (Laish) opposite the northern sector of Naphtali and named it Dan (cf. Jdg 18; Gen. 49:17)."  (The Bible Knowledge Commentary Old Testament)


QUESTION - What can we learn from the tribe of Dan?

ANSWER - The tribe of Dan was the group of people who descended from the fifth son of Jacob, Dan. Jacob had twelve sons who became the patriarchs of the twelve tribes of Israel. The history of the tribe of Dan is especially instructive to us in that it contains multiple examples of the tendency of people to follow man-made religion over biblical faith in God. This is totally contrary to the Scriptures that teach us “no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law” (Romans 3:20) and “without faith it is impossible to please God” (Hebrews 11:6).

As the Israelites came into the land of Canaan, by lot certain areas of territory were assigned to each tribe. The tribe of Dan was given a tract of land that was smaller than the other land grants but was fertile and also had a boundary along the Mediterranean Sea where there was fishing and commerce available to them.

However, the tribe of Dan never fully conquered this area as a result of a lack of faith in God. This was true of the other tribes as well, as the early chapters of the book of Judges clearly teach, and led to a time during the period of Judges where it was said, “In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.” Judges 18:1–31 tells the story of the people of Dan falling into idolatry. They also did not like the territory that was theirs, so they sent out spies to find a better area. In the north, some representatives of Dan learned of an area where a peaceful group of people lived. The tribe of Dan took things into their own hands and wiped out the people of that land so they could then move the entire tribe up to a region close to the sources of the Jordan River, just south of present-day Lebanon. There they established their main city and called it Dan.

Later in the history of the Hebrews, the kingdom was divided after the reign of Solomon. The kingdom split into Israel’s ten tribes in the north and Judah’s two in the south. The people of Dan were in the northern kingdom of Israel. We learn in 1 Kings 12:25–33 that King Jeroboam was afraid that those who lived in his kingdom in the north would still go down to the southern kingdom to worship at Jerusalem, since that was where the temple that God had authorized was located. So Jeroboam built two additional altars for the people of his nation to worship. He established worship in the south at Bethel and in the north at Dan. He built a golden calf at each location and instituted special days and feasts when people would meet. Sadly, this man-made worship at Dan has been one of its lasting legacies.

Today, many people follow various man-made religions and are convinced that all ways lead to God. Unfortunately, these groups follow the ways of the tribe of Dan. Proverbs 16:25 tells us that “there is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.” Jesus taught that the way to God was specific when He said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except by Me” (John 14:6). John 3:36 teaches that “he who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.” To learn from the mistakes of Dan would be to worship the God of the Bible alone and live for Him by faith.GotQuestions.org

Related Resource:

Joshua 19:41  The territory of their inheritance was Zorah and Eshtaol and Ir-shemesh,

  • Zorah: Situated on the frontiers of Dan and Judah, tens miles north from Eleutheropolis, towards Nicoplis, according to Eusebius, not far from Caphar Sorek. Jos 15:33, Zoreah, Jdg 13:2,25 16:31 18:2 1Ch 2:53 2Ch 11:10 
  • Irshemesh: Supposed by some to be the same as Beth-shemesh in the tribe of Judah; but this latter city is evidently distinguished from it by being assigned by the tribe of Judah to the Levites. (ch. 21:16.)  Ir-shemesh rendered [polis Sammaus] by the LXX., seems to be the same as Emmaus or Nicopolis, 22 miles south-east from Lydda, according to the Old Jerusalem Itinerary.
  • Joshua 19 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

Map to help visualize descriptions of boundaries
Zondervan Atlas of the Bible: C. Rasmussen (recommended resource - do not reproduce)
CLICK TO ENLARGE

The territory of their inheritance was Zorah and Eshtaol and Ir-shemesh - See map above

Zorah - Holman Bible Dictionary   Place name meaning, “wasps” or “hornets.” City of Dan (Joshua 19:41 ) about thirteen miles west of Jerusalem on the border with Judah (Joshua 15:33; “Zoreah,” KJV). It was the home of Manoah, Samson's father (Judges 13:2 ). Rehoboam, king of Judah, strengthened Zorah in case of war (2 Chronicles 11:5-12 ). It is modern Sarah. 

Eshtaol - Holman Bible Dictionary Place name meaning, “asking (for an oracle).” Town in lowlands of Shephelah of Judah allotted to the tribe of Judah (Joshua 15:33 ) but also to the tribe of Dan (Joshua 19:41 ). Near there, God's Spirit stirred Samson of the tribe of Dan (Judges 13:25 ). Samson was buried near Eshtaol (Judges 16:31 ). The tribe of Dan sent men from Eshtaol to seek a new homeland (Judges 18:2-11 ). Its citizens were kin to the clan of Caleb and to residents of Kiriath-jearim (1 Chronicles 2:53 ). It may be located at modern Irtuf, a mile south of Ishwa. 

Irshemesh - Holman Bible Dictionary  Place name meaning, “city of the sun.” Town in tribal territory of Dan (Joshua 19:41 ) on the border of the tribe of Judah (Joshua 15:10 , called Beth-shemesh or house of the sun). See Beth-shemesh .

Joshua 19:42  and Shaalabbin and Aijalon and Ithlah,

  • Shaalabbin: Eusebius calls it [Salaba,] and places it in Samaria:  and Jerome calls it Salebi, (Eze 48,) and joins it to Ajalon and Emmaus. Jdg 1:35, Shaalbim
  • Ajalon: This appears to be the Ajalon which Jerome places two miles from Nicopolis or Emmaus, in the road to Jerusalem. Jos 10:12 21:24 1Sa 14:31 
  • Joshua 19 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

and Shaalabbin and Aijalon and Ithlah - see map above

Rasmussen notes that "Dan’s territory sat astride the Aijalon Valley, through which the major approach road into the Hill Country of Ephraim, Benjamin, and Judah ran. In addition, the main international north–south route ran through Dan’s western extension. Thus the great powers of antiquity were interested in controlling this territory, as were the powerful local Canaanite/Amorite chiefs, with the result that the Danites were not able to expand westward but were rather confined to the western slopes of the mountains in the Beth Shemesh, Zorah, Eshtaol, and Kiriath Jearim region (see Jdg 1:34–35; 13–16). Not until the days of David and Solomon did Israel take control of Danite territory, and then only for a brief period of time (see 1 Kings 4:9; 2 Chron 2:16). Due to Amorite pressures, some of the tribe of Dan moved northward to Laish/Leshem (Map - SEE BELOW - Josh 19:47), which they captured and renamed “Dan” (Jdg 17–18). They thought that they had moved from an area of insecurity to one of security and prosperity (Jdg 18:7, 27–28); yet later in biblical history this was the area that invaders from the north (the Arameans, Assyrians, and others) attacked first. (Zondervan Atlas of the Bible

Shaalabbin - Easton's Bible Dictionary  a place of foxes, a town of the tribe of Dan (Joshua 19:42; Judges 1:35 ). It was one of the chief towns from which Solomon drew his supplies (1 Kings 4:9 ). It is probably the modern village of Selbit, 3 miles north of Ajalon.

Aijalon - Holman Bible Dictionary Also spelled Ajalon. Place name meaning, “place of the deer.” 1. Town and nearby valley where moon stood still at Joshua's command (Joshua 10:12 ). Near the Philistine border, south of Beth-horon, Aijalon belonged to Dan, according to tribal allotments (Joshua 19:42 ); but Dan did not conquer the territory and moved to the north (Judges 18:1 ). It was one city in Dan given the Levites (Joshua 21:24 ). Amorites gained temporary control, but the Joseph tribes subjected them to pay tribute (Judges 1:34-35 ). Saul and Jonathan won a battle between Michmash and Aijalon (1 Samuel 14:31 ). In post-exilic times, the Chronicler knew Aijalon as a city of the tribe of Benjamin which defeated Gath (1 Chronicles 8:13 ). Rehoboam, Solomon's son, had fortified Aijalon (2 Chronicles 11:10 ). King Ahaz (735-715 B.C.) asked for Assyrian help because the Philistines had taken Aijalon and other cities. Thus it was an important military location on Judah's western border. Aijalon is located at modern Yalo about fourteen miles from Jerusalem. 2. Elon, a judge of the tribe of Zebulon was buried in a northern Aijalon (Judges 12:12 ), whose location may be at Tell et-Butmeh. 

Ithlah - Holman Bible Dictionary Place name perhaps meaning, “he hangs.” Town in tribal territory of Dan (Joshua 19:42 ). Its location is not known, but some students of Bible lands geography follow some Greek manuscripts identifying Ithlah with Shithlah or Shilta, about four miles northwest of Beth-horon.

Joshua 19:43  and Elon and Timnah and Ekron,

  • Thimnathah: Ge 38:12 Jdg 14:1,2, Timnath
  • Ekron: Ekron is placed by Eusebius between Ashdod and Jamnia, eastward; and probably the ruined village of Tookrair, mentioned by Dr. Richarson, situated on the top of a hill, and which he says seems to have been a place of considerable consequence, occupies its site. Jos 15:45 1Sa 5:10 Am 1:8 
  • Joshua 19 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

and Elon and Timnah and Ekron - see map above

Elon - Holman Bible Dictionary  ersonal and place name meaning, “great tree” or “tree of god.” Compare Genesis 12:6; Judges 9:6 ,Judges 9:6,9:37 . See Genesis 46:14 ). A clan in Zebulun was thus named for him (Numbers 26:26 ). 2 . A judge from the tribe of Zebulun (Judges 12:11-12 ). City in tribal territory of Naphtali (Joshua 19:33 ), often transliterated into English as Allon. See Genesis 35:8 ). See 1 Samuel 10:3 ) or the “palm tree of Deborah” (Judges 4:5 ). See 1 Chronicles 4:37 ). A different Hebrew spelling underlies other examples of Elon in English translations. 1. The Hittite father of Esau's wife Bashemath (Genesis 26:34 ). 2 . The Hittite father of Adah, Esau's wife (Genesis 36:2 ), Bashemath being listed as Ishmael's daughter (Genesis 36:3 ). See Joshua 19:43 ). It may be located at khirbet wadi Alin. It is probably the same place as Elon-beth-hanan (1 Kings 4:9 ), though some read Ajalon and Bethhanan or “Elon, and Beth-hanan” (REB). 

Timnah - Smith's Bible Dictionary (portion).1. A place which formed, one of the landmarks on the north boundary, of the allotment of Judah. Joshua 15:10. It is probably identical with the Thimnathah of Joshua 19:43, and that again with the Timnath, or, more accurately, Timnathah, of Samson Judges 14:1-2; Judges 14:5, and the Thamnatha of the Maccabees. The modern representative of all these various forms of the same name is, probably, Tibneh, a village about two miles west of Ain Shems, (Beth-shemesh). In the later history of the Jews, Timnah must have been a conspicuous place. It was fortified by Bacchides as one of the most important military posts of Judea. 1 Maccabees 9:50. 2. A town in the mountain district of Judah. Joshua 15:57, A distinct place from that just examined. 3. Inaccurately, written as Timnath, in the Authorized Version, the scene of the adventure of Judah, with his daughter in-law, Tamar. Genesis 38:12-14. There is nothing here to indicate its position. It may be identified, either, with the Timnah in the mountains of Judah, or with the Timnathath of Samson.

Ekron - Holman Bible Dictionary Ekron is the northernmost of the five major Philistine cities known as the pentapolis. The site of ancient Ekron has been much debated, but now is generally agreed to be modern tell Miqne, about 14 miles inland from the Mediterranean Sea and 10 miles from Ashdod. The site is one of the largest in Palestine, covering some 50 acres. Ekron lies on the road leading from Ashdod into the Judean hill country and up to Jerusalem through the Sorek Valley.

Ekron was assigned to both Judah (Joshua 15:11 ,Joshua 15:11,15:45-46 ) and Dan (Joshua 19:43 ) in the tribal allotments. It probably lay on the border between the tribes. Judges 1:18 reports that Judah captured Ekron along with other parts of the Philistine coast, but Ekron was certainly in Philistine hands at the time the ark was captured ( 1 Samuel 5:10 ). It was also the place to which the Philistines retreated after David slew Goliath (1 Samuel 17:52 ). Ahaziah, the son of King Ahab of Israel, called on the god of Ekron, Baal-zebub, when he was sick (2 Kings 1:2-16 ). That name (literally, “Lord of the flies”) may have been slightly changed by the Hebrew writer to express antipathy toward the Philistine deity. The name of the deity may have been Baal-zebul (“Baal is exalted”).

Excavations at tell Miqne have discovered much pottery that is typically Philistine. From the last period before tell Miqne was destroyed by the Babylonians, the excavators found an important industrial complex near the city gate. A hoard of iron agricultural tools was found. Hundreds of whole pottery vessels were present. Perhaps most importantly, a well-preserved olive press was discovered. This press is the largest and best preserved known in Israel. A horned altar was also found during the excavations.

Joshua 19:44  and Eltekeh and Gibbethon and Baalath,

  • Gibbethon: Jos 21:23 1Ki 15:27 16:15 
  • Baalath: 1Ki 9:18 
  • Joshua 19 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

and Eltekeh and Gibbethon and Baalath - see map above

Elteke - Holman Bible Dictionary  Place name meaning, “place of meeting,” “place of hearing,” or “plea for rain.” A city in Dan (Joshua 19:44 ) assigned to the Levites (Joshua 21:23 ). Egyptian pharaohs claim to have conquered an Altaku, which may be the same. Sennacherib of Assyria met an Egyptian army there about 701 B.C. It has been variously located at khirbet el-Muqenna on the eastern edge of the coastal plain, at tell esh-Shalaf, and at tell el-Melat, northwest of Gezer. 

Gibbethon - Holman Bible Dictionary Place name meaning, “arched,” “hill,” or “mound.” City in the tribal territory of Dan (Joshua 19:44 ) but assigned to the Levites (Joshua 21:23 ). During the monarchy the Philistines controlled Gibbethon. Nadab of Israel (909-908 B.C.) besieged it. During the siege Baasha murdered Nadab and assumed the kingship (1 Kings 15:25-28 ). The Israelite army was encamped against Philistine Gibbethon when Zimri assumed rule by assassinating Elah, the son of Baasha (1 Kings 16:15-17 ). Gibbethon has been variously identified as tell el-Melat north of Ekron, and with Agir, two and a half miles west of tell el-Melat. 

Baalath - Holman Bible Dictionary Place name meaning, “feminine Baal.” City in original inheritance of tribe of Dan (Joshua 19:44 ). Same or different town which Solomon rebuilt (1 Kings 9:18 ). It may have been near Gezer on the road to Beth-horon and Jerusalem. Some would identify Solomon's town with Simeon's Balah, with Kirjath-jearim, or with Baalath-beer

Joshua 19:45  and Jehud and Bene-berak and Gath-rimmon,

and Jehud and Bene-berak and Gath-rimmon- see map above

Jehud - Holman Bible Dictionary Place name meaning, “praise.” Town in tribal territory of Dan (Joshua 19:45 ). It is located at modern Yehud about three miles south of Petah Tikvah and eight miles north of Joppa. 

Bene-Berak - Holman Bible Dictionary Place name meaning, “sons of Barak” or “sons of lightning.” City of tribe of Dan (Joshua 19:45 ). It is located at modern Ibn Ibraq, four miles southeast of Joppa. Sennacherib, king of Assyria, in 701 B.C. claims he conquered Bene-berak. 

Gath-Rimmon - Holman Bible Dictionary Place name meaning, “winepress on the pomegranate tree.” 1. Town in tribal territory of Dan (Joshua 19:45 ) and set aside for Levites (Joshua 21:24 ). It is usually located at tell Jerisheh on the Yarkon River in modern Tel Aviv, but some scholars locate it two miles to the northeast at tell Abu Zeitun. 1 Chronicles 6:69 lists Gath-rimmon in the tribe of Ephraim, but this is usually understood as a copyist's omission of a sentence at the beginning of 1 Chronicles 6:69 . Gath-rimmon also appears in the Hebrew text of Joshua 21:25 though not in the earliest Greek translation or in the parallel in 1 Chronicles 6:70 . Most scholars recognize that a copyist repeated Gath-rimmon from 1 Chronicles 6:24 , the original reading probably being Ibleam. See Ibleam .

Joshua 19:46  and Me-jarkon and Rakkon, with the territory over against Joppa.

  • before: or, over against
  • Japho: or, Joppa, Jon 1:3 Ac 9:36,43 10:8 
  • Joshua 19 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

and Me-jarkon and Rakkon, with the territory over against Joppa- see map above

Mejarkon - Holman Bible Dictionary Name meaning, “waters of Jarkon” or “pale-green waters.” Stream in the territory of Dan (Joshua 19:46 ), probably the Nahr el-Auja (“winding river”), which, fed by springs at Ras el-Ain about ten miles from the coast, flows year-round to the Mediterranean about four miles north of Joppa. 

Rakkon - Fausset's Bible Dictionary  A town of Dan, not far from Joppa; Yerakon in Septuagint (Joshua 19:46).

Joppa - Holman Bible Dictionary Place name meaning “beautiful.” Situated on the Mediterranean coast, Joppa is located some thirty-five miles northwest of Jerusalem. Excavations have revealed that the city dates back at least to 1650 B.C. Originally Joppa was situated on a rocky hill just over 100 feet high, a hill that just slightly beyond the coastline to form a small cape. To the north stretches the Plain of Sharon, to the south the Plain of Philistia.

The Old Testament name for Joppa was Japho (or Jaffe or Yafo), the name the Israeli nation has chosen as the modern designation for the city. The Phoenician form of the term comes from the name Jafe, the daughter of Aeolus, god of the winds.

Joppa is the only natural harbor on the Mediterranean between ancient Ptolemais and Egypt, and its facilities in biblical days were far less than outstanding. Reefs forming a roughly semicircular breakwater approximately 300 feet off-shore made entrance from the south impossible. Entrance from the north was shallow and treacherous, but small vessels could navigate it.

The earliest historical reference to Joppa is found in inscriptions on the walls of the Temple of Karnak at Thebes (Luxor). Thutmose III, who ruled Egypt from 1490 to 1436 B.C., boasted of his conquest of the cities of Palestine; Joppa is one of those named. The Amarna Letters mention Joppa twice, with observations about the beauty of her gardens and the skill of her workmen in leather, wood, and metal.

When Canaan was conquered, the tribe of Dan received Joppa; but it never came firmly into Hebrew hands. The Philistines took the city, but David recaptured it. Solomon developed it into the major port serving Jerusalem. To Joppa rafts of cedar logs were floated to be transported to Jerusalem for Solomon's splendid Temple (2 Chronicles 2:16 ).

Phoenicia gained control of Joppa by the time of Jonah. As the prophet fled from God's call, he caught a ship at Joppa for his well-remembered voyage toward Tarshish (Jonah 1:3 ). In 701 B.C. Sennacherib occupied the city; then, in turn, the Babylonians and the Persians. As it had been in Solomon's day, Joppa became the port that received cedar logs from Lebanon, now for the rebuilding of the Temple under the leadership of Zerubbabel.

In 164 B.C. more than 200 Jewish citizens of Joppa were treacherously drowned by angry non-Jews. In retaliation Judas Maccabeus raided the city, burned the harbor installations, torching the anchored ships as well (2 Maccabees 12:3-9 ). Joppa's history is linked with several notable names during the years of Roman control. Pompey conquered it in 63 B.C., joining it to the province of Syria. Antony later gave the city to Cleopatra of Egypt. Augustus Caesar added it to the kingdom of Herod the Great.

The New Testament records that Joppa was the home of Dorcas, a Christian woman known for her gracious and generous deeds. At her death the Christians of Joppa called for Simon Peter, who with the command “Tabitha, arise,” restored her to life (Acts 9:36-41 ).

Simon Peter remained in Joppa at the home of Simon the Tanner. At noon, while Simon Peter waited for a meal to be prepared, he prayed on the flat roof of the tanner's house. In a trance Peter saw what seemed to be “a great sheet knit at the four corners” lowered before him and learned that the Gentile world was a fit audience for the gospel (Acts 10:9-16 ).

Joppa is now annexed to the modern city of Tel Aviv, forming a part of the southern section of the largest city of Israel. Industrial, shipping, and residential complexes have been developed on this ancient site.

Joshua 19:47  The territory of the sons of Dan proceeded beyond them; for the sons of Dan went up and fought with Leshem and captured it. Then they struck it with the edge of the sword and possessed it and settled in it; and they called Leshem Dan after the name of Dan their father.

NLT  Joshua 19:47 But the tribe of Dan had trouble taking possession of their land, so they attacked the town of Laish. They captured it, slaughtered its people, and settled there. They renamed the town Dan after their ancestor.

ESV  Joshua 19:47 When the territory of the people of Dan was lost to them, the people of Dan went up and fought against Leshem, and after capturing it and striking it with the sword they took possession of it and settled in it, calling Leshem, Dan, after the name of Dan their ancestor.

NIV  Joshua 19:47 (But the Danites had difficulty taking possession of their territory, so they went up and attacked Leshem, took it, put it to the sword and occupied it. They settled in Leshem and named it Dan after their forefather.)

  • the territory of the sons of Dan proceeded beyond them; f Jdg 1:34,35 18:1-29 
  • Leshem: Jdg 18:7,27,29, Laish
  • Joshua 19 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

Related Passages:

Judges 1:34-35+ Then the Amorites forced the sons of Dan into the hill country, for they did not allow them to come down to the valley; 35yet the Amorites persisted in living in Mount Heres, in Aijalon and in Shaalbim; but when the power of the house of Joseph grew strong, they became forced labor.

DAN'S FAILURE TO 
CONQUER CANAANITES

The territory of the sons of Dan proceeded beyond them; for the sons of Dan went up and fought with Leshem and captured it See the INSET in the map above. The NET has "The Danites failed to conquer their territory, so they went up and fought with Leshem and captured it."

THOUGHT - Why did the Danites fail to conquer the Canaanites? What kept them from possessing their possessions? In a word, it was UNBELIEF. They failed to believe the many promises of God that He would give them the land and enable them to drive out the Canaanites! Disbelief and disobedience kept them from possessing their potential possessions.  This can also be a problem for us as believers, if we fail to drive out the "Canaanites". We need to remember that God has given us the power to drive them out, Paul writing to the Romans that "if by the Spirit (HIS POWER) you are putting to death (OUR RESPONSIBILITY) the deeds of the body ("THE CANAANITES"), you will live." (Ro 8:13+) The tragic result is a "Danite Experience" that falls far short of the the ideal Jesus described in John 10:10 declaring "I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly."  

Utley adds "Dan’s original allocation was in the Philistine area. They chose to move instead of trusting YHWH to help them take their land."   (Commentary)

Gangel - the Danites engaged in geographical apostasy, migrating northward and settling where they were not placed. The town they captured and renamed lay in the northeastern territory of Naphtali southeast of Mount Hermon. Notice that Dan's borders are not described; we see only mention of the towns. This strange behavior by Dan may have been tipped off in the ancient prophecy by Jacob: "Dan will provide justice for his people as one of the tribes of Israel. Dan will be a serpent by the roadside, a viper along the path, that bites the horse's heels so that its rider tumbles backward" (Gen. 49:16-17).  (Holman Old Testament Commentary - Joshua)

Then they struck it with the edge of the sword and possessed it and settled in it; and they called Leshem Dan after the name of Dan their father The NET has "They put the sword to it, took possession of it, and lived in it. They renamed it Dan after their ancestor.)"

Yohanan Aharoni - Some of the tribes are said to have failed in taking their prospective inheritances or parts thereof. The most striking example is the migration of the tribe of Dan from the northern Shephelah (Judg. 1:34–35) to the Canaanite city of Laish at the foot of Mt. Hermon. Laish was occupied by Sidonians (the biblical term for Phoenicians) whose function was doubtless cultivation of the agricultural hinterland for the Phoenician cities whose local manpower was employed in maritime or textile activities. When the Danites seized their city and its territory, they evidently took over the function of providing produce for the Sidonian markets; some of their young men seem to have become enamored with the seafaring way of life as well. Thus, the Danites were reluctant to join any action against the other Canaanite city-states, “Dan, why did he abide in ships?” (Judg. 5:17) (The Carta Bible Atlas)

Leshem (called Laish) refers to the migration that occurred after Joshua died and therefore must be considered an editorial comment in Joshua in order to clarify a point.  Arthur Lewis comments on the beauty of the area around the modern day tourist site of Tell Dan which includes a replica of pagan altar: "Travellers who have visited the Huleh Valley and the vicinity of Dan expound on the natural resources and the fertility of the area. Water comes from every rock and hill, pouring down from the nearby mountains of Lebanon. Like Scotland, this part of Galilee is green and overgrown with all forms of vegetation. The tribe of Dan had seized upon a veritable paradise on earth!"

Leshem - Holman Bible Dictionary Place name meaning “lion.” City tribe of Dan occupied (Joshua 19:47 ). An alternate Hebrew spelling of Laish. See Laish . Originally a Canaanite city in northern Palestine known for its carefree existence (Judges 18:7 ). It was spied out by the Danites as a place for their dwelling after the Philistines forced them from the coastal region. After finding it suitable, the Danites invaded Laish and renamed the city and area Dan. See Isaiah 10:30 ). Its location is not known. Modern translations read Laishah.


GEORGE BUSH  Notes Critical and Practical on the Book of Joshua - Chapter 19

The coast of the children of Dan went out too little for them. Heb. יצא מהם yëtzë mëhem, went out from them; i. e. out of their hands, out of their possession. A similar usage of the Heb. verb occurs Lev. 25:28–33, where the lands in the year of the jubilee are said to ‘go out;’ i. e. out of the hands of the present possessor, to the original owner. The meaning here undoubtedly is, that the Danites, being closely pressed upon by their powerful neighbors the Philistines, were forced in considerable numbers to abandon their allotted possessions. In consequence of having their original portion thus wrested out of their hands, they were induced to seek another in a distant quarter of the land, and made an inroad accordingly upon Leshem, lying at the foot of mount Lebanon and near the sources of the river Jordan. This event, which occurred some time after the death of Joshua, and is more fully recorded, Judg. 18:1–29, is touched upon here both to complete what is said of the inheritance of the Danites, and to intimate how it happened, that a part of the tribe were afterwards found inhabiting a district of the country so remote from their original possessions. This addition to the narrative was perhaps made by Phineas.

Cities Not Conquered
by the Israelites

TRIBES

JOSHUA

JUDGES

PEOPLE

CITIES

Israelites in General

Josh 13:13

 

 

 

Judah

Josh 15:63

 

Jebusites

Jerusalem

Benjamin

 

Jdg 1:21

Jebusites

Jerusalem

W. Manasseh

Josh 17:11-12

Jdg 1:27-28

Canaanites

Beth Shan, Taanach, Dor, Ibleam, Megiddo, Endor,* Naphoth*

Ephraim

Josh 16:10

Jdg 1:29

Canaanites

Gezer

Zebulun

 

Jdg 1:30

Canaanites

Kitron, Nahalol

Asher

 

Jdg 1:31-32

Canaanites

Acco, Sidon, Ahlab, Aczib, Helbah, Aphek, Rehob

Naphtali

 

Jdg 1:33

Canaanites

Beth Shemesh, Beth Anath

Dan

Josh 19:47

Jdg 1:34-35

Amorites

Leshem

Note - This is a list of the so-called “Conquest Lacunae,” consisting primarily of cities the Israelites did not conquer (see Kallai, Historical Geography, 102–11). It differs from the list of “Remaining Lands,” which are listed together in Josh 13:2–6 and consist of territories the Israelites did not conquer (in addition to Kallai, see Na’aman, Borders and Districts, 39–73). (Source: David Howard - Joshua: An Exegetical and Theological Exposition of Holy Scripture Volume 5 The New American Commentary)

Joshua 19:48  This was the inheritance of the tribe of the sons of Dan according to their families, these cities with their villages.

SUMMARY OF INHERITANCE
OF DAN

This was the inheritance of the tribe of the sons of Dan according to their families, these cities with their villages.

Campbell - So God provided for the needs of each tribe, though in some cases parts of their inheritances were still in the hands of the enemy. The Israelites were to possess the land by faith, trusting God to enable them to defeat their foes....Israel was to claim her tribal inheritances by faith. Failure to do so would be to live in poverty and weakness, conditions which God did not desire for His people (The Bible Knowledge Commentary Old Testament)

 

Joshua 19:49  When they finished apportioning the land for inheritance by its borders, the sons of Israel gave an inheritance in their midst to Joshua the son of Nun.

LAST BUT 
NOT LEAST

When they finished apportioning the land for inheritance by its borders, the sons of Israel gave an inheritance in their midst to Joshua the son of Nun - Joshua was Last but not least. This idiom is used to emphasize that someone or something is still significant, despite being mentioned last in a list of people or things.

Campbell - Only after all the tribes had received their allotments did Joshua ask for his. What a selfless spirit he possessed, and how his behavior contrasts with many political leaders who use their positions and influence to enrich themselves and their families. (The Bible Knowledge Commentary Old Testament)

Inheritance in the Septuagint is Inheritance (lot) (2819kleros which in Greek was the object used in casting lots and then it came to  refer to the allotted portion or inheritance , specifically one's possession or what is possessed (. As followers of Yeshua, we have been given an inheritance as described by kleros in the passages below...

Acts 26:18+ (THE PROCLAIMED GOSPEL WAS) to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance [kleros]  among those who have been sanctified (BORN AGAIN) by faith in Me.’ 

Acts 20:32+  “And now I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able (DON'T MISS THIS! THE WORD HAS INTRINSIC SUPERNATURAL POWER) to build you up and to give you the inheritance [kleros] among all those who are sanctified (BORN AGAIN).

Colossians 1:12+ = "giving thanks to the Father, Who has qualified us to share in the inheritance [kleros] of the saints in Light.


Apportioning (05157)(nahal) means inherit, get possession of, take as a possession. TWOT says it "basically signifies giving or receiving property which is part of a permanent possession and as a result of succession. Sometimes the idea of succession is absent but the "possessing" carries with it a connotation of permanence (e.g. Ex 34:9; Pr 14:18)." Gilbrant - Speaking of land as a possession, the Bible specifies the land of Canaan (Exo. 32:13); Zion and Judah (Ps. 69:35); specific sections belonging to various tribes and individuals (Num. 35:8); and the land of Moab and Ammon (Zeph. 2:9). The Lord took Judah as his private possession (Zech. 2:12). The verb also denotes the act of dispossession, as it was through uprooting the Canaanites that the Israelites were able to possess the land (Exo. 23:30). In figurative passages, different items or characteristics are said to be received as a possession. These include testimonies (Ps. 119:111), glory (Prov. 3:35), wind (Prov. 11:29), simplicity (Prov. 14:18), good things (Prov. 28:10), and lies (Jer. 16:19). Other things to be possessed were slaves (Lev. 25:46) and blessings (Zech. 8:12). In most of the above examples, there is the idea that permanence accompanies the possession (Ex. 34:9). Thus, when the Lord took Israel as his, it was an act of perpetual security. . (Complete Biblical Library)

Inheritance (gift, heritage) (05159) nachalah  from nahal = signifies giving or receiving property which is part of a permanent possession and as a result of succession) means Inheritance, heritage, possession.  A possession is any piece of property that passes by law to an heir on the death of the owner. It also speaks of God's promises to His people, such as the promise of the land to national (redeemed remnant) Israel. Gilbrant on nachalah - Land in Israelite society was understood as the possession of Yahweh, Who led the people into the land and conquered the territory for them. This land was then divided among the estates of the people of the day. This redistribution was understood to be permanent (Lev. 25:23). Thus, land could not permanently change hands (which explains the function of the Day of Jubilee, which insured that all land would return to those who had original access to the land). The point of this permanent division was to prevent the formation of large estates, which would necessarily create a subordinate landless peasantry. This same system reached the zenith early in the history of Babylon, its death witnessed by a genre of inscriptions known as kudurrus.


GEORGE BUSH  Notes Critical and Practical on the Book of Joshua - Chapter 19

The children of Israel gave an inheritance to Joshua. As it is said immediately afterwards, v. 50, that Joshua received his inheritance ‘according to the word of the Lord,’ it could be considered no otherwise the gift of the people, than as they cheerfully acquiesced in the assignment, and were glad of an opportunity of thus testifying, by their hearty concurrence, their affection for their veherable leader and their interest in his comfortable settlement in his old age. On his part, he evinced a striking moderation and disinterestedness, and proposed a noble example to all in public places, in making no provision for himself till he saw all the tribes fixed in their respective inheritances. This was acting in the true spirit of a public servant—to prefer the general welfare to his private convenience, ease, or emolument. So the servants of Christ, while they fully appreciate and ardently covet an inheritance in the Canaan above, will deem it soon enough to enter upon it when they have done all in their power towards bringing others to partake of the same glorious possession.


Joshua 19:49   In the midst of them. (R.V.)

Since Joshua prefigures the Lord Jesus, we are fed to think of his inheritance in the midst of his brethren.

In the midst on the Cross. — “They crucified Him, and with Him two others, on either side one, and Jesus in the midst.” Forasmuch as we partook of flesh and blood, He shared the same; and since we were under the curse of a broken law, He also bowed beneath its weight, and was made a curse for us. He took the mid-current of pain; where the pressure was heaviest, there the Lamb of God bore the sin of the world. On Him God made to meet the iniquities of us all; alike of those who refuse, as did the one thief, and of those who accept, as did the other.

In the midst, in the gatherings of his People. — “Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” He is the center of unity. We come from different quarters with our peculiar prepossessions and preconceptions, with no special affinity to each other; but touching Him, we become one with all who touch Him also. See that, not the sermon, nor the supper, nor the form of worship, is the center of fellowship; but Christ always and in all. Then let Him be the center of thy home life and thy business life under all circumstances.

In the midst in Heaven. — “In the midst of the throne, and in the midst of the elders, a Lamb standing.” All the circles of the redeemed, of angels, and of all other beings, revolve around Jesus, as their common center. They thus become concentric. Jesus is the Heart of Heaven; the Sun of Paradise; the Essence of its bliss; the Center of its love; the innermost Soul of its life. 

 

Joshua 19:50  In accordance with the command of the LORD they gave him the city for which he asked, Timnath-serah in the hill country of Ephraim. So he built the city and settled in it.

  • Timnath serah: Jos 24:30 Jdg 2:9, Timnath-heres, 1Ch 7:24 
  • Joshua 19 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

Related Passages:

Joshua 24:30  And they buried him in the territory of his inheritance in Timnath-serah, which is in the hill country of Ephraim, on the north of Mount Gaash. 

Judges 2:9  And they buried him in the territory of his inheritance in Timnath-heres, in the hill country of Ephraim, north of Mount Gaash.

Numbers 32:11-12+ (NOTE THE STRIKING CONTRAST) None of the men who came up from Egypt, from twenty years old and upward, shall see the land which I swore to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob; for they did not follow Me fully, 12except Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite and Joshua the son of Nun, for they have followed the LORD fully.’

GOD FULFILLS HIS
PROMISE TO JOSHUA

In accordance with the command of the LORD they gave him the city for which he asked, Timnath-serah in the hill country of Ephraim. So he built the city and settled in it - According to Wikipedia, the name Timnath-serah signifies in Hebrew an "extra portion" or "portion of abundance". Joshua lived to experience the faithfulness of Yahweh's promise and the fruit of a life that followed the LORD his God fully all the days of his 110 years of life. What a pattern he left for believers of all ages. As the writer of Hebrew exhorts the Hebrew audience in the first century...

And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope until the end, so that (PURPOSE CLAUSE) you will not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience (LIKE CALEB, JOSHUA WAITED 45 YEARS TO RECEIVE HIS INHERITANCE FROM YAHWEH) inherit the promises.  (Hebrews 6:11-12+

Howard - The specific command of God mentioned here that granted Joshua this inheritance is not recorded anywhere in Scripture, but God's word to the rebellious Israelites in Num. 14:30 were a general promise to Caleb and Joshua, the two faithful spies: "Not one of you will enter the land I swore with uplifted hand to make your home, except Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun." Both spies not only entered the land, but they both also received special portions in it. (Joshua: An Exegetical and Theological Exposition

Gangel - Joshua found himself in Ephraim just eleven miles from Shiloh so he could worship comfortably at the tabernacle. This was Joshua's tribe (Num. 13:8), and he was buried in the city mentioned here (Josh. 24:30). (Holman Old Testament Commentary - Joshua)

Henry Morris - which he asked.  As Caleb was the first to request and be given his inheritance (among the tribes west of the Jordan, that is), so Joshua was the last (Joshua 19:49).

Joshua's humble choice reminds me of Jesus' words 

Sitting down, He called the twelve and *said to them, “If anyone wants to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all.” (Mark 9:35+)

COMMENT - Joshua (Lxx - Iesous) epitomized the words of the New Testament "Joshua" (Iesous) Who Himself came "not to be served but to serve and give Himself a ransom for many." (Mk 10:45+).

Campbell - Joshua’s choice of land further reveals his humility. He asked for Timnath Serah, a city in the rugged, infertile, mountainous district of his own tribe (Ephraim), when he could have appropriated land in the fairest and most productive area of Canaan. With deep appreciation for his godly leadership the sons of Israel granted Joshua his modest request, and he built up the town and settled there. In one of the final pictures of this stalwart leader, Joshua is seen as a builder (in addition to his being a general and an administrator). The combination is rare among God’s servants. (The Bible Knowledge Commentary Old Testament)

Timnath-Serah - Jewish Encyclopedia Town in Mount Ephraim, situated on the northern slope of the hill of Gaash (Joshua 24:30). It was given to Joshua as an inheritance, was fortified by him (Josh 19:50), and served as his place of burial (Josh 24:30). According to the "Onomasticon" of Eusebius, Timnath was an important city in the district of Diospolis (Lydda); and the grave of Joshua was shown there.

Howard makes an interesting comment that "It would seem that Timnath Serah was Joshua's own personal possession because it does not appear in Ephraim tribal list (nor in any other list, for that matter). No other Israelite received any inheritance in this manner, that is, as a personal possession; even Caleb's city, Hebron, belonged to the tribe of Judah (15:13,54), and it was both a city of refuge (20:7) and a levitical city (21:11,13). This certainly contributes to the picture of Joshua as an extraordinary individual, one who demonstrated extraordinary faithfulness to God and who was a leader par excellence. (Joshua: An Exegetical and Theological Exposition)

Here is an interesting comment related to Timnath-Serah regarding the Septuagint translation of Joshua 21:42 - 

Joshua 21:42 a city and the suburbs round about the city to all these cities: and Joshua ceased dividing the land by their borders: and the children of Israel gave a portion to Joshua because of the commandment of the Lord: they gave him the city which he asked: they gave him Thamnasachar in mount Ephraim; and Joshua built the city, and dwelt in it: and Joshua took the knives of stone, wherewith he circumcised the children of Israel that were born in the desert by the way, and put them in Thamnasachar. (Jos 21:42 LXE)

Pulpit Commentary - The repetition is very much in the manner of the sacred historian, and it is possible that we have here an authentic passage, which some copyist has omitted in the Hebrew text. All the land. As has been before remarked, the Hebrew כל must not be pressed to mean literally "all." Yet, in a sense, the word is true here. The land had been put in their power. They had only to exert themselves to complete its conquest. This they failed to do, and not only so, but violated the conditions under which the land was granted them. Thus they soon fell under the dominion of those who had been their own vassals. Ritter thinks (vol. 3. 187-189) that the Asherites and Danites submitted to the inhabitants of the land in consequence of being allowed equal citizen rights with them. He draws this inference from Judges 5:17, supposing that these tribes addicted themselves to the commercial and maritime life for which the Phoenicians were so famous.


GEORGE BUSH  Notes Critical and Practical on the Book of Joshua - Chapter 19

According to the word of the Lord. According to the promise of the Lord; made probably at the same time that a particular inheritance was promised to Caleb. This is to be inferred from Caleb’s words, ch. 14:6, who in speaking to Joshua says, ‘Thou knowest the things that the Lord said unto Moses the man of God concerning me and thee in Kadesh-barnea.’ As Joshua had, on the occasion referred to, evinced equal courage and fidelity with Caleb, it is reasonable to suppose that he received the same tokens of the divine approbation.

Timnath-serah. Called Timnath-heres, Jdg. 2:9, where we learn that the name of the mountain on which it stood was Gaash. It was here that Joshua was buried, Joshua 24:30.

He built the city. Repaired it, put it in order, perhaps enlarged and adorned it. In this sense Nebuchadnezzar is said, Da 4:30, ‘to have built Babylon.’

Joshua 19:51  These are the inheritances which Eleazar the priest, and Joshua the son of Nun, and the heads of the households of the tribes of the sons of Israel distributed by lot in Shiloh before the LORD at the doorway of the tent of meeting. So they finished dividing the land.

  • These are: Jos 14:1 Nu 34:17-29 Ps 47:3,4 Mt 20:23 25:34 Joh 14:2,3 17:2 Heb 4:8,9 
  • in Shiloh: Jos 18:1,10 Ge 49:10 Jdg 21:19,21 1Sa 1:3 Ps 78:60 Jer 7:12-14 
  • Joshua 19 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

THE ALLOTMENTS TO
THE TRIBES COMPLETED

These are the inheritances which Eleazar the priest, and Joshua the son of Nun, and the heads of the households of the tribes of the sons of Israel distributed by lot (goral) in Shiloh before the LORD at the doorway of the tent of meeting. So they finished dividing the land - God's promise to Abraham had finally come to reality. While there was more land to be conquered, God had proven true to all of His words regarding the Promised Land. 

Guzik - Joshua received what was promised to him by God, but in remarkable humility, he receives his portion last. This is the kind of humble service and concern for others that makes Joshua such a wonderful picture of Jesus Christ.  (Commentary)

Cyril Barber - In this chapter we find that God is faithful. Both Caleb and Joshua are rewarded exactly as God had promised years earlier (cf. Numbers 14:24, 30)! His word is sure. There are times when it is difficult to exercise faith in His promises, but when this happens we should remember the example of Caleb and Joshua.

Trent  Butler- “The gift of the land brought blessings not only to the nation as a whole and to the individual tribes. It also brought blessing to the faithful leader. God commanded Israel to reward the individual for his faithfulness. Thus the Deuteronomic understanding of blessing and curse is expressed not only on the corporate, but also on the individual level. This, too, stands as a source of encouragement to Israel through the years as many of her people become dispersed from the main body of the people of God. (Joshua 13-24)

The section closes with the record that Joshua is given Timnath-serah ( = “Timnath-heres”) in Ephraim (19:49–51). The notice that dividing the land is completed (v. 49) is important theologically. It must be understood in terms of the ideology expressed in Joshua 23:14. God had fulfilled all his good promises in giving the land to the Israelites. True, further covenant faithfulness and obedience would be necessary for complete possession of the land, but God’s part in giving the land has been accomplished.

Dale Ralph Davis - So 19:49–50 is no useless tailpiece. Though the notes are not visible in the text, it’s really music. It is simply ‘Great Is Thy Faithfulness’ (Lam. 3:23) in a different key. It is a standing witness to the fact that the majority may be neither faithful nor right (Num. 13–14). It is a witness to the fact that Yahweh keeps his promises (Num. 14:24, 30), even if he must preserve his two faithful men from Anakim, chariots, and high water to do so. There are lots of lots in chapters 14–20. As they begin with Caleb, so they close with Joshua. What a fulfilment of Numbers 13–14! There is far more theology in Hebron and Timnath-serah than one usually hears.  (Joshua: No Falling Words)

J Vernon McGee - This section reveals how much detail God gave concerning Israel and the land. The land and the people go together. God not only gave them the land of Canaan, He also gave a particular area to a particular tribe. He gave each tribe a certain section of land. God was concerned about each individual and his possession. In this God has a lesson for you and me today. It tells us that God is concerned about our personal lives. My friend, for Him your private life is not private—He knows you like a book. A rather godless neighbor said to me one day, “I want to go out into the desert where I can be by myself, and away from everybody.” Well, that is a normal desire. We all need to get away from people once in awhile. But I reminded him—and I don’t think he appreciated it—that he wouldn’t get away from God. I said, “You can’t run away from Him, brother. He will be right out there in the desert waiting for you.” It is wonderful, friend, to get away from people like that, if we are getting away for fellowship with the Lord.  (Joshua 19)


GEORGE BUSH  Notes Critical and Practical on the Book of Joshua - Chapter 19

These are the inheritances, &c. This verse is inserted as a general conclusion to all that has been thus far said of the distribution of the land among the several tribes. The writer now turns to another subject.


Irving Jensen applies the truths revealed by the division of land to the tribes...

Many illustrations may be derived from the multitude of details given in the descriptions of the allotments to the twelve tribes. Some of the large teachings suggested by the overall account are:

1. Sovereign Location

The procedure of lots was to emphasize the Lord’s part in locating His people. Some locations were designed for chastisement (e.g., Simeon); some for reward (e.g., Judah - Ge 49:5-7); some for challenge (e.g., Asher with its bordering enemies). All were located with the destiny of being places where God could dwell in the midst, and reveal Himself to His people and to the world through history.

2. Gracious Inheritance

Every land allocation, regardless of its description, was a gift of grace, undeserved, a dwelling place for a people who up till now had no home. There was a mine of blessing located in every land.

3. Inspiring Challenge

Rest-land was not vacation-land. It was a land of opportunity, of proving God in the face of the enemies, of progressively growing stronger and purer in life and in worship.

(ED: O HOW VITAL IT IS FOR SAINTS TO UNDERSTAND THIS POINT - WE ARE IN A WAR AND THE WORLD, FLESH AND DEVIL HATE US AND SEEK TO DEFILE OUR SOUL. WE NEED TO "PROVE GOD" IN THE FACE OF THESE POWERFUL ENEMIES - MEMORIZE AND MEDITATE ON ROMANS 8:13 - THEN READ COMMENTARY NOTES). 

4. Beauty of Diversity

As widely as the tribes differed one from the other in numerous respects, so the lands themselves were very diverse. This is a simple illustration of the beauty of God’s working one purpose in various ways, even as the Church today proclaims the one gospel of the one God, but by different methods (1 Cor. 12:5+). The individuality of each tribe teaches also the warm truth of God’s personal concern for each individual of His vast creation.

5. Strength of Unity

The division of the land was made with a view toward unity. When a weaker tribe needed auxiliary strength, its stronger neighboring tribe assumed the protectorate of bordering towns. Two intimately friendly tribes (e.g., Dan and Naphtali) sometimes were located apart from each other, to cement the union of the whole nation. The strongest bond was the one tabernacle to serve the congregation of all the tribes. The potential of a strong nation of Israel blessed of God was great, if this unity of faith and fellowship would be nurtured. Joshua- Everyman's Bible Commentary: Rest-Land Won)

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