The Lot of Simeon.
1. the second lot came forth to
Simeon—The next lot that was drawn at Shiloh, gave the tribe
of Simeon his inheritance within the territory, which had been assigned
to that of Judah. The knowledge of Canaan possessed by the Israelites,
when the division of the land commenced, was but very general, being
derived from the rapid sweep they had made over it during the course of
conquest; and it was on the ground of that rough survey alone that the
distribution proceeded, by which Judah received an inheritance. Time
showed that this territory was too large (Jos 19:9), either for their numbers, however
great, to occupy and their arms to defend, or too large in proportion
to the allotments of the other tribes. Justice therefore required (what
kind and brotherly feeling readily dictated) a modification of their
possession; and a part of it was appropriated to Simeon. By thus
establishing it within the original domain of another tribe, the
prophecy of Jacob in regard to Simeon was fulfilled (Ge 49:7); for from its boundaries being not
traced, there is reason to conclude that its people were divided and
dispersed among those of Judah; and though one group of its cities
named (Jos 19:2-6), gives the idea of a compact district,
as it is usually represented by map makers, the other group (Jos 19:7,
8) were situated, two in the
south, and two elsewhere, with tracts of the country around them.
Jos 19:10-16. Of
10-14. the third lot came up for the children of
Zebulun—The boundaries of the possession assigned to them
extended from the Lake of Chinnereth (Sea of Galilee) on the east, to
the Mediterranean on the west. Although they do not seem at first to
have touched on the western shore—a part of Manasseh running
north into Asher (Jos 17:10)—they afterwards did, according to
the prediction of Moses (De 33:19).
The extent from north to south cannot be very exactly traced; the sites
of many of the places through which the boundary line is drawn being
unknown. Some of the cities were of note.
Jos 19:17-23. Of
17-20. the fourth lot came out to
Issachar—Instead of describing the boundaries of this tribe,
the inspired historian gives a list of its principal cities. These
cities are all in the eastern part of the plain of Esdraelon.
Jos 19:24-31. Of
24-31. the fifth lot came out for the tribe of the
children of Asher—The western boundary is traced from north
to south through the cities mentioned; the site of them, however, is
26. to Carmel … and to
Shihor-libnath—that is, the "black" or "muddy river";
probably the Nahr Belka, below Dor (Tantoura); for that town belonged
to Asher (Jos 17:10).
Thence the boundary line turned eastward to Beth-dagon, a town at the
junction of Zebulun and Naphtali, and ran northwards as far as Cabul,
with other towns, among which is mentioned (Jos 19:28) "great Zidon," so called on account of
its being even then the flourishing metropolis of the Phœnicians.
Though included in the inheritance of Asher, this town was never
possessed by them (Jud 1:31).
29. and then the coast turneth to
Ramah—now El-Hamra, which stood where the Leontes (Litany)
ends its southern course and flows westward.
and to the strong city Tyre—The
original city appears to have stood on the mainland, and was
well-fortified. From Tyre the boundary ran to Hosah, an inland town;
and then, passing the unconquered district of Achzib (Jud 1:31), terminated at the seacoast.
Jos 19:32-39. Of
32-39. the sixth lot came out to the children of
Naphtali—Although the cities mentioned have not been
discovered, it is evident, from Zaanannim, which is by Kedesh, that is,
on the northwest of Lake Merom (Jud 4:11), that the boundary described (Jos 19:34) ran from the southwest towards
the northeast, up to the sources of the Jordan.
34. Aznoth-tabor—on the east of Tabor
towards the Jordan, for the border ran thence to Hukkok, touching upon
that of Zebulun; and as the territory of Zebulun did not extend as far
as the Jordan, Aznoth-tabor and Hukkok must have been border towns on
the line which separated Naphtali from Issachar.
to Judah upon Jordan toward the
sunrising—The sixty cities, Havoth-jair, which were on the
eastern side of the Jordan, opposite Naphtali, were reckoned as
belonging to Judah, because Jair, their possessor, was a descendant of
Judah (1Ch 2:4-22)
Jos 19:40-48. Of
40-46. the seventh lot came out for the tribe
… Dan—It lay on the west of Benjamin and consisted of
portions surrendered by Judah and Ephraim. Its boundaries are not
stated, as they were easily distinguishable from the relative position
of Dan to the three adjoining tribes.
47. the children of Dan went up to fight against
Leshem—The Danites, finding their inheritance too small,
decided to enlarge its boundaries by the sword; and, having conquered
Leshem (Laish), they planted a colony there, calling the new settlement
by the name of Dan (see on Jud 18:7).
Jos 19:49-51. The Children of
Israel Give an Inheritance to Joshua.
50. According to the word of the Lord they gave
him the city which he asked—It was most proper that the great
leader should receive an inheritance suited to his dignity, and as a
reward for his public services. But the gift was not left to the
spontaneous feelings of a grateful people. It was conferred "according
to the word of the Lord"—probably an unrecorded promise, similar
to what had been made to Caleb (Jos 14:9).
Timnath-serah—or Heres, on Mount Gaash
2:9). Joshua founded it, and
was afterwards buried there (Jos 24:30).
51. These are the inheritances—This
verse is the formal close of the section which narrates the history of
the land distribution; and to stamp it with due importance, the names
of the commissioners are repeated, as well as the spot where so
memorable a transaction took place.