Jos 15:1-12. Borders of the
Lot of Judah.
1. This then was the lot of the tribe of the
children of Judah—In what manner the lot was drawn on this
occasion the sacred historian does not say; but it is probable that the
method adopted was similar to that described in Jos 18:10. Though the general survey of the
country had not been completed, some rough draft or delineation of the
first conquered part must have been made, and satisfactory evidence
obtained that it was large enough to furnish three cantons, before all
the tribes cast lots for them; and they fell to Judah, Ephraim, and the
half-tribe of Manasseh. The lot of Judah came first, in token of the
pre-eminence of that tribe over all the others; and its destined
superiority thus received the visible sanction of God. The territory,
assigned to it as a possession, was large and extensive, being bounded
on the south by the wilderness of Zin, and the southern extremity of
the Salt Sea (Nu 34:3-5);
on the east, by that sea, extending to the point where it receives the
waters of the Jordan; on the north, by a line drawn nearly parallel to
Jerusalem, across the country, from the northern extremity of the Salt
Sea to the southern limits of the Philistine territory, and to the
Mediterranean; and on the west this sea was its boundary, as far as
Sihor (Wady El-Arish).
2. the bay—Hebrew, "tongue." It
pushes its waters out in this form to a great distance [Robinson].
3. Maaleh-akrabbim—Hebrew, "the
ascent of scorpions"; a pass in the "bald mountain" (see on Jos 11:17), probably much infested by these venomous
5. the end—that is, the mouth of the
6. Beth-hogla—now Ain Hajla, a fine
spring of clear and sweet water, at the northern extremity of the Dead
Sea, about two miles from the Jordan [Robinson].
Beth-arabah—"the house," or "place of
solitude," in the desert of Judah (Jos 15:61).
stone of Bohan the son of Reuben—the
sepulchral monument of a Reubenite leader, who had been distinguished
for his bravery, and had fallen in the Canaanite war.
7. Achor—(see on Jos
Adummim—a rising ground in the
wilderness of Jericho, on the south of the little brook that flowed
near Jericho (Jos 16:1).
En-shemesh—"the fountain of the sun";
"either the present well of the apostle, below Bethany, on the road to
Jericho, or the fountain near to St. Saba" [Robinson].
En-rogel—"the fuller's fountain," on
the southeast of Jerusalem, below the spot where the valleys of
Jehoshaphat and Hinnom unite.
Jos 15:13-15. Caleb's Portion
13. unto Caleb he gave a part among the children
of Judah—(See on Jos 14:6).
14. drove thence the three sons of
Anak—rather three chiefs of the Anakim race. This exploit is
recorded to the honor of Caleb, as the success of it was the reward of
his trust in God.
15. Debir—"oracle." Its former name,
Kirjath-sepher, signifies "city of the book," being probably a place
where public registers were kept.
Jos 15:16-20. Othniel, for
His Valor, Has Achsah to Wife.
16-20. He that smiteth
Kirjath-sepher—This offer was made as an incentive to
youthful bravery (see on 1Sa 17:25); and the
prize was won by Othniel, Caleb's younger brother (Jud 1:13; 3:9). This was the occasion of drawing
out the latent energies of him who was destined to be the first judge
18, 19. as she came unto him—that is,
when about to remove from her father's to her husband's house. She
suddenly alighted from her travelling equipage—a mark of respect
to her father, and a sign of making some request. She had urged Othniel
to broach the matter, but he not wishing to do what appeared like
evincing a grasping disposition, she resolved herself to speak out.
Taking advantage of the parting scene when a parent's heart was likely
to be tender, she begged (as her marriage portion consisted of a field
which, having a southern exposure, was comparatively an arid and barren
waste) he would add the adjoining one, which abounded in excellent
springs. The request being reasonable, it was granted; and the story
conveys this important lesson in religion, that if earthly parents are
ready to bestow on their children that which is good, much more will
our heavenly Father give every necessary blessing to them who ask
Jos 15:21-63. Cities of
21-63. the uttermost cities of the tribe of the
children of Judah—There is given a list of cities within the
tribal territory of Judah, arranged in four divisions, corresponding to
the districts of which it consisted—the cities in the southern
part (Jos 15:21-32), those in the lowlands (Jos 15:33-47), those in the highlands (Jos
15:48-60), and those in the
desert (Jos 15:61, 62). One gets the best idea of the relative
situation of these cities by looking at the map.