And Zorah, and Aijalon, and Hebron, which are in Judah and in Benjamin fenced cities.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Zorah.—Sur’ah; a ruin on the ridge north of the Wady-es-Surar. The birthplace of Samson.
Aijalon.—Yalo, north of Sur’ah, four leagues west of Gibeon. Zorah and Aijalon, or Ajalon, may have become Benjamite cities at the epoch of the migration of Dan (Judges 18). (See Joshua 19:41-42; also Joshua 15:33; Joshua 10:12.) Of the fifteen fortified cities here enumerated these two lay farthest north.
Hebron.—El Khalil (Genesis 23:2).
Which are in Judah and in Benjamin.—This refers to the entire list.
Fenced cities.—‘Arê metsûrôth (“cities of ramparts,” or “strongholds”); a phrase peculiar to the chronicler. (Comp. 2Chronicles 12:4.) “The fifteen cities [excluding Zorah and Ajalon] were on the south and west of Jerusalem. Hence Rehoboam appears to have been more afraid of an attack from the south and west—that is, from the Egyptians—than of a war with the northern kingdom.” (Bertheau.)Joshua 10:3; Azekah, Joshua 10:10; Zorah, Joshua 15:33; Aijalon, Joshua 10:12; Hebron, Joshua 14:15. No one of the cities was really within the limits of the tribe of Benjamin. The writer uses the phrase "Judah and Benjamin" merely as the common designation of the southern kingdom (compare 2 Chronicles 11:12 and 2 Chronicles 11:23). Joshua 15:33,
and Aijalon; there was a city of the tribe of Dan of this name, in the valley of which the moon stood still in the times of Joshua, Joshua 10:12, but whether the same with this, and now belonging to Judah, or another of the same name, is not certain:
and Hebron; a city in the mountainous part of Judah, and a city of refuge, about twenty miles from Jerusalem, Joshua 15:54,And Zorah, and Aijalon, and Hebron, which are in Judah and in Benjamin fenced cities.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)10. Zorah] Joshua 15:33 (R.V.). It was situated in the Shephelah.
Aijalon] The modern Yalo, about midway between Ramleh and Jerusalem. Bädeker, pp. 15, 18. It is an ancient place mentioned in the Tell-el-Amarna letters and in Joshua 10:12, R.V. (“Valley of Aijalon,” i.e. the modern Merj ibn Omêr). Cp. 2 Chronicles 28:18, R.V.
and in Benjamin] None of the fifteen cities seems to have been in Benjamin. Zorah and Aijalon were in Dan (Joshua 19:41-42, R.V.), while the remaining thirteen were in Judah. Cp. 2 Chronicles 11:5.Verse 10. - Zorah. The people of Zorah, or Zoreah, were the Zareathites of 1 Chronicles 2:53; it was the home of Manoah, and the native place of Samson (see Joshua 15:33; Joshua 19:41. Other interesting references are Judges 13:25; Judges 16:31; Judges 18:2-11; Nehemiah 11:29). It belonged to the original allotment of Dan, and is constantly named in company with Eshtaol. Aijalon. The modern Jalo; also originally belonged to allotment of Dan (Joshua 10:12; Joshua 19:42; Joshua 21:24. Other interesting references are Judges 1:35; 1 Samuel 14:31; 1 Kings 14:30; 1 Chronicles 6:66, 69, 2 Chronicles 28:18). Hebron. One of the most ancient of cities still lasting, rivalling in this respect Damascus. It belonged to Judah and to its hill country (Joshua 15:54; Joshua 20:7); it was about twenty Roman miles south of Jerusalem. Its original name was Kirjath Arba. In Numbers 13:22 it is said that it was built "seven years before Zoan in Egypt," but it is not said when Zoan was built. It now contains about five thousand population, but scarcely a tithe of them Jews. Its long stretch of history is full of incidents of interest, and is partially illustrated by the references that follow: Genesis 13:18; Genesis 23:2-19, 20; Genesis 35:27; Genesis 37:14; Numbers 13:22, 23; Joshua 10:36; Joshua 14:6-15; Joshua 15:13, 14; Joshua 21:11-13; 2 Samuel 4:12; 2 Samuel 5:5; Nehemiah 11:25. 1 Kings 12:21-24. - Rehoboam's purpose, to subdue these tribes by force of arms, and bring them again under his dominion, and the abandonment of this purpose in consequence of the command of the prophet Shemaiah, belong in a certain measure to the history of the revolt of the ten tribes from the house of David; for the revolt only became an accomplished fact when the prophet Shemaiah proclaimed in the name of the Lord that the matter was from the Lord. 2 Chronicles 11:3. Of Jahve was the thing done; He had ordained the revolt as a chastisement of the seed of David for walking no more in His ways. Solomon had, by allowing himself to be seduced by his many foreign wives into departing from the Lord, exposed himself to the divine displeasure, and his successor Rehoboam increased the guilt by his impolitic treatment of the tribes dissatisfied with Solomon's rule, and had, if not brought about the revolt, yet hastened it; but yet the conduct of these tribes was not thereby justified. Their demand that the burdens laid upon them by Solomon should be lightened, flowed from impure and godless motives, and at bottom had its root in discontent with the theocratic rule of the house of David (see on 1 Kings 12:21.). The expression, "to all Israel in Judah and Benjamin," is deeper than "the whole house of Judah and Benjamin and the remnant of the people," i.e., those belonging to the other tribes who were dwelling in the tribal domains of Judah and Benjamin (1 Kings 12:23); for it characterizes all who had remained true to the house of David as Israel, i.e., those who walked in the footsteps of their progenitor Israel (Jacob).
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