Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
And the second lot came forth to Simeon, even for the tribe of the children of Simeon according to their families: and their inheritance was within the inheritance of the children of Judah.
Jos 19:1-9. 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.
And they had in their inheritance Beersheba, or Sheba, and Moladah,
And Hazarshual, and Balah, and Azem,
And Eltolad, and Bethul, and Hormah,
And Ziklag, and Bethmarcaboth, and Hazarsusah,
And Bethlebaoth, and Sharuhen; thirteen cities and their villages:
Ain, Remmon, and Ether, and Ashan; four cities and their villages:
And all the villages that were round about these cities to Baalathbeer, Ramath of the south. This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Simeon according to their families.
Out of the portion of the children of Judah was the inheritance of the children of Simeon: for the part of the children of Judah was too much for them: therefore the children of Simeon had their inheritance within the inheritance of them.
And the third lot came up for the children of Zebulun according to their families: and the border of their inheritance was unto Sarid:
Jos 19:10-16. Of Zebulun.
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.
And their border went up toward the sea, and Maralah, and reached to Dabbasheth, and reached to the river that is before Jokneam;
And turned from Sarid eastward toward the sunrising unto the border of Chislothtabor, and then goeth out to Daberath, and goeth up to Japhia,
And from thence passeth on along on the east to Gittahhepher, to Ittahkazin, and goeth out to Remmonmethoar to Neah;
And the border compasseth it on the north side to Hannathon: and the outgoings thereof are in the valley of Jiphthahel:
And Kattath, and Nahallal, and Shimron, and Idalah, and Bethlehem: twelve cities with their villages.
This is the inheritance of the children of Zebulun according to their families, these cities with their villages.
And the fourth lot came out to Issachar, for the children of Issachar according to their families.
Jos 19:17-23. Of Issachar.
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.
And their border was toward Jezreel, and Chesulloth, and Shunem,
And Hapharaim, and Shion, and Anaharath,
And Rabbith, and Kishion, and Abez,
And Remeth, and Engannim, and Enhaddah, and Bethpazzez;
And the coast reacheth to Tabor, and Shahazimah, and Bethshemesh; and the outgoings of their border were at Jordan: sixteen cities with their villages.
This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Issachar according to their families, the cities and their villages.
And the fifth lot came out for the tribe of the children of Asher according to their families.
Jos 19:24-31. Of Asher.
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 unknown.
And their border was Helkath, and Hali, and Beten, and Achshaph,
And Alammelech, and Amad, and Misheal; and reacheth to Carmel westward, and to Shihorlibnath;
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 Ph�nicians. Though included in the inheritance of Asher, this town was never possessed by them (Jud 1:31).
And turneth toward the sunrising to Bethdagon, and reacheth to Zebulun, and to the valley of Jiphthahel toward the north side of Bethemek, and Neiel, and goeth out to Cabul on the left hand,
And Hebron, and Rehob, and Hammon, and Kanah, even unto great Zidon;
And then the coast turneth to Ramah, and to the strong city Tyre; and the coast turneth to Hosah; and the outgoings thereof are at the sea from the coast to Achzib:
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.
Ummah also, and Aphek, and Rehob: twenty and two cities with their villages.
This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Asher according to their families, these cities with their villages.
The sixth lot came out to the children of Naphtali, even for the children of Naphtali according to their families.
Jos 19:32-39. Of Naphtali.
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.
And their coast was from Heleph, from Allon to Zaanannim, and Adami, Nekeb, and Jabneel, unto Lakum; and the outgoings thereof were at Jordan:
And then the coast turneth westward to Aznothtabor, and goeth out from thence to Hukkok, and reacheth to Zebulun on the south side, and reacheth to Asher on the west side, and to Judah upon Jordan toward the sunrising.
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) [Keil].
And the fenced cities are Ziddim, Zer, and Hammath, Rakkath, and Chinnereth,
And Adamah, and Ramah, and Hazor,
And Kedesh, and Edrei, and Enhazor,
And Iron, and Migdalel, Horem, and Bethanath, and Bethshemesh; nineteen cities with their villages.
This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Naphtali according to their families, the cities and their villages.
And the seventh lot came out for the tribe of the children of Dan according to their families.
Jos 19:40-48. Of Dan.
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.
And the coast of their inheritance was Zorah, and Eshtaol, and Irshemesh,
And Shaalabbin, and Ajalon, and Jethlah,
And Elon, and Thimnathah, and Ekron,
And Eltekeh, and Gibbethon, and Baalath,
And Jehud, and Beneberak, and Gathrimmon,
And Mejarkon, and Rakkon, with the border before Japho.
And the coast of the children of Dan went out too little for them: therefore the children of Dan went up to fight against Leshem, and took it, and smote it with the edge of the sword, and possessed it, and dwelt therein, and called Leshem, Dan, after the name of Dan their father.
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).
This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Dan according to their families, these cities with their villages.
When they had made an end of dividing the land for inheritance by their coasts, the children of Israel gave an inheritance to Joshua the son of Nun among them:
Jos 19:49-51. The Children of Israel Give an Inheritance to Joshua.
According to the word of the LORD they gave him the city which he asked, even Timnathserah in mount Ephraim: and he built the city, and dwelt therein.
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 (Jud 2:9). Joshua founded it, and was afterwards buried there (Jos 24:30).
These are the inheritances, which Eleazar the priest, and Joshua the son of Nun, and the heads of the fathers of the tribes of the children of Israel, divided for an inheritance by lot in Shiloh before the LORD, at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. So they made an end of dividing the country.
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.