Joshua 19:35
And the fenced cities are Ziddim, Zer, and Hammath, Rakkath, and Chinnereth,
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(35) The fenced cities.—Observe the protection of the northern border by fortresses. Ziddim (Hattin), Hammath (Hammâm Tabarîya), Rakkath (Tiberias), and Chinnereth (not identified, but giving a name to the Sea of Galilee, and therefore evidently close by), are all in sheet 6, near the lake.

(36,37) Adamah (Ed-Dâmeh,?Daimah, sheet 6), Ramah (Râmeh), Hazor (Hadîreh), Kedesh (Kades), Edrei (Y’ater), En-hazor (Hazireh), and Iron (Y’arum), are all in sheet 4, north of the above. The town of Hazor has been variously identified by previous writers, but Conder expresses no doubt as to its being Hadîreh, which certainly occupies a commanding position above a stream that flows into Lake Merom.

19:17-51 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.The number of the fortified cities of Naphtali is remarkable, though it does not tally with the catalogue. It was no doubt good policy to protect the northern frontier by a belt of fortresses, as the south was protected by the fenced cities of Judah. Hammath, a Levitical city (compare Joshua 21:32; 1 Chronicles 6:76), is not to be confounded with the Hamath on the northeastern frontier of the land Numbers 13:21. The name (from a root signifying "to be warm") probably indicates that hot springs existed here; and is perhaps rightly traced in Ammaus, near Tiberias. Rakkath was, according to the rabbis, rebuilt by Herod and called Tiberias. The name ("bank, shore") suits the site of Tiberias very well. Migdal-el, perhaps the Magdala of Matthew 15:39, is now the miserable village of "El Mejdel." 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].

Hammath, or, Hamath; of which see Numbers 34:8 1 Kings 8:65 2 Kings 23:33.

Chinnereth; whence the lake of Chinnereth or Gennesaret received its name.

And the fenced cities are Ziddim,.... The later name of Ziddim, according to the Talmud (i), was Cepharchitiya, or the village of wheat, perhaps from the large quantity or goodness of wheat there:

Zer is called by Jerom (k) Sor, and interpreted Tyre, the metropolis of Phoenicia, very wrongly, and, in the tribe of Naphtali:

and Hammath probably was built by the youngest son of Canaan, Genesis 10:18; or had its name in memory of him; it lay to the north of the land of Israel; see Numbers 34:8,

Rakkath, and Chinnereth; Rakkath according to the Jewish writers (l) is the same with Tiberias, as Chinnereth with Gennesaret, from whence the lake or sea of Tiberias, and the country and lake of Gennesaret, had their names, often mentioned in the New Testament. Gennesaret was a most delicious and fruitful spot, and fulfilled the prophecy of Moses, Deuteronomy 33:23; concerning Naphtali.

(i) Ut supra. (T. Hieros. Megillah, fol. 70. 1.) (k) De loc. Heb. fol. 95. A. (l) T. Hieros. ut supra. (Megillah, fol. 70. 1.)

And the fenced cities are Ziddim, Zer, and Hammath, Rakkath, and {i} Chinnereth,

(i) Of which the lake of Gennesaret had its name.

35. And the fenced cities] Note the expression and the number of them in this locality. “It was no doubt good policy to protect the northern frontier by a belt of fortresses, as the south was protected by the fenced cities of Judah.” The Speaker’s Commentary in loc. Ziddim and Zer are unknown.

Hammath] Afterwards a Levitical city, ch. Joshua 21:32, called Hammon in 1 Chronicles 6:76. The name comes from a root signifying “to be warm,” and hints at the hot springs which existed here. “At the southern extremity of the strip of level ground, on which the ancient city of Tiberias stood, are some warm fountains, which have a temperature of 144 Fahr. with an extremely salt and bitter taste, and a strong smell of sulphur. These fountains are mentioned by Pliny, ‘Ab Occidente Tiberiade aquis calidis salubri,’ and frequently by Josephus, under the name Ammaus = ‘Warm Baths.’ This is probably a Greek form of the Hebrew Hammath, a town of Naphtali.” Porter’s Handbook, ii. p. 423.

Rakkath] (= “bank,” “shore”) is by the Rabbins identified with Tiberias. For Chinnereth see above, note on ch. Joshua 11:2.

Verse 35. - And the fenced cities. The remark is made in the 'Speaker's Commentary' that the number of fenced cities in the north were no doubt owing to a determination to protect the northern boundary of Israel by a chain of fortresses. The word fenced is the same that is rendered strong in ver. 29, "the strong city Tyre." Chinnereth (see Joshua 11:2). Joshua 19:35The fortified towns of Naphtali were the following. Ziddim: unknown, though Knobel suggests that "it may possibly be preserved in Chirbet es Saudeh, to the west of the southern extremity of the Lake of Tiberias (Rob. iii. App.);" but this place is to the west of the Wady Bessum, i.e., in the territory of Issachar. Zer is also unknown. As the lxx and Syriac give the name as Zor, Knobel connects it with Kerak, which signifies fortress as well as Zor ( equals מצור), a heap of ruins at the southern end of the lake (Rob. iii. p. 263), the place which Josephus calls Taricheae (see Reland, p. 1026), - a very doubtful combination! Hammath (i.e., thermae), a Levitical town called Hammaoth-dor in Joshua 21:32, and Hammon in 1 Chronicles 6:61, was situated, according to statements in the Talmud, somewhere near the later city of Tiberias, on the western shore of the Lake of Gennesareth, and was no doubt identical with the κώμεε Αμμαούς in the neighbourhood of Tiberias, a place with warm baths (Jos. Ant. xviii. 2, 3; Bell. Judg. iv. 1, 3). There are warm springs still to be found half an hour to the south of Tabaria, which are used as baths (Burckhardt, Syr. pp. 573-4; Rob. iii. pp. 258ff.). Rakkath (according to the Talm. and Rabb. ripa littus) was situated, according to rabbinical accounts, in the immediate neighbourhood of Hammath, and was the same place as Tiberias; but the account given by Josephus (Ant. xviii. 2, 3; cf. Bell. Judg. ii. 9, 1) respecting the founding of Tiberias by Herod the tetrarch is at variance with this; so that the rabbinical statements appear to have no other foundation than the etymology of the name Rakkath. Chinnereth is given in the Targums as גניסר, גינוסר, גּנּוסר, i.e., Γεννησάρ. According to Josephus (Bell. Jude 3.10, 8), this name was given to a strip of land on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, which was distinguished for its natural beauty, its climate, and its fertility, namely the long plain, about twenty minutes broad and an hour long, which stretches along the western shore of this lake, from el-Mejdel on the south to Khan Minyeh on the north (Burckhardt, Syr. pp. 558-9; Rob. iii. pp. 279, 290). It must have been in this plain that the town of Chinnereth stood, from which the plain and lake together derived the name of Chinnereth (Deuteronomy 3:17) or Chinneroth (Joshua 11:2), and the lake alone the name of "Sea of Chinnereth," or "Sea of Chinneroth" (Joshua 12:3; Joshua 13:27; Numbers 34:11).
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