Joshua 19:38
And Iron, and Migdalel, Horem, and Bethanath, and Bethshemesh; nineteen cities with their villages.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(38) Migdal-el and Horem are identified as Kh.-Mujeidil and Hârah on sheet 2, further north again; and Beth-anath as ‘Ainatha (sheet 4).

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].

Nineteen cities: See Poole "Joshua 19:15", See Poole "Joshua 19:22", See Poole "Joshua 19:30". And Iron,.... Of Iron no mention is made elsewhere:

and Migdalel, which Jerom calls Magdiel, he says (m) was shown a small village, five miles from Dara, as you go to Ptolemais:

and Horem is not mentioned anywhere elsewhere;

and Bethanath; Jerom also relates (n), that Bathana, in the tribe of Naphtali, was a village that went by the name of Betbanes, fifteen miles from Caesarea:

and Bethshemesh was another city, in which was a temple dedicated to the sun, when inhabited by the Canaanites; see Joshua 19:22; and so in Bethanath there might be a temple dedicated to some deity, though now uncertain what:

nineteen cities with their villages; there are more mentioned, but some of them might be only boundaries, and so belonged to another tribe.

(m) De loc. Heb. fol. 93. L. (n) Ibid. fol. 89. H.

And Iron, and Migdalel, Horem, and Bethanath, and Bethshemesh; nineteen cities with their villages.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
38. Iron] has not been identified. Migdal-el has been by some supposed to be the Magdala of Matthew 15:39, the place of which is now occupied by a miserable collection of hovels known as el-Mejdel, on the western side of the Lake of Gennesareth, and at the S. E. corner of the plain. Neither Horem, Beth-anath, nor Beth-shemesh has at present been identified.Verse 38. - Migdal-el. The Magdala of the New Testament. It lay on the lake of Gennesareth. Beth-shemesh. A common name, derived from the worship of the sun. This is neither Beth-shemesh of Judah nor of Issachar (see ver. 22). The Inheritance of Naphtali. - This fell between Asher and the upper Jordan. It reached northwards to the northern boundary of Canaan, and touched Zebulun and Issachar on the south. In Joshua 19:33 and Joshua 19:34 the boundary lines are given: viz., in Joshua 19:33 the western boundary towards Asher, with the northern and eastern boundaries: in Joshua 19:34 the southern boundary; but with the uncertainty which exists as to several of the places named, it cannot be traced with certainty.
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