Joshua 19:44
And Eltekeh, and Gibbethon, and Baalath,
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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." 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.

No text from Poole on this verse. And Eltekeh,.... Eltekeh was a city given to the Levites, Joshua 21:23; and supposed by some to be the same with Eltekon in the tribe of Judah given to the Danites, Joshua 15:59,

and Gibbethon was in the hands of the Philistines in the reign of Asa, 1 Kings 15:21; and in the same place Jerom (t) calls Gabatha a city of the strangers, or Philistines; and which lie places near Bethlehem in the tribe of Judah:

and Baalath is not the same with Baalah, Joshua 15:29; but the Baalath rebuilt by Solomon, 1 Kings 9:18; called by Josephus (u) Baleth, and spoken of by him as near to Gazara in the land of the Philistines; of these two last cities, the Talmudists (w) say that their houses belonged to Judah, and their fields to Dan.

(t) De loc. Heb. fol. 92. C. (u) Antiqu. l. 8. c. 6. sect. 1.((w) T. Hieros. Sanhedrin, fol. 18. 3.

And Eltekeh, and Gibbethon, and Baalath,
44. Eltekeh, and Gibbethon] occur as Levitical cities in ch. Joshua 21:23. The sites are not identified; Baalath may be Deir Balût. It was fortified by Solomon (1 Kings 9:18), and is placed by Josephus near Gezer. See Jos. Ant. viii. 6. 1.Verse 44. - Gibbethon. A Levitical city, as was also Eltekeh (see Joshua 21:23). It was the same city as that mentioned as "belonging to the Philistines" in 1 Kings 15:27; 1 Kings 16:15, 17. Jireon (Iron) is probably the present village of Jarn, an hour to the south-east of Bint-Jebeil, with the ruins of an ancient Christian church (Seetzen, ii. pp. 123-4; Van de Velde, R. i. p. 133). Migdal-el, so far as the name is concerned, might be Magdala (Matthew 15:39), on the western shore of the Lake of Gennesareth, between Capernaum and Tiberias (Rob. iii. pp. 279ff.); the only difficulty is, that the towns upon this lake have already been mentioned in Joshua 19:35. Knobel connects Migdal-el with Chorem, so as to form one name, and finds Migdal el Chorem in the present Mejdel Kerum, on the west of Rameh (Seetzen, ii. p. 130; Van de Velde, i. p. 215), a common Mahometan village. But there is nothing to favour this combination, except the similarity in sound between the two names; whereas it has against it not only the situation of the village, which was so far to the west, being not more than three hours from Acca, that the territory of Naphtali can hardly have reached so far, but also the very small resemblance between Chorem and Kerum, not to mention the fact that the accents separate Chorem from Migdal-el, whilst the omission of the copula (vav) before Chorem cannot have any weight, as the copula is also wanting before Zer and Rakkath. Chorem and Beth-anath have not yet been discovered. From the latter place Naphtali was unable to expel the Canaanites (Judges 1:33). Beth-shemesh, a different place from the town of the same name in Issachar (Joshua 19:22), is also still unknown. The total number of towns is given as nineteen, whereas only sixteen are mentioned by name. It is hardly correct to seek for the missing places among the border towns mentioned in Joshua 19:33 and Joshua 19:34, as the enumeration of the towns themselves is introduced by מבצר וערי in Joshua 19:35, and in this way the list of towns is separated from the description of the boundaries. To this we may add, that the town of Karthan or Kirjathaim, which Naphtali gave up to the Levites (Joshua 21:32; 1 Chronicles 6:61), does not occur either among the border towns or in the list of towns, from which we may see that the list of towns is an imperfect one.
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