Judges 1:21
And the children of Benjamin did not drive out the Jebusites that inhabited Jerusalem; but the Jebusites dwell with the children of Benjamin in Jerusalem unto this day.
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(21) The children of Benjamin did not drive out the Jebusites.—In Joshua 15:63 we find the same statement respecting the children of Judah. (See Judges 1:8.) Jerusalem was on the borders of Judah (Joshua 16:8) and Benjamin (Judges 18:28). It belongs more properly to the latter, but the conquest of Zion by David (2Samuel 5:7) naturally caused its closer identification with Judah. The Jebusites were tolerated inhabitants ever after this conquest, and had their own prince—Araunah (2Samuel 24:18)—“Araunah the king.” We even find traces of them after the exile (Ezra 9:1). Jerusalem is a remarkable exception to the rule that the Israelites conquered “the hill-country,” but not the plain.

Unto this day.—The assignment of Jerusalem to Benjamin shows that this narrative, though not contemporaneous, is older than the conquest of Jerusalem by David.

1:21-36 The people of Israel were very careless of their duty and interest. Owing to slothfulness and cowardice, they would not be at the pains to complete their conquests. It was also owing to their covetousness: they were willing to let the Canaanites live among them, that they might make advantage of them. They had not the dread and detestation of idolatry they ought to have had. The same unbelief that kept their fathers forty years out of Canaan, kept them now out of the full possession of it. Distrust of the power and promise of God deprived them of advantages, and brought them into troubles. Thus many a believer who begins well is hindered. His graces languish, his lusts revive, Satan plies him with suitable temptations, the world recovers its hold; he brings guilt into his conscience, anguish into his heart, discredit on his character, and reproach on the gospel. Though he may have sharp rebukes, and be so recovered that he does not perish, yet he will have deeply to lament his folly through his remaining days; and upon his dying bed to mourn over the opportunities of glorifying God and serving the church he has lost. We can have no fellowship with the enemies of God within us or around us, but to our hurt; therefore our only wisdom is to maintain unceasing war against them.This verse is nearly identical with Joshua 15:63, except in the substitution of Benjamin for Judah. Probably the original reading Judah was altered in later times to Benjamin, because Jebus was within the border of Benjamin, and neither had the Benjamites expelled the Jebusites. 21. the children of Benjamin did not drive out the Jebusites that inhabited Jerusalem—Judah had expelled the people from their part of Jerusalem (Jud 1:8). The border of the two tribes ran through the city—Israelites and natives must have been closely intermingled. No text from Poole on this verse.

And the children of Benjamin did not drive out the Jebusites that inhabited Jerusalem,.... That is, that part of it which belonged to them, for it lay between Judah and Benjamin; and neither of them separately, nor both conjunctly, could drive out the Jebusites from it, particularly the strong hold on the top of Mount Sion, which they held to the times of David. Abarbinel is of opinion, that Jerusalem in those times was not a city enclosed about, but was a large province, part of which belonged to the tribe of Judah, and another to the tribe of Benjamin, and another was possessed by the Jebusites; and so Jarchi says it was a province, the name of which was Jebusi:

but the Jebusites dwelt with the children of Benjamin unto this day; when this book was written, which was done by Samuel, as Kimchi and Ben Gersom; and it is certain from hence it must have been written before the reign of David, who dispossessed the Jebusites, 2 Samuel 5:6.

And the children of Benjamin did not drive out the Jebusites that {k} inhabited Jerusalem; but the Jebusites dwell with the children of Benjamin in Jerusalem unto this day.

(k) For after the tribe of Judah had burnt it, they built it again.

21. The sequel of Jdg 1:19, which again should come after Jdg 1:7. Originally, therefore, this verse closed the history of Judah; that of Caleb followed.

Instead of Benjamin … Benjamin Joshua 15:63 has Judah … Judah, and for did not drive out it gives were not able to drive out (see Jdg 1:19 note); there can be little doubt that Josh. has preserved the text in its original form. The editor altered Judah to Benjamin in accordance with the theory of distribution which included Jerusalem in Benjamin’s territory, Joshua 18:28 P; perhaps also he wished to find room for Benjamin in the present list.

in Jerusalem, unto this day] There were no Israelites in Jerusalem at the time of the Levite’s visit, Jdg 19:12. The writer’s ‘day’ was after the capture of the city by David (2 Samuel 5:6-8), who spared the old inhabitants (ib. 2 Samuel 24:18 ff.); they and the new-comers continued to live side by side.

Verse 21. - This verse is identical with Joshua 15:63, except that there we read "the children of Judah" instead of "the children of Benjamin," as in this verse. The boundary line between Judah and Jerusalem passed through JEBUS or JEBUSI, as Jerusalem was anciently called (see Joshua 15:8; Joshua 18:28; Judges 19:10, 11; 1 Chronicles 11:4, 5). Jebus was not finally held by the Israelites till the time of David (see Judges 19:10, note.) Judges 1:21From the Negeb Judah turned into the shephelah, and took the three principal cities of the Philistines along the line of coast, viz., Gaza, Askelon, and Ekron, with their territory. The order in which the names of the captured cities occur is a proof that the conquest took place from the south. First of all Gaza, the southernmost of all the towns of the Philistines, the present Guzzeh; then Askelon (Ashkuln), which is five hours to the north of Gaza; and lastly Ekron, the most northerly of the five towns of the Philistines, the present Akr (see at Joshua 13:3). The other two, Ashdod and Gath, do not appear to have been conquered at that time. And even those that were conquered, the Judaeans were unable to hold long. In the time of Samson they were all of them in the hands of the Philistines again (see Judges 14:19; Judges 16:1.; 1 Samuel 5:10, etc.). - In Judges 1:19 we have a brief summary of the results of the contests for the possession of the land. "Jehovah was with Judah;" and with His help they took possession of the mountains. And they did nothing more; "for the inhabitants of the plain they were unable to exterminate, because they had iron chariots." הורישׁ has two different meanings in the two clauses: first (ויּרשׁ), to seize upon a possession which has been vacated by the expulsion or destruction of its former inhabitants; and secondly (להורישׁ, with the accusative, of the inhabitants), to drive or exterminate them out of their possessions-a meaning which is derived from the earlier signification of making it an emptied possession (see Exodus 34:24; Numbers 32:21, etc.). "The mountain" here includes the south-land (the Negeb), as the only distinction is between mountains and plain. "The valley" is the shephelah (Judges 1:9). להורישׁ לא, he was not (able) to drive out. The construction may be explained from the fact that לא is to be taken independently here as in Amos 6:10, in the same sense in which אין before the infinitive is used in later writings (2 Chronicles 5:11; Esther 4:2; Esther 8:8; Ecclesiastes 3:14 : see Ges. 132-3, anm. 1; Ewald, 237, e.). On the iron chariots, i.e., the chariots tipped with iron, see at Joshua 17:16. - To this there is appended, in v. 20, the statement that "they gave Hebron unto Caleb," etc., which already occurred in Joshua 15:13-14, and was there explained; and also in Judges 1:12 the remark, that the Benjaminites did not drive out the Jebusite who dwelt in Jerusalem, which is so far in place here, that it shows, on the one hand, that the children of Judah did not bring Jerusalem into the undisputed possession of the Israelites through this conquest, and, on the other hand, that it was not their intention to diminish the inheritance of Benjamin by the conquest of Jerusalem, and they had not taken the city for themselves. For further remarks, see at Judges 1:8.

The hostile attacks of the other tribes upon the Canaanites who remained in the land are briefly summed up in Judges 1:22-36. Of these the taking of Bethel is more fully described in Judges 1:22-26. Besides this, nothing more is given than the list of the towns in the territories of western Manasseh (Judges 1:27, Judges 1:28), Ephraim (Judges 1:29), Zebulun (Judges 1:30), Asher (Judges 1:31, Judges 1:32), Naphtali (Judges 1:33), and Dan (Judges 1:34, Judges 1:35), out of which the Canaanites were not exterminated by these tribes. Issachar is omitted; hardly, however, because that tribe made no attempt to disturb the Canaanites, as Bertheau supposes, but rather because none of its towns remained in the hands of the Canaanites.

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