Joshua 13:9
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
from Aroer, which is on the edge of the Valley of the Arnon, and the city that is in the middle of the valley, and all the tableland of Medeba as far as Dibon;

King James Bible
From Aroer, that is upon the bank of the river Arnon, and the city that is in the midst of the river, and all the plain of Medeba unto Dibon;

American Standard Version
from Aroer, that is on the edge of the valley of the Arnon, and the city that is in the middle of the valley, and all the plain of Medeba unto Dibon;

Douay-Rheims Bible
From Aroer, which is upon the bank of the torrent Amen, and in the midst of the valley and all the plains of Medaba, as far as Dibon:

English Revised Version
from Aroer, that is on the edge of the valley of Arnon, and the city that is in the middle of the valley, and all the plain of Medeba unto Dibon;

Webster's Bible Translation
From Aroer that is upon the bank of the river Arnon, and the city that is in the midst of the river, and all the plain of Medeba to Dibon;

Joshua 13:9 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

All the circles of the Philistines (geliloth, circles of well-defined districts lying round the chief city). The reference is to the five towns of the Philistines, whose princes are mentioned in Joshua 13:3. "And all Geshuri:" not the district of Geshur in Peraea (Joshua 13:11, Joshua 13:13, Joshua 12:5; Deuteronomy 3:14), but the territory of the Geshurites, a small tribe in the south of Philistia, on the edge of the north-western portion of the Arabian desert which borders on Egypt; it is only mentioned again in 1 Samuel 27:8. The land of the Philistines and Geshurites extended from the Sichor of Egypt (on the south) to the territory of Ekron (on the north). Sichor (Sihor), lit. the black river, is not the Nile, because this is always called היאר (the river) in simple prose (Genesis 41:1, Genesis 41:3; Exodus 1:22), and was not "before Egypt," i.e., to the east of it, but flowed through the middle of the land. The "Sichor before Egypt" was the brook (Nachal) of Egypt, the Ῥινοκοροῦρα, the modern Wady el Arish, which is mentioned in Joshua 15:4, Joshua 15:47, etc., as the southern border of Canaan towards Egypt (see at Numbers 34:5). Ekron (Ἀρρακών, lxx), the most northerly of the five chief cities of the Philistines, was first of all allotted to the tribe of Judah (Joshua 15:11, Joshua 15:45), then on the further distribution it was given to Dan (Joshua 19:43); after Joshua's death it was conquered by Judah (Judges 1:18), though it was not permanently occupied. It is the present Akr, a considerable village in the plain, two hours to the south-west of Ramlah, and on the east of Jamnia, without ruins of any antiquity, with the exception of two old wells walled round, which probably belong to the times of the Crusaders (see Rob. Pal. iii. p. 23). "To the Canaanites is reckoned (the territory of the) five lords of the Philistines," i.e., it was reckoned as belonging to the land of Canaan, and allotted to the Israelites like all the rest. This remark was necessary because the Philistines were not descendants of Canaan (see at Genesis 10:14), but yet were to be driven out like the Canaanites themselves as being invaders of Canaanitish territory (cf. Deuteronomy 2:23). סרני, from סרן, the standing title of the princes of the Philistines (vid., Judges 3:3; Judges 16:5.; 1 Samuel 5:8), does not mean kings, but princes, and is interchangeable with שׂרים (cf. 1 Samuel 29:6 with 1 Samuel 29:4, 1 Samuel 29:9). At any rate, it was the native or Philistian title of the Philistine princes, though it is not derived from the same root as Sar, but is connected with seren, axis rotae, in the tropical sense of princeps, for which the Arabic furnishes several analogies (see Ges. Thes. p. 972).

The capitals of these five princes were the following. Azzah (Gaza, i.e., the strong): this was allotted to the tribe of Judah and taken by the Judaeans (Joshua 15:47; Judges 1:18), but was not held long. It is at the present time a considerable town of about 15,000 inhabitants, with the old name of Ghazzeh, about an hour from the sea, and with a seaport called Majuma; it is the farthest town of Palestine towards the south-west (see Rob. Pal. ii. pp. 374ff.; Ritter, Erdk. xvi. pp. 35ff.; Stark, Gaza, etc., pp. 45ff.). Ashdod (Ἄζωτος, Azotus): this was also allotted to the tribe of Judah (Joshua 15:46-47), the seat of Dagon-worship, to which the Philistines carried the ark (1 Samuel 5:1.). It was conquered by Uzziah (2 Chronicles 26:6), was afterwards taken by Tartan, the general of Sargon (Isaiah 20:1), and was besieged by Psammetichus for twenty-nine years (Herod. ii. 157). It is the present Esdud, a Mahometan village with about a hundred or a hundred and fifty miserable huts, upon a low, round, wooded height on the road from Jamnia to Gaza, two miles to the south of Jamnia, about half an hour from the sea (vid., Rob. i. p. 368). Ashkalon: this was conquered by the Judaeans after the death of Joshua (Judges 1:8-9); but shortly afterwards recovered its independence (vid., Judges 14:19; 1 Samuel 6:17). It is the present Askuln on the sea-shore between Gaza and Ashdod, five hours to the north of Gaza, with considerable and widespread ruins (see v. Raum. pp. 173-4; Ritter, xvi. pp. 69ff.). Gath (Γέθ): this was for a long time the seat of the Rephaites, and was the home of Goliath (Joshua 11:22; 1 Samuel 17:4, 1 Samuel 17:23; 2 Samuel 21:19.; 1 Chronicles 20:5.); it was thither that the Philistines of Ashdod removed the ark, which was taken thence to Ekron (1 Samuel 5:7-10). David was the first to wrest it from the Philistines (1 Chronicles 18:1). In the time of Solomon it was a royal city of the Philistines, though no doubt under Israelitish supremacy (1 Kings 2:39; 1 Kings 5:1). It was fortified by Rehoboam (2 Chronicles 11:8), was taken by the Syrians in the time of Joash (2 Kings 12:18), and was conquered again by Uzziah (2 Chronicles 26:6; Amos 6:2); but no further mention is made of it, and no traces have yet been discovered

(Note: According to the Onom. (s. v. Geth), it was a place five Roman miles from Eleutheropolis towards Diospolis, whereas Jerome (on Micah 1) says: "Gath was near the border of Judaea, and on the road from Eleutheropolis to Gaza; it is still a very large village;" whilst in the commentary on Jeremiah 25 he says: "Gath was near to and conterminous with Azotus," from which it is obvious enough that the situation of the Philistine city of Gath was altogether unknown to the Fathers. Hitzig and Knobel suppose the Βαιτογάβρα of Ptolemy (5:16, 6), Betogabri in Tab. Peuting. ix. e. (the Eleutheropolis of the Fathers, and the present Beit Jibrin, a very considerable ruin), to be the ancient Gath, but this opinion is only founded upon very questionable etymological combinations; whereas Thenius looks for it on the site of the present Deir Dubban, though without any tenable ground.)

(see Rob. ii. p. 420, and v. Raumer, Pal. pp. 191-2). "And the Avvites (Avvaeans) towards the south." Judging from Deuteronomy 2:23, the Avvim appear to have belonged to those tribes of the land who were already found there by the Canaanites, and whom the Philistines subdued and destroyed when they entered the country. They are not mentioned in Genesis 10:15-19 among the Canaanitish tribes. At the same time, there is not sufficient ground for identifying them with the Geshurites as Ewald does, or with the Anakites, as Bertheau has done. Moreover, it cannot be decided whether they were descendants of Ham or Shem (see Stark. Gaza, pp. 32ff.). מתּימן (from, or on, the south) at the commencement of Joshua 13:4 should be attached to Joshua 13:3, as it is in the Septuagint, Syriac, and Vulgate, and joined to העוּים (the Avvites). The Avvaeans dwelt to the south of the Philistines, on the south-west of Gaza. It gives no sense to connect with the what follows, so as to read "towards the south all the land of the Canaanites;" for whatever land to the south of Gaza, or of the territory of the Philistines, was still inhabited by Canaanites, could not possibly be called "all the land of the Canaanites." If, however, we were disposed to adopt the opinion held by Masius and Rosenmller, and understand these words as relating to the southern boundaries of Canaan, "the possessions of the king of Arad and the neighbouring petty kings who ruled in the southern extremity of Judaea down to the desert of Paran, Zin, Kadesh," etc., the fact that Arad and the adjoining districts are always reckoned as belonging to the Negeb would at once be decisive against it (compare Joshua 15:21. with Joshua 10:40; Joshua 11:16, also Numbers 21:1). Moreover, according to Joshua 10:40, Joshua 10:21, and Joshua 11:16-17, Joshua had smitten the whole of the south of Canaan from Kadesh-barnea to Gaza and taken it; so that nothing remained unconquered there, which could possibly have been mentioned in this passage as not yet taken by the Israelites. For the fact that the districts, which Joshua traversed so victoriously and took possession of, were not all permanently held by the Israelites, does not come into consideration here at all. If the author had thought of enumerating all these places, he would have had to include many other districts as well.

Beside the territory of the Philistines on the south-west, there still remained to be taken (Joshua 13:4, Joshua 13:5) in the north, "all the land of the Canaanites," i.e., of the Phoenicians dwelling on the coast, and "the caves which belonged to the Sidonians unto Aphek." Mearah (the cave) is the present Mugr Jezzin, i.e., cave of Jezzin, on the east of Sidon, in a steep rocky wall of Lebanon, a hiding-place of the Druses at the present time (see at Numbers 34:8; also F. v. Richter, Wallfahrten in Morgenland, p. 133). Aphek, or Aphik, was allotted to the tribe of Asher (Joshua 19:30; Judges 1:31); it was called Ἄφακα by the Greeks; there was a temple of Venus there, which Constantine ordered to be destroyed, on account of the licentious nature of the worship (Euseb. Vita Const. iii. 55). It is the present Afka, a small village, but a place of rare beauty, upon a terrace of Lebanon, near the chief source of the river Adonis (Nahr Ibrahim), with ruins of an ancient temple in the neighbourhood, surrounded by groves of the most splendid walnut trees on the north-east of Beirut (see O. F. v. Richter, pp. 106-7; Rob. Bibl. Res. p. 663; and V. de Velde, Reise. ii. p. 398). "To the territory of the Amorites:" this is obscure. We cannot imagine the reference to be to the territory of Og of Bashan, which was formerly inhabited by Amorites, as that did not extend so far north; and the explanation given by Knobel, that farther north there were not Canaanites, but Amorites, who were of Semitic origin, rests upon hypotheses which cannot be historically sustained.

Joshua 13:9 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Aroer

Joshua 13:16 And their coast was from Aroer, that is on the bank of the river Arnon, and the city that is in the middle of the river...

Joshua 12:2 Sihon king of the Amorites, who dwelled in Heshbon, and ruled from Aroer, which is on the bank of the river Arnon...

Deuteronomy 3:12,16 And this land, which we possessed at that time, from Aroer, which is by the river Arnon, and half mount Gilead, and the cities thereof...

all the plain

Numbers 21:30 We have shot at them; Heshbon is perished even to Dibon, and we have laid them waste even to Nophah, which reaches to Medeba.

Isaiah 15:2 He is gone up to Bajith, and to Dibon, the high places, to weep: Moab shall howl over Nebo, and over Medeba...

Jeremiah 48:18,22 You daughter that do inhabit Dibon, come down from your glory, and sit in thirst; for the spoiler of Moab shall come on you...

Cross References
Deuteronomy 2:36
From Aroer, which is on the edge of the Valley of the Arnon, and from the city that is in the valley, as far as Gilead, there was not a city too high for us. The LORD our God gave all into our hands.

Joshua 13:8
With the other half of the tribe of Manasseh the Reubenites and the Gadites received their inheritance, which Moses gave them, beyond the Jordan eastward, as Moses the servant of the LORD gave them:

Joshua 13:10
and all the cities of Sihon king of the Amorites, who reigned in Heshbon, as far as the boundary of the Ammonites;

Joshua 13:16
So their territory was from Aroer, which is on the edge of the Valley of the Arnon, and the city that is in the middle of the valley, and all the tableland by Medeba;

2 Samuel 24:5
They crossed the Jordan and began from Aroer, and from the city that is in the middle of the valley, toward Gad and on to Jazer.

1 Chronicles 19:7
They hired 32,000 chariots and the king of Maacah with his army, who came and encamped before Medeba. And the Ammonites were mustered from their cities and came to battle.

Nehemiah 11:25
And as for the villages, with their fields, some of the people of Judah lived in Kiriath-arba and its villages, and in Dibon and its villages, and in Jekabzeel and its villages,

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