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The conquests made by Judah and Simeon, ver. 1 - 20.
Benjamin failed, ver. 21.
The house of Joseph took Bethel, ver. 22 - 26.
But Manasseh did not drive out the Canaanites, ver. 27, 28.
Nor Ephraim, ver. 29.
Nor Zebulun, ver. 30.
Nor Asher, ver. 31, 32.
Nor Naphtali, ver. 33.
Nor Dan, ver. 34 - 36.
1: After the death - Not long after it; for Othniel, the first
judge, lived in Joshua's time. Asked the Lord - Being assembled
together at Shiloh, they enquired of the high - priest by the Urim and
the Thummim. Against the Canaanites first - Finding their people
multiply exceedingly, and consequently the necessity of enlarging their
quarters, they renew the war. They do not enquire who shall be captain
general to all the tribes; but what tribe shall first undertake the
expedition, that by their success the other tribes may be encouraged to
make the like attempt upon the Canaanites in their several lots.
2: Judah - The tribe of Judah is chosen for the first enterprise,
because they were both most populous, and so most needing enlargement; and
withal most valiant, and therefore most likely to succeed: for God chooseth
fit means for the work which he designs. Moreover the Canaanites were
numerous and strong in those parts, and therefore to be suppressed, before
they grew too strong for them.
3: To Simeon - As nearest to him both by relation, being his brother
by both parents, and by habitation. The Canaanites - Specially so called,
because they are distinguished from the Perizzites, ver.(4).
4: In Bezek - Not in the city, for that was not yet taken,
ver.(5), but in the territory of it.
5: Adoni - bezek - The lord or king of Bezek; as his name signifies.
In Bezek - Whither he fled when he lost the field.
Against him - That is, against the city wherein he had encamped himself,
and the rest of his army.
6: Great toes - And this they did, either by the direction of God,
or upon notice of his former tyranny and cruelty.
7: Threescore and ten - Which is not strange in those times and
places. For it is well known, that anciently each ruler of a city, or great
town, was called a king, and had kingly power in that place; and many
such kings we meet with in Canaan: and it is probable, that some years
before, kings were more numerous there, 'till the greater devoured many of
the less. Under my table - An act of barbarous inhumanity thus to insult
over the miserable, joined with abominable luxury.
8: And took - Yet some of the inhabitants retired into the castle,
and held out there 'till David's time.
10: Judah went - Under the conduct of Caleb, as is recorded,(Jos 15:14), &c., for that relation, and this, are doubtless one
and the same expedition, and it is mentioned there by anticipation.
16: Moses's father - in - law - That is, of Jethro, so called from
the people whom he descended, (Nu 24:21,22). And, whatsoever he did,
it is evident, that his posterity came into Canaan with the
Israelites, and were there seated with them, see (Jdg 4:11,17)(Jdg 5:24,1Sa 15:6,1Ch 2:1-55).
City of palm - trees - That is, from Jericho, so called, (De 34:3),
not the city which was destroyed, but the territory belonging to it, where
it seems they were seated, in a most pleasant, and fruitful, and safe place,
according to the promise made by Moses to their father,(Nu 10:29-32), and whence they might remove, either to avoid the
neighboring Canaanites; or out of love to the children of Judah.
South of Arad - In the southern part of the land of Canaan, where
Arad was, (Nu 21:1).
They went - That is some of them, for others of them dwelt in a contrary
quarter, in the most northern part of the land. Among the people - Heb.
that people, namely, those children of Judah that lived there.
17: Judah went with Simeon - According to his promise, ver.(3),
and the laws of justice and gratitude. Hormah - Either,
- The same place so called, (Nu 21:3), and so what was there
vowed, is here executed: or,
- Some other place called by the same name upon the like occasion,
which was frequent among the Hebrews. This seems more probable.
18: Judah took - It is only said, they took the cities, and
probably contented themselves with making them tributary; but it is not said
that they slew the people, as they ought to have done; and as it is said of
the other cities here. And the people being thus spared, did by God's just
judgment recover their strength, and expel the Jews out of their cities.
It is farther observable, that Ekron here taken, was one of Dan's
cities, (Jos 19:43),
and it was taken here by Judah and Simeon, partly out of love for
their brother Dan, and partly to secure their new conquests, and other
adjoining territories, from such potent neighbours.
19: Could not drive - Because of their unbelief, whereby they
distrusted God's power to destroy those who had chariots of iron, and so
gave way to their own fear and sloth, whereby God was provoked to withdraw
his helping hand.
22: House of Joseph - That is, the tribe of Ephraim.
24: The entrance - On which side it is weakest, that we might best
invade and take it.
25: His family - Together with his estate, as the following verse
26: The Hittites - Where the Hittites seated themselves after
they were driven out of Canaan, which seems to be northward from
Canaan, and near upon it.
27: Manasseh - That is, that half of this tribe which dwelt in
29: In Gezer - Which they possessed 'till Solomon's time,(1Ki 9:16).
34: The valley - That is, into the plain country; which was the
occasion of that expedition for the getting new quarters, of which we read(Jos 19:47,48,Jdg 18:1-31).
35: House of Joseph - That is, of the Ephraimites, who helped
their brethren the Danites against the Amorites.
36: Akrabbim - Which was in the southern part of Canaan,(Jos 15:2,3), from whence it went up towards the north. This is added
to shew the great power and large extent of this people.