1: The lot - For the general understanding of this, it must be known
2: The bay - Heb. the tongue: either a creek or arm of that sea; or a promontory, which by learned authors is sometimes called a tongue. Every sea is salt, but this had an extraordinary saltness, the effect of that fire and brimstone which destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah: the ruins of which lie buried at the bottom of this dead water, which never was moved itself by any tides, nor had any living thing in it.
5: The end of Jordan - That is, the place where Jordan runs into the salt - sea.
6: The stone of Bohan - A place so called, not from Bohan's dwelling there, (for the Reubenites had no portion on this side Jordan) but from some notable exploit which he did there, though it is not recorded in scripture.
8: Went up - Properly; for the line went from Jordan and the salt sea, to the higher grounds nigh Jerusalem; and therefore the line is said to go down, (Jos 18:16), because there it takes a contrary course, and goes downward to Jordan and the sea. Valley of Hinnom - A very pleasant place, but afterward made infamous. Of the Jebusites - Of the city of the Jebusites, which was anciently called Jebussi. Jerusalem - It may seem hence, that Jerusalem properly, or at least principally, belonged to Benjamin; and yet it is ascribed to Judah also; either because a part of the city was allotted to Judah; or because the Benjamites desired the help and conjunction of this powerful tribe of Judah, for the getting and keeping of this most important place. And when the Benjamites had in vain attempted to drive out the Jebusites, this work was at last done by the tribe of Judah, who therefore had an interest in it by the right of war; as Ziglag which belonged to the tribe of Simeon, being gotten from the Philistines by David, was joined by him to his tribe of Judah, (1Sa 27:6).
10: Mount Seir - Not that of Edom, but another so called from some resemblance it had to it.
13: He - Joshua. City of Arba - Or, Kirjath - arba. Not the city, which was the Levites, but the territory of it, (Jos 21:13).
14: Drove thence - That is, from the said territory, from their caves and forts in it. These giants having either recovered their cities, or defended themselves in the mountains. Three sons of Anak - Either the same who are mentioned, (Nu 13:33), and so they were long - lived men, such as mainly were in those times and places: or their sons, called by their father's names, which is very usual.
15: Debir - The same mentioned above, ver.(7). The name was Kirjath - sepher - This clause seems to be added to distinguish this from the other Debir subdued by Joshua, (Jos 10:38,39).
16: To wife - Which is to be understood with some conditions, as, if he were one who could marry her by God's law; and if she were willing; for though parents had a great power over their children, they could not force them to marry any person against their own wills. He might otherwise be an unfit and unworthy person; but this was a divine impulse, that Othniel's valour might be more manifest, and so the way prepared for his future government of the people, (Jdg 3:9).
18: As she came - Or, as she went, namely, from her father's house to her husband's, as the manner was. She moved him - She persuaded her husband, either,
19: A blessing - That is, a gift, as that word signifies,(Ge 33:11). A south land - That is, a dry land, much exposed to the south wind, which in those parts was very hot and drying, as coming from the deserts of Arabia. Springs of water - That is, a field, wherein are springs of water, which in that country were of great price; she begs a well moistened field, which also might give some relief to that which was dry and barren. Upper and nether springs - Or two fields, one above and the other below that south and dry ground which she complained of, that by this means it might be watered on both sides.
32: Twenty nine - Here are thirty seven or thirty eight cities named before; how then are they only reckoned twenty nine? There were only twenty nine of them, which either,
48: The mountains - That is, in the higher grounds called mountains or hills, in comparison of the sea - coast.
55: Ziph - Which gave its name to the neighbouring mountains,(1Sa 26:1).
62: City of salt - So called either from the salt sea, which was near it; or from the salt which was made in, or about it.
63: Inhabitants of Jerusalem - For though Jerusalem was in part taken by Joshua before this; yet the upper and stronger part of it, called Zion, was still kept by the Jebusites, even until David's time; and it seems from thence they descended to the lower town called Jerusalem, and took it so that the Israelites were forced to win it a second time; yea, and a third time also: for afterwards it was possessed by the Jebusites, (Jdg 19:11,2Sa 5:6,7). Could not drive them out - Namely, because of their unbelief, as Christ could do no mighty work, because of the peoples unbelief,(Mk 6:5,6,Mt 13:58), and because of their sloth, and cowardice, and wickedness, whereby they forfeited God's help. The children of Judah - The same things which are here said of the children of Judah, are said of the Benjamites, (Jdg 1:21). Hence ariseth a question, To which of the tribes Jerusalem belonged? It seems probable, that part of it, and indeed the greatest part, stood in the tribe of Benjamin; and hence this is mentioned in the list of their cities, and not in Judah's list; and part of it stood in Judah's share, even mount Moriah, on which the temple was built; and mount Sion, when it was taken from the Jebusites. To this day - When this book was written, whether in Joshua's life, which continued many years after the taking of Jerusalem; or after his death, when this clause was added by some other man of God. But this must be done before David's time, when the Jebusites were quite expelled, and their fort taken.
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