Directions concerning the bounds of Canaan, ver. 1 - 15.
Concerning the division of it, ver. 16 - 29.
2: Coasts - Or limits or bounds, to wit, of the land beyond
Jordan. Which are here particularly described,
to direct and bound them in their wars and conquests, that they might not
seek the enlargement of their empire, after the manner of other nations, but
be contented with their own portion.
To encourage them in their attempt upon Canaan, and assure them of
their success. There was a much larger possession promised them, if they
were obedient, even to the river Euphrates. But this, which is properly
Canaan, lay in a very little compass. 'Tis but about an hundred and
fifty miles in length, and about fifty in breadth. This was that little
spot of ground, in which alone for many ages God was known! But its
littleness was abundantly compensated by its fruitfulness: otherwise it
could not have sustained so numerous a nation. See, how little a share of
the world God often gives to his own people! But they that have their
portion in heaven, can be content with a small pittance of this earth.
3: Your fourth quarter - Which is here described from east to west
by divers windings and turnings, by reason of the mountains and rivers.
The salt sea - So called from the salt and sulphurous taste of its
waters. Eastward - That is, at the eastern part of that sea, where the
eastern and southern borders meet.
4: From the south - Or, on the south, that is, proceeding onward
towards the south. Azmon - Which is at the west - end of the mount of
5: The river of Egypt - Called Sihor, (Jos 13:3), which
divided Egypt from Canaan. The sea - The midland sea, called
the sea emphatically, whereas the other seas, as they are called, are
indeed but lakes.
6: The great sea - This midland sea from the south to the north, so
far as it runs parallel with mount Libanus.
7: Hor - Not that Hor where Aaron died, which was southward,
and bordering upon Edom, but another mountain, and, as it is conceived,
the mountain of Libanus, which is elsewhere mentioned as the northern
border of the land, and which, in regard of divers parts, or by divers
people, is called by divers names, and here Hor, which signifies a
mountain, by way of eminency.
17: Eleazar - Who was to act in God's name, to cast lots, to prevent
contentions, to consult with God in cases of difficulty, to transact the
whole business in a solemn and religious manner.
19: Judah - The order of the tribes is here different from that,(Nu 1:7,26), and in other places, being conformed to the order of their
several inheritances, which afterwards fell to them by lots. Which is an
evident demonstration of the infinite wisdom of God's providence, and of his
peculiar care over his people.