Lange’s Commentary on the Holy Scriptures – Judges (Vol. 1)》


HOMILETICAL AND PRACTICAL



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HOMILETICAL AND PRACTICAL

The cessation of perfect obedience is attended by the cessation of perfect victory. Benjamin does not expel the hostile Jebusite from Jerusalem because he has lost his first love. The tribes of Joseph, on the other hand, are able to conquer Bethel, because God is with them. Benjamin, the valiant tribe, is alone to blame, if it failed to triumph; for when Bethel resisted the sons of Joseph, the latter were aided by a fortunate incident. Benjamin did not conquer Jerusalem; therefore, not the king out of Benjamin (Saul), but the ruler out of Judah (David), dwelt therein. However, it is of no avail to conquer by faith, unless it be also maintained in faith; for Bethel became after wards a Beth-aven, a House of Sin.

Starke: Ill got, ill spent; but that also which has been rightly got, is apt to be lost, if we make ourselves unworthy of the divine blessing, just as these places were again taken from the Israelites.

[Wordsworth: Here then was a happy opportunity for the man of Bethel; he might have dwelt with the men of Joseph at Bethel, and have become a worshipper of the true God, and have thus become a citizen forever of the heavenly Bethel, the house of God, which will stand forever. But.… he quits the house of God to propagate heathenism and idolatry. The man of Bethel, therefore, is presented to us in this Scripture as a specimen of that class of persons, who help the Church of God in her work from motives of fear, or of worldly benefit, and not from love of God; and who, when they have opportunities of spiritual benefit, slight those opportunities, and even shun the light, and go away from Bethel, the house of God, as it were, unto some far-off land of the Hittites, and build there a heathen Luz of their own.—The same: There are four classes of persons, whose various conduct toward the Church of God, and to the gospel preached by her, is represented by four cases in the Books of Joshua and Judges; namely,—1. There is this case of the man of Bethel2. There is the case of the Kenites, in Judges 1:16, who helped Judah after their victories in Canaan, and are received into fellowship with them3. There is the case of the Gibeonites, who came to Joshua from motives of fear, and were admitted to dwell with Israel, as hewers of wood and drawers of water4. There is the case of Rahab. She stands out in beautiful contrast to the man of Bethel. He helped the spies of Joseph, and was spared, with his household, but did not choose to live in their Bethel. But Rahab received the spies of Joshua, even before he had gained a single victory, and she professed her faith in their God; and she was spared, she and her household, and became a mother in Israel, an ancestress of Christ (see Joshua 6:25).—Tr.]



Footnotes:

FN#65 - Judges 1:21.—The ו would be better taken adversitively: But. It contrasts the conduct of Benjamin with that of Caleb, Judges 1:20.—Tr.]

FN#66 - Judges 1:21.—Cf. note2, on Judges 1:16; Judges 1:3 on Judges 1:29.—Tr.]

FN#67 - Judges 1:22.—גַּם־הֵם looks back to Judges 1:3 ff. and intimates a parallelism between the conduct of the House of Joseph and that of Judah and his brother Simeon.—Tr.]

FN#68 - Judges 1:23.—Dr. Cassel apparently supplies מָבוֹא from the next verse. תּוּר, it is true, is usually followed by the accusative, not by בּ. But on the other hand, מָבוֹא is put in the const. state before עִיר (cf. Judges 1:24-25); whereas, if we supply it here, we must suppose it joined to עִיר by means of a preposition. It is as well, therefore, to say, with Bertheau, that “the verb is connected with בְּ because the spying is to fasten itself, and that continuously, upon Bethel, cf. בְּ with רָאָה and הִרְאָה;” or with Bachmann, that “בְּ indicates the hostile character of the spying.” מָבוֹא is used as a general expression for any way or mode of access into the city: “Show us how to get in,” is the demand of the spies.—Tr.]

FN#69 - Ant. v2, Judges 2 : Χαλεπὴ δ̓ ἦν καθύπερθεν αὐτοῖς αἱρεῆναι, etc.

FN#70 - Already by Reland, Palæstina, p841.

FN#71 - Robinson, Bibl. Res. i448.

FN#72 - Kaftor ve Pherach (Berlin edition), Judges 11. pp47, 48. Cf. Zunz, in Asher’s Benj. of Tudela, ii436.

FN#73 - Ishak Chelo in Carmoly, pp249, 250.

FN#74 - The German traitor Segestes merely alleges that he follows higher reasons, although he knows that “proditores etiam iis quos anteponunt invisi sunt.” Tacit, Annal. i58, 2. Israel saw the hand of a higher Helper in such assistance; and hence it had no hatred toward the instruments

FN#75 - Ephialtes was the traitor of Thermopylæ, cf. Herod, vii213. Traditions are still current of a traitor at Jena (1806), who was obliged to flee into exile.

FN#76 - That Isaiah, where this people is spoken of under the plural form of its patronymic, which happens only five times—at Judges 1:26, 2 Chronicles 1:17, and the places named in the text.—Tr.]

FN#77 - Phönizier, ii2, 213, etc.

FN#78 - I have already directed attention to this in the Mag Alterthümer (Berlin, 1848), p281.

FN#79 - Cf. ἀκτή, Cos (the island Cos), cautes, costa, côte, Küste.

FN#80 - The Sept. constantly (with barely two exceptions) translate תְּבֵלֶת by ν̔ακίνθινος. Cf. Ad. Schmidt, Die griechischen Papyrusurkunden (Berlin, 1842), p134.

FN#81 - Cf. Ritter, xvii1577. [Thomson, Journey from Aleppo to Mt. Lebanon, in Bibliotheca Sacra, vol. v. p667.—Tr.]

FN#82 - Cf. Bochart, Hierozoicon, ii740. Aruch (ed. Amsteld.) p89, s. v. כלבום.

FN#83 - On this and the following notices, which will be more thoroughly treated in the second part of my Hierozoicon, compare meanwhile, Ælian, Hist. Anim. V. cap. viii, cap. x49.

FN#84 - Cf. Ritter, xvii1010.

FN#85 - Casaubon, on Athenæus, p65.

FN#86 - Athenæus, p52; ct. Meursius, Cyprus, p30.

Verses 27-36



A list of places in the central and northern tribes from which the Canaanites were not driven out. The tribes when strong, make the Canaanites tributary; when weak, are content to dwell in the midst of them

Judges 1:27-36

27Neither did [And][FN87] Manasseh [did not] drive out the inhabitants of Beth-shean and her towns [daughter-cities], nor Taanach and her towns [daughter-cities], nor the inhabitants of Dor and her towns [daughter-cities], nor the inhabitants of Ibleam and her towns [daughter-cities], nor the inhabitants of Megiddo and her towns [daughter-cities]; but the Canaanites would dwell [consented to dwell] in that land 28 And it came to pass when Israel was strong, that they put the Canaanites to tribute [made the Canaanites tributary], and [but] did not utterly drive them out 29 Neither[FN88] did Ephraim drive out the Canaanites that dwelt in Gezer; but the Canaanites 30 dwelt in Gezer among[FN89] them. Neither[FN90] did Zebulun drive out the inhabitants of Kitron, nor the inhabitants of Nahalol; but the Canaanites dwelt among them, and became tributaries 31 Neither did Asher drive out the inhabitants of Accho, nor the inhabitants of Zidon, nor of Ahlab, nor of Achzib, nor of Helbah, nor of Aphik, nor of Rehob: 32But the Asherites dwelt among the Canaanites, the inhabitants of the land: for they did not drive them out 33 Neither did Naphtali drive out the inhabitants of Beth-shemesh, nor the inhabitants of Beth-anath; but he dwelt among the Canaanites, the inhabitants of the land: nevertheless, [and] the inhabitants of Beth-shemesh and of Beth-anath became tributaries [were tributary] unto them 34 And the Amorites forced [crowded][FN91] the children [sons] of Dan into the mountain [mountains]: for they would not suffer them to come down to the valley: But [And] the Amorite would dwell [consented to dwell] in mount Heres [,] in Aijalon, and in Shaalbim: yet [and] the hand of the house of Joseph prevailed [became powerful], so that [and] they became tributaries [tributary]. 36And the coast [border] of the Amorites was [went] from the going up to Akrabbim, from the rock, and upwards [from Maahleh Akrabbim, and from Sela and onward].



TEXTUAL AND GRAMMATICAL

[ Judges 1:27.—So Dr. Cassel. But the position of the verb at the beginning of the sentence suggests a contrast with what precedes: the House of Joseph took Luz; but drive out the inhabitants of Beth-shean Manasseh (a member of the House of Joseph) did not do. Cf. next note.—Tr.]

[ Judges 1:29.—The ו here connects Ephraim with Prayer of Manasseh, Judges 1:27 : Ephraim also was guilty of not driving out.—Tr.]

[ Judges 1:29.—בְּקִרְבּוֹ: lit. “in the midst of them.” Cf. Judges 1:16; Judges 1:21; Judges 1:30; Judges 1:32-33.—Tr.]

[ Judges 1:30.—The “neither” ought to be omitted here and also in Judges 1:31; Judges 1:33. Manasseh and Ephraim are coupled together, cf. notes1,2; but from this point each tribe is treated separately: “Zebulun did not drive out,” etc.—Tr.]

[ Judges 1:34.—וַיִּלְחֲצוּ: to press, to push. From this word Bachm. infers that Dan had originally taken more of his territory than he now held.—Tr.]



EXEGETICAL AND DOCTRINAL

Judges 1:27. And Manasseh did not drive out. The conquest of Luz was achieved by the two brother tribes conjointly. With the exception of this place, the lands allotted to them had for the most part been already conquered by Joshua. The portion of the half tribe of Manasseh lay about the brook Kanah (Nahr el-Akhdar).[FN92] A few cities, however, south of this brook, which fell to Ephraim, were made good to Manasseh by certain districts included within the borders of Asher and Issachar. This explains why Manasseh did not drive out the inhabitants of these districts. There were six townships of them, constituting three several domains, each of them inclosed in the lands of another tribe (שְׁלשֶׁת הַנּפֶת, Joshua 17:11). The first of these was Beth-shean to the east; the second, the three cities Megiddo, Taanach, and Ibleam; the third, Dor on the sea-coast. The two former were inclosed within the tribe of Issachar; the latter should have belonged to the tribe of Asher. The districts thus given to Manasseh were valuable. Beth-shean (Greek, Scythopolis, at present Beisân) occupies an important position, and has a fertile soil. It formed a connecting link between the two seas, as also between the territories east and west of the Jordan, and was a precious oasis[FN93] in the Ghôr, the desert-like valley of this stream. It was an important place in both ancient and later times. Esthor ha Parchi, the highly intelligent Jewish traveller of the 14 th century, who made tins place the central point of his researches, says of it: “It is situated near rich waters, a blessed, glorious land, fertile as a garden of God, as a gate of Paradise” (Berlin ed, pp1, 6; cf. Zunz in Asher’s Benj. of Tudela, ii401). The situation of the three cities Megiddo, Taanach, and Ibleam, in the noble plain of Jezreel, was equally favorable. Concerning the first, it is to be considered as established that it answers to the old Legio, the modern Lejjûn (Rob. ii328; iii118); although I am not of the opinion that the name Legio, first mentioned by Eusebius and Jerome, is etymologically derived from Megiddo. It appears much more likely that Lejjûn was an ancient popular mutilation of Megiddo, which subsequently in the time of the Romans became Latinized into Legio. Taanach is confessedly the present Ta’annuk (Schubert’s Reise, iii164; Rob. ii316, iii117). The more confidently mway I suggest the neighboring Jelameh as the site of Ibleam, although not proposed as such by these travellers.[FN94] Robinson reached this place from Jenîn, in about one hour’s travel through a fine country (Bib. Res. ii318 ff.). Dor[FN95] is the well-known Dandûra, Tantûra, of the present day, on the coast (Ritter, xvi608, etc. [Gage’s transl. iv278]). Joshua 17:11 names Endor also, of which here nothing is said. The same passage affirms that “the sons of Manasseh could not (לאֹ יָכְלוּ) drive out the inhabitants.” Evidently, Manasseh depended for the expulsion of the inhabitants of these cities upon the coöperation of Issachar, by whose territory they were inclosed. The example of the tribes of Judah and Simeon, the latter of whom was entirely surrounded by the former, does not seem to have been imitated. Issachar is the only tribe concerning which our chapter gives no information. But since in the case of all the tribes, except Judah, only those cities are here enumerated out of which the Canaanites had not been expelled, the inference is that Issachar had done his part, and that the cities within his limits which did not expel their inhabitants, were just those which belonged to Manasseh. The statement that in Beth-shean, Megiddo, Taanach, and Ibleam the Canaanite remained, included therefore also all that was to be said about Issachar, and rendered further mention unnecessary. Issachar possessed the magnificent Plain of Jezreel (μέγα πέδιον), and was on that account an agricultural, peaceable, solid tribe.

And the Canaanite consented to continue to dwell. Wherever ויּוֹאֶל occurs, it seems necessary to take it as expressing acquiescence in offered proposals and conditions. In this sense it is to be taken Exodus 2:21, where Moses consents to enter into the family of Jethro. Upon the proposals made by Micah to the Levite ( Judges 17:11), the latter consents to remain with him. David willingly acquiesces in the proposal to wear the armor of Saul, but finds himself as yet unaccustomed to its use. Manasseh was too weak to expel the inhabitants of these cities. He therefore came to an understanding with them. He proposed that they should peaceably submit themselves. Unwilling to leave the fine country which they occupied, and seeing that all the Canaanites round about had been overpowered, they acceded to the proposition.

Judges 1:28. When Israel was strong, they made the Canaanite tributary. The narrator generalizes what he has said of Prayer of Manasseh, and applies it to all Israel. The Canaanite, wherever he was not driven out, but “consented” to remain, was obliged to pay tribute. This lasted, of course, only so long as Israel had strength enough to command the respect of the subject people. Similar relations between conquerors and conquered are of frequent occurrence in history. The inhabitants of Sparta, the Periæki, were made tributary by the victorious immigrant Dorians, and even after many centuries, when Epaminondas threatened Sparta, were inclined to make common cause with the enemy (Manso, Sparta, iii. i167). According to Mohammedan law, the unbeliever who freely submits himself, retains his property, but is obliged to pay poll-tax and ground-rent (cf. Tornauv, Das Mosl. Recht, p51). When the Saxons had vanquished the Thuringian nobility, and were not sufficiently numerous to cultivate the land, “they let the peasantry remain,” says the Sachsenspiegel (iii44), and took rent from them (cf. Eichhorn, Deutsche Staats und Rechtsg., § 15). The treatment which the Israelitish tribes now extended to the Canaanites, was afterwards, in the time of their national decay, experienced by themselves (cf. my History of the Jews in Ersch & Gruber, II. xxvii7, etc.). The word מַם, by which the tribute imposed is designated, evidently means ground-rent, and is related to the Sanskrit mâdmetior, to measure. Another expression for this form of tribute is the Chaldee מִדָּה ( Ezra 4:20), for which elsewhere מִנְדָּה appears ( Ezra 4:13). The Midrash (Ber. Rabba, p57, a), therefore, rightly explains the latter as מִדַּת הָאָרֶץ, ground-rent. The terms mensura and mensuraticum, in mediæval Latin, were formed in a similar manner. The Arabic כרגֹ, Talmudic כרגה, also, as Hammer observes (Länderverwalt des Chalifats, p119), mean tribute and corn.[FN96]



[But did not drive them out. Bertheau: “וְהוֹרֵישׁ לאֹ־הוֹרִישׁוֹ: the emphatic expression by means of the infinitive before the finite verb, we regard as indicative of an implied antithesis; but, although Israel, when it became strong, had the power to execute the law of Moses to destroy the Canaanites, it nevertheless did not destroy them.”—Tr.]

Judges 1:29. And Ephraim did not drive out the Canaanite that dwelt in Gezer. The situation of Gezer may be exactly determined from Joshua 16:3. The border of Ephraim proceeds from Lower Beth-horon, by way of Gezer, to the sea. Now, since the position of Beth-horon is well ascertained (Beit ’Ur et-Tatha), the border, running northwest, past Ludd, which belonged to Benjamin, must have touched the sea to the north of Japho, which likewise lay within the territory of Benjamin. On this line, four or five miles east of Joppa, there still exists a place called Jesôr (Jazour Yazûr), which can be nothing else than Gezer, although Bertheau does not recognize it as such (p41; nor Ritter, xvi127 [Gage’s Transl. iii245]). It is not improbable that it is the Gazara of Jerome (p137, ed. Parthey), in quarto milliario Nicopoleos contra septentrionem, although the distance does not appear to be accurately given. The Ganzur of Esthor ha-Parchi (ii434), on the contrary, is entirely incorrect. The position of Gezer enables us also to see why Ephraim did not drive out the inhabitants. The place was situated in a fine, fertile region. It is still surrounded by noble corn-fields and rich orchards. The agricultural population of such fruitful regions were readily permitted to remain for the sake of profit, especially by warlike tribes who had less love and skill for such peaceful labors than was possessed by Issachar.

Judges 1:30. Zebulon did not drive out the inhabitants of Kitron nor the inhabitants of Nahalol. This statement will only confirm the remarks just made. There is no reason for contradicting the Talmud (Megilla, 6 a), when it definitely identifies Kitron with the later Zippori, Sepphoris, the present Seffûrieh. As the present village still lies at the foot of a castle-crowned eminence, and as the Rabbinic name Zippori (Tsippori, from צִפּוֹר, “a bird, which hovers aloft”) indicates an elevated situation, the ancient name קִטְרוֹן (from עָטַר=קָטַר) may perhaps be supposed to describe the city as the “mountain-crown” of the surrounding district. The tribe of Zebulon, it is remarked in the Talmud, need not commiserate itself, since it has Kitron, that Isaiah, Sepphoris, a district rich in milk and honey. And in truth Seffûrieh does lie on the southern limit of the beautiful plain el-Buttauf, the present beauty and richness of which, as last noted by Robinson (ii336), must formerly have been much enhanced by cultivation. In connection with this, it will also be possible to locate Nahalol more definitely. Philologically, it is clearly to be interpreted “pasture” ( Isaiah 7:19). It answers perhaps to the later Abilîn, a place from which a wady somewhat to the northwest of Seffûrieh has its name. For this name comes from Abel, which also means pasture. This moreover suggests the explanation why from just these two places the Canaanites were not expelled. They both became tributary, and remained the occupants and bailiff’s of their pastures and meadows.

Judges 1:31-32. Asher did not drive out the inhabitants of Accho, Zidon, Ahlab, Achzib, Helbah, Aphik, Rehob. The whole history of Israel can be nothing else than a fulfilling of the spirit of the Mosaic law. The division of the land of Canaan is a part of this fulfillment. This division therefore cannot have respect only to the territory already acquired, but must proceed according to the promise. The boundaries of the land destined for Israel were indicated by Moses. The territories which they circumscribe must be conquered. Whatever part is not gained, the failure is the fault of Israel itself. The boundaries indicated, were the outlines of a magnificent country. Splendid coast-lands, stately mountains, wealthy agricultural districts, rich in varieties of products and beauty, inclosed by natural, boundaries. The whole sea-coast with its harbors—Phænicia not excepted—was included; the northeastern boundary was formed by the desert, and lower down by the river. The border lines of the land of Israel, drawn Numbers 34, are based upon the permanent landmarks which it offers; they are accurate geographical definitions, obtained from the wandering tribes of the land. It seems to me that it is only from this point of view that the hitherto frequently mistaken northern boundary of the land, as given Numbers 34:7-9, can be correctly made out. “And this shall be your north border,” it is there said: “from the great sea ye shall take Mount Hor as your landmark; thence follow the road as far as Hamath; and the border shall end in Zedad: thence it goes on to Ziphron,[FN97] and ends in Hazarenan.” The range of Mount Casius, whose southernmost prominence lifts itself up over Laodicea (the present Ladikieh), forms the natural northern boundary of Phænicia. This is the reason why on coins Laodicea was called אם בכנען, the “Beginning of Canaan,” as it might be translated. It is therefore also from the foot of this range that the northern boundary of Israel sets out. The name Mount Hor is simply the ancient equivalent of Mount Casius and also of the later Jebel Akra, which latter term furnishes a general designation for every mountain since the Greek Akra was explained by the Arabic Jebel. From the foot of this mountain ancient caravan roads (suggested by לְבאֹ חְמָת) lead to Hamath, and from Hamath to the desert. At present, as in the time of the geographer Ptolemy, who indicated their course, these roads pass over Zedad, at the western entrance of the desert, the modern Sudud (Ritter, xvi5 [Gage’s Transl. iii175]; xvii1443, etc.). Thence the border went southward till it ended in Hazar-enan, the last oasis, distinguished by fertile meadows and good water (Enan), where the two principal roads from Damascus and Haleb to Palmyra meet, and where the proper Syrian desert in which Palmyra (Tadmor) is situated begins. The name Cehere on the Tabula Peutingeriana, Zoaria (for the Goaria of Ptolemy), at present Carietein, Kuryetein (Ritter, xvii1457, etc.), may remind us of Hazor.

Tadmor itself did not lay beyond the horizon of Israelitish views. Whithersoever David and Solomon turned their steps, they moved everywhere within the circle of original claims. Israel was not to conquer in unbridled arbitrariness; they were to gain those districts which God had promised them. Conquest, with them, was fulfillment. The eastern border has the same natural character. From Hazar-enan it runs to Shepham, along the edge of the desert to Riblah (the present Ribleh) “on the east side of Ain” (Rob. iii534), along the range of Antilebanon, down the Jordan to the Dead Sea. These remarks it was necessary to make here where we must treat of the territories of Asher and Naphtali, the northwestern and northeastern divisions of Israel. For it must be assumed that Asher’s territory was considered to extend as far up as Mount Hor,—that the whole coast from Accho to Gabala was ascribed to him. This coast-region Asher was not sufficiently strong and numerous to command. The division of the land remained ideal nowhere more than in the case of the Phœnician cities. Nowhere, consequently, was the remark of Judges 1:32 more applicable: “the Asherite dwelt among the inhabitants of the land;” whereas elsewhere the Canaanites dwelt among Israel, though even that was against the Mosaic commands. Nor can it be supposed that the seven cities expressly named were the only ones out of which Asher did not expel the Canaanites. For who can think that this had been done in the case of Tyre, the “fortified city” ( Joshua 19:29)? The names are rather to be considered as those of townships and metropolitan cities, so that when Zidon is mentioned other cities to the south and north are included as standing under Sidonian supremacy. The express mention of Tyre, in Joshua 19:29, is due to the fact that the passage was giving the course of the boundaries. For the same reason, Joshua 19 is not a complete enumeration of places; for of the seven mentioned here, two at least (Accho and Ahlab) are wanting there. That Accho cannot have been accidentally overlooked, is evident from the fact that the border is spoken of as touching Carmel, and that mention is made of Achzib. The relation of Asher to the Phœnician territory was in general the following: A number of places ( Joshua 19:30 speaks of twenty two) had been wholly taken possession of by the tribe. Outside of these, the Asherites lived widely scattered among the inhabitants, making no attempts to drive them out. The seven cities mentioned above, especially those on the coast, are to be regarded as districts in which they dwelt along with the Canaanites. We have no reason for confining these to the south of Sidon. On the contrary, Esthor ha-Parchi (ii413–415) was right in maintaining that cities of the tribe of Asher must be acknowledged as far north as Laodicea. The statements in Joshua for the most part mention border-places of districts farther inland, in which the tribe dwelt, and from which the boundary line ran westward to the sea. Thus, at one time the line meandered (שָׁב) to Zidon ( Judges 19:28); then it came back, and ran toward Tyre ( Judges 1:29). Not till the words, “the ends were at the sea, מֵחֵבֶל אַכְזִיבָה,” do we get a sea-boundary from north to south. I translate this phrase, “from Chebel towards Achzib:” it includes the whole Phœnician tract. True, the whole enumeration implies that most of the places lay farther south than Zidon, in closer geographical connection with the rest of Israel. But places higher up are also named, for the very purpose of indicating the ideal boundaries. Among these are the places mentioned Judges 1:30, two of which again appear in our passage. Asher did not drive out the inhabitants of Accho (Ptolemais, the present Akka), but dwelt among them. To the north of this was Achzib (Ecdippa, the present Ezekiel -Zib). They dwelt with the inhabitants of Zidon in their dominion. They did not expel the inhabitants of Aphik (Apheca), on the Adonis river (Ritter, xvii553, etc.), notwithstanding the ancient idolatry there practiced, on account of which, evidently, it is mentioned. Rehob, since it is here named, must have been a not unimportant place. The Syrian translation of Rehob is פלטיתא,פלטיא, paltia, paltusa (platea[FN98]). This accounts for the fact that the Greeks and Romans speak of an ancient Paltos, otherwise unknown (Ritter, xvii890), and of which the present Beldeh may still remind us. Hitherto, this has escaped attention. It was remarked above that the sea-boundary is drawn, Joshua 19, “from Chebel to Achzib.” With this Chebel the חֶלְבָּה (Chelbah, E. V. Helbah), probably to be read חֶבְלָה (Cheblah), of our passage, may perhaps be identified. It is the Gabala of Strabo and Pliny, the Gabellum of the crusaders, the present Jebele, which lies to the north of Paltos, and below Laodicea, and in Phœnician times was the seat of the worship of the goddess Thuro (Ritter, xvii893; Movers, ii1, 117 ff.). There is but one of the seven cities of which we have not yet spoken, namely, Ahlab, named along with Achzib. It is very probable that this is Giscala, situated in the same latitude with Achzib, but farther inland. In Talmudic times the name of this place was Gush Chaleb; at present there is nothing but the modern name el-Jish to remind us of it.

Judges 1:33. Naphtali did not drive out the inhabitants of Beth-shemesh and Beth-anath. The names of both these places allude to an idolatrous worship, and are also found in the tribe of Judah. The name of Beth-anath (בֵּית עֲנָת), “House of Echo,” from עִנָה, “to answer,” indicates that its situation was that of the present Bâniâs, the ancient Paneas. The inscriptions on the grotto called Panium, still point to the echo. One of them is dedicated to the “echo-loving” (φιλενήχῳ) Pan. The love of Pan for the nymph Echo was a widely-spread myth. Another inscription tells of a man who dedicated a niche (κόγχην) to the Echo (Commentary on Seetzen’s Reisen, iv161, 162). The introduction in Greek times of Pan worship in Bâniâs, is moreover also explained by the fact that the name Bethanas (th), required only an easy popular corruption to make it Paneas Robinson (Bib. Res. iii409) has again taken up the view, already rejected by Ritter (xvii229), which identifies Paneas with the repeatedly occurring Baal-gad, and which on closer inspection is simply impossible. Joshua 11:17 says of Baal-gad that it lay in the Bikath (בִּקְעַת) Lebanon, under Mount Hermon. Joshua 12:7 speaks of it simply as Baal-gad in the Bikath Lebanon. The valley thus spoken of is none other than the Buka’a, i.e. “Hollow Syria.” There is no other hollow region that could be thus indicated. The further determination tachath har Chermon indicates, quite consistently with the meaning of tachath, which frequently combines the signification of “behind” with that of “under,” the Lebanon valley behind Mount Hermon, i.e. on the northern base of Hermon, for on its southern base there can be no Lebanon valley. This alone would suffice to transfer Baal-gad to the Buka’a. But in Joshua 13:5 a Lebanon is spoken of “east of Baal-gad under Mount Hermon.” Now, a Lebanon east of Baal-gad there can be only if Baal-gad lies in the Buka’a; and there being a Lebanon on the east, only the northern base of Mount Hermon can be meant by the phrase “under Mount Hermon” (cf. below, on Judges 3:3). Now, although there ought to be no doubt that Baal-gad lay in the “Hollow,” yet, the addition “under Mount Hermon” cannot have been made without a reason. It was intended to distinguish Baal-gad from Baal-bek, which latter, since it lies in the northern part of the Buka’a, could not properly be said to lie on the northern base of Hermon. We scarcely need to hesitate, therefore, to recognize in Baal-gad the position of the later Chalcis (d Libanuma) whose site is marked by fountains and temple-ruins. “The temple which stands on the summit of the northernmost hill, belongs evidently to an older and severer style of architecture than those at Baalbek. Its position is incomparable” (Ritter, xvii185; Hob. iii492, etc.).

Besides the inhabitants of Beth-anath, the tribe of Naphtali failed to drive out those of Beth-shemesh also. There was a celebrated place of the same name in Judah, and still another, unknown one in Issachar. Concerning the tribe of Naphtali also the remark is made that they dwelt among the Canaanites, the inhabitants of the land. Their assigned boundaries likewise went far up to the north. They inclosed Cœlo-Syria, as was already remarked. The peculiar mode in which Beth-shemesh is here spoken of, along with Beth-anath, is doubtless intended to point it out as a remarkable seat of idol worship, whose people nevertheless Israel did not expel, but only rendered tributary. The most celebrated place of the north was the temple-city in the “Hollow,”—Beth-shemesh, as later Syrian inhabitants still called it,—Baalbek as we, following the prevailing usage of its people, Heliopolis as the Greeks, named it. The Egyptian Heliopolis also bore the name Beth-shemesh, House of the Sun. Baalbek answers to the name Baalath,[FN99] to which, as to Tadmor, Solomon extended his wisdom and his architecture.

Judges 1:34-35. And the Amorite crowded the sons of Dan into the mountains. The domains of the tribe of Dan lay alongside of those of Benjamin, between Judah on the south and Ephraim on the north. They should have reached to the sea; but the warlike dwellers on the western plain, provided with the appliances of military art, had resisted even Judah. The plain which we are here told the sons of Dan could not take, seems to have been the magnificent and fertile Merj Ibn Omeir, which opens into the great western plain. This may be inferred from the remark in Judges 1:35 : “The Amorite consented to remain on Mount Heres, in Aijalon, and in Shaalbim.” This plain, as Robinson (iii144) accurately observes, reaches to the base of the steep mountain wall, on the top of which Sàris is the first place met with. It must be this mountain land that is meant by Mount Heres. Southward of it is the ridge on which Yâlo lies, which is justly considered to be the ancient Aijalon. Perhaps no place answers more closely to the Shaalbim of our passage, than Amwâs (Emmaus, Nicopolis), twenty minutes distant from the conical Tell Latrôn. It is evident that שַׁעַלְבִיםhas nothing to do with שׁוּעָל, “fox,” but belongs to the Chaldaic שְׁלַכ, “to connect,” שְׁלַב, “steps,”[FN100] to which the Hebrew עָנַב corresponds The position of Amwâs is “on the gradual declivity of a rocky hill,” with an extensive view of the plain (Bob. iii146), “where,” as Jerome says, “the mountains of Judah begin to rise.” When Jerome speaks of a tower called Selebi, he probably refers to the neighboring castle Latrôn.

The sons of Dan were not only unable to command the plain, but also on some points of the hill-country they suffered the inhabitants to remain. Har Heres (הַר חֶרֶם) means the “mountain of the Sun;” but the attempts to bring its position into connection with Ain Shems cannot succeed, since that lies much farther south, in the valley. Heres was the name of the mountain chain which at Beth-horon enters the territory of Ephraim, and on which Joshua was buried. Possibly, the name Sârîs or Soris contains a reminiscence of it. This explains the remark, that “the hand of the sons of Joseph became powerful and made the Amorites tributary.” That which was impossible for the tribe of Daniel, Ephraim from their own mountains performed.[FN101]



Judges 1:36. The border of the Amorite remained from the Scorpion-terrace, from Sela and onward. This peculiar statement is explained by the composition of the whole tableau presented by the first chapter. It had been unfolded how far the tribes of Israel had performed the task appointed by Moses, by taking the territories whose borders he had indicated. For this reason, it had been stated concerning all the tribes, what they had not yet taken, or had not yet wholly nationalized. Neither the eastern, nor the northern and western boundaries had been hitherto fully realized. Only the southern border had been held fast. This line, as drawn Numbers 34:3 ff, actually separated Israel and the heathen nations. Judges 1:36, Isaiah, as it were, a citation from the original Mosaic document. After beginning the sentence by saying “and the border of the Amorite went from Akrabbim and Sela,” it is brought to a sudden close by the addition וְמַעְלָה, “and onward, because it is taken for granted that the further course of the border to the “Brook of Egypt” is known from the determinations of Moses as recorded in Numbers. There it was said, “Your border shall go to the south of Maaleh Akrabbim (at the southern extremity of the Dead Sea), pass through Zin, and its end shall be to the south of Kadesh-barnea.” Here, the statement is somewhat

more exact, inasmuch as the border is prolonged from Akrabbim eastward to Sela, i.e. Petra. From Akrabbim westward it proceeds along the already indicated route, over Kadesh-barnea, Hazar-addar, and Azmon, to the “Brook of Egypt” (Wady el-Arîsh, Rhinocorura). This course the writer deemed sufficiently indicated by the words “and onward.”[FN102]




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