|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
15:20-63 Here is a list of the cities of Judah. But we do not here find Bethlehem, afterwards the city of David, and ennobled by the birth of our Lord Jesus in it. That city, which, at the best, was but little among the thousands of Judah, Mic 5:2, except that it was thus honoured, was now so little as not to be accounted one of the cities.
Verse 62. - The city of Salt. Probably near the valley of Salt (2 Samuel 8:13; 2 Kings 14:7; 1 Chronicles 18:12), which must have been near the border of Edom, and in close proximity to the Dead Sea (see note on Joshua 3:16). En-gedi. The "fountain of the kid." Here David took refuge from Saul (1 Samuel 24:1). This place, now Ain Jidy, is situated in "a plain or slope about a mile and a half in extent from north to south" (Tristram, 'Land of Israel,' p. 281). Here the ruins of the ancient city of Hazezon Tamar, or "the felling of the palm trees" (Genesis 14:7), are to be found, a city perhaps "the oldest in the world," may still be seen. "The cluster of camphire" (or rather of henna, the plant with which Oriental women stained their nails - Song of Solomon 1:14) may still be found there, and its perennial torrent dashes still into the Dead Sea. In later times than those of the Old Testament the Essenes planted their headquarters here.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And Nibshan,.... Of Nibshan no mention is made elsewhere:
and the city of Salt some take to be Zoar, so called because near the salt sea, or where Lot's wife was turned into a pillar of salt, Genesis 19:22; but rather this city might be so called, because salt was made here.
and Engedi, or Engaddi, is a well known place, near the salt sea; See Gill on Ezekiel 47:10. Jerom says (y), there was a very large village of Jews in his time called Engaddi, near the dead sea, from whence comes the opobalsam; the same place is called Hazazontamar, from the palm trees which grew there, 2 Chronicles 20:2. It was famous for vineyards also, Sol 1:14; it lay, according to Josephus (z), three hundred furlongs or about forty miles from Jerusalem:
six cities with their villages; the sum total agrees with the particulars.
(y) De loc. Heb. fol. 91. B. (z) Antiqu. l. 9. c. 1. sect. 2.
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