Judges 11:26
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
For three hundred years Israel occupied Heshbon, Aroer, the surrounding settlements and all the towns along the Arnon. Why didn't you retake them during that time?

New Living Translation
"Israel has been living here for 300 years, inhabiting Heshbon and its surrounding settlements, all the way to Aroer and its settlements, and in all the towns along the Arnon River. Why have you made no effort to recover it before now?

English Standard Version
While Israel lived in Heshbon and its villages, and in Aroer and its villages, and in all the cities that are on the banks of the Arnon, 300 years, why did you not deliver them within that time?

New American Standard Bible
'While Israel lived in Heshbon and its villages, and in Aroer and its villages, and in all the cities that are on the banks of the Arnon, three hundred years, why did you not recover them within that time?

King James Bible
While Israel dwelt in Heshbon and her towns, and in Aroer and her towns, and in all the cities that be along by the coasts of Arnon, three hundred years? why therefore did ye not recover them within that time?

Holman Christian Standard Bible
While Israel lived 300 years in Heshbon and its villages, in Aroer and its villages, and in all the cities that are on the banks of the Arnon, why didn't you take them back at that time?

International Standard Version
When Israel was living in Heshbon and its surrounding villages, in Aroer and its surrounding villages, and in all the cities that line the banks of the Arnon River these past three hundred years, why didn't you retake them during that time?

NET Bible
Israel has been living in Heshbon and its nearby towns, in Aroer and its nearby towns, and in all the cities along the Arnon for three hundred years! Why did you not reclaim them during that time?

New Heart English Bible
While Israel lived in Heshbon and its towns, and in Aroer and its towns, and in all the cities that are along by the side of the Arnon, three hundred years; why did you not liberate them within that time?

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Israel has now lived in Heshbon, Aroer, all their villages, and in all the cities along the Arnon River for 300 years. Why didn't you recapture these cities during that time?

JPS Tanakh 1917
While Israel dwelt in Heshbon and its towns, and in Aroer and its towns, and in all the cities that are along by the side of the Arnon, three hundred years; wherefore did ye not recover them within that time?

New American Standard 1977
‘While Israel lived in Heshbon and its villages, and in Aroer and its villages, and in all the cities that are on the banks of the Arnon, three hundred years, why did you not recover them within that time?

Jubilee Bible 2000
Furthermore, Israel has dwelt in Heshbon and her towns and in Aroer and her towns and in all the cities that are along by the coasts of Arnon, for three hundred years. Why, therefore, did ye not recover them within that time?

King James 2000 Bible
While Israel dwelt in Heshbon and its villages, and in Aroer and its villages, and in all the cities that are along by the borders of Arnon, three hundred years? why therefore did you not recover them within that time?

American King James Version
While Israel dwelled in Heshbon and her towns, and in Aroer and her towns, and in all the cities that be along by the coasts of Arnon, three hundred years? why therefore did you not recover them within that time?

American Standard Version
While Israel dwelt in Heshbon and its towns, and in Aroer and its towns, and in all the cities that are along by the side of the Arnon, three hundred years; wherefore did ye not recover them within that time?

Douay-Rheims Bible
Whereas he hath dwelt in Hesebon, and the villages thereof, and in Aroer, and its villages, and in all the cities near the Jordan, for three hundred years. Why have you for so long a time attempted nothing about this claim?

Darby Bible Translation
While Israel dwelt in Heshbon and its dependent villages, and in Aroer and its dependent villages, and in all the cities that are along the banks of the Arnon, three hundred years -- why did ye not recover [them] within that time?

English Revised Version
While Israel dwelt in Heshbon and her towns, and in Aroer and her towns, and in all the cities that are along by the side of Arnon, three hundred years; wherefore did ye not recover them within that time?

Webster's Bible Translation
While Israel dwelt in Heshbon and her towns, and in Aroer and her towns, and in all the cities that are along by the borders of Arnon, three hundred years? why therefore did ye not recover them within that time?

World English Bible
While Israel lived in Heshbon and its towns, and in Aroer and its towns, and in all the cities that are along by the side of the Arnon, three hundred years; why didn't you recover them within that time?

Young's Literal Translation
In Israel's dwelling in Heshbon and in its towns, and in Aroer and in its towns, and in all the cities which are by the sides of Arnon three hundred years -- and wherefore have ye not delivered them in that time?
Study Bible
Jephthah Delivers Israel
25'Now are you any better than Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab? Did he ever strive with Israel, or did he ever fight against them? 26While Israel lived in Heshbon and its villages, and in Aroer and its villages, and in all the cities that are on the banks of the Arnon, three hundred years, why did you not recover them within that time? 27'I therefore have not sinned against you, but you are doing me wrong by making war against me; may the LORD, the Judge, judge today between the sons of Israel and the sons of Ammon.'"…
Cross References
Acts 13:19
And having vanquished seven nations in Canaan, He gave their land to His people as an inheritance.

Numbers 21:25
Israel took all these cities and Israel lived in all the cities of the Amorites, in Heshbon, and in all her villages.

Numbers 21:26
For Heshbon was the city of Sihon, king of the Amorites, who had fought against the former king of Moab and had taken all his land out of his hand, as far as the Arnon.

Deuteronomy 2:36
"From Aroer which is on the edge of the valley of Arnon and from the city which is in the valley, even to Gilead, there was no city that was too high for us; the LORD our God delivered all over to us.
Treasury of Scripture

While Israel dwelled in Heshbon and her towns, and in Aroer and her towns, and in all the cities that be along by the coasts of Arnon, three hundred years? why therefore did you not recover them within that time?

Heshbon

Numbers 21:25-30 And Israel took all these cities: and Israel dwelled in all the cities …

Deuteronomy 2:24 Rise you up, take your journey, and pass over the river Arnon: behold, …

Deuteronomy 3:2,6 And the LORD said to me, Fear him not: for I will deliver him, and …

Joshua 12:2,5 Sihon king of the Amorites, who dwelled in Heshbon, and ruled from …

Joshua 13:10 And all the cities of Sihon king of the Amorites, which reigned in …

Aroer

Deuteronomy 2:36 From Aroer, which is by the brink of the river of Arnon, and from …

three hundred

Judges 3:11,30 And the land had rest forty years. And Othniel the son of Kenaz died…

Judges 5:31 So let all your enemies perish, O LORD: but let them that love him …

Judges 8:28 Thus was Midian subdued before the children of Israel, so that they …

Judges 9:22 When Abimelech had reigned three years over Israel,

Judges 10:2,3,8 And he judged Israel twenty and three years, and died, and was buried …

Joshua 11:18 Joshua made war a long time with all those kings.

Joshua 23:1 And it came to pass a long time after that the LORD had given rest …

(26) While Israel dwelt in Heshbon.--See Numbers 21:25. This is an argument from undisputed possession.

In Aroer and her towns.--These had been assigned to the tribe of Gad (Numbers 32:34).

In all the cities that be along by the coast of Arnon.--The LXX. read Jordan.

Three hundred years.--There is an almost insuperable difficulty in making out any reasonable scheme of chronology even by accepting this as a round number, because it is difficult to reconcile with nine or ten genealogies which have been preserved to us, and which represent the period between the conquest and David by seven or eight generations. Now the period covered by these genealogies includes the judgeship of Samuel and the reign of Saul--at least seventy years; and seven or eight generations cannot possibly span 370 years. The hypothesis that in all these genealogies--even the four times repeated genealogy of David--generations are always omitted is very improbable. The chronology of the Jews is confessedly loose and uncertain, and it seems quite possible that "three hundred years" may be a marginal gloss which has crept into the text. What makes this more probable is that the words not only create an immense chronological difficulty, but (1) are quite needless to Jephthah's argument, and (2) actually conflict with the rest of the sentence, which refers to Balak alone; the argument being, If Balak, "at that time" (as the words should be rendered), did not advance any claim, what right have you to do so now? If, however, in spite of these difficulties, the clause be genuine, and if there has not been one of the clerical errors which are so common where numerals are concerned, it seems possible that 300 years may be counted inclusively, e.g., 100 full years since the death of Joshua and nominal completion of the conquest of Canaan, with parts of a century before and after it. Certainly this is a recognised mode of reckoning time among the Jews. For instance, if a king began to reign on December 30, 1879, and died on January 2, 1881, they would say that he had reigned three years. Whatever explanations we may adopt, there is nothing but conjecture to go upon. (See Introduction.)

Within that time.--This is a mistranslation, due probably to the perplexity caused by the "three hundred years." The Hebrew has "in that time," i.e., at that crisis. It was obvious, without special mention, that they had remained in possession ever since Balak's day, and in the most ancient times it was admitted that lapse of time secured possession (Isocr. Ep. ad Aechid., p. 121; Tac. Ann. vi. 31).

Verse 26. - The occupation of the cities and villages referred to is related in Numbers 21:23 and following verses, and in Deuteronomy 2:36; see too Joshua 12:2. Aroer is not mentioned among the cities of Moab taken by the Amorites in the ancient book quoted in Numbers 21:27-80, and it has been conjectured that it may have been built by the Amorites to secure their new frontier. It is described by Eusebius and Jerome in the 'Onomasticon' as built on a hill overhanging the bank of the Amen, and a ruin called Arair has been foBy the coasts of Arnon, i.e. on the banks. The Septuagint for Arnon reads Jordan, which was the western boundary, as Arnon was the southern (ver. 22). The corresponding description in Deuteronomy 2:36 is, From Aroer, which is by the brink of the river of Arnon, and from the city that is by the river, even unto Gilead:, there was not owe city too strong for us: the Lord our God delivered all unto us. Three hundred years. These words seem quite unintelligible and out of place. They are also chronologically impracticable. One expects the number of the cities, as in ver. 33, rather than the number of years; and it is remarkable that the whole number of cities taken by the Israelites on the east of Jordan must have been just about 300, since the half-tribe of Manasseh had sixty. If Gad and Reuben had the same proportion, it would be exactly 300 (5 × 60). Within that time. The Hebrew phrase, which occurs about seventy times, invariably means at that time, and here can only refer to the time of the first settlement in the days of Balak, of which he had been speaking - another proof that the enumeration three hundred years is out of place here. If the reading years is not, as above suggested, an error for cities, the whole sentence, three hundred years, may very probably be an interpolation by a professed chronologist. The adding up of all the numbers of the servitudes and rests given in the book gives 301 years from the commencement of the oppression by Chushan-rishathaim to the death of Jair. But this method of reckoning gives the impossible period of 600 years from the exodus to the building of the temple. While Israel dwelt in Heshbon and her towns,.... This was the principal city, which formerly belonged to the Moabites, and was taken from them by Sihon; who being conquered by Israel, it fell into their hands, and they inhabited it, and the towns adjacent to it, from that time to the present; see Numbers 21:25.

and in Aroer and her towns; another city with its villages, taken at the same time, and ever since inhabited by the Israelites, even by the tribe of Gad, who rebuilt it; it lay near the river Arnon; see Numbers 32:34.

and in all the cities that be along by the coasts of Arnon; which lay along by the side of that river, which divided Moab from the kingdom of the Amorites; these Israel had dwelt in three hundred years; and during this time, neither Balak king of Moab, nor any of his successors, had ever disputed Israel's title to those cities, or commenced a war with them on account of them; but they had continued in the peaceable enjoyment of them so long as three hundred years; which are thus reckoned in the Jewish chronology (z); Joshua governed Israel twenty eight years, Othniel forty, Ehud eighty, Deborah forty, Gideon forty, Abimelech three, Tola twenty three, Jair twenty two, and eighteen years Israel was oppressed by the children of Ammon, which with the six years of Jephthah make just three hundred; so that, according to this computation, there were six years short of it; but being so near, the round number is given:

why therefore did ye not recover them within that time? signifying they ought to have put in their claim sooner, and endeavoured to have recovered them long before this time, if they had any right unto them; wherefore Jephthah pleads prescription, and which in a course of time ought to take place; or otherwise the world would be full of endless contentions and controversies, and kingdoms and states would never be at peace, nor each one know and enjoy for certainty its proper domains.

(z) Seder Olam Rabba, c. 12. Vid. Jarchium & Kimchium in loc. 11:12-28 One instance of the honour and respect we owe to God, as our God, is, rightly to employ what he gives us to possess. Receive it from him, use it for him, and part with it when he calls for it. The whole of this message shows that Jephthah was well acquainted with the books of Moses. His argument was clear, and his demand reasonable. Those who possess the most courageous faith, will be the most disposed for peace, and the readiest to make advances to obtain; but rapacity and ambition often cloak their designs under a plea of equity, and render peaceful endeavours of no avail.
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