|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
13:21-25 The searchers of the land brought a bunch of grapes with them, and other fruits, as proofs of the goodness of the country; which was to Israel both the earnest and the specimen of all the fruits of Canaan. Such are the present comforts we have in communion with God, foretastes of the fulness of joy we expect in the heavenly Canaan. We may see by them what heaven is.
Verse 21. - From the wilderness of Zin. The extreme southern boundary of the promised land (Numbers 34:3, 4; Joshua 15:1, 3). There seems to be but one marked natural feature which could have been chosen for that purpose - the broad sandy depression called the Wady Murreh, which divides the mountain mass of the Azazimeh from the Rakhmah plateau, the southern extremity of the highlands of Judah. The plain of Kudes communicates with it at its upper or western end, and maybe counted a part of it. Unto Rehob, as men come to Hamath. Septuagint, ἕως Ροὸβ εἰσπορευομένων Αἰμάθ. Hamath, now Hamah, was in Greek times Epiphaneia, on the Orontes, outside the limits of Jewish rule. The southern entrance to it lay between the ranges of Libanus and Anti-libanus (see note on Numbers 34:8). The Rehob here mentioned is not likely to have been either of the Rehobs in the territory of Asher (Joshua 19:28-30), but the Beth-rehob further to the east, and near to where Dan-Laish was afterwards built (Judges 18:28). It lies on the route to Hamath, and was at one time a place of some importance in the possession of the Syrians (2 Samuel 10:6).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
So they went up and searched the land,.... Went up the mountains as they were directed, and passed through the whole land; diligently inquired into everything material belonging to it, according to their instructions, and made their observations on it, and on the inhabitants, and their habitations:
from the wilderness of Zin unto Rehob, as men come to Hamath; this wilderness, from whence they went, seems to be the same with the wilderness of Paran, called Zin; perhaps from the multitude of thorns in it; but different from the wilderness of Sin, Exodus 16:1, which was nearer Egypt; but this was on the south quarter of the land of Canaan, along by the coast of Edom, Numbers 34:3; Rehob, they are said to come to first from thence, was in the tribe of Asher in later times, Joshua 19:28; and lay to the north or northwest of the land of Canaan. Jerom says (r), that in his times there was a village called Rooba, four miles from Scythopolis. Hamath was the northern boundary of the land of Israel, and was in the tribe of Naphtali, when it came into the hands of the Israelites, and lay to the northeast, as the former place to the northwest, Numbers 34:7; so that their direction, as they went, was south and north, and west and east: their journey is described by Jarchi thus; they went on the borders of it, length and breadth, in the form of the capital of the letter "gamma"; they went on the south border from the east corner to the west corner, as Moses commanded them: "get you up this way southward", Numbers 13:17; the way of the southeast border unto the sea, which is the western border; and from thence they returned, and went on all the western border by the sea shore, until they came to Hamath, which is by Mount Hor, at the northwest corner; but Hamath was on the northeast; nor did they go thither, it was too far off for them, but they went as far as Rehob, which was "as men go to Hamath", as it should be rendered, that is, it lay in the way to Hamath.
(r) De loc. Heb. fol. 94. A.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
21-24. So they … searched the land—They advanced from south to north, reconnoitering the whole land.
the wilderness of Zin—a long level plain, or deep valley of sand, the monotony of which is relieved by a few tamarisk and rethem trees. Under the names of El Ghor and El Araba, it forms the continuation of the Jordan valley, extending from the Dead Sea to the Gulf of Akaba.
Rehob—or, Beth-rehob, was a city and district situated, according to some, eastward of Sidon; and, according to others, it is the same as El Hule, an extensive and fertile champaign country, at the foot of Anti-libanus, a few leagues below Paneas.
as men come to Hamath—or, "the entering in of Hamath" (2Ki 14:25), now the valley of Balbeck, a mountain pass or opening in the northern frontier, which formed the extreme limit in that direction of the inheritance of Israel. From the mention of these places, the route of the scouts appears to have been along the course of the Jordan in their advance; and their return was by the western border through the territories of the Sidonians and Philistines.
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