|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
34:1-15 Canaan was of small extent; as it is here bounded, it is but about 160 miles in length, and about 50 in breadth; yet this was the country promised to the father of the faithful, and the possession of the seed of Israel. This was that little spot of ground, in which alone, for many ages, God was known. This was the vineyard of the Lord, the garden enclosed; but as it is with gardens and vineyards, the narrowness of the space was made up by the fruitfulness of the soil. Though the earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof, yet few know him, and serve him; but those few are happy, because fruitful to God. Also, see how little a share of the world God gives to his own people. Those who have their portion in heaven, have reason to be content with a small pittance of this earth. Yet a little that a righteous man has, having it from the love of God, and with his blessing, is far better and more comfortable than the riches of many wicked.
Verse 6. - And as for the western border. The Hebrew word for "west" (יָם) is simply that for "sea," because the Jews in their own land always had the sea on their west. Thus the verse reads literally, "And the sea boundary shall be to you the great sea and boundary; this shall be to you the sea boundary." It would seem very unlikely that the Jews familiarly used the word "yam" for "west" after a residence of several centuries in a country where the sun set not over the sea, but over the desert. Nothing can of course be proved kern the use of the word here, but it cannot be overlooked as one small indication that the language of this passage at any rate is the language of an age subsequent to the conquest of Canaan (see on Exodus 10:19; 26:22, and Numbers 2:18) The line of coast from the brook of Egypt to the Leontes was upwards of 160 miles in length.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And as for the western border,.... Of the land of Canaan:
you shall even have the great sea for a border; and no other, meaning the Mediterranean sea, which lies west of the land of Judea; Aben Ezra calls it the Spanish sea: it has the name of "great", in comparison of some in the land of Canaan, as the salt sea, and the sea of Tiberias:
this shall be your west border; namely, the Mediterranean sea.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
6. the western border—There is no uncertainty about this boundary, as it is universally allowed to be the Mediterranean, which is called "the great sea" in comparison with the small inland seas or lakes known to the Hebrews.
Numbers 34:6 Parallel Commentaries
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