|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 9. - Ziphron. A town called Sibraim is mentioned by Ezekiel (Ezekiel 47:16) as lying on the boundary between Damascus and Hamath, and there is a modern village of Zifran about forty miles north-east of Damascus, but there is no probable ground for supposing that either of these are the Ziphron of this verse. Hazar-enan, i.e., "fountain court." There are of course many places in and about the Lebanon and anti-Lebanon ranges to which such a name would be suitable, but we have no means of identifying it with any one of them. It must be confessed that this "north border" of Israel is extremely obscure, because we are not told whence it started, nor can we fix, except by conjecture, one single point upon it. A certain amount of light is thrown upon the subject by the description of the tribal boundaries and possessions as given in Joshua 19, and by the enumeration of places left unconquered in Joshua 13 and Judges 3. The most northerly of the tribes were Asher and Naphtali, and it does not appear that their allotted territory extended beyond the lower valley of the Leontes where it makes its sharp turn towards the west. It is true that a portion of the tribe of Dan afterwards occupied a district further north, but Dan-Laish itself, which was the extreme of Jewish settlement in this direction, as Beersheba in the other, was southward of Mount Hermon. The passage in Joshua 13:4-6 does indeed go to prove that the Israelites never occupied all their intended territory in this direction, but as far as we can tell the line of promised conquest did not extend further north than alden and Mount Hermon. "All Lebanon toward the sunrising" cannot well mean the whole range from south to north, but all the mountain country lying to the east of Zidon. One other passage promises to throw additional light upon the question, viz., the ideal delimitation of the Holy Land in Ezekiel 47; and here it is true that we find a northern frontier (verses 15-17) apparently far beyond the line of actual settlement, and yet containing two names at least (Zedad and Hazar-enan) which appear in the present list. It is, however, quite uncertain whether the prophet is describing any possible boundary line at all, or whether he is only mentioning(humanly speaking at random)certain points in the far north; his very object would seem to be to picture an enlarged Canaan extending beyond its utmost historical limits. Even if it should be thought that these passages require a frontier further to the north than the one advocated above, it will yet be impossible to carry it to the northern end of the valley between Lebanon and anti-Lebanon. For in that case the northern frontier will not be a northern frontier at all, but will actually descend from the "entrance of Hamath" in a southerly or south-westerly direction, and distinctly form part of the eastern boundary.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And the border shall go on to Ziphron,.... Which in the Jerusalem Targum is called Zapherin; and Jerom (s) says, that in his time this city was called Zephyrium, a town in Cilicia; but this seems to be at too great a distance:
and the goings out of it shall be at Hazarenan; which was the utmost of the northern border, and so it is in Ezekiel 47:17 and there called the border of Damascus: Reland (t) takes it to be the same with Enhazor, a city in the tribe of Naphtali, Joshua 19:37, the words only inverted:
this shall be your northern border: from the Mediterranean sea to Hazarenan in Naphtali.
(s) Comment. in ver. 15. (t) Palestin. lllustrat. par. 1. l. 1. p. 123.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
9. Ziphron—("sweet odor").
Hazar-enan—("village of fountains"); but the places are unknown. "An imaginary line from mount Cassius, on the coast along the northern base of Lebanon to the entering into the Bekaa (Valley of Lebanon) at the Kamosa Hermel," must be regarded as the frontier that is meant [Van De Velde].
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