1 Kings 4:12
Baana the son of Ahilud; to him pertained Taanach and Megiddo, and all Bethshean, which is by Zartanah beneath Jezreel, from Bethshean to Abelmeholah, even unto the place that is beyond Jokneam:
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(12) The fifth division must have been large and important, including much of the great plain of Esdraelon or Jezreel, the garden and battle-field of Northern Palestine, and extending to the Jordan valley. Taanach, Megiddo, and Beth-shean are all named as Canaanitish cities not taken by Manasseh, but made tributary (Joshua 17:11; Judges 1:27). Taanach and Megiddo are referred to in the song of Deborah (Judges 5:19). Megiddo is the place of the death of Ahaziah (2Kings 9:27) and the fall of Josiah (2Kings 23:29). Beth-shean is the city in which the body of Saul was exposed in triumph (1Samuel 31:12). Abel-meholah, the birth-place of Elisha (1Kings 19:16), lies south of Beth-shean, and is mentioned in the record of the rout of the Midianites by Gideon (Judges 7:22). Jokmeam (for such is the right reading) is a Levitical city in Ephraim (1Chronicles 6:68), apparently called Kibzaim in Joshua 21:22, and must have been an outlying part of this division.

4:1-19 In the choice of the great officers of Solomon's court, no doubt, his wisdom appeared. Several are the same that were in his father's time. A plan was settled by which no part of the country was exhausted to supply his court, though each sent its portion.On these cities see Joshua 12:21; Joshua 3:16; Judges 7:22; Joshua 21:22. 8. The son of Hur—or, as the Margin has it, Benhur, Bendekar. In the rural parts of Syria, and among the Arabs, it is still common to designate persons not by their own names, but as the sons of their fathers. Zartanah beneath Jezreel, which was in Issachar. And this seems added to distinguish it from that

Zartanah, Joshua 3:16.

Baana the son of Ahilud, to him pertained Taanach and Megiddo, and all Bethshean,.... All which were places in the tribe of Manasseh, Joshua 17:11;

which is by Zartanah beneath Jezreel; so described, to distinguish it, as is thought, from Zaretan in Joshua 3:16; and the country this officer presided over reached also

from Bethshean to Abelmeholah, even unto the place that is beyond Jokneam; the two first of these were in the tribe of Manasseh, and the last in the tribe of Zebulun, Joshua 19:11.

Baana the son of Ahilud; to him pertained Taanach and Megiddo, and all Bethshean, which is by Zartanah beneath Jezreel, from Bethshean to Abelmeholah, even unto the place that is beyond Jokneam:
12. Baana the son of Ahilud] Probably the brother of Jehoshaphat the recorder mentioned in 1 Kings 4:3.

Taanach and Megiddo] These places are both inland to the east of Dor, Megiddo being a little north of Taanach which lies in the valley of Esdraelon. Cf. Jdg 5:19 ‘Taanach by the waters of Megiddo.’ Beth-shean is still further east nearer to the Jordan, and Zartanah is no doubt Zarethan or Zarthan (Joshua 3:16), which must have been close to the Jordan. Abel-meholah is south from Beth-shean in the Jordan valley. The name Jokneam should be, on the authority both of Hebrew, Septuagint and Vulgate, written Jokmeam. This place is mentioned 1 Chronicles 6:68, but in the parallel passage Joshua 21:22 Kibzaim is given instead. In both passages the place is assigned as one of the Levitical cities in the tribe of Ephraim, which would suit entirely with the text of the present verse, as it would then be in the same district as Zarthan and Abel-meholah, whereas Jokneam lies to the north of the ridge of Carmel, not far from the coast of the Mediterranean. The scribe’s confusion between Jokmeam יקמעם and Kibzaim קבצים is not difficult to understand on looking at the forms in Hebrew.

Instead of the italics to him pertained at the beginning of this verse, it is simpler to substitute in, which stands in all the previous verses.

beneath Jezreel] implies that the place or district so described lay in the plain country stretching south of Jezreel. That city was built on a small height and looked south over the plain of Esdraelon.

Verse 12. - Baana, the son of Ahilud [cf. ver. 3. Probably the recorder's brother], to him pertained [the original, true to its character as a list, omits these words, simply giving the name of the officer and then the towns of his district or province] Taanach and Megiddo [similarly associated, Joshua 12:21; Judges 5:19; Judges 1:27. These towns, which became famous in later Jewish history (2 Kings 23:29; 2 Chronicles 35:22), lay at the foot of the E. spurs of Carmel, on the margin of the plain of Esdraelon. See Conder's "Tent Work in Palestine," p. 67] and all Bethshean [Joshua 17:11, 16; Judges 1:27. Otherwise Bethshan (1 Samuel 31:10, 12; 2 Samuel 21:12), now Beisan. The LXX. here translate the word ὁ οῖκος Σὰν; elsewhere they write βαιθσὰν or βαιθσὰμ, and in Judges 1:27 explain ἥ ἐστι Σκυθῶν πόλις, hence its later name Scythopolis. Rawlinson, by an oversight, interprets the name to mean "house of the sun," which is the translation of Bethshemesh. Bethshan prob. means "house of rest." "The site of the town is on the brow of the descent by which the great plain of Esdraelon drops down to the level of the Ghor." The present writer was much struck (in 1861) by its situation. See Conder, pp. 233, 234. The text shows that it gave its name to the adjoining district], which is by Zartanah [probably the Zaretan of Joshua 3:16 and the Zarthan (same word in the Heb.) of 1 Kings 7:46, which place is called Zeredathah in 2 Chronicles 4:17, and is probably the Zererath of Judges 7:22. (The variations in spelling are again to be noticed). Here Solomon cast the Temple vessels. By some it is identified with Kurn Sartabeh (but see quart. Stat. of Pal. Explor. Fund, July, 1874, and Conder, pp. 233, 234), a few miles below Bethshan. It is noticeable (in connexion with Joshua 3.16) that at this point the Jordan valley narrows (Keil). It occupies high ground and commands an extensive view (Robinson)] beneath [or below] Jezreel [Wordsworth remarks that "Jezreel, now Zerin, is a lofty site." But the idea of "beneath" is not that of depression, but of geographical position = the district southeast of Jezreel] from [LXX. and from) Bethshean to Abelmeholah [lit. meadow of the dance. It lay ten miles south of Bethshean. It is mentioned in connexion with Zererath (Zaretan) in Judges 7:22, but is best known as the home of Elisha (1 Kings 19:16)] even unto the place that is beyond [Heb. unto the other side of] Jokneam. [Properly, Jokmeam. Identified by the Survey (Conder, p. 68) with Tell Keimun. A Levitical town (1 Chronicles 6:68) probably the same as Kibzaim (cf. Joshua 21:22). This district coincided practically with the tribe of Manasseh. It embraced a part (see ver. 17) of the fertile plain of Esdraelon and of the Jordan valley.] 1 Kings 4:12Baana the son of Ahilud was most likely a brother of Jehoshaphat the chancellor (1 Kings 4:3). This district embraced the cities on the southern edge of the plain of Jezreel, and extended to the Jordan. Taanach and Megiddo, which have been preserved in the villages of Taanuk and Lejun, were situated on the south-western border of this plain, and belonged to the Manassites (see at Joshua 12:21; Joshua 17:11). "And all Bethshean," in other words, the whole of the district of Bethshean, i.e., Beisan, at the eastern end of the valley of Jezreel, where it opens into the Jordan valley (Rob. Pal. ii. p. 740ff.), "which (district was situated) by the side of Zarthan below Jezreel, from (the town of) Bethshean (see at Joshua 17:11) to Abel-Mecholah, on the other side of Jokmeam." Zarthan, also called Zereda (compare 1 Kings 7:46 with 2 Chronicles 4:17), has probably been preserved, so far as the name is concerned, in Kurn Sartabeh, in the neighbourhood of which the old city probably stood, about five miles to the south of Beisan, at a point where the Jordan valley contracts (see at Joshua 3:16). The expression "below Jezreel" refers to "all Bethshean," and may be explained from the elevated situation of Jezreel, the present Zern (see at Joshua 19:18). According to Rob. iii. p. 163, this is "comparatively high, and commands a wide and noble view, extending down the broad low valley on the east of Beisan and to the mountains of Ajlun beyond the Jordan." The following words, "from Bethshean to Abel-Mecholah," give a more precise definition of the boundary. The lxx have erroneously inserted καὶ before מבּית־שׁאן, and Thenius and Bttcher defend it on the strength of their erroneous interpretations of the preceding statements. Abel-Mecholah was in the Jordan valley, according to the Onomast., ten Roman miles to the south of Beisan (see at Judges 7:22). The last clause is not quite intelligible to us, as the situation of the Levitical city Jokmeam (1 Chronicles 6:53, or Kibzaim, a different place from the Jokneam on Carmel, Joshua 12:22; Joshua 21:34) has not yet been discovered (see at Joshua 21:22). According to this, Baanah's district in the Jordan valley did not extend so far as Kurn Sartabeh, but simply to the neighbourhood of Zarthan, and embraced the whole of the tribe-territory of Manasseh on this side of the Jordan.
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