To morrow go you down against them: behold, they come up by the cliff of Ziz; and you shall find them at the end of the brook, before the wilderness of Jeruel.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Against them.—Or, unto them.
They come up by the cliff of Ziz.—They are about ascending by the ascent of Hazziz. Vulg., “ascensuri enim sunt per clivum,” &c.
The brook.—The wâdy, ravine, or water-course.
The wilderness of Jeruel.—The name is unknown, but comparing 2Chronicles 20:2; 2Chronicles 20:16; 2Chronicles 20:20, it appears that the great stretch of waste, now called el Husâsah, from a wady on the north side of it, is intended. The “ascent of Hazziz” would be a pass or mountain path, leading up from Engedi to this desert table-land. (With the name Hazziz, comp. Hakkoz. Perhaps Husâsah preserves a trace of it. The LXX. has Ασαεῖς Syriac and Arabic, “the ascent of dawn,” omitting “Jeruel.”)2 Chronicles 20:20.Go ye down from Jerusalem, where he and his army now were; which stood upon high ground.
behold, they come up by the cliff of Ziz; a steep hill, so called from the flowers upon it:
and ye shall find them at the end of the brook; on the bank of Kidron, according to Beckius, which seems not likely to be meant, since they went as far as the wilderness of Tekoa, 2 Chronicles 20:20,To morrow go ye down against them: behold, they come up by the cliff of Ziz; and ye shall find them at the end of the brook, before the wilderness of Jeruel.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)16. the cliff of Ziz] R.V. the ascent of Ziz. The exact positions of this and of the “brook” and of the “wilderness” mentioned in this ver. are unknown, but probably the invaders followed not the direct road from En-gedi to Beth-lehem, but one a little to the left of this.
the brook] R.V. the valley (Heb. naḥal) strictly “ravine” or “water-course.”Verse 16. - The cliff of Ziz. Read with Revised Version, the ascent of Ziz (or probably Hazziz), a place named only here. The Hebrew word here rendered "cliff ' is the familiar מַעֲלֵה, meaning "an ascent," or "a rising ground." It is replaced in the Septuagint by both ἀνάβασις and πρόσβασις. Stanley, in an interesting note on the word ('Sinai and Palestine,' p. 500, edit. 1866), says it is applied to several localities in Palestine, viz.:
(1) The "Ascent of Akrabbim," i.e. scorpions (Numbers 34:4; Judges 1:36; Joshua 15:3), on the south border of Judah and probably the same as the Pass of Safeh.
(2) "The going up to (or of) Adummim," i.e. the "ascent of the Red," near Gilgal, on border of Judah and Benjamin (Joshua 15:7; Joshua 18:17), probably the same with the "Pass of Jericho."
(3) The" going up to Gut" (2 Kings 9:27).
(4) Our present text.
(5) The "mounting up of Luhith" in Moab (Isaiah 15:5; Jeremiah 48:5). The word is also applied to the steep pass from Gibeon to Beth-heron (Joshua 10:10; 1 Macc. 3:16); to the road up the Mount of Olives (2 Samuel 15:30); and to the approach to the city in which Samuel anointed Saul (1 Samuel 9:11), i.e. "the hill up to the city." The passage, Judges 8:13, Authorized Version "before the sun was up," Revised Version "from the ascent of Heres," possibly designates a rising ground, named . 'the Ascent of the Sun," or, "of Heres." The following extract from Keil, with its quotations from Robinson, is interesting. "The wilderness Jezreel was without doubt the name of a part of the great stretch of fiat country bounded on the south by the Waddy El Ghar, and extending from the Dead Sea to the neighbourhood of Tekoa, which is now called El Hassasah, after a waddy on its northern side. The whole country on the west side of the Dead Sea," where it does not consist of mountain ridges or deep valleys, is high table-land sloping gradually towards the east, wholly waste, merely covered here and there by a few bushes and without the slightest trace of having ever been cultivated' (Robinson's 'Palest.,' sub voce). Our present ascent of Ziz, or Hazziz, has perhaps remained in the Waddy El Hassasah Robinson takes it to be the pass, which at present leads from Ain-jiddy to the table-land. Yet it is described by him as a 'fearful pass,' and it can hardly be thought of here even if the enemy like the Bedouins, now when on their forays, may be supposed to have marched along the shore of the sea, and ascended to the tableland only at Engedi; for the Israelites did not meet the enemy in this ascent, but above upon the table-land." Josephus translates הַצִּיצ by ἑξοχῆς, but with no legitimate justification. The end of the brook; i.e. rather the end of the brook-way, or course of the brook when there was water to make one. Numbers 20:14.; Deuteronomy 2:4; Deuteronomy 9:19); behold, these peoples recompense us by coming to cast us out of our possession which Thou hast given us (הורישׁ, to give as a possession, as in Judges 11:24). There follows hereupon in 2 Chronicles 20:12 the prayer: "Our God, wilt Thou not judge," i.e., do right upon them, for we have not strength before (to withstand) this multitude? We know not what to do, sc. against so many enemies; but our eyes are turned to Thee, i.e., to Thee we look for help; cf. Psalm 123:2; Psalm 141:8.
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