Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges
Ch. Jdg 1:1 to Jdg 2:5. The settlement of the Israelite tribes in Canaan
Apparently the narrative intends us to think of Gilgal, on the plains of Jericho, W. of the Jordan, as the place which the Hebrew tribes had reached in the course of their immigration; it was a sanctuary marked by the presence of the Angel of the Lord (Jdg 2:1), and the chief encampment of the invaders. From Gilgal, therefore, we are led to infer that the tribes set out, either in small groups (Jdg 1:3; Jdg 1:16; Jdg 1:22) or singly (Jdg 1:30 ff.), to seek their fortunes in the land of Canaan. The language of Jdg 1:2-3 points to a previous allotment of territory which determined the general lines of the advance. Judah was the first to go up, with his allies the Simeonites; the minor clans of the Calebites and the Kenites also took part in the invasion. This group made their way into the Southern Highlands; but the Canaanites held Jerusalem and a line of strong towns running westwards to the coast, with the valleys and the plains; the Judahites were no match for them in regular warfare (Jdg 1:1 b – Jdg 1:3; Jdg 1:5-7; Jdg 1:19; Jdg 1:21; Jdg 1:20; Jdg 1:10 b, Jdg 1:11-17; note the order). The historian’s chief interest lies in Judah; he is less concerned with the exploits of the other tribes, or he had only scanty traditions at his disposal. When he comes to the house of Joseph, i.e. Ephraim and Manasseh, he records only the capture of Beth-el in the Central Highlands, and the names of the Canaanite cities which could not be taken (Jdg 1:22-29). Of the other tribes, Zebulun, Asher, Naphtali, who advanced into the country N. of the Great Plain, no positive successes are mentioned; apparently they barely managed to gain a footing; the Canaanites were too strong for them (Jdg 1:30-33). The Danites at first penetrated into the South West; but they were forced back into the hills between Judah and Ephraim (Jdg 1:34-35). In this manner the tribes entered Canaan: and the conclusion of the initial stage of the advance is marked by the going up of the Angel of the Lord from Gilgal to Beth-el (Jdg 2:1 a, n.); the religious centre is now transferred to a sanctuary in the heart of the land.
We gather, then, from this chapter that the invasion of Canaan was left to the individual enterprise of the different tribes, and that the request was only partially successful; in the plains and round the principal towns the Canaanites proved too strong to be dislodged. This version of the story is at variance with the account given in the Book of Joshua. It is true that in Joshua the broad features of the narrative (6–11, 14 ff.) indicate that the south of Canaan was the first part of the country to be occupied, while the northern tribes won their way only by slow degrees after the house of Joseph had settled in the centre; so far in agreement with the present chapter. Otherwise the contrast is strongly marked. Israel advances as a united nation under the leadership of Joshua, and defeats the Canaanites in two decisive battles, at Beth-horon and the waters of Merom (Joshua , 10, 11); the Canaanites are exterminated wholesale (Joshua 10:40 ff., Joshua 11:11; Joshua 11:14; Joshua 11:21); the entire country from Edom in the south to Hermon in the north (Joshua 11:16 f.) is appropriated without further effort, and divided by lot among the tribes, after, and not before, the conquest (14 ff.). There can be no doubt as to which of these two versions represents the actual course of history. The Song of Deborah alone is sufficient to prove that the Canaanites, so far from having been exterminated, continued to be Israel’s most dangerous neighbours (Jdg 5:6-7; Jdg 5:19). It was a long time before Israel became fully master of the land; the chief Canaanite cities were not conquered till the days of David and Solomon; in the end, after the lapse of centuries, the original inhabitants were not annihilated but absorbed. On the one hand Judges 1 has preserved a record of the isolation of the tribes and the successful resistance of the Canaanites, facts which explain much of the history in the subsequent period; on the other hand the picture given in the Book of Joshua is an ideal one, drawn by the religious and patriotic fancy of a far later age.
At what period are we to place the events narrated in Judges 1? The question seems to be answered by the opening clause, ‘after the death of Joshua’; but this does not agree with Jdg 2:6, where Joshua is still alive. The true sequel of Joshua 24:28 is Jdg 2:6-10; Jdg 1:1 b – Jdg 2:5 must have been added after Jdg 2:6 to Jdg 16:31, the Book of Judges proper, had assumed its present form. In order to connect this inserted narrative with the period of the Judges the final editor prefaced it with a remark of his own, which, however, is historically inaccurate. The natural place for a history of Israel’s invasion of Canaan would be after the account of the tribes’ entry into the land and the fall of Jericho (Joshua 6); historically, therefore, Jdg 1:1 b – Jdg 2:5 is parallel, and not subsequent, to the Book of Joshua. And in fact about a third of this section actually occurs in Joshua, sometimes in almost identical terms: thus Joshua 15:13-19 = Jdg 1:10 b – Jdg 1:15; Jdg 1:20; Joshua 15:63 = Jdg 1:21; Josh, Joshua 17:11-13 = Jdg 1:27-28; Joshua 16:10 = Jdg 1:29. In Joshua these passages are clearly not in harmony with their context, and appear to be extracts from some special source. They can hardly have been copied from Judges, for in several cases Joshua has preserved a more original text (e.g. Joshua 15:13 f., 63) from which Judges has been altered; most probably, therefore, both drew independently upon a common document. This, we may suppose, was none other than the story of the conquest as given by J, the Jehovist or Judaic document of the Pentateuch; for not only does the language of the extracts in Joshua agree with the J passages in Joshua 1-9, but in Judges 1 we find the characteristic usages and treatment of this document, e.g. the resort to the oracle, Canaanites as the term for the original inhabitants, the prominence given to Judah, the Angel of the Lord, the whole tone of the narrative, which betrays nothing of the later theocratic bias. Judges 1 indeed contains little of the picturesque writing which usually distinguishes J, but this is accounted for by the fact that the editor has considerably abridged, altered, and re-arranged the original source; see notes on Jdg 1:4; Jdg 1:7; Jdg 1:10; Jdg 1:19; Jdg 1:21 etc. It is probable that other fragments of the same ancient document are preserved in Joshua 17:14-18; Numbers 32:39; Numbers 32:41-42; Joshua 13:13; Joshua 19:47 (LXX).
Among the tribes mentioned in this chapter Issachar, Levi, Reuben, Gad do not appear. It is curious that Issachar should be left out, because Jdg 5:15 shews that the tribe soon became numerous and important; the omission was perhaps accidental. Levi had probably sunk into insignificance (see Genesis 34:25-29; Genesis 49:5-7); Reuben and Gad being settled on the E. of the Jordan were not concerned with the conquest of the West. The original source probably did not mention Benjamin where the name now appears; see on Jdg 1:21. But in spite of alterations and omissions we have in Judges 1 an historical document of the utmost value. The reason why it was introduced here, outside the Book of Judges proper, may be found in the words which the editor puts into the mouth of the Angel, Jdg 2:1 b – Jdg 2:5 a. According to the original source the tribes did not completely conquer the land because they were inferior to the Canaanites in battle; according to the author of Jdg 2:1 ff. it was because they were unfaithful to Jehovah. A belief had grown up that Jehovah had originally decreed a policy of extermination (cf. Exodus 34:11-16 J, Deuteronomy 7:1-5 etc.); this had not been carried out; hence the Canaanites remained as a standing menace and punishment. Such is the moral read into this piece of ancient history; and from this point of view the narrative is placed suitably at the outset of the story of the Judges.
Now after the death of Joshua it came to pass, that the children of Israel asked the LORD, saying, Who shall go up for us against the Canaanites first, to fight against them?1. And it came to pass after the death of Joshua] The events which follow belong, however, to the life-time of Joshua and to the period covered by Joshua 9-12; moreover, the death of Joshua is recorded in chap. Jdg 2:6-10, in due sequel to Joshua 24:28. As referring to what immediately follows the words are therefore incorrect; but taking them in connexion with the entire Book they have a certain fitness, for the death of Joshua may be regarded as marking the division between the period of conquest and the period of occupation. In the same way the Book of Joshua opens with the death of Moses, Joshua 1:1 a. The sentence is an editorial addition.
asked of the Lord] most likely at the sanctuary, through the medium of the priest; cf. Jdg 18:5, 1 Samuel 22:10; 1 Samuel 22:13; 1 Samuel 22:15 etc. The ephod and the Urim and Thummim came into use on such occasions; the divine response was conveyed as a priestly oracle. See Jdg 17:3, Jdg 18:5, 1 Samuel 14:18 (RVm.), 41 (LXX), 1 Samuel 23:9 ff., Deuteronomy 33:8; and Driver, Exodus, p. 312 f.
go up] From Gilgal, 800 ft. below sea-level, the march into the Southern Highlands (2500 to 3600 ft. above the sea) was a continuous ascent. The verb may be used, however, in a general sense, of a military expedition, 2 Samuel 5:19, Isaiah 7:6.
first] of time, cf. Jdg 10:18; not first in order or rank.
the Canaanites] The Jehovist’s name for the various tribes of Palestine; the Elohist calls them ‘Amorites,’ cf. Jdg 1:34. If the Canaanites had been extirpated in the manner described in the Book of Joshua there would have been no need to attack them again.
And the LORD said, Judah shall go up: behold, I have delivered the land into his hand.2–21. The conquests of Judah
2. the land] Not the whole land, but the part which had fallen to Judah’s lot.
And Judah said unto Simeon his brother, Come up with me into my lot, that we may fight against the Canaanites; and I likewise will go with thee into thy lot. So Simeon went with him.3. And Judah said unto Simeon his brother] The personification of a tribe or nation is common in O.T. idiom, e.g. Jdg 11:17, Numbers 20:14, Joshua 17:14 etc.; hence the tribal traditions often take the form of narratives about individuals. Judah and Simeon were both Leah-tribes, Genesis 29:33 ff. Owing to this tie of kinship, and still more to the fact that it was never strong enough to maintain itself as a distinct tribe, Simeon became merged in Judah. Its settlements were in the south, within the territory of Judah, Joshua 19:1-7; in Joshua 15:26-32; Joshua 15:42 these are even reckoned as Judahite. In Genesis 34, ; cf. Genesis 49:5-7, Simeon appears in close alliance with Levi, also a ‘brother’ of the Leah-family; they attempted to settle in Shechem, but their treachery and violence ended only in disaster to themselves; Levi’s career as a ‘secular’ tribe came to an end, and Simeon fell into a subordinate position. Though the date and context of this incident cannot be fixed with certainty, it probably comes within the present period.
my lot] The word implies a partition of the land by means of the sacred lot before the invasion; this would have taken place at the sanctuary (probably Gilgal) where the divine oracle was consulted, Jdg 1:1; cf. Joshua 17:14; Joshua 17:17; Joshua 18:6 JE. Perhaps some account of the allotment stood originally at the beginning of this document; traces of it may be preserved in Joshua 14:6 ff; Joshua 15:1 ff. (Judah), Jdg 16:1 ff. (Joseph).
Simeon went with him] To reach his lot Simeon would have to pass through the territory of Judah.
And Judah went up; and the LORD delivered the Canaanites and the Perizzites into their hand: and they slew of them in Bezek ten thousand men.4. This verse is made up of general phrases borrowed from Jdg 1:5-7, with the addition of the 10,000—a common round number, Jdg 3:29, Jdg 4:6, Jdg 7:3. The story of Adoni-bezek which follows has evidently been abridged; the editor has substituted a verse of his own for the omitted clauses. Note that the verb went up is singular; Judah alone is mentioned, as in the other editorial Jdg 1:8-10; Jdg 1:18.
And they found Adonibezek in Bezek: and they fought against him, and they slew the Canaanites and the Perizzites.5. And they found] The plural verb is the natural continuation of Jdg 1:3.
Adoni-bezek in Bezek] The chieftain’s name was no doubt taken to mean ‘lord of Bezek,’ as though he were called after his capital; but Jdg 1:7 at least suggests that Jerusalem was his capital, not Bezek. No proper names in the O.T. are compounded with the name of a place; and by all analogy Adoni-bezek must mean ‘(the god) Bezek is Lord.’ A god Bezek, however, is unknown. The double Bezek excites suspicion: in Bezek may be allowed to stand, because the context requires the name of a place; the error probably lies in the name of the chief. It is difficult to resist the conclusion that Adoni-bezek here is the same person as Adoni-zedek in Joshua 10:1; Joshua 10:3, the head of the Canaanite confederacy which is said to have opposed the Israelite invasion after the capture of Ai. Advancing from Gilgal or Jericho the first stronghold to confront the invaders would be Jerusalem; and by correcting ‘Adoni-bezek’ to Adoni-zedek king of Jerusalem, the form in which Joshua gives the text, we obtain the right situation for Judah’s first encounter. The name Adoni-zedek (cf. the Hebrew Adoni-jah and the Phoenician Adoni-eshmun) means Zedek, or rather Ṣedeḳ, is Lord, Zedek being the Canaanite (Phoen.) god Συδέκ (Philo Bybl., Fragm. Hist. Graec. iii. 569); cf. the Canaanite names Ben-ṣedeḳ (Amarna Letters, no. 125, 37 ed. Winckler), Ṣidḳi-milk (Cooke, North-Semitic Inscriptions, p. 349), Melki-ṣedeḳ Genesis 14:18, Psalm 110:4. Probably the Hebrew scribes altered the name in order to introduce a distinction between the two narratives in Jud. and Josh.; ‘Bezek’ suggested itself from the context; and the whole name was given the erroneous meaning ‘lord of Bezek.’ The Greek scribes, on the other hand, identified the two names by reading Adoni-bezek both in Josh, and in Jud. (LXX). Another way of accounting for the alteration is proposed by Moore: by changing Adoni-zedek to Adoni-bezek it was possible to give the name a contemptuous twist, ‘the Lord scatters’; in Aram. bezaḳ = ‘scatter.’ The situation of the town Bezek is unknown, but it was probably near Jerusalem, Jdg 1:7 b. The Bezek of 1 Samuel 11:8 = the modern Ibzik on the road to Bçsân, 14 m. N.E. of Nâblus, is too far north and outside the range of Judah’s operations. Possibly the name has not been preserved correctly; Azekah (Joshua 10:10) is suggested as an improvement (Steuernagel, Einwanderung, p. 85).
the Canaanites and the Perizzites] Cf. Jdg 1:4; mentioned together in Genesis 13:7; Genesis 34:30 J; both appear in the lists of the seven nations of Canaan, e.g. Deuteronomy 7:1. What the difference was between them is not known; ‘Perizzites’ seems to be a formation from perâzî = ‘country folk,’ ‘inhabitants of unwalled towns’; perhaps the name was given not to a separate tribe, but to the Canaanites who lived in the villages or open country.
But Adonibezek fled; and they pursued after him, and caught him, and cut off his thumbs and his great toes.6. and cut off] A barbarity frequently practised in ancient warfare to mark the humiliation of the captives and prevent them from further mischief. Thus the Athenians are said to have decreed that the right thumb of every Aeginetan taken prisoner should be cut off ‘that they may be incapable of carrying a spear, but not incapable of working an oar,’ Aelian, Var. Hist. ii. 9.
And Adonibezek said, Threescore and ten kings, having their thumbs and their great toes cut off, gathered their meat under my table: as I have done, so God hath requited me. And they brought him to Jerusalem, and there he died.7. Threescore and ten kings] Seventy is a round number; the sheikhs of the Canaanite towns were numerous, and they were continually fighting. Adoni-zedek was evidently a powerful and important chief among them, as is also implied by Joshua 10:1 ff. His words are not so much a savage boast as an acknowledgment of the irony of fate, and of the divine justice of the lex talionis.
gathered their meat] used to pick up scraps, like dogs (St Matthew 15:27; Odyss. xvii. 309), while the master sat on the ground, or, as in Saul’s time, on a seat by the wall, 1 Samuel 20:25. The captives were not, of course, actually under the table, which was a low stand supporting a round wooden or metal tray for the food.
And they brought him to Jerusalem] The subject is naturally the same as in Jdg 1:6, i.e. the men of Judah, implying that Jerusalem was already in their hands; but Jdg 1:21 (see Joshua 15:63) expressly states that this was not the case. Though the context does not favour such a construction, the subject may be taken as indefinite, ‘men brought him,’ ‘he was brought,’ i.e. by his servants. According to Joshua 10 Adoni-zedek was king of Jerusalem; his title may have been omitted in Jdg 1:5, as noted above.
In the original narrative Jdg 1:7 was probably followed by Jdg 1:19; Jdg 1:21 (corrected), which continue the history of Judah, and therefore should precede the accounts of the subordinate clans (Jdg 1:10-17; Jdg 1:20). After Jerusalem (Jdg 1:21), the next important place to be attacked would be Hebron (Jdg 1:10).
Now the children of Judah had fought against Jerusalem, and had taken it, and smitten it with the edge of the sword, and set the city on fire.8. fought against Jerusalem, and took it] Jerusalem was not taken till the time of David; this verse contradicts Jdg 1:21 and the known course of history; see Jdg 19:11 f.; 2 Samuel 5:6-9. We have here a late insertion, founded on a misunderstanding of Jdg 1:7 b, and designed to explain how the Judahites came to carry the wounded chief to Jerusalem.
with the edge of the sword] An expression often used in connexion with the exterminating wars against the Canaanites, e.g. Genesis 34:26, Exodus 17:13 JE, Deuteronomy 13:15 etc.
Jdg 1:9 is merely a generalizing summary (cf. Joshua 9:1; Joshua 10:40 D) from the same hand as Jdg 1:8, and from the same standpoint; note went down, i.e. from the high ground near Jerusalem.
in the hill country, and in the South, and in the lowland] A summary description of the land of Judah, cf. Jeremiah 17:26; Jeremiah 32:44 etc. The entire central range of Palestine was called ‘the Highlands,’ lit. ‘the mountain’ (Deuteronomy 1:7, Joshua 9:1); it was divided into the Highlands of Judah, of Ephraim, of Naphtali, Joshua 20:7; here the Highlands of Judah are meant. ‘The South,’ in Hebr. ‘the Negeb,’ i.e. ‘the dry land,’ was the tract of country S. of Hebron, between the Highlands and the desert which bounds the lower part of Palestine; it is sometimes called the Negeb of Judah, of the Kenites, of Caleb, etc. (Jdg 1:10 ff., Jdg 1:16; 1 Samuel 27:10; 1 Samuel 30:14). This ‘dry land’ being in the south of Palestine, Negeb came to have the general meaning, ‘south.’ ‘The lowland,’ in Hebr. ‘the Shephçlah,’ is the region of low hills and plains on the W. and S.W. of Judah, sloping down from the Highlands to the sea; the list of Judaean cities in Joshua 15:33-47 indicates the extent of this district. For ‘Shephçlah’ the original narrative uses the word ‘valley’ in this chapter, Jdg 1:19; Jdg 1:34.
And afterward the children of Judah went down to fight against the Canaanites, that dwelt in the mountain, and in the south, and in the valley.
And Judah went against the Canaanites that dwelt in Hebron: (now the name of Hebron before was Kirjatharba:) and they slew Sheshai, and Ahiman, and Talmai.10. The conquest of Hebron (contrast Joshua 10:36-37 D) is here ascribed to Judah as part of the general operations against the Canaanites (Jdg 1:9); later on, the Judahites, having taken the city, made it over to Caleb (Jdg 1:20). In Joshua 15:14 J, however, Hebron is captured by Caleb; it was a victory over the Anâkim, not over Canaanites in general; and such was undoubtedly the original version of the story. The editor here has altered the original narrative to fit his scheme of Judah’s victories; this has involved the removal of Jdg 1:20 from its proper place before Jdg 1:10. Fortunately the parallel passage in Joshua helps us to recover the original form of the text:
Joshua 15:13-15. Jdg 1:20; Jdg 1:10-11.And unto Caleb the son of Jephunneh he gave [Hebron]†. And Caleb drove out thence the three sons of Anak, Sheshai, and Ahiman, and Talmai, the children of Anak. And he went up thence against the inhabitants of Debir etc.
 The words which intervene come from P. And they gave Hebron unto Caleb, as Moses had spoken: and he drove out thence the three sons of Anak (20), Sheshai, and Ahiman, and Talmai (10b). And he went thence against the inhabitants of Debir etc. (11).
Thus the whole of Jdg 1:10, except the names of the giants, is due to the editor. Arranging the text in this way we obtain a consistent narrative, a proper subject for the verb ‘and he went’ in Jdg 1:11, and the introduction of Caleb at a point which explains how he came to be speaking in Jdg 1:12.
Hebron] The modern el-Ḥalîl (= the friend), so called from its association with Abraham the friend of God, is the highest point in the Judaean Highlands, 3040 ft. above the sea. Its position made it the metropolis of the Negeb, which began a little to the south.
now the name of Hebron beforetime was Kiriath-arba] An archaeological gloss, cf. 11b. The ancient name of Hebron is frequently mentioned by P, e.g. Genesis 23:2, Joshua 15:54 etc.; in Genesis 23:19; Genesis 35:27 P it is given as Mamre. Kiriath-arba = lit. ‘city of four,’ i.e. Tetrapolis, perhaps because the city was divided into four quarters inhabited by different races; cf. Tripolis on the Phoenician coast, founded by Tyre, Sidon, and Aradus. The word arba is not a proper name, as a late Jewish tradition took it, Joshua 14:15; Joshua 15:13; Joshua 21:11; in all three places the LXX has preserved the original reading ‘Kiriath-arba the metropolis of Anak.’ Burney in Journ. Theol. Studies 12:118 f. explains the name as ‘the city of (the god) Four’; he quotes Babyl. parallels for this usage; which, however, is questioned by some Assyriologists.
Sheshai, and Ahiman, and Talmai] Either ‘the three sons of the Anak’ from Jdg 1:20 (cf. Joshua 15:14) should precede; or we may place ‘the children of Anak’ after the names, following the LXX here and Joshua 15:14. The names may refer to families rather than to individuals; they look as if they were Aramaic. Sheshai (Ezra 10:40) is connected by Sayce with the Shasu, i.e. ‘plunderers,’ or Bedouin of S. Canaan frequently alluded to on Egyptian monuments, though the forms are not philologically the same; cf. Sheshan in 1 Chronicles 2:31-35, a name belonging to this region. Ahiman 1 Chronicles 9:17 probably = ‘brother of Měnî,’ the god of fortune, Isaiah 65:11. Talmai is found in N. Arabia, in Nabataean inscriptions (C.I.S. ii. 321, 344, 348), and as the name of kings of Lihyan, an Arabian tribe (Müller, Epigr. Denkmäler aus Arabien nos. 4, 9, 25 from el-‘Öla). The three giants are mentioned in connexion with the visit of the spies, one of whom was Caleb, to Hebron Numbers 13:22; Numbers 13:28 JE. The spies travelled northwards from Kadesh; and Caleb, when he attacked Hebron, most likely also advanced from the south. The two expeditions cannot have been separated by any long interval of time, according to the narrative of J.
Underlying the story there seems to be a dim recollection of the fact that the various clans which in time grew into the tribe of Judah, the Calebites, Kenites, Jerahmeelites, entered Canaan, not from the E. after crossing the Jordan, but from the S. by advancing from Kedesh.
And from thence he went against the inhabitants of Debir: and the name of Debir before was Kirjathsepher:11. he went] Originally, perhaps, he went up as in Joshua 15:15; LXX here they went up. The subject is Caleb in Jdg 1:20 restored to its proper place. Joshua 15:15-19 describes the capture of Debir in almost identical words.
Debir … Kiriath-sepher] Probably eḍ-Ḍâharîyeh, 4 or 5 hours S.W. of Hebron, cf. Joshua 11:21; Joshua 15:50, and note the position of Anab. The K.-sannah of Joshua 15:50 seems to be merely a corrupted form of Kiriath-sepher, i.e. ‘book-town,’ as the LXX, Vulgate, Targ. (‘Archive-town’) understand it. Some MSS. of the LXX, and the Peshitto, transliterate the Hebr. into a form K.-sôp̣hçr which means ‘town of the scribe,’ and corresponds with the Egyptian name of the place, ‘house of the scribe’ (W. M. Müller, Asien u. Europa, p. 174). It has been suggested that the town was called Kiriath-sepher because it contained the record-office of the Anâkim, or a library like those preserved in the great cities of Babylonia and Assyria (Sayce). Such fancies are spun out of a dubious etymology; for we cannot be sure that, in this proper name, sepher is the original pronunciation or even a Hebrew word. The original sense of Debîr is equally problematical; in 1 Kings 6:5 etc. debîr = the adytum, lit. the hinder part (not ‘the oracle’), of the temple.
And Caleb said, He that smiteth Kirjathsepher, and taketh it, to him will I give Achsah my daughter to wife.12. to him will I give Achsah] Cf. 1 Samuel 17:25. The victor was to gain the hand of Achsah: the city too (it appears) became his.
And Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb's younger brother, took it: and he gave him Achsah his daughter to wife.13. Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother] The language leaves it uncertain whether Othniel was the nephew (LXX. cod. B) or the brother (LXX. cod. A, Vulgate) of Caleb; but tradition favours the latter alternative. Elsewhere, though in later documents, Caleb is styled ‘the son of Jephunneh, the Kenizzite’ Josh, Joshua 14:6; Joshua 14:14 D; Numbers 32:12 P. Kenaz was not the actual father, but the name of an Edomite tribe Genesis 36:15; Genesis 36:42; ‘the son of Kenaz,’ therefore, is equivalent to ‘the Kenizzite.’ Kenaz being a tribe, we must suppose that Othniel and Caleb were really clans belonging to it. As a tribal name Othniel may be compared with Israel and Jeraḥmeel. Caleb was closely connected with Jeraḥmeel (1 Chronicles 2:9; 1 Chronicles 2:25; 1 Chronicles 2:42; 1 Chronicles 2:49), a clan settled in the Negeb, S. of Caleb (1 Samuel 27:10; 1 Samuel 30:29), which, as the present narrative shews, settled in Hebron and the neighbourhood. How Caleb came to find a home in Judah is told in Joshua 15:13 JE, cf. Joshua 14:6 ff. D. In the time of David Caleb was still distinct from Judah, 1 Samuel 30:14; but later on the clan became absorbed into Judah, so much so that in Numbers 13:6; Numbers 34:19 P Caleb is the ‘prince’ of Judah, and the Chronicler knows of hardly any other Judahites outside the Calebite family (1 Chronicles 2). The present story gives the tribal traditions under the guise of a narrative dealing with individuals (cf. Jdg 1:3 note). Othniel is called ‘the younger’ (not in Joshua 15:17) brother of Caleb to account for his being of an age to marry Caleb’s daughter, as in Jdg 3:9 to explain how he outlived Caleb so long. The marriage indicates an alliance between the Othniel clan and an off-shoot of Caleb.
Contrast the account of the conquest of Debir by Joshua and all Israel given in Joshua 10:38-39; Joshua 11:21 D.
And it came to pass, when she came to him, that she moved him to ask of her father a field: and she lighted from off her ass; and Caleb said unto her, What wilt thou?14. when she came] into her husband’s house (Ruth 4:11), or from the place where she had been kept in safety during the campaign (Moore).
she moved him to ask] Joshua 15:18; but since Achsah herself asks the favour Jdg 1:15, it is more natural to read he moved, instigated, her to ask. The LXX and Vulgate give this sense, but their evidence as to the original reading is not very decisive; nor is it easy to see why ‘he instigated her’ should have been altered to the present text.
she lighted down from off her ass] to shew respect (Genesis 24:64; 2 Kings 5:21) and to beg a favour (1 Samuel 25:23). The meaning of the verb lighted, descended, only again in Jdg 4:21 (‘it pierced through’ RV.) and Joshua 15, is inferred from the context. To this day in the East the traveller who begs hospitality, for instance, in a Bedouin camp is required to dismount and approach the sheikh on foot.
And she said unto him, Give me a blessing: for thou hast given me a south land; give me also springs of water. And Caleb gave her the upper springs and the nether springs.15. a blessing] i.e. a present as implying good-will, cf. Genesis 33:11; 1 Samuel 25:27 etc.
thou hast set me in the land of the South] the Negeb (Jdg 1:9 note), where the waterless district of Debir was situated.
springs of water] Gullath- or Golath-maim, so LXX. cod. A Joshua 15:19, an ancient place-name, called after the springs mentioned further on: land in Palestine is valueless without springs. Gullath or Golath, pronounced Gulloth in the text, has the ending ath as in other old Canaanite names, e.g. Zephath, Baalath, Zarephath; the rendering ‘springs’ is conjectural; in Zechariah 4:3, 1 Kings 7:41 f. the word means ‘bowl.’
the upper springs and the nether springs] Gullath-illith and Gullath-taḥtith (changing the plur. of the text to sing.), proper names, without the article. These must have lain between Debir and Hebron; if Debir is eḍ-Ḍâharîyeh, the springs of Seil ed-Dilbeh1, 7 m. N. of Dâharîyeh, answer to the requirements. They are 14 in number, feeding a stream which runs for 3 or 4 miles and does not dry up. The springs fall into three groups, and may well correspond with Gullath-upper and Gullath-lower. This attractive story was no doubt told to explain how the springs came to be in the possession of the Othnielites of Debir, when they ought by rights to belong to the clan of Caleb in Hebron; cf. the stories of the wells of Rehoboth and Beer-sheba, Genesis 26:22-33.
 Given in the P.E.F. large Map of W. Palestine, sheet xxi.
And the children of the Kenite, Moses' father in law, went up out of the city of palm trees with the children of Judah into the wilderness of Judah, which lieth in the south of Arad; and they went and dwelt among the people.16. The text of this verse has been badly preserved, and some details of the restoration must remain doubtful.
the children of the Kenite, Moses’ brother in law] Marg. father in law, as O.T. usage requires. A proper name and the article (inserted by RV.) have fallen out before Kenite; LXX. cod. B restores Jethro, cod. A Hobab. The traditions differ as to the name of Moses’ father in law; in J it is Hobab, Numbers 10:29, cf. ch. Jdg 4:11; in E it is Jethro, Exodus 3:1; Exodus 4:18; Exodus 18:1. As this chapter is related to J, the former is preferable: the children of Hobab the Kenite. The traditions differ again as to the tribe to which Moses’ father in law belonged; here and in Jdg 4:11 he is called a Kenite (see the note below), but in Exodus 2:15 ff; Exodus 3:1; Exodus 18:1, Numbers 10:29 he is a Midianite. Common to both traditions is Moses’ connexion by marriage with an Arab tribe. The verb went up in clause a is plur.; in clause b went and dwelt are sing., and may be corrected to the plur. (with RV., LXX. B they dwelt). But the sing, verbs in clause b perhaps imply that the text originally ran And Hobab the Kenite … went up (sing.) … and went and dwelt, omitting the children of.
the city of palm trees] i.e. Jericho, cf. Jdg 3:13 n. and Deuteronomy 34:3, 2 Chronicles 28:15. The order in which the stages of the invasion are mentioned, Jerusalem, Hebron, Debir, Arad, Zephath, seems to indicate a movement starting from the E. and advancing towards the S.; hence Jericho, in the neighbourhood of Gilgal (Jdg 2:1), may well have been the point of departure. On the theory that Judah came up from Kadesh in the southern desert, a ‘city of palm trees’ has been looked for in the S., and Tamar, i.e. ‘palm tree’ (Ezekiel 47:19; Ezekiel 48:28), in S.E. Palestine, is suggested as the place (Steuernagel, l.c. 75 ff.). The possibility that the Calebites and other clans which in time coalesced under the name of Judah, entered the land from the South has been noticed above, in Jdg 1:10.
the wilderness of Judah, which is in the south of Arad] in the Negeb of Arad. The wilderness, of Judah (Psalms 63 title, St Matthew 3:1, cf. Joshua 15:61) was the barren, rugged tract which descends from the Central Highlands eastwards to the Dead Sea. It is possible that the term may have included Arad = Tell ‘Arâd, 17 m. S.E. of Hebron (cf. on Jdg 1:9); yet the description of the ‘wilderness of Judah’ (properly in the E.) as within the Negeb (in the S.) is surprising. The text is certainly incorrect. The LXX. cod. A reads ‘into the desert of Judah, which is in the south, at the descent of Arad’; cod. B ‘into the desert which is in the south of Judah, which is at the descent of Arad.’ Both recensions of the LXX give the descent of Arad (cf. Joshua 7:5; Joshua 10:11 ‘the going down’) instead of the Negeb of Arad; in the neighbourhood of Tell ‘Arâd the Judaean hills descend to the Wadi Seyyal on the E. and the Wadi el-Milḥ on the W., and thence to the plains. Following the LXX. cod. B we might restore ‘into the desert which is in the Negeb of Judah in the descent of Arad,’ which would give excellent sense; but we cannot feel sure that the LXX represents the original text. Other emendations are: ‘the wilderness of Judah which is in the descent of Arad’ (Budde); ‘into the wilderness of Arad’ (Moore, omitting the rest as partly gloss and partly correction of the Hebr.); ‘the Kenites went up from the city of palm-trees which is in the Negeb with the children of Judah into the wilderness of Arad’ (Steuernagel). None of these is quite convincing.
with the people] gives no sense; read with the Amalekite, following a group of cursive MSS. of the LXX which have ‘with the people Amalek’; this agrees with 1 Samuel 15:6, Numbers 24:20-22. ‘While the main Judaean stock settled on the arable land and in cities, and intermarried with the Canaanites, the Kenites, true to their nomadic origin, turned into the wilderness of Judah, and dwelt with the Amalekites’ (G. A. Smith, Hist. Geogr., p. 277 f.). The Kenites, who were related to the Kenizzites (Genesis 15:19; Genesis 36:11; Genesis 36:15), seem to have been a branch of the Amalekites (Num. l. c.); they continued to dwell near Judah in the Negeb 1 Samuel 27:10, on friendly terms ib. 1 Samuel 30:29. In Jdg 4:11 we find a family of them settled in the N., in the territory of Naphtali.
And Judah went with Simeon his brother, and they slew the Canaanites that inhabited Zephath, and utterly destroyed it. And the name of the city was called Hormah.17. Zephath] Only here; the site is unknown. So far as situation goes, es-Sebaita, 25 m. N.N.E. of ‘Ain el-Ḳadîs (Kadesh), would be suitable; but it has no philological connexion with Zephath (Ṣephath). The Canaanite name of the city which was known to the Hebrews as Hormah is not likely to have survived.
utterly destroyed] So the AV. and RV. render the verb, but RVm. devoted, lit. ‘placed under the ban,’ ḥérem RV. ‘devoted thing,’ AV. ‘accursed thing.’ Underlying the practice was the ancient principle of taboo; the ḥérem, as the Arabic meaning of the root shews, was something separated from common use, secluded, wholly made over to the deity and therefore inviolable. Hence in Arab. ḥarâm = sanctuary, the Moslem name of the temple area at Jerusalem; ḥarîm = the women’s chambers; in Aram. dialects the word is used in various forms of a sanctuary, a tomb (Nabataean), consecrated offerings (Palmyrene). Among the Moabites we have an account of the practice which reads almost like a passage in the O.T.; King Mesha ‘devoted’ 7000 Israelite prisoners to ‘Ashtar-Chemosh (Moab. Stone, lines 16–18). Among the Hebrews anything which might endanger the religious life of the community was put out of harm’s way by being ‘devoted’ to God, and whatever was thus placed under the ban had to be destroyed; e.g. the idolatrous Canaanites, or the idolatrous Israelite city, Joshua 10:1; Joshua 10:28 etc., Jdg 11:11 etc.; Deuteronomy 13:15-17; Leviticus 27:28 f. Instances of the practice are recorded in Joshua 7:1; Joshua 7:22-26; Jdg 21:10 ff.; 1 Samuel 15:3; 1 Samuel 15:8 f., 15 etc.
Hormah] i.e. devoted; but the explanation given here and in Numbers 21:3 JE is, perhaps, only literary. The name, like Hermon, Hŏrçm (Joshua 19:38), can also mean holy place, and the character of the city as sacred or inviolable may have been due to some other cause. Hormah is mentioned again in Numbers 14:45 JE, Deuteronomy 1:44; in Joshua 12:14 it comes immediately before Arad; in ib. Joshua 15:30 it belongs to Judah, in Jdg 19:4 to Simeon; it follows the cities of the Kenites on the list in 1 Samuel 30:30. Other traditions connected with Hormah, which differ from the present one, are preserved in Numbers 14:45; Numbers 21:1-3. In the latter fragment Hormah is ‘devoted’ after a repulse at Arad, by Israel, not by Judah and Simeon; it is implied that the former name of the place was Arad; and the episode is placed at an earlier stage of the history. It is best to recognize the differences; they can hardly be reconciled.
Also Judah took Gaza with the coast thereof, and Askelon with the coast thereof, and Ekron with the coast thereof.18. The statement that Judah captured three out of the five chief cities of the Philistines cannot be reconciled with any ancient tradition; it contradicts the next verse and Jdg 3:3, Joshua 13:2 f.; it represents the unhistorical theory of the conquest which is found in Jdg 1:4; Jdg 1:8-9, and like them must be regarded as the work of a late redaction. The LXX reads ‘and Judah did not dispossess’ (a different word from ‘took’), and other versions insert the negative; this seems to get over the difficulty; but the LXX version here has little critical value. The expression ‘with the border thereof,’ instead of ‘and the daughters thereof’ (Jdg 1:27), betrays a different hand.
And the LORD was with Judah; and he drave out the inhabitants of the mountain; but could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley, because they had chariots of iron.19. The natural place for this verse is after Jdg 1:7, i. e. after the account of Judah’s first success in the Southern Highlands. He conquered the hill country, but the inhabitants of the plain were too strong for him. There is no one word for the Hebr. verb meaning ‘drive out,’ ‘dispossess,’ ‘conquer.’
for he could not drive out] lit. ‘for (he was) not for driving out,’ a most unusual construction; correct he was not able to drive out, so two Hebr. MSS. and the Versions. The text of Jdg 1:21; Jdg 1:27; Jdg 1:32 is to be corrected in the same way. Comparing Jdg 1:21 with Joshua 15:63, Jdg 1:27 with ib. Jdg 17:12, 2 Chronicles 8:8 with 1 Kings 9:21, we note a tendency to obliterate the impotence of Israel. In this chap. the editor’s theory (Jdg 2:1 b–5a) has influenced the alteration: the cause of the tribes’ failure was not their inability to match the Canaanites, but their unfaithfulness (so Targum here).
the inhabitants of the valley] i.e. of the Philistine plain, between the hills and the sea; see Jdg 1:18 note.
chariots of iron] Cf. Jdg 4:3; Jdg 4:13, Joshua 17:16; Joshua 17:18; i.e. plated or studded with iron, like the Hittite chariots figured on Egyptian monuments: the currus falcati, i. e. scythed chariots, as Vulgate renders, were not yet invented. The horses and chariots of the Canaanites were probably adopted from the Egyptians; but ultimately, like those of the Egyptians, from the Hittites or N. Syrians. Recent excavations confirm what we learn from the O.T. Thus at Taanach iron implements have been found in large quantities; at Megiddo they occur plentifully first at the period which is dated in the middle of the Israelite monarchy, also much earlier but in smaller quantities. In Egypt iron was in common use at the time of the Exodus, and considerably earlier; it came chiefly from the mines in the Sinaitic Peninsula.
And they gave Hebron unto Caleb, as Moses said: and he expelled thence the three sons of Anak.20. See the note on Jdg 1:10.
as Moses had spoken] Numbers 14:24 JE; cf. Deuteronomy 1:36, Joshua 14:6-15 D.
the three sons of Anak] lit. of the Anak; the article shews that the noun is to be taken as a collective, i.e. as the name, not of an individual but of a tribe of people: similarly in Joshua 15:13. These Anâkites, or (long-)necked people, were a race of very tall men, for centuries remembered by the Hebrews, Deuteronomy 1:28; Deuteronomy 9:2; they were specially associated with Hebron, Joshua 11:21; Joshua 14:12; Joshua 14:15.
And the children of Benjamin did not drive out the Jebusites that inhabited Jerusalem; but the Jebusites dwell with the children of Benjamin in Jerusalem unto this day.21. The sequel of Jdg 1:19, which again should come after Jdg 1:7. Originally, therefore, this verse closed the history of Judah; that of Caleb followed.
Instead of Benjamin … Benjamin Joshua 15:63 has Judah … Judah, and for did not drive out it gives were not able to drive out (see Jdg 1:19 note); there can be little doubt that Josh. has preserved the text in its original form. The editor altered Judah to Benjamin in accordance with the theory of distribution which included Jerusalem in Benjamin’s territory, Joshua 18:28 P; perhaps also he wished to find room for Benjamin in the present list.
in Jerusalem, unto this day] There were no Israelites in Jerusalem at the time of the Levite’s visit, Jdg 19:12. The writer’s ‘day’ was after the capture of the city by David (2 Samuel 5:6-8), who spared the old inhabitants (ib. 2 Samuel 24:18 ff.); they and the new-comers continued to live side by side.
And the house of Joseph, they also went up against Bethel: and the LORD was with them.22. the house of Joseph] i.e. the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh (Joshua 17:17); from 2 Samuel 19:16; 2 Samuel 19:20 it appears that the tribe of Benjamin was included.
they also] Just as Judah went up, Jdg 1:4.
Beth-el] The modern Bçtîn, about four hours N. of Jerusalem, 2880 ft. above the sea, and high up in the Central Range (cf. Jdg 4:5, Jdg 20:18; Jdg 20:31 etc.). From Jericho the direct ascent to Beth-el must have passed Ai, the capture of which is recorded in Joshua 8; but we are to think of a gradual process of occupation rather than of a campaign in regular stages.
and the Lord was with them] as He was with Judah, Jdg 1:19. The LXX. cod. A reads ‘and Judah was with them,’ most likely due to a copyist’s slip; in Hebrew Jehovah and Judah differ in only one letter.
22–26. The fortunes of the house of Joseph
The account of the capture of Beth-el (Jdg 1:22-26) has all the marks of antiquity, like the early fragments preserved in Jdg 1:1-21. After the invasion of the South comes the invasion of Central Palestine, and, as this ancient version of the history shews, the two were independent of one another. The narrative knows nothing of such a leader as Joshua, though tradition connected him with the house of Joseph (Joshua 19:50 JE, Joshua 24:1 [Shechem], Joshua 24:30 E; Jdg 2:9), and with the taking of Ai near Beth-el (Joshua 8).
And the house of Joseph sent to descry Bethel. (Now the name of the city before was Luz.)23. sent to spy out Beth-el] lit. made a reconnaissance at B. Perhaps we should read ‘encamped against B.,’ as LXX and Vulgate imply.
Now the name … Luz] A gloss, as in Genesis 28:19; cf. ib. Genesis 35:6, Genesis 48:3, Joshua 18:13 P. In Joshua 16:2 JE the two places are distinguished, ‘from Beth-el to Luz’; but the text is uncertain, and in the LXX the two are usually identified. Luz is supposed to mean ‘almond-tree’; more suggestively Winckler proposes ‘asylum,’ from the Arab lâdha ‘to seek a refuge’ (Gesch. Isr. 2:65 f.). If the latter is right, Luz may have been a sanctuary before it became famous under the name of Beth-el. According to JE the place was called Beth-el because Jacob set up a stone there after his vision when he fled from Esau (Genesis 28:10-22); according to P, because God appeared to him there when he returned from Paddan-aram (Genesis 35:9-15).
And the spies saw a man come forth out of the city, and they said unto him, Shew us, we pray thee, the entrance into the city, and we will shew thee mercy.24. watchers] i.e. the Israelite outposts. The word favours an emendation such as ‘encamped’ in Jdg 1:23; cf. 2 Samuel 11:16.
the entrance into the city] i.e. not the gate, but the point where the city could be most easily entered by an attacking party. For the stipulation cf. Joshua 2:12 f.
And when he shewed them the entrance into the city, they smote the city with the edge of the sword; but they let go the man and all his family.25. but they let … go] As Rahab and her kindred were spared, Joshua 6:25.
And the man went into the land of the Hittites, and built a city, and called the name thereof Luz: which is the name thereof unto this day.26. the land of the Hittites] Cappadocia seems to have been the original home of the powerful, non-Semitic race of the Hittites, known to the Egyptians as Ḫeta. They are first mentioned in the inscriptions of Thothmes III (1500 b.c.), in whose time their empire extended southwards to the district of Kommagene, N. of Carchemish. Later on they pushed further south, into the upper valley of the Orontes. Throughout the period of the Tell el-Amarna tablets (c. 1400 b.c.) and of the Assyrian inscriptions from the 12th to the 8th cents. (Tiglath-pileser I to Sargon) ‘the land of the Hittites,’ Matthew Ḫatti, is in N. Syria. This is no doubt the situation intended here and in Jdg 3:3 (corrected), Joshua 1:4, 1 Kings 10:20, 2 Kings 7:6. Later writers, especially P, mention Hittites as settled in Central or Southern Palestine (Hebron), Genesis 23:10 etc., Genesis 26:34, Numbers 13:29, perhaps using the term loosely for the original inhabitants of Canaan. We have no means of identifying the northern Luz. The tradition of its origin reminds us of the story of the northern Dan, Jdg 18:27 ff.
Neither did Manasseh drive out the inhabitants of Bethshean and her towns, nor Taanach and her towns, nor the inhabitants of Dor and her towns, nor the inhabitants of Ibleam and her towns, nor the inhabitants of Megiddo and her towns: but the Canaanites would dwell in that land.27. The parallel text, Joshua 17:11-12, which has been adapted here and there to fit its present context, suggests that we should read was not able to drive out for ‘did not drive out’ (see on Jdg 1:19), and that Taanach and Ibleam should change places. The verse describes the limits of Manasseh’s expansion northwards; a chain of hostile fortresses, stretching westwards from Beth-shean in the E. to Dor on the sea-coast, rendered the occupation of the Great Plain impossible. A similar line cut off Manasseh-Ephraim from Judah on the S. (Jdg 1:35), so that the two tribes were confined to the Central Highlands. Beth-shean (1 Samuel 31:10, 1 Kings 4:12), the Greek Scythopolis (LXX), the mod. Bçsân, commands the main ascent from the Jordan to the Great Plain by the Nahr Jâlûd. Ibleam may be identified with the ruined site Khirbet Bal‘ame, about 8 m. S.E. of Taanach. The two towns Taanach and Megiddo (often together Jdg 5:19, Joshua 12:21; Joshua 17:11 etc.) lay near each other on the road which goes westwards from Jenîn, skirting the S. of the Plain, which is sometimes called the valley-plain of Megiddo (Zechariah 12:11, 2 Chronicles 35:22). The former is the mod. Ta‘annek, and about 5 m. W. of it lay Megiddo, in all probability on the site of Tell el-Mutesellim. Both towns are mentioned on the list of Thothmes III (c. 1480 b.c.); Megiddo also appears in the Amarna letters (nos. 159, 193–195) and in Assyrian inscriptions (Schrader, COT, p. 168), for it guarded the pass by which Egyptian and Assyrian armies crossed the Carmel range into the Plain. Both these sites have recently been excavated, Ta‘annek by Dr Sellin in 1902–04, Tell el-Mutesellim by Dr Schumacher in 1903–5, and have yielded results which illustrate many details of the religion and social life of Palestine from about 2000 to 100 b.c. See Driver, Schweich Lectures 1909, pp. 80–86, with illustrations. At Ta‘annek were found several cuneiform tablets dating from the pre-Israelite period, c. 1350 b.c.; and at Megiddo a fine Hebrew lion-seal (illustrated in Driver l.c. p. 91), bearing the legend “Belonging to Shama‘, servant of Jeroboam,” perhaps Jeroboam II, c. b.c. 783–743. Dôr, in Joshua 17:11 and in Phoenician more correctly D’ôr, lay near the mod. Ṭanṭûra on the coast, S. of Carmel; in Assyr. it is called Du’ru (Schrader l.c.). In order to continue the line consistently from Jordan to the sea, Dor should be moved to the end of the verse, as in 1 Chronicles 7:29, which seems to be copied from here (Moore).
and her towns] and its dependencies, lit. ‘daughters,’ cf. Jdg 11:26, Numbers 21:25; Numbers 21:32 JE etc.
would dwell] Jdg 1:35, Joshua 17:12 b, lit. ‘resolved to dwell,’ i.e. ‘persisted in remaining’; cf. Hosea 5:11 ‘Ephraim … persisted in walking.’
27–35. The ill-success of the different tribes: they settle among the older population
From this point the form of the narrative changes. Hitherto successes as well as failures have been recorded, with ancient traditions of particular episodes; now follows a bare list of Canaanite strongholds which the new-comers failed to capture. Other towns may have been occupied by the tribes in their several districts; but in most cases the Israelites had to be content to settle down side by side with the old inhabitants. Again the Book of Joshua furnishes parallels and additions.
And it came to pass, when Israel was strong, that they put the Canaanites to tribute, and did not utterly drive them out.28. By the time of Solomon these cities had become Israelite possessions, 1 Kings 4:11 f.; it was probably David who subdued them, after they had been weakened by the Philistines. The latter were masters of Beth-shean in Saul’s time, 1 Samuel 31:10 ff.
taskwork] or forced labour. The word mas properly denotes a body of men engaged upon forced labour; here it is used of the Canaanites when reduced to subjection, cf. Deuteronomy 20:11; Isaiah 31:8. As an institution in Israel, the corvée or labour-gang (employed in the East down to modern times) first appears at the end of David’s reign, 2 Samuel 20:24; it was further organized by Solomon for his public works, 1 Kings 5:13; 1 Kings 9:15; 1 Kings 9:21. Though Canaanites may have been employed for the fortifying of Megiddo and Gezer (1 Kings 9:15), the levying of Israelites for this slavery was deeply resented, ib. 1 Kings 12:4; 1 Kings 12:18. The word does not mean ‘tribute.’
did not utterly drive them out] Even when subjugated, the Canaanites in many places continued to live among the dominant population, a constant danger, as the subsequent history shews, to Israelite religion and morals. The extermination of the Canaanites was but the theory of later times. Of the cities named, Beth-shean, for instance, harboured an alien population throughout its history; see G. A. Smith, Hist. Geogr., p. 358.
Neither did Ephraim drive out the Canaanites that dwelt in Gezer; but the Canaanites dwelt in Gezer among them.29. Cf. Joshua 16:10.
Gezer] An ancient Canaanite city mentioned in the list of Thothmes III, in the ‘Israel Inscription’ of Merenptah (see Ency. Bibl. 1242), and as Gazri in the Amarna tablets (163 etc.), situated on the S.W. border of Ephraim (Joshua 16:3), near the Philistine territory (2 Samuel 5:25). It remained Canaanite until conquered by Pharaoh Shishak, who gave it to his daughter, Solomon’s wife (1 Kings 9:16). Solomon rebuilt the city as a frontier fortress against the Philistines (1 Kings 9:15; 1 Kings 9:17). It was an important place during the Maccabaean wars (Gazara, 1Ma 4:15; 1Ma 9:52; 1Ma 14:34; 1Ma 15:28; 1Ma 15:35 etc.). The site, = the mod. Tell el-Jezer, a little S. of the Jaffa-Jerusalem road and 13 m. from Jerusalem, was recovered by Clermont-Ganneau in 1871. Several bilingual inscriptions in Hebr. and Gk. have been found near the Tell containing the words “boundary of Gezer [Hebr.]: of Alkios [Gk.],” supposed to refer to the sabbatic limits and the local governor who thus defined them. See Cl.-Ganneau, Rec. d’arch. Orientale iii. §§ 25, 47. The excavations recently conducted on the site have thrown much light on the past history of Canaan; seven strata of successive occupations have been ascertained; the area of the Canaanite temple or high place, much pottery, and, in the Israelite stratum, the bones of infants built into the foundations of houses (cf. 1 Kings 16:34), and what has been identified as Solomon’s work of fortification, are among the most important discoveries; see Palest. Explor. Fund Qtly. Statements for 1903, and Driver, Schweich Lectures, pp. 46–59.
in Gezer among them] Joshua 16:10 b reads ‘in the midst of Ephraim unto this day and became subject to forced labour,’ probably representing the original form of J; cf. Jdg 1:28; Jdg 1:30; Jdg 1:33; Jdg 1:35.
Neither did Zebulun drive out the inhabitants of Kitron, nor the inhabitants of Nahalol; but the Canaanites dwelt among them, and became tributaries.30. Zebulun] settled N.W. of the Great Plain, in Lower Galilee, between Asher and Issachar; see Jdg 5:14, Genesis 49:13.
Kitron … Nahalol] In Joshua 19:15 Kattath … Nahalal; ib. Joshua 21:34 f. Kartah … Nahalal; the sites are unknown.
30–33. The Northern tribes settle among the Canaanites
We may conclude from this narrative that the northern tribes entered the country after Judah and Ephraim (so Joshua 18:2-10 JE), and independently of them. Zebulun, Asher, Naphtali, were not strong enough to make any conquests; they could only settle among the older population; and the northern district remained, probably for centuries, only partially Israelite, ‘Galilee of the Gentiles,’ ‘the heathen territory’ (Isaiah 9:1). In Jdg 1:27-30 the Canaanites dwell in the midst of Manasseh, Ephraim, Zebulun; in Jdg 1:31-33 Asher and Naphtali dwell in the midst of the Canaanites. According to P in Joshua 19:10 ff. the cities which are said here to have remained Canaanite belong to the three tribes.
Neither did Asher drive out the inhabitants of Accho, nor the inhabitants of Zidon, nor of Ahlab, nor of Achzib, nor of Helbah, nor of Aphik, nor of Rehob:31. Asher] dwelt in a productive strip of country (Genesis 49:20), extending northwards from Carmel along the sea-coast (Jdg 5:17) to Phoenicia; P indicates the boundaries in Joshua 19:24-31, but not many of the places can be identified. Occupying an indefinite territory between the Phoenicians and the tribes of Naphtali and Zebulun, the Asherites seem to have been only partially identified with Israel; historically their importance was small, they took no part in the combination against Sisera (Jdg 5:17), and here it is implied that they could not hold their own against the older population. In the period of Seti I and Ramses II Egyptian sources mention ’A-sa-ru, a somewhat vigorous state located in the ‘Hinterland’ of S. Phoenicia up to the Lebanon, the very district occupied by the tribe of Asher. ’Asaru is simply the Egyptian form of Asher; but until fresh discoveries reveal the nature of the connexion between the two, no safe conclusions can be drawn for purposes of history. It has been supposed that some part of the Israelite nation, at any rate the tribe of Asher, was resident in Palestine under the 18th Dynasty, i.e. circ. 1400 b.c., before the time of Moses. See W. Max Müller, Asien u. Europa, p. 236 ff.
Acco] is the mod. ‘Akka (so in the Amarna tablets nos. 157–9), the S. Jean d’Acre of the Crusaders, N. of Carmel on the coast; in Acts 21:7 it is called Ptolemais, probably after Ptolemy II. This is the southernmost point on the coast in the present list; the northernmost is Zidon, the mod. Ṣaida, called Ziduna in the Am. tablets (nos. 147, 149, 150 f.), the famous Phoenician city. The Phoenicians are called Zidonians in the O.T., Jdg 3:3, 1 Kings 11:5; they were never subjected by Israel. It is significant that Tyre, which is situated between these two points, is not mentioned.
Ahlab] is probably only another form of Helbah, of which a third form is Mahalab Joshua 19:29 (read ‘from Mahalab to Achzib’). It seems to be the place called Maḫalliba by Sennacherib (Taylor Cyl. COT, 288), who mentions Achzib and Acco in the same line. It is conjectured (Moore) that this was the old name of Râs el-Abyaḍ, the ‘promontorium album’ of Pliny, three hours S. of Tyre.
Achzib] called Ecdippa by the classical geographers, is the mod. ez-Zîb, 2½ hours N. of ‘Akka on the coast; Joshua 19:29.
Aphik … Rehob] Joshua 19:30, not uncommon names; in this region they have not been identified. Rehob (Josh. ib., Joshua 21:31; 1 Chronicles 6:75) may be the Egyptian Raḥubu, N. of the Kishon (Müller, As. u. Eur., p. 153); it is probable that both places were inland, not on the coast.
But the Asherites dwelt among the Canaanites, the inhabitants of the land: for they did not drive them out.32. did not drive them out] Originally no doubt the text ran ‘was not able to drive them out’ (LXX); see Jdg 1:19 note.
Neither did Naphtali drive out the inhabitants of Bethshemesh, nor the inhabitants of Bethanath; but he dwelt among the Canaanites, the inhabitants of the land: nevertheless the inhabitants of Bethshemesh and of Bethanath became tributaries unto them.33. Naphtali] inhabited the eastern part of Upper Galilee; Jdg 1:18. On the S. the territory was bounded by Zebulun and Issachar, on the W. by Asher. It is curious that only two cities are named as having stood out against Naphtali; perhaps the list is not complete, cf. Jdg 4:2 ff. (Hazor). Beth-shemesh and Beth-anath (Joshua 19:38) i.e. ‘temple of the sun(-god),’ ‘temple of (the goddess) Anath,’ were Canaanite sanctuaries, as the names shew; their sites are unknown; possibly ‘Ainîtha, 6 m. N.W. of Ḳades (Kadesh of Naphtali), may be Beth-anath. Both names occur also in Judah, Joshua 15:10; Joshua 15:59; Jdg 1:35 n.
became tributary unto them] had to do forced labour for them.
And the Amorites forced the children of Dan into the mountain: for they would not suffer them to come down to the valley:34, 35. The fortunes of Dan
34. Dan, we may infer, attempted to settle in the N.W. corner of Judah, on the rich land (‘the valley’) between the hills and the coast. But the native population forced them back into the hills; in chs. 13, 16, 18 we find Danite settlements at Zorah and Eshtaol in the Valley of Sorek (Wadi eṣ-Ṣarâr), in Jdg 1:34 the places which Dan tried to occupy are in the next valley to the N., that of Ayyâlôn (W. Selmân—Merj ibn ‘Umar); these quarters, however, proved too strait for them, and, probably not long after the present period, a part of the tribe was driven to seek a home in the north (18), where they are settled in the time of Deborah (Jdg 5:17). It is possible that the migration was due to pressure from the Philistines.
the Amorites] Elsewhere in this chap., as always in J, the pre-Israelite inhabitants are called Canaanites, while Amorites is the name used by E and D; the text of Jdg 1:34-36 no doubt originally had ‘Canaanites.’ There is no sufficient reason to suppose that these verses come from a different document (cf. 34 with 19 ‘hill country … valley,’ 35 with 27b, 23, 30, 33).
forced] The same Hebr. word as in Jdg 4:3, Jdg 10:12 ‘oppress’; Amos 6:14 ‘afflict.’
After this verse it is probable that Joshua 19:47 (corrected), a verse which is clearly an insertion in its present context, followed in the original narrative of J: ‘and the border of their inheritance was too strait for them (cf. 2 Kings 6:1 in Hebr.), and the children of Dan went up and fought with Lesham (= Laish, Jdg 18:29) and took it, and smote it with the edge of the sword, and possessed it and dwelt in it; and they called Lesham, Dan, after the name of Dan their father.’ Perhaps this verse was struck out here, because the episode is narrated at length in the Appendix, ch. 18. At the beginning of Joshua 19:47 the LXX seem to have translated a text which commenced with ‘And the sons of Dan did not dispossess the Amorites …’ If this sentence stood originally in the present document, it would conform Jdg 1:34, which begins abruptly, with Jdg 1:21; Jdg 1:29 ff.
But the Amorites would dwell in mount Heres in Aijalon, and in Shaalbim: yet the hand of the house of Joseph prevailed, so that they became tributaries.35. would dwell] See Jdg 1:27 note.
mount Heres] i.e. ‘mount of the sun,’ probably the same as Ir-shemesh, i.e. ‘city of the sun’ Joshua 19:41, and Beth-shemesh, i.e. ‘temple of the sun’ 1 Kings 4:9, both names occurring along with Ayyalon and Shaalbim in these passages. The site may be identified with the mod. ‘Ain-shems, in the W. eṣ-Ṣarâr, opposite Ṣar‘a (Zorah).
Aijalon] Joshua 10:12; Joshua 19:42 (in Dan), the mod. Yâlô, on the S. side of the broad ‘valley of Ayyalon,’ now called Merj (‘meadow of’) ibn ‘Umar, 14 m. W. of Jerusalem. According to the Chronicler the town was occupied by Benjamin 1 Chronicles 8:13, fortified by Rehoboam 2 Chronicles 11:10, and taken from Ahaz by the Philistines ib. 2 Chronicles 28:18. The Amarna tablets mention it as Aialuna (nos. 173 and 180 ‘fields of A.’), and Shishak (1 Kings 14:25) enumerates it among the conquered cities of Judah, Aiyurun = Ayyalon (Müller, As. u. Eur., p. 166).
Shaalbim] Cf. Joshua 19:42, 1 Kings 4:9. The situation of the mod. Selbît ̣ is suitable, but the names are dissimilar.
prevailed] lit. ‘was heavy,’ as 1 Samuel 5:6; 1 Samuel 5:11. The house of Joseph, i.e. the Northern Kingdom, whose boundaries reached these towns, reduced them to forced labour. They became Israelite possessions, however, before the division of the kingdoms, 1 Kings 4:9; 1 Samuel 6:12 ff. (Beth-shemesh).
And the coast of the Amorites was from the going up to Akrabbim, from the rock, and upward.36. the border of the Amorites] The text describes a boundary line; but there was no boundary between the Israelites and the Amorites, i.e. the old Canaanite population, for they occupied the same territory. Some recensions of LXX (cod. A, Lucian), Ethiop., Syro-Hex., read ‘the border of the Amorite was the Edomite’; this suggests that the Hebr. text should be corrected to the border of the Edomite. The verse indicates the S. frontier of Judah which extended ‘unto the border of Edom,’ Joshua 15:1.
the ascent of Akrabbim] i.e. ‘the Scorpions’ Pass’ Numbers 34:4, Joshua 15:3, must be one of the chief passes which lead up from the ‘Arâbah S. of the Dead Sea, probably the Naḳb eṣ-Ṣafâ, on the N. side of the Wadi el-Fiḳra.
from the rock] Not ‘from Sela’ mg., for it is doubtful whether any city is called Sela in the O.T. The reference is to some conspicuous rock which served as a land-mark; Moore thinks of the cliff of eṣ-Ṣufçj, at the S.W. of the Dead Sea, and, omitting the prep. ‘from,’ renders ‘to Sela.’ But it is doubtful whether this cliff is sufficiently striking (Lagrange, Livre des Juges, p. 21), and we want a direction not eastwards but westwards. Accordingly the Rock at Kadesh (‘Ain Ḳades, 50 m. S. of Beer-sheba) has been suggested; see Numbers 20:8. It is a “large single mass, or a small hill of solid rock” standing out conspicuously from the earth covered hills (Clay Trumbull, Kadesh-Barnea, pp. 272–4); moreover Kadesh-barnea is mentioned as one of the chief points on the S. frontier of Judah, Numbers 34:4, Joshua 15:3. But then why should the nameless Rock and not Kadesh itself be spoken of here? It is, in fact, impossible to be sure where ‘the Rock’ was. It cannot be Petra (LXX etc.), the famous capital of the Nabataeans, for this is too far south.
The verse is obviously out of connexion with its context. As a description of the southern limit of Judah it would be in place after Jdg 1:16 (the Kenites) or Jdg 1:17 (Simeon); but we cannot feel certain as to its original position in the document. It is a mutilated fragment, and, since the southern limit of Judah was also the limit of Israelite territory, it was probably placed where it stands to round off the country occupied by the various tribes.