Joshua 10:3
Wherefore Adonizedek king of Jerusalem sent unto Hoham king of Hebron, and unto Piram king of Jarmuth, and unto Japhia king of Lachish, and unto Debir king of Eglon, saying,
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(3) Hebron, Jarmuth, Lachish, and Eglon.—Hebron, i.e., el-Khalil,

Jarmuth is identified as el-Yarmûk.

Lachish is still uncertain; but see Note on Terse 32.

Eglon is identified as Aglân in Philistia.

10:1-6 When sinners leave the service of Satan and the friendship of the world, that they make peace with God and join Israel, they must not marvel if the world hate them, if their former friends become foes. By such methods Satan discourages many who are convinced of their danger, and almost persuaded to be Christians, but fear the cross. These things should quicken us to apply to God for protection, help, and deliverance.For Hebron, see Genesis 13:18. Jarmuth, afterward one of the cities of Judah Joshua 15:35, is probably identified with the modern Yarmuk. Lachish was also a city of Judah Joshua 15:39, and, like Jarmuth, occupied by Jews after the captivity, Nehemiah 11:39. It was fortified by Rehoboam after the revolt of the Ten tribes 2 Chronicles 11:9, and seems to have been regarded as one of the safest places of refuge 2 Kings 14:19. Through Lachish the idolatry of Israel was imported into Judah Micah 1:13, and of this sin the capture of the city by Sennacherib was the punishment 2 Kings 18:14-17; 2 Kings 19:8. Lachish is by most authorities identified with Um Lakis, lying some twenty miles west of Eleutheropolis, on the road to Gaza (and by Conder with El Hesy).

Eglon is the modern Ajlan.

3, 4. Wherefore Adoni-zedek … sent, … saying, Come up unto me, and help me—A combined attack was meditated on Gibeon, with a view not only to punish its people for their desertion of the native cause, but by its overthrow to interpose a barrier to the farther inroads of the Israelites. This confederacy among the mountaineers of Southern Palestine was formed and headed by the king of Jerusalem, because his territory was most exposed to danger, Gibeon being only six miles distant, and because he evidently possessed some degree of pre-eminence over his royal neighbors. He sent, either because he was superior to them in power or dignity, or because he was nearest the danger, and most forward in the work.

Wherefore Adonizedek king of Jerusalem sent to Hoham king of Hebron,.... Which, according to Jerom (d) was twenty two miles from Jerusalem; it was an ancient city built seven years before Zoan in Egypt; See Gill on Genesis 13:18 and See Gill on Numbers 13:22,

and unto Piram king of Jarmuth; a city which fell to the lot of Judah, as did Hebron, Joshua 15:35; according to Jerom (e), it was four miles distant from Eleutheropolis; according to Procopius (f) fourteen, about the village Eshtaol, near to which Samson was buried, Judges 16:31; but Jerom (g) speaks of a city called Jermus, in the tribe of Judah, which seems to be the same with this; and which he says in his day was a village, that went by the name of Jermucha, ten miles from Eleutheropolis, as you go to Aelia or Jerusalem; and as Eleutheropolis lay twenty miles from Jerusalem, this place must be ten miles from it, lying between them both:

and unto Japhia king of Lachish; which the above writer says (h) was a city in the tribe of Judah, and in his time a village, seven miles from Eleutheropolis, as you go to Daroma, or the south; and, according to Bunting (i), it lay between Eleutheropolis and Hebron, and was twenty miles from Jerusalem towards the southwest:

and unto Debir king of Eglon; which the Septuagint version calls Odollam or Adullam; and Jerom, following this version, makes Eglon the same with Adullam, when it is certain they were different places, and had distinct kings over them, Joshua 12:12; and which he says (k) in his time was a very large village, twelve miles from Eleutheropolis to the east; and, according to Bunting (l) it was twelve miles from Jerusalem southward. To these four kings the king of Jerusalem sent:

saying; as follows.

(d) De loc. Heb. fol. 87. E. (e) lb. fol. 92. H. (f) Apud Reland. Palestin. Illustrat. l. 2. p. 505. (g) Ut supra, (De loc. Heb. fol. 92.) I.((h) Ib. M. (i) Travels, p. 99. (k) De loc. Heb. fol. 91. A. (l) Travels, p. 92.

Wherefore {a} Adonizedek king of Jerusalem sent unto Hoham king of Hebron, and unto Piram king of Jarmuth, and unto Japhia king of Lachish, and unto Debir king of Eglon, saying,

(a) That is, Lord of justice, so tyrants take for themselves glorious names, when indeed they are the very enemies of God and all justice.

3. king of Hebron] Situated amongst the mountains, 20 Roman miles, about 7 hours, south of Jerusalem; one of the most ancient cities in the world, rivalling even Damascus, being a well-known town even when Abraham first entered Canaan (Genesis 13:18). Its original name was Kirjath-Arba (Jdg 1:10), “the city of Arba,” the father of Anak, and progenitor of the giant Anakims (Joshua 21:11; Joshua 15:13-14). Hoham denotes “Jehovah of the multitude.”

Piram king of Jarmuth] the present Yarmûk, about 1½ miles from Beit-Netif, on the left of the road to Jerusalem. Near it is an eminence called Tell-Ermûd. It was visited by Robinson.

Japhia king of Lachish] Lachish has been identified with (1) Um-Lâkis, (2) Zukkarijeh, 2½ hours south-west of Beit-Jibîrn. It was afterwards fortified by Rehoboam (2 Chronicles 11:9). Here Amaziah died (2 Kings 14:19). It was besieged by Sennacherib, who moved thence to Libnah (Isaiah 36:2; Isaiah 37:8).

Debir king of Eglon] Lachish and Eglon are mentioned in several other passages (Joshua 12:11-12; Joshua 15:39), in such a way as shews they were not far apart. Eglon has been identified with ’Ajlan.

3. When Nebuchadnezzar came up against Jerusalem, he fought against all “the cities of Judah that were left, against Lachish, and against Azekah: for these defenced cities remained of the cities of Judah,” i.e. they had strength to stand out, when the others had fallen (Jeremiah 34:7).

Verse 3. - Hoham king of Hebron. It was a powerful confederacy which the Phoenician tribes in their desperation formed against Joshua. At its head stood the king of Jerusalem, which, from its central situation and its almost impregnable position (see notes on Joshua 15:63), might naturally stand at the head of such a league. Next came Hebron, which, from its importance from an early period (Genesis 23:2; Genesis 35:27), and the gigantic stature of its inhabitants (Numbers 13:33; Deuteronomy 1:28; Deuteronomy 2:10, 11; Deuteronomy 9:2), as well as its daughter cities (ver. 37), would prove a formidable addition to the strength of the confederates. Colossal blocks of stone, testifying to the presence there of the primeval races of Palestine, are still to be found in the neighbourhood. Hebron stands in "the hill country of Judaea." Its situation has been much admired, standing as it does nearly 3,000 feet above the level of the Mediterranean, and commanding the most extensive views of the Holy Land. This is one of the most interesting in its reminiscences of all the cities in Palestine. Here Abraham pitched his tent, near the "oak of Mature." Here was the burying place of Abraham and Sarah, which has been kept in memory by an unwavering tradition even to this very day; and, sacred ground though it be to the Mohammedans, was opened to the Prince of Wales and his companions in 1862. This was the inheritance of Caleb, and here, where the affections of every Israelite would most closely centre, David fixed his capital until compelled to change it by reasons to which we have already referred. Hebron seems to have been successively occupied by various members of the Phoenician confederation. It was first founded, we learn, seven years before Zoan in Egypt (Numbers 13:22). When we first hear of it, it is in the possession of Mature the Amorite (Genesis 13:18; Genesis 14:13). In Genesis 28, it has clearly passed into the possession of the Hittites, and the mention of the children of Heth is too express for us to suppose that the term Hittite is used generally for the inhabitants of the land. At a much later period the Canaanites, or lowlanders, had, strangely enough, obtained possession (Judges 1:10), and here again the accurate acquaintance of the historian with the names of the tribes (see Judges 1:4, 21, 26, 35) forbids us to suppose that he is speaking loosely. Piram king of Jarmuth. Jarmuth is mentioned in Joshua 15:35, and in Nehemiah 11:29. It has been identified with Yarmuk (see Robinson, II. sec. 11, with whom Vandevelde and Conder agree), where there are the remains of very ancient walls and cisterns. Of its size and importance in the time of Joshua we know nothing. Japhia king of Lachish. Like Jarmuth, Lachish was in the Shephe-lah, or lowlands, of Judah, and we frequently hear of it in the later history of the Jews, as in 2 Kings 14:19; 2 Kings 18:14, 17; 2 Kings 19:8; also 2 Chronicles 11:9. It has been identified by Von Raumer and Vandevelde, whom Keil follows, with Um Lakis, though Robinson ('Biblical Researches' II. 388) denies this on the authority of Eusebius and Jerome; "but not on any reasonable grounds" (Vandevelde). This is the more clear in that Robinson rejects the authority of the Onomasticon in the case of Eglon. Um Lakis is only an hour and a quarter's journey from Ajlann or Eglon, and this narrative (vers. 31-36) shows that Eglon was on the way from Lachish to Hebron. Conder, in his 'Handbook' and in 'Pal. Exploration Fund Quart. Paper,' Jan., 1878, p. 20, suggests Tell el Hesy, a name which he thinks may "be a corruption of Lachlsh." This is a great mound on the main road from Eleutheropolis to Gaza. It is a strong argument for Um Lakis that there are an immense number of instances where the places retain their ancient names. The strongest argument for Tell el Hesy is that Laehish was evidently a place of some strength. Joshua, we read (ver. 32), "encamped against it" (this is said only of La-chish and Eglon), and "took it on the second day," and it successfully resisted the king of Assyria. Now Tell el Hesy was a "great mound" (Conder); but Um Lakis is described by Vandevelde as situated on "a low mound." Debir king of Eglon. This, the modern Ajlan, according to the best authorities, was on the road from Eleutheropolis to Gaza, not far from Lachish. Ruins are to be found there; but we have no means of ascertaining the size and importance of the town in the time of Joshua. The LXX., here and elsewhere in this chapter, render by Ὀδολλάμ. In Joshua 12:11 they read Ἐγκών. There is considerable similarity between Gimel and Daleth, Mem and Nun in the ancient Hebrew character. From this a various reading no doubt resulted. Joshua 10:3The report that Joshua had taken Ai, and put it, like Jericho, under the ban, and that the Gibeonites had concluded a treaty with Israel, filled Adonizedek the king of Jerusalem with alarm, as Gibeon was a large town, like one of the king's towns, even larger than Ai, and its inhabitants were brave men. He therefore joined with the kings of Hebron, Jarmuth, Lachish, and Eglon, to make a common attack upon Gibeon, and punish it for its alliance with the Israelites, and at the same time to put a check upon the further conquests of Israel. Adonizedek, i.e., lord of righteousness, is synonymous with Melchizedek (king of righteousness), and was a title of the Jebusite kings, as Pharaoh was of the Egyptian. Jerusalem, i.e., the founding or possession of peace, called Salem in the time of Abraham (Genesis 14:18), was the proper name of the town, which was also frequently called by the name of its Canaanitish inhabitants Jebus (Judges 19:10-11; 1 Chronicles 11:4), or "city of the Jebusite" (Ir-Jebusi, Judges 19:11), sometimes also in a contracted form, Jebusi (היבוּסי, Joshua 18:16, Joshua 18:28; Joshua 15:8; 2 Samuel 5:8).

(Note: In our English version, we have the Hebrew word itself simply transposed in Joshua 18:16, Joshua 18:28; whilst it is rendered "the Jebusite" in Joshua 15:8, and "the Jebusites" in 2 Samuel 5:8. - Tr.)

On the division of the land it was allotted to the tribe of Benjamin (Joshua 18:28); but being situated upon the border of Judah (Joshua 15:8), it was conquered, and burned by the sons of Judah after the death of Joshua (Judges 1:8). It was very soon taken again and rebuilt by the Jebusites, whom the sons of Judah were unable to destroy (Joshua 15:63; Judges 19:10-12), so that both Benjaminites and Judahites lived there along with the Jebusites (Judges 1:21; Joshua 15:63); and the upper town especially, upon the summit of Mount Zion, remained as a fortification in the possession of the Jebusites, until David conquered it (2 Samuel 5:6.), made it the capital of his kingdom, and called it by his own name, "the city of David," after which the old name of Jebus fell into disuse. Hebron, the town of Arba the Anakite (Joshua 14:15, etc.; see at Genesis 23:2), was twenty-two Roman miles south of Jerusalem, in a deep and narrow valley upon the mountains of Judah, a town of the greatest antiquity (Numbers 13:22), now called el Khalil, i.e., the friend (of God), with reference to Abraham's sojourn there. The ruins of an ancient heathen temple are still to be seen there, as well as the Haram, built of colossal blocks, which contains, according to Mohammedan tradition, the burial-place of the patriarchs (see at Genesis 23:17). Jarmuth, in the lowlands of Judah (Joshua 15:35; Nehemiah 11:29), according to the Onom. (s. v. Jermus) a hamlet, Jermucha (Ἰερμοχωῶς), ten Roman miles from Eleutheropolis, on the road to Jerusalem, is the modern Jarmuk, a village on a lofty hill, with the remains of walls and cisterns of a very ancient date, the name of which, according to Van de Velde (Mem. pp. 115-6), is pronounced Tell 'Armuth by the Arabs (see Rob. Pal. ii. p. 344). Lachish, in the lowlands of Judah (Joshua 15:39), was fortified by Rehoboam (2 Chronicles 11:9), and besieged by Sennacherib and Nebuchadnezzar (2 Kings 18:14; 2 Kings 19:8; Jeremiah 34:7), and was still inhabited by Jews after the return from the captivity (Nehemiah 11:30). It is probably to be found in Um Lakis, an old place upon a low round hill, covered with heaps of small round stones thrown together in great confusion, containing relics of marble columns; it is about an hour and a quarter to the west of Ajlun, and seven hours to the west of Eleutheropolis.

(Note: It is true that Robinson dispute the identity of Um Lakis with the ancient Lachish (Pal. ii. p. 388), but "not on any reasonable ground" (Van de Velde, Mem. p. 320). The statement in the Onom. (s. v. Lochis), that it was seven Roman miles to the south of Eleutheropolis, cannot prove much, as it may easily contain an error in the number, and Robinson does not admit its authority even in the case of Eglon (Pal. ii. p. 392). Still less can Knobel's conjecture be correct, that it is to be found in the old place called Sukkarijeh, two hours and a half to the south-west of Beit Jibrin (Eleutheropolis), as Sukkarijeh is on the east of Ajlun, whereas, according to Joshua 10:31-36, Lachish is to be sought for on the west of Eglon.)

Eglon: also in the lowlands of Judah (Joshua 15:39). The present name is Ajln, a heap of ruins, about three-quarters of an hour to the east of Um Lakis (see Rob. Pal. ii. p. 392, and Van de Velde, Mem. p. 308). In the Onom. (s. v. Eglon) it is erroneously identified with Odollam; whereas the situation of Agla, "at the tenth stone, as you go from Eleutheropolis to Gaza" (Onom. s. v. Βηθαλαΐ́μ, Bethagla), suits Eglon exactly.

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