Joshua 11:2
And to the kings that were on the north of the mountains, and of the plains south of Chinneroth, and in the valley, and in the borders of Dor on the west,
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(2) Chinnerothi.e., Ginizer, the Gennesaret of the New Testament.

Dor is identified as Tantûra.

Joshua 11:2. On the north of the mountains — Rather, according to the Hebrew, On the north in the mountain. That is, either mount Lebanon, called the mountain by way of eminence, or in the mountainous country. This seems to be the general designation of all the particular places following: they were in the northern parts of Canaan, as those mentioned chap. 10 were in the southern parts. And of the plain, &c. — Hebrew, in the plain, southward from Chinneroth, on the lake of Gennesareth. Dor — A place upon the coast of the midland sea.11:1-9 The wonders God wrought for the Israelites were to encourage them to act vigorously themselves. Thus the war against Satan's kingdom, carried on by preaching the gospel, was at first forwarded by miracles; but being fully proved to be of God, we are now left to the Divine grace in the usual course, in the use of the sword of the Spirit. God encouraged Joshua. Fresh dangers and difficulties make it necessary to seek fresh supports from the word of God, which we have nigh unto us for use in every time of need. God proportions our trials to our strength, and our strength to our trials. Joshua's obedience in destroying the horses and chariots, shows his self-denial in compliance with God's command. The possession of things on which the carnal heart is prone to depend, is hurtful to the life of faith, and the walk with God; therefore it is better to be without worldly advantages, than to have the soul endangered by them.On the north of the mountains - Rather, "northward in the mountains." The reference is to the mountain district of Galilee, called Joshua 20:7 "mount Naphtali."

On the plains south of Chinneroth - literally, "in the Arabah south of Chinneroth." The words describe the northern portion of the "Arabah" (see Deuteronomy 1:1), or depressed tract, which extends along the Jordan from the lake of Gennesaret southward.

Chinneroth - Identical with the later Gennesaret (see Numbers 34:10). The lake derived its name from a town on its banks (compare Joshua 19:35).

In the valley - The northern part of the same flat district mentioned in Joshua 9:1. This "valley" is the level plain adjacent to the sea and extending from Carmel southward.

Borders of Dor - Render "highlands of Dor." Dor was a royal city, and gave its name to the district around it (compare Joshua 12:23; 1 Kings 4:11). Its importance was derived from its having an excellent and well-sheltered haven, and from the abundance among its rocks of the shellfish which furnished the famous Tyrian purple. The site of Dor is identified by travelers as the modern Tantura or Dandora - a name which is itself only a corruption of the ancient Dor. It lies near the foot of Carmel some six miles north of Caesarea.

2. the kings that were on the north of the mountains—the Anti-libanus district.

the plains south of Chinneroth—the northern part of the Arabah, or valley of the Jordan.

the valley—the low and level country, including the plain of Sharon.

borders of Dor on the west—the highlands of Dor, reaching to the town of Dor on the Mediterranean coast, below mount Carmel.

On the north of the mountains, Heb. on the north (which may be the general designation of all the particular places following, that they were in the northern parts of Canaan, as those mentioned Jos 10, were in the southern parts) in the mountain; either in or near the famous mountain of Lebanon, called the mountain by way of eminency; or in the mountainous country. South of Chinneroth, Heb. in the plain lying southward from Chinneroth, or the lake of Gennesaret. See Deu 3:17 Luke 5:1.

Dor; a place upon the coast of the midland sea. And to the kings that were on the north of the mountains,.... Of Libanus and Antilibanus, with others near them; so Josephus (t) says, the kings about Lebanon being Canaanites, fought against them, i.e. the Israelites; for Lebanon lay to the north of the land:

and of the plains south of Cinneroth; or Gennesaret, of the land and lake of which we read in the New Testament, Matthew 14:34; and seems to have respect chiefly to the famous plain of Jezreel, or Esdraelon, of which See Gill on Hosea 1:5,

and in the valley; which may more especially design the valley of Jezreel, as it is called in the above place, and distinguish it from other plains; it was two miles broad, and ten long:

and in the borders of Dor, on the west; which fell to the lot of the tribe of Manasseh, Joshua 17:11; which Pliny (u) calls Dorum, and mentions it along with the promontory of Carmel; so Josephus says (w), in Phoenicia, near Mount Carmel, is a city called Dora, four days' journey distant from Judea; that is, that part of the land of Israel particularly so called; some copies read Idumea. According to Jerom (x), it was nine miles from Caesarea of Palestine, as you go to Tyre; and in his time a desert. It was a haven in the Mediterranean sea, and lies three leagues from the castle of the "pilgrims" near Mount Carmel; and, as a traveller says, is now so decayed, that there is nothing more extant than a large and high tower, which the inhabitants still call Dorteite (y).

(t) Antiqu. l. 5. c. 1. sect. 18. (u) Nat. Hist. l. 5. c 19. (w) Contr. Apion. l. 2. c. 9. (x) De loc. Heb. fol. 92. I.((y) Rauwolff's Travels, par. 3. c. 1. p. 211. Ed. Ray.

And to the kings that were on the north of the mountains, and of the plains south of {b} Chinneroth, and in the valley, and in the borders of Dor on the west,

(b) Which the evangelists call the lake of Gennesaret, or Tiberias.

2. that were on the north] Or, that were “northwards in the mountains,” i.e. “the mountains of Naphtali” (Joshua 20:7), the mountainous region of Galilee.

the plains south of Cinneroth] Literally, “in the Arabah, south of Chinneroth,” i.e. the “Ghôr” of the Jordan, the northern portion of the depressed tract which extends along the Jordan from the Lake of Gennesareth southwards.

Cinneroth] or Chinnereth, or Chinneroth, was the name of a fortified town in Naphtali (Joshua 19:35), situated on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, and giving its earliest name to that lake (Numbers 34:11).

and in the valley] “In the wild feeldis,” Wyclif; i.e. “the lowlands,” the level plain bordering the sea between Akko and Sidon.

in the borders of Dor] Rather, the highlands of Dor. Dor was an ancient royal city of the Canaanites (Joshua 12:23), situated on the coast of the Mediterranean, 14 miles south of the promontory of Carmel, and 7 north of Cæsarea. The district, of which it was the capital, was afterwards within the allotted territory of Asher, but was assigned to Manasseh (Joshua 17:11), but the Israelites could never obtain possession of this strong city (Joshua 17:12; Jdg 1:27), though they made the inhabitants pay tribute in the days of Solomon (1 Kings 4:11). What is here rendered “the borders of Dor,” is rendered “the coast of DorJoshua 12:23, and the “region of Dor1 Kings 4:11. The original word Napheth, thus variously translated, means an “elevated tract,” and hence a coast as being raised above the water. Dor stood on a rocky promontory, behind which lies a beautiful and fertile plain, extending southward to Sharon, and northward to Carmel. This plain is the “coast” or “region” of Dor. Dor was one of the Phœnician seats of commerce, deriving its importance from (i) its well-sheltered haven, (ii) the abundance amidst its rocks of the murex, a shell-fish yielding the famous purple dye. It was still a flourishing town in the Roman age, and afterwards became the seat of a bishop, who was, in the days of the Crusades, a suffragan in the province of Cæsarea. The modern Tantûra or Dandora is a corruption of the ancient name. It is now represented by a little fishing village, consisting of some thirty houses, while the site of the old city lies to the north of it, covered for a space of half a mile with massive ruins.Verse 2. - On the north of the mountains. Rather, to the northward, in the mountain district. Not necessarily the Lebanon and Anti-Lebanon range, but the mountains of Galilee, which lay within the boundaries of Naphtali. The LXX. reads צדון for צְפון and therefore renders κατὰ Σιδῶνα adding τήν μεγάλην from ver. 8. The plains south of Chinneroth. Rather, the Arabah south of Chinneroth (see note on Joshua 3:16). The word Arabah is given untranslated in Joshua 18:18. This was, no doubt, the great Ghor, or depression of the Jordan, or at least the northern part of it, extending for some distance south of the town of Chinneroth (Joshua 19:35; Deuteronomy 3:17). This town gave its name to the lake or inland sea now better known to the student of Scriptures as the sea of Tiberias, or lake of Gennesareth (see Numbers 34:11). "As we enter upon the geological character of the basin which contains the sea of Galilee, we see at once that it is simply one element of the Jordan Valley and the Dead Sea, which extends due north and south for a distance of sixty hours. This is the Ghor, or Sunken Valley of the Arabah" (see note on Joshua 3:16)," extending from Hasbeya to the AElanitic gulf as a continuous cleft - the deepest one known to us" (Ritter, 2:241). He goes on to enumerate the various signs of volcanic agency in this region; the frequent earthquakes, the form of the basin of Gennesareth (though he denies it to be a crater), the hot springs, the frequent eaves, the naphtha deposits and springs, the hot water springs to be found even in the Dead Sea, the lofty crystalline masses of the Sinaitic peninsula, and the porphyritic dykes found at the southern end Of the Ghor, as well as the general conformation of the country east of Jordan. The sea of Chinneroth, or Tiberias, is stated by Conder (Handbook, pp. 212, 216) to be 682.5 feet below the level of the Mediterranean. And in the valley. The Shephelah, or lowland district (see above Joshua 9:1). The borders of Dot. Rather, the heights, or highlands (נָפות Vulg. regionibus) of Dor. This elevated position was a remarkable feature of the neighbourhood, though the various translations of the word (as "coast," Joshua 12:23; "region," 1 Kings 4:11) rather obscure the prominence given to this physical characteristic in the Scripture narrative. Rosenmuller would translate it the "promontory" of Dor, for Dot (now Tantura, Tortura, or Dandora) was upon the sea coast south of Carmel, and nine Roman miles north of Caesarea. Thus situated, its position on a hill, though the hill is not a lofty one, would strike the observer, and it accounts for the peculiar form of speech noticed above, which is so common that in the LXX. it is usually given as part of the proper name, Ναφεδδώρ (cf. Ναφαθδώρ, ch. 12:23; Νεφθαδώρ, 1 Kings 4:11). And behind it are still higher rocky ridges, to which the name also applies. Dor, with its excellent harbour, was a noted place of commerce in ancient times, especially in the murex coccineus, from which the far famed Tyrian dye was obtained. These are a species of mussel, and Seetzen mentions two varieties, the murex trunculus of Linnaeus, and the Helix ianthina. The latter is of a whitish green, but when taken out of the water it passes from red to purple, and after death to violet. Its use has been superseded by that of the cochineal insect, but the Tyrian purple was in great demand in early times. Its costliness may be inferred from the fact that in each insect a little pouch behind the head, not the size of a pea, contains the dye. See Ritter, 4:280, 281; Pliny, ' Nat. Hist.' 9, 36 (60 in some editions); and' Epist.' 50, 10, 26. The allusions to it by Horace, Virgil, Juvenal, and other classical authors are too numerous for quotation. We may take as instances Virgil, Georg. 3:17: "Illi victor ego, et Tyrio conspectus in ostro" (cf. AEn. 4:262): and Juvenal, Sat. 7:134; "Spondet enim Tyrio stlataria purpura filo." The ruins of the ancient city still crown the steeps of its site (see Vandevelde's Memoir, and Conder's Handbook. Also Keil in loc.). On the west. The LXX. renders, "And to the Amorites on the sea coast" (see last note), leaving out all mention of the Canaanites. Joshua then turned southwards with all Israel (i.e., all the army), attacked Debir and took it, and the towns dependent upon it, in the same manner as those mentioned before. Debir, formerly called Kirjath-sepher, i.e., book town, πόλις γραμμάτων (lxx Joshua 15:15; Judges 1:11), and Kirjath-sanna, i.e., in all probability the city of palm branches (Joshua 15:49), was given up by Judah to the priests (Joshua 21:15). It stood upon the mountains of Judah (Joshua 15:49), to the south of Hebron, but has not yet been certainly discovered, though V. de Velde is probably correct in his supposition that it is to be seen in the ruins of Dilbeh, on the peak of a hill to the north of Wady Dilbeh, and on the road from Dhoberiyeh to Hebron, about two hours to the south-west of the latter. For, according to Dr. Stewart, there is a spring at Dilbeh, the water of which is conducted by an aqueduct into the Birket el Dilbeh, at the foot of the said hill, which would answer very well to the upper and lower springs at Debir, if only Debir might be placed, according to Joshua 15:49, so far towards the north.

(Note: Knobel imagines that Debir is to be found in the modern village of Dhoberiyeh (Dhabarije), five hours to the south-west of Hebron, on the south-west border of the mountains of Judah, upon the top of a mountain, because, in addition to the situation of this village, which is perfectly reconcilable with Joshua 15:49, there are remains of a square tower there (according to Krafft, a Roman tower), which point to an ancient fortification (vid., Rob. Pal. i. pp. 308ff.; Ritter, Erdk. xvi. pp. 202ff.), and because the name, which signifies "placed behind the back," agrees with Debir, the hinder part or back (?), and Kirjath-sepher, if interpreted by the Arabic words, which signify "extremitas, margo, ora." But both reasons prove very little. The meanings assigned to Debir and Kirjath-sepher are improbable and arbitrary. Moreover, it has not been shown that there are any springs near Dhoberiyeh, such as there were in the neighbourhood of Debir (Joshua 15:19.). The view held by Rosenmller, and adopted by Bunsen, with regard to the situation of Debir, - namely, that it was the same as the modern Idwirbn or Dewirbn, an hour and a quarter to the west of Hebron, because there is a large spring there with an abundant supply of excellent water, which goes by the name of Ain Nunkr, - is also quite untenable; for it is entirely at variance with Joshua 15:49, according to which Debir was not on the west of Hebron, but upon the mountains to the south, and rests entirely upon the erroneous assumption that, according to Joshua 10:38 (ויּשׁב, he turned round), as Joshua came from Eglon, he conquered Hebron first, and after the conquest of this town turned back to Debir, to take it also. But שׁוּב, does not mean only to turn round or turn back: it signifies turning generally; and it is very evident that this is the sense in which it is used in Joshua 10:38, since, according to Joshua 15:49, Debir was on the south of Hebron.)

Moreover, not very long afterwards, probably during the time when the Israelites were occupied with the subjugation of northern Canaan, Hebron and Debir were taken again by the Canaanites, particularly the Anakites, as Joshua had not entirely destroyed them, although he had thoroughly cleared the mountains of Judah of them, but had left them still in the towns of the Philistines (Joshua 11:21-22). Consequently, when the land was divided, there were Anakites living in both Hebron and Debir; so that Caleb, to whom these towns were given as his inheritance, had first of all to conquer them again, and to exterminate the Anakites (Joshua 14:12; Joshua 15:13-17 : cf. Judges 1:10-13).

(Note: By this simple assumption we get rid of the pretended contradictions, which neological critics have discovered between Joshua 10:36-39 on the one hand, and Joshua 11:21-22, and Joshua 14:12; Joshua 15:13-17 on the other, and on account of which Knobel would assign the passages last named to a different document. On the first conquest of the land by Joshua, Masius observes that "in this expedition Joshua ran through the southern region with an armed band, in too hurried a manner to depopulate it entirely. All that he needed was to strike such terror into the hearts of all through his victories, that no one should henceforth offer any resistance to himself and to the people of God. Those whom he pursued, therefore, he destroyed according to the commands of God, not sparing a single one, but he did not search out every possible hiding-place in which any could be concealed. This was left as a gleaning to the valour of each particular tribe, when it should take possession of its own inheritance.")

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