The king of Dor in the coast of Dor, one; the king of the nations of Gilgal, one;
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Joshua 12:23. The king of Gilgal — This Gilgal is not the place where Joshua encamped when he came over Jordan; for there was no city there, nor any king of that country, but the king of Jericho. That place had also its name from the circumcision of the Israelites there, chap. Joshua 5:9.Genesis 14:1 and note. It means king of certain mixed and probably nomadic tribes, which regarded Gilgal Joshua 9:19 as their center and capital.
7. Baal-gad … even unto … Halak—(See on Jos 11:17). A list of thirty-one chief towns is here given; and, as the whole land contained a superficial extent of only fifteen miles in length by fifty in breadth, it is evident that these capital cities belonged to petty and insignificant kingdoms. With a few exceptions, they were not the scenes of any important events recorded in the sacred history, and therefore do not require a particular notice.Dor, of which Joshua 11:2.
Gilgal; not of that Gilgal where Joshua first lodged after his passage over Jordan; where it doth not appear that there was either king or city; but of another city of the same name, (as was frequent in those parts,) probably in Galilee towards the sea whither divers people might possibly resort for trade and merchandise, over whom this was king, as formerly Tidal seems to have been, Genesis 14:1. Joshua 11:2; it fell to the lot of Manasseh, but never was possessed by them, as were not Taanach and Megiddo, before mentioned, Joshua 17:11 Judges 1:27,
the king of the nations of Gilgal, one; not the place where Joshua encamped after he had passed Jordan, for that was then no city; the Septuagint version renders it the land of Galilee; and Dr. Lightfoot (s) is of opinion that Galilee is meant, and in the Apocrypha:"Who went forth by the way that leadeth to Galgala, and pitched their tents before Masaloth, which is in Arbela, and after they had won it, they slew much people.'' (1 Maccabees 9:2)Galgala is spoken of as near to Arbel, a city in Galilee: Jerom (t) takes this to be the same with Glagulis, which in his time was a village six miles from Antipatris to the north.The king of Dor in the coast of Dor, one; the king of the nations of Gilgal, one;
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)23. Dor] See Joshua 11:2.
the nations of Gilgal] “The kyng of the Gentils (folkis) of Galgal,” Wyclif. For the word here rendered “nations” comp. Genesis 10:5, “every one after his tongue, after their families, in their nations;” Genesis 14:1, “Tidal king of nations.” The Gilgal here mentioned is not the Gilgal on the Jordan, but the modern Jiljilieh, west of Ebal and Gerizim, in the plain along the Mediterranean. See above, ch. Joshua 9:6.Verse 23. - The nations of Gilgal. Or the nations that belong to Gilgal. This is identified by Yandevelde and Conder with Jiljulieh in the plain of Jordan, north of Antipatris, and is therefore, if this identification be correct, a third Gilgal. The word "nations" most probably signifies a diversity of tribes of various races gathered together under the headship of the king of Gilgal, much in the same way that the kingdom of Mercia arose in England from a confused mass of various tribes, gathered together on the marches, or military frontiers, between Britons, Saxons and English, or in the same way that the Austrian and Turkish empires have been formed out of a congeries of various nationalities. So we read of "Tidal king of nations" in Genesis 14:1. But others regard the "nations" (Goim) mentioned there as equivalent to the Gutinm of the Babylonian tablets - i.e., Semitic tribes imperfectly organised, then dwelling in Babylonia, and prefer the LXX. reading, Θαργάλ, in Genesis 14:1, which Sir Henry Rawlinson considers equivalent to the Accadian Tur Gal, or "great chief." So Sayce, 'Babl. Lit.,' p. 23; Tomkins, 'Studies on the Time of Abraham.' See Introduction III. Joshua 6:1); Ai (Joshua 7:2); Jerusalem, Hebron, Jarmuth, Lachish, and Eglon (Joshua 10:3); Gezer (Joshua 10:33); and Debir (Joshua 10:38). Those given in Joshua 12:13 and Joshua 12:14 are not mentioned by name in Joshua 10. Geder, possibly the same as Gedor upon the mountains of Judah (Joshua 15:58), which has been preserved under the old name of Jedur (Rob. Pal. ii. p. 186, and Bibl. Res. p. 282). Hormah (i.e., banning) was in the south of Judah (Joshua 15:30), and was allotted to the Simeonites (Joshua 19:4). It was called Zephath by the Canaanites (Judges 1:17; see at Numbers 21:3), was on the southern slope of the mountains of the Amalekites or Amorites, the present ruins of Septa, on the western slope of the table-land of Rakhma, two hours and a half to the south-west of Khalasa (Elusa: see Ritter, Erdk. xiv. p. 1085). Arad, also in the Negeb, has been preserved in Tell Arad (see at Numbers 21:1). Libnah (see at Joshua 10:29). Adullam, which is mentioned in Joshua 15:35 among the towns of the plain between Jarmuth and Socoh, was in the neighbourhood of a large cave in which David took refuge when flying from Saul (1 Samuel 22:1; 2 Samuel 23:13). It was fortified by Rehoboam (2 Chronicles 11:7), and is mentioned in 2 Macc. 12:38 as the city of Odollam. The Onomast. describes it as being ten Roman miles to the east of Eleutheropolis; but this is a mistake, though it has not yet been discovered. So far as the situation is concerned, Deir Dubbn would suit very well, a place about two hours to the north of Beit Jibrin, near to a large number of caves in the white limestone, which form a kind of labyrinth, as well as some vaulted grottos (see Rob. Pal. ii. p. 353, and Van de Velde, Reise, pp. 162-3). Makkedah: possibly Summeil (see at Joshua 10:10). Bethel, i.e., Beitin (see Joshua 8:17). The situation of the towns which follow in Joshua 12:17 and Joshua 12:18 cannot be determined with certainty, as the names Tappuach, Aphek, and Hefer are met with again in different parts of Canaan, and Lassaron does not occur again. But if we observe, that just as from Joshua 12:10 onwards those kings'-towns are first of all enumerated, the capture of which has already been described in Joshua 10, and then in Joshua 12:15 and Joshua 12:16 certain other towns are added which had been taken in the war with the Canaanites of the south, so likewise in Joshua 12:19 and Joshua 12:20 the capitals of the allied kings of northern Canaan are given first, and after that the other towns that were taken in the northern war, but had not been mentioned by name in Joshua 11:there can be no doubt whatever that the four towns in Joshua 12:17 and Joshua 12:18 are to be classed among the kings'-towns taken in the war with the king of Jerusalem and his allies, and therefore are to be sought for in the south of Canaan and not in the north. Consequently we cannot agree with Van de Velde and Knobel in identifying Tappuach with En-Tappuach (Joshua 17:7), and looking for it in Atf, a place to the north-east of Nablus and near the valley of the Jordan; we connect it rather with Tappuach in the lowlands of Judah (Joshua 15:34), though the place itself has not yet been discovered. Hefer again is neither to be identified with Gath-hepher in the tribe of Zebulun (Joshua 19:13), nor with Chafaraim in the tribe of Issachar (Joshua 19:19), but is most probably the capital of the land of Hefer (1 Kings 4:10), and to be sought for in the neighbourhood of Socoh in the plain of Judah. Aphek is probably the town of that name not far from Ebenezer (1 Samuel 4:1), where the ark was taken by the Philistines, and is most likely to be sought for in the plain of Judah, though not in the village of Ahbek (Rob. Pal. ii. p. 343); but it has not yet been traced. Knobel imagines that it was Aphek near to Jezreel (1 Samuel 29:1), which was situated, according to the Onom., in the neighbourhood of Endor (1 Samuel 29:1; 1 Kings 20:25, 1 Kings 20:30); but this Aphek is too far north. Lassaron only occurs here, and hitherto it has been impossible to trace it. Knobel supposes it to be the place called Saruneh, to the west of the lake of Tiberias, and conjectures that the name has been contracted from Lassaron by aphaeresis of the liquid. This is quite possible, if only we could look for Lassaron so far to the north. Bachienne and Rosenmller imagine it to be the village of Sharon in the celebrated plain of that name, between Lydda and Arsuf.
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