And from the plain to the sea of Chinneroth on the east, and to the sea of the plain, even the salt sea on the east, the way to Bethjeshimoth; and from the south, under Ashdothpisgah:
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Jos 12:1-6. The Two Kings Whose Countries Moses Took and Disposed of.
1. Now these are the kings of the land, which the children of Israel smote, and possessed their land on the other side Jordan—This chapter contains a recapitulation of the conquests made in the promised land, with the additional mention of some places not formerly noted in the sacred history. The river Arnon on the south and mount Hermon on the north were the respective boundaries of the land acquired by the Israelites beyond Jordan (see Nu 21:21-24; De 2:36; 3:3-16 [and see on De 2:24]).To the sea of Chinneroth on the east; which words describe the situation not of the sea of Chinneroth, which was part of the western border of Sihon’s dominion, but of the plain, which is here said to lie eastward from the sea of Chinneroth, and also eastward from the Salt Sea, as it here follows. And this was indeed the situation of the plains of Moab, which are here spoken of, to wit, that they lay between the two seas, that of Chinneroth and the Salt Sea, and eastward to them both.
The sea of the plain; the Salt Sea is so called because it was a famous plain, pleasant and fruitful, before it was turned into a salt sea. From the south, or, on or towards the south.
to the sea of Cinneroth on the east; the same with the lake of Gennesaret, and sea of Tiberias, mentioned in the New Testament, Matthew 14:34,
and unto the sea of the plain; where stood the cities of the plain, Sodom, Gomorrah, &c.
even the salt sea on the east; the same with the dead sea, into which the plain the above cities stood on was converted:
the way to Bethjeshimoth; which was a place in the plains of Moab, Numbers 33:49,
and from the south under Ashdothpisgah; or the springs of Pisgah, which flowed from the mount of that name, Deuteronomy 3:17.And from the plain to the sea of Chinneroth on the east, and unto the sea of the plain, even the salt sea on the east, the way to Bethjeshimoth; and from the south, under Ashdothpisgah:
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)3. and from the plain] Rather, and the plain, the Arabah, i. e. the eastern part of the Jordan valley, as far as the Sea of Chinneroth.
the sea of Cinneroth] So called after the city of this name. See above, ch. Joshua 11:2. In the New Testament it is called (a) the “Sea of Galilee” (Matthew 4:18; Matthew 15:29; Mark 1:16); (b) the “lake of Gennesaret” (Luke 5:1); (c) the “sea of Tiberias” (John 6:1; John 21:1); and sometimes (d) simply “the sea.”
and unto the sea of the plain] i. e. of the Arabah. While the Lake of Gennesareth forms the northern boundary of the eastern part of the Jordan valley, it is in like manner bounded on the south by the Salt Sea, i. e. the Dead Sea. Near which lay
Beth-jeshimoth] = “the House of the Wastes.” It was one of the limits of the encampment of Israel before crossing the Jordan (Numbers 33:48-49).
under Ashdoth-pisgah] See above, Joshua 10:40.Verse 3. - And from the plain. There is no "from" in the original, which here ceases to describe the territories of Sihon, but continues the account of the Israelite dominions, which included the Arabah (not the plain as in our version) up to the sea of Chinneroth. On the east; i.e., the east of Jordan. So also below. The way to Beth-jeshimoth (see Numbers 33:48, 49). There was a desert tract near the Dead Sea called Jeshimon, or the waste district. It is described by travellers as the most arid portion of the whole land. In this, Beth-jeshimoth (the house of desolations) was situated. It was south of the acacia meadows (see note on Joshua 2:1), and it formed part of the territory of Reuben (Joshua 13:20). As it lay upon Jordan, it must have been near the extreme northernmost point of the Dead Sea. We are to understand, not that Sihon's territory extended to Beth-jeshimoth, but in that direction. Possibly some of the western Cauaanitish tribes here extended their territories across the Jordan. And from the south. The word here is not Negeb, but Teman, i.e., the literal south, which lay on the right (יָמִין) to one looking eastward. Ashdoth-pisgah. For Ashdoth see Joshua 10:40. Pisgah was the northernmost point of the Abarim range, of which the well known Nebo was the chief peak. Thither Moses went up to view the land which he was not permitted to enter. There Balaam built his seven altars and essayed in vain to curse the children of Israel. There were the watchmen (Zophim) stationed to protect the land, in the days before the Israelitish invasion, from the incursions of the tribes on the other side of Jordan (Numbers 23:14). The position of Pisgah has not been precisely identified, but the range extended on the eastern side of Jordan to a point nearly opposite Jericho. See Deuteronomy 34:1. Joshua 14:7, Joshua 14:10, as much as seven years, though Josephus (Ant. v. 1, 19) speaks of five (see at Joshua 14:10). No town submitted peaceably to the Israelites, with the exception of Gibeon: they took the whole in war. "For it was of the Lord" (Joshua 11:20), i.e., God ordered it so that they (the Canaanites) hardened their heart to make war upon Israel, that they might fall under the ban, and be destroyed without mercy. On the hardening of the heart as a work of God, see the remarks upon the hardening of Pharaoh (Exodus 4:21). It cannot be inferred from this, that if the Canaanites had received the Israelites amicably, God would have withdrawn His command to destroy them, and allowed the Israelites to make peace with them; for when they made peace with the Gibeonites, they did not inquire what as the will of the Lord, but acted in opposition to it (see at Joshua 9:14). The remark is made with special reference to this, and has been correctly explained by Augustine (qu. 8 in Jos.) as follows: "Because the Israelites had shown mercy to some of them of their own accord, though in opposition to the command of God, therefore it is stated that they (the Canaanites) made war upon them so that none of them were spared, and the Israelites were not induced to show mercy to the neglect of the commandment of God."
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