Joshua 13:17
Heshbon, and all her cities that are in the plain; Dibon, and Bamothbaal, and Bethbaalmeon,
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13:7-33 The land must be divided among the tribes. It is the will of God that every man should know his own, and not take that which is another's. The world must be governed, not by force, but right. Wherever our habitation is placed, and in whatever honest way our portion is assigned, we should consider them as allotted of God; we should be thankful for, and use them as such, while every prudent method should be used to prevent disputes about property, both at present and in future. Joshua must be herein a type of Christ, who has not only conquered the gates of hell for us, but has opened to us the gates of heaven, and having purchased the eternal inheritance for all believers, will put them in possession of it. Here is a general description of the country given to the two tribes and a half, by Moses. Israel must know their own, and keep to it; and may not, under pretence of their being God's peculiar people, encroach on their neighbours. Twice in this chapter it is noticed, that to the tribe of Levi Moses gave no inheritance: see Nu 18:20. Their maintenance must be brought out of all the tribes. The ministers of the Lord should show themselves indifferent about worldly interests, and the people should take care they want nothing suitable. And happy are those who have the Lord God of Israel for their inheritance, though little of this world falls to their lot. His providences will supply their wants, his consolations will support their souls, till they gain heavenly joy and everlasting pleasures.See the marginal references for some of these names. Heshbon, Kedemoth, and Mephaath became eventually Levitical cities.8. With whom—Hebrew, "him." The antecedent is evidently to Manasseh, not, however, the half-tribe just mentioned, but the other half; for the historian, led, as it were, by the sound of the word, breaks off to describe the possessions beyond Jordan already assigned to Reuben, Gad, and the half of Manasseh (see on [190]Nu 32:1; [191]Nu 32:33; also see De 3:8-17). It may be proper to remark that it was wise to put these boundaries on record. In case of any misunderstanding or dispute arising about the exact limits of each district or property, an appeal could always be made to this authoritative document, and a full knowledge as well as grateful sense obtained of what they had received from God (Ps 16:5, 6). Heshbon: this city and Dibon and Ataroth were upon the borders of Reuben and Gad, and therefore sometimes are ascribed to Reuben, as here, and Numbers 32:37, sometimes to Gad, as Numbers 32:34 1 Chronicles 6:80,81, by whom Heshbon, is said to be given to the Levites, Joshua 21:39. Possibly it and the rest were jointly inhabited by both tribes, as Jerusalem was by Jews and Benjamites.

Bamoth-baal; of which Numbers 21:28. Beth-baal-meon; called Beth-meon, Jeremiah 48:23, and Baal-meon, Ezekiel 25:9, part of the name being cut off, as is usual with the Hebrews.

Heshbon, and all her cities that are in the plain,.... Which was by Medeba, and reached to Dibon:

Dibon, and Bamothbaal, and Bethbaalmeon; Dibon was rebuilt by Gad, though it belonged to Reuben, and perhaps was inhabited by both, being on the borders of each; and Bamothbaal signifies the high places of Baal; see Numbers 22:41; perhaps this is the same with Bamoth in the valley, Numbers 21:20; and Bethbaalmeon is the same with Baalmeon in Numbers 32:38; where it is highly probable was a temple of Baal, since both "beth" signifies an house, and "meon" an habitation.

Heshbon, and all her cities that are in the plain; Dibon, and Bamothbaal, and Bethbaalmeon,
17. Bamoth-baal] It was a site of the old heathen worship of Baal. It is probably mentioned under the shorter form of Bamoth, Numbers 21:19, or “Bamoth-in-the-ravine.” It occurs again in Isaiah 15:2.

Beth-baal-meon] At the first approach of the Israelites to this part of Palestine (Numbers 32:38) it is called Baal-Meon, or in its contracted form Beon (Numbers 32:3). The Beth is probably a Hebrew addition, and the word denotes “the House of Baal of the den.” The name still clings to a ruined place of considerable size, a short distance S. W. of Heshbân, and bearing the name of the fortress of Mi’ûn.

Verse 17. - Bamoth Baal. The high places or altars of Baal. The frequent mention of Baal in this passage shows how common the worship of Baal was in Palestine. The Moabites worshipped him under the name of Chemosh, to whom Mesha, on the Moabite stone, attributes all his victories (cf. Numbers 21:29; Judges 11:24; 1 Kings 11:7, 33. So Beth-Peor below (cf. Numbers 25:3). Joshua 13:17The Possessions of the Two Tribes and a Half. - Joshua 13:15-23. The tribe of Reuben received its inheritance in the south-namely, the territory from Aror in the Arnon valley, and from Ar in that valley, onwards, and the plain (table-land) by Medeba (see Joshua 13:9), with Heshbon the capital and her towns, i.e., the towns dependent upon it, in the plain. Heshbon, almost in the centre between the Arnon and the Jabbok, was situated upon the border of the inheritance of the Reubenites, and was ceded to the Gadites, who gave it up to the Levites (Joshua 21:39; 1 Chronicles 6:66 : see at Numbers 32:37). Dibon, called Dibon of Gad in Numbers 33:45, because the Gadites had built, i.e., fortified it, was on the south of Heshbon, only an hour from Aror, on the Arnon (Joshua 13:9). Bamoth-baal, also called Bamoth simply (Numbers 21:20; Isaiah 15:2), is to be sought for on the Jebel Attarus (see at Numbers 21:20). It was thence that Balaam saw the end of the Israelitish camp (Numbers 22:41). Bethbaal-meon, the present ruin of Myun, three-quarters of an hour S.E. of Heshbon (see at Numbers 32:38). Jahza, where Sihon was defeated, was to the east of Medeba, according to the Onom.; and Dibon was on the border of the desert (see at Numbers 21:23). Kedemoth, on the border of the desert, to the north-west of Kalaat Balua, is to be sought on the northern bank of the Balua, or upper Arnon (see at Numbers 21:13). Mephaath, where there was a garrison stationed (according to the Onom.) as a defence against the inhabitants of the desert, is to be sought for in the neighbourhood of Jahza, with which it is always associated (Jeremiah 48:21). Kedemoth and Mephaath were given up to the Levites (Joshua 21:37; 1 Chronicles 6:64).
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