Joshua 13:2
This is the land that yet remaineth: all the borders of the Philistines, and all Geshuri,
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Joshua 13:2-3. This is the land that yet remaineth — Unconquered by thee, and to be conquered by the Israelites, if they behave themselves aright. All Geshuri — A people in the north-east of Canaan, as the Philistines were on the south-west. Which is counted to the Canaanite — That is, which, though now possessed by the Philistines, who drove out the Canaanites, the old inhabitants of it, Deuteronomy 2:23; Amos 9:7; yet it is a part of the land of Canaan, and therefore belongs to the Israelites. The Avites — Or, the Avims, as they are called Deuteronomy 2:23, who, though they were expelled out of their ancient seat, and most of them destroyed by the Caphtorims or Philistines, as is there said, yet many of them escaped, and planted themselves not very far from the former.

13:1-6 At this chapter begins the account of the dividing of the land of Canaan among the tribes of Israel by lot; a narrative showing the performance of the promise made to the fathers, that this land should be given to the seed of Jacob. We are not to pass over these chapters of hard names as useless. Where God has a mouth to speak, and a hand to write, we should find an ear to hear, and an eye to read; and may God give us a heart to profit! Joshua is supposed to have been about one hundred years old at this time. It is good for those who are old and stricken in years to be put in remembrance of their being so. God considers the frame of his people, and would not have them burdened with work above their strength. And all people, especially old people, should set to do that quickly which must be done before they die, lest death prevent them, Ec 9:10. God promise that he would make the Israelites masters of all the countries yet unsubdued, through Joshua was old, and not able to do it; old, and not likely to live to see it done. Whatever becomes of us, and however we may be laid aside as despised, broken vessels, God will do his own work in his own time. We must work out our salvation, then God will work in us, and work with us; we must resist our spiritual enemies, then God will tread them under our feet; we must go forth to our Christian work and warfare, then God will go forth before us.This and Joshua 13:3 name the still unconquered districts in the southern half of the land, Joshua 13:4-6 those in the north.

Geshuri - A district on the south of Philistia, the inhabitants of which are again named in 1 Samuel 27:8; but are not to be confounded with the land of the Geshurites mentioned in Joshua 13:13; Joshua 12:5.

2-6. This is the land that yet remaineth—that is, to be acquired. This section forms a parenthesis, in which the historian briefly notices the districts yet unsubdued; namely, first, the whole country of the Philistines—a narrow tract stretching about sixty miles along the Mediterranean coast, and that of the Geshurites to the south of it (1Sa 27:8). Both included that portion of the country "from Sihor, which is before Egypt," a small brook near El-Arish, which on the east was the southern boundary of Canaan, to Ekron, the most northerly of the five chief lordships or principalities of the Philistines. That yet remaineth unconquered by thee, and to be conquered by the Israelites, if they behave themselves aright.

Geshuri; a people in the north-east of Canaan, of which see Deu 3:14, as the Philistines are on the southwest.

This is the land that yet remaineth,.... Unconquered and not enjoyed, namely, what is after described; and this account is given for Joshua's information, that he might know what to divide, and for the people of Israel's sake, that they might know what they had a right to a claim upon; what they should endeavour to possess themselves of, and what the Lord would deliver into their hands, provided they were obedient to his will, for, because they were not, hence many of these places never came into their possession, though divided to them by lot:

all the borders of the Philistines; whose country bordered and lay upon the shores of the Mediterranean sea, in the southwest of the land of Canaan:

and all Geshuri; the principal city belonging to it is said to be in Syria, 2 Samuel 15:8; and had a king over it in the times of David, 2 Samuel 3:3; and seems never to have come into the hands of the Israelites.

This is the land that yet remaineth: all the borders of the Philistines, and all Geshuri,
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
2. the land that yet remaineth] It is described as lying partly (a) in the south (Joshua 13:3-4), and partly (b) in the north (Joshua 13:5-6). The cities still occupied by the Canaanites were left for reduction by the tribes into whose allotment they might severally fall.

all the borders of the Philistines] Literally, all the circles of the Philistines. Vulgate, “Galilæa Philisthiim;” “Galilee of the Philistines,” Luther. “Galile Philistym,” Wyclif. The unsubdued district commences on the south with the Shephêlah and the maritime plain. The Philistines are now first prominently mentioned. Since the time of Abraham (Genesis 21:32; Genesis 21:34; Genesis 26:1; Genesis 26:8), this people had been transformed from a pastoral tribe to a settled and powerful nation, and had advanced northwards into “the plain of Philistia” or the “Shephêlah,” so well suited for war chariots, and offering by its occasional elevations secure sites for towns and strongholds.

and all Geshuri] The Geshurites, not the country mentioned in chs. Joshua 12:5, Joshua 13:13, but an ancient tribe, which dwelt in the desert between Arabia and Philistia. See 1 Samuel 27:8.

Verse 2. - This is the land which yet remaineth. The powerful league of the Philistines, as well as the tribes near them, remained unsubdued. In the north, likewise, the neighbourhood of Sidon, and the territory of Coele, Syria, which lay between Lebanon and Anti-Lebanon, was as yet in the hands of the enemy. Rabbis Kimchi and Solomon Jarchi translate by "borders." Masius suggests the French marque (which was the old German mark), and the modern German grenze. All the borders of the Philistines. Literally, all the circles (Geliloth) of the Philistines. The expression is found in several places in this book (see Joshua 18:17; Joshua 22:10, 11). We may compare the expression the circles of Swabia, Franconia, etc., in the history of Germany. The expression here may have more affinity with what is known as the "mark system" in the history of ancient Germany, and refer to the patch of cultivated ground which extended for some distance round each city. But this is rendered improbable by the fact that one circle only retained its name (Joshua 20:7; Joshua 21:32), and is still known as Galilee (see notes on these passages). Galilee was too large a district to have been originally a clearing round a town. Geshur (see note on Joshua 12:5). Ewald (see also Hitzig,' Geschichte des Volkes Israel,' p. 20) conjectures that these Geshurites were the aboriginal inhabitants of the country (see 1 Samuel 27:8), and were the same as the Avites or Avvites. See next verse, where the Avvites are distinguished from the five lords of the Philistines. It is worthy of remark that the name Talmai, the name of one of the "sons of Anak" (Joshua 15:14), comes in again as the name of a king of Geshur (2 Samuel 3:3 13:37). It occurs, however, as a Hebrew name in Bartholomew, or Bar-Tolmai, i.e., the son of Talmai, or Tolmai, one of the twelve apostles. Ewald supposes that these aborigines were dispossessed by the Canaanitish tribes, and that the old name of Geshur was still applied to those regions on which this primitive race had retained its hold. Joshua 13:2All the circles of the Philistines (geliloth, circles of well-defined districts lying round the chief city). The reference is to the five towns of the Philistines, whose princes are mentioned in Joshua 13:3. "And all Geshuri:" not the district of Geshur in Peraea (Joshua 13:11, Joshua 13:13, Joshua 12:5; Deuteronomy 3:14), but the territory of the Geshurites, a small tribe in the south of Philistia, on the edge of the north-western portion of the Arabian desert which borders on Egypt; it is only mentioned again in 1 Samuel 27:8. The land of the Philistines and Geshurites extended from the Sichor of Egypt (on the south) to the territory of Ekron (on the north). Sichor (Sihor), lit. the black river, is not the Nile, because this is always called היאר (the river) in simple prose (Genesis 41:1, Genesis 41:3; Exodus 1:22), and was not "before Egypt," i.e., to the east of it, but flowed through the middle of the land. The "Sichor before Egypt" was the brook (Nachal) of Egypt, the Ῥινοκοροῦρα, the modern Wady el Arish, which is mentioned in Joshua 15:4, Joshua 15:47, etc., as the southern border of Canaan towards Egypt (see at Numbers 34:5). Ekron (Ἀρρακών, lxx), the most northerly of the five chief cities of the Philistines, was first of all allotted to the tribe of Judah (Joshua 15:11, Joshua 15:45), then on the further distribution it was given to Dan (Joshua 19:43); after Joshua's death it was conquered by Judah (Judges 1:18), though it was not permanently occupied. It is the present Akr, a considerable village in the plain, two hours to the south-west of Ramlah, and on the east of Jamnia, without ruins of any antiquity, with the exception of two old wells walled round, which probably belong to the times of the Crusaders (see Rob. Pal. iii. p. 23). "To the Canaanites is reckoned (the territory of the) five lords of the Philistines," i.e., it was reckoned as belonging to the land of Canaan, and allotted to the Israelites like all the rest. This remark was necessary because the Philistines were not descendants of Canaan (see at Genesis 10:14), but yet were to be driven out like the Canaanites themselves as being invaders of Canaanitish territory (cf. Deuteronomy 2:23). סרני, from סרן, the standing title of the princes of the Philistines (vid., Judges 3:3; Judges 16:5.; 1 Samuel 5:8), does not mean kings, but princes, and is interchangeable with שׂרים (cf. 1 Samuel 29:6 with 1 Samuel 29:4, 1 Samuel 29:9). At any rate, it was the native or Philistian title of the Philistine princes, though it is not derived from the same root as Sar, but is connected with seren, axis rotae, in the tropical sense of princeps, for which the Arabic furnishes several analogies (see Ges. Thes. p. 972).

The capitals of these five princes were the following. Azzah (Gaza, i.e., the strong): this was allotted to the tribe of Judah and taken by the Judaeans (Joshua 15:47; Judges 1:18), but was not held long. It is at the present time a considerable town of about 15,000 inhabitants, with the old name of Ghazzeh, about an hour from the sea, and with a seaport called Majuma; it is the farthest town of Palestine towards the south-west (see Rob. Pal. ii. pp. 374ff.; Ritter, Erdk. xvi. pp. 35ff.; Stark, Gaza, etc., pp. 45ff.). Ashdod (Ἄζωτος, Azotus): this was also allotted to the tribe of Judah (Joshua 15:46-47), the seat of Dagon-worship, to which the Philistines carried the ark (1 Samuel 5:1.). It was conquered by Uzziah (2 Chronicles 26:6), was afterwards taken by Tartan, the general of Sargon (Isaiah 20:1), and was besieged by Psammetichus for twenty-nine years (Herod. ii. 157). It is the present Esdud, a Mahometan village with about a hundred or a hundred and fifty miserable huts, upon a low, round, wooded height on the road from Jamnia to Gaza, two miles to the south of Jamnia, about half an hour from the sea (vid., Rob. i. p. 368). Ashkalon: this was conquered by the Judaeans after the death of Joshua (Judges 1:8-9); but shortly afterwards recovered its independence (vid., Judges 14:19; 1 Samuel 6:17). It is the present Askuln on the sea-shore between Gaza and Ashdod, five hours to the north of Gaza, with considerable and widespread ruins (see v. Raum. pp. 173-4; Ritter, xvi. pp. 69ff.). Gath (Γέθ): this was for a long time the seat of the Rephaites, and was the home of Goliath (Joshua 11:22; 1 Samuel 17:4, 1 Samuel 17:23; 2 Samuel 21:19.; 1 Chronicles 20:5.); it was thither that the Philistines of Ashdod removed the ark, which was taken thence to Ekron (1 Samuel 5:7-10). David was the first to wrest it from the Philistines (1 Chronicles 18:1). In the time of Solomon it was a royal city of the Philistines, though no doubt under Israelitish supremacy (1 Kings 2:39; 1 Kings 5:1). It was fortified by Rehoboam (2 Chronicles 11:8), was taken by the Syrians in the time of Joash (2 Kings 12:18), and was conquered again by Uzziah (2 Chronicles 26:6; Amos 6:2); but no further mention is made of it, and no traces have yet been discovered

(Note: According to the Onom. (s. v. Geth), it was a place five Roman miles from Eleutheropolis towards Diospolis, whereas Jerome (on Micah 1) says: "Gath was near the border of Judaea, and on the road from Eleutheropolis to Gaza; it is still a very large village;" whilst in the commentary on Jeremiah 25 he says: "Gath was near to and conterminous with Azotus," from which it is obvious enough that the situation of the Philistine city of Gath was altogether unknown to the Fathers. Hitzig and Knobel suppose the Βαιτογάβρα of Ptolemy (5:16, 6), Betogabri in Tab. Peuting. ix. e. (the Eleutheropolis of the Fathers, and the present Beit Jibrin, a very considerable ruin), to be the ancient Gath, but this opinion is only founded upon very questionable etymological combinations; whereas Thenius looks for it on the site of the present Deir Dubban, though without any tenable ground.)

(see Rob. ii. p. 420, and v. Raumer, Pal. pp. 191-2). "And the Avvites (Avvaeans) towards the south." Judging from Deuteronomy 2:23, the Avvim appear to have belonged to those tribes of the land who were already found there by the Canaanites, and whom the Philistines subdued and destroyed when they entered the country. They are not mentioned in Genesis 10:15-19 among the Canaanitish tribes. At the same time, there is not sufficient ground for identifying them with the Geshurites as Ewald does, or with the Anakites, as Bertheau has done. Moreover, it cannot be decided whether they were descendants of Ham or Shem (see Stark. Gaza, pp. 32ff.). מתּימן (from, or on, the south) at the commencement of Joshua 13:4 should be attached to Joshua 13:3, as it is in the Septuagint, Syriac, and Vulgate, and joined to העוּים (the Avvites). The Avvaeans dwelt to the south of the Philistines, on the south-west of Gaza. It gives no sense to connect with the what follows, so as to read "towards the south all the land of the Canaanites;" for whatever land to the south of Gaza, or of the territory of the Philistines, was still inhabited by Canaanites, could not possibly be called "all the land of the Canaanites." If, however, we were disposed to adopt the opinion held by Masius and Rosenmller, and understand these words as relating to the southern boundaries of Canaan, "the possessions of the king of Arad and the neighbouring petty kings who ruled in the southern extremity of Judaea down to the desert of Paran, Zin, Kadesh," etc., the fact that Arad and the adjoining districts are always reckoned as belonging to the Negeb would at once be decisive against it (compare Joshua 15:21. with Joshua 10:40; Joshua 11:16, also Numbers 21:1). Moreover, according to Joshua 10:40, Joshua 10:21, and Joshua 11:16-17, Joshua had smitten the whole of the south of Canaan from Kadesh-barnea to Gaza and taken it; so that nothing remained unconquered there, which could possibly have been mentioned in this passage as not yet taken by the Israelites. For the fact that the districts, which Joshua traversed so victoriously and took possession of, were not all permanently held by the Israelites, does not come into consideration here at all. If the author had thought of enumerating all these places, he would have had to include many other districts as well.

Beside the territory of the Philistines on the south-west, there still remained to be taken (Joshua 13:4, Joshua 13:5) in the north, "all the land of the Canaanites," i.e., of the Phoenicians dwelling on the coast, and "the caves which belonged to the Sidonians unto Aphek." Mearah (the cave) is the present Mugr Jezzin, i.e., cave of Jezzin, on the east of Sidon, in a steep rocky wall of Lebanon, a hiding-place of the Druses at the present time (see at Numbers 34:8; also F. v. Richter, Wallfahrten in Morgenland, p. 133). Aphek, or Aphik, was allotted to the tribe of Asher (Joshua 19:30; Judges 1:31); it was called Ἄφακα by the Greeks; there was a temple of Venus there, which Constantine ordered to be destroyed, on account of the licentious nature of the worship (Euseb. Vita Const. iii. 55). It is the present Afka, a small village, but a place of rare beauty, upon a terrace of Lebanon, near the chief source of the river Adonis (Nahr Ibrahim), with ruins of an ancient temple in the neighbourhood, surrounded by groves of the most splendid walnut trees on the north-east of Beirut (see O. F. v. Richter, pp. 106-7; Rob. Bibl. Res. p. 663; and V. de Velde, Reise. ii. p. 398). "To the territory of the Amorites:" this is obscure. We cannot imagine the reference to be to the territory of Og of Bashan, which was formerly inhabited by Amorites, as that did not extend so far north; and the explanation given by Knobel, that farther north there were not Canaanites, but Amorites, who were of Semitic origin, rests upon hypotheses which cannot be historically sustained.

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