Joshua 13:26
And from Heshbon unto Ramathmizpeh, and Betonim; and from Mahanaim unto the border of Debir;
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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.The border of Debir - Rather perhaps "the border of Lidbir," which is regarded as identical with the Lo-debar of 2 Samuel 9:4; 2 Samuel 17:27, one of the towns from which provisions were brought to David at Mahanaim Genesis 32:2.8. 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). From Heshbon, either exclusively or inclusively. See Poole on "Joshua 13:17".

Ramath-mizpeh, called Ramoth-gilead, or Ramoth in Gilead, Joshua 20:8, and elsewhere

Mahanaim, exclusively; for Mahanaim was in the portion of Manasseh, beyond Jabbok, which was the border of Gad and Manasseh.

And from Heshbon unto Ramathmizpeh, and Betonim,.... This was their coast from the south to the north, and so describes their eastern border, which reached from Heshbon, given to the tribe of Reuben, Joshua 13:7; to these places mentioned; Ramathmizpeh, the same with Ramothgilead, which Jerom (o) says was a village in his time, and lay two miles from Philadelphia or Rabbath before mentioned, to the east; it should be to the west; of Betonim we nowhere else read, it seems to have been near to Ramath:

and from Mahanaim unto the border of Debir; the former of these was the place where the angels met Jacob, and who gave it the name from thence; and in later times a city of this name was built there, and was near the river Jabbok, Genesis 32:2; Debir is different from that in the tribe of Judah, Joshua 15:15; in the Septuagint version here it is called Daibon, perhaps the same with Dibon, the tribe of Gad rebuilt, and is called Dibongad, Numbers 32:34; unless Lidbar here should be the same with Lodebar in Gilead, 2 Samuel 17:27.

(o) De loc. Heb. fol. 99. A.

And from Heshbon unto Ramathmizpeh, and Betonim; and from Mahanaim unto the border of Debir;
26. and from Heshbon] Thus the extension northward of the tribe is expressed, unto Ramath-mizpeh, which is identical with the early sanctuary at which Jacob and Laban set up their cairn of stones, and which received the names of Mizpeh, Galeed, and Jegar-Sahadutha, and which probably was the same as the famous Ramoth-gilead, where (a) Ahab was slain (1 Kings 22:1-37), (b) his son Joram was wounded by Hazael (2 Kings 8:28), (c) Jehu was anointed king (2 Kings 9:1-6). It is the modern es-Salt on the road from Jericho to Damascus.

and Betonim] a town somewhere on the northern boundary of Gad. Its site was unknown to Jerome.

and from Mahanaim] in the east, unto Debir, on the heights which border the Jordan on the west. Mahanaim (= the two hosts) is famous in the history (a) of Jacob’s return from Padanaram (Genesis 32:2), (b) of Ishbosheth’s reign (2 Samuel 2:8), (c) of David’s flight from Absalom (2 Samuel 17:24; 2 Samuel 17:27). The site of Debir is undetermined.

Verse 26. - Ramath-Mizpeh. This is idenitified with Ramoth-Gilead by Vandevelde, and must have been the Mizpeh of Gilead mentioned in Judges 11:29. It is supposed to be identical with the place called Mizpah, Galeed, and Jegar-sahadutha by Jacob and Laban respectively (Genesis 31:47-49). If it be the same as Ramoth-Gilead, it is the scene of the celebrated battle against the Syrians, in which Ahab lost his life (1 Kings 22.), and where the fall of the dynasty of Omri was brought about by the revolt of Jehu (2 Kings 9.). Conder, however, thinks the two are distinct places, and fixes Ramoth-Mizpeh on the north border of Gad, about 25 reties west of Bozrah. Verse 26. - Mahanaim The dual of מַהֲנהֶ two hosts or camps. It received its name from Jacob, who with his own company met the angels of God, and who commemorated the meeting by this name (see Genesis 32:2). Here Ishbesheth was crowned (2 Samuel 2:8). Here David took refuge when he crossed the Jordan, to avoid falling into the hands of Absalom (2 Samuel 17:24). Debir. Not the Debir mentioned in ch. 10, but another Debir in the land of Gilead, whose site is unknown. Joshua 13:26Inheritance of the tribe of Gad. - This tribe received Jazer (probably es Szyr: see at Numbers 21:32) and "all the towns of Gilead," i.e., of the southern half of Gilead, which belonged to the kingdom of Sihon; for the northern half, which belonged to the kingdom of Og, was given to the Manassites (Joshua 13:31), "and the half of the land of the sons of Ammon, to Aror before Rabbah," i.e., that portion of the land of the Ammonites between the Arnon and the Jabbok, which the Amorites under Sihon had taken from the Ammonites, namely, the land on the east of Gilead, on the western side of the upper Jabbok (Nahr Ammn: Deuteronomy 2:37; Deuteronomy 3:16; cf. Judges 11:13); for the land of the Ammonites, i.e., the land which they still held in the time of Moses, on the eastern side of Nahr Ammn, the Israelites were not allowed to attack (Deuteronomy 2:19). Aror before Rabbah, i.e., Ammn (see Deuteronomy 3:11), is Aror of Gad, and must be distinguished from Aror of Reuben on the Arnon (Joshua 13:16). It is only mentioned again in Judges 11:33 and 2 Samuel 24:5, and was situated, according to 2 Sam., in the valley of Gad, that is to say, in a wady or valley through which Gesenius supposes an arm of the Jabbok to have flowed, and Thenius the Jabbok itself, though neither of them has sufficient ground for his conjecture. It is also not to be identified with the ruin of Ayra to the south-west of Szalt, as this is not in a wady at all; but in all probability it is to be sought for to the north-east of Rabbah, in the Wady Nahr Ammn, on the side of the Kalat Zerka Gadda, the situation of which suits this verse and Judges 11:33. - In Joshua 13:26 the extent of the territory of Gad is first of all described from north to south: viz., from Heshbon (see Joshua 13:17) to Ramath-mizpeh, or Ramoth in Gilead (Joshua 20:8), probably on the site of the present Szalt (see at Deuteronomy 4:43), "and Betonim," probably the ruin of Batneh, on the mountains which bound the Ghor towards the east between the Wady Shaib and Wady Ajlun, in the same latitude as Szalt (V. de Velde, Mem. p. 298); and then, secondly, the northern boundary is described from west to east, "from Mahanaim to the territory of Lidbir." Mahanaim (double-camp: Genesis 32:2), which was given up by Gad to the Levites (Joshua 21:30), in which Ishbosheth was proclaimed king (2 Samuel 2:8-9), and to which David fled from Absalom (2 Samuel 17:24, 2 Samuel 17:27; 1 Kings 2:8), is not to be sought for, as Knobel supposes, in the ruins of Meysera, to the south of Jabbok, four hours and a half from Szalt, but was on the north of the Jabbok, since Jacob did not cross the ford of the Jabbok till after the angel had appeared to him at Mahanaim (Genesis 32:3, Genesis 32:23). It was in or by the valley of the Jordan (according to 2 Samuel 18:23-24), and has probably been preserved in the ruins of Mahneh, the situation of which, however, has not yet been determined (see at Genesis 32:3). Lidbir is quite unknown; the lamed, however, is not to be taken as a prefix, but forms part of the word. J. D. Michaelis and Knobel suppose it to be the same as Lo-debar in 2 Samuel 9:4-5; 2 Samuel 17:27, a place from which provisions were brought to David at Mahanaim on his flight from Absalom, and which is to be sought for on the east of Mahanaim.
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