Joshua 15:10
And the border compassed from Baalah westward to mount Seir, and passed along to the side of mount Jearim, which is Chesalon, on the north side, and went down to Bethshemesh, and passed on to Timnah:
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(10) Mount Seir.—Of course, entirely distinct from the place in Edom, but not precisely identified.

Chesalon is identified with Kesla, two and a quarter miles due north of Khurbet ’Erma, on sheet 17 Timnah is Tibneh (on sheet 16).

15:1-12 Joshua allotted to Judah, Ephraim, and the half of Manasseh, their inheritances before they left Gilgal. Afterwards removing to Shiloh, another survey was made, and the other tribes had their portion assigned. In due time all God's people are settled.Mount Seir is not the well-known range of Edom. The name ( "shaggy mountain") is applicable to any rugged or well-wooded hill. Here it probably denotes the range which runs southwestward from Kirjath-jearim to the Wady Surar. Mount Jearim, i. e. "woody mountain," is through its other name, Chesalon, identified with the modern "Kesla".

Beth-shemesh - i. e. "house of the sun," called "Ir-shemesh" or "city of the sun" (Joshua 19:41; Compare 1 Kings 4:9), a place assigned to Dan, and one of the cities which fell by lot to the Levites Joshua 21:16. Beth-shemesh was the first place at which the ark rested after its return from the hands of the Philistines 1 Samuel 6:12. It was the residence of one of Solomon's purveyors 1 Kings 4:9, and was the spot where at a later date Amaziah was defeated and slain by Jehoash (2 Kings 14:11 ff). It is no doubt the modern "Ain Shems".

Timnah, called also Timnath, and Timnathah, belonged likewise to Dan, and is to be distinguished from other places of like name Genesis 38:12; Joshua 24:30. Timnah ( "portion") was evidently, like Gilgal, Ramah, Kirjath, and several other towns, of frequent use in Canaanite topography.

7. Achor—(see on [194]Jos 7:26).

Adummim—a rising ground in the wilderness of Jericho, on the south of the little brook that flowed near Jericho (Jos 16:1).

En-shemesh—"the fountain of the sun"; "either the present well of the apostle, below Bethany, on the road to Jericho, or the fountain near to St. Saba" [Robinson].

En-rogel—"the fuller's fountain," on the southeast of Jerusalem, below the spot where the valleys of Jehoshaphat and Hinnom unite.

Mount Seir; not that of Edom, but another so called from some resemblance it had with that in quality.

Bethshemesh: there were divers cities of this name; this in Judah here, and Joshua 21:16 2 Kings 14:11, another in Issachar, and a third in Naphtali, Joshua 19:22,38. And the border compassed from Baalah westward unto Mount Seir,.... Not that in Idumea, so famous for its being the seat of Esau, which lay remote from hence, but a third of that name near Kirjathjearim; and which Adrichomius (t) places on the borders of Azotus and Ashkelon: this compass is fetched from the north to the west:

and passed along unto the side of the mount Jearim, which is Chesalon, on the north side; that is, on the north side of the mount, which went by both those names; and which Jerom (u) places on the borders of Aelia or Jerusalem; but it seems to be at a distance from thence, and near to Kirjathjearim, and had its name, as that, from the multitude of trees that grow on it:

and went down to Bethshemesh; there were several cities of this name; but this, according to Jerom (w), was a Levite's city in the tribe of Benjamin, and in his day was shown as you go from Eleutherepolis to Nicopolis or Emmaus, ten miles to the east; according to Burchard (x), it was five miles from Kirjathjearim to the south; and Bunting (y) places it four miles from Jerusalem westward, taking it for a city in the tribe of Judah, Joshua 21:16,

and passed on to Timnah; which, in Jerom's time, was a large village on the borders of Lydda, as you go to Jerusalem, in the tribe of Judah, or Dan (z); his placed in the tribe of Judah, Joshua 15:57; though thought to be afterwards given to Dan; here Judah sheared his sheep; see Gill on Genesis 38:12.

(t) Theatrum Terrae Sanct. p. 24. (u) De loc. Heb. fol. 90. F. (w) Ib. fol. 89. H. (x) Apud Masium in loc. (y) Travels, p. 124. (z) De loc. Heb. fol. 95. C.

And the border compassed from Baalah westward unto mount Seir, and passed along unto the side of mount Jearim, which is Chesalon, on the north side, and went down to Bethshemesh, and passed on to Timnah:
10. and the border compassed] = it “beat round,” “took a circuit;” and see above, Joshua 15:3.

unto mount Seir] not the Edomite range (Genesis 32:3; Numbers 24:18), but the range, which lies between the Wady Aly and the Wady Ghurab. It may have derived its name either (a) from some peculiarity in the form or appearance of the spot, or (b) from some incursion of the Edomites, which has escaped record.

and passed along unto the side of mount Jearim] or, unto the shoulder of mount Jearim,” which is Chesalon. Chesalon, probably now Kesla (see Robinson’s Later Bibl. Res. p. 154), was also called Har-jearim = “mountain of forests,” as Baalah was called Kirjath-jearim = “city of forests” or “forest town.” The region appears in early times to have been thickly covered with woods.

and went down to Beth-shemesh, and passed on to Timnah] (a) Beth-shemesh = “house of the sun,” or Ir-shemesh (ch. Joshua 19:22), now ’Ain-Shems, about two miles from the great Philistine plain, and seven miles from Ekron. It (a) was allotted to the priests (Joshua 21:16); was (b) the place whither “the kine took the straight way” from Ekron with the Ark of the Covenant (1 Samuel 6:9); where (c) the people looked into the Ark and caused the severe judgment that followed (1 Samuel 6:19); and where (d) Solomon had one of his commissariat districts (1 Kings 4:9). “Here,” at ’Ain-Shems, “are the vestiges of a former extensive city, consisting of many foundations, and the remains of ancient walls of hewn stone. Both the name and the position of this spot seem to indicate the site of the ancient Beth-shemesh of the Old Testament.” Robinson, Later Bibl. Res. p. 153. (β) Timnah, or Timnath, or Thimnathah (Joshua 19:43), now Tibnah, a village about two miles west of ’Ain-Shems, from which Samson fetched his wife (Jdg 14:1; Jdg 14:5), and in the vineyards of which, without anything in his hand, he killed the lion (Jdg 14:5-6).Verse 10. - Compassed. Or, deflected (see ver. 4). This is in accordance with the view taken above. The border line which had run northwest from Jerusalem now bent backwards in a southwesterly direction, and followed the ridge towards Chesalon (see note on Chesalon). Mount Seir. Not the dwelling place of Esau, afterwards the country of the Edomites (Genesis 32:3; Genesis 36:8), but a range running southwestward from Kirjath-jearim, part of which is still known as Sairah, or Saris, "auf welchem Saris und Mihsir liegen" (Kuobel). Since Kirjath-jearim means the "city of the forests," and Seir means "hairy," we may conjecture that the name was given to the ridge on account of its wooded character. This also is implied by "Mount Jearim." The side of Mount Jearim. Literally, the shoulder (see above, ver. 8). Which is Chesalon. This is identified with Kesia, a point on the summit of the ridge stretching southwest from Kirjath-jearim. The fact that the border passed northward of Chesalon is a confirmation of the view taken above. We learn from Joshua 19:41 (cf. ver. 33 of this chapter), that the border passed by Zorah and Eshtaol in the Shephelah, through a neighbourhood described in Conder's Handbook as "an open corn country." Beth-shemesh. The "house of the sun," identified with the modern Ain (or fountain of) Shems. It is called Irshemesh in Joshua 19:41. It was close to the border of the Philistines, and was the scene of the transactions recorded in 1 Samuel 6. The propinquity to the Philistines appears to have affected the principles of its inhabitants, and their conduct contrasts most unfavourably with that of the inhabitants of Kirjath-jearim. This was the more disgraceful, in that Beth-shemesh (Joshua 21:16) was a priestly city, and being inhabited by those whose "lips should keep knowledge," might have been expected to set a better example. It was required to furnish Solomon's household with provisions (1 Kings 4:9), it witnessed the defeat and capture of Amaziah (2 Kings 14:11-13; 2 Chronicles 25:21) by Joash, king of Israel. It fell into the hands of the Philistines at the time of the decay of the Jewish power under Ahaz (2 Chronicles 28:18). The name, like Baal-Gad and Ashtaroth-Karnaim, is worthy of remark, as pointing to the character of the early Phoenician worship. Timnah. Sometimes called Timnath in Scripture (see Judges 14:1-6), and Timnatha in Joshua 19:43. Thence it proceeded "to the southern boundary of the ascent of Akrabbim," i.e., the row of lofty whitish cliffs which intersects the Arabah about eight miles below the Dead Sea (see at Numbers 34:4), "and passed across to Zin," i.e., the Wady Murreh (see at Numbers 13:21), "and went up to the south of Kadesh-barnea," i.e., by Ain Kudes (see at Numbers 20:16), "and passed over to Hezron, and went up to Adar, and turned to Karkaa, and went over to Azmon, and went out into the brook of Egypt," i.e., the Wady el Arish. On the probable situation of Hezron, Adar, Karkaa, and Azmon, see at Numbers 34:4-5. "And the outgoings of the boundary were to the sea" (the Mediterranean). The Wady el Arish, a marked boundary, takes first of all a northerly and then a north-westerly course, and opens into the Mediterranean Sea (see Pent. p. 358). היה in the singular before the subject in the plural must not be interfered with (see Ewald, 316, a.). - The words "this shall be your south coast" point back to the southern boundary of Canaan as laid down in Numbers 34:2., and show that the southern boundary of the tribe-territory of Judah was also the southern boundary of the land to be taken by Israel.
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