Joshua 15:30
And Eltolad, and Chesil, and Hormah,
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15:20-63 Here is a list of the cities of Judah. But we do not here find Bethlehem, afterwards the city of David, and ennobled by the birth of our Lord Jesus in it. That city, which, at the best, was but little among the thousands of Judah, Mic 5:2, except that it was thus honoured, was now so little as not to be accounted one of the cities.Baalah Joshua 19:3 is found in the modern "Deir-el-Belah", near Gaza. Iim, i. e. "ruinous heaps" or "conical hills" (Numbers 21:11 note) is by some connected with Azem; and the compound name, "Ije Azem", is traced in El-Aujeh, in the country of the Azazimeh Arabs, in whose name the ancient Azem may perhaps be traced. Eltolad is connected with "Wady-el-Thoula", in the extreme south of the Negeb. Chesil appears to be the town called Bethul Joshua 19:4, and probably the Bethel 1 Samuel 30:27 situated not far from Ziklag. The name Chesil ( "fool") was most likely bestowed by way of opprobrium (compare the change of Bethel, house of God, into Bethaven, house of vanity, Hosea 4:15). As Chesil signifies the group of stars known as Orion (compare Job 38:31; Amos 5:8), probably it was the worship of the heavenly bodies in particular that was carried on here. Bethel may have been the ancient name, and the spot was perhaps the very one near Beer-sheba where Abraham planted a tamarisk tree Genesis 21:33.

The place is probably "El Khulasah", the Elusa of ecclesiastical writers, situated some fifteen miles southwest of Beer-sheba. Jerome testifies to the fact, that the worship of Venus as the morning star was practiced there, and Sozomen appears to be speaking of this place, when he mentions a Bethel Βηθελια Bēthelia in the territory of Gaza, populous and famous for an ancient and splendid temple. The site of Ziklag is uncertain. Madmannah and Sansannah correspond to Beth-marcaboth ( "house of chariots") and Hazar-susah ("horse enclosure") in Joshua 19:5 1 Chronicles 4:31. The latter names point to two stations of passage on or near the high road between Egypt and Palestine, and are represented by the modern "Minyay" and "Wady-es-Suny", on the caravan route south of Gaza. Shilhim or Sharuhen, Joshua 19:6, and Shaaraim 1 Chronicles 4:31 is traced in "Khirbet-es-Seram", near El Aujeh. Ain and Rimmon were possibly originally two towns, but in process of time became so connected as to be treated as one name Nehemiah 11:29. The place is probably the present "Um-er-Rummamim," i. e. "mother of pomegranates," a place about ten miles north of Beer-sheba.

Jos 15:21-63. Cities of Judah.

21-63. the uttermost cities of the tribe of the children of Judah—There is given a list of cities within the tribal territory of Judah, arranged in four divisions, corresponding to the districts of which it consisted—the cities in the southern part (Jos 15:21-32), those in the lowlands (Jos 15:33-47), those in the highlands (Jos 15:48-60), and those in the desert (Jos 15:61, 62). One gets the best idea of the relative situation of these cities by looking at the map.

No text from Poole on this verse. And Eltolad,.... The first of these cities is called Tolad, 1 Chronicles 4:29,

and Chesil seems to be the same with Bethul and Bethuel, Joshua 19:4 1 Chronicles 4:30; and here the Greek version calls it Baithel:

and Hormah is the same with Zephath, Judges 1:17. All these three cities were given to the tribe of Simeon, Joshua 19:4.

And Eltolad, and Chesil, and {h} Hormah,

(h) Which before was called Zephath, Jud 1:17.

Second group of five or six places. - Of these, Ziph and Telem are not met with again, unless Telem is the same as Telaim, where Saul mustered his army to go against the Amalekites (1 Samuel 15:4). Their situation is unknown. There was another Ziph upon the mountains (see Joshua 15:55). Knobel supposes the one mentioned here to be the ruins of Kuseifeh, to the south-west of Arad (Rob. Pal. ii. p. 620). Ziph would then be contracted from Ceziph; but the contraction of Achzib (Joshua 19:29) into Zib does not present a corresponding analogy, as in that case the abbreviated form is the later one, whereas in the case of Ziph a lengthening of the name must have taken place by the addition of a D. Bealoth, probably the same as the Simeonitish Baaloth-beer (Joshua 19:8), which is called Baal simply in 1 Chronicles 4:33, and which was also called Ramath-negeb (Joshua 19:8) and Ramoth-negeb (1 Samuel 30:27). It is not to be identified with Baalath, however (Joshua 19:45; 1 Kings 9:18), as V. de Velde supposes (Reise, ii. pp. 151-2). Knobel fancies it may be the ridge and place called Kubbet el Baul, between Milh and Kurnub (Rob. ii. p. 617); but Baul and Baal are very different. Hazor Hadatta (Chazor Chadathah), i.e., new Hazor, might be the ruins of el Hudhaira on the south of Jebel Khulil (Rob. Appendix). Kenoth was supposed by Robinson (Pal. ii. p. 472, and Appendix) to be the ruins of el Kuryetein, on the north-east of Arad and at the foot of the mountains, and with this V. de Velde agrees. Reland (Pal. p. 708) connects the following word Hezron with Kenoth, so as to read Kenoth-hezron, i.e., Hezron's towns, also called Hazor. This is favoured by the Sept. and Syriac, in which the two words are linked together to form one name, and probably by the Chaldee as well, also by the absence of the copula vav (and) before Hezron, which is not omitted anywhere else throughout this section, except at the beginning of the different groups of towns, as, for example, before Ziph in Joshua 15:24, and Amam in Joshua 15:26, and therefore ought to stand before Hezron if it is an independent town. The Masoretic pointing cannot be regarded as a decisive proof of the contrary.
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