Joshua 15:32
And Lebaoth, and Shilhim, and Ain, and Rimmon: all the cities are twenty and nine, with their villages:
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Joshua 15:32. Twenty-nine — Here are thirty-seven or thirty-eight cities named before; how then are they only reckoned twenty-nine? There were only twenty-nine of them which either, 1st, Properly belonged to Judah; the rest falling to Simeon’s lot. Or, 2d, Were cities properly so called; that is, walled cities, or such as had villages under them, as it here follows; the rest being great, but unwalled towns, or such as had no villages under them.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.Twenty and nine - The King James Version gives 34 names. The difference is due either to the confusion by an early copyist of letters similar in form which were used as numerals; or to the separation in the King James Version of names which in the original were one (e. g. Joshua 15:25).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.

Object. Here are thirty-seven or thirty-eight cities named before; how then are they only reckoned twenty-nine?

Answ. There were only twenty-nine of them, which either,

1. Properly belonged to Judah; the rest fell to Simeon’s lot; or,

2. Were cities properly so called, i.e. walled cities, or such as had villages under them, as it here follows, the rest being great but unwalled towns, or such as had no villages under them. And Lebaoth,.... Whether Lebaoth is the same with Bethlebaoth, given to the tribe of Simeon, Joshua 19:6; is not certain:

and Shilhim is nowhere else spoken of:

and Ain seems to be the same with that in Numbers 34:11; also See Gill on Numbers 34:11.

and Rimmon, the place Jerom (e) calls Eremmon, which he says was a large village of the Jews, sixteen miles from Eleutheropolis to the south, in Daroma; this and the preceding are joined together as one, and called Enrimmon, Nehemiah 11:29. It is probable they were near to each other, and in process of time the buildings of each might increase, so as to meet and join each other:

all the cities are twenty and nine, with their villages; but according to our version, and as we point them, they are thirty eight; some make them thirty six, others thirty seven; the Jews generally make thirty eight of them, as we do, and account for the difference of number thus; that nine of these cities were given to the tribe of Simeon, Joshua 19:1; and these being taken out of the thirty eight, there remain twenty nine; so Jarchi and Kimchi account for it; but as the number of the cities is uncertain, and this account is given before the separation of the nine, and they are all reckoned together, this does not seem to be satisfactory; rather, as Abarbinel observes, the twenty nine of the places enumerated were cities, and the other were villages, unwalled towns, or not of so much note as the twenty nine.

(e) De loc. Heb. fol. 91. C.

And Lebaoth, and Shilhim, and Ain, and Rimmon: all the cities are twenty and nine, with their villages:
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
32. all the cities are twenty and nine] Thirty-six, however, are actually given, viz., (1) the first group = 9; (2) the second group = 5; (3) the third group = 9; (4) the fourth group 13 =36 in all. The discrepancy has been variously explained by supposing (a) that some of the places were merely hamlets or villages, and were therefore not counted with the rest; (b) that in some cases two names may have belonged to the same city; (c) that there is an error in the numeral letters; (d) that the author originally wrote fewer names, and “that others were added by a later hand without a corresponding alteration being made in the number.” (See Keil in loc.)Verse 32. - Ain, Rimmon (see Joshua 19:7; 1 Chronicles 4:32; Nehemiah 11:29). More likely the name of one place Ain-Rimmon, the fountain of the god Rimmon. For Rimmon see 2 Kings 5:18. The word signifying eye, or fountain, is written indifferently Ain or En in our version (see En-shemesh and En-rogel in this chapter). Bitumen is mentioned in Zechariah 14:10 as "south of Jerusalem." Now Umm er-Rumamin (Conder). Verse 32. Twenty-nine. There is another of the very common errors of numbers here. The actual number is thirty-six. The error is as old as the LXX. version. Third group of nine towns. - Joshua 15:26. Amam is not mentioned again, and is quite unknown. Shema, which is called Sheba in Joshua 19:2, and is mentioned among the towns of the Simeonites between Beersheba and Moladah, is supposed by Knobel to the ruins of Sawe (Sweh) between Milh and Beersheba (see V. de Velde, ii. p. 148). Molada, which was given to the Simeonites (Joshua 19:2; 1 Chronicles 4:28) and was still inhabited by Jews after the captivity (Nehemiah 11:26), was the later Μάλαδα, an Idumaean fortress (Josephus, Ant. 18:6, 2), which Eusebius and Jerome describe as being twenty Roman miles, i.e., eight hours, to the south of Hebron on the road to Aila (Elath). It has been identified by Robinson (Pal. ii. p. 621) in the ruins of el Milh, by the Wady Malath or Malahh.
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