Joshua 15:36
And Sharaim, and Adithaim, and Gederah, and Gederothaim; fourteen cities with their villages:
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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."The valley" or the Shephelah, is bounded on the south by the Negeb, on the west by the Mediterranean, on the north by the plain of Sharon, on the east by "the mountains" Joshua 15:48. It is a well-defined district, of an undulating surface and highly fertile character, thickly dotted, even at the present time, with villages, which are for the most part situated on the different hills. The towns in this district, like those in the Negeb, are classed in four groups.

Joshua 15:33-36

First group of fourteen towns: these belong to the northeastern portion of the Shephelah. Eshtaol and Zoreah were afterward assigned to the tribe of Dan, and inhabited by Danites Judges 13:25; Judges 18:2, Judges 18:8,Judges 18:11. The latter place was the home of Samson Judges 13:2. It was one of the cities fortified by Rehoboam 2 Chronicles 11:10, and was re-occupied by the Jews after the captivity Nehemiah 11:29. It is probably the modern Surah. (Eshtaol has been identified with Eshua (Conder)). Both places were in later times partly populated by Judahites from Kirjath-jearim; perhaps after the departure of the colony of Danites for Dan-Laish. Zanoah is the present "Zanna", not far from Surah. Socoh is the modern "Shuweikah". Sharaim is perhaps to be sought in the modern "Zakariya". Gederah ("wall" or "fortress") was a name borne with various terminations by several places.

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. There are fifteen numbered.

Answ. Either one of them was no city strictly called; or

Gederah and

Gederothaim is put for Gederah or Gederothaim, so called, possibly, because the city was double, as there want not instances of one city divided into two parts, called the old and the new city. So the conjunction and is put for the disjunctive or, whereof examples have been given before.

And Sharaim,.... Sharaim seems to be the Saara of Jerom, which he describes as a village on the borders of Eleutheropolis, to the north as you go to Nicopolis (or Emmaus), about ten miles from it in the tribe of Dan or Judah (o); there was a place called Bethshaaraim, where the sanhedrim sometimes sat (p), and where R. Judah was buried (q). This seems to be the same with Shaaraim in 1 Samuel 17:52,

and Adithaim; Jerom observes (r), under the word "Adithaim", that there is a village called Adia, near Gaza, and another Aditha, near Diospolis (or Lydda), to the east:

and Gederah, which seems to be the same Jerom calls Gaddera, in the tribe of Judah (s), now, he says, called a village belonging to the country of Aelia (or Jerusalem), by the name of Gadera, about the turpentine tree.

and Gederothaim, of which we nowhere else read; Kimchi thinks Gederah and Gederothaim were one city:

fourteen cities with their villages; but, upon counting them, it will appear there are fifteen, which may be reduced to fourteen, if with Kimchi we take the two last to be but one, who in this way reconciles it; or with Jarchi make Tappuah and Enam to be one also, called Entappuah, which is the way he takes to solve the difficulty; but perhaps the case is this, that one of the places in the account was not a city, but a village.

(o) Ut supra. (De loc. Heb. fol. 88. E.) (p) T. Bab. Roshhashauah, fol. 31. 2.((q) Gloss. in T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 47. 1.((r) Ut supra, (De loc. Heb.) fol. 88. F. (s) De loc. Heb. fol. 92. B.

And Sharaim, and Adithaim, and Gederah, and Gederothaim; fourteen cities with their villages:
36. fourteen cities] The LXX. omits Gederothaim, which makes fourteen instead of fifteen cities.

Joshua 15:36Sharaim, which was on the west of Socoh and Azekah, according to 1 Samuel 17:52, and is called Σακαρίμ or Σαργαρείμ in the Sept., is probably to be sought for in the present Tell Zakariya and the village of Kefr Zakariya opposite, between which there is the broad deep valley called Wady Sumt, which is only twenty minutes in breadth (Rob. ii. p. 350). This is the more probable as the Hebrew name is a dual. Adithaim is unknown. Gederah is possibly the same as the Gederoth which was taken by the Philistines in the time of Ahaz (2 Chronicles 28:18), and the Gedrus of the Onom. (s. v. Gaedur, or Gahedur), ten Roman miles to the south of Diospolis, on the road to Eleutheropolis, as the Gederoth in Joshua 15:41 was in the actual plain, and therefore did not stand between Diospolis and Eleutheropolis. Gederothaim is supposed by Winer, Knobel, and others, to be an ancient gloss. This is possible no doubt, but it is not certain, as neither the omission of the name from the Sept., nor the circumstance that the full number of towns is given as fourteen, and that this is not the number obtained if we reckon Gederothaim, can be adduced as a decisive proof, since this difference may have arisen in the same manner as the similar discrepancy in Joshua 15:32.
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