Joshua 15:7
And the border went up toward Debir from the valley of Achor, and so northward, looking toward Gilgal, that is before the going up to Adummim, which is on the south side of the river: and the border passed toward the waters of Enshemesh, and the goings out thereof were at Enrogel:
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Joshua 15:7-8. Northward looking toward Gilgal — Having Gilgal to the north of it. Which is to be understood, not of that Gilgal near Jericho, but of that place called Geliloth, (Joshua 18:17,) which was distant from thence, as appears by what follows. And the border went up — Properly; for the line went from Jordan and the salt sea, to the higher grounds nigh Jerusalem; and, therefore, the line is said to go down, (Joshua 18:16,) because there it takes a contrary course, and goes downward to Jordan and the sea. By the valley of the son of Hinnom — A famous place on the east side of Jerusalem; and so delightfully shady, that it invited the Israelites to idolatrous worship in it, whereby it became infamous, 2 Kings 23:10; Jeremiah 7:32. Hinnom, in all probability, was some eminent person in ancient times, who was the owner of this valley; for it is sometimes called the valley of the children of Hinnom; which shows his posterity were planted here. After it was polluted by idolatry it became a place where they threw all their filth and dead carcasses; and where there was a continual fire, the Jews say, to burn bones, and such sordid things as were thrown there; from whence they think it became the name for hell fire. The south side of the Jebusites — Namely, the city of the Jebusites. The same is Jerusalem — Which is called Jebusi in the last verse of the eighteenth chapter, and Jebus, Jdg 19:10, especially that part of it fortified by the Jebusites, which was called mount Sion, and lay on the south of Jerusalem. And the border went up to the top of the mountain — Which is thought to be mount Moriah. The end of the valley of the giants northward — Which mountain had on the north part of it the valley of Rephaim, (as the word is in the Hebrew,) which was in the tribe of Judah, extending itself from mount Moriah as far as Bethlehem, as Josephus informs us.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.The going up to Adummim - Rather, "the ascent or pass of Adummim" (compare Joshua 15:3, margin), on the road from Jerusalem to Jericho. Its name signifies "red" and is explained by Jerome as given because of the frequent bloodshed there by robbers. This road is the scene of the parable of the Good Samaritan. Possibly the name may be due to some aboriginal tribe of "red men," who held their ground in these fastnesses after the invaders had driven them from the face of the country elsewhere.

En-shemesh - i. e. "fountain of the sun;" no doubt that now called "the Fountain of the Apostles," about two miles from Jerusalem, and the only well on the road to Jericho.

En-rogel - i. e. "fountain of the fullers" near the walls of Jerusalem. It was here that Jonathan and Ahimaaz concealed themselves after the rebellion of Absalom, in order to procure tidings for David, and here Adonijah gave a feast to his adherents preparatory to making an attempt on the crown (compare the marginal references). It is probably the modern "Fountain of the Virgin," the only real spring near Jerusalem, from which the Pool of Siloam is supplied. Others identify it, less probably, with the "Well of Job," situated where the valleys of Kedron and Hinnom unite.

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.

Debir; a differing place from that Debir, Numbers 15:15, which was near Hebron, and remote from Judah’s border; as also from that

Debir, Joshua 13:26, which was beyond Jordan.

Gilgal; either that Gilgal nigh Jordan, Joshua 4:19, or another place of that name. On the south side of the river, or brook, or valley. And the border went up towards Debir,.... This was neither the Debir in the tribe of Gad, on the other side Jordan, Joshua 13:26; nor that in the tribe of Judah near Hebron, Joshua 15:15; but a third city of that name, and was not far from Jericho:

from the valley of Achor; where Achan was put to death, and had its name from thence; which, according to Jarchi, lay between the stone of Bohan and Debir:

and so northward, looking towards Gilgal; not the place where Israel were encamped when this lot was made, but it seems to be the same that is called Geliloth, Joshua 18:17,

that is, the going up to Adummim; which, Jerom says (c), was formerly a little village, now in ruins, in the lot of the tribe of Judah, which place is called to this day Maledomim; and by the Greeks "the ascent of the red ones", because of the blood which was there frequently shed by thieves: it lies on the borders of Judah and Benjamin, as you go from Jerusalem to Jericho, where there is a garrison of soldiers for the help of travellers, and is supposed to be the place where the man fell among thieves in his way from the one to the other, Luke 10:30. It was four miles distant from Jericho to the west, according to Adrichomius (d), and was a mountain, and part of the mountains of Engaddi:

which is on the south side of the river; which some take to be the brook Kidron; but that is not very likely, being too near Jerusalem for this place: it may be rendered "the valley", so Jarchi, either the valley of Achor, before mentioned, or however a valley that ran along by the mount or ascent of Adummim, which lay to the south of it:

and the border passed to the waters of Enshemesh: or the "fountain of the sun"; but of it we have no account what and where it was. It might be so called, because dedicated to the sun by the idolatrous Canaanites, or because of the sun's influence on the waters of it. Our city, Bath, is, by Antoninus (e), called "aquae solis", the waters of the sun; though there is a fountain in Cyrene, so called, for a reason just the reverse, it being, as Mela (f) and Pliny (g) affirm, hottest the middle of the night, and then grows cooler by little and little; and when it is light is cold, and when the sun is risen is colder still, and at noon exceeding cold; and, according to Vossius (h), it is the same with the fountain of Jupiter Ammon; and so it appears to be from Herodotus (i), by whom it is also called the "fountain of the sun", and which he places in Thebes, though Pliny distinguishes them:

and the goings out thereof were at Enrogel; which signifies "the fountain of the fuller"; so the Targum renders it, and probably was a fountain where fullers cleansed their clothes; and was called Rogel, as Jarchi and Kimchi say, because they used to tread them with their feet when they washed them. This was a place near Jerusalem, as appears from 1 Kings 1:9; near to which perhaps was the fuller's monument, at the corner tower of Jerusalem, Josephus (k) speaks of, as there was also a place not far from it called the fuller's field, Isaiah 7:3; according to Bunting (l), it had its name from travellers washing their feet here.

(c) De loc. Heb. fol. 88. E. F. (d) Theatrum Terrae Sanct. p. 14. (e) Vid. Cambden's Britannia, p. 141. (f) De Situ Orbis, l. 1. c. 8. (g) Nat. Hist. l. 2. c. 103. (h) Observat. in Pompon. Mel. ut supra. (De Situ Orbis, l. 1. c. 8.) (i) Melpomene, sive, l. 4. c. 181. (k) De Bello Jud. l. 5. c. 4. sect. 2.((l) Travels, p. 148.

And the border went up toward Debir from the valley of Achor, and so northward, looking toward Gilgal, that is before the going up to Adummim, which is on the south side of the river: and the border passed toward the waters of Enshemesh, and the goings out thereof were at Enrogel:
7. and the border went up toward Debir] Not the royal Canaanitish city conquered (Joshua 10:29; Joshua 10:38), but somewhere behind Jericho. A Wady Dabor is marked in Van de Velde’s Map as close to the south of Nêby Mûsa, at the north-west of the Dead Sea.” Smith’s Bibl. Dict.

from the valley of Achor] south of Jericho; see ch. Joshua 7:26.

looking toward Gilgal] Not the place where the Israelites first encamped. It is called Geliloth, ch. Joshua 18:17.

that is before the going up to Adummim] = “the pass of the red,” the road leading up from Jericho and the Jordan valley to Jerusalem. (a) Jerome ascribes the name to the blood “qui in illo loco a latronibus funditur,” i.e. by the robbers who infested the pass in his day, and as they do still, and as they did in the days of our Lord, of whose parable of “the Good Samaritan” this is the scene, (b) But the more natural meaning of the word is “the Pass of the Red-haired Men,” as if alluding to some aboriginal tribe of the country. (c) Others would derive it from the red colour of the rocks—“the whole pass is white limestone, with the remarkable exception of one large mass of purplish rock on the ascent from Jericho.”—S. and P. 424, n.

which is on the south side of the river] more literally, of the watercourse, or torrent, the Wady Kelt.

the waters of En-shemesh] “and passith the waters, that ben clepid the welle of the sunne,” Wyclif. This is the present Ain el Haudr or “Apostles’ Spring,” about a mile below Bethany, the only spring on the road to Jericho.

and the goings out thereof were at En-rogel] This some (a) would identify with ’Ain Umm ed-Daraj, “the Fountain of the Virgin;” (b) others with Bîr Eyub, below the junction of the valleys of Kidron and Hinnom, and south of the Pool of Siloam. It was near this well that (a) Jonathan and Ahimaaz lay hid during the rebellion of Absalom, in order to collect and send news to David (2 Samuel 17:17); and (b) afterwards Adonijah slew sheep and oxen and fat cattle by En-rogel, when he conspired to seize the kingdom (1 Kings 1:9). “In itself it is a singular work of ancient enterprise. The shaft, sunk through the solid rock in the bed of the Kidron, is 125 feet deep. The idea of digging such a well at that precise spot may have been suggested by the fact, that, after very great rains, water sometimes rises nearly to the top, and then flows out into the valley below, a strong brook capable of driving a mill. This, however, soon ceases, and the water in the well subsides to less than half its depth. From that point a stream seems to run constantly across it, and pass down the valley under the rock.… The water is pure and entirely sweet, quite different from that of Siloam, which proves that there is no connection between them. I have seen the water gushing out like a mill-stream, some fifteen rods south of the well; and then the whole valley was alive with people bathing in it, and indulging in every species of hilarity.” Thomson’s Land and the Book, pp. 658, 659.Verse 7. - Toward Debir. Not the Debir of ch. 10. The valley of Achor (see Joshua 8:26). This is now the Wady Kelt. Gilgal. Keil says that this is not the Gilgal where the Israelites first encamped. It is called Geliloth, or "circles," in Joshua 18:17, where the same place is obviously meant as here. The question is one of some difficulty. If it be not the Gilgal mentioned in Joshua 4:19, which is described as being eastward of Jericho, still less can it be Jiljiliah (see note on Joshua 9:6) which was near Bethel, and therefore on the northern border of Benjamin. In that case the only supposition that will meet the facts in this case is that Gilgal, which signifies a wheel or circle, was the common name given to all the Israelitish encampments. But there seems no reason to doubt that the Gilgal of Joshua 4:19 is meant. This is Ewald's view in his 'History of Israel,' 2:245. Adummim, or "the red (places)," has been identified with Maledomim, i.e. Maaleh Adummim, or Talat el Dumm (Conder), on the road from Jerusalem to Jericho. Jerome explains it as "ascensus ruforum sen rubentium propter sanguinem qui iltic erebro a latronibus funditur." Every one will at once call to mind the narrative in St. Luke 10, which has no doubt suggested this explanation. But at one particular point in the route from Jerusalem to Jericho a "large mass of purplish rock" is found (Stanley, 'Sinai and Palestine,' p. 424, note). It was called "terra ruffa," "the red earth," from the colour of the ground, and recent travellers state that it is called the "red field" still, from this cause. Conder tells us the name is derived from "the brick-red marks here found amid a district of red chalk (see also Mr. Tyrwhitt Drake in Pal. Expl. Fund Quart. Paper, April, 1874). So Knobel speaks, on the authority of numberless travellers of "der rothen Farbe des dortigen gesteins." And the Quarterly Paper just quoted mentions the "bright limestone and marl." Which is on the south aide of the river. The Nahal, or summer torrent, in the original; "the Wady Kelt, south of Riha" (Knobel). The waters of Eu-shemesh, or the fountain of the sun, supposed to be Kin Hand, or the "Apostles' well," near Bethany. There is an Arak (cave) esh Shems, about two miles off. All these places have been identified on or near the pilgrims' route to the Jordan. Enrogel (see ch. 18:17). It was close by Jerusalem, and was where Jonathan and Ahimaaz lingered to gain tidings for David, and where Adonijah repaired to hold the great feast when he endeavoured to obtain the kingdom. "Now Kin Um ed Deraj in the Kedron Valley" (Conder). Vandevelde supposes it to be Bir Eyub, Joab's well, at the point where the Kedron Valley meets the Gai Hinnom. This seems most probable. The valley of the son of Hinnom. The word here for valley (גֵי) signifies properly a deep cleft in the rock, through which no water flows. The valley of Hinnom has been generally taken to be the deep valley running from west to east, and lying to the west and south of Jerusalem, described by Tobler as forked at its northwestern end, bending to the southward about its middle, and joining the valley of Jehoshaphat at its eastern extremity. In the Quarterly Paper of the Palestine Exploration Fund for October, 1878, however, it is contended that the now partially filled up Tyropceon Valley, running through the city, is the valley or ravine of Hinnom. The manner in which this is demonstrated reminds the reader somewhat of a proposition in Euclid, and the question arises whether Euclid's method be exactly applicable to a point of this kind. The arguments used are not without force, but no notice is taken of the peculiar position of the valley of Rephaim (see next note but one), which, we learn from the sacred historian, was so placed that its extremity coincided with the mountain which closed the ravine of Hinnom at its western side. If the Tyropoeon Valley answers to this description, it may be accepted as the true valley of Hinnom, but not otherwise. Mr. Birch incorrectly cites Gesenius in favour of his theory; and the most recent discoveries appear to have thrown discredit upon it. The most weighty argument in favour of his theory is that a comparison of Joshua 15:63 with Judges 1:3-8, leads to the supposition that Jerusalem was partly in Benjamin and partly in Judah (see, however, Nehemiah 11:30). This valley, called sometimes Tophet, and sometimes, by a corruption of the Hebrew, Gehenna, whatever its situation may have been, is conspicuous in the after history of Israel. This deep and retired spot was the seat of all the worst abominations of the idol worship to which the Jews afterwards became addicted. Here Solomon reared high places for Moloch (1 Kings 11:7). Here children were sacrificed at the hideous rites of that demon god (2 Kings 16:3; 2 Chronicles 28:3; Jeremiah 7:31, 32; Jeremiah 19:2, 4). It was defiled by Josiah (2 Kings 23:10, 13, 14), and was looked upon in later times as an abomination (see Jeremiah 19:13). There the carcases of animals were east to be burned, and hence it is used by our Lord (Matthew 5:22) as the type of the utmost wrath of God. It is hardly possible to suppose that there is no allusion to Tophet and its fiery sacrifices in Isaiah 30:33, in spite of the different form of the word, to which some scholars, e.g., Gesenius, assign an Aryan rather than a Semitic origin, and in spite of the fact that the LXX. suspects no such allusion there. St. James alone, beside the writers of the Gospels, mentions it (Joshua 3:6), "set on fire of hell," or Gehenna. Boundaries of the inheritance of the tribe of Judah. - Joshua 15:1. Its situation in the land. "And there was (i.e., fell, or came out; cf. Joshua 16:1; Joshua 19:1) the lot to the tribe of Judah according to its families to the frontier of Edom (see at Numbers 34:3), to the desert of Zin southward, against the extreme south" (lit. from the end or extremity of the south), i.e., its inheritance fell to it, so that it reached to the territory of Edom and the desert of Zin, in which Kadesh was situated (see at Numbers 13:21), on the extreme south of Canaan.
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