Joshua 15:8
And the border went up by the valley of the son of Hinnom unto the south side of the Jebusite; the same is Jerusalem: and the border went up to the top of the mountain that lieth before the valley of Hinnom westward, which is at the end of the valley of the giants northward:
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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 valley of the son of Hinnom - This valley begins on the west of Jerusalem at the road to Joppa, and turning southeastward round the foot of Mount Zion joins the deeper valley of Kedron on the south of the city. It was in this ravine, more particularly at Tophet in the more wild and precipitous part of it toward the east, that the later kings of Judah offered the sacrifices of children to Moloch (2 Chronicles 28:3; 2 Chronicles 33:6, etc.). After these places had been defiled by Josiah, Tophet and the whole valley of Hinnom were held in abomination by the Jews, and the name of the latter was used to denote the place of eternal torment Matthew 5:22. The Greek term Gehenna (γεέννα geenna) is in fact formed from the Hebrew הנם גיא gay' hı̂nnôm, "valley of Hinnom." Hinnom is regarded either as the name of some ancient hero, or as an appellative ( "groaning" or "moaning"), bestowed on the spot because of the cries of the victims here offered to Moloch, and of the drums with which those cries were drowned.

The valley of the giants - Rather "the plain of Rephaim." This plain, named after an ancient and gigantic tribe of the land Genesis 14:5, lies southwestward of Jerusalem, and is terminated by a slight rocky ridge forming the brow of the valley of Hinnom. The valley is fertile Isaiah 17:5 and broad, and has been on more than one occasion the camping ground for armies operating against Jerusalem 2 Samuel 5:18, 2 Samuel 5:22; 2 Samuel 23:13.

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.

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 downwards to Jordan and the sea.

Hinnom; a very pleasant place, but afterwards made infamous, 2 Kings 23:10.

Of the Jebusite, i.e. of the city of the Jebusites, which was anciently called Jebusi, Joshua 18:28 Judges 19:10.

The same is Jerusalem: it may seem hence, and from Deu 33:12 Joshua 18:28 Judges 1:21, that Jerusalem, properly, or at least principally, belonged to Benjamin; and yet it is ascribed to Judah also here, Joshua 15:63, and elsewhere, either because a part of the city was allotted to Judah; or because the Benjamites needed or desired the help and conjunction of this powerful tribe of Judah, for the getting and keeping of this most important place. And when the Benjamites had in vain attempted to drive out the Jebusites, this work was at last done by the tribe of Judah, who therefore had an interest in it by the right of war; as Ziklag, which belonged to the tribe of Simeon, being gotten from the Philistines by David, was adjoined by him to his tribe of Judah, 1 Samuel 27:6.

And the border went up by the valley of the son of Hinnom,.... Which belonged to a man of that name formerly; and was near Jerusalem, placed by Jerom (l) to the east of it; but Reland (m) rather thinks it is to the south. It was infamous for the sacrifices of children to Moloch in it, by burning them, or causing them to pass through fire: hence, in allusion to it, hell fire is often in the New Testament called "Geenna", Matthew 5:22 Luke 12:5; this border from the salt sea, and from Jordan, is all along said to "go up", because from hence to Jerusalem was an ascent, that lying on higher ground:

unto the south side of the Jebusite; of the place the Jebusite inhabited:

the same is Jerusalem; which was formerly called Jebus, from the inhabitants of it; yea, Jebusi, as here, and so may intend not the inhabitants, but the place, see Joshua 18:28; and here the Jebusites lived, at least in some part of it, until the time of David, 2 Samuel 5:6,

and the border went up to the top of the mountain that lieth before the valley of Hinnom westward: which is generally supposed to be the mount Moriah:

which is at the end of the valley of the giants, northward: the valley of Rephaim, as it is called 2 Samuel 5:18, and here Mount Moriah, as it was to the west of the valley of Hinnom, it was to the north of the valley of Rephaim; which valley, as Josephus (n) says, was not far from Jerusalem, twenty furlongs from it. Some late travellers (o) tell us it lies in the way from Jerusalem to Bethlehem, and is not above two hours' ride from the former. From this account it appears, as Jarchi remarks, that Jerusalem was not within the line, and was not in the border of Judah, but of Benjamin, which tribe lay to the north of Judah: it seems indeed to have been one part of it in the tribe of Judah, and the other in the tribe of Benjamin; though the Jews frequently say it did not belong to either tribe.

(l) De loc. Heb. fol. 91. B. (m) Palest. lllustrat. tom. 1. p. 253. (n) Antiqu. l. 7. c. 4. sect. 1. & 12. 4. (o) Egmont and Heyman's Travels, vol. 1. p. 370.

And the border went up by the valley of the son of Hinnom unto the south side of the Jebusite; the same is Jerusalem: and the border went up to the top of the mountain that lieth before the valley of Hinnom westward, which is at the end of the valley of the giants northward:
8. and the border went up] From En-rogel the border went up into the valley of the son of Hinnom, on the south side of the Jebusite, that is Jerusalem. The direction accordingly runs S. S. W. of Jerusalem, where the valley mentioned lies. Nothing is known of this Hinnom. Possibly he was some ancient hero, who had encamped here, and from whom it was called “Ge-Ben-Hinnom,” “the Ravine of the son of Hinnom,” whence came “Ge-Hinnom,” and so “Gehenna.” It is a deep retired glen, shut in by rugged cliffs, with the bleak mountain-sides rising over all. Here (a) Solomon erected high places for Moloch (1 Kings 11:7), and (b) in the times of Ahaz and Manasseh it became notorious as the scene of the barbarous rites of that deity and of Chemosh, when the idolatrous inhabitants of Jerusalem cast their sons and daughters into the red-hot arms of a monster idol of brass placed at the opening of the ravine (2 Kings 16:3; 2 Chronicles 28:3; Jeremiah 7:31). To put an end to these abominations the place was polluted by Josiah, who spread over it human bones and other corruptions (2 Kings 23:10; 2 Kings 23:13-14), from which time it seems to have become the common cesspool of the city. These inhuman rites and subsequent ceremonial defilement caused the later Jews to regard it with horror and detestation, and they applied the name given to the valley to the place of torment.

the same is Jerusalem] As Bethel was in earlier times called Luz (Genesis 28:19), and Bethlehem was called Ephrath (Genesis 35:16; Micah 5:2), so Jerusalem was called Jebus (Jdg 19:11; 1 Chronicles 11:4). It is interpreted by some to mean a place “dry” or “down-trodden like a threshingfloor,” which is thought to prove it must have been the south-western hill.

went up to the top of the mountain] From the ravine of Hinnom the border now ascended to the top of the mountain that lieth before the valley of Hinnom westward, which is at the end of “the Valley of Giants northward.” The “Valley of the Giants” was “the Valley of Rephaim,” an ancient settlement of this giant tribe, from which sprang Og king of Basan, possibly after they were driven from their original seats by Chedorlaomer (Genesis 14:5). It was a “valley-plain,” extending in a S.W. direction from Jerusalem to Mar Elias, spacious enough to serve as a camp for an army. Here (a) David twice encountered the Philistines and inflicted a destruction upon them so signal that it gave the place a new name, Baal-perazim = “the plain of Bursts” or “Destructions” (2 Samuel 5:17-20). Here (b) too it was in all probability that the incident of the water of Bethlehem occurred (2 Samuel 23:13).

the mountain] here alluded to was the slight “rock-ridge” which on the north constitutes the boundary of the valley of Hinnom.

Verse 8. - The south side of the Jebusite. Literally, the shoulder of the Jebusite from (or on) the south (see 1 Kings 6:8; 1 Kings 7:39, margin). Thus Jerusalem lay to the north of the border, in the tribe of Benjamin. The same is Jerusalem. Formerly called Jebus, from the Jebusites who dwelt there (Judges 19:11; 1 Chronicles 11:4). The city lay on the borders of Judah and Benjamin (see note on Joshua 10:1). The valley of the giants. Hebrew, Rephaim (see Joshua 12:4). The word here translated valley is עֵמֶק. In the former part it is גֵי (see note on last verse). The word here used signifies originally depth, and is applied to wide valleys embosomed among lofty hills. Such were the valley of Elah (1 Samuel 17:2, 19); the King's Dale (Genesis 14:17; 2 Samuel 18:18); the valley of Siddim (Genesis 14:3), of Jezreel (Judges 6:33). "The word Emek shows that this was neither a winter torrent nor a narrow, dry ravine, and it is best identified with its traditional site, the shallow basin west of the watershed south of Jerusalem, now called el Bukei'a" (Conder). We read of this valley in 2 Samuel 5:18, 22. From these passages we may gather a confirmation of the view above expressed, that the valley here meant is an open valley, since only in such a valley could the Philistine army take up a position. It gradually narrows towards the southwest. On the south it extends as far as Bethlehem. The range of mountains which lie to the west of the valley of Hinnom from the northern boundary of the plain or valley of Rephaim. Joshua 15:8It then went up into the more elevated valley of Ben-hinnom, on the south side of the Jebusite town, i.e., Jerusalem (see at Joshua 10:1), and still farther up to the top of the mountain which rises on the west of the valley of Ben-hinnom, and at the farthest extremity of the plain of Rephaim towards the north. The valley of Ben-hinnom, or Ben-hinnom (the son or sons of Hinnom), on the south side of Mount Zion, a place which was notorious from the time of Ahaz as the seat of the worship of Moloch (2 Kings 23:10; 2 Chronicles 28:3; 2 Chronicles 33:6; Jeremiah 7:31, etc.), is supposed there, but of whom nothing further is known (see Robinson, Pal. i. pp. 402ff.). The plain of Rephaim (lxx γῆ Ῥαφαείν, in 2 Samuel 5:18, 2 Samuel 5:22; 2 Samuel 23:13 κοιλὰς τῶν Τιτάνων), probably named after the gigantic race of Rephaim, and mentioned several times in 2 Sam. s a battle-field, is on the west of Jerusalem, and is separated from the edge of the valley of Ben-hinnom by a small ridge of rock. It runs southwards to Mar Elias, is an hour long, half an hour broad, and was very fertile (Isaiah 17:5); in fact, even to the present day it is carefully cultivated (see Rob. Pal. i. p. 323; Tobler, Topogr. v. Jerus. ii. pp. 401ff.). It is bounded on the north by the mountain ridge already mentioned, which curves westwards on the left side of the road to Jaffa. This mountain ridge, or one of the peaks, is "the mountain on the west of the valley of Hinnom," at the northern end of the plain referred to.
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