Joshua 16:2
And goeth out from Bethel to Luz, and passeth along unto the borders of Archi to Ataroth,
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Joshua 16:2. From Bethel to Luz — Dupin translates this Bethel-Luz, and Dr. Waterland, Bethel, which is Luz; for we sometimes find them mentioned as one and the same place, as Joshua 18:13; Jdg 1:23; and it is probable that in a length of time they were united, and the inhabitants of the former went to the latter. The borders of Archi to Ataroth — Or rather, the borders of Archi-Ataroth, as both the Seventy and the Vulgate render it, and as the words are in the Hebrew, this being the same city which is afterward called Ataroth, Joshua 16:7.

16:20-63 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.Of Archi - (Read "of the Archite," also a designation of David's friend Hushai (2 Samuel 15:32; 2 Samuel 16:16, etc.). The word is derived from Erech Genesis 10:10. But whether there was in the neighborhood of Bethel a place bearing this Babylonian name, or whether a colony from the East had settled in this spot and brought the name with them, is unknown.

Ataroth - Called Joshua 16:5; Joshua 18:13 Ataroth-adar ( equals "crowns of fame or greatness") perhaps to distinguish it from two other places bearing the same name but, situated on the other side of Jordan, in the territory of Gad Numbers 32:34. It is identified with Atara, near the road from Jerusalem to Nablous.


Jos 16:1-4. The General Borders of the Sons of Joseph.

1. the lot of the children of Joseph fell—Hebrew, "went forth," referring either to the lot as drawn out of the urn, or to the tract of land thereby assigned. The first four verses describe the territory allotted to the family of Joseph in the rich domains of central Palestine. It was drawn in one lot, that the brethren might be contiguously situated; but it was afterwards divided. The southern boundary only is described here; that on the north being irregular and less defined (Jos 17:10, 11), is not mentioned.

water of Jericho—(2Ki 2:19), at the joint of its junction with the Jordan.

mount Beth-el—the ridge south of Beth-el. Having described the position of Joseph's family generally the historian proceeds to define the territory; first, that of Ephraim.

From Beth-el to Luz, or, from Bethel-luzah, as the LXX. here join the words; for Beth-el was anciently called Luz, Genesis 28:19 48:3; though some think this was another Luz, spoken of Judges 1:26. Others make Beth-el and Luz two neighbouring towns, which afterwards being more built and inhabited, became one, as oft hath happened.

And goeth out from Bethel to Luz,.... For though these two places in time became one, yet they were originally distinct. Bethel, at which Jacob stopped, and who gave it its name, was a field adjacent to the city of Luz, Genesis 38:11; and therefore with propriety may be, as they here are, distinguished:

and passeth along unto the borders Archi to Ataroth; or to Archiataroth; these two words being the name of one and the same place, and to be joined as they are, in the Greek version, and others; and is the same with Atarothaddar, Joshua 16:5. Ataroth was its proper name, but it had these additional epithets to distinguish it from another Ataroth; see Joshua 16:7; Jerom (b) makes mention of Atharoth by Ramma, in the tribe of Joseph, and of another in the tribe of Ephraim, now a village at the north of Sebaste, or Samaria, four miles from it, called Atharus; the former is here meant.

(b) De loc. Heb. fol. 88. G.

And goeth out from Bethel to Luz, and passeth along unto the borders of Archi to Ataroth,
2. and goeth out] Thence it passed on to Luz. It seems impossible to determine exactly whether Bethel and Luz were the same town, Luz being the Canaanite and Bethel the Hebrew name, or whether they were distinct places close to one another.

(a) This verse, Joshua 18:13, and Genesis 28:19, seem to favour the last interpretation.

(b) Genesis 35:6, Jdg 1:23, favour the former.

The conclusion of Mr Grove is “that the two places were distinct during the times preceding the conquest, Luz being the city, and Bethel the pillar and altar of Jacob; but after the destruction of Luz by the tribe of Ephraim the town of Bethel arose.” See his Article in Smith’s Bibl. Dict.

unto the borders of Archi] Comp. 2 Samuel 16:16, 1 Chronicles 27:33, where we read of Hushai the Archite. The precise locality is unknown.

to Ataroth] See below Joshua 16:5, and comp. Joshua 18:13.

Verse 2. - From Bethel to Luz. Like Jerusalem and AElia Capitolina, or old and new Carthage, the new city did not coincide precisely in its site with the old one (see Joshua 18:13; also Genesis 28:19; Genesis 35:6; Judges 1:23). Bethel was probably built, as far as could be ascertained, on the spot near the Canaanitish city where the wanderer Jacob spent the night in which the famous vision appeared to him (see Genesis 28:11). Knobel, however, renders literally, Bethel-Luzah, as though the older and later names had been here conjoined. The borders of Archi. Rather, the borders of the Archite (cf. 2 Samuel 15:32; 2 Samuel 16:16; 1 Chronicles 27:33). This is the only clue we have to the residence or tribe of Hushai. Joshua 16:2"And it went out from Bethel to Luz." Bethel is distinguished from Luz in this passage, because the reference is not to the town of Bethel, which was called Luz by the Canaanites (vid., Genesis 28:19), but to the southern range of mountains belonging to Bethel, from which the boundary ran out to the town of Luz, so that this town, which stood upon the border, was allotted to the tribe of Benjamin (Joshua 18:22). From this point the boundary went over "to the territory of the Arkite to Ataroth," We know nothing further about the Arkite than that David's friend Hushai belonged to that family (2 Samuel 15:32; 2 Samuel 16:16; 1 Chronicles 27:33). Ataroth, called Ataroth-Adar in Joshua 18:13, was not the present village of Atra, an hour and a half to the south of Jiljilia (Rob. iii. p. 80), as I once supposed, but the ruins of Atra, three-quarters of an hour to the south of Bireh (Beeroth, Rob. ii. p. 314), with which the expression "descended" in Joshua 18:13 perfectly harmonizes. Consequently the boundary was first of all drawn in a south-westerly direction from Beitin to Bireh (Joshua 18:25), and then southwards to Atrah.
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