Joshua 18:28
And Zelah, Eleph, and Jebusi, which is Jerusalem, Gibeath, and Kirjath; fourteen cities with their villages. This is the inheritance of the children of Benjamin according to their families.
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Joshua 18:28. And Jebusi, which is Jerusalem — See Joshua 15:63, where it is reckoned to the tribe of Judah; for both that tribe and Benjamin had an interest in it, as we have there stated. The inheritance of the children of Benjamin — Which was one of the smallest, with respect to the quantity of ground which they possessed, but the soil was the richest of all the other tribes, as Josephus informs us.

18:11-28 The boundaries of each portion were distinctly drawn, and the inheritance of each tribe settled. All contests and selfish claims were prevented by the wise appointment of God, who allotted the hill and the valley, the corn and pasture, the brooks and rivers, the towns and cities. Is the lot of any servant of Christ cast in affliction and sorrow? It is the Lord; let him do what seemeth him good. Are we in prosperity and peace? It is from above. Be humbled when you compare the gift with your own unworthiness. Forget not Him that gave the good, and always be ready to resign it at his command.Mizpeh - See Joshua 11:3. Not the Mizpeh of Joshua 15:38, but the place where Samuel judged the people and called them together for the election of a king 1 Samuel 7:5-16; 1 Samuel 10:17. In the Chaldaean times it was the residence of Gedaliah 2 Kings 25:22; Jeremiah 40:14. Its site is identified with "Neby Samwil," about five miles northwest of Jerusalem. 11. the lot of … Benjamin came up—It has been supposed that there were two urns or vessels, from which the lots were drawn: one containing the names of the tribes, the other containing those of the seven portions; and that the two were drawn out simultaneously.

the coast of their lot came forth between the children of Judah and the children of Joseph—Thus the prophecy of Moses respecting the inheritance of Benjamin was remarkably accomplished. (See on [199]De 33:12).

Which is Jerusalem: so it seems this city did properly and primarily belong to Benjamin, although the tribe of Judah had also an interest in it, either because some part of it was allotted to them, or because the Benjamites gave them a share in it, for the assistance which either they had received or did expect from that potent tribe, for the getting or defending of that very important place. See Poole "Joshua 15:63". It is more than probable that all the cities belonging to this tribe are not here named, because Anathoth and Almon are omitted here, but expressed Joshua 21:18.

And Zelaheath,.... Zelah was the buryingplace of Saul and his family, 2 Samuel 21:14.

Eleph is nowhere else mentioned; some join it with Zelah, and make one city of it, but then the number of cities given could not be completed; both Jarchi and Kimchi say they were two cities, as doubtless they were:

and Jebusi, which is Jerusalem; of Jerusalem being called Jebusi, see Joshua 15:63; it belonged partly to the tribe of Judah, and partly to the tribe of Benjamin; Mount Zion belonged to Judah, and Moriah to Benjamin:

Gibeath was a distinct city both from Gaba and Gibeon; by its being mentioned with Jerusalem, it should seem to be near it. Jerom (y) speaks of Gabaatha in the tribe of Benjamin, twelve miles from Eleutheropolis, where the grave of the Prophet Habakkuk was shown:

and Kirjath signifies a city, but what city is meant is not known:

fourteen cities with their villages; and just so many are mentioned by name:

this is the inheritance of the children of Benjamin according to their families; these cities, with others perhaps not mentioned, were allotted to the tribe of Benjamin for their families to dwell in.

(y) De loc. Heb. fol. 92. C.

And Zelah, Eleph, and Jebusi, which is {n} Jerusalem, Gibeath, and Kirjath; fourteen cities with their villages. This is the inheritance of the children of Benjamin according to their families.

(n) Which was not completely in the tribe of Benjamin, but part of it was also in the tribe of Judah.

28. 10. Zelah] = Beit Jala, S. of the plain of Rephaim, is afterwards mentioned as the burial-place of Saul and Jonathan (2 Samuel 21:14). 11. Eleph is unknown; 12. Jebusi, which is Jerusalem, see note above, Joshua 15:8. 13. Gibeath is the Gibeah of Saul, now Tuleil-el-Fûl, about one hour and 25 minutes north of Jerusalem. Here (a) occurred the outrage recorded in Judges 19; here (b) was Jonathan with a thousand chosen warriors when he made his victorious onslaught on the garrison of the Philistines (1 Samuel 13:2-3). 14. Kirjath is at present unrecognised.

This is the inheritance of the children of Benjamin] The situation of the territory of this tribe was highly favourable, forming almost a parallelogram, of about 26 miles in length by 12 in breadth. The smallness of the district, hardly larger than the county of Middlesex, was compensated for by the excellence of the land.

(a) The general level of this part of Palestine is very high, being 2000 feet above the level of the Mediterranean on the western side, and 3000 feet above the deep valley of the Jordan on the eastern side. This plateau is surmounted by a large number of eminences (Gibeon, Gibeah, Geba, all = “hill;” Ramah = “eminence;” Mizpeh = “a watch-tower”), which presented favourable sites for strong fortresses.

(b) No less important than these eminences are the torrent-beds and ravines by which the upper country looks down into the deep tracts on each side of it, forming then, as they do now, the only mode of access from either the plains of Philistia and of Sharon on the west, or the Ghôr of the Jordan on the east.

(c) In the broken and hilly country, “little Benjamin” (Psalm 68:27), famous above the rest for skill in archery (2 Samuel 1:22), for its slingers (Jdg 20:16) and left-handed warriors (Jdg 3:15), became warlike and indomitable. “In his mountain passes—the ancient haunt of beasts of prey, he ‘ravined as a wolf in the morning,’ descended into the rich plains of Philistia on the one side, and of the Jordan on the other, and ‘returned in the evening to divide the spoil’ (Genesis 49:27). In the troubled period of the Judges, the tribe of Benjamin maintained a struggle, unaided and for some time with success, against the whole of the rest of the nation (Judges 20, 21.). And to the latest times they never could forget that they had given birth to the first king.” Stanley’s Sinai and Palestine, pp. 200, 201.

Verse 28. - Gibeath. Almost certainly the same as "Gibeah of Saul" (1 Samuel 11:4). It was Saul's home (1 Samuel 10:26; 1 Samuel 13:2, 15, 16). It was near Saul's home, at the time his temporary refuge, that the Philistines encamped when Jonathan (1 Samuel 14.) made his daring attack on them. It was the scene of the terrible outrage recorded in Judges 19. Lieut. Conder has identified it with Jeba, not far from Miehmash, situated on one of the branches of the precipitous Wady Suwaynit. The situation explains the otherwise unintelligible narrative in 1 Samuel 13:14. This is the inheritance of the children of Benjamin. Dean Stanley ('Sinai and Palestine,' ch. 4.) reminds us how the very names suggest the "remarkable heights" which constitute the "table land" of which the inheritance of Benjamin consists. Thus Gibeon, Gibeah, Geba, or Gaba, all signify hill. Ramah signifies high place, and Mizpeh, watch tower, which of necessity must be situated on an eminence. Only by narrow passes along deep torrent beds could access be obtained to this mountainous region. Thus it was that the otherwise inexplicable resistance to all Israel in arms, recorded in Judges 20, 21, was maintained. In a country like this the skill of the Benjamites with the sling (Judges 20:16) and the bow (2 Samuel 1:22) could be used with terrible effect upon foes powerless to come to a hand-to-hand conflict. To Dean Stanley's vivid description of the physical geography of the country the student is referred for a detailed account.

Joshua 18:28Zelah, the burial-place of Saul and his family (2 Samuel 21:14), is otherwise unknown. Gibeath or Gibeah, i.e., Gibeah of Benjamin, which was destroyed by the other tribes of Israel in the time of the judges, on account of the flagrant crime which had been committed there (Judges 19-20), is also called Gibeah of Saul, as being the home and capital of Saul (1 Samuel 10:26; 1 Samuel 11:4, etc.), and was situated, according to Judges 19:13 and Isaiah 10:29, between Jerusalem and Ramah, according to Josephus (Bell. Jud. v. 2, 1, 8) about twenty or thirty stadia from Jerusalem. These statements point to the Tell or Tuleil el Phul, i.e., bean-mountain, a conical peak about an hour from Jerusalem, on the road to er-Rm, with a large heap of stones upon the top, probably the ruins of a town that was built of unhewn stones, from which there is a very extensive prospect in all directions (Rob. ii. p. 317). Consequently modern writers have very naturally agreed in the conclusion, that the ancient Gibeah of Benjamin or Saul was situated either by the side of or upon this Tell (see Rob. Bibl. Res. p. 286; Strauss, Sinai, etc., p. 331, ed. 6; v. Raumer, Pal. p. 196). Kirjath has not yet been discovered, and must not be confounded with Kirjath-jearim, which belonged to the tribe of Judah (Joshua 18:14; cf. Joshua 15:60).
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