Joshua 19:31
This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Asher according to their families, these cities with their villages.
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19:17-51 Joshua waited till all the tribes were settled, before he asked any provision for himself. He was content to be unfixed, till he saw them all placed, and herein is an example to all in public places, to prefer the common welfare before private advantage. Those who labour most to do good to others, seek an inheritance in the Canaan above: but it will be soon enough to enter thereon, when they have done all the service to their brethren of which they are capable. Nor can any thing more effectually assure them of their title to it, than endeavouring to bring others to desire, to seek, and to obtain it. Our Lord Jesus came and dwelt on earth, not in pomp but poverty, providing rest for man, yet himself not having where to lay his head; for Christ pleased not himself. Nor would he enter upon his inheritance, till by his obedience to death he secured the eternal inheritance for all his people; nor will he account his own glory completed, till every ransomed sinner is put in possession of his heavenly rest.These verses refer to the northern portion of the territory of Asher, on the Phoenician frontier. Some names may have dropped out of the text, the number Joshua 19:30 not tallying with the catalogue. Ramah still retains its ancient name, and lies about twelve miles southeast of Tyre. Achzib is the modern "Zib," on the coast, eight or nine miles north of Acre. 29. and then the coast turneth to Ramah—now El-Hamra, which stood where the Leontes (Litany) ends its southern course and flows westward.

and to the strong city Tyre—The original city appears to have stood on the mainland, and was well-fortified. From Tyre the boundary ran to Hosah, an inland town; and then, passing the unconquered district of Achzib (Jud 1:31), terminated at the seacoast.

No text from Poole on this verse.

This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Asher,.... As before described, a goodly heritage; it was, according to the prediction of Jacob and Moses, Genesis 49:20; a very fruitful country. Josephus (c) says, the country from Carmel called the valley, because it was such, even all over against Sidon, fell to the Asherites, Asher had Mount Libanus on the north, Naphtali on the east, Zebulun on the south and southeast, the sea on the west:

according to their families; the number of them, so their lot was divided to them:

these cities with their villages; before named.

(c) Antiqu. l. 5. c. 1. sect. 22.

This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Asher according to their families, these cities with their villages.
31. the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Asher] The territory of Asher extended from the Nahr Zerka on the south, to Zidon on the north, and contained some of the richest soil of the country, and the maritime portion of the fertile plain of Esdraelon, and commanded all approaches to Palestine from the sea on the north. Its soil well fulfilled the prophetic descriptions of Jacob and Moses. Here Asher could “dip his foot” in the oil of his luxuriant olive-groves (Deuteronomy 33:24) such as still distinguish this region, and fatten on the bread, the fruit of the rich plain of Phœnicia and his fertile upland valleys (Genesis 49:20). Here he could “yield royal dainties” (Genesis 49:20), “oil and wine from his olives and vineyards, and milk and butter from his pastures;” while under his shoes (Deuteronomy 33:25) was the iron ore of the southern slopes of Lebanon, and the brass or copper of the neighbouring Phœnician territory. See Stanley’s S. and P., p. 362; Pusey’s Lectures on the Book of Daniel, p. 294; Porter’s Handbook of Sinai and Palestine, ii. p. 363. But to the richness of his soil and the proximity of the Phœnician towns the degeneracy and subsequent obscurity of Asher may be mainly traced. At the numbering of Israel at Sinai, the tribe was more numerous than either Ephraim, Manasseh, or Benjamin (Numbers 1:32-41), “but in the reign of David, so insignificant had it become, that its name is altogether omitted from the list of the chief rulers” (1 Chronicles 27:16-22). “The Asherites dwelt among the Canaanites” (Jdg 1:32), and “though not nominally, or even really, a subject people, they were so thoroughly checked in their plans of conquest, and dashed their strength so uselessly against the strong rock of Phœnician power, that in the shock of failure they settled down as a people admitted to be strong, and allowed to exist side by side with the Phœnicians, under certain statutes and arrangements mutually entered into.” Ritter’s Compar. Geo. of Palestine, iii. 187, 188. With the exception of the aged widow, “Anna, the daughter of Phanuel” (Luke 2:36), no name “shines out of the general obscurity” of the tribe. “The contemptuous allusion in the Song of Deborah sums up this whole history, when in the great gathering of the tribes against Sisera, Asher continued on the sea-shore and abode in his creeks,” So insignificant was the tribe to which was assigned the fortress which Napoleon called the key of Palestine. Stanley’s S. and P., p. 265.

Verse 31. - This is the inheritance of the tribe of Asher. Asher appears to have been allotted a long but narrow strip of territory between Naphtali and the sea. The natural advantages of the territory must have been great. Not only was it described prophetically by Jacob (Genesis 49:20) and by Moses (Deuteronomy 33:24, 25), but the prosperity of the two great maritime cities of Tyro and Sidon was due to the immense commercial advantages the neighbourhood afforded. St. Jean d'Acre, within the territory once assigned to Asher, has inherited the prosperity, so far as anything under the Turkish rule can be prosperous, once enjoyed by her two predecessors. Maundrell, the acute English chaplain at Aleppo, who visited Palestine in 1696, describes the plain of Acre in his day as about six hours' journey from north to south, and two from west to east; as being well watered, and possessing "everything else that might render it both pleasant and fruitful. But," he adds, "this delicious plain is now almost desolate, being suffered, for want of culture, to run up to rank weeds, as high as our horses' backs." Asher, however, never employed the advantages its situation offered. They never subdued the Canaanites around them, but, unquestionably at a very early date (see Judges 5:17) preferred a life of compromise and ignoble ease to the national welfare. But it would be incorrect to suppose that because the tribe is omitted in the list of rulers given in 1 Chronicles 27, it had ceased to be a power in Israel. For Gad is also omitted in that list, while among the warriors who came to greet David when he became undisputed king of Israel, Asher sent 40,000 trained warriors, a number exceeding the men of Ephraim, and those of Simeon, of Dan, and of the half tribe of Manasseh (see 1 Chronicles 12.), and far exceeding the numbers of Benjamin, which had never recovered the war of almost extermination waged against it, in consequence of the atrocity at Gibeah (Judges 20.). Possibly the reason why so few are mentioned of the tribe of Judah on that occasion is because so many were already with David. There seems no ground for the idea of Dean Stanley, that the allusion to Asher in Judges 5:17 is any more contemptuous than the allusion to any other tribe. Joshua 19:31"And the boundary turned (probably from the territory of Sidon) to Ramah, to the fortified town of Zor." Robinson supposes that Rama is to be found in the village of Rameh, on the south-east of Tyre, where several ancient sarcophagi are to be seen (Bibl. Res. p. 63). "The fortified town of Zor," i.e., Tyre, is not the insular Tyre, but the town of Tyre, which was on the mainland, the present Sur, which is situated by the sea-coast, in a beautiful and fertile plain (see Ritter, Erdk. xvii. p. 320, and Movers, Phnizier, ii. 1, pp. 118ff.). "And the boundary turned to Hosah, and the outgoings thereof were at the sea, by the side of the district of Achzib." Hosah is unknown, as the situation of Kausah, near to the Rameh already mentioned (Rob. Bibl. Res. p. 61), does not suit in this connection. מחבל, lit. from the district, i.e., by the side of it. Achzib, where the Asherites dwelt with the Canaanites (Judges 1:31-32), is the Ekdippa of the Greeks and Romans, according to the Onom. (s. v. Achziph) nine Roman miles, or according to the Itiner. Hieros. p. 584, twelve miles to the north of Acco by the sea, the present Zib, a very large village, three good hours to the north of Acre, - a place on the sea-coast, with considerable ruins of antiquity (see Ges. Thes. p. 674; Seetzen, ii. p. 109; Ritter, xvi. pp. 811-12). - In Joshua 19:30 three separate towns are mentioned, which were probably situated in the eastern part of the northern district of Asher, whereas the border towns mentioned in Joshua 19:28 and Joshua 19:29 describe this district in its western half. Ummah (lxx Ἀμμά) may perhaps have been preserved in Kefr Ammeih, upon the Lebanon, to the south of Hammana, in the district of Jurd (Rob. iii. App.; Ritter, xvii. p. 710). Aphek is the present Afka (see at Joshua 13:4). Rehob cannot be traced with certainty. If it is Hub, as Knobel supposes, and the name Hub, which is borne by a Maronite monastery upon Lebanon, in the diocese of el-Jebail (to the north-east of Jebail), is a corruption of Rehob, this would be the northernmost town of Asher (see Seetzen, i. pp. 187ff., and Ritter, xvii. p. 791). The number "twenty-two towns and their villages" does not tally, as there are twenty-three towns mentioned in Joshua 19:26-30, if we include Sidon, Tyre, and Achzib, according to Judges 1:31-32. The only way in which the numbers can be made to agree is to reckon Nehiel (Joshua 19:27) as identical with Neah (Joshua 19:13). But this point cannot be determined with certainty, as the Asherites received other towns, such as Acco and Aclaph, which are wanting in this list, and may possibly have simply fallen out.
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