Joshua 19:47
And the coast of the children of Dan went out too little for them: therefore the children of Dan went up to fight against Leshem, and took it, and smote it with the edge of the sword, and possessed it, and dwelled therein, and called Leshem, Dan, after the name of Dan their father.
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(47) And the coast of the children of Dan went out too little for them.—The words “too

little” are not in the original; and it seems better to translate literally: And the coast of the children of Dan went out from themi.e., their territory was partly re-conquered by the Philistines. Something similar seems to have occurred in several districts of the country. The Israelites not taking advantage of the impression produced by Joshua’s great victories to occupy the territory assigned to them, the nations of Canaan re-possessed themselves of their former abodes. and held them against Israel. The Philistines are expressly said to have been left to prove Israel. Joshua was not permitted to exterminate them. And although Dan and Judah, numerically the two strongest of all the tribes (both in the census in the plains of Moab and at Sinai), were placed next to the Philistines, and had the task of conquering that nation assigned to them, still it was not effected. We read in Judges 1, The Amorites forced the children of Dan into the mountains, for they would not suffer them to come down into the valley.”

Hence the Danites, instead of attacking the Philistines and Amorites in their inheritance, preferred to form a new settlement in the north, and put to the sword “a people quiet and secure,” who “had no deliverer,” rather than “run with patience the race set before them.” They were not minded to resist unto blood, striving against their foes. (See the narrative in Judges 18, especially Joshua 19:27-28.)

Joshua 19:47. The coast of Dan went out too little — The words too little are not in the Hebrew, where there is nothing that corresponds with them. The passage runs thus: The coast of the children of Dan went out from them; that is, they were dispossessed of it in some parts, or kept out of them by the former inhabitants; and we find, by Jdg 1:34, that the Amorites forced them into the mountains, and would not suffer them to dwell in the valley. This reduced them to such straits, that they were constrained to enlarge their border some other way; which they did as follows. They went up to fight against Leshem — A city not far from Jordan, called Laish in the book of Judges, before it was taken by the Danites. And called Leshem, Dan, after the name of Dan their father — It was customary for conquerors to change the names of those places they subdued. This was done with respect to Leshem, after the death of Joshua; and is related more largely in the book of Judges, chap. 18., where the whole expedition is recorded. From whence some have argued that this book was not written by Joshua; whereas no more can fairly be inferred, than that, in after times, Ezra, or some other, thought good to insert this verse here, in order to complete the account of the Danites’ possessions.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.The words "too little" are an insertion of the King James Version Render rather, "the border of the children of Dan was extended." The Hebrew appears to mean "the children of Dan enlarged their border because they had not room enough."

The reason of this was that the Danites, a numerous tribe (Numbers 26:5 note), found themselves Judges 1:34-35 cooped up among the hills by the powerful and warlike Amorites. Hence, the Danite expedition (see the marginal reference), which surprised the Sidonion inhabitants of Leshem, an unwarlike and peaceable race, exterminated them, and annexed their city and territory to the portion of Dan.

47. the children of Dan went up to fight against Leshem—The Danites, finding their inheritance too small, decided to enlarge its boundaries by the sword; and, having conquered Leshem (Laish), they planted a colony there, calling the new settlement by the name of Dan (see on [200]Jud 18:7). Went out too little for them, Heb. went out from them, to wit, out of their hands or possession; for so this Hebrew word is used concerning those lands, which in the year of the jubilee are said to go out, Leviticus 25:28,30,31,33, i.e. out of the hands of the present possessor, to the first and ancient owner. And so peradventure this may signify that many of the Danites were forced by their powerful neighbors the Philistines to relinquish their coast, and their allotted habitations; which put them upon the following course.

The children of Dan went up to fight against Leshem after Joshua’s death, as appears from Jud 18 and seems to be here inserted, partly that all the chief places where the Danites (dwelt,) though far distant, might be mentioned together; and partly to give an account of this strange accident, why they removed from their appointed portion to so remote a place; which may be this, that being much molested and terrified by their bad neighbours, they thought fit to go to some place remote from them, which also they were in a manner constrained to do, because otherwise they must have taken some part of the portions of other tribes, whereas now going to the very utmost northern point of the land, they took that which did not belong to, or, at least, was not in the possession of any other tribe. See more Jud 18. And the coast of the children of Dan went out too little for them,.... Being a very numerous tribe, the cities allotted them were not sufficient for them; or rather, leaving out the supplement "too little", the words will run, it "went out from them"; they lost part of it, being driven out of the valley into the mountain by the Amorites, Judges 1:34; which obliged them to seek out elsewhere for habitations:

therefore the children of Dan went out to fight against Leshem; called Laish, Judges 18:1, where the whole story is related of their lighting against this place and taking it; which, though some time after the death of Joshua, is here recorded to give at once an account of the inheritance of Dan; and which is no argument against Joshua's being the writer of this book, as is urged; since it might be inserted by another hand, Ezra, or some other inspired man, for the reason before given:

and took and smote it with the edge of the sword, and possessed it,

and dwelt therein; being a Canaanitish city, they put all in it to the sword, as the Lord had commanded, and took possession of it for an habitation:

and called Leshem Dan, after the name of Dan their father; this is the place which is always meant, where the phrase is used "from Dan to Beersheba", Judges 20:1, this being at the utmost northern border of the land of Canaan, as Beersheba was at the further part of the southern coast of it. It was, according to Jerom (c), situated near Paneas, out of which the river Jordan flowed; and Kimchi on the text observes, their Rabbins (d) say, that Leshem is Pamias (i.e. Paneas), and that Jordan flows from the cave of Pamias, and had its name because it descended from Dan; and so Josephus (e) says, that Panium is a cave under a mountain, from whence rise the springs of Jordan, and is the fountain of it; and Pliny also says (f), the river Jordan rises out of the fountain Paneas. This city was enlarged and beautified by Philip Herod, and he called it by the name of Caesarea Philippi, both in honour of Tiberius Caesar (g) and after his own name, by which name it goes in Matthew 16:13; and is called in the Jerusalem Targum on Genesis 14:14, Dan of Caesarea.

(c) De loc. Heb. fol. 93. A. (d) T. Bab. Megillah, fol. 6. 1. & Bava Bathra, fol. 74. 2.((e) Antiqu. l. 15. c. 10. sect. 3. De Bello Jud. l. 1. c. 21. sect. 3. & l. 3. c. 9. sect. 7. (f) Nat. Hist. l. 5. c. 15. (g) Joseph. Antiqu. l. 18. c. 2. sect. 1.

And the coast of the children of Dan went out too little for them: therefore the children of Dan went up to {l} fight against Leshem, and took it, and smote it with the edge of the sword, and possessed it, and dwelt therein, and called Leshem, Dan, after the name of Dan their father.

(l) According as Jacob had prophesied in Ge 49:17.

47. went out too little for them] The words “too little” are inserted in our Version. They are not found in the original Hebrew, which literally means, the border of the children of Dan went out from them, i.e. the border of the children of Dan was extended. “Squeezed into the narrow strip between the mountains and the sea, its energies were great beyond its numbers.” Stanley’s Sin. and Pal., p. 395; Lectures, p. 268.

went up to fight] “Stieded vp, and fouзten,” Wyclif. Hard pressed by the Amorites, whom they were unable to expel from the plain (Jdg 1:34), and by the Philistines, they longed for an addition to their territory, they sent out five spies from two towns in the low country, who tracked the Jordan to its source beyond the waters of Merom, and came to an eminence on which rose the town of

Leshem] or Laish, far up in northern Palestine, the modern Tell el-Kâdy near Bâniâs. It was a colony from Sidon, and its inhabitants, separated from their mother city by the huge mass of Lebanon and half of Anti-Lebanon, “dwelt quiet and secure” (Jdg 18:7), in the enjoyment of the warm climate and exquisite scenery, and tilling the fertile soil, irrigated by many streams. The spies marked the spot, and on their return bade their brethren arise, and take possession of a place where there is no want of any thing that is in the earth (Jdg 18:10), and the soil of which “even now produces large crops of wheat, barley, maize, sesame, rice, and other plants with very little labour … while horses, cattle, and sheep fatten on the rich pastures, and large herds of black buffaloes luxuriate in the streams and deep mire of the marshes.” See Thomson’s Land and the Book, p. 214; Robinson, Bib. Res. iii. 396.

therefore the children of Dan went up to fight] On receiving the news six hundred Danites from Zorah and Eshtaol girded on their weapons of war (Jdg 18:11), and pushed their way to the sources of the Jordan, and finding the town of Laish just as the spies had described it, far from its mother city, dwelling quiet and secure, they burst upon it, scaled its walls (Jdg 18:27), and

took it] and set it on fire, massacring the inhabitants. Then they rebuilt the town, and dwelt therein, and

called Leshem, Dan, after the name of Dan their father] The name Tell el-Kâdi =the mound of the Judge”, still preserves the ancient Dan = “judge.” See Tristram’s Land of Israel, p. 580.Verse 47. - Went out too little for them. The Hebrew is, went out from them; i.e., either went out beyond their own borders, or went out too small a distance to be sufficient for them. The first is the explanation of Masius ("extra se migrasse"), the second of Jarchi. Houbigant suggests for וַיֵּצֵא "and it went out" וַיָּאָצ "and it was narrow." But the LXX, has the same reading as ourselves, and the explanation given above is quite consistent with the fact. The border of Dan did "go out" far beyond the borders originally assigned to the tribe, in fact to the extreme northern limit of Palestine. The account of the taking of Laish, or Leshem, is given more fully in Judges 18. The inheritance assigned to Dan was extremely small, but it was also extremely fertile. From Judah the families of Dan received Zorea and Eshtaol (see at Joshua 15:33), and Ir-shemesh, also called Beth-shemesh (1 Kings 4:9), on the border of Judah (see Joshua 15:10); but of these the Danites did not take possession, as they were given up by Judah to the Levites (Joshua 21:16 : see at Joshua 15:10). Saalabbin, or Saalbim, which remained in the hands of the Canaanites (Judges 1:35), is frequently mentioned in the history of David and Solomon (2 Samuel 23:32; 1 Chronicles 11:33; 1 Kings 4:9). It may possibly be the present Selbt (Rob. iii. App.; Bibl. Res. p. 144), some distance to the north of the three places mentioned (Knobel). Ajalon, which was also not taken from the Canaanites (Judges 1:35), was assigned to the Levites (Joshua 21:24; 1 Chronicles 6:54). It is mentioned in the wars with the Philistines (1 Samuel 14:31; 1 Chronicles 8:13), was fortified by Rehoboam (2 Chronicles 11:10), and was taken by the Philistines from King Ahaz (2 Chronicles 28:18). It has been preserved in the village of Yalo (see at Joshua 10:12). Jethlah is only mentioned here, and has not yet been discovered. So far as the name is concerned, it may possibly be preserved in the Wady Atallah, on the west of Yalo (Bibl. Res. pp. 143-4).
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