Joshua 19:50
According to the word of the LORD they gave him the city which he asked, even Timnathserah in mount Ephraim: and he built the city, and dwelled therein.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Joshua 19:50. According to the word of the Lord, they gave him the city which he asked — God indeed had ordered that he should have a portion, and that he himself should choose it; but he was content to stay for it till every one else was amply provided for. We do not expressly read of this command; but many particulars were said and done which are not recorded. And Joshua being as faithful and upright as Caleb, and chosen besides to be the captain of God’s people, we cannot but think, that when God ordered what Caleb should have, he gave the same direction with respect to Joshua: see Joshua 16:6. Even Timnath-serah in mount Ephraim — Joshua did not choose the best place in all the country, but a convenient one in his own tribe; which was seated on the north side of a hill called Gaash, as we read in the latter end of this book. And he built the city and dwelt therein — Repaired it, we suppose, (for in all probability there was a city in that situation before,) and made a convenient habitation for his family and relations. But we read nothing of them afterward; for as he did not affect to make himself king of Canaan, so he contented himself with a moderate allotment, and made no large provision for his posterity.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.Nothing is said of any express command of God respecting the inheritance of Joshua. But as such special portion appears to have been promised to Caleb at the time when he and Joshua alone out of the twelve spies remained faithful Joshua 14:6-9, it is probable that a like promise was made to Joshua. The name of the place is also written Timnath-heres Judges 2:9, by a transposition of the letters. The rabbinical explanation that the name Timnath-heres (i. e. "portion of the sun") was given because a representation of the sun was affixed to the tomb in memory of Joshua's command to the sun to stand still, appears to be an afterthought. The name Timnath-serah ("portion that remains") was perhaps conferred on the spot in consequence of its being allotted to Joshua, the last allotment made in the whole distribution of his conquests. The site has been conjectured to be "Tibneh," a village about five miles north-west of Lydda (or, by Conder, Kerr Hares, nine miles south of Nablous). 50. According to the word of the Lord they gave him the city which he asked—It was most proper that the great leader should receive an inheritance suited to his dignity, and as a reward for his public services. But the gift was not left to the spontaneous feelings of a grateful people. It was conferred "according to the word of the Lord"—probably an unrecorded promise, similar to what had been made to Caleb (Jos 14:9).

Timnath-serah—or Heres, on Mount Gaash (Jud 2:9). Joshua founded it, and was afterwards buried there (Jos 24:30).

According to the word of the Lord; as God promised or commanded; either, first, formerly, as may be gathered from Joshua 16:6; where we read that the Lord said something unto Moses concerning me, Caleb, and thee, Joshua; though only what is said to Caleb be there expressed, the other not being to his purpose there; for Joshua having showed the same courage and faithfulness which Caleb did, did doubtless receive equal encouragement and comfort from God at that time. Or, secondly, now at this time by Eleazar.

Timnath-serah, called Timnath-heres, Judges 2:9. He built, i.e. repaired and enlarged it, in which sense Nebuchadnezzar is said to have built Babylon, Daniel 4:30. According to the word of the Lord,.... Or mouth of the Lord; either according to the oracle of Urim and Thummim, which Eleazar consulted on this occasion; or according to what the Lord had said to Moses, at the same time that Hebron was ordered to Caleb, Joshua 14:6; and

they gave him the city which he asked, even Timnathserah in Mount Ephraim; he chose a place in his own tribe, for he was of the tribe of Ephraim; and it seems that what he chose was none of the best of places; for Paula, as Jerom (i) relates, when she travelled into those parts, wondered that the distributor of the possessions of the children of Israel should choose such a rough and mountainous place for himself; of its situation, see Joshua 24:30,

and he built the city, and dwelt therein; he rebuilt it, and fitted it for his own habitation, and for those that belonged to him. (Timnathserah means "an abundant portion" or "a place in the sun". Joshua great reward was in seeing the promises of God fulfilled before his very eyes Joshua 21:45 and the children of Israel serving the Lord's during his lifetime Joshua 24:31. Joshua may have received but a small inheritance in the promised land but this was just an earnest of his future glorious inheritance in eternity. The saints of God have the best portion saved for the last John 2:10 whereas the worldling has his best portion now; his worst is yet to come. Editor.)

(i) Epitaph. Paulae, fol. 59. L.

According to the word of the LORD they gave him the city which he asked, even Timnathserah in mount Ephraim: and he built the city, and dwelt therein.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
50. according to the word of the Lord] We do not find any Divine injunction in the Pentateuch to the effect that Joshua was to receive a special portion in the Land of Canaan. But as Caleb had received a definite promise of the same kind, which is not to be found in its literal form in the Pentateuch, we may conclude that a like promise had been been made to Joshua.

even Timnath-serah] In Jdg 2:9 the name of the city given to the Israelitish leader is altered to Timnath-heres =portion of the sun.” In the same place it is defined as having been situated “in the mount of Ephraim, on the north side of the hill Gaash.” The word Timnath, or Timnah, means “allotted portion,” and was given to several places. It is now generally identified with Tibnah, between Jifna and el-Mejdel, and was first discovered by Dr Eli Smith in 1843, where he found the ruins of a considerable town. Opposite the town was a much higher hill, in the north side of which were several excavated sepulchres. “Of all sites I have seen,” says Lieut. Conder, “none is so striking as that of Joshua’s home, surrounded as it is with deep valleys and wild rugged hills.” Paula is described by St Jerome as “satis mirata quod distributor possessionum sibi aspera et montana delegisset” (Epist. cviii., Epitaph. Paulæ).

and he built the city] or perhaps rather, fortified it. The site may have been previously unoccupied, and named Timnath-serah = “remaining portion” by Joshua himself.Verse 50. - The city which he asked. He asked for a city, certainly. But the law of the inheritance was not to be set aside for him any more than for the meanest in Israel. Timnath-serah was in his own tribe. Timnath-serah. Called Thamna by Josephus and the LXX., and Timnath-heres, or Tinmath of the sun by a transposition of the letters, in Judges 2:9. Rabbi Solomon Jarchi gives a singular reason for the latter name. It came to be so called because there was a representation of the sun upon the tomb of him who caused the sun to stand still. Timnath-serah must not be confounded with Timnah, or Timnathah, in the tribe of Dan (ver. 48). For a long time its site was unknown, but within the last 40 years it has been identified with Tibneh, seven hours north of Jerusalem, among the mountains of Ephraim. Dr. Eli Smith was the first to suggest this, and though it was doubted by Robinson, it has since been accepted by Vandevelde and other high authorities. Tibneh seems to have anciently been a considerable town. It is described in Ritter's 'Geography of Palestine' as a gentle hill, crowned with extensive ruins. Opposite these, on the slope of a much higher eminence, are excavations like what are called the Tombs of the Kings at Jerusalem. Jewish tradition, however, points to Kefr Haris, some distance south of Shechem, as the site of Joshua's tomb, and several able writers have advocated its claims in the papers of the Palestine Exploration Fund, on the ground that on such a point Jewish tradition was not likely to be mistaken. Eltekeh and Gibbethon, which were allotted to the Levites (Joshua 21:23), have not yet been discovered. Under the earliest kings of Israel, Gibbethon was in the hands of the Philistines (1 Kings 15:27; 1 Kings 16:15, 1 Kings 16:17). Baalath was fortified by Solomon (1 Kings 9:18). According to Josephus (Ant. 8:6, 1), it was "Baleth in the neighbourhood of Geser;" probably the same place as Baalah, on the border of Judah (Joshua 15:11).
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