Judges 1:11
And from thence he went against the inhabitants of Debir: and the name of Debir before was Kirjathsepher:
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(11) Debir.—See Joshua 15:15; Joshua 15:49. In Joshua 10:38-39, its conquest is assigned to Joshua. The name means “the oracle.” It afterwards became a Levitic town. There seem to have been two other Debirs (Joshua 15:7; Joshua 13:26). This one is identified by Dr. Rosen with Dewirban, near the spring Ain Nunkûr south-west of Hebron.

Kirjath-sepher.—The name is curious and interesting. It means “the city of the book,” and is rendered in the LXX. by “city of letters.” It was also called Kirjath-sannah (Joshua 15:49), which, according to Bochart, means “city of learning.” Perhaps, therefore, we may consider that it was a famous centre of Canaanite culture and worship. All further attempts to explain its three names must be purely conjectural. We may compare with it the name of the Egyptian Byblos (Ewald). The LXX. here fall into mere confusion.

1:9-20 The Canaanites had iron chariots; but Israel had God on their side, whose chariots are thousands of angels, Ps 68:17. Yet they suffered their fears to prevail against their faith. About Caleb we read in Jos 15:16-19. The Kenites had settled in the land. Israel let them fix where they pleased, being a quiet, contented people. They that molested none, were molested by none. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.Render "and the children of Judah fought against Jerusalem, and took it, and smote it," etc. With regard to the capture of Jerusalem there is some obscurity. It is here said to have been taken, smitten with the edge of the sword, and burned, by the children of Judah. In Joshua 12:8, Joshua 12:10 the Jebusite and the king of Jerusalem are enumerated among Joshua's conquests, but without any distinct mention of the capture of the city; and in the marginal reference we read that the Jebusites were not expelled from Jerusalem, but dwelt with the children of Judah (compare Judges 1:21). Further, we learn from Judges 19:10-12 that Jerusalem was wholly a Jebusite city in the lifetime of Phinehas Judges 20:28, and so it continued until the reign of David 2 Samuel 5:6-9. The conclusion is that Jerusalem was only taken once, namely, at the time here described, and that this was in the lifetime of Joshua; but that the children of Judah did not occupy it in sufficient force to prevent the return of the Jebusites, who gradually recovered complete possession.

Set the city on fire - A phrase found only at Judges 20:48; 2 Kings 8:12, and Psalm 74:7.

8. Now the children of Judah had fought against Jerusalem, and had taken it—The capture of this important city, which ranks among the early incidents in the war of invasion (Jos 15:63), is here noticed to account for its being in the possession of the Judahites; and they brought Adoni-bezek thither [Jud 1:7], in order, probably, that his fate being rendered so public, might inspire terror far and wide. Similar inroads were made into the other unconquered parts of Judah's inheritance [Jud 1:9-11]. The story of Caleb's acquisition of Hebron is here repeated (Jos 15:16-19). [See on [208]Jos 15:16.] No text from Poole on this verse.

And from thence he went against the inhabitants of Debir: and the name of Debir before was Kirjathsepher. See Gill on Joshua 15:15. And from thence he went against the inhabitants of Debir: and the name of Debir before was Kirjathsepher:
11. he went] Originally, perhaps, he went up as in Joshua 15:15; LXX here they went up. The subject is Caleb in Jdg 1:20 restored to its proper place. Joshua 15:15-19 describes the capture of Debir in almost identical words.

Debir … Kiriath-sepher] Probably eḍ-Ḍâharîyeh, 4 or 5 hours S.W. of Hebron, cf. Joshua 11:21; Joshua 15:50, and note the position of Anab. The K.-sannah of Joshua 15:50 seems to be merely a corrupted form of Kiriath-sepher, i.e. ‘book-town,’ as the LXX, Vulgate, Targ. (‘Archive-town’) understand it. Some MSS. of the LXX, and the Peshitto, transliterate the Hebr. into a form K.-sôp̣hçr which means ‘town of the scribe,’ and corresponds with the Egyptian name of the place, ‘house of the scribe’ (W. M. Müller, Asien u. Europa, p. 174). It has been suggested that the town was called Kiriath-sepher because it contained the record-office of the Anâkim, or a library like those preserved in the great cities of Babylonia and Assyria (Sayce). Such fancies are spun out of a dubious etymology; for we cannot be sure that, in this proper name, sepher is the original pronunciation or even a Hebrew word. The original sense of Debîr is equally problematical; in 1 Kings 6:5 etc. debîr = the adytum, lit. the hinder part (not ‘the oracle’), of the temple.

Judges 1:11After the conquest of Jerusalem, the children of Judah (together with the Simeonites, Judges 1:3) went down to their own possessions, to make war upon the Canaanites in the mountains, the Negeb, and the shephelah (see at Joshua 15:48; Joshua 21:33), and to exterminate them. They first of all conquered Hebron and Debir upon the mountains (Judges 1:10-15), as has already been related in Joshua 15:14-19 (see the commentary on this passage). The forms עלּית and תּחתּית (Judges 1:15), instead of עלּיּות and תּחתּיּות (Joshua 15:19), are in the singular, and are construed with the plural form of the feminine גּלּות, because this is used in the sense of the singular, "a spring" (see Ewald, 318, a.).
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