And she said to him, Give me a blessing: for you have given me a south land; give me also springs of water. And Caleb gave her the upper springs and the nether springs.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)A blessing—i.e., “a present” (Genesis 33:11).
A south land.—The word also means “a dry and barren land” (Psalm 126:4). The LXX. read “hast given me (in marriage) into a south land.”
Springs of water.—In thus asking for the fertile land which lay at the foot of the mountain slope, she showed herself at once more provident and less bashful than her husband.
The upper springs and the nether springs.—The word here rendered “springs” is gulloth, i.e., “bubblings.” Probably the district for which she asked was called “the upper Gulloth” and “the lower Gulloth,” just as we have “the upper and the nether Beth-horon” (Beit-ur el-foka and el-tahti). The addition of “the deep green glen” to the arid mountain tract of Debir enormously increased the value of her portion. “The source of this incident,” says Dean Stanley, “was first discovered by Dr. Rosen. . . . The word gulloth well applies to this beautiful rivulet. The spots are now called Ain-Nunkûr and Dewîr-ban, about one hour south-west of Hebron. Underneath the hill on which Debir stood is a deep valley, rich with verdure from a copious rivulet, which, rising at the crest of the glen, falls with a continuity unusual in Judean hills down to its lowest depth” (Jewish Church, ii. 264, and Sin. Palest., p. 165. Mr. Wilton, in his Negeb, p. 16, identifies it with Kurnuil). Othniel had a son, Hathath (1Chronicles 4:13), and his posterity continued to late times (Judith 6:15).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.Joshua 15:19. And she said unto him, Give me a blessing: for thou hast given me a south land; give me also springs of water. And Caleb gave her the upper springs and the nether springs.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)15. a blessing] i.e. a present as implying good-will, cf. Genesis 33:11; 1 Samuel 25:27 etc.
thou hast set me in the land of the South] the Negeb (Jdg 1:9 note), where the waterless district of Debir was situated.
springs of water] Gullath- or Golath-maim, so LXX. cod. A Joshua 15:19, an ancient place-name, called after the springs mentioned further on: land in Palestine is valueless without springs. Gullath or Golath, pronounced Gulloth in the text, has the ending ath as in other old Canaanite names, e.g. Zephath, Baalath, Zarephath; the rendering ‘springs’ is conjectural; in Zechariah 4:3, 1 Kings 7:41 f. the word means ‘bowl.’
the upper springs and the nether springs] Gullath-illith and Gullath-taḥtith (changing the plur. of the text to sing.), proper names, without the article. These must have lain between Debir and Hebron; if Debir is eḍ-Ḍâharîyeh, the springs of Seil ed-Dilbeh1, 7 m. N. of Dâharîyeh, answer to the requirements. They are 14 in number, feeding a stream which runs for 3 or 4 miles and does not dry up. The springs fall into three groups, and may well correspond with Gullath-upper and Gullath-lower. This attractive story was no doubt told to explain how the springs came to be in the possession of the Othnielites of Debir, when they ought by rights to belong to the clan of Caleb in Hebron; cf. the stories of the wells of Rehoboth and Beer-sheba, Genesis 26:22-33.
 Given in the P.E.F. large Map of W. Palestine, sheet xxi.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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