Judges 1:21
And the children of Benjamin did not drive out the Jebusites that inhabited Jerusalem; but the Jebusites dwell with the children of Benjamin in Jerusalem to this day.
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(21) The children of Benjamin did not drive out the Jebusites.—In Joshua 15:63 we find the same statement respecting the children of Judah. (See Judges 1:8.) Jerusalem was on the borders of Judah (Joshua 16:8) and Benjamin (Judges 18:28). It belongs more properly to the latter, but the conquest of Zion by David (2Samuel 5:7) naturally caused its closer identification with Judah. The Jebusites were tolerated inhabitants ever after this conquest, and had their own prince—Araunah (2Samuel 24:18)—“Araunah the king.” We even find traces of them after the exile (Ezra 9:1). Jerusalem is a remarkable exception to the rule that the Israelites conquered “the hill-country,” but not the plain.

Unto this day.—The assignment of Jerusalem to Benjamin shows that this narrative, though not contemporaneous, is older than the conquest of Jerusalem by David.

1:21-36 The people of Israel were very careless of their duty and interest. Owing to slothfulness and cowardice, they would not be at the pains to complete their conquests. It was also owing to their covetousness: they were willing to let the Canaanites live among them, that they might make advantage of them. They had not the dread and detestation of idolatry they ought to have had. The same unbelief that kept their fathers forty years out of Canaan, kept them now out of the full possession of it. Distrust of the power and promise of God deprived them of advantages, and brought them into troubles. Thus many a believer who begins well is hindered. His graces languish, his lusts revive, Satan plies him with suitable temptations, the world recovers its hold; he brings guilt into his conscience, anguish into his heart, discredit on his character, and reproach on the gospel. Though he may have sharp rebukes, and be so recovered that he does not perish, yet he will have deeply to lament his folly through his remaining days; and upon his dying bed to mourn over the opportunities of glorifying God and serving the church he has lost. We can have no fellowship with the enemies of God within us or around us, but to our hurt; therefore our only wisdom is to maintain unceasing war against them.This verse is nearly identical with Joshua 15:63, except in the substitution of Benjamin for Judah. Probably the original reading Judah was altered in later times to Benjamin, because Jebus was within the border of Benjamin, and neither had the Benjamites expelled the Jebusites. 21. the children of Benjamin did not drive out the Jebusites that inhabited Jerusalem—Judah had expelled the people from their part of Jerusalem (Jud 1:8). The border of the two tribes ran through the city—Israelites and natives must have been closely intermingled. No text from Poole on this verse. And the children of Benjamin did not drive out the Jebusites that inhabited Jerusalem,.... That is, that part of it which belonged to them, for it lay between Judah and Benjamin; and neither of them separately, nor both conjunctly, could drive out the Jebusites from it, particularly the strong hold on the top of Mount Sion, which they held to the times of David. Abarbinel is of opinion, that Jerusalem in those times was not a city enclosed about, but was a large province, part of which belonged to the tribe of Judah, and another to the tribe of Benjamin, and another was possessed by the Jebusites; and so Jarchi says it was a province, the name of which was Jebusi:

but the Jebusites dwelt with the children of Benjamin unto this day; when this book was written, which was done by Samuel, as Kimchi and Ben Gersom; and it is certain from hence it must have been written before the reign of David, who dispossessed the Jebusites, 2 Samuel 5:6.

And the children of Benjamin did not drive out the Jebusites that {k} inhabited Jerusalem; but the Jebusites dwell with the children of Benjamin in Jerusalem unto this day.

(k) For after the tribe of Judah had burnt it, they built it again.

21. The sequel of Jdg 1:19, which again should come after Jdg 1:7. Originally, therefore, this verse closed the history of Judah; that of Caleb followed.

Instead of Benjamin … Benjamin Joshua 15:63 has Judah … Judah, and for did not drive out it gives were not able to drive out (see Jdg 1:19 note); there can be little doubt that Josh. has preserved the text in its original form. The editor altered Judah to Benjamin in accordance with the theory of distribution which included Jerusalem in Benjamin’s territory, Joshua 18:28 P; perhaps also he wished to find room for Benjamin in the present list.

in Jerusalem, unto this day] There were no Israelites in Jerusalem at the time of the Levite’s visit, Jdg 19:12. The writer’s ‘day’ was after the capture of the city by David (2 Samuel 5:6-8), who spared the old inhabitants (ib. 2 Samuel 24:18 ff.); they and the new-comers continued to live side by side.Verse 21. - This verse is identical with Joshua 15:63, except that there we read "the children of Judah" instead of "the children of Benjamin," as in this verse. The boundary line between Judah and Jerusalem passed through JEBUS or JEBUSI, as Jerusalem was anciently called (see Joshua 15:8; Joshua 18:28; Judges 19:10, 11; 1 Chronicles 11:4, 5). Jebus was not finally held by the Israelites till the time of David (see Judges 19:10, note.) After 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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