Judges 1:27
Neither did Manasseh drive out the inhabitants of Bethshean and her towns, nor Taanach and her towns, nor the inhabitants of Dor and her towns, nor the inhabitants of Ibleam and her towns, nor the inhabitants of Megiddo and her towns: but the Canaanites would dwell in that land.
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(27) Neither did Manasseh.—The sacred historian is glancing at the conquest of Canaan, advancing from the southern tribes upwards to central and northern Palestine. (See Joshua 17:11-13.)

Beth-shean.—The town to the walls of which the victorious Philistines nailed the bodies of Saul and Jonathan after the battle of Gilboa, and from which they were recovered by the gratitude of the brave people of Jabesh Gilead (1Samuel 31:8; 2Samuel 21:12). It is again mentioned in 1Kings 4:12, and in later days was well known under the name of Scytho-polis, or “city of Scythians” (2 Maccabees 12:29), a name contemptuously given to it from the barbarism of its inhabitants (Jos. Vit. 6). Though conquered by Manasseh, it was in the lot of Issachar (Joshua 17:11). It is now called Beisan. It was in a district so rich and fruitful that the Rabbis describe it as the gate of Paradise.

And her towns.—Literally, and her daughters.

Taanach.—The name means “the sandy.” It was a town of Issachar assigned to the Levites, and was famous for Barak’s victory over Sisera. It is still called Taanuk (Robinson, Bibl. Res. i. 316).

Dor.—Properly in Asher, it seems to have been attacked by Manasseh, and was ultimately won by Ephraim (Joshua 11:2; Joshua 17:11; 1Chronicles 7:29). It long continued to be an important place (1 Maccabees 15:11; Jos. Antt. xiv. 5, § 3). It lies near the foot of Carmel, and is now called Tantura. Endor (“the fountain of Dor”) was probably one of its dependencies.

Ibleam.—Also called Bileam (1Chronicles 6:70). It was a Levitical town (Joshua 21:25). The only event connected with it in Scripture is the death of Ahaziah (2Kings 9:27). Perhaps Khirbet-Belameh.

Megiddo.—Near Taanach. It is now called Lejjûn, from having been a station of the Romans. See Judges 1:19; 2Kings 9:27 (the death of Ahaziah); and 2Kings 23:29; Zechariah 12:11 (the defeat of Josiah by Pharaoh Necho). It was fortified by Solomon (1Kings 9:15). From this town is derived the famous name Armageddon (Revelation 16:16) as a scene of battle and wailing.

The Canaanites would dwell in that landi.e., the old inhabitants obstinately and successfully held their own (Joshua 17:12).

Jdg 1:27. Neither did Manasseh, &c. — That is, that half of this tribe which dwelt in Canaan. Beth-shean — A place near Jordan, Joshua 17:11. Taanach — Of which see Joshua 12:21. Dor — A great town, with large territories, Joshua 11:2; Joshua 12:23. Megiddo — A royal city, Joshua 12:21; Joshua 17:11. But the Canaanites would dwell in the land — Namely, by force or agreement. So that it appears, although, during the life of Joshua, the Israelites had conducted themselves with a great degree of bravery, and had expelled several bodies of the Canaanites; yet, after his death, they became pusillanimous and remiss in driving them out, and made peace with them, which was the first step of their defection.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.The site of this new Luz is not known, but "the land of the Hittites" was apparently in the north of Palestine, on the borders of Syria (Genesis 10:15 note). 27-36. The same course of subjugation was carried on in the other tribes to a partial extent, and with varying success. Many of the natives, no doubt, during the progress of this exterminating war, saved themselves by flight and became, it is thought, the first colonists in Greece, Italy, and other countries. But a large portion made a stout resistance and retained possession of their old abodes in Canaan. In other cases, when the natives were vanquished, avarice led the Israelites to spare the idolaters, contrary to the express command of God; and their disobedience to His orders in this matter involved them in many troubles which this book describes. Manasseh, i.e. that half of this tribe which dwelt in Canaan.

Beth-shean; a place near Jordan, Joshua 17:11.

Taanach; of which see Joshua 12:21 17:11.

Dor; a great city with large territories. See Joshua 11:2 12:23 Joshua 17:11.

Megiddo; a royal city. See Joshua 12:21 17:11. Neither did Manasseh,.... One of the sons of Joseph before mentioned; and it respects that half tribe of Manasseh, which had its portion on this side Jordan in the land of Canaan: these did not

drive out the inhabitants of Bethshean and her towns, nor Taanach and her towns, nor the inhabitants of Dor and her towns, nor the inhabitants of Ibleam and her towns, nor the inhabitants of Megiddo and her towns: all which were places the half tribe had assigned them in Issachar and Asher; of which See Gill on Joshua 17:11. This tribe seems to have been sluggish, and not to have exerted itself at all, or made any attempts to drive out these people:

but the Canaanites would dwell in that land; not only desired it, but were determined on it, and rather chose to submit to a tribute than be expelled, at least would not depart unless they were forced.

Neither did Manasseh drive out the inhabitants of Bethshean and her towns, nor Taanach and her towns, nor the inhabitants of Dor and her towns, nor the inhabitants of Ibleam and her towns, nor the inhabitants of Megiddo and her towns: {l} but the Canaanites would dwell in that land.

(l) Wherefore God permitted the Canaanites to still dwell in the land, read Jud 3:5.

27. The parallel text, Joshua 17:11-12, which has been adapted here and there to fit its present context, suggests that we should read was not able to drive out for ‘did not drive out’ (see on Jdg 1:19), and that Taanach and Ibleam should change places. The verse describes the limits of Manasseh’s expansion northwards; a chain of hostile fortresses, stretching westwards from Beth-shean in the E. to Dor on the sea-coast, rendered the occupation of the Great Plain impossible. A similar line cut off Manasseh-Ephraim from Judah on the S. (Jdg 1:35), so that the two tribes were confined to the Central Highlands. Beth-shean (1 Samuel 31:10, 1 Kings 4:12), the Greek Scythopolis (LXX), the mod. Bçsân, commands the main ascent from the Jordan to the Great Plain by the Nahr Jâlûd. Ibleam may be identified with the ruined site Khirbet Bal‘ame, about 8 m. S.E. of Taanach. The two towns Taanach and Megiddo (often together Jdg 5:19, Joshua 12:21; Joshua 17:11 etc.) lay near each other on the road which goes westwards from Jenîn, skirting the S. of the Plain, which is sometimes called the valley-plain of Megiddo (Zechariah 12:11, 2 Chronicles 35:22). The former is the mod. Ta‘annek, and about 5 m. W. of it lay Megiddo, in all probability on the site of Tell el-Mutesellim. Both towns are mentioned on the list of Thothmes III (c. 1480 b.c.); Megiddo also appears in the Amarna letters (nos. 159, 193–195) and in Assyrian inscriptions (Schrader, COT, p. 168), for it guarded the pass by which Egyptian and Assyrian armies crossed the Carmel range into the Plain. Both these sites have recently been excavated, Ta‘annek by Dr Sellin in 1902–04, Tell el-Mutesellim by Dr Schumacher in 1903–5, and have yielded results which illustrate many details of the religion and social life of Palestine from about 2000 to 100 b.c. See Driver, Schweich Lectures 1909, pp. 80–86, with illustrations. At Ta‘annek were found several cuneiform tablets dating from the pre-Israelite period, c. 1350 b.c.; and at Megiddo a fine Hebrew lion-seal (illustrated in Driver l.c. p. 91), bearing the legend “Belonging to Shama‘, servant of Jeroboam,” perhaps Jeroboam II, c. b.c. 783–743. Dôr, in Joshua 17:11 and in Phoenician more correctly D’ôr, lay near the mod. Ṭanṭûra on the coast, S. of Carmel; in Assyr. it is called Du’ru (Schrader l.c.). In order to continue the line consistently from Jordan to the sea, Dor should be moved to the end of the verse, as in 1 Chronicles 7:29, which seems to be copied from here (Moore).

and her towns] and its dependencies, lit. ‘daughters,’ cf. Jdg 11:26, Numbers 21:25; Numbers 21:32 JE etc.

would dwell] Jdg 1:35, Joshua 17:12 b, lit. ‘resolved to dwell,’ i.e. ‘persisted in remaining’; cf. Hosea 5:11 ‘Ephraim … persisted in walking.’

27–35. The ill-success of the different tribes: they settle among the older population

From this point the form of the narrative changes. Hitherto successes as well as failures have been recorded, with ancient traditions of particular episodes; now follows a bare list of Canaanite strongholds which the new-comers failed to capture. Other towns may have been occupied by the tribes in their several districts; but in most cases the Israelites had to be content to settle down side by side with the old inhabitants. Again the Book of Joshua furnishes parallels and additions.From the Negeb Judah turned into the shephelah, and took the three principal cities of the Philistines along the line of coast, viz., Gaza, Askelon, and Ekron, with their territory. The order in which the names of the captured cities occur is a proof that the conquest took place from the south. First of all Gaza, the southernmost of all the towns of the Philistines, the present Guzzeh; then Askelon (Ashkuln), which is five hours to the north of Gaza; and lastly Ekron, the most northerly of the five towns of the Philistines, the present Akr (see at Joshua 13:3). The other two, Ashdod and Gath, do not appear to have been conquered at that time. And even those that were conquered, the Judaeans were unable to hold long. In the time of Samson they were all of them in the hands of the Philistines again (see Judges 14:19; Judges 16:1.; 1 Samuel 5:10, etc.). - In Judges 1:19 we have a brief summary of the results of the contests for the possession of the land. "Jehovah was with Judah;" and with His help they took possession of the mountains. And they did nothing more; "for the inhabitants of the plain they were unable to exterminate, because they had iron chariots." הורישׁ has two different meanings in the two clauses: first (ויּרשׁ), to seize upon a possession which has been vacated by the expulsion or destruction of its former inhabitants; and secondly (להורישׁ, with the accusative, of the inhabitants), to drive or exterminate them out of their possessions-a meaning which is derived from the earlier signification of making it an emptied possession (see Exodus 34:24; Numbers 32:21, etc.). "The mountain" here includes the south-land (the Negeb), as the only distinction is between mountains and plain. "The valley" is the shephelah (Judges 1:9). להורישׁ לא, he was not (able) to drive out. The construction may be explained from the fact that לא is to be taken independently here as in Amos 6:10, in the same sense in which אין before the infinitive is used in later writings (2 Chronicles 5:11; Esther 4:2; Esther 8:8; Ecclesiastes 3:14 : see Ges. 132-3, anm. 1; Ewald, 237, e.). On the iron chariots, i.e., the chariots tipped with iron, see at Joshua 17:16. - To this there is appended, in v. 20, the statement that "they gave Hebron unto Caleb," etc., which already occurred in Joshua 15:13-14, and was there explained; and also in Judges 1:12 the remark, that the Benjaminites did not drive out the Jebusite who dwelt in Jerusalem, which is so far in place here, that it shows, on the one hand, that the children of Judah did not bring Jerusalem into the undisputed possession of the Israelites through this conquest, and, on the other hand, that it was not their intention to diminish the inheritance of Benjamin by the conquest of Jerusalem, and they had not taken the city for themselves. For further remarks, see at Judges 1:8.

The hostile attacks of the other tribes upon the Canaanites who remained in the land are briefly summed up in Judges 1:22-36. Of these the taking of Bethel is more fully described in Judges 1:22-26. Besides this, nothing more is given than the list of the towns in the territories of western Manasseh (Judges 1:27, Judges 1:28), Ephraim (Judges 1:29), Zebulun (Judges 1:30), Asher (Judges 1:31, Judges 1:32), Naphtali (Judges 1:33), and Dan (Judges 1:34, Judges 1:35), out of which the Canaanites were not exterminated by these tribes. Issachar is omitted; hardly, however, because that tribe made no attempt to disturb the Canaanites, as Bertheau supposes, but rather because none of its towns remained in the hands of the Canaanites.

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