Judges 1:35
But the Amorites would dwell in mount Heres in Aijalon, and in Shaalbim: yet the hand of the house of Joseph prevailed, so that they became tributaries.
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(35) Mount Heres.—(See Judges 1:33.) Cheres is used for the sun in Job 9:7. The Vatican Codex of the LXX. has the strange rendering, “in the mountains of potsherds” (comp. the Monte Testacclo at Rome), and Jerome follows them in reading תֶךֶש for תֶךֶס. The Alexandrian Codex renders it, “the mountain of the myrtle-grove,” reading Haras.

Aijalon.—The name means “gazelles,” and is still preserved in the name Yalo, a village on the south side of the beautiful valley, Merj Ibn Omeir. It is mentioned in the story of the battle of Beth-horon (Joshua 10:12), and as a scene of the defeat of the Philistines by Saul (1Samuel 14:31). It was a Levitical town (Joshua 21:24).

Shaalbim.—The name means “jackals” (comp. Judges 15:4; and Hazar-shual, Joshua 15:28; and Shalim, 1Samuel 9:4). The LXX. render this and Aijalon by “where the bears and foxes are.” Not far off is Zeboim, i.e. “Hyænas.”

Yet the hand of the house of Joseph prevailed.—This may imply that when Dan was unable to dislodge the Amorites they were effectually aided by the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh. Hence the LXX. render it, “The hand of the house of Joseph was heavy on the Amorites.” (Comp. 1Samuel 5:6; Psalm 32:6.)

Tributaries.—Not to Dan, but to their conquerors, the Ephraimites; so that the assistance rendered by the house of Joseph to their weak brother was, at the best, somewhat selfish, although it enabled Dan to hold the sea-coast (Judges 1:17).

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 Amorites are usually found in the mountain Numbers 13:29; Joshua 10:6. Here they dwell in the valley, of which the monuments of Rameses III show them to have been in possession when that monarch invaded Syria. It was their great strength in this district, and their forcible detention of the territory of Dan, which led to the expedition of the Danites Judges 18. The house of Joseph lent their powerful aid in subduing them, probably in the times of the Judges. 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. Of the house of Joseph, i.e. of the Ephraimites, who helped their brethren the Danites against the Amorites, and that with good success.

But the Amorites would dwell in Mount Heres in Aijalon, and in Shaalbim,.... And they would not suffer the Danites to dwell in the valley, a fruitful and delightful part of their country, terrifying them with their iron chariots, which in the vale they could make use of to great advantage; so neither would they let them dwell alone in the mountainous part of their tribe, but would dwell with them, particularly in three places mentioned: where Mount Heres was is not certain; it signifies the "sun"; very probably it had its name from the worship of the sun on it, or from the sun standing still near it; for Aijalon, where that miracle was wrought, is next mentioned. Perhaps it might be near to Timnathheres, which was in Mount Ephraim, Judges 2:9; since Ephraim assisted in making these places tributaries; of the two cities, Aijalon and Shaalbim, see Joshua 19:42,

yet the hand of the house of Joseph prevailed, so that they became tributaries; or "the hand of it became heavy" (x); by which it does not clearly appear whether the hand of Joseph was made heavy, and to hang down, by the Amorites; or whether it was heavy upon them, and so prevailed over them, as our version; but the Septuagint puts it out of doubt, reading the words,"and the hand of the house of Joseph was heavy upon the Amorites;''the Ephraimites being near to the tribe of Dan, and observing how they were pressed by the Amorites, took up arms in their favour, and obliged the Canaanites of the above places to become tributaries to the Danites.

(x) "et aggravata est manus", V. L. Paginus Montanus.

But the Amorites would dwell in mount Heres in Aijalon, and in Shaalbim: yet the {o} hand of the house of Joseph prevailed, so that they became tributaries.

(o) Meaning, when he was stronger than they.

35. would dwell] See Jdg 1:27 note.

mount Heres] i.e. ‘mount of the sun,’ probably the same as Ir-shemesh, i.e. ‘city of the sun’ Joshua 19:41, and Beth-shemesh, i.e. ‘temple of the sun’ 1 Kings 4:9, both names occurring along with Ayyalon and Shaalbim in these passages. The site may be identified with the mod. ‘Ain-shems, in the W. eṣ-Ṣarâr, opposite Ṣar‘a (Zorah).

Aijalon] Joshua 10:12; Joshua 19:42 (in Dan), the mod. Yâlô, on the S. side of the broad ‘valley of Ayyalon,’ now called Merj (‘meadow of’) ibn ‘Umar, 14 m. W. of Jerusalem. According to the Chronicler the town was occupied by Benjamin 1 Chronicles 8:13, fortified by Rehoboam 2 Chronicles 11:10, and taken from Ahaz by the Philistines ib. 2 Chronicles 28:18. The Amarna tablets mention it as Aialuna (nos. 173 and 180 ‘fields of A.’), and Shishak (1 Kings 14:25) enumerates it among the conquered cities of Judah, Aiyurun = Ayyalon (Müller, As. u. Eur., p. 166).

Shaalbim] Cf. Joshua 19:42, 1 Kings 4:9. The situation of the mod. Selbît ̣ is suitable, but the names are dissimilar.

prevailed] lit. ‘was heavy,’ as 1 Samuel 5:6; 1 Samuel 5:11. The house of Joseph, i.e. the Northern Kingdom, whose boundaries reached these towns, reduced them to forced labour. They became Israelite possessions, however, before the division of the kingdoms, 1 Kings 4:9; 1 Samuel 6:12 ff. (Beth-shemesh).

Judges 1:35Still less were the Danites able to drive the Canaanites out of their inheritance. On the contrary, the Amorites forced Dan up into the mountains, and would not suffer them to come down into the plain. But the territory allotted to the Danytes was almost all in the plain (see at Joshua 19:40). If, therefore, they were forced out of that, they were almost entirely excluded from their inheritance. The Amorites emboldened themselves (see at Deuteronomy 1:5) to dwell in Har-cheres, Ajalon, and Shaalbim. On the last two places see Joshua 19:42, where Ir-shemesh is also mentioned. This combination, and still more the meaning of the names Har-cheres, i.e., sun-mountain, and Ir-shemesh, i.e., sun-town, make the conjecture a very probable one, that Har-cheres is only another name for Ir-shemesh, i.e., the present Ain Shems (see at Joshua 15:10, and Rob. Pal. iii. pp. 17, 18). This pressure on the part of the Amorites induced a portion of the Danites to emigrate, and seek for an inheritance in the north of Palestine (see Judges 18). On the other hand, the Amorites were gradually made tributary by the powerful tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh, who bounded Dan on the north. "The hand of the house of Joseph lay heavy," sc., upon the Amorites in the towns already named on the borders of Ephraim. For the expression itself, comp. 1 Samuel 5:6; Psalm 32:4.
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