Numbers 13:29 Commentaries: "Amalek is living in the land of the Negev and the Hittites and the Jebusites and the Amorites are living in the hill country, and the Canaanites are living by the sea and by the side of the Jordan."
Numbers 13:29
The Amalekites dwell in the land of the south: and the Hittites, and the Jebusites, and the Amorites, dwell in the mountains: and the Canaanites dwell by the sea, and by the coast of Jordan.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(29) The land of the south.—Better, of the south country, or the Negeb. See Genesis 36:12, and also Numbers 13:17 of this Num. and Note.

The mountains.—See Genesis 10:15-16, and Numbers 13:17 of this Num. and Note.

The Canaanites.—See Genesis 10:15-18; Genesis 13:7, and Notes.

13:26-33 We may wonder that the people of Israel staid forty days for the return of their spies, when they were ready to enter Canaan, under all the assurances of success they could have from the Divine power, and the miracles that had hitherto attended them. But they distrusted God's power and promise. How much we stand in our own light by our unbelief! At length the messengers returned; but the greater part discouraged the people from going forward to Canaan. Justly are the Israelites left to this temptation, for putting confidence in the judgment of men, when they had the word of God to trust in. Though they had found the land as good as God had said, yet they would not believe it to be as sure as he had said, but despaired of having it, though Eternal Truth had engaged it to them. This was the representation of the evil spies. Caleb, however, encouraged them to go forward, though seconded by Joshua only. He does not say, Let us go up and conquer it; but, Let us go and possess it. Difficulties that are in the way of salvation, dwindle and vanish before a lively, active faith in the power and promise of God. All things are possible, if they are promised, to him that believes; but carnal sense and carnal professors are not to be trusted. Unbelief overlooks the promises and power of God, magnifies every danger and difficulty, and fills the heart with discouragement. May the Lord help us to believe! we shall then find all things possible.The Amalekites - See Numbers 14:25 note.

The Canaanites - i. e. those of the Phoenician race: the word is here used in its narrow sense: compare Genesis 10:15-18 note.

29. The Amalekites dwell in the land of the south—Their territory lay between the Dead and the Red Seas, skirting the borders of Canaan.

Hittites … dwell in the mountains—Their settlements were in the southern and mountainous part of Palestine (Ge 23:7).

the Canaanites dwell by the sea—The remnant of the original inhabitants, who had been dispossessed by the Philistines, were divided into two nomadic hordes—one settled eastward near the Jordan; the other westward, by the Mediterranean.

The south, where we are to enter the land; and they who were so eager and fierce against us that they came into the wilderness to fight with us, will without doubt oppose us when we come close by their land, and are about to settle in their neighbourhood, the rather, to revenge themselves for their former loss and shame received by us. Therefore they mention them, though they were no Canaanites.

In the mountains, i.e. in the mountainous country in the south-east part of the land; so that you cannot enter there without great difficulty, both because of the noted strength and valour of those people, and because of the advantage they have from the mountains.

By the sea; not the midland sea, which is commonly understood by that expression, but the Salt or Dead Sea, as appears,

1. Because it is that sea which is next to Jordan, as here follows.

2. Because the Canaanites dwelt principally in those parts, and not near the midland sea. So these guard the entrance on the east side, as the others do on the south. The Amalekites dwell in the land of the south,.... On the southern side of the land of Canaan: not in it, for they were not Canaanites, but neighbours to them, and lay nearest to the camp of Israel, and at the entrance into the land of Canaan; and as they were enemies of Israel, as appears from an attack upon them quickly after they came from the Red sea, in Rephidim, Exodus 17:8; and friends to the Canaanites, they would no doubt oppose their passage into their land, as they did, Numbers 14:43; this is one difficulty in the way of possessing the land hinted at, others follow:

and the Hittites, and the Jebusites, and the Amorites, dwell in the mountains; and guard the passes there; so that should they escape the Amalekites, or get the better of them, they would not be able to pass the mountains, being so well inhabited and defended; the Hittites seem to dwell about Mount Lebanon, Joshua 1:4; the Jebusites inhabited the mountains about Jerusalem, and that itself, which was called by them Jebus, and from which they were not dispossessed until the times of David, 1 Chronicles 11:4; and the Amorites were possessed of the mountain which was on the borders of the land, next to the place where Israel now were, Deuteronomy 1:20,

and the Canaanites dwell by the sea; these dwelt both on the east and on the west of the land, Joshua 11:3; so that the western Canaanites dwelt on the shore of the Mediterranean sea, which is often put for the west in Scripture; and the eastern Canaanites dwelt by the Dead sea, or by the sea of Tiberias, called sometimes the lake of Gennesaret, and seems the rather to be meant here by what follows:

and by the coast of Jordan; so that this river was not passable by them; for by all this they would suggest that all avenues and passes were stopped up, so that it was a vain thing to attempt entrance into the land, or to expect ever to possess it.

The Amalekites dwell in the land of the south: and the Hittites, and the Jebusites, and the Amorites, dwell in the mountains: and the Canaanites dwell by the sea, and by the coast of Jordan.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
29. Apparently a parenthesis by the narrator or compiler, enumerating the inhabitants who occupied respectively (1) the Negeb, (2) the central hills of Palestine and (3) the western coast-lands, and the Jordan valley. See on Numbers 14:25.Verse 29. - The Amalekites. These descendants of Esau (see on Genesis 36:12) formed wild roving bands, which (like the Bedouins of the present day) infested rather than inhabited the whole country between Judaea and Egypt, including the Negeb. They are not numbered among the inhabitants of Canaan proper. The Canaanites dwell by the sea, and by the coast of Jordan. It is not easy to say in what sense the word "Canaanites" is used here. At one time it is the name of one tribe amongst many, all descended from Canaan, the son of Ham, which dwelt in the land of promise; at another time it is apparently synonymous with "Amorites," or rather includes both them and the allied tribes (cf. e.g., Judges 1:9). It is possible, though far from certain, that "Canaanites" in this place may mean "Phoenicians," since Sidon was the first-born of Canaan (Genesis 10:15), and the northern portion of the maritime plain was certainly in their possession, and probably the upper part of the Ghor, or coast of Jordan. It would appear that the Philistines had not at this time made themselves masters of the plain, although they dwelt in some parts of it (see on Exodus 13:17). The spies also came into the valley of Eshcol, where they gathered pomegranates and figs, and also cut down a vine-branch with grapes upon it, which two persons carried upon a pole, most likely on account of its extraordinary size. Bunches of grapes are still met with in Palestine, weighing as much as eight, ten, or twelve pounds, the grapes themselves being as large as our smaller plums (cf. Tobler Denkbltter, pp. 111, 112). The grapes of Hebron are especially celebrated. To the north of this city, on the way to Jerusalem, you pass through a valley with vineyards on the hills on both sides, containing the largest and finest grapes in the land, and with pomegranates, figs, and other fruits in great profusion (Robinson, Palestine, i. 316, compared with i. 314 and ii. 442). This valley is supposed, and not without good ground, to be the Eshcol of this chapter, which received its name of Eshcol (cluster of grapes), according to Numbers 13:24, from the bunch of grapes which was cut down there by the spies. This statement, of course, applies to the Israelites, and would therefore still hold good, even if the conjecture were a well-founded one, that this valley received its name originally from the Eshcol mentioned in Genesis 14:13, Genesis 14:24, as the terebinth grove did from Mamre the brother of Eshcol.
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