Numbers 34:6
And as for the western border, you shall even have the great sea for a border: this shall be your west border.
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(6) And as for the western border . . . —Better, And as for the western border, ye shall have the great sea and (its) border (i.e., its coast). (See Joshua 15:47. “the great sea and the border thereof.”)

34:1-15 Canaan was of small extent; as it is here bounded, it is but about 160 miles in length, and about 50 in breadth; yet this was the country promised to the father of the faithful, and the possession of the seed of Israel. This was that little spot of ground, in which alone, for many ages, God was known. This was the vineyard of the Lord, the garden enclosed; but as it is with gardens and vineyards, the narrowness of the space was made up by the fruitfulness of the soil. Though the earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof, yet few know him, and serve him; but those few are happy, because fruitful to God. Also, see how little a share of the world God gives to his own people. Those who have their portion in heaven, have reason to be content with a small pittance of this earth. Yet a little that a righteous man has, having it from the love of God, and with his blessing, is far better and more comfortable than the riches of many wicked.The southern boundary commenced at the Dead Sea. The broad and desolate valley by which the depressed bed of that sea is protected toward the south, is called the Ghor. A deep narrow glen enters it at its southwest corner; it is called Wady-el-Fikreh, and is continued in the same southwestern direction, under the name of Wady el-Marrah; a wady which loses itself among the hills belonging to "the wilderness of Zin;" and Kadesh-barnea (see Numbers 13:26 note), which is "in the wilderness of Zin," will be, as the text implies, the southernmost point of the southern boundary. Thence, if Kadesh be identical with the present Ain el-Weibeh, westward to the river, or brook of Egypt, now Wady el-Arish, is a distance of about seventy miles. In this interval were Hazar-addar and Azmon; the former being perhaps the general name of a district of Hazerim, or nomad hamlets (see Deuteronomy 2:23), of which Adder was one: and Azmon, perhaps to be identified with Kesam, the modern Kasaimeh, a group of springs situate in the north of one of the gaps in the ridge, and a short distance west of Ain el-Kudeirat.

(Others consider the boundary line to have followed the Ghor along the Arabah to the south of the Azazimeh mountains, thence to Gadis round the southeast of that mountain, and thence to Wady el-Arish.)

6. the western border—There is no uncertainty about this boundary, as it is universally allowed to be the Mediterranean, which is called "the great sea" in comparison with the small inland seas or lakes known to the Hebrews. The great sea; the midland sea from the south to the north so far as runs parallel with Mount Libanus. And as for the western border,.... Of the land of Canaan:

you shall even have the great sea for a border; and no other, meaning the Mediterranean sea, which lies west of the land of Judea; Aben Ezra calls it the Spanish sea: it has the name of "great", in comparison of some in the land of Canaan, as the salt sea, and the sea of Tiberias:

this shall be your west border; namely, the Mediterranean sea.

And as for the western border, ye shall even have the {c} great sea for a border: this shall be your west border.

(c) Which is called the Mediterranean.

6. and the border thereof] These words should be omitted. The word וּגְבוּל (ûgebhûl ‘and a border’) may have been accidentally added as a doublet of the preceding חַגָּדוֹל (haggâdhôl ‘the great’), which it somewhat resembles.Verse 6. - And as for the western border. The Hebrew word for "west" (יָם) is simply that for "sea," because the Jews in their own land always had the sea on their west. Thus the verse reads literally, "And the sea boundary shall be to you the great sea and boundary; this shall be to you the sea boundary." It would seem very unlikely that the Jews familiarly used the word "yam" for "west" after a residence of several centuries in a country where the sun set not over the sea, but over the desert. Nothing can of course be proved kern the use of the word here, but it cannot be overlooked as one small indication that the language of this passage at any rate is the language of an age subsequent to the conquest of Canaan (see on Exodus 10:19; 26:22, and Numbers 2:18) The line of coast from the brook of Egypt to the Leontes was upwards of 160 miles in length. The command to divide the land by lot among the families is partly a verbal repetition of Numbers 26:53-56. וגו לו יצא אל־אשׁר: literally, "into that, whither the lot comes out to him, shall be to him" (i.e., to each family); in other words, it is to receive that portion of land to which the lot that comes out of the urn shall point it. "According to the tribes of your fathers:" see at Numbers 26:55. - The command closes in Numbers 33:55, Numbers 33:56, with the threat, that if they did not exterminate the Canaanites, not only would such as were left become "thorns in their eyes and stings in their sides," i.e., inflict the most painful injuries upon them, and make war upon them in the land; but Jehovah would also do the very same things to the Israelites that He had intended to do to the Canaanites, i.e., drive them out of the land and destroy them. This threat is repeated by Joshua in his last address to the assembled congregation (Joshua 23:13).
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