And the border shall go on to Ziphron, and the goings out of it shall be at Hazarenan: this shall be your north border.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Numbers 20:22 note. Here the name denotes the whole western crest of Mount Lebanon, 80 miles in length, commencing east of Zidon, and terminating with the point immediately above the entrance of Hamath (compare Numbers 13:21). The extreme point in the northern border of the land was the city of Zedad (Sadad), about 30 miles east of the entrance of Hamath. Hence, the border turned back southwestward to Ziphron (Zifran), about 40 miles northeast of Damascus. Hazar-enan may be conjecturally identified with Ayun ed-Dara, a fountain situate in the very heart of the great central chain of Antilibanus.
Hazar-enan—("village of fountains"); but the places are unknown. "An imaginary line from mount Cassius, on the coast along the northern base of Lebanon to the entering into the Bekaa (Valley of Lebanon) at the Kamosa Hermel," must be regarded as the frontier that is meant [Van De Velde].
and the goings out of it shall be at Hazarenan; which was the utmost of the northern border, and so it is in Ezekiel 47:17 and there called the border of Damascus: Reland (t) takes it to be the same with Enhazor, a city in the tribe of Naphtali, Joshua 19:37, the words only inverted:
this shall be your northern border: from the Mediterranean sea to Hazarenan in Naphtali.And the border shall go on to Ziphron, and the goings out of it shall be at Hazarenan: this shall be your north border.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Verse 9. - Ziphron. A town called Sibraim is mentioned by Ezekiel (Ezekiel 47:16) as lying on the boundary between Damascus and Hamath, and there is a modern village of Zifran about forty miles north-east of Damascus, but there is no probable ground for supposing that either of these are the Ziphron of this verse. Hazar-enan, i.e., "fountain court." There are of course many places in and about the Lebanon and anti-Lebanon ranges to which such a name would be suitable, but we have no means of identifying it with any one of them. It must be confessed that this "north border" of Israel is extremely obscure, because we are not told whence it started, nor can we fix, except by conjecture, one single point upon it. A certain amount of light is thrown upon the subject by the description of the tribal boundaries and possessions as given in Joshua 19, and by the enumeration of places left unconquered in Joshua 13 and Judges 3. The most northerly of the tribes were Asher and Naphtali, and it does not appear that their allotted territory extended beyond the lower valley of the Leontes where it makes its sharp turn towards the west. It is true that a portion of the tribe of Dan afterwards occupied a district further north, but Dan-Laish itself, which was the extreme of Jewish settlement in this direction, as Beersheba in the other, was southward of Mount Hermon. The passage in Joshua 13:4-6 does indeed go to prove that the Israelites never occupied all their intended territory in this direction, but as far as we can tell the line of promised conquest did not extend further north than alden and Mount Hermon. "All Lebanon toward the sunrising" cannot well mean the whole range from south to north, but all the mountain country lying to the east of Zidon. One other passage promises to throw additional light upon the question, viz., the ideal delimitation of the Holy Land in Ezekiel 47; and here it is true that we find a northern frontier (verses 15-17) apparently far beyond the line of actual settlement, and yet containing two names at least (Zedad and Hazar-enan) which appear in the present list. It is, however, quite uncertain whether the prophet is describing any possible boundary line at all, or whether he is only mentioning(humanly speaking at random)certain points in the far north; his very object would seem to be to picture an enlarged Canaan extending beyond its utmost historical limits. Even if it should be thought that these passages require a frontier further to the north than the one advocated above, it will yet be impossible to carry it to the northern end of the valley between Lebanon and anti-Lebanon. For in that case the northern frontier will not be a northern frontier at all, but will actually descend from the "entrance of Hamath" in a southerly or south-westerly direction, and distinctly form part of the eastern boundary. Joshua 15:2-4 as the boundary of the territory of the tribe of Judah. We have first the general description, "The south side shall be to you from the desert of Zin on the sides of Edom onwards," i.e., the land was to extend towards the south as far as the desert of Zin on the sides of Edom. על־ידי, "on the sides," differs in this respect from על־יד, "on the side" (Exodus 2:5; Joshua 15:46; 2 Samuel 15:2), that the latter is used to designate contact at a single point or along a short line; the former, contact for a long distance or throughout the whole extent ( equals כּל־יד, Deuteronomy 2:37). "On the sides of Edom" signifies, therefore, that the desert of Zin stretched along the side of Edom, and Canaan was separated from Edom by the desert of Zin. From this it follows still further, that Edom in this passage is not the mountains of Edom, which had their western boundary on the Arabah, but the country to the south of the desert of Zin or Wady Murreh, viz., the mountain land of the Azazimeh, which still bears the name of Seir or Serr among the Arabs (see Seetzen and Rowland in Ritter's Erdk. xiv. pp. 840 and 1087). The statement in Joshua 15:1 also agrees with this, viz., that Judah's inheritance was "to the territory of Edom, the desert of Zin towards the south," according to which the desert of Zin was also to divide the territory of Edom from that of the tribe of Judah (see the remarks on Numbers 14:45). With Numbers 34:3 the more minute description of the southern boundary line commences: "The south border shall be from the end of the Salt Sea eastward," i.e., start from "the tongue which turns to the south" (Joshua 15:2), from the southern point of the Dead Sea, where there is now a salt marsh with the salt mountain at the south-west border of the lake. "And turn to the south side (מנּגב) of the ascent of Akrabbim" (ascensus scorpionum), i.e., hardly "the steep pass of es Sufah, 1434 feet in height, which leads in a south-westerly direction from the Dead Sea along the northern side of Wady Fikreh, a wady three-quarters of an hour's journey in breadth, and over which the road from Petra to Heshbon passes,"
(Note: See Robinson, vol. ii. pp. 587, 591; and v. Schubert, ii. pp. 443, 447ff.)
as Knobel maintains; for the expression נסב (turn), in Numbers 34:4, according to which the southern border turned at the height of Akrabbim, that is to say, did not go any farther in the direction from N.E. to S.W. than from the southern extremity of the Salt Sea to this point, and was then continued in a straight line from east to west, is not at all applicable to the position of this pass, since there would be no bend whatever in the boundary line at the pass of es Sufah, if it ran from the Arabah through Wady Fikreh, and so across to Kadesh. The "height of Akrabbim," from which the country round was afterwards called Akrabattine, Akrabatene (1 Macc. 5:4; Josephus, Ant. 12:8, 1),
(Note: It must be distinguished, however, from the Akrabatta mentioned by Josephus in his Wars of the Jews (iii. 3, 5), the modern Akrabeh in central Palestine (Rob. Bibl. Res. p. 296), and from the toparchy Akrabattene mentioned in Josephus (Wars of the Jews, ii. 12, 4; 20, 4; 22, 2), which was named after this place.)
is most probably the lofty row of "white cliffs" of sixty or eighty feet in height, which run obliquely across the Arabah at a distance of about eight miles below the Dead Sea and, as seen from the south-west point of the Dead Sea, appear to shut in the Ghor, and which form the dividing line between the two sides of the great valley, which is called el Ghor on one side, and el Araba on the other (Robinson, ii. 489, 494, 502). Consequently it was not the Wady Fikreh, but a wady which opened into the Arabah somewhat farther to the south, possibly the southern branch of the Wady Murreh itself, which formed the actual boundary.
"And shall pass over to Zin" (i.e., the desert of Zin, the great Wady Murreh, see at Numbers 14:21), "and its going forth shall be to the south of Kadesh-barnea," at the western extremity of the desert of Zin (see at Numbers 20:16). From this point the boundary went farther out (יצא) "to Hazar-Addar, and over (עבר) to Azmon." According to Joshua 15:3-4, it went to the south of Kadesh-barnea over (עבר) to Hezron, and ascended (עלה) to Addar, and then turned to Karkaa, and went over to Azmon. Consequently Hazar-Addar corresponds to Hezron and Addar (in Joshua); probably the two places were so close to each other that they could be joined together. Neither of them has been discovered yet. This also applies to Karkaa and Azmon. The latter name reminds us of the Bedouin tribe Azazimeh, inhabiting the mountains in the southern part of the desert of Zin (Robinson, i. pp. 274, 283, 287; Seetzen, iii. pp. 45, 47). Azmon is probably to be sought for near the Wady el Ain, to the west of the Hebron road, and not far from its entrance into the Wady el Arish; for this is "the river (brook) of Egypt," to which the boundary turned from Azmon, and through which it had "its outgoings at the sea," i.e., terminated at the Mediterranean Sea. The "brook of Egypt," therefore, is frequently spoken of as the southern boundary of the land of Israel (1 Kings 8:65; 2 Kings 24:7; 2 Chronicles 7:8, and Isaiah 27:12, where the lxx express the name by Ῥινοκοροῦρα). Hence the southern boundary ran, throughout its whole length, from the Arabah on the east to the Mediterranean on the west, along valleys which form a natural division, and constitute more or less the boundary line between the desert and the cultivated land.
(Note: On the lofty mountains of Madara, where the Wady Murreh is divided into two wadys (Fikreh and Murreh) which run to the Arabah, v. Schubert observed "some mimosen-trees," with which, as he expresses it, "the vegetation of Arabia took leave of us, as it were, as they were the last that we saw on our road." And Dieterici (Reisebilder, ii. pp. 156-7) describes the mountain ridge at Nakb es Sufah as "the boundary line between the yellow desert and green steppes," and observes still further, that on the other side of the mountain (i.e., northwards) the plain spread out before him in its fresh green dress. "The desert journey was over, the empire of death now lay behind us, and a new life blew towards us from fields covered with green." - In the same way the country between Kadesh and the Hebron road, which has become better known to us through the descriptions of travellers, is described as a natural boundary. Seetzen, in his account of his journey from Hebron to Sinai (iii. p. 47), observes that the mountains of Tih commence at the Wady el Ain (fountain-valley), which takes its name from a fountain that waters thirty date-palms and a few small corn-fields (i.e., Ain el Kuderat, in Robinson, i. p. 280), and describes the country to the south of the small flat Wady el Kdeis (el Kideise), in which many tamarisks grew (i.e., no doubt a wady that comes from Kadesh, from which it derives its name), as a "most dreadful wilderness, which spreads out to an immeasurable extent in all directions, without trees, shrubs, or a single spot of green" (p. 50), although the next day he "found as an unexpected rarity another small field of barley, which might have been an acre in extent" (pp. 52, 53). Robinson (i. pp. 280ff.) also found, upon the route from Sinai to Hebron, more vegetation in the desert between the Wady el Kusaimeh and el Ain than anywhere else before throughout his entire journey; and after passing the Wady el Ain to the west of Kadesh, he "came upon a broad tract of tolerably fertile soil, capable of tillage, and apparently once tilled." Across the whole of this tract of land there were long ranges of low stone walls visible (called "el Muzeirit," "little plantations," by the Arabs), which had probably served at some former time as boundary walls between the cultivated fields. A little farther to the north the Wady es Serm opens into an extended plain, which looked almost like a meadow with its bushes, grass, and small patches of wheat and barley. A few Azazimeh Arabs fed their camels and flocks here. The land all round became more open, and showed broad valleys that were capable of cultivation, and were separated by low and gradually sloping hills. The grass become more frequent in the valleys, and herbs were found upon the hills. "We heard (he says at p. 283) this morning for the first time the songs of many birds, and among them the lark.")
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