Numbers 34:9
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)
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 northern border. On the "Mount Hor," compare 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. 9. Ziphron—("sweet odor").

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].

No text from Poole on this verse.

And the border shall go on to Ziphron,.... Which in the Jerusalem Targum is called Zapherin; and Jerom (s) says, that in his time this city was called Zephyrium, a town in Cilicia; but this seems to be at too great a distance:

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.

(s) Comment. in ver. 15. (t) Palestin. lllustrat. par. 1. l. 1. p. 123.

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. Numbers 34:9The northern boundary cannot be determined with certainty. "From the great sea, mark out to you (תּתאוּ, from תּאה equals תּוה, to mark or point out), i.e., fix, Mount Hor as the boundary" - from thence "to come to Hamath; and let the goings forth of the boundary be to Zedad. And the boundary shall go out to Ziphron, and its goings out be at Hazar-enan." Of all these places, Hamath, the modern Hamah, or the Epiphania of the Greeks and Romans on the Orontes (see at Numbers 13:21, and Genesis 10:18), is the only one whose situation is well known; but the geographical description of the northern boundary of the land of Israel חמת לבא (Numbers 13:21; Joshua 13:5; Judges 3:3; 1 Kings 8:65; 2 Kings 14:25; 1 Chronicles 13:5; 2 Chronicles 7:8; Amos 6:14; Ezekiel 47:15, Ezekiel 47:20; Ezekiel 48:1) is so indefinite, that the boundary line cannot be determined with exactness. For no proof can be needed in the present day that חמת לבא cannot mean "to Hamath" (Ges. thes. i. p. 185; Studer on Judges 3:3, and Baur on Amos 6:2), in such a sense as would make the town of Hamath the border town, and בּא a perfectly superfluous pleonasm. In all the passages mentioned, Hamath refers, not to the town of that name (Epiphania on the Orontes), but to the kingdom of Hamath, which was named after its capital, as is proved beyond all doubt by 2 Chronicles 8:4, where Solomon is said to have built store cities "in Hamath." The city of Hamath never belonged to the kingdom of Israel, not even under David and Solomon, and was not reconquered by Jeroboam II, as Baur supposes (see my Commentary on the Books of Kings, and Thenius on 2 Kings 14:25). How far the territory of the kingdom of Hamath extended towards the south in the time of Moses, and how much of it was conquered by Solomon (2 Chronicles 8:4), we are nowhere informed. We simply learn from 2 Kings 25:21, that Riblah (whether the same Riblah as is mentioned in Numbers 34:11 as a town upon the eastern boundary, is very doubtful) was situated in the land of Hamath in the time of the Chaldeans. Now if this Riblah has been preserved in the modern Ribleh, a miserable village on the Orontes, in the northern part of the Bekaa, ten or twelve hours' journey to the south-west of Hums, and fourteen hours to the north of Baalbek (Robinson, iii. p. 461, App. 176, and Bibl. Researches, p. 544), the land of Canaan would have reached a little farther northwards, and almost to Hums (Emesa). Knobel moves the boundary still farther to the north. He supposes Mount Hor to be Mons Casius, to the south-west of Antioch, on the Orontes, and agrees with Robinson (iii. 461) in identifying Zedad, in the large village of Zadad (Sudud in Rob.), which is inhabited exclusively by Syriac Christians, who still speak Syriac according to Seetzen (i. 32 and 279), a town containing about 3000 inhabitants (Wetstein, Reiseber. p. 88), to the south-east of Hums, on the east of the road from Damascus to Hunes, a short day's journey to the north of Nebk, and four (or, according to Van de Velde's memoir, from ten to twelve) hours' journey to the south of Hasya (Robinson, iii. p. 461; Ritter, Erdk. xvii. pp. 1443-4).

Ziphron, which was situated upon the border of the territory of Hamath and Damascus, if it is the same as the one mentioned in Ezekiel 47:16, is supposed by Knobel and Wetstein (p. 88) to be preserved in the ruins of Zifran, which in all probability have never been visited by any European, fourteen hours to the north-east of Damascus, near to the road from Palmyra. Lastly, Hazar-enan (equivalent to fountain-court) is supposed to be the station called Centum Putea (Πούτεα in Ptol. v. 15, 24), mentioned in the Tabul. Peuting. x. 3, on the road from Apamia to Palmyra, twenty-seven miles, or about eleven hours, to the north-west of Palmyra. - But we may say with certainty that all these conclusions are incorrect, because they are irreconcilable with the eastern boundary described in Numbers 34:10, Numbers 34:11. For example, according to Numbers 34:10, Numbers 34:11, the Israelites were to draw (fix) the eastern boundary "from Hazar-enan to Shepham," which, as Knobel observes, "cannot be determined with exactness, but was farther south than Hazar-enan, as it was a point on the eastern boundary which is traced here from north to south, and also farther west, as we may infer from the allusion to Riblah, probably at the northern end of Antilibanus". From Shepham the boundary was "to go down to Riblah," which Knobel finds in the Ribleh mentioned above. Now, if we endeavour to fix the situation of these places according to the latest and most trustworthy maps, the incorrectness of the conclusions referred to becomes at once apparent. From Zadad (Sudad) to Zifran, the line of the northern boundary would not have gone from west to east, but from north to south, or rather towards the south-west, and from Zifran to Centum Putea still more decidedly in a south-westerly direction. Consequently the northern boundary would have described a complete semicircle, commencing in the north-west and terminating in the south-east. But if even in itself this appears very incredible, it becomes perfectly impossible when we take the eastern boundary into consideration. For if this went down to the south-west from Hazar-enan to Shepham according to Knobel's conclusions, instead of going down (Numbers 34:11) from Shepham to Riblah, it would have gone up six or seven geographical miles from south to north, and then have gone down again from north to south along the eastern coast of the Lake of Gennesareth. Now it is impossible that Moses should have fixed such a boundary to the land of Israel on the north-east, and equally impossible that a later Hebrew, acquainted with the geography of his country, should have described it in this way.

If, in order to obtain a more accurate view of the extent of the land towards the north and north-east, we compare the statements of the book of Joshua concerning the conquered land with the districts which still remained to be taken at the time of the distribution; Joshua had taken the land "from the bald mountain which ascends towards Seir," i.e., probably the northern ridge of the Azazimeh mountains, with its white masses of chalk (Fries, ut sup. p. 76; see also at Joshua 11:17), "to Baal-Gad, in the valley of Lebanon, below Mount Hermon" (Joshua 11:17; cf. Numbers 12:7). But Baal-Gad in the valley (בּקעה) of Lebanon is not Heliopolis (now Baalbek in the Bekaa, or Coelesyria), as many, from Iken and J. D. Michaelis down to Knobel, suppose; for "the Bekaa is not under the Hermon," and "there is no proof, or even probability, that Joshua's conquests reached so far, or that Baalbek was ever regarded as the northern boundary of Palestine, nor even that the adjoining portion of Anti-Lebanon was ever called Hermon" (Robinson, Biblical Researches, p. 409). Baal-Gad, which is called Baal-Hermon in Judges 3:3 and 1 Chronicles 5:23, was the later Paneas or Caesarea Philippi, the modern Banias, at the foot of the Hermon (cf. v. Raumer, Pal. p. 245; Rob. Bibl. Res. pp. 408-9, Pal. iii. pp. 347ff.). This is placed beyond all doubt by 1 Chronicles 5:23, according to which the Manassites, who were increasing in numbers, dwelt "from Bashan to Baal-hermon, and Senir, and the mountains of Hermon," since this statement proves that Baal-hermon was between Bashan and the mountains of Hermon. In harmony with this, the following places in the north of Canaan are mentioned in Joshua 13:4-5, and Judges 3:3, as being left unconquered by Joshua: - (1.) "All the land of the Canaanites (i.e., of the Phoenicians who dwelt on the coast), and the cave of the Sidonians to Aphek;" מערה, probably the spelunca inexpugnabilis in territorio Sidoniensi, quae vulgo dicitur cavea de Tyrum (Wilh. Tyr. xix. 11), the present Mughr Jezzin, i.e., caves of Jezzin, to the east of Sidon upon Lebanon (Ritter, Erdk. xvii. pp. 99, 100); and Aphek, probably the modern Afka, to the north-east of Beirut (Robinson, Bibl. Res.). (2.) "The land of the Giblites," i.e., the territory of Byblos, and "all Lebanon towards the east, from Baal-Gad below Hermon, till you come to Hamath," i.e., not Antilibanus, but Lebanon, which lies to the east of the land of the Giblites. The land of the Giblites, or territory of Gebal, which is cited here as the northernmost district of the unconquered land, so that its northern boundary must have coincided with the northern boundary of Canaan, can hardly have extended to the latitude of Tripoli, but probably only reached to the cedar grove at Bjerreh, in the neighbourhood of which the highest peaks of the Lebanon are found. The territory of the tribes of Asher and Naphtali (Joshua 19:24-39) did not reach farther up than this. From all these accounts, we must not push the northern boundary of Canaan as far as the Eleutherus, Nahr el Kebir, but must draw it farther to the south, across the northern portion of the Lebanon; so that we may look for Hazar-enan (fountain-court), which is mentioned as the end of the northern boundary, and the starting-point of the eastern, near the fountain of Lebweh. This fountain forms the water-shed in the Bekaa, between the Orontes, which flows to the north, and the Leontes, which flows to the south (cf. Robinson, Bibl. Res. p. 531), and is not only a very large fountain of the finest clear water, springing at different points from underneath a broad piece of coarse gravel, which lies to the west of a vein of limestone, but the whole of the soil is of such a character, that "you have only to dig in the gravel, to get as many springs as you please." The quantity of water which is found here is probably even greater than that at the Anjar. In addition to the four principal streams, there are three or four smaller ones (Robinson, Bibl. Res. p. 532), so that this place might be called, with perfect justice, by the name of fountain-court. The probability of this conjecture is also considerably increased by the fact, that the Ain, mentioned in Numbers 34:11 as a point upon the eastern boundary, can also be identified without any difficulty (see at Numbers 34:11).

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