Joshua 15:4 MEANING

Joshua 15:4
(4) This shall be your south coast.--This phrase does not seem to fit in with the language of the rest of the passage. But it is extremely like a reminiscence of the language of Moses in Numbers 34:3; Numbers 34:6; Numbers 34:9; Numbers 34:12. "This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth" was the instruction to Joshua, and in describing the border of Judah, he is really describing also the southern border of all Israel; and he does it throughout in language very like that of Moses in Numbers 34. But Moses wrote it in the second person and in the future tense throughout; Joshua wrote it in the third person and in the past tense, with this one exception, in which he seems to have unconsciously adopted the phraseology of the lawgiver instead of the historian.

Verse 4. - The river of Egypt (see above, Joshua 13:3). "Westward, as far as Egypt, there is a sandy, salt, barren, unfruitful, and uninhabitable waste" (Knobel). The land, he adds, is better near Gaza, but near the sea it is still pure waste. And the goings out of that coast were at the sea. The word coast, derived through the French from the Latin costa, signifies, like it, a side. It is now used only of the border formed by the sea, but at an earlier period it had a wider signification. The Hebrew word is translated "border" in ver. 1. The meaning is that the boundary line of Judah ran as far as the sea. This shall be your south coast. Or, this shall be to you the southern boundary. The historian here quotes the directions given to Moses in Numbers 34, with the evident intention of pointing out that the south border of the children of Israel coincided with that of the tribe of Judah.

15:1-12 Joshua allotted to Judah, Ephraim, and the half of Manasseh, their inheritances before they left Gilgal. Afterwards removing to Shiloh, another survey was made, and the other tribes had their portion assigned. In due time all God's people are settled.From thence it passed towards Azmon, and went out unto the river of Egypt,.... In like manner is this coast described, Numbers 34:5; it is called by Jerom (x) Asemona, and said to be a city in the desert, to the south of Judah, dividing Egypt, and the lot of the tribe of Judah, leading to the sea:

and the outgoings of that coast were at the sea; the Mediterranean sea; or to the west, as the Targum; this was the utmost border of the tribe of Judah this way:

this shall be your south coast; of the lot that fell to the tribe of Judah.

(x) De loc. Heb. fol. 87. K.

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