Joshua 18:11 MEANING

Joshua 18:11

(11-28) The lot of the tribe of the children of Benjamin.--It can have been by no accident that their lot came forth "between Judah and Joseph." No wiser method could have been devised to secure an united Israel than thus to make Benjamin the link between the two most powerful and naturally rival tribes. In the story of Joseph, the brethren are reconciled through the mutual affection of Judah and Joseph for Benjamin as their father's youngest and best-loved son.

The position thus given to Benjamin under Joshua was still further developed by circumstances. The tribe was almost exterminated in the time of the judges; the survivors were united in marriage with women of Ephraim and Manasseh (?). On the other hand, the city of Jerusalem, although assigned by Joshua to Benjamin, was first a joint possession of Judah and Benjamin (1 Chronicles 8:28; 1 Chronicles 8:32; Judges 1:8; Judges 1:21), then the royal city of the kings of the house of Judah. The selection of the first king of Israel from Benjamin, and the ultimate planting of the religious and political centre of all the tribes on the confines of Judah and Benjamin in Jerusalem, would have been two masterstrokes of policy if they had been schemes of man's devising. They were really links in the long chain of God's providential dealing with the chosen people.

(12) And their border.--This is first described on the north side, where it coincided with the southern border of Ephraim. Conder draws it from El 'Aujeh (sheet 15), five miles north of Jericho, towards Beth-el (Beitin), perhaps going along the Wady' Aujeh, Beth-el lying within the territory of Benjamin (Joshua 18:22), and so on to Archi (Joshua 16:2), now Ain 'Arik (near the top of sheet 17), and thence to Ataroth-addar (Ed-Darieh), near Beth-horon the nether (Beit- -r-et-Tahta). This line is from east to west.

(14) And the border was drawn thence . . .--At this point it turns southward, and runs from the neighbourhood of Beth-horon to Kirjath-jearim (Khurbet 'Erma, in sheet 17: very small, and not easily found).

Corner of the sea.--Ph'ath Yam, "the west side."

(15) And the south quarter.--Here the borderline again turns to the east, and runs to Ain Atan (the waters of Nephtoah), near Bethlehem. Thence it turns to the north-east, and follows the line described above (Joshua 15:6-8) as the northern boundary of Judah.

(17) The stone of Bohan the son of Reuben must have been near the Jordan. Is it possible that Bohan, the son of Reuben, did on his own account what was done for all Israel by the command of Joshua? (Joshua 4:8).

(21) The cities of the tribe of . . . Benjamin.--The following are identified: viz., in Joshua 18:21, 'Ain-es-Sultan,' Ain Hajlah (sheet 18); Joshua 18:22, Khurbet es-S�mnrah, Beitin (sheet 18); Joshua 18:23, Fatah (sheet 18), Taiyibeh (sheet 14); Joshua 18:24, Jeb 'a (sheet 17).

(22) Beth-el seems to have passed into the hands of Ephraim without question when the tribe of Benjamin was all but exterminated. In the division of the kingdoms, though the tribe of Benjamin followed the house of Judah, the town of Bethel was regarded as part of the kingdom of Israel, and Jeroboam's southern boundary. He set up two golden calves, one in Bethel and the other in Dan, at the northern and southern extremities of his kingdom.

(25) El-Jeb, Er-Ram, Bireh (all in sheet 17).

(26) Sh'afat, Kejireh, Beit Mizzeh (Kefireh, i.e., Kefriyeh, sheet 14); the others are in sheet 17

(27) Rafat (sheet 17).

(28) Lifta, El-Kuds, Jebi'a, Kuriet-el-' anab (all in sheet 17).

(28) Jebusi, which is Jerusalem.--When "Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killed the prophets, and stoned them that were sent unto her," was called to account for "all the righteous blood shed upon the earth," the cup was found in Benjamin's sack, having been put there, as we see, by Joshua, the steward (after Moses) of the true Joseph's house. (See Names on the Gates of Pearl--Benjamin, p. 191.) Jerusalem is always thought of as the capital of Judah. Probably few readers of the Bible would answer, if asked for its position, that it was originally a Benjamite city. And we may add that no later writer than Joshua would be likely to have placed it in the territory of Benjamin.

Verse 11. - The children of Benjamin. Lying as their inheritance did between that of Ephraim and Judah, the chief places of note on their border have been already mentioned either in ch. 15. or in ch. 16.

18:11-28 The boundaries of each portion were distinctly drawn, and the inheritance of each tribe settled. All contests and selfish claims were prevented by the wise appointment of God, who allotted the hill and the valley, the corn and pasture, the brooks and rivers, the towns and cities. Is the lot of any servant of Christ cast in affliction and sorrow? It is the Lord; let him do what seemeth him good. Are we in prosperity and peace? It is from above. Be humbled when you compare the gift with your own unworthiness. Forget not Him that gave the good, and always be ready to resign it at his command.And the lot of the tribe of the children of Benjamin came up according to their families,.... This was the first lot of the seven that came up; it was but a small lot, and therefore called "little Benjamin", Psalm 68:27; but the land was very pleasant and fruitful. Josephus (h) says, this lot was very strait, because of the goodness of the soil, for it took in Jericho, and the city of Jerusalem:

and the coast of their lot came forth between the children of Judah and the children of Joseph; having Judah on the south, and Joseph on the north; this was so ordered by the providence of God, that Benjamin should lie close to Joseph, being own brothers, and the only children of Rachel, Jacob's beloved wife; and that it should be next to Judah, with whom it was to unite, both in religious and civil affairs, and both met in and had a part of Jerusalem, the metropolis of Israel; and this lot fell exactly according to the prediction of Moses, and the order of it, who places Benjamin between Judah and Joseph, the tribe of Levi having no share in the division of the land, Deuteronomy 33:7.

(h) Antiqu. l. 5. c. 1. sect. 22.

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