Joshua 19:15 MEANING

Joshua 19:15
(15) Nahallal.--('Ain Mahil, sheet 6).

Shimron.--(Sim-mieh, west of Nazareth, sheet 5).

Idalah.--(El Huwarah, a ruin just south of Bethlehem, sheet 5).

Beth-lehem.--(Beit-Lahm, sheet v.). It seems right to refer Ibzan of Bethlehem (Judges 12:8; Judges 12:10) to this town. The other Bethlehem is called in Judges and Ruth, Bethlehem-Judah; and in Micah, Bethlehem-Ephratah (Judges 17:7; Judges 19:1; Ruth 1:1; Micah 5:2). Bethlehem-Judah is designated Bethlehem only when it is impossible to mistake it for Bethlehem of Zebulun (e.g., Ruth 1:19, and 1 Samuel 16:4).

Twelve cities.--Ittah-kazin, Neah, Dabbasheth, and Kattath have not been identified, and they may not all be names of towns.

Verse 15. - Beth-lehem. This name, signifying the "house of bread," would naturally enough be given to a place in a fertile situation. We are not to suppose that it was "Bethlehem-Ephratah, among the thousands of Jadah" (Micah 5:2). It is now Beit-lahm, about eight miles in a westerly direction from Nazareth.

19:10-16 In the division to each tribe of Israel, the prophetic blessings of Jacob were fulfilled. They chose for themselves, or it was divided to them by lot, in the manner and places that he foresaw. So sure a rule to go by is the word of prophecy: we see by it what to believe, and it proves beyond all dispute the things that are of God.And Kattath, and Nahallal,.... Of the two first of these we read nowhere else, but in Joshua 21:34,

and Shimron was a royal city, the king of which Joshua took and hanged, Joshua 11:1,

and Idalah is a place Bochart conjectures (t) where the goddess Venus was worshipped, Idalia being one of her names:

and Bethlehem is a different place from that which was the birthplace of our Lord, called Bethlehem of Judah, to distinguish it from this:

twelve cities with their villages; more are named, but some of them belonged to other tribes, and only lay on the borders of this; and others might not be properly cities, but small towns.

(t) Canaan, l. 1. c. 3. col. 356.

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