INHERITANCE OF SIMEON
(1) Their inheritance was within the inheritance of the children of Judah.—The southern part of the inheritance of Judah was given up to Simeon. (See Judges 1:3; Judges 1:17.) In this fact a prophecy was fulfilled; for the effect of the allotment was to separate Simeon from the tribes with whom he had been united in the journey through the wilderness (viz., Reuben and Gad), who had cast off Simeon, and united themselves with the half tribe of Manasseh instead. Being also separated from Levi, Simeon was still further isolated: with the result that in the final separation of Israel and Judah, after Solomon’s death, the tribe of Simeon, though adhering to the kingdom of the ten tribes (for the children of Simeon were counted strangers in Judah—2 Chronicles 15:9), was separated from the territory of that kingdom by the whole breadth of the kingdom of Judah. Thus were Jacob’s words brought to pass, which he spoke on his death-bed regarding Simeon and Levi: I will divide them in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel.
(2) Beer-sheba.—Bir-es-seba. Sheba (Shema).
(7) Ain, Remmon.—Timm er-Rumâmîn.
The rest of the cities of Simeon are not identified in Conder’s Biblical Gazetteer, with the exception of Sharuhen (Tell esh-Sherî’ah, north-west of Beer-sheba).
(9) The part of the children of Judah was too much for them.—In Judges 1 we read that Judah invoked the assistance of Simeon to complete the conquest of his inheritance, and also assisted Simeon to conquer his. This fact illustrates the character of the conquest of Canaan by Joshua, and shows that when his work was done, something was still left for the individual tribes to do.
Joshua 19:2And they had in their inheritance Beersheba, or Sheba, and Moladah,
Joshua 19:3And Hazarshual, and Balah, and Azem,
Joshua 19:4And Eltolad, and Bethul, and Hormah,
Joshua 19:5And Ziklag, and Bethmarcaboth, and Hazarsusah,
Joshua 19:6And Bethlebaoth, and Sharuhen; thirteen cities and their villages:
Joshua 19:7Ain, Remmon, and Ether, and Ashan; four cities and their villages:
Joshua 19:8And all the villages that were round about these cities to Baalathbeer, Ramath of the south. This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Simeon according to their families.
Joshua 19:9Out of the portion of the children of Judah was the inheritance of the children of Simeon: for the part of the children of Judah was too much for them: therefore the children of Simeon had their inheritance within the inheritance of them.
Joshua 19:10And the third lot came up for the children of Zebulun according to their families: and the border of their inheritance was unto Sarid:THE BORDER OF ZEBULUN.
(10) The third lot . . . for the children of Zebulun . . . Sarid (Syriac, Asdod; LXX., Seddouk) should be apparently spelt with consonants s, D, D. It is identified as Tell Shadûd (sheet 8). From this point a line is drawn westward (past M’alûl, sheet 5) to Jokneam (Tell Keimûn, same sheet), a place at the south-east end of the Carmel ridge. This is the south boundary. We may note that it does not touch the sea, but leaves room for the territory of Asher to interpose (comp. Joshua 17:10-11). Returning to Sarid, the boundary is next (Joshua 19:12) drawn eastward to Chisloth-tabor (Iksâl, sheet 6), Daberath(Dabûrieh, sheet 6), Japhia (Yâfa, sheet 5), Gittah-hepher (El-Mesh-hed, sheet 6).
Shimron.—(Simûmieh, west of Nazareth, sheet 5).
Idalah.—(El Huwârah, 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.
With regard to Judah and Zebulun, it is noticeable that we find their union reproduced in the earthly history of our Lord. Mary, who was of the house of David, and Joseph of the same lineage, are found dwelling in Nazareth, in the tribe of Zebulun. Thus the north and the south alike had “part in David,” and inheritance in David’s Son. There is a Bethlehem (Joshua 19:15) in Zebulun as well as in Judah. The name is not found in any other tribe.
The towns identified are as follows:—
(25) El B’aneh, EL-Yasif or Kefr Yasif (sheet 3).
(26) Khurbet-el-Amûd, and M’aîsleh (? Kh.-Muslih) (sheet 3).
Shihor-libnath (river of glass), the river Belus (sheet 5).
(27) Beth-dagon (Tell-’ Daûk), near the mouth of the Belus.
Neiel.—(Y’Arûn, sheet 5).
Cabul.—(Kabûl, south-east of Akkah, sheet 5).
(28) Hebron.—(Abdon, Kh.-Abdeh, sheet 3). Hammon (El Hama, sheet 3).
Kanah (south-east of Tyre, sheet 1).
(29) Tyre.—(es-Sûr, sheet 1). Hosah (‘Ozziyeh, sheet 1). Achzib (es-Zib, sheet 3, on the coast). (See Joshua 15:44 for another place of same name.) Ummah (Kh.-Almah, north of Achzib).
The east border of the tribe is Jordan, including the waters of Merom and the Sea of Galilee. The tribe of Issachar on the south, and the tribes of Zebulun and Asher on the west, are conterminous with Naphtali.
The places mentioned are identified as follows:—
Heleph.—(Beit Lif, sheet 4). The plain of Bitzanannim (Kh.-Bessum, sheet 6). Adami (Kh.-Admah, sheet 9): this is the southernmost of all the towns named. Nekeb (Kh.-Seiyâdeh, sheet 6). Jabneel (Yemma, sheet 5). All the above places, except Heleph, lie near the Sea of Galilee, on the south-west side.
(36,37) Adamah (Ed-Dâmeh,?Daimah, sheet 6), Ramah (Râmeh), Hazor (Hadîreh), Kedesh (Kades), Edrei (Y’ater), En-hazor (Hazireh), and Iron (Y’arum), are all in sheet 4, north of the above. The town of Hazor has been variously identified by previous writers, but Conder expresses no doubt as to its being Hadîreh, which certainly occupies a commanding position above a stream that flows into Lake Merom.
(41-46) All the towns mentioned here are identified by Conder.
Ir-shemesh—Ain Sheme Shaalabbin—Selbît
Jethlah—(Ruin) Beit Tul
Are all in sheet 17
Ekron-(akir, sheet 16)
Gibbethon-(Kibbiah, sheet 14)
Baalath—(Belaîn, sheet 14)
For Gath-rimmon, Conder suggests Gath; but this he identifies with Tell-es-Safi, which is well within the territory of Judah (to the south of sheet 16).
Me-jarkon, “the yellow water,” is thought to be the river ’Aujeh (sheet 13), and Rakkon, Tell-er-Rakkeit, to the north of the mouth of it. Japho is Jaffa, on the same sheet.
little” are not in the original; and it seems better to translate literally: And the coast of the children of Dan went out from them—i.e., their territory was partly re-conquered by the Philistines. Something similar seems to have occurred in several districts of the country. The Israelites not taking advantage of the impression produced by Joshua’s great victories to occupy the territory assigned to them, the nations of Canaan re-possessed themselves of their former abodes. and held them against Israel. The Philistines are expressly said to have been left to prove Israel. Joshua was not permitted to exterminate them. And although Dan and Judah, numerically the two strongest of all the tribes (both in the census in the plains of Moab and at Sinai), were placed next to the Philistines, and had the task of conquering that nation assigned to them, still it was not effected. We read in Judges 1, “The Amorites forced the children of Dan into the mountains, for they would not suffer them to come down into the valley.”
Hence the Danites, instead of attacking the Philistines and Amorites in their inheritance, preferred to form a new settlement in the north, and put to the sword “a people quiet and secure,” who “had no deliverer,” rather than “run with patience the race set before them.” They were not minded to resist unto blood, striving against their foes. (See the narrative in Judges 18, especially Joshua 19:27-28.)