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Ashteroth-karnaim signifies. It was six miles from Edrei. Gen. xiv. V; Jos. ix. 10; xii. 4; xiii. 12; 1 Chron. vi. 71.
Golan belonged to Manasseh. It was a city of refuge. Jos. xx. 8. Jabesh-Gilead was in the same tribe. It was from this place that a partial supply of virgins was obtained, for the surviving men of Benjamin, after the war that nearly annihilated the tribe. The men of Jabesh were slain, because they did not come to the war. When the Ammonites had besieged Jabesh, and were likely to prevail against it, Saul, who had just been made king of Israel, gathered an army — went against the Ammonites — raised the siege — and routed the hosteof the enemy. Therefore, when it was known at Jabesh, that Saul had been slain, and his body, and that of his son Jonathan had been hung up in the streets of Bethshan, the brave men of that city went and took the bodies, and brought them away; and having burned the flesh, buried the bones under a tree in Jabesh, and mourned seven days. Jud. xxi. 8-12; 1 Sam. xxxi. 1-13. Camon, Jud. x. 5.
Lo-debar was the residence of Machir of the tribe of Manasseh. The lame son of David's friend, Jonathan, resided there with Machir, till David sent for him, to reside at the palace and eat at his table. And when David was in distress, on account of his son Absalom, Machir of Lo-debar sent him the things he needed for himself and his attendants. 2 Sam. ix. 5; xvii. 27 - 29.
Argob was in Bashan, and of course in the tribe of Manasseh. It was one of the most fruitful lands east of the Jordan. There were sixty towns in this district, together called Havoth-jair, being so named after one Jair who lived in the days of Moses -- not the judge Jair, of more recent times. 1 K. iv. 13. In the district of Argob there was a city, having the same name. Eusebius places it fifteen miles west of Gerasa. It is probably the same as Ragab, mentioned by Josephus. Ant. B.
xiii. cap. 23.
Aram. 1 Chron. ii. 23. Kenath. Jud. viii. 11; Num. xxxii. 42; Havoth-jair. Jud. x. 4; 1 Chron. ii. 23. It denotes a collection of cities. Beesh-terah was a city of the Levites in Manasseh. Jos. xxi. 27.
The account of the towns and cities, which is given in Numbers and Deuteronomy, contains some names that are not on the foregoing lists. But it is not certain that they are different places, as it is expressly said that the Israelites changed the names of these towns. See Num. xxxii. 3, 34-42; Deut. iii. 8-17.
Some localities are mentioned east of the Jordan, without any certain information as to the tribe to which they belonged. And they may have been located a lit tle out of the limits of the tribes. Rabbah was one of these. It was the capital of Ammon, and was conquered by David, at the time his faithful officer Uriah was slain. It was afterwards called Philadelphia ; so named from Ptolemy Philadelphus one of the kings of Egypt, Its ruins are extensive. They are 22 miles east of the Jordan, in the valley of the Jabbok. It was 14 miles south-east of Heshbon, and 20 miles south of Jerash. A stream of water had its source in the town, which gave to the lower part of it the name of " city of waters. 2 Sam. xi. 1; xii. 26; xvii. 27; 1 Chron. xx. 1.
Salcah was the name of a town that lay on the borders of Manasseh. Deut. iii. 10; Jos. xii. 5 ; xiii. 11; 1 Chron. v. 11. Its modern name is Sulkud. It is mentioned in the middle ages. It is at the northern extremity of Argob. The town is three miles in circumference. Smith's Dictionary of the Bible.
Abel-carmim is a proper name in the original ; but in our version the rendering is “the plain of the vineyards.” Near that place was Ninnith. Jud. xi. 33.
Geshur or Gesher and Maachah are spoken of as on the borders of the land. Talmai was king of Geshur, whose daughter was a wife of David, and mother of Absalom. Absalom spent three years with his grandfather, to avoid the displeasure of David. One of the chief cities of Maachah was Abel-maachah, or Abel-bethmaachah, or simply Abel. Abel-maim is regarded as the same place. It is probably the Abela of a later day, or Abilene of the New Testament. Abel was an ancient and important town, called "a mother in Israel.” 2 Sam. xiii. 38, 39; xx. 14, 15, 18, 19; 1 K. xv. 20; 1 Chron. ii. 23. Karkor, Nobah, Jogbehah. Jud. viii. 10, 11.
Rogelim was a town of Gilead, and belonged to Gad or Manasseh ; but it is not certain which. It was the residence of Barzillai, the steadfast friend of David, even when the latter was in distress. 2 Sam. xix. 31.
Cherith was a river that emptied into the Jordan on the east, a little below Bethshan. 1 K. xvii. 3, 5. Baal-hermon takes its name from its location near mount Hermon, north of the tribes east of the Jordan. Jud. iii. 3; 1 Chron. v. 23. Ed is the name of a heap of stones, east of the Jordan, but near its banks. The name is supplied by the translators, but the sense seems to require it. Jos. xxii. 34.
We will now notice the tribes on the west of the Jordan. Here, as usual, the tribe of Judab is first on the list, and has the largest share of the country.
SECTION IV. --The LOCALITIES IN THE TRIBE OF JUDAH. These are given in Jos. xv. the boundaries of the tribe being first, and afterwards the towns, cities, etc. On the south were Edom and the wilderness of Zin. The localities that lay along that line, commencing at the Salt Sea on the east, were Maaleh-akrabbim, or ascent of Akrabbim, Kadesh-barnea, Hezron, Adar, Karkaa and Azmon. This brings the line to the river of Egypt, or eastern branch of the Nile, and to the Mediterranean Sea. The eastern border was the Salt or Dead Sea, to the mouth of the Jordan, that is, where the Jordan empties into that body of water.
The localities that are mentioned as lying along the northern border, across the entire country from the Jordan to the Mediterranean, are Beth-hoglah, Beth-arabah, the stone of Bohan, Debir, valley of Achor, Gilgal, Adummim, En-shemesh, En-rogel, valley of Hinnom, valley of giants, otherwise called Rephaim, fountain of Nephtoah, mount Ephron, Baalah or Kirjath-jearim, mount Seir, mount Jearim or Chesalon, Beth-shemesh, Timnah, Ekron, Shicron, mount Baalah and Jabneel. The last of these places was on or near the Sea. See more about this boundary in our comments on the passage. Jos. xv. 1-1-1.
The towns and cities of Judah are given in clusters, according to the part of the territory they occupied. We will notice them in the same way.
1. Those that were niear the borders of Edom. These are Kabzeel, Eder, Jagur, Kinah, Dimonah, Adadah, Kedesh, Hazor, Ithnan, Ziph, Telem, Bealoth, Hazor, Hadattah, Kerioth, Hezron, Amam, Shema, Moladah, Hazar-gaddah, Heshmon, Beth-palet, Hazar-shual, Beersheba, Bizjothjah, Baalah, Iim, Azem, Eltolad, Chesil, Hormah, Ziklag, Madmannah, Sansannah, Lebaoth, Shilbim, Ain and Rimmon. Jos. xv. 21 - 32.
Most of these we know nothing about, except that they belonged to the tribe of Judah, and were located in the southern part of the tribe, near the borders of Edom.
Kedesh is the same as Kadesh-barnea, on the southern border. Moses and the Israelites spent considerable time here on their way to Canaan. It was from this place that spies were sent to examine the country. From the same place Moses sent messengers to Edom, and to Moab, requesting a passage through their land. This being denied, he was obliged to make a vast cir cuit round the country occupied by these tribes, as he was not permitted to contend with them in battle. There is another Kedesh in Naphtali.
Telem is no doubt the same as Telaim found in another place. 1 Sam. xv. 4. Hezron was on the southern border of Judah. Jos. xy. 3.
Beer-sheba was a very ancient town; belonging to the
time of Abraham, though it may then have been only a well. It was on the southern border of Judah, and that was the southern border of Canaan. Being on the border of the land in one direction, and Dan being on the border in the opposite direction, the circumstance gave rise to the expression “from Dan to Beersheba." Gen. xxi. 33; xxii. 19; xxvi. 23; Jos. xv. 28; xix. 2; Jud. xx. 1; 1 Sam. iii. 20; viii. 2; 2 Sam. ii. 10; 1 K. iv. 25; 2 Chron. XXX. 5. These references will give the reader much information, if he consult them, which our limits will not permit us to put upon our pages.
Hormah is mentioned as being taken by Joshua, in his first campaign. It is probably the same that Moses destroyed, but was n restored. It was called also Zephath. It was one of the places to which David sent presents; and probably he had received favors of the people, during his wanderings in that part of the country. It was near the southern border of the land, and therefore as far as David could get from his adversary, unless he went out of the country. Jos. xii. 14; xv. 30; 1 Sam. xxx. 30.
Ziklag was once under the Philistines, but was given to David and his followers, by Achish king of Gath; and ever after it was reckoned as belonging to Judah. 1 Sam. xxvii. 6.
The portion of the tribe of Judah, that was occupied by the foregoing cities, was afterwards given to Simeon; and hence we shall find many of the names repeated on his list.
2. Cities and towns in the valley. The part of Judah called the Shefelah, or valley, was the western or southwestern portion, in the vicinity of the Philistines. But the tract, so designated, seems to have extended some distance into the hilly or mountainous region. The name valley was given it from the general character only; for some of the places on the list belong to the “hill country. The names here given are Eshtaol, Zoreah, Ashnah,