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Jezreel was where David obtained one of his wives.
Timnah is probably where Judah, in olden times, before the descent to Egypt, kept his sheep. Gen. xxxviii
. It was afterwards given to Dan, and called Thimnathah.
9. Another list. Halhul, Beth-zur, Gedor, Maarath, Beth-anoth, and Eltekon. xv. 58, 59. Beth-zur was fortified by Rehoboam. It was an important place in the time of the Maccabees. 1 Mac. iv. 7; 2 Mac. xi. 5.
The Gedor here mentioned is not the one alluded to in 1 Chron. iv. 39, as belonging to Simeon; for the portion of Simeon, though taken from Judah, was not in this part of the tribe.
10. The next list has but two towns, though one of them is an important one. They are Rabbah and Kirjath-baal, which is the same as Kirjath-jearim. The formeer we know nothing about; but the other was the abode of the ark, for about twenty years, after its return by the Philistines. XV 60.
Beside the two names given above, the place was called Baalah, probably from baal, the last half of Kirjathbaal. This part of the name would indicate that it was once a sacred place, in the hands of the Canaanites, as it was a city of the priests, in the hands of the Israelites. It was on the border of Benjamin; and the other cities, associated with it as belonging to the Gibeonites, were xviii. 12; 1 Sam. vi. 21; vii. 1, 2; 1 Chron. xiii. 6; 2 Chron. i. 4.
In this town of Kirjath-jearim, is a locality mentioned elsewhere, called Mahaneh-dan, or camp of Dan. It was a temporary camp of 600 Danites, while on an excursion in pursuit of a new settlement. Expounders are greatly perplexed, in respect to this camp, and another that was located between Zoreah and Eshtaol, in the tribe of Dan. Regarding these two camps as one, when one was a permanent camp that had existed in the youth of Samson, near the residence of his father, and the place
of his burial ; and the other had no existence before or after the night it was occupied by the 600 free-booters, it is not surprising that it should be difficult to make them identical. Jud. xiii. 25; xviii. 12.
11. Localities in the wilderness. That part of Judah called the “wilderness” was situated in the north-east part of the territory belonging to that tribe. This is evident from the mention of Beth-arabah, as one. of its towns; for this we found on the border of the tribe near the Jordan. Besides Beth-arabah, there were Middin, Secacah, Nibshan, the city of Salt and En-gedi. xv. 61, 62.
Beth-arabah, also claimed by Benjamin, may be the same as Beth-barah; and the latter is no doubt the Bethabara of the New Testament. It would then follow that the place was on the Jordan, and near the spot at which the Israelites crossed. The name is supposed to be derived from this circumstance. It means house of the passage. Jos. xv. 5; xviii. 18; Jud. vii. 24; John i. 28.
The city of Salt, one might suppose, would be located near the valley of Salt, and yet the meaning of Salt may be wholly an accidental circumstance. It is generally supposed, however, that the name was given with reference to the valley of Salt, which took its name, probably, from the abundance of salt in the region where it was located, namely, near the southern point of the Dead Sea, called by the Hebrews the Salt Sea. It is well known that the Dead Sea is abundantly impregnated with salt; and vast quantities of that article are found in the soil, and on the surface of the ground, near the southern point of that sea.
En-gedi. David spent a portion of his exile in the strong-holds of En-gedi. In more ancient times the place was called Hazezon-tamar, and is so named in Genesis. The place has been identified ; and is located about midway between the two extremities of the Dead Sea, on the western shore. The name remains nearly the same i. e. Ain-Jidy. The En, in the common version, should have been Ain. 1 Sam. xxiii. 29; xxiv. 1 ; 2 Chron. xx. 2.
To close up this enumeration of the cities and towns of Judah, Jerusalem is mentioned last; and without being attached to any class. It was situated altogether in the tribe of Benjamin, the boundary line that separated Benjamin and Judah, running through the valley of the son of Hinnom, south of the city. But it is generally spoken of as belonging to Judah; and the reason of this may be that David and the men of his tribe, that is, of Judah, took possession of the place, and made it the capital of his kingdom; and it is expressly confessed that the children of Benjamin could not drive out the inhabitants.
Jerusalem is too important a place to be here described in full. Nor is this the most suitable place to say what we propose on the subject; but it should be done in connection with the cities of Benjamin: for, though it was sometimes regarded as a city of Judah, in strictness it was not, and should not be extensively noticed out of its proper connection.
We have now named all the cities of Judah, on the regular list, as given in Joshua; but we find many other places, in the progress of the history, that were located in the same territory; and we learn the fact generally from the passages where they are mentioned. Some of these may have come into existence at a later date than the first apportionment of the country; or they may have been obscure then, and afterwards become more prominent; or they may have been omitted on the regular list for some other reason, not at present understood.
It is reasonable to presume that some of the localities that were named on the southern border, from the Salt Sea to the Mediterranean, belonged to Judah.
Akrabbim, or Maaleh-akrabbim, or, as it is in another place, the ascent of Akrabbim, was a rocky ridge, on the southern border of Caanan and of Judah, and took its name from the abundance of scorpions found in that lo
cality. It has been ascertained, with considerable certainty, that the place was about ten miles south of the Dead Sea. Jud. i. 36; Num. xxxiv. 1, 4; Jos. xv. 3.
Kadesh and Hezron, mentioned on this border, are also on the regular list. Adar, Azmon and Karkaa, we know nothing about, except that they were border towns. We know of some others that lay on or near this border. Arad is one. Near this place the Kenites had their dwelling place. . It was twenty miles south from Hebron, according to Eusebius, and near to Kadesh. Jos. xii. 14; Jud. i. 16.
The river of Egypt was at the western extremity of this line. It is the same, no doubt, as Sihor or Shihor. Jos. xiii. 3. There are two forms in the Hebrew for “river.” One form properly denotes a river, or stream of water; the other denotes a valley. The first occurs in Gen. xv. 18, the second in Num. xxxiv. 5; Jos. xv. 4, 47; 1 K. viii. 65; 2 K. xxiv. 7. This latter term is valley in the Septuagint.
The "great sea” that lay on the west of Canaan, (and on the west of Judah,) was the Mediterranean - a body of water too well known to require description.
The border towns on the north were divided between Judah and Benjamin. The following belonged to Judah; Beth-arabah, (belonging also to Benjamin,) Kirjathjearim, Beth-shemesh, Timnah, Ekron and Jabneel. All but Beth-shemesh and Jabneel are on the regular list, and have been noticed.
Beth-shemesh is supposed by some to be the same as Ir-shemesh. It probably is, as the latter belonged to Dan, and the towns of Dan were taken from the part of Judah where Beth-shemesh was located. The meaning of both is similar. Literally one is house of the sun, and the other city of the sun. No doubt both were places where the sun was worshiped. Jos. xix. 41; 1 K. iv. 9.
It was to Beth-shemesh that the Philistines sent the ark of the Lord, when they returned it to the Hebrews. It was a city of the priests in the hands of the Israelites,
as it had been a sacred city in the hands of the heathen. Jos. xxi. 16; 1 Chron. vi. 59; 1 Sam. vi. 12, 13.
In this town of Beth-shemesh, was what our version calls the great stone Abel, in the field of Joshua the Beth-shemite, on which the ark was placed, and the kine offered in sacrifice; but the word stone is supplied, there being nothing answering to it in the Hebrew. The presumption is, that Abel should be aben, stone; as that makes good sense, and abel does not As confirmation of this view, twice in the preceding context the expression “the great stone” (aben) is used in the same way. Plainly it should be so, in the other instance. 1 Sam. vi. 14-18.
Jabneel, sometimes called Jabneh, being the last place on this northern border of Judah, was near the sea It was not far from Jaffa or Joppa. It was located in an open plain, surrounded by hills. One of these hills, north-east of the village, is higher than the rest, and affords an extensive view, taking in Ekron, Ashdod and Ashkelon. Jos: xv. 11; 2 Chron. xxvi. 6.
It is evident that most of the names made use of in describing this border, are not towns, but fountains, mountains, etc., quite as suitable for marking a boundary line. The stone of Bohan was one of these way. marks. Bohan was the son of Reuben. The tribe of Reuben was settled east of the Jordan, but a man of that tribe had erected for some purpose, a monument on the west side, that passed under his name. suitable as marking a boundary; but possessed no value that made a record of it necessary as belonging to either tribe. Achor was a noted valley, but evidently no town was built there. Adummim was an ascent, or a "going up - perhaps a precipice — that made it a suitable boundary line. En-shemesh and En-rogel were fountains, as the names indicate. The waters of Nephtoah may have been the same. Ephron, Seir, Jearim and Baalah, were mountains, and therefore, good boundary lines. Of the remainder that have not been noticed, we know