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Commentary On Joshua by Jean Calvin

Joshua 18:11-28

11. And the lot of the tribe of the children of Benjamin came up according to their families: and the coast of their lot came forth between the children of Judah and the children of Joseph.

11. Ascendit autem sors tribus filiorum Benjamin per familias suas, et exivit terminus sortis eorum inter filios Jehuda, et filios Joseph:

12. And their border on the north side was from Jordan; and the border went up to the side of Jericho on the north side, and went up through the mountains westward; and the goings out thereof were at the wilderness of Bethaven.

12. Fuitque eis terminus ad latus Aquilonis a Jordane: et ascendit terminus ad latus Jericho ab Aquilone, ascenditque in montem ad mare, ac exitus ejus sunt ad desertum Bethaven.

13. And the border went over from thence toward Luz, to the side of Luz, which is Bethel, southward; and the border descended to Atarothadar, near the hill that lieth on the south side of the nether Bethhoron.

13. Illinc autem pertransit terminus in Luz ad latus Luz Australe, (ipsa est Beth-el) et descendit terminus in Ateroth-Adar, juxta montem, qui est a meridie ipsi Bethhoron inferiori.

14. And the border was drawn thence, and compassed the corner of the sea southward, from the hill that lieth before Bethhoron southward; and the goings out thereof were at Kirjathbaal, which is Kirjathjearim, a city of the children of Judah: this was the west quarter.

14. Et designatur terminus, circuitque ad latus maris ad meridiem, a monte qui est e regione Bethhoron ad meridiem: suntque exitus ejus ad Cirjath-Baal, (ipsa est Cirjath-Jearim,) urbem filiorum Jehuda, hoc est latus maris.

15. And the south quarter was from the end of Kirjathjearim, and the border went out on the west, and went out to the well of waters of Nephtoah:

15. Latus autem ad meridiem, ab extremo Cirjath-Jearim: itaque exit terminus ad mare, exit, inquam, ad fontem aquarum Nephthoah.

16. And the border came down to the end of the mountain that lieth before the valley of the son of Hinnom, and which is in the valley of the giants on the north, and descended to the valley of Hinnom, to the side of Jebusi on the south, and descended to Enrogel,

16. Et descendit terminus ad extremum montis, qui est e regione vallis Benhinnom, quique est in valle Rephaim ad aquilonem, descenditque ad vallem Hinnom ad latus Jebusi, ad meridiem, et illinc descendit ad Enrogel.

17. And was drawn from the north, and went forth to Enshemesh, and went forth toward Geliloth, which is over against the going up of Adummim, and descended to the stone of Bohan the son of Reuben,

17. Et circuit ab aquilone, et exit ad En-semes, atque egreditur ad Geliloth, quae est e regione contra ascensum Adummim: et descendit Eben Bohan filii Ruben.

18. And passed along toward the side over against Arabah northward, and went down unto Arabah:

18. Illinc pertransit ad latus quod est e regione planitiei ad aquilonem, et descendit in Arabah.

19. And the border passed along to the side of Bethhoglah northward: and the outgoings of the border were at the north bay of the salt sea at the south end of Jordan: this was the south coast.

19. Inde pertransit terminus ad latus Beth-hogla ad aquilonem: suntque exitus termini ad limitem maris salis ad aquilonem, ad extremum Jordanis ad meridiem: iste est terminus austri.

20. And Jordan was the border of it on the east side. This was the inheritance of the children of Benjamin, by the coasts thereof round about, according to their families.

20. Et Jordanes terminat eum ad latus orientis. Ista est haereditas filiorum Benjamin per terminos suos in circuitu per familias suas.

21. Now the cities of the tribe of the children of Benjamin according to their families were Jericho, and Bethhoglah, and the valley of Keziz,

21. Fueruntque urbes istae tribus filiorum Benjamin per familias suas Jericho, et Beth-hoglah, et vallis Cesis,

22. And Betharabah, and Zemaraim, and Bethel,

22. Et Beth-araba, et Semaraim, et Beth-el,

23. And Avim, and Parah, and Ophrah,

23. Et Avim, et Parah, et Ophrah,

24. And Chepharhaammonai, and Ophni, and Gaba; twelve cities with their villages:

24. Et villa Haamonai, et Ophni, et Gaba: civitates duodecim, et villae carum.

25. Gibeon, and Ramah, and Beeroth,

25. Gibon, et Ramah, et Beeroth,

26. And Mizpeh, and Chephirah, and Mozah,

26. Et Mispeh, et Chephirah, et Mosah,

27. And Rekem, and Irpeel, and Taralah,

27. Et Recem, et Irpeel, et Tharalah,

28. And Zelah, Eleph, and Jebusi, which is Jerusalem, Gibeath, and Kirjath; fourteen cities with their villages. This is the inheritance of the children of Benjamin according to their families.

28. Et Sela, Eleph, et Jebusi (ipsa est Jerusalem,) Gibath, Cirjath: civitates quatuordecim, et villae earum. Ista est haereditas filiorum Benjamin per familias suas.

In the lot of Benjamin nothing occurs particularly deserving of notice, unless that a small tribe takes precedence of the others. I admit, indeed, that its limits were narrowed in proportion to the fewness of its numbers, because it obtained only twenty-six cities; but still an honor was bestowed upon it in the mere circumstance of its receiving its inheritance before more distinguished tribes. We may add, that in this way they were conjoined and made neighbors to the other children of Joseph, with whom their relationship was more immediate. For they were placed in the middle between the children of Ephraim and Manasseh on the one side, and those of Judah on the other. They had also the distinguished honor of including Jerusalem in their inheritance, though they afterwards granted it by a kind of precarious tenure to the children of Judah for a royal residence.

It is strange, however, that having obtained such a quiet locality, they did not live on peaceful and friendly terms with their neighbors. But we possess the prophecy of Jacob,

|Benjamin shall ravin as a wolf; in the morning he shall devour the prey, and at night he shall divide the spoil.| (Genesis 49:27)

They must, therefore, have been by nature of a covetous and turbulent disposition, or from some necessity not now known to us, they must have been impelled to live upon plunder. In regard to the city of Luz, the other name is added, (|the same is Bethel,|) because then only did the name given by Jacob come into common use. (Genesis 28:19) It was at no great distance from Beth-Aven, whose name, as it was opprobrious and infamous, was transferred to Bethel itself, after it was corrupted and polluted by impious superstitions. It is probable that Ciriath-Baal was called Ciriath-Jeharim, to take away the name of the idol, which would have been a stain on its true piety. For it certainly would have been base and shameful that the lips of the people should have been polluted by the name of a protector who was an enemy to the true God.

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