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Commentary On Joshua by Jean Calvin

Joshua 19:10-31

10. And the third lot came up for the children of Zebulun according to their families: and the border of their inheritance was unto Sarid:

10. Ascendit autem sors tertia filiis Zabulon per familias suas: et fuit terminus haereditatis eorum usque ad Sarid.

11. And their border went up toward the sea, and Maralah, and reached to Dabbasheth, and reached to the river that is before Jokneam;

11. Ascenditque terminus eorum ad mare: et Maralah, et pertingit ad Dabbaseth: pervenitque ad flumen quod est e regione Jocneam.

12. And turned from Sarid eastward toward the sunrising unto the border of Chislothtabor, and then goeth out to Daberath, and goeth up to Japhia,

12. Revertiturque a Sarid ad orientem, id est, ad ortum solis, ad terminum Chisloth-Thabor, et illinc egreditur ad Dobrath, et ascendit in Japhia.

13. And from thence passes on along on the east to Gittahhepher, to Ittahkazin, and goeth out to Remmonmethoar to Neah;

13. Inde praeterea transit ad orientem, ad ortum, ad Githah-Hepher, et ad Ihtah-casin: et illinc exit in Rimmon, et gyrat ad Neah:

14. And the border compasseth it on the north side to Hannathon: and the outgoings thereof are in the valley of Jiphthahel:

14. Gyrat item idem terminus ab aquilone ad Hannathon: suntque egressus ejus ad vallem Iphthael.

15. And Kattath, and Nahallal, and Shimron, and Idalah, and Bethlehem: twelve cities with their villages.

15. Et Catthath, et Nahalal, et Simron, et Idalah, et Bethlehem: urbes duodecim, et villae earum.

16. This is the inheritance of the children of Zebulun according to their families, these cities with their villages.

16. Haec est haereditas filiorum Zabulon per familias suas: urbes istae, et villae earum.

17. And the fourth lot came out to Issachar, for the children of Issachar according to their families.

17. Ipsi Issachar egressa est sors quarta, filiis inquam, Issachar per familias suas.

18. And their border was toward Jezreel, and Chesulloth, and Shunem,

18. Et fuit terminus eorum Jezrael, et Chesuloth, et Sunem,

19. And Hapharaim, and Shion, and Anaharath,

19. Et Hapharaim, et Sion, et Anaharath,

20. And Rabbith, and Kishion, and Abez,

20. Et Rabbith, et Cicion, et Abeth,

21. And Remeth, and Engannim, and Enhaddah, and Bethpazzez;

21. Et Remeth, et Engannin, et Enhaddah, et Beth-passes.

22. And the coast reacheth to Tabor, and Shahazimah, and Bethshemesh; and the outgoings of their border were at Jordan: sixteen cities with their villages.

22. Et pervenit terminus in Thabor, et Sahasima, et Beth-semes: eruntque exitus termini eorum ad Jordanem: urbes sedecim, et villae earum.

23. This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Issachar according to their families, the cities and their villages.

23. Haec est haereditas tribus filiorum Issachar per familias suas: urbes et villae earum.

24. And the fifth lot came out for the tribe of the children of Asher according to their families.

24. Egressa est autem sors quinta tribui filiorum Aser per familias suas.

25. And their border was Helkath, and Hali, and Beten, and Achshaph,

25. Fuitque terminus eorum Helcath, et Hali, et Bethen, et Achsaph,

26. And Alammelech, and Amad, and Misheal; and reacheth to Carmel westward, and to Shihorlibnath;

26. Et Alamelech, et Amad, et Misal, et pervenit in Carmel ad mare, et in Sihor Libnath.

27. And turns toward the sunrising to Bethdagon, and reacheth to Zebulun, and to the valley of Jiphthahel toward the north side of Bethemek, and Neiel, and goeth out to Cabul on the left hand,

27. Et revertitur ad ortum solis in Beth-dagon, et pervenit in Zabulon, et in vallem Iphtahel ad aquilonem, et in Beth-emec, et Neel: et exit ad Chabul a sinistra.

28. And Hebron, and Rehob, and Hammon, and Kanah, even unto great Zidon;

28. Et Ebron, et Rehob, et Hamon, et Canah, usque ad Sidon magnam:

29. And then the coast turns to Ramah, and to the strong city Tyre; and the coast turns to Hosah; and the outgoings thereof are at the sea from the coast to Achzib:

29. Revertiturque terminus in Rama, usque ad urbem munitam petrae: inde revertitur terminus in Hosah: suntque exitus ejus ad mare a funiculo Achzib,

30. Ummah also, and Aphek, and Rehob: twenty and two cities with their villages.

30. Et Ummah, et Aphec, et Rehob: urbes viginti duae, et villae earum.

31. This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Asher according to their families, these cities with their villages.

31. Haec est haereditas tribus filiorum Aser per familias suas: urbes istae, et villae earum.

10. And the third lot came up, etc In the lot of Zebulun there is a clear fulfillment of the prophecy of Jacob, which had foretold that they would dwell on the sea-coast. An old man, an exile who could not set a foot on his own land, assigned a maritime district to the posterity of his son Zebulun. What could be more extravagant? But now, when the lot assigns them a maritime region, no clearer confirmation of his decision could be desired. It was just as if God were twice thundering from heaven. The tribe of Zebulun, therefore, do not occupy the shore of their own accord or by human suffrage, but a divine arrangement fixes their habitation contiguous to the sea. Thus, although men erred, still the light was always seen shining brightly in the darkness. Jacob goes farther, and makes a clear distinction between Zebulun and Issachar. The former tribe will travel far and wide, carrying on trade and commerce; the latter remaining in his tents, will cultivate ease and a sedentary life. (Genesis 49:13-15) Hence it is probable that the sea-coast where Zebulun settled, was provided with harbors and well adapted for the various forms of commercial intercourse, whereas the children of Issachar were contented with their own produce, and consumed the fruits which they had raised by their own labor and culture at home.

Those who are thought to be well acquainted with these countries, affirm that the land of the tribe of Asher was fertile in corn. This is in complete accordance both with the letter and the spirit of Jacob's prophecy. (Genesis 49:20) From the fact that only a small number of cities are designated by name, we may infer that there were then many ruined cities which were not taken into account, and from the other fact that the people dwelt commodiously, we may also infer that they built many cities, with which it is plain from other passages that the land was adorned. And it is certainly apparent that only a summary of the division is briefly glanced at, and that thus many things were omitted which no religious feeling forbids us to investigate, provided we do not indulge in an excessive curiosity leading to no beneficial result. There cannot be a doubt that those to whom twenty or even only seventeen cities are attributed, had more extensive territories. Therefore, all we have here is a compendious description of the division as it was taken from the general and confused notes of the surveyors.

The next lot mentioned is that of Naphtali, and it seems to correspond with the disposition and manners of that tribe. For Jacob had testified, Naphtali is a hind let loose; he gave goodly words. For this reason they seem to have been contiguous on one side to the children of Judah, and to have been surrounded on other sides by the enclosures of their brethren. Indeed, in its being said that the tribe of Dan took Lesen, there seems to be a tacit comparison, because the children of Naphtali did not employ arms to force their way into their inheritance, but kept themselves quietly in a subdued territory, and thus enjoyed safety and tranquillity under the faith, and, as it were, protection of Judah and the other tribes. The capture of Lesen by the children of Dan, in accordance with the divine grant which they had received of it, did not take place till after the death of Joshua. But the fact which is more fully detailed in the book of Judges is here mentioned in passing, because praise was due to them for their boldness and activity in thus embracing the right which God had bestowed upon them, and so trusting in him as to go down bravely and defeat the enemy.

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