And the whole congregation of the children of Israel assembled together at Shiloh, and set up the tabernacle of the congregation there. And the land was subdued before them.
Shiloh was situated on a hill in the tribe of Ephraim, though near the borders of Benjamin, about fifteen miles north of Jerusalem, and, according to Eusebius, twelve, or according to Jerome, ten miles (south) from Shechem or Nablous. It was but a little north from Bethel or Ai, and near the road from Shechem to Jerusalem. (Jud 21:19.) In Jerome's time, Shiloh was ruined; and nothing remarkable was extant, but the foundations of the altar of burnt offerings which had been erected when the tabernacle stood there.
And Joshua said unto the children of Israel, How long are ye slack to go to possess the land, which the LORD God of your fathers hath given you?
How long are
Give out from among you three men for each tribe: and I will send them, and they shall rise, and go through the land, and describe it according to the inheritance of them; and they shall come again to me.
And they shall divide it into seven parts: Judah shall abide in their coast on the south, and the house of Joseph shall abide in their coasts on the north.
Ye shall therefore describe the land into seven parts, and bring the description hither to me, that I may cast lots for you here before the LORD our God.
that I may cast
But the Levites have no part among you; for the priesthood of the LORD is their inheritance: and Gad, and Reuben, and half the tribe of Manasseh, have received their inheritance beyond Jordan on the east, which Moses the servant of the LORD gave them.
And the men arose, and went away: and Joshua charged them that went to describe the land, saying, Go and walk through the land, and describe it, and come again to me, that I may here cast lots for you before the LORD in Shiloh.
that I may here
And the men went and passed through the land, and described it by cities into seven parts in a book, and came again to Joshua to the host at Shiloh.
The surveyors seem to have formed some kind of map of the country, as well as a description of it in writing. The Egyptians, from the situation of their fields, as annually overflowed by the Nile, acquired great skill in mensuration and land surveying; and some of the Israelites had, no doubt, learned these from them, without a knowledge of which they could not properly have divided the land. This is probably the first act of surveying on record.
And Joshua cast lots for them in Shiloh before the LORD: and there Joshua divided the land unto the children of Israel according to their divisions.
before the Lord
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.
between the children
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.
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.
side of Luz
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.
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:
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,
the valley of the son
the valley of the giants
See on ch.
Mount zion, south of Jerusalem; for Jebusi or Jebus was the ancient name of that city.
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,
The fountain of the Sun; whether a town, or simply a fountain, is uncertain.
Geliloth is probably the same as Gilgal; though as the word may signify border or limits, some think that it is probably not the proper name of a place: "And went forth towards the borders which are over against the ascent to Adummim." Others render Geliloth circuits or roundings, or the hills about Jordan, tumuli Jordanis. Vulgate: pertransit usque ad tumulos.
And passed along toward the side over against Arabah northward, and went down unto Arabah:
or, the plain.
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.
this was the
The borders of this tribe on the north were the same as those of Ephraim on the south, and his southern boundaries the same as the northern borders of Judah; but drawn from west to east, instead of from east to west (ch. 15:1-12; ch. 16.) As the inheritance of Benjamin did not extend to the Mediterranean sea, and no other sea or lake is known to have been in those parts, perhaps this depression, "compassed the corner of the sea southward," (ver. 14,) should be rendered, "made a circuit on the side next the sea towards the south;" for it seems to connect the northern border, in the preceding verses, with the southern which follows.
Now the cities of the tribe of the children of Benjamin according to their families were Jericho, and Bethhoglah, and the valley of Keziz,
And Betharabah, and Zemaraim, and Bethel,
And Avim, and Parah, and Ophrah,
Situated, according to Eusebius, five miles east of Bethel.
And Chepharhaammonai, and Ophni, and Gaba; twelve cities with their villages:
Probably the same as Gophna (['Ayin] being often pronounced as G); which, according to Josephus, was about fifteen miles from Jerusalem, towards Shechem, says Eusebius, (Onom. in [pharaux botrous.])
Gaba or Geba, according to Josephus, was not far from Rama, forty stadia from Jerusalem, and, according to Eusebius, five miles from Gophna, towards Shechem.
Gibeon, and Ramah, and Beeroth,
Situated, according to Eusebius, six miles from Jerusalem towards Bethel; though Jerome places it near Gaba, seven miles from Jerusalem.
Beeroth. Eusebius says Beeroth was seven miles from Jerusalem, towards Nicopolis or Emmaus. Jerome, however, reads Neapolis or Shechem; but Reland prefers the former.
And Mizpeh, and Chephirah, and Mozah,
Situated not far from Rama, forty stadia from Jerusalem.
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.