Joshua 19:1 ¶ And the second lot came forth to Simeon, even for the tribe of the children of Simeon according to their families: and their inheritance was within the inheritance of the children of Judah.
Joshua 19:2 And they had in their inheritance Beersheba, or Sheba, and Moladah,
Joshua 19:3 And Hazarshual, and Balah, and Azem,
Joshua 19:4 And Eltolad, and Bethul, and Hormah,
Joshua 19:5 And Ziklag, and Bethmarcaboth, and Hazarsusah,
Joshua 19:6 And Bethlebaoth, and Sharuhen; thirteen cities and their villages:
Joshua 19:7 Ain, Remmon, and Ether, and Ashan; four cities and their villages:
Joshua 19:8 And all the villages that were round about these cities to Baalathbeer, Ramath of the south. This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Simeon according to their families.
Joshua 19:9 Out of the portion of the children of Judah was the inheritance of the children of Simeon: for the part of the children of Judah was too much for them: therefore the children of Simeon had their inheritance within the inheritance of them.
Continuing from the previous chapter…
The next lot fell to Simeon. It is interesting to note that their inheritance fell within the borders of Judah because they had more than they needed. They were given 17 cities and their surrounding villages. Dummelow summarizes as follows: “It was in the Negeb, or south country, that slopes away from the Hebron range toward the desert, bounded on the west by the Mediterranean, and on the east by the Dead Sea and the Valley of Edom.”
Š Beersheba (v2) was considered the capital of the Negeb.
Š Beersheba was often used to designate the southern border of the land.
Š Eerdman notes that Sharuhen (v6) “is mentioned in an Egyptian document from before the Israelite occupation (ANET, 233), where it is the first stronghold of the Asiatic Hyksos after their expulsion from Egypt in the 16th century B.C.E.”
Joshua 19:10 ¶ And the third lot came up for the children of Zebulun according to their families: and the border of their inheritance was unto Sarid:
Joshua 19:11 And their border went up toward the sea, and Maralah, and reached to Dabbasheth, and reached to the river that is before Jokneam;
Joshua 19:12 And turned from Sarid eastward toward the sunrising unto the border of Chislothtabor, and then goeth out to Daberath, and goeth up to Japhia,
Joshua 19:13 And from thence passeth on along on the east to Gittahhepher, to Ittahkazin, and goeth out to Remmonmethoar to Neah;
Joshua 19:14 And the border compasseth it on the north side to Hannathon: and the outgoings thereof are in the valley of Jiphthahel:
Joshua 19:15 And Kattath, and Nahallal, and Shimron, and Idalah, and Bethlehem: twelve cities with their villages.
Joshua 19:16 This is the inheritance of the children of Zebulun according to their families, these cities with their villages.
The third lot fell to Zebulun. Unger notes the following regarding its borders: “This was the landlocked district in lower Galilee bordered by Asher on the west, Manasseh on the south, Issachar on the southeast, and Naphtali on the north and northeast. Zebulun was traversed by ‘the way of the sea,’ (Isaiah 9:1) a widely traveled road to the Mediterranean Sea.”
Š Gittahhepher (v13) or Gathhepher was the birthplace of Jonah.
Š Many commentators note that this Bethlehem (v15) is not the one where Jesus was born.
Joshua 19:17 ¶ And the fourth lot came out to Issachar, for the children of Issachar according to their families.
Joshua 19:18 And their border was toward Jezreel, and Chesulloth, and Shunem,
Joshua 19:19 And Hapharaim, and Shion, and Anaharath,
Joshua 19:20 And Rabbith, and Kishion, and Abez,
Joshua 19:21 And Remeth, and Engannim, and Enhaddah, and Bethpazzez;
Joshua 19:22 And the coast reacheth to Tabor, and Shahazimah, and Bethshemesh; and the outgoings of their border were at Jordan: sixteen cities with their villages.
Joshua 19:23 This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Issachar according to their families, the cities and their villages.
The fourth lot fell to Issachar; it included 16 cities and villages. JFB notes that the cities given to Issachar “…are all in the eastern part of the plain of Esdraelon.” Gill adds a description from Josephus, “…the border of this tribe in the length of it were Mount Carmel (at one end), and the river (i.e. Jordan, at the other); and at the breadth of it the mountain Itabyrium, or Mount Tabor: it had Jordan on the east, the sea on the west, Zebulun on the north, and Manasseh on the south….”
Š Shunem (v18) was the home of the woman that provided a room for Elisha and whose son he raised from the dead. (see 2Kings 4)
Joshua 19:24 ¶ And the fifth lot came out for the tribe of the children of Asher according to their families.
Joshua 19:25 And their border was Helkath, and Hali, and Beten, and Achshaph,
Joshua 19:26 And Alammelech, and Amad, and Misheal; and reacheth to Carmel westward, and to Shihorlibnath;
Joshua 19:27 And turneth 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,
Joshua 19:28 And Hebron, and Rehob, and Hammon, and Kanah, even unto great Zidon;
Joshua 19:29 And then the coast turneth to Ramah, and to the strong city Tyre; and the coast turneth to Hosah; and the outgoings thereof are at the sea from the coast to Achzib:
Joshua 19:30 Ummah also, and Aphek, and Rehob: twenty and two cities with their villages.
Joshua 19:31 This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Asher according to their families, these cities with their villages.
The fifth lot fell to the tribe of Asher; it included 22 cities and their villages. The NIV Commentary notes that Asher’s territory “was located primarily on the western slopes of the mountains of Galilee and bordering on the Mediterranean Sea.” Gill adds, “Asher had Mount Libanus on the north, Naphtali on the east, Zebulun on the south and southeast, the sea on the west….”
Š It was at Mount Carmel (v26) that Elijah had the showdown with the prophets of Baal. (see 1Kings 18)
Š Adam Clarke notes that a religious order called the Carmelites was established on this mountain in honor of Elijah.
Š Gill tells us that Kanah was recognized by Jerome as the Cana where Jesus performed His first miracle of turning water into wine.
Joshua 19:32 ¶ The sixth lot came out to the children of Naphtali, even for the children of Naphtali according to their families.
Joshua 19:33 And their coast was from Heleph, from Allon to Zaanannim, and Adami, Nekeb, and Jabneel, unto Lakum; and the outgoings thereof were at Jordan:
Joshua 19:34 And then the coast turneth westward to Aznothtabor, and goeth out from thence to Hukkok, and reacheth to Zebulun on the south side, and reacheth to Asher on the west side, and to Judah upon Jordan toward the sunrising.
Joshua 19:35 And the fenced cities are Ziddim, Zer, and Hammath, Rakkath, and Chinnereth,
Joshua 19:36 And Adamah, and Ramah, and Hazor,
Joshua 19:37 And Kedesh, and Edrei, and Enhazor,
Joshua 19:38 And Iron, and Migdalel, Horem, and Bethanath, and Bethshemesh; nineteen cities with their villages.
Joshua 19:39 This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Naphtali according to their families, the cities and their villages.
The sixth lot fell to the tribe of Naphtali; it included 19 cities and their villages. The New Bible Commentary notes the following about Naphtali’s inheritance: “His land included attractive, densely forested mountains and fairly fertile lower areas. Through this heartland of Galilee ran the major trade route between Jezreel and points north.”
Joshua 19:40 ¶ And the seventh lot came out for the tribe of the children of Dan according to their families.
Joshua 19:41 And the coast of their inheritance was Zorah, and Eshtaol, and Irshemesh,
Joshua 19:42 And Shaalabbin, and Ajalon, and Jethlah,
Joshua 19:43 And Elon, and Thimnathah, and Ekron,
Joshua 19:44 And Eltekeh, and Gibbethon, and Baalath,
Joshua 19:45 And Jehud, and Beneberak, and Gathrimmon,
Joshua 19:46 And Mejarkon, and Rakkon, with the border before Japho.
Joshua 19:47 And the coast of the children of Dan went out too little for them: therefore the children of Dan went up to fight against Leshem, and took it, and smote it with the edge of the sword, and possessed it, and dwelt therein, and called Leshem, Dan, after the name of Dan their father.
Joshua 19:48 This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Dan according to their families, these cities with their villages.
The seventh and final lot fell to the tribe of Dan. The NIV Commentary notes, “The inheritance of Dan lay between the inheritance of Judah and that of Ephraim. To form this territory Judah gave up some of its northern towns, and Ephraim gave up some of its southern towns.”
John Gill describes its borders as “bounded by Ephraim on the north, by Judah on the east, by Simeon on the south, and by the Mediterranean sea on the west.”
The tribe of Dan did not think they were given enough land, so they went to war against the people of Leshem and took possession of it as well.
Š It was in the valley of Ajalon (v42) that the sun stood still for the armies of Israel.
Š According to Gill, Japho (v46) is the same as Joppa, the city from which Jonah tried to flee from the LORD.
Š Adam Clarke notes the following about Leshem (v47): “This city was situated near the origin of Jordan, at the utmost northern extremity of the promised land, as Beer-sheba was at that of the south; and as after its capture by the Danites it was called Dan, hence arose the expression from Dan even to Beer-sheba, which always signified the whole extent of the promised land.”
Joshua 19:49 ¶ When they had made an end of dividing the land for inheritance by their coasts, the children of Israel gave an inheritance to Joshua the son of Nun among them:
Joshua 19:50 According to the word of the LORD they gave him the city which he asked, even Timnathserah in mount Ephraim: and he built the city, and dwelt therein.
After overseeing the division of the land among the tribes, Joshua is finally allotted his portion. Just as Caleb asked for and received a specific city, Joshua asked for and received the city of Timnathserah in mount Ephraim (his tribe of descent).
Joshua 19:51 These are the inheritances, which Eleazar the priest, and Joshua the son of Nun, and the heads of the fathers of the tribes of the children of Israel, divided for an inheritance by lot in Shiloh before the LORD, at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. So they made an end of dividing the country.
The chapter closes with a summary statement declaring that Eleazar the priest, Joshua and the previously chosen leader from each of the tribes supervised the division of the land. It was divided according to lots cast before the LORD at the entrance to the tabernacle in Shiloh.
I liked Coffman’s closing observation on this chapter: “The very details and the perfect agreement of all these assignments with each other and with the larger record of the total boundaries assures the authenticity of the narrative. The forging of such a record as this would be an absolute impossibility. That the offices of holy religion were honored and respected in this important task is most evident in the presence of Eleazar. Today, it may be feared that our nation has forgotten God. His name is not even invoked in the public schools of the people, and even wars are declared and conducted apart from any consultation regarding ‘What is the will of God?’”