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Bible Commentaries

Utley's You Can Understand the Bible

Joshua 19

Joshua 19:0

PARAGRAPH DIVISIONS OF MODERN TRANSLATIONS

NASBNKJVNRSBTEVNJB
Territory of SimeonSimeon's Inheritance with JudahTerritory of Other TribesThe Territory Assigned to SimeonThe Tribe of Simeon
(Joshua 18:1-51)
Joshua 19:1-9Joshua 19:1-9Joshua 19:1-9Joshua 19:1-6Joshua 19:1-2
Joshua 19:3-6
Joshua 19:7-9Joshua 19:7-8a
Joshua 19:8-9
Territory of ZebulunThe Land of ZebulunThe Territory Assigned to ZebulunThe Tribe of Zebulun
Joshua 19:10-16Joshua 19:10-16Joshua 19:10-16Joshua 19:10-16Joshua 19:10-15
Joshua 19:16
Territory of IssacharThe Land of IssacharThe Territory Assigned to IssacharThe Tribe of Asher
Joshua 19:17-23Joshua 19:17-23Joshua 19:17-23Joshua 19:17-23Joshua 19:17-22
Joshua 19:23
Territory of AsherThe Land of AsherThe Territory Assigned to Asher
Joshua 19:24-31Joshua 19:24-31Joshua 19:24-31Joshua 19:24-31Joshua 19:24-31
Territory of NaphtaliThe Land of NaphtaliThe Territory Assigned to NaphtaliThe Tribe of Naphtali
Joshua 19:32-39Joshua 19:32-39Joshua 19:32-39Joshua 19:32-39Joshua 19:32-38
Joshua 19:39
Territory of DanThe Land of DanThe Territory Assigned to DanThe Tribe of Dan
Joshua 19:40-48Joshua 19:40-48Joshua 19:40-48Joshua 19:40-48Joshua 19:40-46
Joshua 19:47
Joshua 19:48
Joshua's InheritanceThe Final Appointment of the Land
Joshua 19:49-50Joshua 19:49-51Joshua 19:49-50Joshua 19:49-50Joshua 19:49-50
Joshua 19:51Joshua 19:51Joshua 19:51Joshua 19:51

READING CYCLE THREE (from “A Guide to Good Bible Reading”)

FOLLOWING THE ORIGINAL AUTHOR'S INTENT AT THE PARAGRAPH LEVEL

This is a study guide commentary, which means that you are responsible for your own interpretation of the Bible. Each of us must walk in the light we have. You, the Bible, and the Holy Spirit are priority in interpretation. You must not relinquish this to a commentator.

Read the chapter in one sitting. Identify the subjects. Compare your subject divisions with the five translations above. Paragraphing is not inspired but it is the key to following the original author's intent which is the heart of interpretation. Every paragraph has one and only one subject.

1. First paragraph

2. Second paragraph

3. Third paragraph

4. Etc.

Verses 1-9

NASB (UPDATED TEXT): Joshua 19:1-9 1Then the second lot fell to Simeon, to the tribe of the sons of Simeon according to their families, and their inheritance was in the midst of the inheritance of the sons of Judah. 2So they had as their inheritance Beersheba or Sheba and Moladah, 3and Hazar-shual and Balah and Ezem, 4and Eltolad and Bethul and Hormah, 5and Ziklag and Beth-marcaboth and Hazar-susah, 6and Beth-lebaoth and Sharuhen; thirteen cities with their villages; 7Ain, Rimmon and Ether and Ashan; four cities with their villages; 8and all the villages which were around these cities as far as Baalath-beer, Ramah of the Negev. This was the inheritance of the tribe of the sons of Simeon according to their families. 9The inheritance of the sons of Simeon was taken from the portion of the sons of Judah, for the share of the sons of Judah was too large for them; so the sons of Simeon received an inheritance in the midst of Judah's inheritance.

Joshua 19:1 Part of Judah's land was given to Simeon. Simeon was incorporated early into Judah and lost its identity. It is not even listed in Moses' blessings to the tribes in Deuteronomy 33:0.

Joshua 19:2 “Beersheba” This means “well of oath” (BDB 92). It is one of the most southern cities. It was part of the idiomatic phrase, “from Dan to Beersheba” which described the Promised Land.

“Sheba” In Joshua 15:26, it is called “Shema” which is the Hebrew word “to hear so as to do” (BDB 1035). It is the name of the famous creedal statement of Deuteronomy 6:4-5 (BDB 1033). The NKJV and the JPSOA translations think it was another way of referring to Beersheba or possibly a scribal error in writing the last of the previous city's name twice. In Joshua 19:6 it says 13 cities, but there are 14 names.

Joshua 19:4 “Bethul” This city (“man of God,” BDB 143) is also in the allocation of Judah (cf. 1 Samuel 30:27; 1 Chronicles 4:30, spelled “Bethuel”).

Joshua 19:9 This verse explains why Simeon received part of Judah's land inheritance and also that Judah was having trouble possessing its land.

Simeon's allotted area was totally surrounded by Judah's allotment. In time Simeon disappears as an individual tribe. They are not even listed in Moses' blessings of Deuteronomy 33:0. In 1 Kings 19:3 Beersheba (cf. Joshua 19:2) is said to belong to Judah.

Verses 10-16

NASB (UPDATED TEXT): Joshua 19:10-16 10Now the third lot came up for the sons of Zebulun according to their families. And the territory of their inheritance was as far as Sarid. 11Then their border went up to the west and to Maralah, it then touched Dabbesheth and reached to the brook that is before Jokneam. 12Then it turned from Sarid to the east toward the sunrise as far as the border of Chisloth-tabor, and it proceeded to Daberath and up to Japhia. 13From there it continued eastward toward the sunrise to Gath-hepher, to Eth-kazin, and it proceeded to Rimmon which stretches to Nehemiah 1:0; Nehemiah 1:04The border circled around it on the north to Hannathon, and it ended at the valley of Iphtahel. 15Included also were Kattah and Nahalal and Shimron and Idalah and Bethlehem; twelve cities with their villages. 16This was the inheritance of the sons of Zebulun according to their families, these cities with their villages.

Joshua 19:13 “Gath-hepher” This is the birthplace of the prophet Jonah (cf. 2 Kings 14:25), about three miles northeast of Nazareth.

Joshua 19:15 “Bethlehem” This means “house of bread” (BDB 111, cf. Judges 12:8, Judges 12:10); it was about ten miles west of Nazareth. It was a common name. This is not the one in Judah (i.e., Genesis 35:19; Genesis 48:7; Ruth 1:1-2, Ruth 1:19; Micah 5:2).

Verses 17-23

NASB (UPDATED TEXT): Joshua 19:17-23 17The fourth lot fell to Issachar, to the sons of Issachar according to their families. 18Their territory was to Jezreel and included Chesulloth and Shunem, 19and Hapharaim and Shion and Anaharath, 20and Rabbith and Kishion and Ebez, 21and Remeth and En-gannim and En-haddah and Beth-pazzez. 22The border reached to Tabor and Shahazumah and Beth-shemesh, and their border ended at the Jordan; sixteen cities with their villages. 23This was the inheritance of the tribe of the sons of Issachar according to their families, the cities with their villages.

Joshua 19:22 “Beth-shemesh” This name means “sun-temple” (BDB 112). This is not the same as the city by the same name in the tribal allocation of Judah (cf. Joshua 15:10) or in Naphtali (Joshua 19:38).

Verses 24-31

NASB (UPDATED TEXT): Joshua 19:24-31 24Now the fifth lot fell to the tribe of the sons of Asher according to their families. 25Their territory was Helkath and Hali and Beten and Achshaph, 26and Allammelech and Amad and Mishal; and it reached to Carmel on the west and to Shihor-libnath. 27It turned toward the east to Beth-dagon and reached to Zebulun, and to the valley of Iphtahel northward to Beth-emek and Neiel; then it proceeded on north to Cabul, 28and Ebron and Rehob and Hammon and Kanah, as far as Great Sidon. 29The border turned to Ramah and to the fortified city of Tyre; then the border turned to Hosah, and it ended at the sea by the region of Achzib. 30Included also were Ummah, and Aphek and Rehob; twenty-two cities with their villages. 31This was the inheritance of the tribe of the sons of Asher according to their families, these cities with their villages.

Joshua 19:27 “east. . .south” The ancient Hebrews denoted compass directions by facing “east” (the rising sun). The tabernacle faced east. It became a symbol of help and hope. The Messiah will come from the east.

As a person faces east, the right hand points south and the left hand points north. North came to be a symbol of invasion and bad news because the Mesopotamian powers always invaded from the coastal plain through Phoenicia (because of the desert to the east of Palestine).

“Beth-dagon” This means “house of Dagon” (BDB 111), who was the Philistine fertility god (i.e., grain god).

Joshua 19:28 “the Great Sidon” This shows the antiquity of the text because in the future Sidon is replaced by Tyre as Phoenicia's capital (cf. Joshua 19:29).

Verses 32-39

NASB (UPDATED TEXT): Joshua 19:32-39 32The sixth lot fell to the sons of Naphtali; to the sons of Naphtali according to their families. 33Their border was from Heleph, from the oak in Zaanannim and Adami-nekeb and Jabneel, as far as Lakkum, and it ended at the Jordan. 34Then the border turned westward to Aznoth-tabor and proceeded from there to Hukkok; and it reached to Zebulun on the south and touched Asher on the west, and to Judah at the Jordan toward the east. 35The fortified cities were Ziddim, Zer and Hammath, Rakkath and Chinnereth, 36and Adamah and Ramah and Hazor, 37and Kedesh and Edrei and En-hazor, 38and Yiron and Migdal-el, Horem and Beth-anath and Beth-shemesh; nineteen cities with their villages. 39This was the inheritance of the tribe of the sons of Naphtali according to their families, the cities with their villages.

Joshua 19:33 “from the oak” Trees often were associated with holy sites (cf. Genesis 13:18; Genesis 14:13; Genesis 18:1; Genesis 21:33; Genesis 35:4; Judges 4:5, Judges 4:11; Judges 6:11, Judges 6:19; Judges 9:6, Judges 9:37; 1 Samuel 10:3), possibly because of the presence of underground water which was so valuable to desert and semi-desert peoples.

Joshua 19:38 “Beth-anath” This name means “temple of Anath” (BDB 112, cf. Judges 1:32). Anath was a fertility goddess.

Verses 40-48

NASB (UPDATED TEXT): Joshua 19:40-48 40The seventh lot fell to the tribe of the sons of Dan according to their families. 41The territory of their inheritance was Zorah and Eshtaol and Ir-shemesh, 42and Shaalabbin and Aijalon and Ithlah, 43and Elon and Timnah and Ekron, 44and Eltekeh and Gibbethon and Baalath, 45and Jehud and Bene-berak and Gath-rimmon, 46and Me-jarkon and Rakkon, with the territory over against Joppa. 47The territory of the sons of Dan proceeded beyond them; for the sons of Dan went up and fought with Leshem and captured it. Then they struck it with the edge of the sword and possessed it and settled in it; and they called Leshem Dan after the name of Dan their father. 48This was the inheritance of the tribe of the sons of Dan according to their families, these cities with their villages.

Joshua 19:47 This refers to the movement of Dan to the north (cf. Judges 17-18). Joshua told Ephraim earlier that if they wanted more land they should conquer what was already allocated to them. Some commentators see this as explaining Dan's relocation, but to me it was an act of unbelief. This is why it is listed in the conclusion of Judges (cf. chapters 17-21) which documents the Israelites acts of faithlessness. Dan's original allocation was in the Philistine area. They chose to move instead of trusting YHWH to help them take their land.

“Leshem” This city (BDB 546) is also called Laish (“lion,” BDB 539, cf. Judges 18:7, Judges 18:14, Judges 18:27, Judges 18:29).

Verses 49-51

NASB (UPDATED TEXT): Joshua 19:49-50 49 When they finished apportioning the land for inheritance by its borders, the sons of Israel gave an inheritance in their midst to Joshua the son of Nun. 50In accordance with the command of the LORD they gave him the city for which he asked, Timnath-serah in the hill country of Ephraim. So he built the city and settled in it.

NASB (UPDATED TEXT): Joshua 19:51 51These are the inheritances which Eleazar the priest, and Joshua the son of Nun, and the heads of the households of the tribes of the sons of Israel distributed by lot in Shiloh before the LORD at the doorway of the tent of meeting. So they finished dividing the land.

Joshua 19:51 “the tent of meeting” The tent of meeting is the same as the tabernacle. It is described in Exodus 25-40. Its procedures are given in Leviticus. The Shekinah cloud of glory, which led the Israelites during the exodus and wilderness wandering period, disappeared as soon as Israel crossed Jordan. YHWH's presence was now enshrined at the tabernacle. It was first set up at Gilgal (Joshua 4:10), then moved to Shiloh (18:1; 19:51; 1 Samuel 2:22). Later the tabernacle, without the ark (Judges 20:18, Judges 20:27), was at Gibeon (cf. 1 Chronicles 16:39-40; 2 Chronicles 1:3-6).

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Bibliographical Information
Utley. Dr. Robert. "Commentary on Joshua 19". "Utley's You Can Understand the Bible". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ubc/joshua-19.html. 2021.