In the description of the lots of Judah and Benjamin we have an account
both of the borders that surrounded them and of the cities contained in
them. In that of Ephraim and Manasseh we have the borders, but not the
cities; in this chapter Simeon and Dan are described by their cities
only, and not their borders, because they lay very much within Judah,
especially the former; the rest have both their borders described and
their cities names, especially frontiers. Here is,
I. The lot of Simeon,
II. Of Zebulun,
III. Of Issachar,
IV. Of Asher,
V. Of Naphtali,
VI. Of Dan,
Lastly, The inheritance assigned to Joshua himself and his own family,
|The Lot of Simeon.
||B. C. 1444.|
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.
2 And they had in their inheritance Beer-sheba, or Sheba, and
3 And Hazar-shual, and Balah, and Azem,
4 And Eltolad, and Bethul, and Hormah,
5 And Ziklag, and Beth-marcaboth, and Hazar-susah,
6 And Beth-lebaoth, and Sharuhen; thirteen cities and their
7 Ain, Remmon, and Ether, and Ashan; four cities and their
8 And all the villages that were round about these cities to
Baalath-beer, Ramath of the south. This is the inheritance of
the tribe of the children of Simeon according to their families.
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.
Simeon's lot was drawn after Judah's, Joseph's, and Benjamin's, because
Jacob had put that tribe under disgrace; yet it is put before the two
younger sons of Leah and the three sons of the handmaids. Not one
person of note, neither judge nor prophet, was of this tribe, that we
I. The situation of their lot was within that of Judah
and was taken from it,
It seems, those that first surveyed the land thought it larger than it
was, and that it would have held out to give every tribe in proportion
as large a share as they had carved out for Judah; but, upon a more
strict enquiry, it was found that it would not reach
The part of the children of Judah was too much for them, more
than they needed, and more, as it proved, than fell to their share. Yet
God did not by the lot lessen it, but left it to their prudence and
care afterwards to discover and rectify the mistake, which when they
1. The men of Judah did not oppose the taking away of the cities again,
which by the first distribution fell within their border, when they
were convinced that they had more than their proportion. In all such
cases errors must be excepted and a review admitted if there be
occasion. Though, in strictness, what fell to their lot was their right
against all the world, yet they would not insist upon it when it
appeared that another tribe would want what they had to spare. Note, We
must look on the things of others, and not on our own only. The
abundance of some must supply the wants of others, that there may be
somewhat of an equality, for which there may be equity where there is
2. That which was thus taken off from Judah to be put into a new lot
Providence directed to the tribe of Simeon, that Jacob's prophecy
concerning this tribe might be fulfilled, I will divide them in
Jacob. The cities of Simeon were scattered in Judah, with which
tribe they were surrounded, except on that side towards the sea. This
brought them into a confederacy with the tribe of Judah
and afterwards was a happy occasion of the adherence of many of this
tribe to the house of David, at the time of the revolt of the ten
tribes to Jeroboam.
2 Chronicles 15:9,
out of Simeon they fell to Asa in abundance. It is good
being in a good neighbourhood.
II. The cities within their lot are here named. Beersheba, or Sheba,
for these names seem to refer to the same place, is put first. Ziklag,
which we read of in David's story, is one of them. What course they
took to enlarge their borders and make room for themselves we find
1 Chronicles 4:39-43,
|The Lot of Zebulun.
||B. C. 1444.|
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:
11 And their border went up toward the sea, and Maralah, and
reached to Dabbasheth, and reached to the river that is before
12 And turned from Sarid eastward toward the sunrising unto the
border of Chisloth-tabor, and then goeth out to Daberath, and
goeth up to Japhia,
13 And from thence passeth on along on the east to
Gittah-hepher, to Ittah-kazin, and goeth out to Remmon-methoar to
14 And the border compasseth it on the north side to Hannathon:
and the outgoings thereof are in the valley of Jiphthah-el:
15 And Kattath, and Nahallal, and Shimron, and Idalah, and
Beth-lehem: twelve cities with their villages.
16 This is the inheritance of the children of Zebulun
according to their families, these cities with their villages.
This is the lot of Zebulun, who, though born of Leah after Issachar,
yet was blessed by Jacob and Moses before him; and therefore it was so
ordered that his lot was drawn before that of Issachar, north of which
it lay and south of Asher.
1. The lot of this tribe was washed by the great sea on the west, and
by the sea of Tiberias on the east, answering Jacob's prophecy
Zebulun shall be a haven of ships, trading ships on the great
sea and fishing ships on the sea of Galilee.
2. Though there were some places in this tribe which were made famous
in the Old Testament, especially Mount Carmel, on which the
famous trial was between God and Baal in Elijah's time, yet it was made
much more illustrious in the New Testament; for within the lot of this
tribe was Nazareth, where our blessed Saviour spent so much of his time
on earth, and from which he was called Jesus of Nazareth, and
Mount Tabor on which he was transfigured, and that coast of the
sea of Galilee on which Christ preached so many sermons and wrought so
|The Lot of Issachar.
||B. C. 1444.|
17 And the fourth lot came out to Issachar, for the children
of Issachar according to their families.
18 And their border was toward Jezreel, and Chesulloth, and
19 And Hapharaim, and Shion, and Anaharath,
20 And Rabbith, and Kishion, and Abez,
21 And Remeth, and En-gannim, and En-haddah, and Beth-pazzez;
22 And the coast reacheth to Tabor, and Shahazimah, and
Beth-shemesh; and the outgoings of their border were at Jordan:
sixteen cities with their villages.
23 This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of
Issachar according to their families, the cities and their
The lot of Issachar ran from Jordan in the east to the great sea in the
west, Manasseh on the south, and Zebulun on the north. A numerous
Tola, one of the judges, was of this tribe,
So was Baasha, one of the kings of Israel,
1 Kings 15:27.
The most considerable places in this tribe were,
1. Jezreel, in which was Ahab's palace, and near it Naboth's vineyard.
2. Shunem, where lived that good Shunamite that entertained Elisha.
3. The river Kishon, on the banks of which, in this tribe, Sisera was
beaten by Deborah and Barak.
4. The mountains of Gilboa, on which Saul and Jonathan were slain,
which were not far from Endor, where Saul consulted the witch.
5. The valley of Megiddo, where Josiah was slain near Hadad-rimmon,
Zech. xii. 11.
|The Lot of Asher.
||B. C. 1444.|
24 And the fifth lot came out for the tribe of the children of
Asher according to their families.
25 And their border was Helkath, and Hali, and Beten, and
26 And Alammelech, and Amad, and Misheal; and reacheth to
Carmel westward, and to Shihor-libnath;
27 And turneth toward the sunrising to Beth-dagon, and reacheth
to Zebulun, and to the valley of Jiphthah-el toward the north side
of Beth-emek, and Neiel, and goeth out to Cabul on the left hand,
28 And Hebron, and Rehob, and Hammon, and Kanah, even unto
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:
30 Ummah also, and Aphek, and Rehob: twenty and two cities with
31 This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of
Asher according to their families, these cities with their
The lot of Asher lay upon the coast of the great sea. We read not of
any famous person of this tribe but Anna the prophetess, who was a
constant resident in the temple at the time of our Saviour's birth,
Nor were there many famous places in this tribe. Aphek (mentioned
was the place near which Benhadad was beaten by Ahad,
1 Kings 20:30.
But close adjoining to this tribe were the celebrated sea-port towns of
Tyre and Sidon, which we read so much of. Tyre is called here that
but Bishop Patrick thinks it was not the same Tyre that we read of
afterwards, for that was built on an island; this old strong city was
on the continent. And it is conjectured by some that into these two
strong-holds, Sidon and Tzor, or Tyre, many of the people of Canaan
fled and took shelter when Joshua invaded them.
|The Lot of Naphtali.
||B. C. 1444.|
32 The sixth lot came out to the children of Naphtali, even
for the children of Naphtali according to their families.
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:
34 And then the coast turneth westward to Aznoth-tabor, 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.
35 And the fenced cities are Ziddim, Zer, and Hammath,
Rakkath, and Chinnereth,
36 And Adamah, and Ramah, and Hazor,
37 And Kedesh, and Edrei, and En-hazor,
38 And Iron, and Migdal-el, Horem, and Beth-anath, and
Beth-shemesh; nineteen cities with their villages.
39 This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of
Naphtali according to their families, the cities and their
Naphtali lay furthest north of all the tribes, bordering on Mount
Libanus. The city of Leshem, or Liash, lay on the utmost edge of it to
the north, and therefore when the Danites had made themselves masters
of it, and called it Dan, the length of Canaan from north to
south was reckoned from Dan to Beersheba. It had Zebulun on the south,
Asher on the west, and Judah upon Jordan, probably a city of that name,
and so distinguished from the tribe of Judah on the east. It was in the
lot of this tribe, near the waters of Merom, that Joshua fought and
ch. xi. 1.
&c. In this tribe stood Capernaum and
Bethsaida, on the north end of the sea of Tiberias, in which Christ did
so many mighty works; and the mountain (as is supposed) on which Christ
|The Lot of Dan.
||B. C. 1444.|
40 And the seventh lot came out for the tribe of the children
of Dan according to their families.
41 And the coast of their inheritance was Zorah, and Eshtaol,
42 And Shaalabbin, and Ajalon, and Jethlah,
43 And Elon, and Thimnathah, and Ekron,
44 And Eltekeh, and Gibbethon, and Baalath,
45 And Jehud, and Bene-berak, and Gath-rimmon,
46 And Me-jarkon, and Rakkon, with the border before Japho.
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.
48 This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of
Dan according to their families, these cities with their
Dan, though commander of one of the four squadrons of the camp of
Israel, in the wilderness, that which brought up the rear, yet was last
provided for in Canaan, and his lot fell in the southern part of
Canaan, between Judah on the east and the land of the Philistines on
the west, Ephraim on the north and Simeon on the south. Providence
ordered this numerous and powerful tribe into a post of danger, as best
able to deal with those vexatious neighbours the Philistines, and so it
was found in Samson. Here is an account,
1. Of what fell to this tribe by lot, Zorah, and Eshtaol, and the camp
of Dan thereabouts, of which we read in the story of Samson. And near
there was the valley of Eshcol, whence the spies brought the famous
bunch of grapes. Japho, or Joppa was in this lot.
2. Of what they got by their own industry and valour, which is
but related at large,
|The Inheritance of Joshua.
||B. C. 1444.|
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:
50 According to the word of the LORD they gave him the city
which he asked, even Timnath-serah in mount Ephraim: and he
built the city, and dwelt therein.
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.
Before this account of the dividing of the land is solemnly closed up,
which intimates that the thing was done to the satisfaction of all,
here is an account of the particular inheritance assigned to Joshua.
1. He was last served, though the eldest and greatest man of all
Israel, and who, having commanded in the conquest of Canaan, might have
demanded the first settlement in it for himself and his family. But he
would make it to appear that in all he did he sought the good of his
country, and not any private interest of his own. He was content to be
unfixed till he saw them all settled; and herein is a great example to
all in public places to prefer the common welfare before their
particular satisfaction. Let the public be first served.
2. He had his lot according to the word of the Lord. It is
probable that, when God by Moses told Caleb what inheritance he should
he gave the like promise to Joshua, which he had an eye to in making
his election: this made his portion doubly pleasant, that he had it,
not as the rest by common providence, but by special promise.
3. He chose it in Mount Ephraim, which belonged to his own tribe, with
which he thereby put himself in common, when he might by prerogative
have chosen his inheritance in some other tribe, as suppose that of
Judah, and thereby have distinguished himself from them. Let no man's
preferment or honour make him ashamed of his family or country, or
estrange him from it. The tabernacle was set up in the lot of Ephraim,
and Joshua would forecast not to be far from that.
4. The children of Israel are said to give it to him
which bespeaks his humility, that he would not take it to himself
without the people's consent and approbation, as if he would thereby
own himself, though major singulis--greater than any one, yet
minor universis--less than the whole assemblage, and would hold
even the estate of his family, under God, by the grant of the people.
5. It was a city that must be built before it was fit to be dwelt in.
While others dwelt in houses which they built not, Joshua must erect
for himself (that he might be a pattern of industry and contentment
with mean things) such buildings as he could hastily run up, without
curiosity or magnificence. Our Lord Jesus thus came and dwelt among us,
not in pomp but poverty, providing rest for us, yet himself not having
where to lay his head. Even Christ pleased not himself.