Joshua 12


A list of the kings on the east of Jordan, which were conquered

by MOSES, with their territories, 1-6.

A list of those on the west side of Jordan, conquered by JOSHUA,

in number thirty-one, 7-24.


Verse 1. From the river Arnon unto Mount Hermon] Arnon was the

boundary of all the southern coast of the land occupied by the

Israelites beyond Jordan; and the mountains of Hermon were the

boundaries on the north. Arnon takes its rise in the mountains of

Gilead, and having run a long way from north to south falls into

the Dead Sea, near the same place into which Jordan discharges


And all the plain on the east] All the land from the plains of

Moab to Mount Hermon.

Verse 2. From Aroer] Aroer was situated on the western side of

the river Arnon, in the middle of the valley through which this

river takes its course. The kingdom of Sihon extended from the

river Arnon and the city of Aroer on the south to the river Jabbok

on the north.

And from half Gilead ] The mountains of Gilead extended from

north to south from Mount Hermon towards the source of the river

Arnon, which was about the midst of the extent of the kingdom of

Sihon: thus Sihon is said to have possessed the half of Gilead,

that is, the half of the mountains and of the country which bore

the name of Gilead on the east of his territories.

River Jabbok] This river has its source in the mountains of

Gilead; and, running from east to west, falls into Jordan. It

bounds the territories of Sihon on the north, and those of the

Ammonites on the south.

Verse 3. The sea of Chinneroth] Or Gennesareth, the same as the

lake or sea of Tiberias.

The Salt Sea on the east] yam hammelach, which is here

translated the Salt Sea, is understood by others to mean the sea

of the city Melach. Where can we find any thing that can be called

a salt sea on the east of the lake of Gennesareth? Some think that

the lake Asphaltites, called also the Dead Sea, Sea of the Desert,

Sea of Sodom, and Salt Sea, is here intended.

Beth-jeshimoth] A city near the Dead Sea in the plains of Moab.

Ashdoth-pisgah] Supposed to be a city at the foot of Mount


Verse 4. Coast of Og king of Bashan] Concerning this person see

the notes on De 3:11, and on Nu 21:35, &c.

The remnant or the giants] Or, Rephaim. See the notes on

Ge 6:4; 14:5, and De 2:7, 11.

Verse 5. The border of the Geshurites] The country of Bashan, in

the days of Moses and Joshua, extended from the river Jabbok on

the south to the frontiers of the Geshurites and Maachathites on

the north, to the foot of the mountains of Hermon.

Verse 7. From Baal-gad] A repetition of what is mentioned

Jos 11:17.

Verse 9. The king of Jericho, &c.] On this and the following

verses see the notes on Jos 10:1-3.

Verse 13. The king of Geder] Probably the same with Gedor,

Jos 15:58; it was situated in the tribe of Judah.

Verse 14. The king of Hormah] Supposed to be the place where the

Israelites were defeated by the Canaanites see Nu 14:45; and

which probably was called Hormah, chormah, or destruction,

from this circumstance.

Verse 15. Adullam] A city belonging to the tribe of Judah,

Jos 15:35. In a cave at this place David often secreted himself

during his persecution by Saul; 1Sa 22:1.

Verse 17. Tappuah] There were two places of this name: one in

the tribe of Judah, Jos 15:34, and another in the tribe of

Ephraim on the borders of Manasseh; but which of the two is meant

here cannot be ascertained. See Clarke on Jos 15:53.

Hepher] The same, according to Calmet, as Ophrah in the tribe of

Benjamin, Jos 18:23.

Verse 18. Aphek] There were several cities of this name: one in

the tribe of Asher, Jos 19:30, another in the tribe of Judah,

1Sa 4:1; 29:1; and a third in Syria, 1Ki 20:26, and

2Ki 13:17. Which of the two former is here intended cannot be


Lasharon] There is no city of this name known. Some consider the

lamed in the word lashsharon to be the sign of the

genitive case, and in this sense it appears to have been

understood by the Vulgate, which translates rex Saron, the king of

Sharon. This was rather a district than a city, and is celebrated

in the Scriptures for its fertility; Isa 33:9; 35:2. Some suppose

it was the same with Saron, near Lydda, mentioned Ac 9:35.

Verse 20. Shimron-meron] See Clarke on Jos 11:1.

Verse 21. Taanach] A city in the half tribe of Manasseh, to the

west of Jordan, not far from the frontiers of Zebulun, Jos 17:11.

This city was assigned to the Levites, Jos 21:25.

Verse 22. Kedesh] There was a city of this name in the tribe of

Naphtali, Jos 19:37. It was given to the Levites, and was one of

the cities of refuge, Jos 20:7.

Jokneam of Carmel] This city is said to have been at the foot of

Mount Carmel, near the river Belus, in the tribe of Zebulun,

Jos 19:11. It was given to the Levites, Jos 21:34.

Verse 23. The king of Dor] The city of this name fell to the lot

of the children of Manasseh, Jos 17:11. Bochart observes that it

was one of the oldest royal cities in Phoenicia. The Canaanites

held it, Jud 1:27. Antiochus Sydetes besieged it in aftertimes,

but could not make himself master of it. See Bochart, Canaan, lib.

i., c. 28, and Dodd.

The king of the nations of Gilgal] This is supposed to mean the

higher Galilee, surnamed Galilee of the Gentiles or, nations, as

the Hebrew word goyim means. On this ground it should be read

king of Galilee of the nations. Others suppose it is the same

country with that of which Tidal was king, see Ge 14:1. The place

is very uncertain, and commentators have rendered it more so by

their conjectures.

Verse 24. King of Tirzah] This city appears to have been for a

long time the capital of the kingdom of Israel, and the residence

of its kings. See 1Ki 14:17; 15:21, 33. Its situation cannot be

exactly ascertained; but it is supposed to have been situated on a

mountain about three leagues south of Samaria.

All the kings thirty and one.] The Septuagint say εικοσιεννεα,

twenty-nine, and yet set down but twenty-eight, as they confound

or omit the kings of Beth-el, Lasharon, and Madon.

So many kings in so small a territory, shows that their kingdoms

must have been very small indeed. The kings of Beth-el and Ai had

but about 12,000 subjects in the whole; but in ancient times all

kings had very small territories. Every village or town had its

chief; and this chief was independent of his neighbours, and

exercised regal power in his own district. In reading all ancient

histories, as well as the Bible, this circumstance must be kept

constantly in view; for we ought to consider that in those times

both kings and kingdoms were but a faint resemblance of those now.

Great Britain, in ancient times, was divided into many kingdoms:

in the time of the Saxons it was divided into seven, hence called

the Saxon heptarchy. But when Julius Caesar first entered this

island, he found four kings in Kent alone; Cingetorix, Carnilius,

Taximagulus, and Segonax. Hence we need not wonder at the numbers

we read of in the land of Canaan. Ancient Gaul was thus divided;

and the great number of sovereign princes, secular bishops,

landgraves, dukes, &c., &c., in Germany, are the modern remains of

those ancient divisions.

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