Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary, 1859 edition.

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Josue 13

Josue xiii.

Ver. 1. Age. Josue was now 100 years old. He lived ten more, (Calmet) having governed the people in all 17. (Haydock) --- During the first seven years, he had performed all that could be expected from an able general, and he probably designed to conquer the whole country before he divided it. But God, who chose to leave some of the ancient inhabitants in the country, to try the fidelity of his people, &c., ordered him to proceed to the distribution, that the different tribes might take care to exterminate those idolaters, who might be found in their territory. --- Lot. Hebrew, "to be possessed." Only the country east of the Jordan was yet divided.

Ver. 2. Galilee. As Josue had been making such conquests in that part lately, some would translate Geliloth, "the confines" of the Philistines, in which sense it seems to be taken, chap. xviii. 18., and xxii. 10. (Calmet) --- Bonfrere suspects that St. Jerome wrote Galila. --- Gessuri, either near Mount Hermon, (Menochius) or bordering upon Arabia, 1 Kings xv., and xxvii. 10.

Ver. 3. Egypt. Hebrew, "from the Shicor, (or Sichor) which is on the face, (or over-against) Egypt." Jeremias (ii. 18,) informs us that this river was in Egypt which is not true of the torrent of Rhinocorure; which the Septuagint and many commentators, understand in this place to be the boundary fixed for the promised land. Strabo, &c., attribute that torrent to Phœnicia; which they extend as far as Pelusium. St. Jerome (in Amos vi.) seems dubious whether the branch of the Nile passes by that city, or the aforesaid torrent be meant. David collected all his forces from the Sichor, or the torrent of Egypt, to the entrance of Emath, 1 Paralipomenon xiii. 5. Epiphanes constituted Lysanias governor of all the countries between the Euphrates and the river of Egypt, (2 Machabees iii. 32,) and he undoubtedly had extended his conquests as far as the Nile. Though the country beyond Gaza be now mostly barren, and therefore little inhabited or noticed, yet the Israelites were entitled to assert their right to it, as they seem to have done by taking possession of Gosen, chap. x. 41. Some parts were formerly well peopled, 1 Kings xxvii. 8. It is not unusual for the Nile, and other great rivers, to be styled torrents. The Hebrew nl, is often applied to rivers, Ecclesiastes i. 7. The troubled state in which the waters of the Nile generally appear, is very remarkable, as their taste is most excellent. The natives have discovered a method of rendering them clear, by the mixture of almond powder. The names of this river bear some relation to the Hebrew term which is here used. It was formerly called Siris; and the star, which rose when it overflowed, received the name of Sirius. The Ethiopians style it Schichri. Another name was Melas, or Egyptus, denoting "blackness." The people of the country idolized this river, because it supplied the want of rain. (Tibul, i. 8.) (Calmet) --- Accaron, the most northern city of the Philistian principalities, (Haydock) attributed to Juda or Dan, though neither held it for any length of time. Beelzebub was chiefly adored here, 4 Kings i. 2. --- Lords, who seem to have been independent. They are styled Sornim, as the next in dignity to the king of Persia was a Surena. (Marcellin. 24.) The Philistines took this country from the Chanaanites, or Eveans, (Calmet) who are a different people from the Hevites. (Bochart)

Ver. 4. Chanaan. From the south to Sidon was yet undivided, and thence eastward, (Haydock) to Apheca of Syria, where was the capital of the kings of that country, and a famous temple of Venus, 3 Kings xx. 26. (Sozom. i. 58.) --- Amorrhite, or perhaps Aramean, (Calmet) though we may understand that all the country of the Amorrhite on the south, as well as the northern parts of Chanaan, were to be divided, (Haydock) as far as Emesa. --- Will, &c., provided the Israelites observe their part of the covenant. (Calmet)

Ver. 8. With whom. That is, with the other half of that same tribe.

Ver. 9. Aroer, and part of the town of Dibon, belonged to Gad, Numbers xxxii. 34.

Ver. 13. Day. The Israelites were satisfied with what they had already conquered. (Menochius) --- But herein they deserved blame, as they were ordered to reduce them entirely, and never suffer them to continue their idolatrous practices in the country which God had chosen for his people. (Haydock)

Ver. 14. Victims. Hebrew, "the sacrifices of the Lord made by fire."

Ver. 18. Mephaath, near the desert, where the Romans afterwards kept a garrison. It was given to the Levites, but was seized by the Moabites after the reign of David. (Calmet)

Ver. 21. The princes of Madian. It appears from hence that these were subjects of king Sehon: they are said to have been slain with him, that is, about the same time, but not in the same battle. (Challoner) --- After the death of their sovereign, they looked upon themselves as independent. They had reigned before as viceroys of Sehon, being natives of the country, and not come from some other part, like the Amorrhites. (Calmet)

Ver. 22. Slain. Septuagint, "they slew Balaam....with the sword in the moment," Numbers xxii. 5., and xxxi. 8. (Haydock)

Ver. 25. Rabba, "the great," being a title of Ar, the capital of the Moabites. The Israelites thought themselves justified in keeping what had been taken from the children of Ammon, by Sehon, (Judges xi. 13.; Calmet) and the Amorrhites. (Worthington)

Ver. 27. Betharan, which was enlarged by Herod, and called Livias, or Julias, as the Greeks called Livia, the wife of Augustus, Julia. (Josephus) --- Saphon, or "the northern part of," &c.

Ver. 30. Towns, which were conquered by Jair, of the tribe of Juda; though he belonged, in some degree, to that of Manasses, by his grandmother, Numbers xxxii. 41.