Failure of Asher: Part 2 of 2 (series: Lessons on Judges)
by John Lowe
1(Gen. 49:13; NLT) “Zebulun will settle by the seashore and will be a harbor for ships; his borders will extend to Sidon." Zebulun's lot or portion in the division of the Promised Land extended from the Mediterranean Sea on the west, to the lake of Gennesareth on the east; see his division, Joshua 19:10, etc. The Targum of Jonathan ben Uzziel paraphrases the passage thus: "Zebulun shall be on the coasts of the sea, and he shall rule over the havens; he shall subdue the provinces of the sea with his, ships, and his border shall extend unto Sidon.—Adam Clarke's Commentary
2(Jos. 19:28; NKJV ) "including Ebron, Rehob, Hammon, and Kanah, as far as Greater Sidon." The city of Sidon and the Sidonians are celebrated from the remotest antiquity. They are frequently mentioned by Homer.—Adam Clarke's Commentary
3Josh. 13:6; NLT: "and all the hill country from Lebanon to Misrephoth-maim, including all the land of the Sidonians. “I myself will drive these people out of the land ahead of the Israelites. So be sure to give this land to Israel as a special possession, just as I have commanded you" These will I drive out—That is, if the Israelites continued to be obedient; but they did not, and therefore they never fully possessed the whole of that land which, on this condition alone, God had promised them: the Sidonians were never expelled by the Israelites, and were only brought into a state of comparative subjection in the days of David and Solomon. Some have taken upon them to deny the authenticity of Divine revelation relative to this business, "because," say they, "God is stated to have absolutely promised that Joshua should conquer the whole land, and put the Israelites in possession of it." This is a total mistake.
1. God never absolutely, i.e., unconditionally, promised to put them in possession of this land. The promise of their possessing the whole was suspended on their fidelity to God. They were not faithful, and therefore God was not bound by his promise to give them any part of the land, after their first act of national defection from his worship.
2. God never said that Joshua should conquer the whole land, and give it to them; the promise was simply this: "Thou shalt bring them into the land, and thou shalt divide it among them:" both of which he did, and procured them footing by his conquests, sufficient to have enabled them to establish themselves in it for ever.
3. It was never said, Thou shalt conquer it all, and then divide it; no. Several of the tribes, after their quota was allotted them, were obliged to drive out the ancient inhabitants. See on Joshua 11:18 (note).—Adam Clarke's Commentary
4Judges 18:7; NKJV: "So the five men departed and went to Laish. They saw the people who were there, how they dwelt safely, in the manner of the Sidonians, quiet and secure. There were no rulers in the land who might put them to shame for anything. They were far from the Sidonians, and they had no ties with anyone."After the manner of the Zidonians—Probably the people of Laish or Leshem were originally a colony of the Sidonians, who, it appears, were an opulent people; and, being in possession of a strong city, lived in a state of security, not being afraid of their neighbors. In this, the Leshemites imitated them, though the sequel proves they had not the same reason for their confidence.
They were far from the Zidonians—Being, as above supposed, a Sidonian colony, they might naturally expect help from their countrymen; but, as they dwelt a considerable distance from Sidon, the Danites saw that they could strike the blow before the news of invasion could reach Sidon; and, consequently, before the people of Laish could receive any succours from that city.
And had no business with any man—In the most correct copies of the Septuagint, this clause is thus translated: Και λογος ουκ ην αυτοις μετα Συριας; and they had no transactions with SYRIA. Now it is most evident that, instead of אדם adam, MAN, they read ארם aram, SYRIA; words which are so nearly similar that the difference which exists is only between the ר resh and ד daleth, and this, both in MSS. and printed books, is often indiscernible. This reading is found in the Codex Alexandrinus, in the Complutensian Polyglot, in the Spanish Polyglot, and in the edition of the Septuagint published by Aldus. It may be proper to observe, that Laish was on the frontiers of Syria; but as they had no intercourse with the Syrians, from whom they might have received the promptest assistance, this was an additional reason why the Danites might expect success.\—Adam Clarke's Commentary
5Jer. 25:22; NKJV: "all the kings of Tyre, all the kings of Sidon, and the kings of the coastlands which are across the sea;" Tyrus and—Zidon—The most ancient of all the cities of the
Phoenicians.Kings of the isles which are beyond the sea—As the Mediterranean Sea is most probably meant, and the Phoenicians had numerous colonies on its coasts, I prefer the marginal reading, the kings of the region by the sea side.—Adam Clarke's Commentary6
Jer. 27:3; KJV: " And send them to the king of Edom, and to the king of Moab, and to the king of the Ammonites, and to the king of Tyrus, and to the king of Zidon, by the hand of the messengers which come to Jerusalem unto Zedekiah king of Judah;" And send them to the king of Edom, &c. -- Appropriate symbol, as these ambassadors had come to Jerusalem to consult as to shaking off the yoke of Nebuchadnezzar. According to PHERECYDES in CLEMENT OF ALEXANDRIA Miscellanies, 567
, Idanthura, king of the Scythians, intimated to Darius, who had crossed the Danube, that he would lead an army against him, by sending him, instead of a letter, a mouse, a frog, a bird, an arrow, and a plough. The task assigned to Jeremiah required great faith, as it was sure to provoke alike his own countrymen and the foreign ambassadors and their kings, by a seeming insult, at the very time that all were full of confident hopes grounded on the confederacy.--Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary7
(Josh. 15:44; NKJV) "Keilah, Achzib, and Mareshah: nine cities with their villages;" Keilah—This town was near Hebron, and is said to have been the burying-place of the prophet Habakkuk. David obliged the Philistines to raise the siege of it; (see 1 Samuel 23:1-13); but finding that its inhabitants had purposed to deliver him into the hands of Saul, who was coming in pursuit of him, he made his escape. See this remarkable case explained in the note on Deuteronomy 32:15 (note).
Mareshah—Called also Maresheth and Marasthi; it was the birth-place of the prophet Micah. Near this place was the famous battle between Asa, king of Judah, and Zera, king of Cush or Ethiopia, who was at the head of one thousand thousand men, and three hundred chariots. Asa defeated this immense host and took much spoil, 2 Chronicles 14:9-15.—Adam Clarke's Commentary8
(Gen. 38:5; NKJV) "And she conceived yet again and bore a son, and called his name Shelah. He was at Chezib when she bore him." And he was at Chezib when she bare him—This town is supposed to be the same with Achzib, which fell to the tribe of Judah, Joshua 15:44. "The name," says Ainsworth, "has in Hebrew the signification of lying; and to it the prophet alludes, saying the houses of Achzib shall be (Achzab) a lie to the kings of Israel, Micah 1:14."—Adam Clarke's Commentary9
(1 Chr. 4:22; NKJV) "also Jokim, the men of Chozeba, and Joash; Saraph, who ruled in Moab, and Jashubi-Lehem. Now the records are ancient." And Joash, and Saraph—"And the prophets and scribes which sprang from the seed of Joshua, and the Gibeonites, whose office it was to serve in the house of the sanctuary, because they had lied to the princes of Israel; also Joash, who is the same as Mahlon; and Saraph, who is the same as Chilion, who took wives of the daughters of Moab and Boaz, the chief of the wise men of the college of Bethlehem, and of those who existed in former days."—T.—Adam Clarke's Commentary10
(Josh. 19:29; NLT) "Then the boundary turned toward Ramah and the fortified city of Tyre, where it turned toward Hosah and came to the Mediterranean Sea. The territory also included Mehebel, Aczib" and then the coast turneth to Ramah -- now El-Hamra, which stood where the Leontes (Litany) ends its southern course and flows westward. and to the strong city Tyre -- The original city appears to have stood on the mainland, and was well-fortified. From Tyre the boundary ran to Hosah, an inland town; and then, passing the unconquered district of Achzib (Judges 1:31), terminated at the seacoast.—Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary11
Judg. 1:31; NKJV: "Nor did Asher drive out the inhabitants of Acco or the inhabitants of Sidon, or of Ahlab, Achzib, Helbah, Aphik, or Rehob." Neither did Asher—See on Joshua 19:24-31 (note). Accho—Supposed to be the city of Ptolemais, near to Mount Carmel.—Adam Clarke's Commentary12
(Josh. 19:30; NLT) "Ummah, Aphek, and Rehob—twenty-two towns with their surrounding villages." Twenty and two cities—There are nearly thirty cities in the above enumeration instead of twenty-two, but probably several are mentioned that were but frontier towns, and that did not belong to this tribe, their border only passing by such cities; and on this account, though they are named, yet they do not enter into the enumeration in this place. Perhaps some of the villages are named as well as the cities.—Adam Clarke's Commentary13
(Josh. 19:28; NKJV) "including Ebron, Rehob, Hammon, and Kanah, as far as Greater Sidon." Unto great Zidon—The city of Sidon and the Sidonians are celebrated from the remotest antiquity. They are frequently mentioned by Homer. See the note on Joshua 11:8.—Adam Clarke's Commentary