Judges 19:10, 11: Better to Dwell with the Canaanites than the People of God?

Verse 10:[1] But the man would not tarry that night, but he rose up and departed, and came over against (Heb. to over against[2]) (Josh. 18:28) Jebus, which is Jerusalem; and there were with him two asses saddled, his concubine also was with him.

[He came over against Jebus, עַד־נֹ֣כַח יְב֔וּס[3]] Opposite to, or, over against, Jebus (Jonathan, Syriac, Arabic, Pagnine, Junius and Tremellius); unto over against Jebus (Montanus, Junius and Tremellius); unto the straightness of Jebus (Piscator), that is, unto the place that was opposite to Jebus (Vatablus, Piscator). Jerusalem was formerly called Jebus, from the Jebusites inhabitants (Martyr, Bonfrerius). This was two leagues distant from Beth-lehem, as Bochardus testifies; or about six miles, as Jerome and Adrichomius maintain (Bonfrerius).

[Asses laden (thus the Syriac, Arabic, Pagnine)] חֲבוּשִׁים/bound/saddled is here taken for טְעוּנִין/laden. For the asses were carrying the bread, wine, and fodder (Munster). I translate it, spread, or overlaid (Jonathan, Montanus), that is, laden with bread, etc.; or, on which men sit (Drusius). Bound (Munster); yoked two abreast (Tigurinus); that is, saddled, laden, overlaid (Tigurinus Notes).

Verse 11:[4] And when they were by Jebus, the day was far spent; and the servant said unto his master, Come, I pray thee, and let us turn in into this city (Josh. 15:8, 63; Judg. 1:21; 2 Sam. 5:6) of the Jebusites, and lodge in it.

[They were near Jebus, עִם־יְבוּס] With Jebus (Montanus); up to Jebus (Septuagint); close to, or near, or before, Jebus (Syriac, Arabic, Junius and Tremellius, Tigurinus, Drusius, Pagnine, Bochart’s Sacred Catalogue of Animals). Thus עִם/with is taken in Judges 18:3[5] (Bochart’s Sacred Catalogue of Animals 1:5:15:756).

[Day was turning into night, וְהַיּ֖וֹם רַ֣ד] And the day had descended (Montanus), had declined (Vatablus, Junius and Tremellius). רַד in the place of יָרַד[6] (Munster, Drusius).

[1] Hebrew: וְלֹֽא־אָבָ֤ה הָאִישׁ֙ לָל֔וּן וַיָּ֣קָם וַיֵּ֗לֶךְ וַיָּבֹא֙ עַד־נֹ֣כַח יְב֔וּס הִ֖יא יְרוּשָׁלִָ֑ם וְעִמּ֗וֹ צֶ֤מֶד חֲמוֹרִים֙ חֲבוּשִׁ֔ים וּפִילַגְשׁ֖וֹ עִמּֽוֹ׃

[2] Hebrew: עַד־נֹכַח.

[3] נֺכַח signifies over against; נָכֹחַ, right or straight.

[4] Hebrew: הֵ֣ם עִם־יְב֔וּס וְהַיּ֖וֹם רַ֣ד מְאֹ֑ד וַיֹּ֙אמֶר הַנַּ֜עַר אֶל־אֲדֹנָ֗יו לְכָה־נָּ֛א וְנָס֛וּרָה אֶל־עִֽיר־הַיְבוּסִ֥י הַזֹּ֖את וְנָלִ֥ין בָּֽהּ׃

[5] Judges 18:3a: “When they were by the house (עִם־בֵּית) of Micah, they knew the voice of the young man the Levite: and they turned in thither…”

[6] יָרַד is the regular third-person, singular, perfect form.

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Dr. Steven Dilday holds a BA in Religion and Philosophy from Campbell University, a Master of Arts in Religion from Westminster Theological Seminary (Philadelphia), and both a Master of Divinity and a  Ph.D. in Puritan History and Literature from Whitefield Theological Seminary.  He is also the translator of Matthew Poole's Synopsis of Biblical Interpreters and Bernardinus De Moor’s Didactico-Elenctic Theology.




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