Rich McQuillen
re: Judges 11:26
Wed Aug 2, 2017 22:28

"In fact, in Judges 11:26 it states that Israel had been in Canaan for 300 years already"
-- The chronology in that passage is in dispute. Note: I don't have an opinion on this dispute at this time.
Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers
(26) While Israel dwelt in Heshbon.--See Numbers 21:25. This is an argument from undisputed possession.

In Aroer and her towns.--These had been assigned to the tribe of Gad (Numbers 32:34).

In all the cities that be along by the coast of Arnon.--The LXX. read Jordan.

Three hundred years.--There is an almost insuperable difficulty in making out any reasonable scheme of chronology even by accepting this as a round number, because it is difficult to reconcile with nine or ten genealogies which have been preserved to us, and which represent the period between the conquest and David by seven or eight generations. Now the period covered by these genealogies includes the judgeship of Samuel and the reign of Saul--at least seventy years; and seven or eight generations cannot possibly span 370 years. The hypothesis that in all these genealogies--even the four times repeated genealogy of David--generations are always omitted is very improbable. The chronology of the Jews is confessedly loose and uncertain, and it seems quite possible that "three hundred years" may be a marginal gloss which has crept into the text. What makes this more probable is that the words not only create an immense chronological difficulty, but (1) are quite needless to Jephthah's argument, and (2) actually conflict with the rest of the sentence, which refers to Balak alone; the argument being, If Balak, "at that time" (as the words should be rendered), did not advance any claim, what right have you to do so now? If, however, in spite of these difficulties, the clause be genuine, and if there has not been one of the clerical errors which are so common where numerals are concerned, it seems possible that 300 years may be counted inclusively, e.g., 100 full years since the death of Joshua and nominal completion of the conquest of Canaan, with parts of a century before and after it. Certainly this is a recognised mode of reckoning time among the Jews. For instance, if a king began to reign on December 30, 1879, and died on January 2, 1881, they would say that he had reigned three years. Whatever explanations we may adopt, there is nothing but conjecture to go upon. (See Introduction.)

Within that time.--This is a mistranslation, due probably to the perplexity caused by the "three hundred years." The Hebrew has "in that time," i.e., at that crisis. It was obvious, without special mention, that they had remained in possession ever since Balak's day, and in the most ancient times it was admitted that lapse of time secured possession (Isocr. Ep. ad Aechid., p. 121; Tac. Ann. vi. 31).

Pulpit Commentary
Verse 26. - The occupation of the cities and villages referred to is related in Numbers 21:23 and following verses, and in Deuteronomy 2:36; see too Joshua 12:2. Aroer is not mentioned among the cities of Moab taken by the Amorites in the ancient book quoted in Numbers 21:27-80, and it has been conjectured that it may have been built by the Amorites to secure their new frontier. It is described by Eusebius and Jerome in the 'Onomasticon' as built on a hill overhanging the bank of the Amen, and a ruin called Arair has been foBy the coasts of Arnon, i.e. on the banks. The Septuagint for Arnon reads Jordan, which was the western boundary, as Arnon was the southern (ver. 22). The corresponding description in Deuteronomy 2:36 is, From Aroer, which is by the brink of the river of Arnon, and from the city that is by the river, even unto Gilead:, there was not owe city too strong for us: the Lord our God delivered all unto us. Three hundred years. These words seem quite unintelligible and out of place. They are also chronologically impracticable. One expects the number of the cities, as in ver. 33, rather than the number of years; and it is remarkable that the whole number of cities taken by the Israelites on the east of Jordan must have been just about 300, since the half-tribe of Manasseh had sixty. If Gad and Reuben had the same proportion, it would be exactly 300 (5 60). Within that time. The Hebrew phrase, which occurs about seventy times, invariably means at that time, and here can only refer to the time of the first settlement in the days of Balak, of which he had been speaking - another proof that the enumeration three hundred years is out of place here. If the reading years is not, as above suggested, an error for cities, the whole sentence, three hundred years, may very probably be an interpolation by a professed chronologist. The adding up of all the numbers of the servitudes and rests given in the book gives 301 years from the commencement of the oppression by Chushan-rishathaim to the death of Jair. But this method of reckoning gives the impossible period of 600 years from the exodus to the building of the temple.

  • re: Temple of JerusalemMarianne Luban, Sun Jul 23 09:22
    Rich: "In my scheme, or timeline, I have Solomon as a contemporary of Siamun in Egypt(975BC)." That's pretty standard but, previously you wrote: "Moses 140 years later in 1159BC(Ramses 4)". How do... more
    • re: Judges 11:26 — Rich McQuillen, Wed Aug 2 22:28
      • re: Judges 11:26Marianne Luban, Thu Aug 3 10:31
        I wrote: "In fact, in Judges 11:26 it states that Israel had been in Canaan for 300 years already" Rich: -- The chronology in that passage is in dispute." and "Three hundred years.--There is an... more
      • re: Judges 11:26Robert Killian, Thu Aug 3 03:30
        Hi Rich, You quote:---"In fact, in Judges 11:26 it states that Israel had been in Canaan for 300 years already". Yes!---If Exodus was in 2448AM, as Mattis Kantor 'places' that event in "Codex... more
      • re: Judges 11:26Rich McQuillen, Thu Aug 3 01:23
        "New International Version For three hundred years Israel occupied Heshbon, Aroer, the surrounding settlements and all the towns along the Arnon. Why didn't you retake them during that time?" -- I'm... more
        • re: Judges 11:26Robert Killian, Fri Aug 4 05:27
          Hi Rich, Just as a point of information: "The man, Israel", (Jacob), does indeed,--- 'predate',--- Moses and Exodus,--- by 210 years! If the beginning of "Israel's count", (that is Jacob), at 130yrs, ... more
          • re: Judges 11:26Robert Killian, Sat Aug 5 00:27
            That's another 'editing' ERROR when I typed "Abram's 790th year 'Call', to go on his second trip..." It should be "Abram's 70th year 'Call' to go...".etc Bookof Jasher: 1st 'Call' and trip to Canaan... more
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