And another company turned the way to Bethhoron
Of which name there were two cities, the upper and nether, and both in the tribe of Ephraim, of which see ( Joshua 16:3 Joshua 16:5 ) this lay northwest from the camp of the Philistines at Michmash; eight miles from it, according to Bunting F4:
and another company turned to the way of the border, that looketh
towards the valley of Zeboim, toward the wilderness;
some take this to be the Zeboim which was destroyed with Sodom and Gomorrah; and the wilderness, the wilderness of Jordan; but as that, so the valley in which it stood, was turned into a bituminous lake; this seems to be a city in the land of Benjamin, ( Nehemiah 11:34 ) near to which was a valley, and this towards the wilderness of Jericho, and so lay eastward; the Targum calls it the valley of vipers, perhaps from its being infested with many; and so David de Pomis F5 says it is the name of a place where plenty of serpents were found, and which he says were called so because of the variety of colours in them; with which agrees Kimchi's note on the place; they seem to mean serpents spotted F6, as if they were painted and dyed of various colours, as the Hebrew word which is thus paraphrased signifies: according to Bunting F7, it was eight miles from Michmash.
F4 Travels of the Patriarchs p. 133.
F5 Tzemach David, fol. 13. 2. & 153. 1.
F6 (aiolon ofin) , Homer. Iliad. 12. ver. 208. "notis maculosus grandibus", Virgil. Georgic. l. 3. v. 427.
F7 Ut supra. (Travels of the Patriarchs p. 133.)