The Amalekites dwell in the land of the south
On the southern side of the land of Canaan: not in it, for they were not Canaanites, but neighbours to them, and lay nearest to the camp of Israel, and at the entrance into the land of Canaan; and as they were enemies of Israel, as appears from an attack upon them quickly after they came from the Red sea, in Rephidim, ( Exodus 17:8 ) ; and friends to the Canaanites, they would no doubt oppose their passage into their land, as they did, ( Numbers 14:43 Numbers 14:45 ) ; this is one difficulty in the way of possessing the land hinted at, others follow:
and the Hittites, and the Jebusites, and the Amorites, dwell in the
and guard the passes there; so that should they escape the Amalekites, or get the better of them, they would not be able to pass the mountains, being so well inhabited and defended; the Hittites seem to dwell about Mount Lebanon, ( Joshua 1:4 ) ; the Jebusites inhabited the mountains about Jerusalem, and that itself, which was called by them Jebus, and from which they were not dispossessed until the times of David, ( 1 Chronicles 11:4 1 Chronicles 11:5 ) ; and the Amorites were possessed of the mountain which was on the borders of the land, next to the place where Israel now were, ( Deuteronomy 1:20 ) ;
and the Canaanites dwell by the sea;
these dwelt both on the east and on the west of the land, ( Joshua 11:3 ) ; so that the western Canaanites dwelt on the shore of the Mediterranean sea, which is often put for the west in Scripture; and the eastern Canaanites dwelt by the Dead sea, or by the sea of Tiberias, called sometimes the lake of Gennesaret, and seems the rather to be meant here by what follows:
and by the coast of Jordan;
so that this river was not passable by them; for by all this they would suggest that all avenues and passes were stopped up, so that it was a vain thing to attempt entrance into the land, or to expect ever to possess it.