And [they of] the south shall possess the land of
That is, those Jews that shall dwell in the southern part of the land of Judea shall seize upon the country of Idumea, lying contiguous to them; they shall enlarge their border, and take that into their possession: and [they of] the plain the Philistines;
or of Sephela, they that shall inhabit the plain, or champaign country of Judea, as the parts of Lydda, Emmaus, and Sharon, were; these shall possess the country of the Philistines, lying near unto them, as Azotus, Gaza, Ashkelon, Gath, and Ekron: and they shall possess the fields of Ephraim, and the fields of
all the countries that the ten tribes inhabited, in the times of their idolatry, before their captivity, which the Jews shall now be restored unto: and Benjamin [shall possess] Gilead;
that tribe shall be so enlarged as to take in the country of Gilead, which lay beyond Jordan, formerly possessed by the, half tribe of Manasseh. Some think this was fulfilled in the times of the Maccabees, when several of these places were taken by Judas, in the Apocrypha:
``17. Then said Judas unto Simon his brother, Choose thee out men, and go and deliver thy brethren that are in Galilee, for I and Jonathan my brother will go into the country of Galaad. 36. From thence went he, and took Casphon, Maged, Bosor, and the other cities of the country of Galaad. 38. So Judas sent men to espy the host, who brought him word, saying, All the heathen that be round about us are assembled unto them, even a very great host.'' (1 Maccabees 5)but since the land of Judea, and the countries adjacent to it, were never as yet inhabited by the Jews in the form and manner here mentioned, it rather respects their settlement in their own land, in the latter day, when their borders will be greatly enlarged; see ( Ezekiel 48:1-35 ) ( Zechariah 10:10 ) ; or it may regard the enlargement of the church of Christ, either in the first times of the Gospel, when that was spread in those parts, and met with success; see ( Acts 8:6 Acts 8:8 ) ( Acts 9:31 Acts 9:35 ) ; or rather in the latter day, when Christ's kingdom will be from sea to sea, and his dominion from the river to the ends of the earth, ( Psalms 72:8 ) ; and to which also the following words belong.