The towns of the Gershonites (1 Chr 6:71-6:76)

“To the Gershonites were given out of the half-tribe of Manasseh, Golan in Bashan with its pasture lands and Ashtaroth with its pasture lands. Out of the tribe of Issachar were given Kedesh with its pasture lands, Daberath with its pasture lands, and Ramoth with its pasture lands, and Anem with its pasture lands. Out of the tribe of Asher were given Mashal with its pasture lands, Abdon with its pasture lands, and Hukok with its pasture lands, and Rehob with its pasture lands.   Out of the tribe of Naphtali were given Kedesh in Galilee with its pasture lands, Hammon with its pasture lands, and Kiriathaim with its pasture lands.”

Here are the details about the towns given to the Gershonites, based on Joshua, chapter 21. From the half-tribe of Manasseh the Gershonites got 2 towns. 1 was the refuge town of (1) Golan as in Joshua, but the other was (2) Ashtaroth and not Beeshterah that was mentioned in Joshua. There were 4 towns given to the Gershonites from the tribe of Issachar, (1) Kedesh, (2) Daberath, (3) Ramoth, and (4) Anem. Only Daberath is the same as in Joshua. Here Kedesh takes the place of Kishion. Ramoth takes the place of Jarmuth. Anem takes the place of En-gannim. There were 4 from Asher, (1) Mashal, (2) Abdon, (3) Hukok, and (4) Rehob. Here 3 of the 4 are exactly the same as in Joshua. Only Hukok takes the place of Helkath, which sounds close enough. Finally the 3 towns of Naphtali were (1) Kedesh in Galilee, (2) Hammon, and (3) Kiriathaim. Kedesh is the same but there are differences as Hammon takes the place of Hammoth-dor, while Kiriathaim takes the place of Kartan in Joshua.

The continual war between King Asa of Judah and King Baasha of Israel (1 Kings 15:16-15:22)

“There was war between King Asa and King Baasha of Israel all their days. King Baasha of Israel went up against Judah. He built Ramah to prevent anyone from going out or coming in to King Asa of Judah. Then Asa took all the silver and the gold that were left in the treasures of the house of Yahweh and the treasures of the king’s house. He then gave them into the hands of his servants. King Asa sent them to Ben-hadad son of Tabrimmon son of Hezion of Arum, who resided in Damascus, saying. ‘Let there be an alliance between me and you, like that between my father and your father. I am sending you a present of silver and gold. Go, break your alliance with King Baasha of Israel, so that he may withdraw from me.’ Ben-hadad listened to King Asa. He sent the commanders of his armies against the cities of Israel. He conquered Ijon, Dan, Abel-beth-maacah, and all Chinneroth, with all the land of Naphtali. When King Baasha heard of it, he stopped building Ramah. He lived in Tirzah. Then King Asa made a proclamation to all Judah. None were exempt. They carried away the stones of Ramah and its timber, with which King Baasha had been building. With them King Asa built Geba of Benjamin and Mizpah.”

King Baasha was the contemporary king of Israel. King Baasha set up some kind of barricade in Ramah, which was about 6 miles north of Jerusalem that kept King Asa from coming and going into Jerusalem. King Asa of Judah had an idea to get the Aramean King Ben-hadad of Damascus on his side against King Baasha. He sent envoys to Damascus with gold and silver from the temple and palace treasuries. He wanted King Ben-hadad to break his alliance with King Baasha and invade the northern territories. King Ben-hadad took the gold and silver. Then he sent his armies to take over the northern area around Dan, Naphtali, and the Galilean area (Chinneroth). When this happened Baasha stopped his work at Ramah and went to defend his cities from Tirzah. Meanwhile, King Asa sent all his people out from Jerusalem to Ramah to take all the stones and timbers. Then they rebuilt the cities of Geba, 6 miles northeast of Jerusalem in the Benjamin territory, and Mizpah, about 4 miles northwest of Jerusalem. These towns had existed before, but now they were refortified. Mizpah was a common name for many towns.