You do though accept that the biblical tradition dictates the
territorial boundary on the west side of Judah (Jos. 15:12), the west
side of Manasseh (Jos. 17:9-10), and the west side of Asher (Jos.
19:29), are all "at the sea"?
The fact that the initial territory ascribed to Dan makes no mention
of the sea as its western boundary should immediately raise a question.
Also, that the Yarkon river appears to be referred to (as MeYarkon)
should suggest a northern boundary for Dan, as most of the subsequent
listed 'Danite' cities lay south of this river.
As Japha also lies on the southern bank of the Yarkon, and is adjacent
to the sea, this border of Dan which is "before Japho" (which can
hardly be the eastern, southern nor northern), must then be, by
elimination, the western border.
The most northern coastal city attributed to Judah is Jabneel (Yavneh)
but there are no settlements between Yavneh, on the Sorek, and Japha,
south of the Yarkon.
As Japha is not given to any tribe it seems the scribe knew this city
was not available, of course, it was either under Egyptian control, or
it was a ruin.
There are no settlements between Yavneh and Japha to ascribe to anyone.
Best Wishes, Jon Smyth
--- In ANEemail@example.com, David Hall <dqhall59@...> wrote:
>Before Joppa might mean the coast or it might not mean the coast
>south of Joppa. One does not need to see the landing point of the
>Dananu to prove that they did not land and move inward being deprived
>of ports by the more powerful Philistine group.