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God informs Joshua what parts of the land were yet unconquered,
and orders him to divide what was conquered, ver. 1 - 7.
A repetition of the division made by Moses, first, in general,
ver. 8 - 14.
then in particular: the lot of Reuben, ver. 15 - 23.
Of Gad, ver. 24 - 28.
Of the half tribe of Manasseh, ver. 29 - 33.
1: Thou art old - Therefore delay not to do the work which I have
commanded thee to do. It is good for those that are stricken in years,
to be remembered that they are so: that they may be quickened to do the
work of life, and prepare for death which is coming on apace.
2: Remaineth - Unconquered by thee, and to be conquered by the
Israelites, if they behave themselves aright. All Geshuri - A people
in the northeast of Canaan, as the Philistines are on the southwest.
3: Counted to the Canaanites - That is, which though now possessed by
the Philistines, who drove out the Canaanites the old inhabitants of
it, (De 2:23,Am 9:7), yet is a part of the land of
Canaan, and therefore belongs to the Israelites. The Avites - Or,
the Avims, as they are called, (De 2:23), who though they were
expelled out of their ancient seat, and most of them destroyed by the
Caphtorims or Philistines, as is there said, yet many of them
escaped, and planted themselves not very far from the former.
4: From the south - That is, from those southern parts of the
sea - coast, now possessed by the Philistines, all the more northern parts
of the sea - coast being yet inhibited by the Canaanites, almost as far as
Sidon. The Amorites - The Amorites were a very strong and numerous
people, and we find them dispersed in several parts, some within Jordan,
and some without it, some in the south and others in the north, of whom he
6: Will I drive out - Whatever becomes of us, however we may be laid
aside as broken vessels, God will do his work in his own time. I will
do it by my word; so the Chaldee here, as in many other places: by
the eternal word, the captain of my host. But the promise of driving them
out from before the children of Israel, supposes that the Israelites
must use their own endeavours, must go up against them. If Israel, thro'
sloth or cowardice let them alone, they are not likely to be driven out.
We must go forth on our Christian warfare, and then God will go before us.
8: Which Moses gave them - By my command, and therefore do not thou
disturb them in their possessions, but proceed to divide the other
possessions to the rest.
9: Medeba unto Dibon - Two cities anciently belonging to the
Moabites, and taken from them by the Amorites, (Nu 21:30),
and from them by the Israelites; and after the Israelites were gone
into captivity, recovered by the first possessors, the Moabites.
11: And Maacathites - Whose land God had given to the Israelites
without Jordan, though they had not yet used the gift of God, nor taken
possession of it, as is noted, ver.(13).
12: These did Moses smite - Not all now mentioned, but Sihon and
Og, and their people, and the generality of them.
14: He gave - That is, Moses. None inheritance - Namely, in
the land beyond Jordan, where yet a considerable part of the Levites
were to have their settled abode. This is mentioned as the reason both why
Moses gave all that land to the Reubenites and Gadites and
Manassites; and why Joshua should divide the land only into nine
parts and an half, as was said, ver.(7), because
Levi was otherwise provided for.
Made by fire - Which are here put for all the sacrifices and oblations,
including first - fruits and tithes, that were assigned to the Levites;
and this passage is repeated, to prevent those calumnies and injuries which
God foresaw the Levites were likely to meet with, from the malice, envy
and covetousness of their brethren.
15: According to their families - Dividing the inheritance into as
many parts as they had families; but this is only spoken of the greater
families; for the lesser distributions to the several small families was
done by inferior officers, according to the rules which Moses gave them.
19: In the mount of the valley - In the mountain bordering upon that
valley, which then was famous among the Israelites; whether that where
Moses was buried, which was near to Beth - peor, (De 34:1,6),
or some other. And this clause is thought to belong to all the cities now
21: Cities of the plain - Opposed to the cities of the mountain
of the valley. All the kingdom of Sihon - A great part of it; in
which sense we read of
all Judea, and all the region round about Jordan, (Mt 3:5),
and all Galilee, (Mt 4:23).
Whom Moses smote - Not in the same time or battle, as appears by comparing(Nu 21:23,24), with (Nu 31:8), but in the same manner. And they are
here mentioned, partly because they were slain not long after, and upon the
same occasion, even their enmity against Israel; and partly because of
their relation and subjection to Sihon. Dukes of Sihon - But how
could they be so, when they were kings of Midian? (Nu 31:8).
There were divers petty kings in those parts, who were subject to greater
kings; and such these were, but are here called dukes or princes of
Sihon, because they were subject and tributaries to him, and therefore
did one way or other assist Sihon in this war, though they were not
killed at this time. It is probable, that when Sihon destroyed those
Moabites which dwelt in these parts, he frighted the rest of them, and
with them their neighbours and confederates, the Midianites, into some
kind of homage, which they were willing to pay him. Dwelling in the
country - Heb. inhabiting that land, namely Midian, last
mentioned; whereby he signifies, that tho' they were subject to Sihon,
yet they did not dwell in his land, but in another.
22: Were slain by them - This was recorded before, (Nu 31:8),
and is here repeated, because the defeating of Balaam's purpose to curse
Israel, and the turning that curse into a blessing, was such an instance
of the power and goodness of God, as was fit to be had in everlasting
23: The border thereof - That is, those cities or places which
bordered upon Jordan.
25: The cities of Gilead - That is, all the cities of eminency; all
the cities properly so called, which lay in that part of Gilead; and so
this may well agree with ver.(31),
where half the country of Gilead is said to be given to the
Manassites; but there is no mention of any cities there. The land
of the children of Ammon - Not of that which was now theirs, for that they
were forbidden to meddle with, but of that which was anciently theirs, 'till
taken from them by the Amorites, from whom the Israelites took it.
Aroer - The border between them and Moab. Rabbah - The chief city
of the Ammonites.
26: Ramath - mizpeh - Called Ramoth - Gilead, or Ramoth in
Gilead. Mahanaim - Exclusively; for Mahanaim was in the portion
of Manasseh, beyond Jabbok, which was the border of Gad and
27: The rest of the kingdom - The northern part of his kingdom.
29: Of Manasseh - Not that thou desired it, as Reuben
and Gad did, (Nu 32:1), but partly as a recompence to
Machir the Manassite, for his valiant acts against Og; and
partly for the better defence of the other two tribes, by so considerable an
accession to them, which also was without any inconvenience to them, because
the country was too large for the two tribes of Reuben and Gad.
30: Of Jair - Who, though of the tribe of Judah,
by the father, (1Ch 2:21,22), yet is called
the son of Manasseh, (Nu 32:41), because he married a
daughter of Manasseh, and wholly associated himself with those
valiant Manassites; and with their help took sixty cities or
great towns, (De 3:4,14), which thence were called
the towns of Jair.
31: Children of Machir - Whom before he called the children of
Manasseh, he now calls the children of Machir, because Machir
was the most eminent, and as it may seem, the only surviving son of
Manasseh, (Nu 26:29,1Ch 7:14-16).