|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
13:7-33 The land must be divided among the tribes. It is the will of God that every man should know his own, and not take that which is another's. The world must be governed, not by force, but right. Wherever our habitation is placed, and in whatever honest way our portion is assigned, we should consider them as allotted of God; we should be thankful for, and use them as such, while every prudent method should be used to prevent disputes about property, both at present and in future. Joshua must be herein a type of Christ, who has not only conquered the gates of hell for us, but has opened to us the gates of heaven, and having purchased the eternal inheritance for all believers, will put them in possession of it. Here is a general description of the country given to the two tribes and a half, by Moses. Israel must know their own, and keep to it; and may not, under pretence of their being God's peculiar people, encroach on their neighbours. Twice in this chapter it is noticed, that to the tribe of Levi Moses gave no inheritance: see Nu 18:20. Their maintenance must be brought out of all the tribes. The ministers of the Lord should show themselves indifferent about worldly interests, and the people should take care they want nothing suitable. And happy are those who have the Lord God of Israel for their inheritance, though little of this world falls to their lot. His providences will supply their wants, his consolations will support their souls, till they gain heavenly joy and everlasting pleasures.
Verse 28. - This is the inheritance of the children of Gad. The cause of the difference between the Reubenites and the Gadites may perhaps be thus explained. While both inhabited a similar tract of country, a country from its open and pastoral character likely to develop a hardy and healthy race of men, the Reubenites were exposed to the seductions of the Moabitish worship of Chemosh, which, when combined with an ancestral temperament by no means prone to resist such influences (see Genesis 49:4), soon proved fatal to a tribe, itself not numerous (Deuteronomy 33:6), and hemmed in on every side but the north by the unbelievers. The temperament inherited by the Gadites added to their more favourable situation and the nature of their pursuits, developed a hardy and warlike race ready to do battle, and fearless of their foes (1 Chronicles 5:18). Of this tribe came the valiant Jephthah, and of it also came the brave soldiers of David, whose qualifications stir to poetry the sober chronicler of Judah (1 Chronicles 12:8). We may see here the influence of circumstances on the character of a people. Originally (1 Chronicles 5:18) the Reubenites and the Gadites were alike. But the Reubenites, as we have seen, from unfavourable surroundings, lost the character which the Gadites, more favourably situated, were enabled to preserve. And the distinctions of tribes, producing as they did a separate esprit de corps in each tribe, will serve to explain why one tribe did not immediately succumb to influences which proved fatal to another. In the end, as we know, all the people of Gad fell victims to the temptations which surrounded them, and, save in the case of Levi, Judah, and Benjamin, and the few faithful Israelites who went over to them, irrevocably. The same phenomenon may be observed in the history of nations generally. As long as their manners were simple and their morals pure, they have preserved their liberty, and in many cases have acquired empire. As soon as their bodies were enervated by luxury, and their minds corrupted by vice, they fell a prey to foes whom formerly they would have despised. Thus fell the Greek and Boman republics, thus the Britons became an easy prey to the Saxons, and the Saxons to the Danes. In every instance the history of a tribe and of a nation serves to illustrate the maxim that "righteousness exalteth a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
This is the inheritance of the children of Gad, after their families,.... As described in Joshua 13:27,
the cities and their villages; the cities given them, some of which are mentioned by name, and the villages adjacent and belonging to them were included in them.
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