|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
22:1-9 Joshua dismisses the tribes with good counsel. Those who have the commandment have it in vain, unless they do the commandment; and it will not be done aright unless we take diligent heed. In particular to love the Lord our God, as the best of beings, and the best of friends; and as far as that principle rules in the heart, there will be constant care and endeavour to walk in his ways, even those that are narrow and up-hill. In every instance to keep his commandments. At all times, and in all conditions, with purpose of heart to cleave unto the Lord, and to serve him and his kingdom among men, with all our heart, and with all our soul. This good counsel is given to all; may God give us grace to take it!
Verse 1. - The Reubenites and the Gadites. According to the Hebrew idiom, these are in the original in the singular, as in Genesis 12:6. Thus a tribe, as has been before remarked, or even a family (Joshua 6:25), is spoken of frequently as a single individual (cf. Joshua 17:14, 15, 17, 18). It seems probable that this chapter occurs in strict chronological order, and that the soldiers of the two tribes and a half remained under the national banner at Shiloh until the work of survey and appointment was completed. But this cannot be affirmed with certainty. The word אָז with which the chapter commences, is not the usual word for chronological sequence, though it does not preclude it (see note on Joshua 8:30). And the time during which these soldiers must in this case have remained separated from their wives and families was a very long one. Some have even supposed that it lasted fourteen years (see ver. 3). On the other hand, the words "gathered together to Shiloh," in ver. 12, implies that the tribes west of Jordan had left Shiloh. Nor did there seem to be the least need for their services after the battle of Merom. We must be content to leave the matter in uncertainty, with the remark that if the armed men of the two tribes and a half did remain during this long period away from their homes, our sense of their ready obedience must be greatly enhanced, as also of the personal influence of the leader at whose instance they did so. The half tribe of Manaseh. Some cities read ֶשבֶט here for מַטֶּה, and as the tribe is spoken of in a political and not in a genealogical point of view, the reading, as far as internal considerations go, would seem preferable. The two words, however, are not always used with complete strictness, but are sometimes regarded as synonymous (see note on Joshua 13:29).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Then Joshua called the Reubenites, and the Gadites, and the half tribe of Manasseh. The promise of God to Israel being fulfilled, the land of Canaan being for the most part subdued, the war at an end, and rest had on all sides from their enemies, and the land divided among the nine tribes and an half, and they settled in the quiet possession of their lots; Joshua sent for the two tribes of Reuben and Gad, and the half tribe of Manasseh, who had, at their own request, their portion allotted them on the other side Jordan, and who came over that river with him to assist their brethren in their wars with the Canaanites, and addressed them in the following respectable manner.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
Jos 22:1-9. Joshua Dismisses the Two Tribes and a Half, with a Blessing.
1. Then Joshua called the Reubenites, and the Gadites, and the half tribe of Manasseh—The general war of invasion being ended and the enemy being in so dispirited and isolated a condition that each tribe, by its own resources or with the aid of its neighboring tribe, was able to repress any renewed hostilities, the auxiliary Israelites from the eastern side of the Jordan were now discharged from service. Joshua dismissed them with high commendations for their fidelity and earnest admonitions to cultivate perpetual piety in life. The redundancy of the language is remarkable [Jos 22:2-5]. It shows how important, in the judgment of the venerable leader, a steadfast observance of the divine law was to personal happiness, as well as national prosperity.
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