1 Chronicles 5:16
And they dwelled in Gilead in Bashan, and in her towns, and in all the suburbs of Sharon, on their borders.
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1 Chronicles 5:16. They dwelt in Gilead — That is, the children or tribe of Gad inhabited a part of Gilead, the Reubenites and Manassites dwelling in other parts of it, Deuteronomy 3:12. In Bashan — In the land of Bashan, as is said, 1 Chronicles 5:11. And in her towns — In some of her cities and towns. In all the suburbs of Sharon — Not that Sharon in Canaan, but that to the east of Jordan, namely, in the fields and pasture-grounds of it. Upon their borders — The borders of Gilead and Bashan. For Gilead, properly so called, or the greatest part of it, belonged to the Reubenites, and the greatest part of Bashan to the Manassites; and the Gadites, whose habitation was between these two tribes, had those parts of both these countries which lay toward their borders.5:1-26 Genealogies. - This chapter gives some account of the two tribes and a half seated on the east side of Jordan. They were made captives by the king of Assyria, because they had forsaken the Lord. Only two things are here recorded concerning these tribes. 1. They all shared in a victory. Happy is that people who live in harmony together, who assist each other against the common enemies of their souls, trusting in the Lord, and calling upon him. 2. They shared in captivity. They would have the best land, not considering that it lay most exposed. The desire of earthly objects draws to a distance from God's ordinances, and prepares men for destruction.From this passage and from the subsequent account of the Manassites 1 Chronicles 5:23-24, the Gadites extended themselves to the north at the expense of their brethren, gradually occupying a considerable portion of the tract originally allotted to the "half tribe." 16. Sharon—The term "Sharon" was applied as descriptive of any place of extraordinary beauty and productiveness. There were three places in Palestine so called. This Sharon lay east of the Jordan.

upon their borders—that is, of Gilead and Bashan: Gilead proper, or at least the largest part, belonged to the Reubenites; and Bashan, the greatest portion of it, belonged to the Manassites. The Gadites occupied an intermediate settlement on the land which lay upon their borders.

They dwelt, i.e. the children or tribe of Gad.

In Gilead, i.e. in part of Gilead; for the Reubenites and Manassites dwelt in other parts of it, Deu 3:12,13,16.

In Bashan; in the land of Bashan, as it is said, 1 Chronicles 5:11.

Quest. How come the Gadites to dwell in Bashan, when all Bashan is expressly said to be given to the half tribe of Manasseh, Deu 3:13 Joshua 13:29,30?

Answ. All Bashan is put for the greatest part of it by a synecdoche, very frequent in Scripture and all authors; and so the Gadites might possess a part of it. And thus both Bashan and Gilead are used for parts of them, Joshua 17:1, where it is said of Machir a Manassite, that he had Gilead and Bashan. And as it is unquestionably true that Gilead is taken sometimes more largely for all the land of the Israelites beyond Jordan, sometimes more strictly for that part of it which borders upon Mount Gilead; of which See Poole "Joshua 17:1"; the like may be presumed concerning Bashan; and so in its strictest sense it might be all given to the Manassites, and yet in its largest sense might comprehend a part of the land belonging to the Gadites.

In her towns, i.e. in some of her cities and towns.

In all the suburbs, i.e. in its fields and pasture grounds, 1 Chronicles 27:29. Of Sharon; not that within Jordan, Isaiah 35:2, but another without Jordan.

Upon their borders, to wit, of Gilead and Bashan; for Gilead properly so called, or the greatest part of it, belonged to the Reubenites; and Bashan, or the greatest part of it, to the Manassites; and so the Gadites (whose habitation was between the Reubenites and Manassites) had those parts of both their countries which were towards their borders. Or,

unto their borders, i.e. as far as the suburbs or fields of Sharon, which were last mentioned, were extended. And they dwelt in Gilead,.... In that part of it which belonged to the tribe of Gad:

in Bashan, and in her towns; See Gill on 1 Chronicles 5:11,

and in all the suburbs of Sharon, upon their borders; there were two Sharons, one to the west of the land of Israel near the Mediterranean sea, which is mentioned in Acts 9:35 as near Lydda and Joppa; and the other to the east or northeast, beyond Jordan, which is here meant.

And they dwelt in Gilead in {f} Bashan, and in her towns, and in all the suburbs of Sharon, upon their borders.

(f) Both the whole country and one particular city were called Bashan.

16. in Gilead in Bashan] Read, in Gilead, in Jabesh; cp. 1 Chronicles 10:11-12. The phrase in Gilead in Bashan yields no good sense, for Gilead means the southern, and Bashan the northern part of the territory of Israel east of Jordan.

suburbs] R.V. mg., pasture lands (as in 1 Chronicles 13:2).

Sharon] The well-known Sharon is to be identified with the maritime plain between Joppa and Caesarea. As however the text speaks here of the country E. of Jordan, some other Sharon at present unidentified, must be meant.

upon their borders] R.V. as far as their borders."In the days of Saul they made war upon the Hagarites, and they fill into their hands, and they dwelt in their tents over the whole east side of Gilead." The subject is not determined, so that the words may be referred either to the whole tribe of Reuben or to the family of Bela (1 Chronicles 5:8). The circumstance that in 1 Chronicles 5:8 and 1 Chronicles 5:9 Bela is spoken of in the singular (יושׁב הוּא and ישׁב), while here the plural is used in reference to the war, is not sufficient to show that the words do not refer to Bela's family, for the narrative has already fallen into the plural in the last clause of 1 Chronicles 5:9. We therefore think it better to refer 1 Chronicles 5:10 to the family of Bela, seeing that the wide spread of this family, which is mentioned in 1 Chronicles 5:9, as far as the desert to the east of the inhabited land, presupposes the driving out of the Hagarites dwelling on the eastern plain of Gilead. The notice of this war, moreover, is clearly inserted here for the purpose of explaining the wide spread of the Belaites even to the Euphrates desert, and there is nothing which can be adduced against that reference. The אחיו in 1 Chronicles 5:7 does not, as Bertheau thinks probable, denote that Bela was a contemporary of Beerah, even if the circumstance that from Bela to Joel only three generations are enumerated, could be reconciled with this supposition. The spread of Bela's family over the whole of the Reubenite Gilead, which has just been narrated, proves decisively that they were not contemporaries. If Bela lived at the time of the invasion of Gilead by Tiglath-pileser, when the prince Beerah was carried away into exile, it is certainly possible that he might have escaped the Assyrians; but he could neither have had at that time a family "which inhabited all the east land," nor could he himself have extended his domain from "Aroer and Nebo towards the wilderness," as the words יושׁב הוּא, 1 Chronicles 5:8, distinctly state. We therefore hold that Bela was much older than Beerah, for he is introduced as a great-grandson of Joel, so that his family might have been as widely distributed as 1 Chronicles 5:8, 1 Chronicles 5:9 state, and have undertaken and carried out the war of conquest against the Hagarites, referred to in 1 Chronicles 5:10, as early as the time of Saul. Thus, too, we can most easily explain the fact that Bela and his brothers Jeiel and Zechariah are not mentioned. As to הגרעים, cf. on 1 Chronicles 5:19.
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