1 Chronicles 5:23
And the children of the half tribe of Manasseh dwelled in the land: they increased from Bashan to Baalhermon and Senir, and to mount Hermon.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(23, 24) The sons of half-Manasseh “in the land” east of Jordan. The translation should be: “And the children . . . dwelt in the land, from Bashan unto Baal-hermon and Senir and mount Hermon. These were many.” Their territory extended from “Bashan,” the domain of Gad, in the south, to the mountains of Hermon, or Antilibanus, in the north.

(23) Baal-hermon.—Perhaps the same as Baal-gad (Joshua 12:7; Joshua 13:5), the modern town of Banias.

Senir.—The Amorite name of the range of Hermon (Deuteronomy 3:9). The principal summit is now called Jebel esh-Sheikh, “hill of the chief,” and Jebel eth-Thelj, “Snow Hill.”

1 Chronicles 5:23. The half-tribe of Manasseh — Having spoken of the Reubenites, (1 Chronicles 5:3-10,) and next of the Gadites, (1 Chronicles 5:11, &c.,) he now comes to the Manassites. Dwelt in the land — In the same country with the Reubenites and Gadites, on the other side of Jordan, namely, in the northern part of that land.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."Baal-Hermon," "Senir" Deuteronomy 3:9, and "Mount Hermon," are here not so much three names of the one great snow-clad eminence in which the Anti-Lebanon terminates toward the south, as three parts of the mountain - perhaps the "three summits" in which it terminates. 18-22. Hagarites—or, "Hagarenes," originally synonymous with "Ishmaelites," but afterwards applied to a particular tribe of the Arabs (compare Ps 83:6).

Jetur—His descendants were called Itureans, and the country Auranitis, from Hauran, its chief city. These, who were skilled in archery, were invaded in the time of Joshua by a confederate army of the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and half Manasseh, who, probably incensed by the frequent raids of those marauding neighbors, took reprisals in men and cattle, dispossessed almost all of the original inhabitants, and colonized the district themselves. Divine Providence favoured, in a remarkable manner, the Hebrew army in this just war.

Having discoursed of the Reubenites, 1 Chronicles 5:3, &c., and next of the Gadites, 1 Chronicles 5:11, &c., he now comes to the Manassites.

In the land, i.e. in their land, to wit, in the northern part of the land beyond Jordan. And the children of the half tribe of Manasseh dwelt in the land,.... Not in the land of the Hagarites, but in the land of Gilead and Bashan beyond Jordan, given them by Moses. The writer, having reckoned the genealogies of some of the principal men of Reuben and Gad, proceeds to give a short account of some principal men in this half tribe:

they increased from Bashan; where they first settled, and extended their possessions:

unto Baalhermon and Senir, and unto Mount Hermon; mountains which lay to the north of the land of Canaan, and are what geographers call Antilibanus.

And the children of the half tribe of Manasseh dwelt in the land: they increased from Bashan unto {k} Baalhermon and Senir, and unto mount Hermon.

(k) Otherwise called Baal-gad.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
23, 24. The Half Tribe of Manasseh

23. Baal-hermon] In Jdg 3:3 a mount Baal-hermon is mentioned. Here probably a city is meant, possibly Banias.

Senir] the name given by the Amorites to Hermon (Deuteronomy 3:9, R.V.).Verses 23, 24. - "The half-tribe of Manasseh" is here very briefly treated cf. Manasseh and his brother Ephraim stand in the place of Joseph, both the children of Joseph's Egyptian wife, Asenath, and born before the famine. Though Manasseh was the elder, Jacob gave the chief blessing (Genesis 48:10-22) to Ephraim. The Manassites were descended from Manasseh through his son Machir, born of a Syrian concubine (Septuagint, Genesis 46:20; Genesis 1:23; Numbers 26:28-34; Joshua 17:1-3; 1 Chronicles 7:14, 15). Machir evidently was spes gregis (though apparently not the only son, for see Asriel, or Ashriel, in above references), and is repeatedly mentioned with his sou Gilead. It is probable that the division of the tribe was determined partly according to the energy of those who composed it at the time of division - the more warlike being more adapted to the east of Jordan. Nevertheless Machir is distinctly mentioned westward, as well as with Gilead eastward (comp. Judges 5:14-17; Joshua 13:29-31). (For the further prosecution of this part of the subject, see Exposition, 1 Chronicles 7:14-19.) Verse 23. - Baal-hermon, etc. These three names need scarcely be read as different names for exactly the same region, but as designating different sides or heights of what was essentially one and the same well-known mountain district, with which would agree Psalm 43:6, "Therefore will I remember thee from the land of Jordan and of the Hermonites, from the hill Mizar.' So Deuteronomy 3:8-10 tells us that Hermon was called Sirion by the Sidonians; Shenir, i.q. Senir (שְׂנִיר, exactly the same word in the Hebrew text in all the four places of its occurrence - Song of Solomon 4:8; Ezekiel 27:5), by the Amorites. And the suggestion of Grove is likely enough, that Baal-hermon was the Phoenician cast of the name. If any point were to be gained by reading the names, however, as intended to cover exactly the same tract, it may be noted

(1) that the Hebrew conjunction will perfectly admit of being translated "even;" and

(2) that the order of the names, going from the foreign to the native Hermon itself, would so far favour it. "And these (כּלּם, all the families of Gad, not merely those mentioned in 1 Chronicles 5:13.) were registered in the days of Jotham king of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam king of Israel." These two kings did not reign contemporaneously, for Jotham ascended the throne in Judah twenty-five years after the death of Jeroboam of Israel. Here, therefore, two different registrations must be referred to, and that carried on under Jotham is mentioned first, because Judah had the legitimate kingship. That set on foot by Jeroboam was probably undertaken after that king had restored all the ancient boundaries of the kingdom of Israel, 2 Kings 14:25. King Jotham of Judah could prepare a register of the Gadites only if a part of the trans-Jordanic tribes had come temporarily under his dominion. As to any such event, indeed, we have no accurate information, but the thing in itself is not unlikely. For as the death of Jeroboam II was followed by complete anarchy in the kingdom of the ten tribes, and one ruler overthrew the other, until at last Pekah succeeded in holding the crown for ten years, while in Judah until Pekah ascended the throne of Israel Uzziah reigned, and raised his kingdom to greater power and prosperity, the southern part of the trans-Jordanic land might very well have come for a time under the sway of Judah. At such a time Jotham may have carried out an assessment and registration of the Gadites, until his contemporary Pekah succeeded, with the help of the Syrian king Rezin, in taking from the king of Judah the dominion over Gilead, and in humbling the kingdom of Judah in the reign of Ahaz.
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