Haydock Catholic Bible Commentary
Saban, and Nebo. These towns were afterwards retaken by the Moabites, Isaias xv. 2, 8. --- Beon. Perhaps the same with Mehon, or Beth Baal Mehon, Josue xiii. 17. (Calmet)
Jordan. They are a figure of those who would possess heaven without labour. But none is crowned, except he strive lawfully, 2 Timothy ii. 5. (Worthington)
Overturn. Hebrew nua, "to discourage," (Haydock) break, dissolve, &c., ver. 9. (Menochius) --- The same history is mentioned, (Deuteronomy iii. 12, 18,) but without these reproaches. (Calmet)
If, &c. They shall not see Chanaan. (Menochius) --- In Scripture, odious things are not fully expressed, particularly in oaths, Psalm lxxxviii. 36., and cxxxi. 2. (Calmet) --- Hebrew, "surely none....shall see....because they have not perfectly followed me." (Grotius) (Haydock)
Cenezite. His father was either called Cenez, or a part of the country of the Cenezites, being promised to Caleb at Cades-barne, he assumed his title, Josue xiv. 6.
Led, &c. Septuagint, "he rolled them over," to denote their afflictions. (Haydock)
Of all. Hebrew, "if, or because you will not follow after him. He will stop them in the desert, and you will destroy all the people." Septuagint, "because you will turn away from him, to abandon him again in the desert, and you will sin against all this congregation." God had decreed that all should go together to the conquest of the promised land; so that, if these children of Ruben and of Gad should refuse to comply, Moses was afraid that all might be ruined. Perceiving that his discourse turned on this subject, they approached with greater confidence, and shewed their readiness to fight for their brethren. Upon which Moses was satisfied. (Haydock)
Cities, which in the space of two months they would repair sufficiently, so that their children might be protected against the Amorrhites, &c. They left strong garrisons, very prudently, to keep possession of the conquered country: 70,580 remained in the cities; while 40,000 went before their brethren. See chap. xxvi. 7, 18., and Josue iv. 13.
Jordan. Hebrew adds, "or forward," any where, in case fresh conquests be made. (Calmet)
Lord, or the ark, under the guidance and protection of God.
Man, that may be required: Josue only took 40,000 for the vanguard. (Haydock)
Ruben. No mention is made of those of the half tribe of Manasses. Perhaps they only joined the rest afterwards, chap. v. 33. They occupied the northern parts. (Haydock) --- The Hebrew has here a solecism, "the sons of Gad he said;" to avoid which, Onkelos adds, the tribe, &c. (Houbigant)
Galaad. Only a small part of the territory properly went by that name, ver. 39. (Calmet)
With you. Septuagint, "armed for war before the Lord; take by force their baggage, wives and cattle, before you, into Chanaan, and let them have shares with you in Chanaan." (Haydock)
Built, or repaired; for they had been cities of the Amorrhites before. --- Aroer was occupied by the Moabites after the Israelites were led into captivity, Jeremias xlviii. 1, 19.
Sophan. Some believe that this is the same city with Etroth, and that it took its name from Saphon, the son of Gad, chap. xxvi. 15. --- Jegbaa perhaps the Beon, ver. 3. See Judges viii. 11.
Betharan, which Herod enlarged, and called Livias, south of Hesebon. (Calmet)
Nabo. Probably the same as Nebo and Nobe. --- Baalmeon. This city had a variety of names, ver. 3, 35. Those who rebuilt these cities gave them their own names, ver. 42. (Hebrew Targum of Jerusalem) Yet they were often known by their former appellations. (Calmet) --- The rebuilders chiefly objected to the names of idols, Baal, &c., which were joined with these cities. (Menochius)
In it, by means of his descendants. For Machir must have been above 250 years old, if he were still alive. Many children are attributed to Machir and his father, Manasses, who were not their immediate offspring. The latter had only Machir, who survived him; Ezriel was probably a grandson of Machir, as he is styled the son of Galaad, chap. xxvi. 31., and Josue xvii. 2. See 1 Paralipomenon vii. Adoptive and legal children are often confounded with those who are really born of a person, as also those places which are inhabited by his posterity. (Calmet)
Jair was born of Segub, the son of Esron, by a daughter of Machir, 1 Paralipomenon i. 21. He did not remain in the tribe of Juda, but dwelt in that of his mother, (Calmet) or perhaps he married a descendant of Machir, and obtained these villages. (Selden, Suc. c. xviii.) --- Havoth, means "a circle of cabins or shepherds' huts," in Arabic. (Bochart)
Canath. This town is reckoned among those of Jair, (1 Paralipomenon ii. 23,) either because Nobe conquered it under his banners, or because it fell to the share of Jair, after the death of Nobe. (Calmet)