Joshua 1:12
And to the Reubenites, and to the Gadites, and to half the tribe of Manasseh, spoke Joshua, saying,
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(12) To the Reubenites, and to the Gadites, and to half the tribe of Manasseh, spake Joshua.—The reference to Numbers 32 explains this order. We have only to observe that these two tribes and a half were not forbidden to leave a sufficient number of their fighting men to protect their homes and families. (See on Joshua 4:12.)

1:10-15 Joshua says to the people, Ye shall pass over Jordan, and shall possess the land; because God had said so to him. We honour the truth of God, when we stagger not at the promise of God. The two tribes and a half were to go over Jordan with their brethren. When God, by his providence, has given us rest, we ought to consider what service we may do to our brethren.Prepare you victuals - The order was probably given with the knowledge that the manna would cease when the host crossed the Jordan Exodus 16:35, and possibly because amidst their preparations there might not be opportunity to gather it in sufficient quantity. Nor does it appear that manna ever formed the whole and sole sustenance of the people. (Compare Numbers 20:1 note.)

It is the view of the majority of commentators - Jewish and Christian, ancient and modern - that the "three days" here named are identical with those of Joshua 3:2; and that the command of Joshua in the text was not in fact given until after the return of the spies. Here, as elsewhere in the Hebrew historical books and frequently in the Gospels, the order of time is superseded by the order of thought. For the purpose if the writer was not historical merely; it was, on the contrary, mainly religious and theoretical. Intending, then, to exhibit God as accomplishing His promises to the covenant-people, he begins by informing us that God gave the word and set Joshua and the host actually in motion to take possession of their inheritance. Having placed this leading fact in the forefront, he returns to mention in Joshua 2 certain transactions closely relevant to the early stages of Joshua's conquests, but which had in fact happened before the camp was removed from the plains of Moab and immediately after the expiration of the thirty days' mourning for Moses. Deuteronomy 34:8. The order of events was probably the following - 3rd Nisan, the spies are sent out Joshua 2:1; 6th, the spies return Joshua 2:23; 7th, the camp is removed from Shittim to the bank of Jordan Joshua 3:1, and the command Joshua 1:11 is issued; 10th, the river is crossed Joshua 4:19.

11-13. command the people, saying, Prepare you victuals—not manna, which, though it still fell, would not keep; but corn, sheep, and articles of food procurable in the conquered countries.

for within three days ye shall pass over this Jordan—that is, the third day, according to Hebrew idiom—the time allotted for getting ready before the encampment in Abel-Shittim broke up and they removed to the desert bank of the river where no victuals were available. At the same time Joshua himself convened the two and a half tribes which had settled east of Jordan, to remind them of their promise (Nu 32:1-42) to assist their brethren in the conquest of western Canaan. Their readiness to redeem their pledge and the terms in which they answered the appeal of Joshua displayed to great advantage their patriotic and pious feelings at so interesting a crisis.

No text from Poole on this verse. And to the Reubenites, and to the Gadites, and to half the tribe of Manasseh,.... Who were settled on that side Jordan where Israel now were:

spake Joshua, saying; as follows.

And to the Reubenites, and to the Gadites, and to half the tribe of Manasseh, spake Joshua, saying,
12. the Reubenites] Gadites, and the Half-Tribe of Manasseh, on account of their wealth in flocks and herds (Numbers 32:16; Numbers 32:24), had received already their possessions in “the forest-land,” “the pastureland” of the country beyond the Jordan, the territory of the conquered kings Sihon and Og. The remote downs of this portion of Palestine received a special name, “Mishor,” expressive of their contrast with the rough and rocky soil of the west. “The vast herds of wild cattle which then wandered through the woods, as those of Scotland through its ancient forests, were in like manner, at once the terror and pride of the Israelite,—“the fat bulls of Bashan.” The king of Moab was but a “great sheep-master,” and “rendered” for tribute a “hundred thousand lambs, and an hundred thousand rams, with the wool” (2 Kings 3:4). And still the countless herds and flocks may be seen, droves of cattle moving on like troops of soldiers, descending at sunset to drink of the springs—literally, in the language of the Prophet, “rams and lambs, and goats, and bullocks, all of them fatlings of Bashan” (Ezekiel 39:18). See Dean Stanley’s Lectures on the Jewish Church, i. 217, 218; Sinai and Palestine, App. § vi.Verse 12. - And to the Reubenites, and the Gadites, and the half tribe of Manasseh (see Numbers 32:1-33). We have here a remarkable instance of undesigned agreement between the various books of the Old Testament: one of those signs of the genuineness of the narrative which would be almost impossible to a compiler of fictitious records. We are told in the passage just cited that the reason why these particular tribes desired an inheritance on the other side Jordan was because they were particularly rich in cattle. Now we learn from other passages that this region was - and travellers tell us that it is to this day - a region particularly suited for pasture. The 'Jewish Chronicle,' in December, 1879, mentions a scheme projected by Mr. Laurence Oliphant for colonising this district for agricultural purposes under the auspices of a company. The "fat bulls of Bashan" were almost proverbial in Scripture. Mesha, king of Moab, was a "sheep master," we read (2 Kings 3:4), and his tribute, rendered in sheep to the king of Israel, was a very large one; especially when we remember that Moab was at that time but little larger than an ordinary English country (see also Deuteronomy 32:14; Ezekiel 39:18). The land to the east of Jordan bore the name Mishor, or level land, as contrasted with the rocky region on the other side of Jordan. The promise is followed by the condition upon which the Lord would fulfil His word. Joshua was to be firm and strong, i.e., well-assured, courageous, not alarmed (vid., Deuteronomy 31:6). In the first place (Joshua 1:6), he was to rely firmly upon the Lord and His promise, as Moses and the Lord had already told him (Deuteronomy 31:7 and Deuteronomy 31:23), and as is again repeated here, whilst at the same time the expression, "thou shalt divide for an inheritance," recalls to mind Deuteronomy 1:38; Deuteronomy 3:28; and in the second place (Joshua 1:7, Joshua 1:8), he was to strive to attain and preserve this firmness by a careful observance of the law. "Observe to do," etc., as Moses had already impressed upon the hearts of all the people (Deuteronomy 5:29, cf. Deuteronomy 28:14 and Deuteronomy 2:27). The suffix in ממּנּוּ is to be explained on the supposition that the speaker had the book of the law in his mind. The further expansion, in Joshua 1:8, is not only attached to the exhortations, with which Moses urges upon all the people in Deuteronomy 6:6-7, and Deuteronomy 11:18-19, an uninterrupted study and laying to heart of the commandments of God, but even more closely to the directions to the king, to read every day in the law (Deuteronomy 17:19). "Not to depart out of the mouth," is to be constantly in the mouth. The law is in our mouth, not only when we are incessantly preaching it, but when we are reading it intelligently for ourselves, or conversing about it with others. To this there was to be added meditation, or reflection upon it both day and night (vid., Psalm 1:2). הגה does not mean theoretical speculation about the law, such as the Pharisees indulged in, but a practical study of the law, for the purpose of observing it in thought and action, or carrying it out with the heart, the mouth, and the hand. Such a mode of employing it would be sure to be followed by blessings. "Then shalt thou make they way prosperous," i.e., succeed in all thine undertakings (vid., Deuteronomy 28:29), "and act wisely" (as in Deuteronomy 29:8).
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