Joshua 1:12
And to the Reubenites, and to the Gadites, and to half the tribe of Manasseh, spake 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 Here, as elsewhere in the Hebrew historical books and frequently in the Gospels, the order of time is superseded by the order of thought.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. Joshua 1:12Joshua's appeal to the two tribes and a half, to remember the condition on which Moses gave them the land on the east of the Jordan for an inheritance, and to fulfil it, met with a ready response; to that these tribes not only promised to obey his commandments in every respect, but threatened every one with death who should refuse obedience. In recalling this condition to the recollection of the tribes referred to, Joshua follows the expressions in Deuteronomy 3:18-20, where Moses himself recapitulates his former command, rather than the original passage in Numbers 32. The expression "this land" shows that the speaker was still on the other side of the Jordan. חמשׁים, with the loins girded, i.e., prepared for war, synonymous with חלצים in Deuteronomy 3:18 and Numbers 32:32 (see at Exodus 13:18). חיל כּל־גּבּורי, all the mighty men of valour, i.e., the grave warriors (as in Joshua 6:2; Joshua 8:3; Joshua 10:7, and very frequently in the later books), is not common to this book and Deuteronomy, as Knobel maintains, but is altogether strange to the Pentateuch. The word "all" (v. 14, like Numbers 32:21, Numbers 32:27) must not be pressed. According to Joshua 4:13, there were only about 40,000 men belonging to the two tribes and a half who crossed the Jordan to take part in the war; whereas, according to Numbers 26:7, Numbers 26:18, Numbers 26:34, there were 110,000 men in these tribes who were capable of bearing arms, so that 70,000 must have remained behind for the protection of the women and children and of the flocks and herds, and to defend the land of which they had taken possession. On Joshua 1:15 see Deuteronomy 3:18; and on the more minute definition of "on this side (lit. beyond) Jordan" by "toward the sun-rising," compare the remarks on Numbers 32:19. The answer of the two tribes and a half, in which they not only most cheerfully promise their help in the conquest of Canaan, but also express the wish that Joshua may have the help of the Lord (Joshua 1:17 compared with Joshua 1:4), and after threatening all who refuse obedience with death, close with the divine admonition, "only be strong and of a good courage" (Joshua 1:18, cf. Joshua 1:6), furnishes a proof of the wish that inspired them to help their brethren, that all the tribes might speedily enter into the peaceable possession of the promised inheritance. The expression "rebel against the commandment" is used in Deuteronomy 1:26, Deuteronomy 1:43; Deuteronomy 9:23; 1 Samuel 12:14, to denote resistance to the commandments of the Lord; here it denotes opposition to His representative, the commander chosen by the Lord, which was to be punished with death, according to the law in Deuteronomy 17:12.
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