Joshua 13:16
And their coast was from Aroer, that is on the bank of the river Arnon, and the city that is in the midst of the river, and all the plain by Medeba;
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13:7-33 The land must be divided among the tribes. It is the will of God that every man should know his own, and not take that which is another's. The world must be governed, not by force, but right. Wherever our habitation is placed, and in whatever honest way our portion is assigned, we should consider them as allotted of God; we should be thankful for, and use them as such, while every prudent method should be used to prevent disputes about property, both at present and in future. Joshua must be herein a type of Christ, who has not only conquered the gates of hell for us, but has opened to us the gates of heaven, and having purchased the eternal inheritance for all believers, will put them in possession of it. Here is a general description of the country given to the two tribes and a half, by Moses. Israel must know their own, and keep to it; and may not, under pretence of their being God's peculiar people, encroach on their neighbours. Twice in this chapter it is noticed, that to the tribe of Levi Moses gave no inheritance: see Nu 18:20. Their maintenance must be brought out of all the tribes. The ministers of the Lord should show themselves indifferent about worldly interests, and the people should take care they want nothing suitable. And happy are those who have the Lord God of Israel for their inheritance, though little of this world falls to their lot. His providences will supply their wants, his consolations will support their souls, till they gain heavenly joy and everlasting pleasures.Inheritance of the tribe of Reuben. This territory was the most southerly of the trans-Jordanic possessions of Israel, and adjoined Moab, which lay only on the other side of the Arnon. Hence, the Reubenites became in after times much intermixed with the Moabites, who in fact eventually acquired much of the land, and several, if not all, of the cities here named as belonging to Reuben. This acquisition was probably assisted by the fact that the territory north of Arnon had formerly belonged to the Moabites, from whom it was wrested by the Amorites (see Numbers 21:27, etc. notes). It is not likely that the Amorite conquerors had completely extirpated the Moabite inhabitants. Hence, in the days when the Reubenites became engrossed in their pastoral pursuits, and probably not very long after the days of Joshua, the Moabites easily encroached on their inheritance, and in the end probably reoccupied nearly the whole of the ancient kingdom of Sihon (Compare Deuteronomy 33:6 note).8. With whom—Hebrew, "him." The antecedent is evidently to Manasseh, not, however, the half-tribe just mentioned, but the other half; for the historian, led, as it were, by the sound of the word, breaks off to describe the possessions beyond Jordan already assigned to Reuben, Gad, and the half of Manasseh (see on [190]Nu 32:1; [191]Nu 32:33; also see De 3:8-17). It may be proper to remark that it was wise to put these boundaries on record. In case of any misunderstanding or dispute arising about the exact limits of each district or property, an appeal could always be made to this authoritative document, and a full knowledge as well as grateful sense obtained of what they had received from God (Ps 16:5, 6). The city that is in the midst of the river; of which see Deu 3:16 Joshua 12:2.

And their coast was from Aroer that is on the bank of the river Arnon,.... As the country of Sihon is described, Joshua 13:9; from whence it appears that it was his country which was given to Reuben, though not all of it:

and the city that is in the midst of the river; See Gill on Joshua 13:9,

and all the plain by Medeba; which reached unto Dibon, Joshua 13:9.

And their coast was from Aroer, that is on the bank of the river Arnon, and the city that is in the midst of the river, and all the plain by Medeba;
16. their coast] Observe the use of the word “coast” here, without any allusion to the seaboard. The word comes from the Latin costa = “a rib,” “side,” through the Fr. “coste.” Hence it = “a border” generally, though now applied to the sea-coast only. Comp. “Bethlehem and in all the coasts thereof” (Matthew 2:16); “the coasts of Judæa” (Matthew 19:1); the coasts of Gadara (Mark 5:17); “the coasts” of Antioch in Pisidia (Acts 13:50). The portion of country this tribe selected, under its modern name of the Belka, is still esteemed beyond all others by the Arab sheepmasters. It was the southernmost and smallest portion of the district east of the Jordan.

from Aroer] See above, ch. Joshua 12:2; all the plain by Medeba = the plateau east of Abarim or mount Pisgah. See above, Joshua 12:3.

the city that is in the midst] = Ar of Moab, as above, Joshua 13:9.

Joshua 13:16The Possessions of the Two Tribes and a Half. - Joshua 13:15-23. The tribe of Reuben received its inheritance in the south-namely, the territory from Aror in the Arnon valley, and from Ar in that valley, onwards, and the plain (table-land) by Medeba (see Joshua 13:9), with Heshbon the capital and her towns, i.e., the towns dependent upon it, in the plain. Heshbon, almost in the centre between the Arnon and the Jabbok, was situated upon the border of the inheritance of the Reubenites, and was ceded to the Gadites, who gave it up to the Levites (Joshua 21:39; 1 Chronicles 6:66 : see at Numbers 32:37). Dibon, called Dibon of Gad in Numbers 33:45, because the Gadites had built, i.e., fortified it, was on the south of Heshbon, only an hour from Aror, on the Arnon (Joshua 13:9). Bamoth-baal, also called Bamoth simply (Numbers 21:20; Isaiah 15:2), is to be sought for on the Jebel Attarus (see at Numbers 21:20). It was thence that Balaam saw the end of the Israelitish camp (Numbers 22:41). Bethbaal-meon, the present ruin of Myun, three-quarters of an hour S.E. of Heshbon (see at Numbers 32:38). Jahza, where Sihon was defeated, was to the east of Medeba, according to the Onom.; and Dibon was on the border of the desert (see at Numbers 21:23). Kedemoth, on the border of the desert, to the north-west of Kalaat Balua, is to be sought on the northern bank of the Balua, or upper Arnon (see at Numbers 21:13). Mephaath, where there was a garrison stationed (according to the Onom.) as a defence against the inhabitants of the desert, is to be sought for in the neighbourhood of Jahza, with which it is always associated (Jeremiah 48:21). Kedemoth and Mephaath were given up to the Levites (Joshua 21:37; 1 Chronicles 6:64).
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