Joshua 13:25
And their coast was Jazer, and all the cities of Gilead, and half the land of the children of Ammon, to Aroer that is before Rabbah;
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Joshua 13:25. All the cities of Gilead — All the cities of eminence; all the cities properly so called, which lay in that part of Gilead; and thus what is here assured may well agree with Joshua 13:31, where half the country of Gilead is said to be given to the Manassites, for there is no mention of any cities being there. Half the land of the children of Ammon — Not of that which was now theirs, for that the Israelites were forbidden to meddle with; but of that which was anciently theirs, till taken from them by the Amorites, from whom the Israelites took it. Aroer — The border between them and Moab. Rabbah — The chief city of the Ammonites.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.All the cities of Gilead - i. e. of Gilead in the narrower sense, included in the territory of Sihon, and distinct from Bashan Deuteronomy 3:10.

Half the land of the children of Ammon - i. e. that half of the Ammonite territory which had been conquered by the Amorites. This, after the overthrow of Sihon, the Israelites took for their own. The land which the Ammonites still held in the days of Moses, the Israelites were not permitted to attack.

Rabbah was a border fortress, the principal stronghold of the Ammonites Numbers 21:24, and the residence of their king. It was attacked and taken by Joab 2 Samuel 11; 12; 1 Chronicles 20:1, but appears in later times again as an Ammonitish city Jeremiah 49:3; Ezekiel 25:5; Amos 1:13-15. In the third century B.C. it received from Ptolemy Philadelplus the name of Philadelphia, and was in later times the seat of a Christian bishop; but has now for many centuries been in ruins, remarkable for their grandeur and extent.

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). All the cities of Gilead, i.e. all the cities of note and eminency; all cities properly so called, which it seems lay in that part of Gilead; and so this may well agree with Joshua 13:25, where half the country of Gilead is said to be given to the Manassites; but there is no mention of any cities there.

Half the land of the children of Ammon; not of that which now was theirs, for that they were forbidden to meddle with, Deu 2:9, but of that which was anciently theirs, but taken from them by the Amorites, Numbers 21:26, from whom the Israelites took it, Judges 11:15.

Unto Aroer, the border between them and Moab.

Rabbah, the chief city of the Ammonites, 2 Samuel 11:1 12:26,27. And their coast was Jazer,.... Their southern coast; of Jazer, see Numbers 21:32; where it is called Jaazer, and is mentioned in Isaiah 16:8; and in Jeremiah 48:32, where it is spoken of as a city of Moab, as it was in the days of those prophets:

and all the cities of Gilead; which lay in those parts, for the whole was not given to this tribe, half of Gilead was given to the half tribe of Manasseh, Joshua 13:31,

and half the land of the children of Ammon; not what then belonged to them, but what had been taken from them by the Amorites; and which Israel taking from them, had a right to retain, though they were forbid meddling with any of their land in present possession; see Deuteronomy 2:19 Judges 11:13,

unto Aroer that is before Rabbath; Aroer was a city of Moab, situated on the river Arnon, Joshua 13:9; and stood over against Rabbath, a city of the Amorites, since called Philadelphia, the same that Joab took, 2 Samuel 12:26; though Reland thinks (n), that according to the situation of these cities another Aroer must be here meant, and which belonged to the Amorites.

(n) Palestin. Illustrat. tom. 2. p. 583.

And their coast was Jazer, and all the cities of Gilead, and half the land of the children of Ammon, unto Aroer that is before Rabbah;
24–28. The Possession of the Tribe of Gad

25. their coast was Jazer] or Jaazer. We first hear of it in possession of the Amorites, and as taken by Israel after Heshbon, and on their way from thence to Bashan (Numbers 21:32). At present it is identified with Szîr, or Seir, nine Roman miles west of Ammân, and about 12 from Heshbon. For coast see above, Joshua 13:16.

all the cities of Gilead] i.e. of the southern part of Gilead, which belonged to the kingdom of Sihon, for the other half, on the north of the Jabbok, which was governed by king Og, was allotted to the half tribe of Manasseh.

half the land of the children of Ammon] i.e. that portion of the land which had been taken from them by the Amorites under Sihon, for the Israelites were not allowed to attack the land of the Ammonites themselves (Deuteronomy 2:19; Jdg 11:13 sq.).

unto Aroer] i.e. unto Aroer of Gad (Numbers 32:34), not the Aroer near the Arnon (of Joshua 13:16), that is before Rabbah, the capital of the Ammonites, famous (a) in the history of Jephthah (Jdg 11:33), and (b) in the history of David (2 Samuel 24:5).Verse 25. - Aroer that is before Rabbah. A different Aroer to that mentioned in ver. 9. This was near (Hebrew, opposite to, the expression being equivalent to the French en face) Rabbah, or the great city of the children of Ammon. Keil supposes that this territory had been taken from the Ammonites by Sihon, since the Israelites were not permitted to possess themselves of the land of the Ammonites (Deuteronomy 2:19). For Rabbah, see 2 Samuel 11:1; 2 Samuel 12:26. It is called Rabbath in Deuteronomy 3:11. Kirjathaim, where Chedorlaomer defeated the Emim, is probably to be found in the ruins of et-Teym, half an hour to the west of Medaba (see at Genesis 14:5). Sibmah (Numbers 32:38), according to Jerome (on Isaiah 16:8), only 500 paces from Heshbon, appears to have hopelessly disappeared. Zereth-hashachar, i.e., splendor aurorae, which is only mentioned here, was situated "upon a mountain of the valley." According to Joshua 13:27, the valley was the Jordan valley, or rather (according to Genesis 14:3, Genesis 14:8) the vale of Siddim, a valley running down on the eastern side of the Dead Sea. Seetzen conjectures that the town referred to is the present ruin of Sar, on the south of Zerka Maein. - Beth-peor, opposite to Jericho, six Roman miles higher than (to the east of) Libias: see at Numbers 23:28. The "slopes of Pisgah" (Joshua 12:3; Deuteronomy 3:17): to the south of the former, on the north-eastern shore of the Dead Sea (see at Numbers 27:12). Beth-jeshimoth (Joshua 12:3), in the Ghor el Seisabn, on the north-east side of the Dead Sea (see at Numbers 22:1). In Joshua 13:21, the places which Reuben received in addition to those mentioned by name are all summed up in the words, "and all the (other) towns of the plain, and all the kingdom of Sihon," sc., so far as it extended over the plain. These limitations of the words are implied in the context: the first in the fact that towns in the plain are mentioned in Joshua 13:17; the second in the fact that, according to Joshua 13:27, "the rest of the kingdom of Sihon," i.e., the northern portion of it, was given to the Gadites. The allusion to Sihon induced the author to mention his defeat again; see at Numbers 31, where the five Midianitish vassals who were slain with Sihon are noticed in Numbers 31:8, and the death of Balaam is also mentioned. "Dukes of Sihon," properly vassals of Sihon; נסיכים does not signify anointed, however, but means literally poured out, i.e., cast, moulded, enfeoffed. The word points to the "creation of a prince by the communication or pouring in of power" (Gusset, s. v.).
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