Joshua 22:33
And the thing pleased the children of Israel; and the children of Israel blessed God, and did not intend to go up against them in battle, to destroy the land wherein the children of Reuben and Gad dwelled.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(33) Did not intendi.e., they decided not (Heb. they did not say to go up against them).

Joshua 22:33. The children of Israel blessed God — As Phinehas had done, that their brethren had not offended the Divine Majesty as they suspected. And did not intend to go up against them — Laid aside the intention which had been in their minds. To destroy the land — As, by the law of God, they would have been obliged to do, if these two tribes and a half had been guilty of the crime of which they had been suspected, and had persisted in their sin; as afterward they nearly destroyed the tribe of Benjamin for a similar reason.22:30-34 It is well that there was on both sides a disposition to peace, as there was a zeal for God; for quarrels about religion, for want of wisdom and love, often prove the most fierce and difficult to be made up. Proud and peevish spirits, when they have passed any unjust blame on their brethren, though full evidence be brought of its unfairness, can by no means be persuaded to withdraw it. But Israel was not so prejudiced. They looked upon their brethren's innocence as a token of God's presence. Our brethren's zeal for the power of godliness, and faith and love, notwithstanding the fears of their breaking the unity of the church, are things of which we should be very glad to be satisfied. The altar was called ED, a witness. It was a witness of their care to keep their religion pure and entire, and would witness against their descendants, if they should turn from following after the Lord. Happy will it be when all professed Christians learn to copy the example of Israel, to unite zeal and steady adherence to the cause of truth, with candour, meekness, and readiness to understand each other, to explain and to be satisfied with the explanations of their brethren. May the Lord increase the number of those who endeavour to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace! may increasing grace and consolation be with all who love Jesus Christ in sincerity!The repeated invocation of God, and that by His three names - אל 'êl, אלהים 'ĕlohı̂ym, יהוה yehovâh: compare Psalm 50:1 - marks the earnestness of the protestation. The conduct of the two tribes and a half has often been noted as exemplary. They had had a grave and capital crime most unexpectedly laid to their charge, of which they were entirely innocent. Yet there is no word of reproach or recrimination in their vindication of themselves. They are contented simply to repudiate the false accusation and to explain the real motives of conduct perhaps suggested to them by a precedent set by Moses Exodus 17:15.

Save us not this day - The words are a direct appeal to God, exactly equivalent in effect to our form "So help me God."

33, 34. the thing pleased the children of Israel—The explanation not only gave perfect satisfaction to the deputies, but elicited from them expressions of unbounded joy and thankfulness. "This day we perceive that the Lord is among us" [Jos 22:31], that is, by His gracious presence and preventing goodness, which has kept you from falling into the suspected sin and rescued the nation from the calamity of a fratricidal war or providential judgments. This episode reflects honor upon all parties and shows that piety and zeal for the honor and worship of God animated the people that entered Canaan to an extent far beyond what was exemplified in many other periods of the history of Israel. As they were by the law of God obliged to do, if they had been guilty and persisted therein; as afterwards they did they tribe of Benjamin for the same reason. And the thing pleased the children of Israel,.... They were quite satisfied with the account of things, and were pleased and delighted with what their brethren, the other two tribes, had done:

and the children of Israel blessed God: returned thanks to him, that there was no trespass committed against him, and no schism like to be made among them, nor any wrath to come upon them:

and did not intend to go up against them in battle; for though upon first hearing of their building an altar, which they supposed was for idolatry, they had intended to make war against them, but now understanding the design of that building, they laid aside all thoughts of that kind:

to destroy the land wherein the children of Reuben and Gad dwelt; which they judged by the law in Deuteronomy 13:12 they were obliged to do. The Greek version here adds also, "and the half tribe of Manasseh", and renders the last clause, and "they dwelt in it"; continued to dwell in it undisturbed by their brethren.

And the thing pleased the children of Israel; and the children of Israel blessed God, and did not intend to go up against them in battle, to destroy the land wherein the children of Reuben and Gad dwelt.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
32–34. Return of the Embassy

33. blessed God] Compare 1 Chronicles 29:20, “And David said to all the congregation, Now bless the Lord your God. And all the congregation blessed the Lord God of their fathers;” Nehemiah 8:6, “And Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God;” Daniel 2:19, “Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven;” Luke 2:28, “Then took he Him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said.”

did not intend] i. e. did not carry out their intention of going up to war against them, as they first thought of doing when “they gathered themselves together at Shiloh;” see above Joshua 22:12.Verse 33. - Did not intend. Literally, did not speak. That is, no one, after the explanation, was found to support the proposal which had previously been found to be necessary. "So we thought, we will make ourselves to build an altar (an expression derived from the language of ordinary life, for 'we will build ourselves an altar'), not for burnt-offerings and slain-offerings; but it shall be a witness between us and you, and between our generations after us, that we may perform the service of Jehovah before His face (i.e., before the tabernacle in which Jehovah was enthroned), with our burnt-offerings, slain-offerings, and peace-offerings," - in order, as they repeat in Joshua 22:27 from Joshua 22:24, Joshua 22:25, that they might not be denied a part in Jehovah in time to come. For if it should so happen in time to come, that this should be said to them and to their descendants, they would say (or reply), "Behold the copy of the altar of Jehovah, which our fathers made, not for burnt-offerings," etc. (Joshua 22:28, as in Joshua 22:26, Joshua 22:27). For this reason they had built the altar according to the pattern of the altar before the tabernacle, and that not in their own land, but on the western side of the Jordan, where the dwelling-place of Jehovah was standing, as a witness that they worshipped one and the same God with the tribes on this side.
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