Numbers 26:29
Of the sons of Manasseh: of Machir, the family of the Machirites: and Machir begat Gilead: of Gilead come the family of the Gileadites.
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(29) Machir begat Gilead.—It is stated in 1Chronicles 7:14, and in the LXX. of Genesis 46:20, that Machir’s mother was an Aramitess. This may account for the name which was given to his son, Gilead, the border land between Syria and Canaan, and that in which Laban overtook Jacob (Genesis 31:25).

26:1-51 Moses did not number the people but when God commanded him. We have here the families registered, as well as the tribes. The total was nearly the same as when numbered at mount Sinai. Notice is here taken of the children of Korah; they died not, as the children of Dathan and Abiram; they seem not to have joined even their own father in rebellion. If we partake not of the sins of sinners, we shall not partake of their plagues.The children of Korah died not - Compare Numbers 26:58. Samuel the prophet was of this family, and Heman, "the king's seer" 1 Chronicles 6:22, 1 Chronicles 6:33; 1 Chronicles 25:5. Several of the Psalms appear from the titles to have been composed for the sons of Korah: compare titles of Psalm 42:1-11; 44; 45, etc. 12. The sons of Simeon—It is supposed that this tribe had been pre-eminent in the guilt of Baal-peor and had consequently been greatly reduced in numbers.

Thus God's justice and holiness, as well as His truth and faithfulness, were strikingly displayed: His justice and holiness in the sweeping judgments that reduced the ranks of some tribes; and His truth and faithfulness in the extraordinary increase of others so that the posterity of Israel continued a numerous people.

Gilead is here mentioned as Machir’s only son, and therefore some conceive that the family of the Machirites, and of the Gileadites, are one and the same family, only called by two names; first Machirites, but afterwards Gileadites. Others make them distinct families, because Machir had other children, Genesis 1:23 1 Chronicles 7:14-16, which are called by their father’s name, Machirites, whereas the children of his eldest son Gilead are called by his name, Gileadites. But though Machir had other children, it seems they and their posterity were extinct at this time, and that Machir alone was left and his posterity, as may be gathered by comparing this and the following verses with Joshua 17:1-3 1 Chronicles 7:14-19.

The sons of Joseph, after their families, were Manasseh and Ephraim. Manasseh is here mentioned first, though Ephraim was preferred to him by Jacob, and the standard belonged to him; not because he was the firstborn, but because he had now the greater increase, though he had but one son, Machir, of whom was the family of the Machirites, and a grandson, whose name was Gilead, from whom was the family of the Gileadites, and who had six sons; of whom were the families of the Jeezerite, Halekite, Asrielite, Shechemite, Shemidaite, and Hepherite. Hepher, of whom was the last, had a son named Zelophehad, but he had no son, only five daughters, whose names are given; the number of men in this tribe, of twenty years old and upwards, fit for war, was 52,700, so that the increase was 20,500, a large increase indeed! Of the sons of Manasseh: of Machir, the family of the Machirites: and Machir begat Gilead: of Gilead come the family of the Gileadites.
Verse 29. - The sons of Manasseh. There is considerable difficulty about the families of this tribe, because they are not recorded in Genesis, while the details preserved in 1 Chronicles 7:14-17 are so obscure and fragmentary as to be extremely perplexing. According to the present enumeration there were eight families in Manasseh, one named after his son Machir, one after his grandson Gilead, and the rest after his great-grandsons. The list given in Joshua 17:1, 2 agrees with this, except that the Machirites and the Gileadites are apparently identified. It appears from the genealogy in 1 Chronicles 7 that the mother of Machir was a stranger from Aram, the country of Laban. This may perhaps account for the fact that Machir's son received the name of Gilead, for Gilead was the border land between Aram and Canaan; it more probably explains the subsequent allotment of territory in that direction to the Machirites (Numbers 32:40). Gilead appears again as a proper name in Judges 11:2. Numbers 26:29Eight families descended from Manasseh: viz., one from his son Machir, the second from Machir's son or Manasseh's grandson Gilead, and the other six from the six sons of Gilead. The genealogical accounts in Numbers 27:1; Numbers 36:1, and Joshua 17:1., fully harmonize with this, except that Iezer (Numbers 26:30) is called Abiezer in Joshua 17:2; whereas only a part of the names mentioned here occur in the genealogical fragments in 1 Chronicles 2:21-24, and 7:14-29. In Numbers 26:33, a son of Hepher, named Zelophehad, is mentioned. He had no sons, but only daughters, whose names are given here to prepare the way for the legal regulations mentioned in Numbers 27 and 39, to which this fact gave rise.
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