Numbers 32:3
Ataroth, and Dibon, and Jazer, and Nimrah, and Heshbon, and Elealeh, and Shebam, and Nebo, and Beon,
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32:1-5 Here is a proposal made by the Reubenites and Gadites, that the land lately conquered might be allotted to them. Two things common in the world might lead these tribes to make this choice; the lust of the eye, and the pride of life. There was much amiss in the principle they went upon; they consulted their own private convenience more than the public good. Thus to the present time, many seek their own things more than the things of Jesus Christ; and are led by worldly interests and advantages to take up short of the heavenly Canaan.See Numbers 32:34-38 notes. CHAPTER 32

Nu 32:1-42. The Reubenites and Gadites Ask for an Inheritance.

1-5. the land of Jazer, and the land of Gilead—A complete conquest had been made of the country east of the Jordan, comprising "the land of Jazer," which formed the southern district between the Arnon and Jabbok and "the land of Gilead," the middle region between the Jabbok and Jarmouk, or Hieromax, including Bashan, which lay on the north of that river. The whole of this region is now called the Belka. It has always been famous for its rich and extensive pastures, and it is still the favorite resort of the Bedouin shepherds, who frequently contend for securing to their immense flocks the benefit of its luxuriant vegetation. In the camp of ancient Israel, Reuben and Gad were pre-eminently pastoral; and as these two tribes, being placed under the same standard, had frequent opportunities of conversing and arranging about their common concerns, they united in preferring a request that the trans-jordanic region, so well suited to the habits of a pastoral people, might be assigned to them.

Ataroth; different from that Ataroth, Joshua 16:2,7, which was on the other side of Jordan.

Nimrah, called Beth-nimrah, Numbers 22:36 Joshua 13:27; and the waters of Nimrim, Isaiah 15:6. Shebam, called Shibmah, Numbers 32:38.

Beon which is thought to be the same place called Baal-meon, Numbers 32:38, and Beth-meon, Jeremiah 48:23.

Ataroth, Dibon, and Jazer,.... These were places which belonged to the Amorites, and were taken from Sihon, their king: of Ataroth we read nowhere else but in this chapter; of Dibon see Isaiah 15:2, Jazer was a city, from whence the land about it had its name; it is the same with Jaazer, Numbers 21:32 and stood about fifteen miles from Heshbon (k), the capital city of the kingdom of Sihon:

and Nimrah, and Heshbon, and Elealeh, and Shebam, and Nebo, and Beon; these were all places in the same country; of Heshbon see Numbers 21:25, Nimrah is the same with Bethnimrah, Numbers 32:36 and sometimes called Nimrim, famous for its water, Isaiah 15:6. Jerom says (l) the name of it in his time was Benamerium, and lay to the north of Zoar; Elealeh, according to the same writer (m) was but a mile from Heshbon, of which see Isaiah 15:4. Shebam is the same with Shibmah, Numbers 32:36, and seems to be a place famous for vines, Isaiah 16:8; it is thought to be the same with the Seba of Ptolemy (n), and according to Jerom (o), there were scarce five hundred paces between this place and Heshbon; Nebo, the Targums of Onkelos and Jonathan call the grave of Moses, because on a mountain of this name Moses died, and where it is supposed he was buried; but it is certain he was buried not on a mountain, but in a valley, Deuteronomy 34:6, this perhaps had its name from the mountain near which it was, and of which see Isaiah 15:2. Beon is the same that is called Baalmeon, Numbers 32:38 and Bethbaalmeon, Joshua 13:17, where was very probably a temple of Baal; it was about nine miles from Heshbon (p).

(k) Jerom. de loc. Heb. fol. 92. G. (l) lbid. K. (m) Ibid. fol. 91. A. (n) Geograph. l. 5. c. 19. (o) Comment. in Esaiam, c. 16. 8. (p) Eusebius apud Reland: Palest. Illustr. par. 2. l. 3. p. 611.

Ataroth, and Dibon, and Jazer, and Nimrah, and Heshbon, and Elealeh, and Shebam, and Nebo, and Beon,
3. All these names recur in Numbers 32:34-38, three of them in a slightly different form (see R.V. marg.). Beon is probably a mere scribal slip for Meon.

Verse 3. - Ataroth. As to the nine places here mentioned, see on verses 34-38. They all lie to the south of Gilead, properly so called, within a comparatively short distance of the route by which the main body of the Israelites had advanced. Probably the cattle which followed the host were still grazing under guard around these places, and it was very natural that tribes which had hitherto lived closely crowded together should not at first contemplate spreading themselves very far afield. Numbers 32:3In Numbers 32:3 the country is more distinctly defined by the introduction of the names of a number of important towns, whilst the clause "the country which the Lord smote before the congregation of Israel," in which the defeat of Sihon is referred to, describes it as one that was without a ruler, and therefore could easily be taken possession of. For more minute remarks as to the towns themselves, see at Numbers 32:34. On the construction את יתּן, see at Genesis 4:18. - The words, "let us not go over the Jordan," may be understood as expressing nothing more than the desire of the speakers not to receive their inheritance on the western side of the Jordan, without their having any intention of withdrawing their help from the other tribes in connection with the conquest of Canaan, according to their subsequent declaration (Numbers 32:16.); but they may also be understood as expressing a wish to settle at once in the land to the east of the Jordan, and leave the other tribes to conquer Canaan alone. Moses understood them in the latter sense (Numbers 32:6.), and it is probable that this was their meaning, as, when Moses reproved them, the speakers did not reply that they had not cherished the intention attributed to them, but simply restricted themselves to the promise of co-operation in the conquest of Canaan. But even in this sense their request did not manifest "a shamelessness that would hardly be historically true" (Knobel). It may very well be explained from the opinion which they cherished, and which is perfectly intelligible after the rapid and easy defeat of the two mighty kings of the Amorites, Sihon and Og, that the remaining tribes were quite strong enough to conquer the land of Canaan on the west of the Jordan. But for all that, the request of the Reubenites and Gadites did indicate an utter want of brotherly feeling, and complete indifference to the common interests of the whole nation, so that they thoroughly deserved the reproof which they received from Moses.
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