Numbers 32:6
And Moses said unto the children of Gad and to the children of Reuben, Shall your brethren go to war, and shall ye sit here?
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32:6-15 The proposal showed disregard to the land of Canaan, distrust of the Lord's promise, and unwillingness to encounter the difficulties and dangers of conquering and driving out the inhabitants of that land. Moses is wroth with them. It will becomes any of God's Israel to sit down unconcerned about the difficult and perilous concerns of their brethren, whether public or personal. He reminds them of the fatal consequences of the unbelief and faint-heartedness of their fathers, when they were, as themselves, just ready to enter Canaan. If men considered as they ought what would be the end of sin, they would be afraid of the beginning of it.See Numbers 32:34-38 notes. 6-19. Moses said unto the children of Gad and to the children of Reuben, Shall your brethren go to war, and shall ye sit here—Their language was ambiguous; and Moses, suspicious that this proposal was an act of unbelief, a scheme of self-policy and indolence to escape the perils of warfare and live in ease and safety, addressed to them a reproachful and passionate remonstrance. Whether they had really meditated such a withdrawal from all share in the war of invasion, or the effect of their leader's expostulation was to drive them from their original purpose, they now, in answer to his impressive appeal, declared it to be their sincere intention to co-operate with their brethren; but, if so, they ought to have been more explicit at first. In case and peace, whilst your brethren are engaged in a bloody war. Their words were ambiguous, and Moses thought this to be an act of unbelief and sloth and self-love and policy.

And Moses said unto the children of Gad, and to the children of Reuben,.... Being displeased with their motion, as his following discourse shows, it having at first sight an appearance of covetousness and cowardice:

shall your brethren go to war, and shall ye sit here? it is not reasonable that your brethren should be left by you and engage in a war with your common enemies, to dispossess them of their land before they can settle in it and you remain here easy and quiet in the possession of a fruitful country.

And Moses said unto the children of Gad and to the children of Reuben, Shall your brethren go to war, and shall ye sit here?
Verse 6. - Shall your brethren go to war, and shall ye sit here. Moses had good cause to feel great anxiety about the entry into Canaan proper. Once already the faith and courage of the people had failed them on the very threshold of the promised land, and a slight discouragement might bring about a similar calamity. Hence he spoke with a degree of sharpness which does not appear to have been deserved. Numbers 32:6Moses first of all blames their want of brotherly feeling: "Shall your brethren go into the war, and ye sit here?" He then calls their attention to the fact, that by their disinclination they would take away the courage and inclination of the other tribes to cross over the Jordan and conquer the land, and would bring the wrath of God upon Israel even more than their fathers who were sent from Kadesh to spy out the land, and who led away the heart of the people into rebellion through their unfavourable account of the inhabitants of Canaan, and brought so severe a judgment upon the congregation. מן את־לב הניא, to hold away the heart, i.e., render a person averse to anything. The Keri תּניאוּן, as in Numbers 32:9, is unquestionably to be preferred to the Kal תּנוּאוּן, in the Kethib of Numbers 32:7. - In Numbers 32:8-13, Moses reminds them of the occurrences described in ch. 13 and 14. On the expression, "wholly followed Jehovah," cf. Numbers 14:24. The words, "He drove them about in the desert," caused them to wander backwards and forwards in it for forty years, point back to Numbers 14:33-35.
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