New International Version
But we will arm ourselves for battle and go ahead of the Israelites until we have brought them to their place. Meanwhile our women and children will live in fortified cities, for protection from the inhabitants of the land.
King James Bible
But we ourselves will go ready armed before the children of Israel, until we have brought them unto their place: and our little ones shall dwell in the fenced cities because of the inhabitants of the land.
Darby Bible Translation
but we ourselves will go with diligence armed before the children of Israel, until we have brought them to their place; and our little ones shall dwell in the strong cities because of the inhabitants of the land.
World English Bible
but we ourselves will be ready armed to go before the children of Israel, until we have brought them to their place: and our little ones shall dwell in the fortified cities because of the inhabitants of the land.
Young's Literal Translation
and we -- we are armed hasting before the sons of Israel till that we have brought them in unto their place; and our infants have dwelt in the cities of defence because of the inhabitants of the land;
Numbers 32:17 Parallel
CommentaryClarke's Commentary on the Bible
Because of the inhabitants of the land - These were the Ammonites, Moabites, Idumeans, and the remains of the Midianites and Amorites. But could the women and children even keep the defenced cities, when placed in them? This certainly cannot be supposed possible. Many of the men of war must of course stay behind. In the last census, Numbers 26, the tribe of Reuben consisted of 43,730 men; the tribe of Gad, 40,500; the tribe of Manasseh, 52,700; the half of which is 26,350. Add this to the sum of the other two tribes, and the amount is 110,580. Now from Joshua 4:13 we learn that of the tribes of Reuben and Gad, and the half of the tribe of Manasseh, only 40,000 armed men passed over Jordan to assist their brethren in the reduction of the land: consequently the number of 70,580 men were left behind for the defense of the women, the children, and the flocks. This was more than sufficient to defend them against a people already panic struck by their late discomfitures and reverses.
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
Like the last part of Exodus, and the whole of Leviticus, the first part of Numbers, i.-x. 28--so called, rather inappropriately, from the census in i., iii., (iv.), xxvi.--is unmistakably priestly in its interests and language. Beginning with a census of the men of war (i.) and the order of the camp (ii.), it devotes specific attention to the Levites, their numbers and duties (iii., iv.). Then follow laws for the exclusion of the unclean, v. 1-4, for determining the manner and amount of restitution …
John Edgar McFadyen—Introduction to the Old Testament
Then they came up to him and said, "We would like to build pens here for our livestock and cities for our women and children.
The men of Reuben, Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh crossed over, ready for battle, in front of the Israelites, as Moses had directed them.
About forty thousand armed for battle crossed over before the LORD to the plains of Jericho for war.
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