There was also a lot for the tribe of Manasseh; for he was the firstborn of Joseph; to wit, for Machir the firstborn of Manasseh…
I. THE EASY WAY TO DISCONTENTMENT. Anybody can complain. Everybody is tempted to complain. Most of those who murmur think that they can show good cause for their complaints. No man is rich enough to be out of the reach of discontent. No man is poor enough to be below the possibility or: happiness.
II. THE UNFAILING TESTIMONY OF DISCONTENTMENT.
1. Complaints furnish no trustworthy evidence about a man's lot. How can they, when so many murmur in every kind of lot which the world knows?
2. Complaints bear unfailing witness against the murmurer himself. Scripture often condemns the man who complains, apart from considering the cause of complaining.
III. THE TRUE ANSWER TO DISCONTENTMENT.
1. Joshua was too wise to dispute the assumption of greatness (vers. 15-17). He who tries to argue a discontented man out of his favourite assumptions does but waste breath.
2. Joshua turned the plea of greatness back on those who used it: "If thou be a great people, then" — work, fight.
3. Joshua sought to cure the murmuring of the heart through the diligence of the hand. The energy which is absorbed in gloomy thoughts, and poured out in bitter complaints, would generally double the small inheritance, if it were rightly directed. Apart from this industry and courage ever tend to happiness.
4. Joshua encouraged these murmurers to think that to the people of God no difficulties were insuperable. He would have them think of the invincible might which had promised to support their faithful efforts (Deuteronomy 20:1-4), and make them victorious. The after history shows us that, a discontented spirit is not easily cured. These people showed the same haughty dissatisfaction again and again after the death of Joshua (Judges 8:1-3, 12. I-6). He who has cultivated contentment through faith in God is not readily disturbed; while the man who has learned, in whatsoever state he is, to find some fault with his fellows, has given room in his heart for a demon that is not easily expelled.
(F. G. Marchant.)
Parallel VersesKJV: There was also a lot for the tribe of Manasseh; for he was the firstborn of Joseph; to wit, for Machir the firstborn of Manasseh, the father of Gilead: because he was a man of war, therefore he had Gilead and Bashan.
WEB: This was the lot for the tribe of Manasseh, for he was the firstborn of Joseph. As for Machir the firstborn of Manasseh, the father of Gilead, because he was a man of war, therefore he had Gilead and Bashan.