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. INABILITY IN ITS RELATION TO UNBELIEF. The promises of God had been many, and the warnings urgent (Exodus 34:10-17; Numbers 33:50-56, &c.). They who begin by disbelieving God may well fear to encounter powerful enemies.
II. INABILITY IN ITS RELATION TO INDISPOSITION. The indisposition that comes —
1. Through fear of men.
2. Through love of ease.
3. Through undervaluing the importance of God's command.
III. THE INABILITY OF GOD-AIDED MEN PRESENTLY SHOWN TO BE A MERE PRETENCE AND A POOR EXCUSE.
1. The revelation which comes through transgressors themselves. "When the children of Israel were waxen strong, they put the Canaanites to tribute." "Could not" is here seen to be "would not." That "tribute" told the entire story in its true colours. Tribute goes on telling secrets still. The tribute of Judas burned into his very soul, till he threw the thirty pieces on the temple floor, and cried over them in agony. The tribute of the craft by which Demetrius had his wealth let out the secret reason of his great love for the despised Diana (Acts 19:24-27). The dishonest merchant cannot keep his gains from preaching. Transgressors win their way to success unobserved, and then betray themselves with the very gains they have won.
2. The revelation which comes through those who succeed transgressors. Out of this very section of the tribe of Manasseh arose Gideon, of the family of the Abi-ezrites (ver. 2). On this very ground of the half-tribe of Manasseh was fought the great battle which delivered Israel from the Midianites. And how was it fought? By an army from which more than thirty thousand had been sent to their homes; by a small force of three hundred men, who merely brake their pitchers, and held their torches on high, shedding light on a truth afterwards embodied in one of the famous sayings of Israel, "The battle is the Lord's." It was as though God were purposely reproving the faint-heartedness and idleness of these men who had lived in the days of Joshua.
(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.