And these are the names of the men that shall stand with you: of the tribe of Reuben; Elizur the son of Shedeur.…
I. THEY ARE MERE NAMES TO US. Were we asked who Eliab was, we should say the eldest, envious, angry brother of David, not the census-taker for Zebulun; or Gamaliel, he who stood up in the council, not the census-taker for Manasseh. High as they may have been once, their position in human history is little better than oblivion.
"The long, proud tale of swelling fame
Dried to a brief and barren name."
II. Yet though mere names now, they WERE ONCE WELL KNOWN. Every child of Zebulun would be taught to look up to Eliab.
III. Though mere names to us, THEY DID A USEFUL WORK IN THEIR TIME. It would be no small satisfaction to them, if they looked at the thing rightly, to consider that they had been able to undertake for Moses such an important work as making sure of the fighting strength of each tribe.
IV. There was doubtless some appreciation of their services AT THE TIME, both by Moses and the sober-minded of the people.
V. But in any case GOD HAS MARKED WHAT THEY DID. He has the record of all the faithful and the holy who have only their names in human history, and the far greater part of them not even that. - Y.
Parallel VersesKJV: And these are the names of the men that shall stand with you: of the tribe of Reuben; Elizur the son of Shedeur.