Joshua 22:11, 12: The Children of Israel Prepare for War over the Altar

Verse 11:[1] And the children of Israel (Deut. 13:12, etc.; Judg. 20:12) heard say, Behold, the children of Reuben and the children of Gad and the half tribe of Manasseh have built an altar over against the land of Canaan, in the borders of Jordan, at the passage of the children of Israel.

[And when the children of Israel had heard] The law of the corporate body is unto all its parts, and the greater part maintains the law of the corporate body. See Deuteronomy 13:12, and Concering the Law of War and Peace 2:5:17 (Grotius).

[In the land of Canaan, upon the banks of Jordan, over against the children of Israel, אֶל־מוּל֙ אֶ֣רֶץ כְּנַ֔עַן אֶל־גְּלִילוֹת֙ הַיַּרְדֵּ֔ן אֶל־עֵ֖בֶר וגו״] Over against (or, in the view of [Osiander], or, upon the borders of [Septuagint]) the land of Canaan, over against the children of Israel (Tigurinus, Osiander, Bonfrerius). Others: on the side, or, toward the side, of the children of Israel (Jonathan, Munster), on the portion of the side of the children of Israel (Arabic). Others: at the passage, or, toward the passage, of the children of Israel (Septuagint, Montanus, Junius, Pagnine, English). Over against, that is, in such a way that this altar was in the midst of the Gileadites and the Canaanites, and joined the former with the latter, and associated them in the religion and law of sacrifice (Lapide). Question: Where was this altar? Responses: 1. On the farther bank of Jordan, or in Gilead (Jonathan in Bonfrerius). 2. Rather on the nearer bank, or in the land of Canaan (Lapide, Bonfrerius, Menochius, Drusius). The reason is that they were wanting to testify by this altar to their original right that they had in the land of Canaan, especially to sacrifice on th altar of the Temple, common with the other nine tribes (Lapide). Of which unique altar this was a symbol, that among their descendants it might testify that they worshipped, and are obliged to worship, the same God with them in the same sacred rites (Masius).

At the passage of the children of Israel: Where they passed over Jordan, either at their first entrance into Canaan, or afterwards, and usually.


Verse 12:[2] And when the children of Israel heard of it, (Judg. 20:1) the whole congregation of the children of Israel gathered themselves together at Shiloh, to go up to war against them.

The children of Israel; not in their own persons, but by their elders, who used to transact all affairs of this kind in the name and stead of all the people.

[They gathered together, etc.] Just as zeal for the vindication of Religion is worthy of praise; so also it is worthy of great reprehension that with a rash judgment they altogether condemn that which they have known with insufficient investigation. But it is well that, with their thoughts first gathered, they take counsel concerning first becoming acquainted with the intention of their brethren, etc. Let us learn not rashly to be moved with suspiciouns concerning the words and deeds of our brethren. Judge not, etc., Matthew 7:1, 2. It is asked here whether under the new Law Religion might be vindicated with the sword. Response: What the old Law determined is evident from Deuteronomy 13. Moreover, no more by the Law of Christ than by the Law of Moses was the salvation of the honest obliged to be advanced through the impunity of the wicked, since there was one and the same end for both Laws, namely, love toward God and one’s neighbors. But by the Gospel of Christ are men liberated for freedom and impunity of wickedness? And what sin is greater than for one to defect from true Religion, and to go to lead others away? Now, I do not speak of those that in the study of piety turn a little from the Religion of the fathers, and follow, not so much diverse doctrines, as certain rites; but of those that overthrow the very foundations of Religion, and are not able to be moved from their wickedness by any arguments (Masius).

[So that they might fight against them] As against transgressors of the Law, because God had commanded that there be only one place, and on altar, of sacrifices for the people of Israel, Exodus 20:24; Leviticus 17:8, 9; Deuteronomy 12:5, 11, 13 (Menochius).

To go up to war against them; as apostates from God, according to God’s command in that case, Deuteronomy 13:13, etc.

[1] Hebrew: וַיִּשְׁמְע֥וּ בְנֵֽי־יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל לֵאמֹ֑ר הִנֵּ֣ה בָנ֣וּ בְנֵֽי־רְאוּבֵ֣ן וּבְנֵי־גָ֡ד וַחֲצִי֩ שֵׁ֙בֶט הַֽמְנַשֶּׁ֜ה אֶת־הַמִּזְבֵּ֗חַ אֶל־מוּל֙ אֶ֣רֶץ כְּנַ֔עַן אֶל־גְּלִילוֹת֙ הַיַּרְדֵּ֔ן אֶל־עֵ֖בֶר בְּנֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵֽל׃

[2] Hebrew: וַֽיִּשְׁמְע֖וּ בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל וַיִּקָּ֙הֲל֜וּ כָּל־עֲדַ֤ת בְּנֵֽי־יִשְׂרָאֵל֙ שִׁלֹ֔ה לַעֲל֥וֹת עֲלֵיהֶ֖ם לַצָּבָֽא׃

Joshua 22:10: The Altar of the Transjordanian Tribes

Verse 10:[1] And when they came unto the borders of Jordan, that are in the land of Canaan, the children of Reuben and the children of Gad and the half tribe of Manasseh built there an altar by Jordan, a great altar to see to.

[And when they had come unto the mounds of Jordan: that is, where Jordan is enclosed with heaps and mounds of sand, lest it should overflow: אֶל־גְּלִילוֹ[2]] Unto the confines, or limits, of Jordan (Pagnine, Montanus, Junius and Tremellius); unto Gilgal, which is beside Jordan (Syriac).

Built there: Or, built then,[3] as this particle is elsewhere used; and so learned interpreters understand it, Psalm 14:5;[4] 36:12;[5] Ecclesiastes 3:17;[6] Hosea 2:15.[7] And in the Latin tongue adverbs of place are sometimes put for adverbs of time: so I take it here. First, Because this best answers to the when in the beginning of the verse. Secondly, This seems to me to clear a great difficulty as to the place where the altar was built, which though according to our translation it seems, and is generally thought by interpreters to have been, in the land of Canaan; yet if things be more narrowly examined, it may be thought to have been on the other side Jordan in Gilead; and that both, first, from verse 11, where it is said to have been built over against, or in the sight of the land of Canaan, therefore not in it. And secondly, from the reason they gave of the building of this altar, for fear lest the Israelites within Jordan and in Canaan should say unto their children dwelling beyond Jordan, The Lord hath made Jordan a border between us and you, etc.; which jealousy would have been much confirmed by building the altar in Canaan, but would be satisfied and confuted by having on the other side of Jordan, and in their own land, a pattern of that altar at which God was served in the land of Canaan, as a witness that they owned the same God, and the same way of worship, with their brethren that lived in Canaan. But whether the Hebrew particle be rendered then or there, it is not to be taken too strictly: if then, the meaning is not, that they did this as soon as ever they came to the borders of Jordan, that are in the land of Canaan; but about that time when they came to them, that they thought and designed it, and as soon as ever they were got over Jordan, which was in a very little time, they effected and perfected it: if it be rendered there, it is not to be limited to the very same spot of ground mentioned before, as if it was built at that border of Jordan that was in the land of Canaan; but to be a little more largely understood; to be built at one or other of the borders of Jordan; or, in general, by Jordan; which is here purposely added, for the explication of the word there, and to prevent the restraint of it to the border of Jordan, within Canaan.

[An altar of exceedingly great size, מִזְבֵּ֥חַ גָּד֖וֹל לְמַרְאֶֽה׃] Enormous in appearance (Arabic, similarly the Syriac, Junius and Tremellius), that is, of remarkable size (Vatablus).

[1] Hebrew: וַיָּבֹ֙אוּ֙ אֶל־גְּלִיל֣וֹת הַיַּרְדֵּ֔ן אֲשֶׁ֖ר בְּאֶ֣רֶץ כְּנָ֑עַן וַיִּבְנ֣וּ בְנֵי־רְאוּבֵ֣ן וּבְנֵי־גָ֡ד וַחֲצִ֣י שֵׁבֶט֩ הַֽמְנַשֶּׁ֙ה שָׁ֤ם מִזְבֵּ֙חַ֙ עַל־הַיַּרְדֵּ֔ן מִזְבֵּ֥חַ גָּד֖וֹל לְמַרְאֶֽה׃

[2] גְּלִילָה, circuit or boundary, is related to the verbal root גָּלַל, to roll.

[3] Joshua 22:10b:  “…the children of Reuben and the children of Gad and the half tribe of Manasseh built there (שָׁם) an altar by Jordan, a great altar to see to.”

[4] Psalm 14:4, 5:  “Have all the workers of iniquity no knowledge? who eat up my people as they eat bread, and call not upon the Lord.  There (שָׁם, or, then) were they in great fear:  for God is in the generation of the righteous.”

[5] Psalm 36:11, 12:  “Let not the foot of pride come against me, and let not the hand of the wicked remove me.  There (שָׁם, or, then) are the workers of iniquity fallen:  they are cast down, and shall not be able to rise.”

[6] Ecclesiastes 3:17:  “I said in mine heart, God shall judge the righteous and the wicked:  for there is a time there (שָׁם, or, then) for every purpose and for every work.”

[7] Hosea 2:15:  “And I will give her her vineyards from thence (מִשָּׁם), and the valley of Achor for a door of hope:  and she shall sing there (שָּׁמָּה), as in the days of her youth, and as in the day when she came up out of the land of Egypt.”

Revelation 1:4a: Particular Inscription to the Seven Churches

Verse 4:[1] John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him (Ex. 3:14; Rev. 1:8) which is, and (John 1:1) which was, and which is to come; (Zech. 3:9; 4:10; Rev. 3:1; 4:5; 5:6) and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne…

[John to the seven Churches (the names of which are related in verse 11 [Piscator]) which are in Asia] Namely, Asia Minor (Ribera, Zegers, Cluverus, Menochius), in which these seven cities were (Ribera): or, in Asia, properly so called, where the Kingdom of Gog had been[2] (Grotius): in Asia, Lydian or Proconsular, as the Most Reverend Ussher demonstrates in great detail in a tractate concerning this matter:[3] thus Asia is taken in Acts 19:26 and 20:18 (Hammond). To the seven, that is, either, 1. to all the Churches (Bede and Arethas[4] in Ribera, thus a great many in Pererius): for the whole is wont to be designated by number seven (Ribera), which is the number of perfection (Pareus). Or, 2. to seven properly (Pererius, Ribera, Pareus), since they are διακριτικῶς/separately named (Pareus, similarly Pererius). Now, unto those he writes in particular (Grotius); either, 1. because they were more excellent than the others (Cluverus, Durham), and were the principal cities (Grotius), and the metropolitan cities (Apocalyptic Harmony, Hammond); as the seat of the Roman Proconsuls, as testify Ulpianus,[5] Ptolemy[6] in his Geography 1, 2, and Pliny[7] in his Natural History 6:29, 30 (Hammond): or, 2. because, as long as he was able, he, being present, had governed those (Grotius); because they had fallen to him in the division of the lands, and he had taught in them for a long time (Ribera); because they had been founded either by himself (Jerome in Apocalyptic Harmony), or rather were founded by Peter and Paul, but were taken up and cared for by John after the martyrdom of those: or, 3. because these were having a need for correction more than others: or, 4. because here the propagation of the Gospel first flourished (Apocalyptic Harmony): or, 5. because heresies were springing forth there, and the Christians were disquieted, and there was a danger that they might fall away from the sincerity of the faith (Pererius): and upon these Churches he had foreseen that the fury of Satan was first going to lie (Apocalyptic Harmony, similarly Durham). But under the name of them he tacitly comprehends also other Churches, for their states and qualities are able to be applied unto seven classes, as it were, an example of which classes those Asiatic Churches provide (Grotius). What he writes to these seven churches he writes to all others; just as Paul, what things he wrote to the Romans or Corinthians, wrote for the use of all the faithful also (Menochius, similarly Durham). And John wished this Prophecy to be transmitted from these Churches to the others (Durham). John made those Churches repositories of this book, so that by them it might be kept and carried to all Christians. But also those seven Churches, distinct with respect to locations, were enigmatically signifying the universal Church in distinct times all the way unto the end of the world. What? Does Christ walk only among the seven Churchs? or hold only the seven stars in His hand? or is the Holy Spirit the Spirit of these only? And what morning star arose to the Church of Thyatira according to promise? And what notable preservation of the Philadelphian Church? Neither is it proven that the remaining things written here happened in those Churches. Therefore, by their names he understands the Church of all times (Cocceius).

John to the seven churches which are in Asia: John, the apostle and evangelist, writes either to all the churches of Asia under the notion of seven, (which is the number of perfection,) or to those seven churches mentioned Revelation 1:11, Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamos, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea, seven famous places in Asia the Less, where the gospel was planted; which being the most famous churches in that part of the world, John is commanded to deposit this prophecy in their hands, by them to be communicated unto other churches. These churches were in the most famous cities of the Lesser Asia: some think John was the apostle that preached most in Asia, and founded these churches; others, that though they were founded by Peter and Paul, yet after their death John took upon him the charge of them. It is the opinion of some learned men, that the apostle did not, in the epistles to the churches in Asia, design only to tell them of their error, and prescribe to their cure; but that in writing to them, he assigns both a prophetical instruction of us all concerning the state of the church in all periods from that time to the day of judgment, and also to reprove and counsel all present and succeeding churches; but of this we may possibly speak more afterward.

[1] Greek: Ἰωάννης ταῖς ἑπτὰ ἐκκλησίαις ταῖς ἐν τῇ Ἀσίᾳ· χάρις ὑμῖν καὶ εἰρήνη ἀπὸ Θεοῦ ὁ ὢν καὶ ὁ ἦν καὶ ὁ ἐρχόμενος· καὶ ἀπὸ τῶν ἑπτὰ πνευμάτων ἃ ἐνώπιον τοῦ θρόνου αὐτοῦ.

[2] It is thought that Gog was located in the region between and around the Black and Caspian seas.  See Genesis 10:2.

[3] A Geographical and Historical Disquisition, Touching the Asia properly so Called, the Lydian Asia (Which Is the Asia so often Mentioned in the New Testament), the Proconsular Asia, and the Asian Diocese.

[4] Arethas of Cæsarea (ninth century) was a Greek Orthodox bishop and scholar.  He compiled a scholia on the Apocalypse, the oldest extant.

[5] Domitius Ulpianus (d. 228 AD) was a Roman jurist.

[6] Claudius Ptolemæus (c. 90-c. 168), of Roman Alexandria, was a scientist and thinker of great profundity; and his contribution to the fields of geography and astronomy in the Western world has been enormous.

[7] Gaius Plinius Secundus, or Pliny the Elder (23-79), distinguished himself as a learned author, a distinguished Roman Procurator, and a courageous soldier.

Joshua 22:9: The Transjordanian Tribes Depart

Verse 9:[1] And the children of Reuben and the children of Gad and the half tribe of Manasseh returned, and departed from the children of Israel out of Shiloh, which is in the land of Canaan, to go unto (Num. 32:1, 26, 29) the country of Gilead, to the land of their possession, whereof they were possessed, according to the word of the LORD by the hand of Moses.

[From the children of Israel] Understanding, the rest[2] (Vatablus).

[1] Hebrew: וַיָּשֻׁ֣בוּ וַיֵּלְכ֡וּ בְּנֵי־רְאוּבֵ֙ן וּבְנֵי־גָ֜ד וַחֲצִ֣י׀ שֵׁ֣בֶט הַֽמְנַשֶּׁ֗ה מֵאֵת֙ בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל מִשִּׁלֹ֖ה אֲשֶׁ֣ר בְּאֶֽרֶץ־כְּנָ֑עַן לָלֶ֜כֶת אֶל־אֶ֣רֶץ הַגִּלְעָ֗ד אֶל־אֶ֤רֶץ אֲחֻזָּתָם֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר נֹֽאחֲזוּ־בָ֔הּ עַל־פִּ֥י יְהוָ֖ה בְּיַד־מֹשֶֽׁה׃

[2] That is, from the rest of the children of Israel.

Joshua 22:7, 8: Joshua Blesses and Dismisses the Half Tribe of Manasseh

Verse 7:[1] Now to the one half of the tribe of Manasseh Moses had given possession in Bashan: (Josh. 17:5) but unto the other half thereof gave Joshua among their brethren on this side Jordan westward. And when Joshua sent them away also unto their tents, then he blessed them…

[Now to the half tribe of Manasseh, etc.] Because there had been a mention of the Manassites, the reason why this Tribe was divided into two parts is explained parenthetically (Masius, Bonfrerius).

[And when he sent them away…and had blessed them,וְ֠גַם כִּ֣י שִׁלְּחָ֧ם יְהוֹשֻׁ֛עַ אֶל־אָהֳלֵיהֶ֖ם וַיְבָרֲכֵֽם׃] [They vary. Some take this of the Manassites:] So then Joshua dismissed them [namely, the Manassites] also…blessing them (Tigurinus, Munster) [similarly Castalio, and, if I am not mistaken, Jonathan and the Arabic]. [Others understand it of all the Reubenites, Gadites, and Manassites:] And also, when he sent them away, and had bless them, verse 8, then he said, etc. (Pagnine). [The Syriac refers it to verse 6, and encloses most of verse 7 in parentheses, in this manner:] verse 6, Joshua blessed them, and sent them away, and they departed to their cities, verse 7, (for to the half tribe…on the other side of Jordan westward), these, I say, he sent away…and they departed, and he blessed them (Syriac).


Verse 8:[2] And he spake unto them, saying, Return with much riches unto your tents, and with very much cattle, with silver, and with gold, and with brass, and with iron, and with very much raiment: (Num. 31:27; 1 Sam. 30:24) divide the spoil of your enemies with your brethren.

[Divide the spoil with your brethren] Question: With what justice are those that remained at home in peace made level with those that endured war and dangers? Response: Neither the verb חָלַק, to divide,[3] nor חָצָה, to divide,[4] proves that they had equal parts. And, even if we should grant it so to be, nevertheless, when those that took the spoil keep half for themselves, they take far more man-by-man than those sitting idle; for they were far fewer. For only forty thousand fought,[5] but above seventy thousand remained on the other side of Jordan.[6] But neither are those treated as equal in Numbers 31. But there was a different method with those in 1 Samuel 30, for the danger of all was equal; since the enemy was able easily to overwhelm those two hundred also (Masius). Joshua does not consult, but he prescribes (Lapide, Serarius, Masius, Bonfrerius, Tirinus). [Grotius takes the passage otherwise: Divide the spoil, etc., that is, Depart happily with that part of the spoil that has fallen to you (Grotius).

With your brethren: that is, With them who staid beyond Jordan for the defence of their land, and wives, and children, who therefore were to have a share, though not an equal share, with these. See Numbers 31:27. But for them, 1 Samuel 30:24, their share was equal, because their danger was equal.

[1] Hebrew: וְלַחֲצִ֣י׀ שֵׁ֣בֶט הַֽמְנַשֶּׁ֗ה נָתַ֣ן מֹשֶׁה֮ בַּבָּשָׁן֒ וּלְחֶצְי֗וֹ נָתַ֤ן יְהוֹשֻׁ֙עַ֙ עִם־אֲחֵיהֶ֔ם מֵעֵ֥בֶר הַיַּרְדֵּ֖ן יָ֑מָּה וְ֠גַם כִּ֣י שִׁלְּחָ֧ם יְהוֹשֻׁ֛עַ אֶל־אָהֳלֵיהֶ֖ם וַיְבָרֲכֵֽם׃

[2] Hebrew: וַיֹּ֙אמֶר אֲלֵיהֶ֜ם לֵאמֹ֗ר בִּנְכָסִ֙ים רַבִּ֜ים שׁ֤וּבוּ אֶל־אָֽהֳלֵיכֶם֙ וּבְמִקְנֶ֣ה רַב־מְאֹ֔ד בְּכֶ֙סֶף וּבְזָהָ֜ב וּבִנְחֹ֧שֶׁת וּבְבַרְזֶ֛ל וּבִשְׂלָמ֖וֹת הַרְבֵּ֣ה מְאֹ֑ד חִלְק֥וּ שְׁלַל־אֹיְבֵיכֶ֖ם עִם־אֲחֵיכֶֽם׃

[3] Joshua 22:8b:  “…divide (חִלְקוּ) the spoil of your enemies with your brethren.”

[4] Numbers 31:27:  “And divide (וְחָצִיתָ) the prey into two parts; between them that took the war upon them, who went out to battle, and between all the congregation…”

[5] Joshua 4:12, 13.

[6] See Numbers 26:7, 18, 34.

Joshua 22:4-6: Joshua Blesses and Dismisses the Transjordanian Tribes

Verse 4:[1] And now the LORD your God hath given rest unto your brethren, as he promised them: therefore now return ye, and get you unto your tents, and unto the land of your possession, (Num. 32:33; Deut. 29:8; Josh. 13:8) which Moses the servant of the LORD gave you on the other side Jordan.

[Return, פְּנוּ֩ וּלְכ֙וּ לָכֶ֜ם] Look back, and go for yourselves (Montanus); turn again and depart (Munster, Pagnine, Dutch); having turned around, depart (Junius and Tremellius).

[Unto your tabernacles (similarly Malvenda, Junius and Tremellius)] Houses (Septuagint); cities (Jonathan, Syriac). He certainly understands their cities; for they had not left their property in tents, but in cities, Numbers 32:17. But he makes use of a military term among soldiers (Masius, Malvenda). Or, he alludes to their property of cattle, which they were especially cultivating, Numbers 32:1, 4, 16 (Malvenda). Tents are taken broadly for whatever dwelling; as in Judges 19:9;[2] Hosea 9:6. The reason for which is that the former use was of tents rather than of houses: afterward, when houses were built, the same name remained. Just as we use the term libros/books,[3] for those things that are not libri/books, with the term enduring, since initially it was wont to be written in libro, that is, on the bark of trees. Thus in Malachi 2:12, from the tabernacles of Jacob. To this refer that out of 2 Samuel 18:17, they fled unto their tents, that is, unto their houses, or cities (Drusius). In the land of Canaan many were preferring tents to houses. We have the tent of Jael, Judges 4:17; of David, 1 Samuel 17:54; of the Reubenites, 1 Chronicles 5:10; and of the Rechabites, Jeremiah 35:7. Hence also the villages of Jair, Numbers 32:41;[4] Deuteronomy 3:14[5] [concerning which see on those passages]. Moreover, this use of tents, as it had its beginning among shepherds, so it lasted long among those peoples that cultivated cattle (Bochart’s A Sacred Catalogue of Animals 1:2:45:465).

Unto your tents, that is, to your settled habitations, as appears from Joshua 22:8, which are oft called tents, as Judges 19:9; 2 Samuel 18:17; Hosea 9:6; Malachi 2:12.


Verse 5:[6] But (Deut. 6:6, 17; 11:22) take diligent heed to do the commandment and the law, which Moses the servant of the LORD charged you, (Deut. 10:12) to love the LORD your God, and to walk in all his ways, and to keep his commandments, and to cleave unto him, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul.

Take diligent heed; watch over yourselves and all your actions.

[The commandment and the law] The former signifies morals, the latter judgments and ceremonies (Lyra). But that subtlety is overly contrived, and not well-founded enough: both signify the entire teaching of Moses (Masius).

The commandment and the law; two words expressing the same thing, the law of commandments delivered by Moses.

[That ye love] Now, because the whole law was posited in this great commandment, according to Matthew 22:36-38, he inculcates this one in them (Masius).

[In His ways] The precepts of God are called ways, because, just like a way, they direct men in their actions, and show in which route one is to walk (Bonfrerius).

[In all your heart and…soul] Heart here is the mind and intelligence, or will, of man; soul is that part of the inner man that is wont to be agitated by the perturbations of the body, which the Greeks call the ἐπιθυμητικὸν/ epithymeticon, the seat of desire and the affections, and Theologians the ψυχικὸν/ natural. Question: But does Moses or Joshua so emphasize these things, since no one after the spoiling of nature is able to fulfill them? I respond with Augustine, Retractions 1:19, that God set forth that forcible expression of perfection, not because mortals, while they are enclosed in flesh, are able to attain to it, but so that all might strive after it, to which with immortal life they are going at last to come: and to what extent they feel that they are not strong enough to fulfill that, to that extent they more ardently implore the help of Divine grace. God, when He commands, instructs that we should do what we are able; but that we should ask help from Him to do those things that we ourselves are not able; He also by His grace is going to make us able: and in addition this medicine for duty not fully accomplished He prescribes for us, commanding that we should ask Him, Forgive us our debts[7] (Masius).

With all your heart and with all your soul; with the whole strength of your minds, and wills, and affections.


Verse 6:[8] So Joshua (Gen. 47:7; Ex. 39:43; Josh. 14:13; 2 Sam. 6:18; Luke 24:50) blessed them, and sent them away: and they went unto their tents.

[And he blessed them] He wished them well (Masius, Bonfrerius). This is said by way of anticipation (Vatablus). Rather, he gave to them gifts, on account eminent support in the wars. To bless often signifies this (Drusius, Junius).

[1] Hebrew: וְעַתָּ֗ה הֵנִ֙יחַ יְהוָ֤ה אֱלֹֽהֵיכֶם֙ לַֽאֲחֵיכֶ֔ם כַּאֲשֶׁ֖ר דִּבֶּ֣ר לָהֶ֑ם וְעַתָּ֡ה פְּנוּ֩ וּלְכ֙וּ לָכֶ֜ם לְאָהֳלֵיכֶ֗ם אֶל־אֶ֙רֶץ֙ אֲחֻזַּתְכֶ֔ם אֲשֶׁ֣ר׀ נָתַ֣ן לָכֶ֗ם מֹשֶׁה֙ עֶ֣בֶד יְהוָ֔ה בְּעֵ֖בֶר הַיַּרְדֵּֽן׃

[2] Judges 19:9:  “And when the man rose up to depart, he, and his concubine, and his servant, his father in law, the damsel’s father, said unto him, Behold, now the day draweth toward evening, I pray you tarry all night:  behold, the day groweth to an end, lodge here, that thine heart may be merry; and to morrow get you early on your way, that thou mayest go home (לְאֹהָלֶךָ, to thy tent).”

[3] Liber can signify the inner bark of a tree, or a book.

[4] Numbers 32:41:  “And Jair the son of Manasseh went and took the small towns thereof (חַוֹּתֵיהֶם, the tent-villages thereof), and called them Havoth-jair (חַוֹּ֥ת יָאִֽיר׃, the Tent-villages of Jair).”

[5] Deuteronomy 3:14:  “Jair the son of Manasseh took all the country of Argob unto the coasts of Geshuri and Maachathi; and called them after his own name, Bashan-havoth-jair (הַבָּשָׁן֙ חַוֹּ֣ת יָאִ֔יר, Bashan of the Tent-villages of Jair), unto this day.”

[6] Hebrew: רַ֣ק׀ שִׁמְר֣וּ מְאֹ֗ד לַעֲשׂ֙וֹת אֶת־הַמִּצְוָ֣ה וְאֶת־הַתּוֹרָה֮ אֲשֶׁ֣ר צִוָּ֣ה אֶתְכֶם֮ מֹשֶׁ֣ה עֶֽבֶד־יְהוָה֒ לְ֠אַהֲבָה אֶת־יְהוָ֙ה אֱלֹֽהֵיכֶ֜ם וְלָלֶ֧כֶת בְּכָל־דְּרָכָ֛יו וְלִשְׁמֹ֥ר מִצְוֹתָ֖יו וּלְדָבְקָה־ב֑וֹ וּלְעָבְד֕וֹ בְּכָל־לְבַבְכֶ֖ם וּבְכָל־נַפְשְׁכֶֽם׃

[7] Matthew 6:12.

[8] Hebrew: וַֽיְבָרְכֵ֖ם יְהוֹשֻׁ֑עַ וַֽיְשַׁלְּחֵ֔ם וַיֵּלְכ֖וּ אֶל־אָהֳלֵיהֶֽם׃

Joshua 22:1-3: The Transjordanian Tribes Commended for Faithfulness in the Conquest

Verse 1:[1] Then Joshua called the Reubenites, and the Gadites, and the half tribe of Manasseh…


Verse 2:[2] And said unto them, Ye have kept (Num. 32:20; Deut. 3:18) all that Moses the servant of the LORD commanded you, (Josh. 1:16, 17) and have obeyed my voice in all that I commanded you…

[Ye have done] He commends these soldiers, 1. for their obedience; which deservedly obtains the first place: for this uniquely upholds the entire military discipline. 2. For their faithfulness; ye have not left your brethren. 3. He amplifies this commendation with their longsuffering and constancy; through many days. Which constancy and patience was all the greater because they had left their wives, children, and all their property on the other side of the river in places not yet quite safe. 4. He commends their piety, rare in those that lead a military life (Masius).


Verse 3:[3] Ye have not left your brethren these many days unto this day, but have kept the charge of the commandment of the LORD your God.

[For a long time] That time was thirteen or fourteen years (Masius, Serarius, Junius, Drusius), in which the war against the Canaanites lasted. See on the end of chapter 10 (Junius). Joshua lived one hundred and ten years. Now, that he was in command for twenty-seven or twenty-eight years, many have written. But, that he died before the second שְׁמִיטָה/shemitah, that is, seventh year given for the rest of the land, returned again, was published in a book, which is inscribed The Series of the World [vulgarly, Seder Olam]. Thus fourteen years were spent in subduing the land, and he lived thirteen years after the acquired peace (Masius). [Others otherwise:] The war was waged in only seven years (Lapide, Bonfrerius). See what things we said on Joshua 11:18 (Bonfrerius); 18:1 (Lapide).

These many days, that is, for divers years together, so long as the war lasted. See Joshua 11:18; 14:10.

[Keeping the command of the Lord, וּשְׁמַרְתֶּ֕ם אֶת־מִשְׁמֶ֕רֶת מִצְוַ֖ת יְהוָ֥ה] And ye have kept the charge of the precept of the Lord (Montanus, Pagnine, Munster); ye have observed the observation and precept of the Lord (Junius and Tremellius); and circumspectly (diligently [Tigurinus]) ye have kept the precept of the Lord (Arabic, Tigurinus) [which is to say, ye have watched with a watch, etc.].

[1] Hebrew: אָ֚ז יִקְרָ֣א יְהוֹשֻׁ֔עַ לָרֽאוּבֵנִ֖י וְלַגָּדִ֑י וְלַחֲצִ֖י מַטֵּ֥ה מְנַשֶּֽׁה׃

[2] Hebrew: וַיֹּ֣אמֶר אֲלֵיהֶ֔ם אַתֶּ֣ם שְׁמַרְתֶּ֔ם אֵ֚ת כָּל־אֲשֶׁ֣ר צִוָּ֣ה אֶתְכֶ֔ם מֹשֶׁ֖ה עֶ֣בֶד יְהוָ֑ה וַתִּשְׁמְע֣וּ בְקוֹלִ֔י לְכֹ֥ל אֲשֶׁר־צִוִּ֖יתִי אֶתְכֶֽם׃

[3] Hebrew: לֹֽא־עֲזַבְתֶּ֣ם אֶת־אֲחֵיכֶ֗ם זֶ֚ה יָמִ֣ים רַבִּ֔ים עַ֖ד הַיּ֣וֹם הַזֶּ֑ה וּשְׁמַרְתֶּ֕ם אֶת־מִשְׁמֶ֕רֶת מִצְוַ֖ת יְהוָ֥ה אֱלֹהֵיכֶֽם׃

Joshua 22 Outline

The two tribes and half are sent home with a blessing, strict charge to fear the Lord, and great booty, 1-9. They build an altar of testimony at the brink of Jordan, 10. The Israelites are offended, and assemble to wage war against them, 11, 12. They first send Phinehas and ten princes ambassadors to reprove them, 13-20. They clear themselves; their brethren rest satisfied, 21-34

Joshua 21:43-45: Israel’s Quiet Enjoyment of the Promised Land

Verse 43:[1] And the LORD gave unto Israel (Gen. 13:15; 15:18; 26:3; 28:4, 13) all the land which he sware to give unto their fathers; and they possessed it, and dwelt therein.

[And He gave…all the land] Question: How is this true, since the Canaanites were holding a great part of the land? Responses: 1. He gave with respect to right and dominion in the very distribution of the lots (Lapide, Bonfrerius). 2. And He gave a far greater part with respect to actual use and possession. 3. He gave all as He decreed and decided that He was going to give (Bonfrerius); not indeed at one and the same time, but successively, lest wild beasts multiply (Lyra, Lapide, Masius, Bonfrerius). See Joshua 13 (Lyra), and Exodus 23:29, 30 (Bonfrerius). Now, this condition, which He had added to His promise, was not burdensome, but advantageous, to the Israelites (Lapide out of Tostatus). He gave the land, as much as they were able to occupy to this point; and what parts the Canaanites hold, those they as tenants merely maintain and cultivate for the Israelites, as masters/owners, lest they run wild; and then the Canaanites were going to yield, when the Israelites, enlarged with offspring, were able themselves to come to occupy their estates. 4. The promises of God were according to the covenant, and under the condition that they fulfill their duty (Masius).

The LORD gave all the land, etc.: He gave them the right to all, and the actual possession of the greatest part of it, and power to possess the rest as soon as it was needful and convenient for them, which was by degrees, when their numbers were increased, etc., Exodus 23:29, 30, and the absolute dominion of all the people remaining in it.


Verse 44:[2] (Josh. 11:23; 22:4) And the LORD gave them rest round about, according to all that he sware unto their fathers: and (Deut. 7:24) there stood not a man of all their enemies before them; the LORD delivered all their enemies into their hand.

[And peace was given by Him, וַיָּ֙נַח יְהוָ֤ה לָהֶם֙] And He gave rest to them (Septuagint, Arabic, Montanus, Junius and Tremellius). Question: How is this true, since the Danites, driven into the mountains, were compelled to relinquish the valleys to the Canaanites? Response: It is true κατὰ συνεκδοχὴν, synecdochically, for most of the other Tribes were superior to their enemies. Just as in 1 Corinthians 15:5, He appeared to the twelve, although Judas, having been hanged, had burst asunder. But I, nothing doubting, would say that neither the Danites nor others fought with their enemies unsuccessfully, except after the death of Joshua and the elders, when with piety decaying the affairs of the Israelites also began to grow worse (Masius).

[And no one dared to resist] Hebrew: not a man stood…of all their enemies,[3] namely, whom the Israelites attacked, and were hostilely provoked by them (Junius, Malvenda).

There stood not a man of all their enemies before them: To wit, all the days of Joshua, by comparing Joshua 1:5, for afterwards it was otherwise with them.


Verse 45:[4] (Josh. 23:14) There failed not ought of any good thing which the LORD had spoken unto the house of Israel; all came to pass.

[Not even one word…was void, לֹֽא־נָפַ֣ל דָּבָ֔ר] Not a word of every good word has fallen (Montanus, similarly the Septuagint, Jonathan, Syriac). No matter has perished (or, been omitted [Masius]) of all the good promises, etc. (Arabic, similarly Junius and Tremellius, Masius). The execution of that Divine benediction promised to the obedient, Deuteronomy 11:27, is here called a good matter (Masius).

[1] Hebrew: וַיִּתֵּ֤ן יְהוָה֙ לְיִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל אֶת־כָּל־הָאָ֔רֶץ אֲשֶׁ֥ר נִשְׁבַּ֖ע לָתֵ֣ת לַאֲבוֹתָ֑ם וַיִּרָשׁ֖וּהָ וַיֵּ֥שְׁבוּ בָֽהּ׃

[2] Hebrew: וַיָּ֙נַח יְהוָ֤ה לָהֶם֙ מִסָּבִ֔יב כְּכֹ֥ל אֲשֶׁר־נִשְׁבַּ֖ע לַאֲבוֹתָ֑ם וְלֹא־עָ֙מַד אִ֤ישׁ בִּפְנֵיהֶם֙ מִכָּל־אֹ֣יְבֵיהֶ֔ם אֵ֚ת כָּל־אֹ֣יְבֵיהֶ֔ם נָתַ֥ן יְהוָ֖ה בְּיָדָֽם׃

[3] Hebrew: וְלֹא־עָ֙מַד אִ֤ישׁ בִּפְנֵיהֶם֙ מִכָּל־אֹ֣יְבֵיהֶ֔ם.

[4] Hebrew: לֹֽא־נָפַ֣ל דָּבָ֔ר מִכֹּל֙ הַדָּבָ֣ר הַטּ֔וֹב אֲשֶׁר־דִּבֶּ֥ר יְהוָ֖ה אֶל־בֵּ֣ית יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל הַכֹּ֖ל בָּֽא׃

Revelation 1:3: The Blessedness of Bible Study

Verse 3:[1] (Luke 11:28; Rev. 22:7) Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for (Rom. 13:11; Jam. 5:8; 1 Pet. 4:7; Rev. 22:10) the time is at hand.

[Blessed is he who, etc., μακάριος ὁ ἀναγινώσκων, καὶ οἱ ἀκούοντες τοὺς λόγους τῆς, etc.] Thus Daniel 12:12, μακάριος ὁ ὑπομένων, blessed is he that waits.[2] The foresignified retributions of God against the Jews and Romans were able to convey solace to Christians everywhere vexed. See Revelation 13:10 (Grotius). He commends the book, which he foresaw would come to seem useless to many (Durham). The sense: It is exceedingly profitable to read, to learn, and to keep those things that are found here (Menochius). For all these are to be joined (Ribera). [Thus they translate:] He that reads, and (understand, blessed are they [Piscator, Beza]) that hear (a Hebraic change of number [Beza]: he reads, they hear: for we read alone, we hear joined together [Cotterius, similarly Cluverus]: He adds this, that this book was not going to reach unto all immediately; but those that had obtained it were going to read aloud in good faith to others those things that they had read [Grotius]: Or, he changes the number, lest the unlearned, ignorant of reading, should appear to be excluded from this fruit [Pareus, similarly Durham]; and so that the public reading, hearing, and interpretation, of this book might be commended before all [Durham]: But with what fruit will we read and hear what we do not grasp? Response: God will be near and influence those piously reading these mysteries [Cotterius], and the seals of this book have already been opened [Durham]) the words (the word, verse 2: The word is one, as true, manifold, as it truly contains many things [Cotterius]) of this prophecy (τῆς, of the, in the place of ταύτης, of this:[3] See Romans 11:29 [Grotius]: Even if past and present things are described, verse 19 [Cotterius], yet future things principally, with respect to which it is called a Prophecy [Cotterius, similarly Durham]), and keep (that is, retain in memory [Grotius, similarly Lapide, Piscator], in such a way that they often consider them, and have confidence in them, and establish their lives according to those things [Piscator]: Or, observe [Beza, Gomar] through faith of the truth and love of the precepts [Gomar]) those things which are written in it (Piscator, Beza, etc.), namely, so that they might compare them with events, whence they might be further reinforced in faith (Grotius); so that they might be stirred by them unto obedience to God, and a holy life, and suffering for Christ (Lapide). Question: But how are we hence rendered blessed? Response: Because the Apocalypse discusses everywhere the ends especially of good men and of evil men, and the means unto those: the very calamities also, which are here predicted, cry out that there must be repentance (Cotterius). Blessed are they, because they know such things to be guided, not by chance, but by divine providence; because they are not offended by the cross of the Church, but persevere in it; because they know that the insolence of enemies is only going to endure for a brief time, and that they are in the end going to reign with Christ eternally (Apocalyptic Harmony). Τηρεῖν, to keep, here is the same as συντηρεῖν in Luke 2:19,[4] and διατηρεῖν in Luke 2:51[5] (Grotius).

Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy: from hence is well concluded, that this is a portion of holy writ to be read publicly and privately, otherwise no blessing would have been pronounced to the readers or the hearers of it. It is also well from hence concluded, that this book is no history of things done, but a prediction of things to come to pass; for though prophecy in some scriptures signifieth more largely the revelation of the Divine will, yet here it must signify strictly. And keep those things which are written therein; that keep it in memory, and live in view of it, and as persons that believe it; they are blessed, as they will from it be comforted, concerning all the sufferings of the church, and people of God.

[The time, etc., καιρὸς, etc.] For the time (either, 1. in which those things will begin to be accomplished [Piscator]: or, 2. of certain things; as concerning the civil wars of the Romans, concerning the destruction of Jerusalem [Grotius]: or, 3. of judgment, or of blessedness [Menochius]; or, of seizing thence the most abundant fruit [Lapide, similarly Menochius, Tirinus], that is, for him that reads the words, hears in faith, and keeps in deed [Gagnæus]: Concerning the word καιρὸς, see Acts 1:7[6] [Grotius]: It is a moment of time [Camerarius]; or, an occasion, or opportuneness of time: In which he tacitly admonishes that present persecutions are not so much calamities as opportunities for rewards and crowns [Ribera, similarly Lapide]) is at hand (Piscator, Beza), or, is near (Camerarius), so that it is possible that some now living might attain to it (Piscator). Thus he renders them more attentive and vigilant, and excites them by the hope of near reward (Ribera). In the writings of the Prophets, קָרֺב יוֹם, near is the day, is common, as in Deuteronomy 32:35;[7] Isaiah 13:6;[8] Jeremiah 48:16;[9] Joel 1:15;[10] Obadiah 15;[11] Zephaniah 1:7,[12] 14.[13] John does not wish to be objected to himself what had been objected to Ezekiel, Ezekiel 12:27 (Grotius).

For the time is at hand; the season for the accomplishment of these things is nigh, not past, but the time when they shall begin to happen is not very far off.

[1] Greek: μακάριος ὁ ἀναγινώσκων, καὶ οἱ ἀκούοντες τοὺς λόγους τῆς προφητείας καὶ τηροῦντες τὰ ἐν αὐτῇ γεγραμμένα· ὁ γὰρ καιρὸς ἐγγύς.

[2] Thus Theodotion.

[3] The demonstrative use of the definite article.

[4] Luke 2:19:  “But Mary kept (συνετήρει) all these things, and pondered them in her heart.”

[5] Luke 2:51b:  “…but his mother kept (διετήρει) all these sayings in her heart.”

[6] Acts 1:7b:  “…It is not for you to know the times or the seasons (χρόνους ἢ καιροὺς), which the Father hath put in his own power.”

[7] Deuteronomy 32:35:  “To me belongeth vengeance, and recompence; their foot shall slide in due time:  for near is the day (קָרוֹב֙ י֣וֹם) of their calamity, and the things that shall come upon them make haste.”

[8] Isaiah 13:6:  “Howl ye; for near is the day (קָר֖וֹב י֣וֹם) of the Lord; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty.”

[9] Jeremiah 48:16:  “The calamity of Moab is near (קָרוֹב) to come, and his affliction hasteth fast.”

[10] Joel 1:15:  “Alas for the day! for near is the day (קָרוֹב֙ י֣וֹם) of the Lord, and as a destruction from the Almighty shall it come.”

[11] Obadiah 15a:  “For near is the day of the Lord (קָר֥וֹב יוֹם־יְהוָ֖ה) upon all the heathen…”

[12] Zephaniah 1:7:  “Hold thy peace at the presence of the Lord God: for near is the day (קָרוֹב֙ י֣וֹם) of the Lord: for the Lord hath prepared a sacrifice, he hath bid his guests.”

[13] Zephaniah 1:14a:  “Near is the day of the Lord (קָר֤וֹב יוֹם־יְהוָה֙), the great day; it is near (קָרוֹב), and hasteth greatly, even the voice of the day of the Lord…”