Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Joshua 13:21

even all the cities of the plain and all the kingdom of Sihon king of the Amorites who reigned in Heshbon, whom Moses struck with the chiefs of Midian, Evi and Rekem and Zur and Hur and Reba, the princes of Sihon, who lived in the land.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Amorites;   Duke;   Evi;   Hur;   Reba;   Rekem;   Reubenites;   Topography;   Zur;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Amorites, the;   Reuben, the Tribe of;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Zur;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Gad;   Heshbon;   Manasseh, tribe of;   Midian;   Reuben;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Land (of Israel);   Easton Bible Dictionary - Midianite;   Plain;   Reba;   Reuben, Tribe of;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Ashtaroth;   Evi;   Hur;   Moab;   Reba;   Zalmunna;   Zur;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Evi;   Hur;   Joshua, the Book of;   Midian, Midianites;   Moab and the Moabite Stone;   Reba;   Rekem;   Tribes of Israel, the;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Duke;   Evi;   Hur;   Joshua;   Manasseh;   Moab, Moabites;   Numbers, Book of;   Priests and Levites;   Reba;   Rekem;   Sihon;   Zur;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Evi ;   Heshbon ;   Hur;   Reba ;   Rekem ;   Zur;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Heshbon;   Zur;   Smith Bible Dictionary - E'vi;   Hup'pim;   Re'ba;   Re'kem;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Emims;   Midian;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Arabia;   Duke;   Evi;   Hur;   Joshua, Book of;   Prince;   Reba;   Rekem;   Siddim, Vale of;   Zur;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Hur;   Moab;   Sihon;   War;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

The princes of Midian - See the history of this war, Numbers 31:1, etc.; and from that place this and the following verse seem to be borrowed, for the introduction of the death of Balaam here seems quite irrelevant.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Joshua 13:21". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/joshua-13.html. 1832.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And all the cities of the plain,.... In the champaign country, as well as those in the mountainous part:

and all the kingdom of Sihon; or, as Masius renders the words, "which all had been the kingdom of Sihon"; for the whole kingdom of Sihon was not given to Reuben, only a part of it, and the rest to Gad, as in Joshua 13:27,

king of the Amorites, which reigned in Heshbon; as in Joshua 13:10,

whom Moses smote with the princes of Midian, Evi, and Rekem, and Zur,

and Hur, and Reba; not at the same time that Sihon was smitten by him, but afterwards in a war with Midian, Numbers 31:8; where their names are given as here; and there they are called kings of Midian, petty kings, and, as it seems by what follows, were subject to Sihon, and therefore are here mentioned:

which were dukes of Sihon dwelling in the country; for Midian, as Kimchi supposes, and not without reason, was under the government of Sihon, and these were his nobles, though they dwelt in the land of Midian.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
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Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Joshua 13:21". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/joshua-13.html. 1999.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

And all the cities of the plain, and all the kingdom of Sihon king of the Amorites, which reigned in Heshbon, whom Moses smote with the princes of Midian, Evi, and Rekem, and Zur, and Hur, and Reba, which were dukes of Sihon, dwelling in the country.

Cities of the plain — Opposed to the cities of the mountain of the valley.

All the kingdom of Sihon — A great part of it; in which sense we read of all Judea, and all the region round about Jordan, Matthew 3:5, and all Galilee, Matthew 4:23.

Whom Moses smote — Not in the same time or battle, as appears by comparing Numbers 21:23,24, with Numbers 31:8, but in the same manner. And they are here mentioned, partly because they were slain not long after, and upon the same occasion, even their enmity against Israel; and partly because of their relation and subjection to Sihon.

Dukes of Sihon — But how could they be so, when they were kings of Midian? Numbers 31:8. There were divers petty kings in those parts, who were subject to greater kings; and such these were, but are here called dukes or princes of Sihon, because they were subject and tributaries to him, and therefore did one way or other assist Sihon in this war, though they were not killed at this time. It is probable, that when Sihon destroyed those Moabites which dwelt in these parts, he frighted the rest of them, and with them their neighbours and confederates, the Midianites, into some kind of homage, which they were willing to pay him.

Dwelling in the country — Heb. inhabiting that land, namely Midian, last mentioned; whereby he signifies, that tho' they were subject to Sihon, yet they did not dwell in his land, but in another.

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Bibliographical Information
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Joshua 13:21". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/joshua-13.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Joshua 13:21 And all the cities of the plain, and all the kingdom of Sihon king of the Amorites, which reigned in Heshbon, whom Moses smote with the princes of Midian, Evi, and Rekem, and Zur, and Hur, and Reba, [which were] dukes of Sihon, dwelling in the country.

Ver. 21. Dukes of Sihon.] His vassals; and after his death they made themselves kings, but were shortly after slain by the sword of Israel. [Numbers 31:8]

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Joshua 13:21". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/joshua-13.html. 1865-1868.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

The cities of the plain; opposed to the foregoing cities of the mountain of the valley.

All the kingdom of Sihon; a synecdochical expression, for a great part of it; in which sense we read of all Judea, and all the region round about Jordan, Matthew 3:5, and all Galilee, Matthew 4:23, and many others. Or, which all were the kingdoms of Sihon, i.e. belonged to his kingdom. The Hebrew conjunction and is oft put for the relative particle which, as Jude 2:21 Proverbs 19:1 Ecclesiastes 6:12.

With the princes of Midian; not in the same time or battle, as appears by comparing Numbers 21:23,24, with Numbers 31:8, but in the same manner. And they are here mentioned, partly because they were slain not long after, and upon the same occasion, even their enmity against Israel; and partly because of their relation and subjection to Sihon, as it here follows.

Dukes of Sihon.

Quest. How could they be so, when they were kings of Midian? Numbers 31:8.

Answ. There were divers petty kings in those parts, which were subject to greater kings; and such these were, but are here called dukes or princes of Sihon, because they were subject and tributaries to him, and therefore did one way or other assist Sihon in this war, though they were not killed at this time. It is probable, that when Sihon destroyed those Moabites which dwelt in these parts, he frighted the rest of them, and with them their neighbours and confederates the Midianites, into some kind of homage or tribute, which they were willing to pay to him.

Dwelling in, the country, Heb. inhabiting that land, namely,

Midian, last mentioned; whereby he signifies, that though they were subject to Sihon, yet they did not dwell in his land, but in another.

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Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Joshua 13:21". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/joshua-13.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

21.All the cities of the plain — That is, all the other mirror cities of the southern plain which had not been particularly described.

All the kingdom of Sihon — These words must not be taken as the entire extent of the territory belonging to Sihon, but must be qualified by the statement of Joshua 13:27, that the northern part of his kingdom, which extended even to the Sea of Chinnereth, was allotted to Gad. The words are therefore to be understood of the southern part of his territory, which, lying south of Mount Gilead, and including by far the larger part of the kingdom, with its capital and most important cities, might easily have been called all the kingdom.

Dukes of Sihon — For their defeat by Moses see Numbers 31:1-12. These dukes were sheiks of the neighbouring towns, tributary to and dependent upon Sihon.

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Joshua 13:21". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/joshua-13.html. 1874-1909.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Joshua 13:21. Cities of the plain — Opposed to the cities of the mountain or the valley. All the kingdom of Sihon — A great part of it; in which sense we read of all Judea, and all the region round about Jordan, Matthew 3:5; and all Galilee, Matthew 4:23. Whom Moses smote — Not in the same time or battle, as appears by comparing Numbers 21:23-24, with Numbers 31:8, but in the same manner. Dukes of Sihon — But how could they be so, when they were kings of Midian? Numbers 31:8. There were divers petty kings in those parts, who were subject to other kings, and such these were, but are here called dukes or princes of Sihon, because they were subject and tributaries to him, and therefore did one way or other assist Sihon in this war, though they were not killed at this time.

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Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Joshua 13:21". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/joshua-13.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

The princes of Madian. It appears from hence that these were subjects of king Sehon: they are said to have been slain with him, that is, about the same time, but not in the same battle. (Challoner) --- After the death of their sovereign, they looked upon themselves as independent. They had reigned before as viceroys of Sehon, being natives of the country, and not come from some other part, like the Amorrhites. (Calmet)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Joshua 13:21". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/joshua-13.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

dukes anointed [leaders], called kings in Numbers 31:8.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Joshua 13:21". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/joshua-13.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

And all the cities of the plain, and all the kingdom of Sihon king of the Amorites, which reigned in Heshbon, whom Moses smote with the princes of Midian, Evi, and Rekem, and Zur, and Hur, and Reba, which were dukes of Sihon, dwelling in the country.

And all the cities of the plain, and all the kingdom of Sihon. The sacred historian having particularized a few af the more prominent towns, includes all the other cities within the territory assigned to the tribe of Reuben in a general statement, that it comprised the whole kingdom of Sihon, so far as it extended over the plain (see the note at Joshua 13:27) toward the Gilead hills.

With the princes of Midian, Evi ... - (see the note at Numbers 21:4.) These were native princes, who, on the subjugation of the Emim by Sihon, were invested by that conqueror with his delegated authority over their respective tribes.

Which were dukes of Sihon, dwelling in the country, [ n

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Joshua 13:21". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/joshua-13.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(21) The princes of Midian . . . which were dukes of Sinon, dwelling in the country.—

The conquest of the Midianites is recorded in Numbers 31. The orders given were, “Avenge the Lord of Midian” (Joshua 13:3); “avenge the children of Israel of the Midianites” (Joshua 13:2), because they tempted Israel to idolatry and uncleanness. But this verse in Joshua supplies us with a further reason for hostilities between Midian and Israel. The Midianites were “dukes of Sihon,” and a part of his government. Through them he appears to have exercised his dominion over the conquered territory which he had taken from Moab. This land Israel had now, in turn, taken from him. But in order to its complete subjugation, the removal of Sihon’s dukes, the princes or kings of Midian, was also necessary. This was brought about in the manner described in Numbers 22-25,, 31. The relation between Midian and Moab which is implied, but not explained in Numbers, is explained by the apparently casual remark in this place. It is another example of undesigned agreement between Joshua and the Pentateuch. Of the same kind is the allusion to Balaam, as (Joshua 13:22) the soothsayer, or diviner. In Numbers we do not read of anything but prophecy and counsel as coming from Balaam’s lips; but it is abundantly evident, from hints scattered through the story, that he was a sooth-sayer, or diviner, as well as a prophet. The elders of Moab and Midian went to him with the reward of divination in their hands (Numbers 22:7); “Neither is there any divination against Israel” (Numbers 23:23) the word in each of these places is radically connected with the epithet applied to Balaam here. (Comp. Numbers 24:1 : “He went not, as at other times, to seek for enchantments”—where a different word is employed.) He is thus shown to have been an unscrupulous man, who, if he could not obtain the knowledge that he desired from above, would not hesitate to seek it from below, that he might secure his base gain.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Joshua 13:21". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/joshua-13.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And all the cities of the plain, and all the kingdom of Sihon king of the Amorites, which reigned in Heshbon, whom Moses smote with the princes of Midian, Evi, and Rekem, and Zur, and Hur, and Reba, which were dukes of Sihon, dwelling in the country.
And all the
Deuteronomy 3:10
whom Moses
Numbers 21:24-35; Deuteronomy 2:30-36
with the
Numbers 31:8
Reciprocal: Numbers 22:4 - elders;  Numbers 25:15 - Zur;  Joshua 21:39 - Heshbon

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Joshua 13:21". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/joshua-13.html.