Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Joshua 22:1

Then Joshua summoned the Reubenites and the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh,
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Gad;   Reubenites;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Reuben, the Tribe of;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Reuben;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Ed;   Manasseh;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Gad (1);   Holman Bible Dictionary - Half Tribe;   Joshua, the Book of;   Rivers and Waterways in the Bible;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Joshua;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Gadites ;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Conquest of Canaan;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Joshua, Book of;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Reuben, Tribe of;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Then Joshua called the Reubenites, etc. - We have already seen that 40,000 men of the tribes of Reuben and Gad, and the half tribe of Manasseh, had passed over Jordan armed, with their brethren, according to their stipulation with Moses. The war being now concluded, Joshua assembles these warriors, and with commendations for their services and fidelity, he dismisses them, having first given them the most pious and suitable advices. They had now been about seven years absent from their respective families; and though there was only the river Jordan between the camp at Gilgal and their own inheritance, yet it does not appear that they had during that time ever revisited their own home, which they might have done any time in the year, the harvest excepted, as at all other times that river was easily fordable.

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Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Joshua 22:1". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/joshua-22.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

The events of this chap. are no doubt recorded in their proper historical order. The auxiliary forces of the trans-Jordanic tribes were not sent away immediately after the campaigns against the Canaanites were over. They set forth from Shiloh, Joshua 22:9, to which place the sanctuary had been removed Joshua 18:1 after the conquest and the settlement of the children of Judah and of Joseph in their possessions, and after the appointment of the Levitical cities.

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These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Joshua 22:1". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/joshua-22.html. 1870.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

The third and final major division of the Book of Joshua begins here. The Trans-Jordanic tribes, having discharged their duty, are sent home, with the compliments and encouragement of their great commander, who also gave a solemn warning against apostasy (Joshua 22:1-9). On the way home, the tribes of Gad, Reuben, and the half-tribe of Manasseh constructed an impressive altar near the Jordan (Joshua 22:10-12); the remainder of Israel were greatly disturbed and demanded an explanation (Joshua 22:13-20); the eastern tribes responded with a full explanation (Joshua 22:21-29); western Israel was pleased and satisfied with the explanation, and perfect unity was restored (Joshua 22:30-34).

There is no reason whatever for excising this chapter from the Word of God and for labeling it a "late priestly addition." No textual evidence whatever warrants such a scissors job on the Holy Bible. The only reason for the critical attacks against this chapter is that it destroys one of their darling THEORIES, namely, that, "God's command to worship at the central sanctuary was NOT VALID from the very beginning, but that such a law came into being only after the construction of Solomon's Temple."[1]

This theory is incorrect; it is founded upon two tremendous errors, namely: (1) that, "A plurality of sanctuaries does not seem to be frowned upon in the O.T. prior to Josiah's reforms (about 621 B.C.)."[2] Woudstra based that rather timid statement of the theory on Deuteronomy 12:1-5, but that passage forbids worship anywhere except, "The place which Jehovah your God shall choose out of all your tribes to put his name there, even unto his habitation shall ye seek, and thither shalt thou come." The critical canard that the ONLY PLACE God ever selected was Jerusalem is a gross mistake. Right here in Joshua, God chose to place his name at Shiloh, where the tabernacle rested for three centuries, and, throughout the history of Israel from the beginning to the end of it, the idea of the one central sanctuary where God would dwell among his people and where their sacrifices should be offered is the dominating theme.

(The first half dozen pages of my commentary on Deuteronomy 12, are devoted to the refutation of this irresponsible and ridiculous theory. Also, see my further comments in Vol. 2, Exodus, of the Pentateuchal series of commentaries, pp. 299,300.)

(2) The other prime mistake underlying this critical theory is that "Solomon's Temple" was the one and only goal of Almighty God throughout Israel's history! Preposterous! (Read our elaborate discussions of that "Den of Thieves and Robbers" known as Solomon's Temple in the N.T. series.) It was "the Tabernacle" that God gave Israel, not the Temple. The Temple was David's idea (2 Samuel 7), and, although God accommodated to it, God Almighty twice destroyed it. Why? From its beginning it proved to be a hindrance and a roadblock to the true will of God. It was that Temple, really, that crucified the Son of God!

This chapter, of course, is the death of that pivotal theory of the critics, and, therefore, they must get rid of the chapter! If they don't, they lose the war on that theory! We are thankful indeed that Samuel Holmes has told us exactly how they try to get rid of it. Here it is:

"This narrative is Midrash ... Midrash conveys doctrine, not in the form of abstract discourse, but in a mode appealing to the imagination. The teaching is embodied in a story, whether parable, or allegory, or seeming historical narrative; and the last thing such teachers would have thought of was the question of whether the selected persons, events, and circumstances, which so vividly suggest the doctrine are in themselves real or fictitious. The doctrine is everything; the mode of expression has no independent value. This narrative (Joshua 22) is clearly unhistorical. It is Midrash!"[3]

Is there any truth or value in such an "analysis" of God's Word? The answer is NO! It is on a parity with what Satan told Eve, "Ye shall not surely die." Such statements are not based upon any evidence at all, but merely upon the prior necessity of destroying a portion of God's Word that is hostile and contradictory regarding their false theories.

The big thing in this chapter is, of course, the near-civil war that was threatened by the building of that altar near the Jordan. It is amazing that a translator of the ability of Boling would declare this chapter to be the record of, "The comic squabbling of the people over an internal (or was it external?) boundary."[4] There is no boundary dispute at all in this chapter.

"Then Joshua called the Reubenites, and the Gaddites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh, and said unto them, Ye have kept all that Moses the servant of Jehovah commanded you, and have hearkened unto my voice in all that I commanded you: ye have not left your brethren these many days unto this day, but have kept the charge of the commandment of Jehovah your God. And now Jehovah your God hath given rest unto your brethren, as he spake unto them: therefore now turn ye, and get ye unto your tents, unto the land of your possession, which Moses the servant of Jehovah gave you beyond Jordan. Only take diligent heed to do the commandment and the law which Moses the servant of Jehovah commanded you, to love Jehovah your God, and to walk in 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. So Joshua blessed them, and sent them away; and they went unto their tents."

This first paragraph of the chapter is "essential to the story of the invasion, showing that God kept faith with those who kept faith with Him, answering, as it does to Joshua 1:12-18."[5] Far from being a late addition by unscrupulous priests desiring to change God's law, as the critics allege, "The events of this chapter, without doubt, are recorded in their proper historical order."[6]

"These many days ..." (Joshua 22:3). Plummer says that the Hebrew in this passage actually means "a great many days."[7] Surely, those Trans-Jordanic troops served long and diligently in the conquest; and it is a remarkable tribute to Joshua's leadership that there is never a hint of any murmuring or dissatisfaction on the part of those soldiers. In fact, Plummer pointed out that the whole record of Israel under Joshua's leadership was one of strict obedience and continuity in God's law, forming a dramatic contrast with the endless bickerings and murmurings that marked Israel's conduct in the wilderness, and also immediately following the death of Joshua. He cited this as a significant indication of the historicity of the narrative." Any writer who was inventing his details (as would have been done in Midrash) could hardly have thought of making his history such a contrast with the rest of the history of Israel."[8]

"Do ... Love ... Walk ... Keep ... Cleave ... Serve ... with all your heart, and with all your souls ..." (Joshua 22:5). Here we have six one-syllable words, dramatic imperatives that can lead the soul into a state of being well pleasing to God. The message here is founded upon the "first and great commandment" (Mark 12:29-30). Throughout the Scriptures, the "love of God" is equated with keeping God's Word and doing His will. Christ said, "If ye love me, ye will keep my word; if ye love me, ye will keep my commandments" (John 14:15,23).

Copyright Statement
Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
Bibliographical Information
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Joshua 22:1". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/joshua-22.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Then Joshua called the Reubenites, and the Gadites, and the half tribe of Manasseh. The promise of God to Israel being fulfilled, the land of Canaan being for the most part subdued, the war at an end, and rest had on all sides from their enemies, and the land divided among the nine tribes and an half, and they settled in the quiet possession of their lots; Joshua sent for the two tribes of Reuben and Gad, and the half tribe of Manasseh, who had, at their own request, their portion allotted them on the other side Jordan, and who came over that river with him to assist their brethren in their wars with the Canaanites, and addressed them in the following respectable manner.

Copyright Statement
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.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Joshua 22:1". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/joshua-22.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

Then a Joshua called the Reubenites, and the Gadites, and the half tribe of Manasseh,

(a) After that the Israelites enjoyed the land of Canaan.
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Bibliographical Information
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Joshua 22:1". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/joshua-22.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Joshua 22:1-9. Joshua dismisses the two tribes and a half, with a blessing.

Then Joshua called the Reubenites, and the Gadites, and the half tribe of Manasseh — The general war of invasion being ended and the enemy being in so dispirited and isolated a condition that each tribe, by its own resources or with the aid of its neighboring tribe, was able to repress any renewed hostilities, the auxiliary Israelites from the eastern side of the Jordan were now discharged from service. Joshua dismissed them with high commendations for their fidelity and earnest admonitions to cultivate perpetual piety in life. The redundancy of the language is remarkable [Joshua 22:2-5 ]. It shows how important, in the judgment of the venerable leader, a steadfast observance of the divine law was to personal happiness, as well as national prosperity.

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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Joshua 22:1". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/joshua-22.html. 1871-8.

Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary

CONTENTS

Joshua having, as the captain in Israel under the Lord, accomplished all the purposes for which the two tribes and a half of Israel, whose possession was assigned them on the other side of Jordan, had accompanied Israel to the war, now dismisses them with a blessing to return. In their return they build an altar to the Lord, which, at the first, gave great offence to the rest of the tribes, when they heard of it, fearing that it savoured of idolatry. But when they heard the cause, that it was intended to commemorate the glory of God, they were well pleased. These are the principal contents of this chapter.

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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Joshua 22:1". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pmc/joshua-22.html. 1828.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Joshua 22:1 Then Joshua called the Reubenites, and the Gadites, and the half tribe of Manasseh,

Ver. 1. Then Joshua called the Reubenites.] That he might disband and dismiss them, with due commendation and remuneration, as became a noble general.

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Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Joshua 22:1". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/joshua-22.html. 1865-1868.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Joshua 22:1. Joshua called the Reubenites and the Gadites, &c. — The war being ended, and ended gloriously, Joshua, as a prudent general, disbands his army, and sends them home to enjoy what they had conquered; and particularly the forces of those separate tribes, which had received their inheritance on the other side Jordan, from Moses, upon this condition, that their men of war should assist the other tribes in the conquest of Canaan; which they promised to do, Numbers 32:32, and renewed the promise to Joshua at the opening of the campaign, Joshua 1:16. And now, as they had performed their agreement, Joshua publicly and solemnly, in Shiloh, gives them their discharge.

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Joshua 22:1". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/joshua-22.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Time; before the assembly broke up. The 40,000 had continued to fight along with their brethren, (Calmet) as long as there was occasion. Now peace being obtained, they are permitted to return to their families. (Haydock)

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Bibliographical Information
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Joshua 22:1". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/joshua-22.html. 1859.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

Then Joshua called the Reubenites, and the Gadites, and the half tribe of Manasseh,

Then Joshua called the Reubenites, and the Gadites, and the half tribe of Manasseh. The general war of invasion being ended, and the enemy being in so dispirited and isolated a condition that each tribe, by its own resources, or with the aid of its neighbouring tribe, was able to repress any renewed hostilities, the auxiliary Israelites from the eastern side of the Jordan were now discharged from service. Joshua dismissed them with high commendations of their fidelity, and earnest admonitions to cultivate perpetual piety in life. The redundancy of the language is remarkable, and shows how important, in the judgment of the venerable leader, a stedfast observance of the divine law was to personal happiness as well as national prosperity.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Joshua 22:1". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/joshua-22.html. 1871-8.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Then Joshua called the Reubenites, and the Gadites, and the half tribe of Manasseh,
Joshua
Numbers 32:18-33; Deuteronomy 29:7,8
Reubenites
We have already seen, that a detachment of 40,000 men, of the tribes of Reuben and Gad, and the half tribe of Manasseh, had passed over Jordan armed, with their brethren, according to their agreement with Moses. The war being now concluded, the land divided, and their brethren settled, Joshua assembles these warriors; and with commendations for their services and fidelity, he dismisses them, having fist given them the most pious and suitable instructions. They had now been about seven years absent from their respective families; and though there was only the river Jordan between the camp of Gilgal and their own inheritance, yet it does not appear that they had, during that time, ever revisited their home, which they might have done at any time of the year, except the harvest, as the river was at other times easily fordable.
Reciprocal: Deuteronomy 3:18 - I commanded;  Deuteronomy 33:6 - GeneralJoshua 1:13 - Remember;  1 Chronicles 12:37 - the other side

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Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Joshua 22:1". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/joshua-22.html.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

1.Then Joshua called the Reubenites, etc Here is related the discharge of the two tribes and half-tribe, who had followed the rest of the people, not that they might acquire anything for themselves, but that, as they had already obtained dwellings and lands without lot, they might carry on war in common with their brethren, until they also should have a quiet inheritance. Now, as they had been faithful companions and helpers to their brethren, Joshua declares that they were entitled to their discharge, and thus sends them back to their homes released and free. It is asked, however, how he can consider them to have performed their due measure of military service, while the enemy were still in possession of part of the land, of which the sole possession was to be the proper termination of the war? (178) But if we bear in mind what I lately said, the knot will be loosed. Had the Israelites followed the invitation of God, and seconded his agency, nay, when he was stretching out his hand to them, had they not basely drawn back, (179) the remaining part of the war would have been finished with no danger and little trouble. From their own sloth, therefore, they refused what God was ready to bestow. And thus it happened that the agreement by which the two tribes and half-tribe had bound themselves, ceased to be binding. For the only obligation they had undertaken was to accompany the ten tribes, and contend for their inheritance as strenuously as if their condition had been exactly the same. Now, when they have perseveringly performed their part as faithful allies, and the ten tribes contented with their present fortune, not only do not demand, but rather tacitly repudiate their assistance, a free return to their homes is justly allowed them. They, indeed, deserve praise for their patient endurance, in not allowing weariness of the service to make them request their discharge, but in waiting quietly till Joshua of his own accord sends for them. (180)

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Bibliographical Information
Calvin, John. "Commentary on Joshua 22:1". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/joshua-22.html. 1840-57.