Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Joshua 22:11

And the sons of Israel heard it said, "Behold, the sons of Reuben and the sons of Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh have built an altar at the frontier of the land of Canaan, in the region of the Jordan, on the side belonging to the sons of Israel."
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Gad;   Haste;   Misjudgment;   Motive;   Prudence;   Reubenites;   Uncharitableness;   War;   Zeal, Religious;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Gad, the Tribe of;   Reuben, the Tribe of;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Phinehas;   Reuben;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Manasseh;   Passage;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Adam (2);   Ed;   Jordan;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Joshua, the Book of;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Ed;   Geliloth;   Joshua;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Passage;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Altar;   Government of the Hebrews;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Conquest of Canaan;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Ed;   Forefront;   Joshua, Book of;   Pass;  

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And the children of Israel heard say,.... Those that dwelt in the land of Canaan, for otherwise, as before observed, the two tribes and a half on the other side Jordan were Israelites also; and this is a further proof that the altar was built on their side, or those in the land of Canaan would have known of the building of it, and have seen them at it, and not come at the knowledge of it by hearsay only, as it seems they did, it being reported to them by some who had been in those parts, and had seen the structure:

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; which clearly shows it was on the other side Jordan, though Noldius, who places it in the land of Canaan, renders the words, "in the neighbourhood of" itF12אל מול "in vicinia", Noldius, No. 369. p. 80. ; which will not much help him, since it might be in the neighbourhood of it, and yet not in it:

in the borders of Jordan; on the banks of it, or in one of the meanders and windings of it, at a place where it ran out and fetched a compass in the land of Canaan:

at the passage of the children of Israel; where they passed over when they first came into Canaan, and where those tribes also passed over at their return; supposed to be the Bethabara beyond Jordan, where John was baptizing, John 1:28.

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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.
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 22:11". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/joshua-22.html. 1999.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

And the children of Israel 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.

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

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Bibliographical Information
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Joshua 22:11". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/joshua-22.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Joshua 22:11 And the children of Israel 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.

Ver. 11. And the children of Israel heard say.] Fame had soon blown her trumpet: but is, mostly, a loud liar -

Tam ficti privique tenax quam nuncia veri. ” - Virg.

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Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Joshua 22:11". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/joshua-22.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Ver. 11. And the children of Israel, &c.— That is, those who were in the land of Canaan to the west of Jordan. This is a proof of the observation we just now made, that there are many things to be supplied in this narration; for the Reubenites, Gadites, and half-tribe of Manasseh, were no less children of Israel than the former. They were informed of the building of this altar, when finished; a certain proof that it had not been reared within their territories, in which case they would have seen and opposed them. The passage of the children of Israel is so called, either as being the part at which they entered into the land of Canaan, or by which they returned from thence: perhaps it was the place where the river was commonly crossed.

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Bibliographical Information
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Joshua 22:11". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/joshua-22.html. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Where they passed over Jordan, either at their first entrance into Canaan, or afterwards, and usually.

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Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Joshua 22:11". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/joshua-22.html. 1685.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

And the children of Israel heard it said, “See, the children of Reuben, and the children of Gad, and the half tribe of Manasseh, have built an altar before (at the frontier of) the land of Canaan in the circles of Jordan on the side that belongs to the children of Israel.’

Word about the building of the great altar quickly spread and reached the authorities. The resulting anger would not be because of where it was built but because of its presumed purpose, although in fact where it was built tended to indicate that it was not for ritual use, otherwise it would have been built on the eastern side.

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Joshua 22:11". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/joshua-22.html. 2013.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Behold. Figure of speech Asteriamos (App-6) over against - in front of. i.e. on the oast side of Jordan. at the

passage of = beyond, or opposite to.

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Bibliographical Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Joshua 22:11". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/joshua-22.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

And the children of Israel 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 the children of Israel heard say. Fame speedily spread intelligence of what the trans-Jordanic tribes had done. The act being suspected of some idolatrous design, "the whole congregation - i:e., not the whole nation, but only the representatives-repair to the tabernacle at Shiloh, resolved to declare war against the two tribes and a half as apostates from God. On calmer and more mature considerations, however, they determined, in the first instance, to send a deputation, consisting of the son of the high priest and 10 eminent persons from each tribe, to make inquiry into this rumoured rebellion against God (Deuteronomy 13:13-15). The quality of the deputies evinced the deep solicitude that was felt on the occasion to maintain the purity of the divine worship throughout Israel. In the presumptive belief that the two tribes and a half had really built an altar, the deputies expressed astonishment at their so soon falling into such a heinous crime as that of violating the unity of divine worship (Exodus 20:24; Leviticus 17:8-9; Deuteronomy 12:5-13), reminded their eastern brethren of the disastrous consequences that were entailed on the nation at large by the apostasy at Peor, and by the sin of Achan, and finally exhorted them, if they felt the want of the tabernacle and altar, and repented of their rash choice in preferring worldly advantages to religious privileges, to remove to the western side of the Jordan, where the whole tribes would form a united and obedient community of worshippers.

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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 22:11". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/joshua-22.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(11) Have built an altar.—Rather, have built the altar. As appears by Joshua 22:28, it was a representation of the altar of Jehovah: a copy of the one altar which He had given to Israel for sacrifice. The design was to set up on the east of Jordan a likeness of that altar which was established on the west, that the tribes on the other side of Jordan might appeal to it as a proof that they also were the people of Jehovah.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Joshua 22:11". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/joshua-22.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And the children of Israel 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.
heard
Leviticus 17:8,9; Deuteronomy 12:5-7; 13:12-14; John 20:1,12
at the passage
2:7; 3:14-16; Judges 12:5; John 1:28
Copyright Statement
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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Joshua 22:11". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/joshua-22.html.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

11.And the children of Israel heard say, etc There is no doubt that they were inflamed with holy zeal, nor ought their vehemence to seem excessive in taking up arms to destroy their countrymen on account of a pile of stones. For they truly and wisely judged that the lawful sanctuary of God was polluted and his worship profaned, that sacred things were violated, pious concord destroyed, and a door opened for the license of superstitious practices, if in two places victims were offered to God, who had for these reasons so solemnly bound the whole people to a single altar. Not rashly, therefore, do the ten tribes, on hearing of a profane altar, detest its sacrilegious audacity.

Here, then, we have an illustrious display of piety, teaching us that if we see the pure worship of God corrupted, we must be strenuous, to the utmost of our ability, in vindicating it. The sword, indeed, has not been committed to the hands of all; but every one must, according to his call and office, study manfully and firmly to maintain the purity of religion against all corruption’s. More especially deserving of the highest praise was the zeal of the half-tribe of Manasseh, who, setting aside all regard to the flesh, did not spare their own family. I admit, however, that this zeal, though pious, was not free from turbulent impetuosity, inasmuch as they hasten to declare war before they inquired concerning the mind of their brethren, and properly ascertained the state of the case. War, I admit, was declared only under conditions; for they send ambassadors to bring back word after they had carefully investigated the matter, and they move not a finger in the way of inflicting punishment till they are certified of the existence of the crime. Excuse, therefore, may be made for the fervor of their passion, while they prepare for battle in the event of any defection being discovered. (183)

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Bibliographical Information
Calvin, John. "Commentary on Joshua 22:11". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/joshua-22.html. 1840-57.