Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Joshua 22:13

Then the sons of Israel sent to the sons of Reuben and to the sons of Gad and to the half-tribe of Manasseh, into the land of Gilead, Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest,
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Gad;   Government;   Haste;   Misjudgment;   Motive;   Phinehas;   Prudence;   Reubenites;   Uncharitableness;   War;   Zeal, Religious;   Thompson Chain Reference - Phinehas;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Gad, the Tribe of;   Reuben, the Tribe of;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Phinehas;   Reuben;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Phinehas;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Priest, Priesthood;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Manasseh;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Jordan;   Judges, the Book of;   Phinehas;   Holman Bible Dictionary - High Priest;   Joshua, the Book of;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Joshua;   Numbers, Book of;   Phinehas;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Phinehas ;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Phin'ehas;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Altar;   Government of the Hebrews;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Conquest of Canaan;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Joshua, Book of;   Phinehas;  

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

"And the children of Israel sent unto the children of Reuben, and to the children of Gad, and to the half-tribe of Manasseh, into the land of Gilead, Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest, and with him ten princes, one prince of a fathers' house for each of the tribes of Israel; and they were every one of them heads of their fathers' houses among the thousands of Israel. And they came unto the children of Reuben, and to the children of Gad, and to the half-tribe of Manasseh, unto the land of Gilead, and they spake with them saying, Thus saith the whole congregation of Jehovah, What trespass is this that ye have committed against the God of Israel, to turn away this day from following after Jehovah, in that ye have builded you an altar, to rebel this day against Jehovah?"

From this it is clear that all Israel accepted the principle of "only one sanctuary"; and as we have pointed out, that was the true meaning of God's instructions from Mount Sinai and ever afterward. That the breach of this was indeed serious is apparent in the dignity and importance of the delegation Israel sent to inquire into the matter.

Note that Phinehas was "sent" by the children of Israel. Who sent him? The central government, of which Joshua, of course, was the chief executive. Why did not Joshua go himself? For the same reason that the High Priest Eleazar did not go. Eleazar and Joshua were the ones doing the sending. In this light the error of Longacre's assumption here is apparent. He spoke of the, "Suppression of Joshua the leader in the interest of the religious leader Phinehas,"[15] offering this as evidence of the "late date of this Midrash."[16] Now, Phinehas was not the religious leader, Eleazar was! Joshua, the leader, was not suppressed here at all; he was an arm of the central government was in charge all the way. Phinehas, like the ten princes, was merely a delegate, albeit, the leader of the delegation, which was appropriate enough, since Phinehas was an expert in religious affairs. So, if someone wants to make a seventh century B.C. Midrash out of this, he will have to come up with something a lot better than that!

"Apart from certain entrenched theories regarding a Priestly document dating from post-exilic times, there seems to be no reason to think of the figure of Phinehas as representing a priestly influence upon this account."[17]

In the speech of Phinehas, next reported, below, there are repeated references to many of the events in the then-recent history of Israel; and, when all of this is taken collectively into consideration, `There is no way to avoid the conclusion that Deuteronomy, as well as all the other books of the Pentateuch, were in existence when these events occurred."[18]

The punishment for such a sin as making another altar, as well as the designation of that offense as sinful, is found in Leviticus 17:4,8,9, in Deuteronomy 12:4-14, and in Deuteronomy 13:12-16.

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 22:13". "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

And the children of Israel,.... In the land of Canaan:

sent unto the children of Reuben, and to the children of Gad, and to the half tribe of Manasseh, unto the land of Gilead; they were possessed of, and had now returned unto and dwelt in; hither they sent an embassy to them, to inquire into the truth of what they had heard, and the reason of it, before they went to war with them, or proclaimed it, or took any further steps towards it; and which they were obliged to do by the above law, when there was any suspicion of idolatry, and any good ground and reason for it, Deuteronomy 13:14; and at the head of this deputation was

Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest; a man zealous for the Lord of hosts, and his glory, of which there is an instance in Numbers 25:7; and so a fit person to be employed in this affair, who would be faithful, bold, and zealous, as well as capable of giving advice and counsel to both parties, if needful.

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 22:13". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/joshua-22.html. 1999.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Joshua 22:13 And the children of Israel sent unto the children of Reuben, and to the children of Gad, and to the half tribe of Manasseh, into the land of Gilead, Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest,

Ver. 13. And the children of Israel sent.] As they had good reason, considering the mischief of civil war, which ever is utrinque triste: and if victory be gotten, yet no triumph, because it is like a golden fish hook, which lost or broken cannot be paid for with that it taketh. Plutarch observeth that the state of the Roman empire flourished so long as Romulus’s spear kept green and sappy; but decayed when it dried, which was about the beginning of the civil wars.

Phinehas the son of Eleazar.] Who was one of a thousand; famous for his zeal, and no less eminent for his knowledge and wisdom, wherewith zeal must be tempered, or else all will be out of order: as the ancient philosophers supposed of the Primum Mobile, that if the motion thereof were not finely cooled and allayed by the Caelum Chrystallinum next to it, it would set all the orbs on fire.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Joshua 22:13". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/joshua-22.html. 1865-1868.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

13.Phinehas — Probably his father, Eleazar, was too aged for this service. Phinehas, the grandson of Aaron, had signalized himself while quite a youth by his zeal and energy against licentiousness at Shittim.

Numbers 25:7. Subsequently he was chaplain of the expedition which destroyed the Midianites. Numbers 31:6. After his father’s death he became the third high priest.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Joshua 22:13". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/joshua-22.html. 1874-1909.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(13) Phinehas . . . and (14) ten princes.—According to the constitution established by Moses, a government by priests and judges. Phinehas in particular was well suited to the office of “defender of the faith” (see Numbers 25).

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Joshua 22:13". "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 sent unto the children of Reuben, and to the children of Gad, and to the half tribe of Manasseh, into the land of Gilead, Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest,
sent
Deuteronomy 13:14; Judges 20:12; Proverbs 20:18; Matthew 18:15
Phinehas
Exodus 6:25; Numbers 25:7,11-13; Judges 20:28; Psalms 106:30,31; Proverbs 25:9-13
Reciprocal: 1 Chronicles 6:4 - Phinehas;  Ezra 7:5 - Phinehas

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Joshua 22:13". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/joshua-22.html.