Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Joshua 22:8

and said to them, "Return to your tents with great riches and with very much livestock, with silver, gold, bronze, iron, and with very many clothes; divide the spoil of your enemies with your brothers."
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Brass;   Gad;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Brass, or Copper;   Reuben, the Tribe of;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Phinehas;   Reuben;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Manasseh;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Gad (1);   Tent;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Joshua, the Book of;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Conquest of Canaan;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Gold;   Joshua, Book of;   Punishments;   War;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Iron;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Return with much riches - It appears they had their full proportion of the spoils that were taken from the Canaanites, and that these spoils consisted in cattle, silver, gold, brass, iron, and raiment.

Divide the spoil - with your brethren - It was right that those who stayed at home to defend the families of those who had been in the wars, and to cultivate the ground, should have a proper proportion of the spoils taken from the enemy, for had they not acted as they did the others could not have safely left their families.

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Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Joshua 22:8". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/joshua-22.html. 1832.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And he spake unto them,.... To the half tribe of Manasseh only, though some think also to the other ten tribes:

saying, return with much riches unto your tents; that is, return to their own land, and habitations there, with whatsoever riches they had got from the spoil of the enemy:

and with very much cattle; they had taken from them, and fell to their share, and for which they had good pasturage in Gilead and Bashan, and therefore very proper to take with them:

with silver and with gold, and with brass, and with iron; whether in massive pieces, or wrought up into vessels, which they found in the houses of the Canaanites when they plundered them:

and with very much raiment; some no doubt very rich and costly, such as their kings, princes, nobles, and great personages among them wore:

divide the spoil of your enemies with your brethren; according to Jarchi and Kimchi, this is spoken to the half tribe of Manasseh, to divide their spoil with the tribes of Reuben and Gad; but it rather means the dividing the above spoil, when they came to their own country with their brethren they left behind; who as they were employed in guarding and defending their cities, their wives and children, herds and flocks, in their absence, they had a right to part of the spoil; and as in other instances it appears to be a common case for those that stayed at home to share in the spoil with them that went to war, see Numbers 31:27; though the notion of Abarbinel pleases me best, that by "their brethren" are meant the other half tribe of Manasseh that remained in Canaan, and were settled there: when the spoil of the Canaanites was divided among all the tribes, the whole tribe of Manasseh had its share; and whereas now half of it were going to their own country on the other side Jordan, it was but reasonable they should have their part of the spoil to carry with them; and this seems to be the true reason of their being separately addressed, and dismissed and blessed.

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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 22:8". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/joshua-22.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

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: divide the spoil of your enemies with your e brethren.

(e) Who remained at home and did not go to the war, (Numbers 31:27) ; (1 Samuel 30:24).
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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Joshua 22:8". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/joshua-22.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

he spake unto them, saying, Return with much riches — in cattle, clothes, and precious metals.

divide the spoil of your enemies with your brethren — (See on Numbers 31:25-39).

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

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

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: divide the spoil of your enemies with your brethren.

With your brethren — That is, with them who stayed 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. But for them, 1 Samuel 30:24, their share was equal, because their danger was equal.

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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
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Wesley, John. "Commentary on Joshua 22:8". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/joshua-22.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Joshua 22:8 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: divide the spoil of your enemies with your brethren.

Ver. 8. Return with much riches.] War is generally hateful - the poets fain that Mars, of all their gods, was most hated by Jupiter - and hurtful to mankind: yet the Hollanders are said to grow rich by it. These in the text did so, for a reward of their good service. "By humility and the fear of the Lord are riches, and honour, and life." [Proverbs 22:4]

Divide the spoil, &c.] Praecipit illis dilectionem proximi. Let those share with you, that, staying at home, tilled your grounds and safe-guarded your families. This was agreeable to a law made by Moses, [Numbers 31:27] and revived by David. [1 Samuel 30:24-25]

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Joshua 22:8". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/joshua-22.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Ver. 8. Return with much riches, &c. and—divide the spoil—with your brethren Nothing could be more just than this command; for, notwithstanding those who remained beyond Jordan had not shared in the dangers of the war, like those who had gone through it; yet they had during that period watched over the families of the latter, and defended their possessions against the inroads of their surrounding enemies. This seems to have been constantly the custom among the Israelites: those who were detached upon any military expedition gave the rest of the army a share of the booty they had taken from the enemy: the pagans acted in like manner. God himself enjoined this practice after the war against the Midianites. Those who fought kept half the spoil of the enemy, and gave the other half to the rest of the people. Probably the same proportion was observed upon this occasion: I mean, that the 40,000 fighting men of the Israelites who came from beyond Jordan, retained a moiety of the booty they had taken, and remitted the other moiety to be divided among those other fighting men of the two tribes and a half, who remained behind to guard the country; and who were 70,000 in number. David, on his return from pursuing the Amalekites, changed this custom into a law. 1 Samuel 30:24-25.

REFLECTIONS.—The auxiliary forces, supplied by the tribe of Reuben, Gad, and Manasseh, having fulfilled their engagement, are now dismissed by Joshua. And this,

1. With an honourable testimony to their obedience, patience, and piety. They had served him with as much fidelity as they obeyed Moses; they had waited, without offering or desiring to return, till the whole land was subdued, and the tribes divided to possess their inheritance; and they had kept the charge of the commandment of the Lord, not only in this instance of patient service, but also in their pious conduct in the camp. Note; (1.) The soldiers of Jesus Christ must object to no service that he enjoins them, but cheerfully and readily run at his bidding. (2.) Though our warfare be long, the faithful shall obtain an honourable dismission at death, to return to their eternal inheritance. (3.) Jesus, at the day of his appearing, will remember and own, to their eternal honour, the faithful services of his people.

2. He gives them a solemn charge (equally applicable to every spiritual Israelite) to keep up their religion at home, when they were separated by Jordan from the tabernacle in Shiloh. Take diligent heed (for our spiritual enemies are ever lying in wait to deceive) to do the commandment and the law of God; this is our constant rule of duty, and must be conscientiously obeyed; to love the Lord your God, without which no obedience can be acceptable, or indeed practicable; to walk in his ways, strait, holy, and self-denying as they are, and to cleave to him, amid all the temptations which surround us, and would turn us aside; and this with all your heart and soul. God's service requires a willing heart, and his work will never be done, unless it be our delight.

3. He adds his blessing to his advice; prays for their prosperity, and wishes them a safe and comfortable journey, and a happy meeting with their families. Where there is a good will, there will be a good wish; those whom we love, we shall pray for.

4. They return with all diligence; it was a long absence, and, no doubt, a happy meeting. Here below, business, war, voyages, separate the dearest relatives; but they are glad to get home in peace. How much hap-pier for the pilgrim soul, when his warfare of life is accomplished, to cross Jordan, and meet his brethren in glory, the family of God!

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Joshua 22:8". 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

i.e. 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.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Joshua 22:8". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/joshua-22.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

8.Much riches — Since the Canaanites were quite advanced in arts, manufactures, and agriculture, it is natural that they should have a large amount of the precious metals and costly articles embodying wealth.

Much raiment — Fashions in dress never change in the East. Hence the people make permanent investments of their wealth in dresses. Hence the Saviour’s exhortation, “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where the moth doth corrupt,” evidently refers to accumulations of garments. Says a traveller in Palestine, “Not unfrequently one sees among the inhabitants of a wretched little hamlet, consisting of the merest hovels, a number of persons dressed in handsome silks.”

Divide the spoil — On a previous occasion (Numbers 31:27) Moses commanded that those who did service at home should share equally with those who had perilled their lives in battle, for the obvious reason that guarding the household and raising supplies for the army are just as necessary and as patriotic as hurling javelins and storming hostile cities.

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Joshua 22:8". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/joshua-22.html. 1874-1909.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Joshua 22:8. Divide the spoil with your brethren — That is, with them who stayed 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. “Nothing could be more just,” says Dr. Dodd, “than this command; for, notwithstanding those who remained beyond Jordan had not shared in the dangers of the war, like those who had gone through it; yet they had, during that period, watched over the families of the latter, and defended their possessions against the inroads of their surrounding enemies. This seems to have been constantly the custom among the Israelites: those who were detached upon any military expedition, gave the rest of the army a share of the booty they had taken from the enemy; the pagans acted in like manner; God himself enjoined this practice after the war against the Midianites. Those who fought kept half the spoil of the enemy, and gave the other half to the rest of the people. Probably the same proportion was observed on this occasion. David, on his return from pursuing the Amalekites, changed this custom into a law, 1 Samuel 30:24-25.”

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Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Joshua 22:8". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/joshua-22.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Riches. Hebrew, Septuagint, &c., "cattle." --- Brethren. Grotius pretends that they were to keep what they had gotten. But his proofs rather shew that they were to follow the ancient custom and law, which prescribed that those who had remained at home to guard the country, should share the booty with those who had gone to battle, 1 Kings xxx. 24., and Numbers xxxi. 27. Some suppose that the booty was divided into equal parts, and the 40,000 would retain as much as all the rest of their brethren, who had been less exposed. The Israelites, however, made all alike, as other nations seem to have been, Exodus xv. 9., &c.

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Joshua 22:8". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/joshua-22.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

divide = share.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Joshua 22:8". "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 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: divide the spoil of your enemies with your brethren.

Much riches - in cattle, clothes, and precious metals.

Divide the spoil of your enemies with your brethren - (see the note at Numbers 31:25-39.)

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Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Joshua 22:8". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/joshua-22.html. 1871-8.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

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: divide the spoil of your enemies with your brethren.
Return
Deuteronomy 8:9-14,17,18; 2 Chronicles 17:5; 32:27; Proverbs 3:16; 1 Corinthians 15:58; Hebrews 11:26
divide
Numbers 31:27; 1 Samuel 30:24; Psalms 68:12
Reciprocal: Deuteronomy 3:20 - return;  Deuteronomy 20:14 - thou shalt eat;  Joshua 22:6 - General1 Chronicles 5:9 - because

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Joshua 22:8". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/joshua-22.html.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

8.Return with much riches, etc As it was formerly seen that the greater part of the two tribes were left in their territories beyond the Jordan, when the others passed over to carry on the war, it was fair that, as they had lived in case with their families, or been only occupied with domestic concerns, they should be contented with their own livelihood and the produce of their own labor. And they certainly could not, without dishonesty, have demanded that any part of the booty and spoil should be distributed among them, when they had taken no share in all the toil and the danger. Joshua, however, does not insist on the strictly legal view, but exhorts the soldiers to deal liberally with their countrymen, by sharing the prey with them. Here some one may unseasonably raise the question, Whether or not the booty was common? For Joshua does not decide absolutely that it is their duty to do as he enjoins; he admonishes them that, after they have been enriched by the divine blessing, it would betray a want of proper feeling not to be liberal and kind towards their brethren, especially as it was not their fault that they did not take part in the same expedition. Moreover, when he bids them divide, he does not demand an equal partition, such as that which is usual among partners and equals, but only to bestow something that may suffice to remove all cause of envy and hatred. (181)

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on Joshua 22:8". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/joshua-22.html. 1840-57.