Joshua 22 Commentary

 


Jensen's Survey of the NT - used by permission

Paul J Bucknell - Biblical Foundations for Freedom

LAND ALLOTMENTS
(Joshua 13-21)
Jensen's Survey of the NT - used by permission

Jensen's Survey of the NT - used by permission

Click charts to enlarge Charts from Jensen's Survey of the NT - used by permission

JOSHUA
A BOOK ON SPIRITUAL WARFARE and REST
HOW TO POSSESS YOUR POSSESSIONS

CONQUEST
OF THE PROMISED LAND

DIVISION
OF THE PROMISED LAND

CLOSE OF JOSHUA'S LIFE

ACTION ALLOCATION APPEAL
Josh 1:1-5:15 Josh 6:1-12:24 Joshua 13:1-21:45 Josh 22:1-24:33

WARLORDS IN
CANAAN

LANDLORDS IN
CANAAN

ENTERING
CANAAN

CONQUERING
CANAAN

DIVIDING
CANAAN

SECURING THE
LAND

SETTLING THE
LAND

Preparation

Conquest

Possession

Consecration

ca. 1 Month ca 7 Years ca. 18 Years

See also more detailed Chart by Charles R Swindoll

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

  • Joshua: Nu 32:18-33 De 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.

Joshua 22 - The Close of Joshua's Life - This begins the final division of the book, concerned with what Israel must do to keep the land. In view of the context within which the book was written (as well as the numerous commands in these chapters -- always a sign of important information), the primary message of the book is likely to be expressed in chs. 22-24. The theme of this section is first stated in this verse (cf. Deut. 6:5; 10:12, 13; 11:13-17). The primary theme of ch. 22 is the importance of preserving unity -- unity of worship (cf. Deut. 12:1-14) and national unity.

Then Joshua summoned the Reubenites and the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh,

Joshua 22:2  and said to them, "You have kept all that Moses the servant of the LORD commanded you, and have listened to my voice in all that I commanded you.

  • Ye have: Nu 32:20-29 De 3:16-20 
  • obeyed: Jos 1:12-18 

Related Passages:

Joshua 1:16-18 They answered Joshua, saying, “All that you have commanded us we will do, and wherever you send us we will go. 17 “Just as we obeyed Moses in all things, so we will obey you; only may the LORD your God be with you as He was with Moses. 18 “Anyone who rebels against your command and does not obey your words in all that you command him, shall be put to death; only be strong and courageous.”

Joshua 4:12-14 The sons of Reuben and the sons of Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh crossed over in battle array before the sons of Israel, just as Moses had spoken to them; 13 about 40,000 equipped for war, crossed for battle before the LORD to the desert plains of Jericho.  14 On that day the LORD exalted Joshua in the sight of all Israel; so that they revered him, just as they had revered Moses all the days of his life. 

See notes on Num. 32. Read also of their obedience in

and said to them, "You have kept all that Moses the servant of the LORD commanded you, and have listened to my voice in all that I commanded you.

Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary - Verses 1-9. Joshua dismisses the tribes with good counsel. Those who have the commandment have it in vain, unless they do the commandment; and it will not be done aright unless we take diligent heed. In particular to love the Lord our God, as the best of beings, and the best of friends; and as far as that principle rules in the heart, there will be constant care and endeavour to walk in his ways, even those that are narrow and up-hill. In every instance to keep his commandments. At all times, and in all conditions, with purpose of heart to cleave unto the Lord, and to serve him and his kingdom among men, with all our heart, and with all our soul. This good counsel is given to all; may God give us grace to take it! 

Joshua 22:3  "You have not forsaken your brothers these many days to this day, but have kept the charge of the commandment of the LORD your God.

  • Php 1:23-27 

ou have not forsaken your brothers these many days to this day, but have kept the charge of the commandment of the LORD your God.

Joshua 22:4  "And now the LORD your God has given rest to your brothers, as He spoke to them; therefore turn now and go to your tents, to the land of your possession, which Moses the servant of the LORD gave you beyond the Jordan.

  • given rest: Jos 21:43,44 De 12:9 
  • get: Jos 13:8,15-33 14:1-5 Nu 32:33-42 De 3:1-17 29:8 

And now the LORD your God has given rest to your brothers, as He spoke to them; therefore turn now and go to your tents, to the land of your possession, which Moses the servant of the LORD gave you beyond the Jordan.

Joshua 22:5  "Only be very careful to observe the commandment and the law which Moses the servant of the LORD commanded you, to love the LORD your God and walk in all His ways and keep His commandments and hold fast to Him and serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul."

  • take: Ex 15:26 De 4:1,2,6,9 6:6-9,17 11:22 1Ch 28:7,8 Ps 106:3 Ps 119:4-6 Pr 4:23 Isa 55:2 Jer 12:16 Heb 6:11,12 12:15 2Pe 1:5-10 
  • love: Ex 20:6 De 6:5 10:12,13 11:1,13 Mt 22:37 Joh 14:15,21-23 Joh 21:15-17 Ro 8:28 Jas 1:12 2:5 1Jn 5:2,3 
  • cleave: Jos 23:8 De 4:4 10:20 13:4 Ac 11:23 Ro 12:9 
  • serve: Jos 24:14,15 1Sa 7:3 12:20,24 Mt 4:10 6:24 Lu 1:74 Joh 12:26 Ac 27:23 Ro 1:9 

Ryrie - Having discharged their military commitments, the 2 1/2 tribes are reminded by Joshua of their continuing spiritual responsibilities. It is unnecessary to suppose that these tribes were not in God's will in settling E of the Jordan. God had given them that land (24:8), and it was part of Palestine, the mountains of Gilead, E of the Jordan (and not the Jordan itself), being the eastern boundary of Palestine. 

Only be very careful to observe the commandment and the law which Moses the servant of the LORD commanded you, to love the LORD your God and walk in all His ways and keep His commandments and hold fast to Him and serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul."

Joshua 22:6  So Joshua blessed them and sent them away, and they went to their tents.
 

  • Jos 22:7,8 14:13 Ge 14:19 47:7,10 Ex 39:43 1Sa 2:20 2Sa 6:18,20 2Ch 30:18 Lu 2:34 24:50 Heb 7:6,7 

So Joshua blessed them and sent them away, and they went to their tents.

Joshua 22:7  Now to the one half-tribe of Manasseh Moses had given a possession in Bashan, but to the other half Joshua gave a possession among their brothers westward beyond the Jordan. So when Joshua sent them away to their tents, he blessed them,

  • Jos 13:29-31 17:1-12 

Now to the one half-tribe of Manasseh Moses had given a possession in Bashan, but to the other half Joshua gave a possession among their brothers westward beyond the Jordan. So when Joshua sent them away to their tents, he blessed them,

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."

  • Return: De 8:9-14,17,18 2Ch 17:5 32:27 Pr 3:16 1Co 15:58 Heb 11:26 
  • divide: Nu 31:27 1Sa 30:24 Ps 68:12 

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

Joshua 22:9  The sons of Reuben and the sons of Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh returned home and departed from the sons of Israel at Shiloh which is in the land of Canaan, to go to the land of Gilead, to the land of their possession which they had possessed, according to the command of the LORD through Moses.

  • the country of Gilead: Jos 13:11,25,31 Nu 32:1,26,29,39,40 De 3:15,16 Ps 60:7 

The sons of Reuben and the sons of Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh returned home and departed from the sons of Israel at Shiloh which is in the land of Canaan, to go to the land of Gilead, to the land of their possession which they had possessed, according to the command of the LORD through Moses

Joshua 22:10  When they came to the region of the Jordan which is in the land of Canaan, the sons of Reuben and the sons of Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh built an altar there by the Jordan, a large altar in appearance.

  • the children: This verse should probably be rendered, "And when they came to the borders of Jordan, that are in the land of Canaan, the children of Reuben, and the children of Gad, and the half tribe of Manasseh, Then built an altar by (or beyond, {al}) Jordan, a great altar to the view."  It would appear, that when they came to the river, they formed the purpose of building the altar; and when they crossed it they put that purpose into execution.  It is evident that they did not build it west of the Jordan, for that was not in their territories, and the next verse expressly says that it was built over against the land of Canaan.
  • built: Jos 22:25-28 4:5-9 24:26,27 Ge 28:18 31:46-52 

Ryrie - Vs. 22:10-11  The 2 1/2 tribes unwisely, but innocently, built an altar on the W side of the Jordan before crossing over, to serve as a witness that they too shared in the inheritance of the Lord. It was a needless act, for God had ordained that all the males should appear at the sanctuary three times each year (see note on Ex. 23:14) in order to preserve the unity of the tribes. 

When they came to the region of the Jordan which is in the land of Canaan, the sons of Reuben and the sons of Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh built an altar there by the Jordan, a large altar in appearance

 

Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary - Verses 10-20. Here is the care of the separated tribes to keep their hold of Canaan's religion. At first sight it seemed a design to set up an altar against the altar at Shiloh. God is jealous for his own institutions; we should be so too, and afraid of every thing that looks like, or leads to idolatry. Corruptions in religion are best dealt with at first. But their prudence in following up this zealous resolution is no less commendable. Many an unhappy strife would be prevented, or soon made up, by inquiries into the matter of the offence. The remembrance of great sins committed formerly, should engage us to stand on our guard against the beginnings of sin; for the way of sin is down-hill. We are all concerned to reprove our neighbour when he does amiss, lest we suffer sin upon him, Leviticus 19:17. The offer made that they should be welcome to come to the land where the Lord's tabernacle was, and settle there, was in the spirit of true Israelites. 

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."

  • heard: Lev 17:8,9 De 12:5-7 13:12-14 Joh 20:1,12 
  • at the passage: Jos 2:7 3:14-16 Jdg 12:5 Joh 1:28 

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.

Believer's Study Bible - Having heard about the altar, the western tribes prepared for war (v. 12) and sent representatives (vv. 13-15) with a warning (vv. 16-20). They acted on the basis of such directives as Lev. 17:8, 9; Deut. 12:2-5; 13:12-15. They demonstrated zeal not only to avoid disobedience, but also to keep their fellows from disobedience which would anger the Lord (cf. Gal. 6:1, 2; 1 Cor. 5:1-13). However, they balanced their jealousy for the glory of the Lord with wisdom and humility, allowing the possibility that the actions of their brothers had been misunderstood. Therefore, an embassy was sent directly to the persons involved (cf. Matt. 18:15) to conduct an investigation before any action was taken.

Joshua 22:12  When the sons of Israel heard of it, the whole congregation of the sons of Israel gathered themselves at Shiloh to go up against them in war.

  • the whole: Supposing they had built this altar for sacrifice, in opposition to the command of God, they considered them as rebels against God and the Israelitish constitution. De 13:15 Jdg 20:1-11 Ac 11:2,3 Ro 10:2 Ga 4:17,18 

When the sons of Israel heard of it, the whole congregation of the sons of Israel gathered themselves at Shiloh to go up against them in war.

Ryrie - Vs. 22:12-20  The other tribes, ready to go to war over the matter of the altar, wisely sent a delegation headed by Phinehas (v. 13) to investigate first. unfaithful act (v. 16). The same word was used of Achan's sin (v. 20; 7:1). Regarding the iniquity of Peor (v. 17), which was idolatry and disobedience, see notes on Num. 25. 

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,

  • sent: De 13:14 Jdg 20:12 Pr 20:18 Mt 18:15 
  • Phinehas: Ex 6:25 Nu 25:7,11-13 Jdg 20:28 Ps 106:30,31 Pr 25:9-13 

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,

Joshua 22:14  and with him ten chiefs, one chief for each father's household from each of the tribes of Israel; and each one of them was the head of his father's household among the thousands of Israel.

  • head: Ex 18:25 Nu 1:4 

and with him ten chiefs, one chief for each father's household from each of the tribes of Israel; and each one of them was the head of his father's household among the thousands of Israel.

Joshua 22:15  They came to the sons of Reuben and to the sons of Gad and to the half-tribe of Manasseh, to the land of Gilead, and they spoke with them saying,

  • the whole, Jos 22:12 Mt 18:17 1Co 1:10 5:4 Ga 1:1,2, trespass, Lev 5:19 26:40 Nu 5:6 1Ch 21:3 2Ch 26:18 28:13 Ezr 9:2,15 Mt 6:14,15, to turn, Jos 22:18 Ex 32:8 Nu 14:43 32:15 De 7:4 30:17 2Ch 10:19 25:27 Heb 12:25, rebel, Lev 17:8,9 De 12:4-6,13,14 1Sa 15:23 Ps 78:8 Isa 63:10 

They came to the sons of Reuben and to the sons of Gad and to the half-tribe of Manasseh, to the land of Gilead, and they spoke with them saying,

Joshua 22:16  "Thus says the whole congregation of the LORD, 'What is this unfaithful act which you have committed against the God of Israel, turning away from following the LORD this day, by building yourselves an altar, to rebel against the LORD this day?

Thus says the whole congregation of the LORD, 'What is this unfaithful act which you have committed against the God of Israel, turning away from following the LORD this day, by building yourselves an altar, to rebel against the LORD this day

Believer's Study Bible - The word translated "treachery" here and "trespass" in v. 20 (ma`al, Heb.) was used to describe the sin of Achan in 7:1 (see note). The messengers thus based their exhortation (v. 19) on the experience of the past (vv. 17, 20) and the threat of the future (v. 18).

Joshua 22:17  'Is not the iniquity of Peor enough for us, from which we have not cleansed ourselves to this day, although a plague came on the congregation of the LORD,

  • Is the iniquity: Nu 25:3,4-18 De 4:3,4 Ps 106:28,29 
  • from which: Ezr 9:13,14 1Co 10:8,11 

Is not the iniquity of Peor enough for us, from which we have not cleansed ourselves to this day, although a plague came on the congregation of the LORD

Joshua 22:18  that you must turn away this day from following the LORD? If you rebel against the LORD today, He will be angry with the whole congregation of Israel tomorrow.

  • following: Jos 22:16 De 7:4 1Sa 12:14,20 1Ki 9:6 2Ki 17:21 2Ch 25:27 34:33 
  • and it will: Ezr 9:13,14 
  • he will be: Jos 22:20 7:1,11,21 Nu 16:22 2Sa 24:1 1Ch 21:1,14 

that you must turn away this day from following the LORD? If you rebel against the LORD today, He will be angry with the whole congregation of Israel tomorrow

Joshua 22:19  'If, however, the land of your possession is unclean, then cross into the land of the possession of the LORD, where the LORD'S tabernacle stands, and take possession among us. Only do not rebel against the LORD, or rebel against us by building an altar for yourselves, besides the altar of the LORD our God.

  • unclean: Ex 15:17 Lev 18:25-28 Am 7:17 Ac 10:14,15 11:8,9 
  • wherein: Jos 18:1 Lev 17:8,9 De 12:5,6 2Ch 11:13,16,17 

If, however, the land of your possession is unclean, then cross into the land of the possession of the LORD, where the LORD'S tabernacle stands, and take possession among us. Only do not rebel against the LORD, or rebel against us by building an altar for yourselves, besides the altar of the LORD our God

Joshua 22:20  'Did not Achan the son of Zerah act unfaithfully in the things under the ban, and wrath fall on all the congregation of Israel? And that man did not perish alone in his iniquity.'"

  • Jos 7:1,5,18,24 1Co 10:6 2Pe 2:6 Jude 1:5,6 

Did not Achan the son of Zerah act unfaithfully in the things under the ban, and wrath fall on all the congregation of Israel? And that man did not perish alone in his iniquity.

Joshua 22:21  Then the sons of Reuben and the sons of Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh answered and spoke to the heads of the families of Israel.

  • Then the children: The conduct and answer of these Reubenites and the associates are worthy of admiration and imitation.  Though conscious of their innocence, they permitted Phinehas to finish his speech, though composed of little else than accusations, without any interruption; and taking in good part the suspicions, reproofs, and even harshness of their brethren, with the utmost meekness and solemnity they explain their intention, give all the satisfaction in their power, and with great propriety and reverence, appeal to that God against whom they were supposed to have rebelled.
  • answered: Pr 15:1 16:1 18:13 24:26 Ac 11:4 Jas 1:19 1Pe 3:15 
  • heads: Ex 18:21-25 Mic 5:2 

 Then the sons of Reuben and the sons of Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh answered and spoke to the heads of the families of Israel.

 

Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary - Verses 21-29. The tribes took the reproofs of their brethren in good part. With solemnity and meekness they proceeded to give all the satisfaction in their power. Reverence of God is expressed in the form of their appeal. This brief confession of faith would remove their brethren's suspicion that they intended to worship other gods. Let us always speak of God with seriousness, and mention his name with a solemn pause. Those who make appeals to Heaven with a careless "God knows," take his name in vain: it is very unlike this. They express great confidence of their own uprightness in the matter of their appeal. "God knows it," for he is perfectly acquainted with the thoughts and intents of the heart. In every thing we do in religion, it highly concerns us to approve ourselves to God, remembering that he knows the heart. And if our sincerity be known to God, we should study likewise to let others know it by its fruits, especially those who, though they mistake us, show zeal for the glory of God. They disdained the design of which they were suspected to be guilty, and fully explained their true intent in building this altar. Those who have found the comfort and benefit of God's ordinances, cannot but desire to preserve them to their seed, and to use all possible care that their children may be looked upon as having a part in him. Christ is the great Altar that sanctifies every gift; the best evidence of our interest in him is the work of his Spirit in our hearts. 

Joshua 22:22  "The Mighty One, God, the LORD, the Mighty One, God, the LORD! He knows, and may Israel itself know. If it was in rebellion, or if in an unfaithful act against the LORD do not save us this day!

  • Lord God: [Yehovah <Strong's H3068> elohiym <Strong's H430> el <Strong's H410>,] {El Elohim Yehowah,} literally "The strong God, Elohim Jehovah," which is nearly the version of Luther, {der starte Gott, der Herr,} "The strong God, the Lord." Ex 18:11 De 10:17 Ps 82:1 95:3 97:7 136:2 Da 2:47 11:36 1Ti 6:16 Rev 19:16 
  • he knoweth: 1Ki 8:39 Job 10:7 23:10 Ps 7:3 44:21 139:1-12 Jer 12:3 17:10 Joh 2:24,25 21:17 Ac 1:24 2Co 11:11,31 Heb 4:13 Rev 2:23 
  • Israel: Ps 37:6 Mic 7:9 Mal 3:18 Ac 11:2-18 2Co 5:11 
  • if it be: 1Sa 15:23 Job 31:5-8,38-40 Ps 7:3-5 Ac 25:11 

The Mighty One, God, the LORD, the Mighty One, God, the LORD! He knows, and may Israel itself know. If it was in rebellion, or if in an unfaithful act against the LORD do not save us this day

Believer's Study Bible - The accused tribes responded with an oath (vv. 22, 23), an explanation (vv. 24-28), and a final denial of wrongdoing (v. 29).

Joshua 22:23  "If we have built us an altar to turn away from following the LORD, or if to offer a burnt offering or grain offering on it, or if to offer sacrifices of peace offerings on it, may the LORD Himself require it.

  • let the Lord: Ge 9:4 De 18:19 1Sa 20:16 2Ch 24:22 Ps 10:13,14 Eze 3:18 Eze 33:6,8 

If we have built us an altar to turn away from following the LORD, or if to offer a burnt offering or grain offering on it, or if to offer sacrifices of peace offerings on it, may the LORD Himself require it.

Joshua 22:24  "But truly we have done this out of concern, for a reason, saying, 'In time to come your sons may say to our sons, "What have you to do with the LORD, the God of Israel?

  • for fear: Ge 18:19 
  • In time to come: Heb. To-morrow, Jos 4:6 Ge 30:33 Ex 13:14 De 6:20

But truly we have done this out of concern, for a reason, saying, 'In time to come your sons may say to our sons, "What have you to do with the LORD, the God of Israel

Joshua 22:25  "For the LORD has made the Jordan a border between us and you, you sons of Reuben and sons of Gad; you have no portion in the LORD." So your sons may make our sons stop fearing the LORD.'

  • ye have: Jos 22:27 2Sa 20:1 1Ki 12:16 Ezr 4:2,3 Ne 2:20 Ac 8:21 
  • make: 1Sa 26:19 1Ki 12:27-30 14:16 15:30 

For the LORD has made the Jordan a border between us and you, you sons of Reuben and sons of Gad; you have no portion in the LORD." So your sons may make our sons stop fearing the LORD

Believer's Study Bible - Note the theme again of the spiritual legacy believers leave to their children 

Joshua 22:26  "Therefore we said, 'Let us build an altar, not for burnt offering or for sacrifice;

Therefore we said, 'Let us build an altar, not for burnt offering or for sacrifice

Joshua 22:27  rather it shall be a witness between us and you and between our generations after us, that we are to perform the service of the LORD before Him with our burnt offerings, and with our sacrifices and with our peace offerings, so that your sons will not say to our sons in time to come, "You have no portion in the LORD."'

  • a witness: Jos 22:10,34 24:27 Ge 31:48,52 1Sa 7:12 
  • that we: De 12:5,6,11,17,18,26,27 

rather it shall be a witness between us and you and between our generations after us, that we are to perform the service of the LORD before Him with our burnt offerings, and with our sacrifices and with our peace offerings, so that your sons will not say to our sons in time to come, "You have no portion in the LORD

Joshua 22:28  "Therefore we said, 'It shall also come about if they say this to us or to our generations in time to come, then we shall say, "See the copy of the altar of the LORD which our fathers made, not for burnt offering or for sacrifice; rather it is a witness between us and you."'

KJV -  Therefore said we, that it shall be, when they should so say to us or to our generations in time to come, that we may say again, Behold the pattern of the altar of the LORD, which our fathers made, not for burnt offerings, nor for sacrifices; but it is a witness between us and you.

  • Behold: Ex 25:40 2Ki 16:10 Eze 43:10,11 Heb 8:5 

Therefore we said, 'It shall also come about if they say this to us or to our generations in time to come, then we shall say, "See the copy of the altar of the LORD which our fathers made, not for burnt offering or for sacrifice; rather it is a witness between us and you."'

Joshua 22:29  "Far be it from us that we should rebel against the LORD and turn away from following the LORD this day, by building an altar for burnt offering, for grain offering or for sacrifice, besides the altar of the LORD our God which is before His tabernacle."

  • God forbid: Jos 24:16 Ge 44:7,17 1Sa 12:23 1Ki 21:3 Ro 3:6 6:2 9:14 
  • to build: Jos 22:23,26 De 12:13,14 2Ki 18:22 2Ch 32:12 

Far be it from us that we should rebel against the LORD and turn away from following the LORD this day, by building an altar for burnt offering, for grain offering or for sacrifice, besides the altar of the LORD our God which is before His tabernacle

Joshua 22:30  So when Phinehas the priest and the leaders of the congregation, even the heads of the families of Israel who were with him, heard the words which the sons of Reuben and the sons of Gad and the sons of Manasseh spoke, it pleased them.

  • it pleased them: Heb. it was good in their eyes, It is remarkable, that Joshua is not once named in this transaction; but this only shews, that he did not in his old age assume any regal authority, but left the elders and magistrates to conduct the general business, only acting himself when great occasions made it necessary.  Yet we cannot doubt, that his wisdom and piety influenced the counsels of the elders and people at this time. Jos 22:33 Ge 28:8 Jdg 8:3 1Sa 25:32,33 29:6 2Ch 30:4 Es 1:21 *margins Pr 15:1 Ac 11:18 

So when Phinehas the priest and the leaders of the congregation, even the heads of the families of Israel who were with him, heard the words which the sons of Reuben and the sons of Gad and the sons of Manasseh spoke, it pleased them

 

Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary - Verses 30-34. It is well that there was on both sides a disposition to peace, as there was a zeal for God; for quarrels about religion, for want of wisdom and love, often prove the most fierce and difficult to be made up. Proud and peevish spirits, when they have passed any unjust blame on their brethren, though full evidence be brought of its unfairness, can by no means be persuaded to withdraw it. But Israel was not so prejudiced. They looked upon their brethren's innocence as a token of God's presence. Our brethren's zeal for the power of godliness, and faith and love, notwithstanding the fears of their breaking the unity of the church, are things of which we should be very glad to be satisfied. The altar was called ED, a witness. It was a witness of their care to keep their religion pure and entire, and would witness against their descendants, if they should turn from following after the Lord. Happy will it be when all professed Christians learn to copy the example of Israel, to unite zeal and steady adherence to the cause of truth, with candour, meekness, and readiness to understand each other, to explain and to be satisfied with the explanations of their brethren. May the Lord increase the number of those who endeavour to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace! may increasing grace and consolation be with all who love Jesus Christ in sincerity! 

Joshua 22:31  And Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest said to the sons of Reuben and to the sons of Gad and to the sons of Manasseh, "Today we know that the LORD is in our midst, because you have not committed this unfaithful act against the LORD; now you have delivered the sons of Israel from the hand of the LORD."

  • the Lord is: Jos 3:10 Lev 26:11,12 Nu 14:41-43 2Ch 15:2 Ps 68:17 Isa 12:6 Zec 8:23 Mt 1:23 1Co 14:25 

And Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest said to the sons of Reuben and to the sons of Gad and to the sons of Manasseh, "Today we know that the LORD is in our midst, because you have not committed this unfaithful act against the LORD; now you have delivered the sons of Israel from the hand of the LORD 

Believer's Study Bible - (vv. 31-33) The Lord will not work among an unfaithful people. Reconciliation demonstrates His presence and results in worship (cf. 1 Cor. 12:25, 26; 13:6; 2 Cor. 2:5-11).

Joshua 22:32  Then Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest and the leaders returned from the sons of Reuben and from the sons of Gad, from the land of Gilead to the land of Canaan, to the sons of Israel, and brought back word to them.

  • brought: Jos 22:12-14 Pr 25:13 

Then Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest and the leaders returned from the sons of Reuben and from the sons of Gad, from the land of Gilead to the land of Canaan, to the sons of Israel, and brought back word to them.

Joshua 22:33  The word pleased the sons of Israel, and the sons of Israel blessed God; and they did not speak of going up against them in war to destroy the land in which the sons of Reuben and the sons of Gad were living.

  • the thing: Jos 22:30 Ac 15:12,31 2Co 7:7 1Th 3:6-8 
  • blessed: 1Sa 25:32,33 1Ch 29:20 Ne 8:5,6 Da 2:19 Lu 2:28 Eph 1:3 

The word pleased the sons of Israel, and the sons of Israel blessed God; and they did not speak of going up against them in war to destroy the land in which the sons of Reuben and the sons of Gad were living

Joshua 22:34  The sons of Reuben and the sons of Gad called the altar Witness; "For," they said, "it is a witness between us that the LORD is God."

  • Ed: i.e. a witness, The word witness, or testimony, is not found in the common editions of the Hebrew Bible; and is supplied in Italics by our venerable translators, at least in our modern copies; for in the first edition of this translation, it stands in the text without any note of this kind; but it is found in several of Kennicott's and De Rossi's MSS., and also in the Syriac and Arabic.  Several also of the early printed editions of the Hebrew Bible have the word {ed,} either in the text or in the margin; and it must be allowed to be necessary to complete the sense.  It is very probable that an inscription was put on this altar, signifying the purpose for which it was erected. Thus was this affair most happily terminated. Jos 22:27 24:27 1Ki 18:39 Isa 43:10 Mt 4:10 
  • the Lord is God: Several manuscripts read more emphatically, [yehovah <Strong's H3068>,] [huw' <Strong's H1931>] [elohiym < "Jehovah he is God."

The sons of Reuben and the sons of Gad called the altar Witness; "For," they said, "it is a witness between us that the LORD is God."

Book