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NOW the sons of Ruben the firstborn of Israel, (for he was his firstborn: but forasmuch as he defiled his father's bed, his first birthright was given to the sons of Joseph the son of Israel, and he was not accounted for the firstborn.

Ver. 1.  First-born.  Gen. xlix. 4.  W.


--- He gives this reason for not beginning with him.  C.


--- And he.  Prot. "and the genealogy is not to be reckoned after the birth-right."  H.


2 But of the race of Juda, who was the strongest among his brethren, came the princes: but the first birthright was accounted to Joseph.)

Ver. 2.  Accounted to Joseph, viz. as to the double portion, which belonged to the first-born: but the princely dignity was given to Juda, and the priesthood to Levi.  Ch.


--- Yet it is not certain that the latter dignity formed a part of the birth-right, (Gen. xxv. 31.) and the author takes no notice of it.  C.


--- The double portion seems to have been all the privilege.  Deut. xxi. 17.  Sept. "the blessing or gift was Joseph's."  Hebrew also does not specify princes, but "the leader," (H.) the Messias, (Syr. &c.) and kings, from David till the captivity.  C.  Gen. xlix. 4.  W.


3 The sons then of Ruben the firstborn of Israel were Enoch, and Phallu, Esron, and Charmi.


4 The sons of Joel: Samaia his son, Gog his son, Semei his son,

Ver. 4.  Joel.  It does not appear whether he was the son of the last, or of Henoch.

5 Micha his son, Reia his son, Baal his son,


Baal (1Chron 4:33), probably identical with Baalath Beer Ramath (Josh 19:8; Simeon), poss. Biâr Mãyîn, or Tell el-Lekiyeh, N. of Bersabee. Baal, or Ballath. Jos. xix. 1.

6 Beera his son, whom Thelgathphalnasar king of the Assyrians carried away captive, and he was prince in the tribe of Ruben.

Ver. 6.  Beera,  This tribe continued to have princes of their own, after the division of the kingdom.  Beera was in power when Thelgathphalnasar, or Theglathphalasar, took five tribes into captivity.  4 K. xv. 29.  Only twelve generations are mentioned to fill up about 750 years, from the leaving of Egypt.  C.


--- But Enoch must have lived much sooner, as the Israelites continued in that country at least 215 years.  The princes are probably not all specified, as on other occasions.  H.


7 And his brethren, and all his kindred, when they were numbered by their families, had for princes Jehiel, and Zacharias.

Ver. 7.  Families, when they were led captive into Assyria; (M.) or before, when the tribe was in a most flourishing condition.


--- Princes.  Heb. and Sept. "prince."


--- Jehiel.  Sept. "Joel," v. 4.

8 And Bala the son of Azaz, the son of Samma, the son of Joel, dwelt in Aroer as far as Nebo, and Beelmeon.

Ver. 8.  And.  So Heb. &c. as f he was one of the princes.  But the Vulg. seems to begin a new sentence, Porro, "now Bala."  The possessions of this man must have been very extensive, from the Euphrates till (H.) Baal-meon, within nine miles of Hesebon, (Eus.) almost (C.) as far as the Jordan.  T.


--- Bala, or his descendants, extended their conquests as far as the Euphrates, which had been promised to Israel; and, under Saul, conquered the Agarites, who sprung from Agar.  Syr. &c. "the Arabs of Sacca," or the Scenites, "dwelling under tents," and  inhabiting the Desert Arabia.  The details of this war are probably given, v. 19, &c.  C.


Aroer 1- (Deut 2:36, etc.; Moab. S., l. 26): 'Arâ'ir, N. of the Arnon river. 2- (Judg 11:33), "over against Rabba", i.e. E. of Ammân. 3- (1Sam 30:28; S. Juda), Egyptian: Har-horar: 'Ar'ârah, E.S.E. of Bersabee. --- Aroer, upon the Arnon, belonged to the tribe of Gad.

9 And eastward he had his habitation as far as the entrance of the desert, and the river Euphrates. For they possessed a great number of cattle in the land of Galaad.

Ver. 9.  Cattle, for which reason they desired to have this country.  Num. xxxii. 4.  M.

10 And in the days of Saul they fought against the Agarites, and slew them, and dwelt in their tents in their stead, in all the country, that looketh to the east of Galaad.

11 And the children of Gad dwelt over against them in the land of Basan, as far as Selcha:

Ver. 11.  Selcha, not far from Jabok.  Deut. iii. 10.  C.


Basan (Deut 3:4), a region S. of the Plain of Damascus; at first the Kingdom of Og, then given to the tribe of Manasses.

12 Johel the chief, and Saphan the second: and Janai, and Saphat in Basan.

Ver. 12.  Chief, (in capite.)  Sept. "first-born."  H.


--- This list was made under Joathan, king of Juda, when Joel was at the head of the tribe of Gad.  C.


--- Basan, the capital city, v. 16.  Sa.  M.


Basan (Deut 3:4), a region S. of the Plain of Damascus; at first the Kingdom of Og, then given to the tribe of Manasses.

13 And their brethren according to the houses of their kindreds, were Michael, and Mosollam, and Sebe, and Jorai, and Jacan, and Zie, and Heber, seven. 14 These were the sons of Abihail, the son of Hurl, the son of Jara, the son of Galaad, the son of Michael, the son of Jesisi, the son of Jeddo, the son of But.

15 And their brethren the sons of Abdiel, the son of Guni, chief of the house in their families,

Ver. 15.  And, &c.  Heb. also, "Achi, son of Abdiel."


--- Chief, like the preceding, each in their respective families.  C.


--- They were relations (H.) of the same tribe.  M.

16 And they dwelt in Galaad, and in Basan and in the towns thereof, and in all the suburbs of Saron, unto the borders.

Ver. 16.  Saron, in Basan; (Jos. xii. 18.) different from those vallies near Joppe, (C.) and between Thabor and Tiberias.  Euseb.


Basan (Deut 3:4), a region S. of the Plain of Damascus; at first the Kingdom of Og, then given to the tribe of Manasses.

17 All these were numbered in the days of Joathan king of Juda, and in the days of Jeroboam king of Israel.

Ver. 17.  Israel.  Jeroboam II. had been dead two years before Joathan was born: unless some of the numbers be incorrect; which seem very probable.  4 K. xv. 5.  Yet these registers might be made at different times, and one, perhaps, under Jeroboam I. as when any war seemed to threaten, the number of soldiers was to be known.  C.


--- It does not appear why the king of Juda is mentioned, as the people were not under his dominion, unless (H.) he was contemporary with Jeroboam II. as some assert.  M.


--- Yet the following expedition seems to have taken place while Israel was still faithful to God.  H.  By faith they overcame kingdoms.  Heb. xi.  W.

18 The sons of Ruben, and of Gad, and of the half tribe of Manasses, fighting men, bearing shields, and swords, and bending the bow, and trained up to battles, four and forty thousand seven hundred and threescore that went out to war. 19 They fought against the Agarites: but the Itureans, and Naphis, and Nodab,

Ver. 19.  But, &c.  Heb. "and Jetur, &c. (20) and they were helped by God against them."  H.


--- Sept. "they prevailed over them, and the Agarites," &c.  The ancient, or higher Iturea, lay between Hermon and Manasses; but the lower, which Josephus includes under this name, took in the deserted possessions of that half tribe.  C.


--- The former (H.) extended from Jordan by Libanus, to the mountains of Tyre.  M.


--- And Naphis, sons of Ismael.  Gen. xxv. 13.  H.

20 Gave them help. And the Agarites were delivered into their hands, and all that were with them, because they called upon God in the battle: and he heard them, because they had put their faith in him. 21 And they took all that they possessed, of camels fifty thousand, and of sheep two hundred and fifty thousand, and of asses two thousand, and of men a hundred thousand souls. 22 And many fell down slain: for it was the battle of the Lord. And they dwelt in their stead till the captivity.

Ver. 22.  Lord.  Very dreadful, and in obedience to God's orders.


--- Captivity, v. 6.  C.

23 And the children of the half tribe of Manasses possessed the land, from the borders of Basan unto Baal, Hermon, and Sanir, and mount Hermon, for their number was great.

Ver. 23.  Basan, which belonged to Gad.  H.


--- In Josue (xvii. 5.) Basan and Galaad seem to be given to Manasses; but the former there denotes all the level country, from the Jabok  to the Jordan, as Galaad is put for the mountains on the East.  C.


--- Great.  It would take thirty hours to travel from the torrent Jabok to Baal Hermon.  Adric.  M.


Baal (1Chron 4:33), probably identical with Baalath Beer Ramath (Josh 19:8; Simeon), poss. Biâr Mãyîn, or Tell el-Lekiyeh, N. of Bersabee. Baal, or Ballath. Jos. xix. 1.


Basan (Deut 3:4), a region S. of the Plain of Damascus; at first the Kingdom of Og, then given to the tribe of Manasses.

24 And these were the heads of the house of their kindred, Epher, and Jesi, and Eliel, and Esriel, and Jeremia, and Odoia, and Jediel, most valiant and powerful men, and famous chiefs in their families.

25 But they forsook the God of their fathers, and went astray after the gods of the people of the land, whom God destroyed before them. 26 And the God of Israel stirred up the spirit of Phul king of the Assyrians, and the spirit of Thelgathphalnasar king of Assur: and he carried away Ruben, and Gad, and the half tribe of Manasses, and brought them to Lahela, and to Habor, and to Ara, and to the river of Gozan, unto this day.

Ver. 26.  Assur.  These princes were scourges in the hand of God, to punish the guilty.  H.


--- The former forced Israel to pay tribute; the latter carried many into captivity, 4 K. xv. 19. 29. and xvi. 7.  C.


--- Lahela, or Hala and Haber, cities watered by the river Gozan.


--- Ara; perhaps Rages.  Tob. i. 16, &c.  D.



Out of Sennaar, near the city of Babylon. Assur, or Ninus, who founded the Assyrian empire. M.

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