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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) (1 Samuel 30:24,25) (Psalms 68:12) ; 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.
The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
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