Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Numbers 32:37

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

The Reubenites established themselves more compactly than the Gadites. Elcalch (el-‘Al) a mile to the northeast; Nebo (Nebbeh) probably three miles to the southwest; Baal-meon (Main) nearly two miles to the south; Kirjathaim (Kureiyat?): and Shibmah, more properly Sibmah, famous at a later period for its vines (compare Isaiah 16:8), four miles east of Heshbon; all clustered round the old Amorite Capital. The Reubenites probably retained at the partition all these cities with the exception of Heshbon, which, passing to the Levites, were thenceforth reckoned as within the tribe of Gad.

Neither the Reubenites nor the Gadites were “builders” in the sense of founders of the cities of which they thus took possession. They probably fortified them, for the first time or afresh, so as to render them places of safety for their families during the campaigns on the other side of the Jordan; and provided them with all conveniences for their flocks and herds.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Concerning the settlement of these tribes, observe, that they built the cities, that is, repaired them. They changed the names of them; probably they were idolatrous, therefore they should be forgotten. A spirit of selfishness, of seeking our own, not the things of Christ, when each one ought to assist others, is as dangerous as it is common. It is impossible to be sincere in the faith, sensible of the goodness of God, constrained by the love of Christ, sanctified by the power of the Holy Ghost, and yet be indifferent to the progress of religion, and the spiritual success of others, through love of ease, or fear of conflict. Let then your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
Cross References
The Conquest of Canaan