Cp 1Ch 26:10. Consider then how many times throughout the
history of the patriarchs, God chooses one who is NOT the firstborn. All this,
perhaps, is intended to point to Christ, the true "firstborn over all creation"
(Col 1:15): no other "firstborns" could come close to doing what THIS firstborn
AND A RULER CAME FROM HIM: "For it is clear that our
Lord descended from Judah" (Heb 7:14).
BAAL: A peculiar name for any Jew!
Reuben had many cattle -- so they requested territory east of
Jordan (Num 32:1).
Cp vv 18-22.
Vv 18-22: War against the Hagarites.
JETUR, NAPHISH: Sons of Ishmael: Gen 25:15.
MANY OTHERS FELL SLAIN, BECAUSE THE BATTLE WAS GOD'S:
"Warrior, fighting under the banner of the Lord Jesus, observe this v with holy
joy, for as it was in the days of old so is it now, if the war be of God the
victory is sure. The sons of Reuben, and the Gadites, and the half tribe of
Manasseh could barely muster five and forty thousand fighting men, and yet in
their war with the Hagarites, they slew 'men, an hundred thousand', 'for they
cried to God in the battle, and He was entreated of them, because they put their
trust in Him.'
"The Lord saveth not by many nor by few; it is ours to go
forth in Jehovah's name if we be but a handful of men, for the Lord of Hosts is
with us for our Captain. They did not neglect buckler, and sword, and bow,
neither did they place their trust in these weapons; we must use all fitting
means, but our confidence must rest in the Lord alone, for He is the sword and
the shield of His people. The great reason of their extraordinary success lay in
the fact that 'the war was of God'.
"Beloved, in fighting with sin without and within, with error
doctrinal or practical, with spiritual wickedness in high places or low
places... you are waging Jehovah's war, and unless He himself can be worsted,
you need not fear defeat. Quail not before superior numbers, shrink not from
difficulties or impossibilities, flinch not at wounds or death, smite with the
two-edged sword of the Spirit, and the slain shall lie in heaps. The battle is
the Lord's and He will deliver His enemies into our hands. With steadfast foot,
strong hand, dauntless heart, and flaming zeal, rush to the conflict, and the
hosts of evil shall fly like chaff before the gale" (CHS).
Other Manassites were "mighty men" under David (1Ch
KJV has "And the God of Israel stirred up the spirit of Pul
king of Assyria, AND the spirit of Tilgathpilneser king of Assyria..."