To many you shall give the more inheritance, and to few you shall give the less inheritance: to every one shall his inheritance be given according to those that were numbered of him.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
according to those that were numbered—the number of persons twenty years old at the time of the census being made, without taking into account either the increase of those who might have attained that age, when the land should be actually distributed, or the diminution from that amount, occasioned during the war of invasion.Thou shalt give; thou, Moses, partly by thyself, for he divided the land beyond Jordan to the two tribes and a half; and partly by thy successor Joshua, whom thou shalt empower and command to do it.
According to those that were numbered of him; according to the number of the families and persons now numbered, and being twenty years old, no regard being to be had either to any increase of the number by those who came up to that age between this time and the division of the land, or to the diminution of this number by the sword of Canaanites or otherwise.
to everyone shall his inheritance be given, according to those that were numbered of him; that is, to every tribe, and so to every family in it, according to the number of men in it, that were of the above age when the sum of them was taken: because it is in the original text, "to a man according to those numbered of him", &c. (q); hence the Jewish writers (r) gather, that the land was distributed not to women, but to men only.To many thou shalt give the more inheritance, and to few thou shalt give the less inheritance: to every one shall his inheritance be given according to those that were numbered of him.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)54. thou shalt give the more inheritance] Moses was not allowed to enter Canaan; if, therefore, ‘thou shalt give’ is to be understood strictly, the allotment and distribution were to take place before his death, while the people were still in the land of Moab. This appears to be the view taken in the early passage Jdg 1:1-3. But according to P (Joshua 13:15-23; Joshua 14:1-5) the lots were not cast till the whole land was won. We must probably, therefore, understand ‘thou shalt give’ loosely—‘thou shalt command that it be given.’ This is more clearly expressed in Numbers 33:50-54.
according to those that were numbered of him] i.e. in proportion to his (the tribe’s) numbers.Genesis 46:24 and 1 Chronicles 7:30.
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