Concerning the Ammonites, thus saith the Lord
Or, "to the Ammonites" F21; or, "against" them F23; it will bear to be rendered either way, and all is true; for what is said by the Lord, as follows, is concerning them, their sins, and their punishment, and is directed to them, and is a threatening against them: hath Israel no sons? hath he no heir?
certainly he has, and who ought to possess the land; this is to be understood not of the ten tribes, sometimes called Israel, as distinct from the other two; for these had been long ago carried captive, and left no heirs of their tribes; but of all Israel, including the tribes of Judah and Benjamin; who, though their brethren of the ten tribes were carried captive, and left no children to inherit, yet, being next in blood, were the lawful heirs of their lands and possessions: why [then] doth their king inherit Gad?
that part of the land of Israel which belonged to the tribe of Gad; this, when the ten tribes were carried captive by the king of Assyria, and the Gadites among the rest, was seized on by the Ammonites, with their king at the head of them, lying near unto them; who might also pretend relation, as being the children of Lot, the brother's son of Abraham; or claim it, as having been their own formerly, and so were the lawful heirs of it, as they imagined; when it of right belonged to the children of Judah and Benjamin: or, "why doth Malcam inherit Gad?" F24 the same with Milcom or Molech, the abomination of the Ammonites, the idol they worshipped, ( 1 Kings 11:5 1 Kings 11:7 ) ; so Jarchi interprets it. The Ammonites having got possession of the land, set up their idol in it, where temples were built for him, and altars erected, and sacrifices offered to him, so that he might be said to inherit it; and which must be very offensive to, and highly resented by, the God of Israel: and his people dwelt in his cities:
the Ammonites dwelt in the cities belonging to the tribe of Gad, as if they were their own; who are called the people of Milcom, or Molech, just as the Moabites are called the people of Chemosh, from the idol they worshipped, ( Jeremiah 48:46 ) .