Then all the children of Israel went out
Of their tribes, cities, habitations, not every individual of them, but some of the chief of them, with a select company with them:
and the congregation was gathered together as one man;
with as much unanimity and ease met together in one place, at the same time, as if only one man had been pitched upon and deputed for that purpose:
from Dan even to Beersheba,
from the city Dan, lately built, which was in the most northern parts of the land of Canaan, to Beersheba, a city in the most southern part, which included all the tribes in the land of Canaan, who all, excepting Benjamin, assembled:
with the land of Gilead;
which lay on the other side Jordan, inhabited by the two tribes of Reuben and Dan, and the half tribe of Manasseh, who also came on this occasion:
unto the Lord in Mizpeh;
a city which lay upon the borders of Judah and Benjamin, and is therefore assigned to them both, ( Joshua 15:38 ) ( 18:26 ) for this was not Mizpeh in the land of Gilead, but a city near to Shiloh; and, according to Fuller F2, eight miles from Gibeah, and so was a convenient place to meet at: it is not to be thought the tribes met here, by a secret impulse upon their minds, but by a summons of some principal persons in one of the tribes, very probably in the tribe of Ephraim, where the Levite dwelt, and in which was the tabernacle of the Lord, and of which the last supreme magistrate was, namely, Joshua; and all having notice of the occasion of it, met very readily; and because they assembled in the name and fear of God, and it was in the cause of God, and as a solemn assembly, a judicial one, in which God was usually present, they are said to be gathered unto him, and the rather, as they sought for direction and counsel from him in the affair before them.
F2 Pisah-Sight, B. 2. c. 12. p. 259.