5:1 Now the sons of Reuben the firstborn of Israel, (for he [was] the firstborn; but, forasmuch as he defiled his fathers bed, his birthright was given unto the a sons of Joseph the son of Israel: and the genealogy is not to be reckoned after the birthright.
(a) Because they were made two tribes, they had a double portion. 5:2 For Judah prevailed above his brethren, and of him [came] b the chief ruler; but the birthright [was] Josephs:)
(b) That is, he was the chiefest of all the tribes according to Jacobs prophecy, ( Genesis 49:8 ), and because Christ would come from him. 5:6 Beerah his son, whom Tilgathpilneser king of Assyria c carried away [captive]: he [was] prince of the Reubenites.
(c) That is, in the time of Uzziah king of Israel, ( 2 Kings 15:23 ). 5:8 And Bela the son of Azaz, the son of Shema, the son of Joel, who dwelt in d Aroer, even unto Nebo and Baalmeon:
(d) These places were beyond Jordan toward the east in the land given to the Reubenites. 5:10 And in the days of Saul they made war with the e Hagarites, who fell by their hand: and they dwelt in their tents throughout all the east [land] of Gilead.
(e) The Ishmaelites who came from Hagar Abrahams concubine. 5:16 And they dwelt in Gilead in f Bashan, and in her towns, and in all the suburbs of Sharon, upon their borders.
(f) Both the whole country and one particular city were called Bashan. 5:19 And they made war with the Hagarites, with g Jetur, and Nephish, and Nodab.
(g) These twelve were the sons of Ishmael, ( Genesis 25:15 ). 5:20 And they were h helped against them, and the Hagarites were delivered into their hand, and all that [were] with them: for they cried to God in the battle, and he was intreated of them; because they put their trust in him.
(h) That is, by the Lord who gave them the victory. 5:22 For there fell down many slain, because the war [was] of God. And they dwelt in their steads until the i captivity.
(i) Meaning, the captivity of the ten tribes under Tiglath Pileser. 5:23 And the children of the half tribe of Manasseh dwelt in the land: they increased from Bashan unto k Baalhermon and Senir, and unto mount Hermon.
(k) Otherwise called Baal-gad. 5:26 And the God of Israel l stirred up the spirit of Pul king of Assyria, and the spirit of Tilgathpilneser king of Assyria, and he carried them away, even the Reubenites, and the Gadites, and the half tribe of Manasseh, and brought them unto Halah, and Habor, and Hara, and to the river Gozan, unto this day.
(l) Thus God stirred up the wicked and used them as instruments to execute his just judgment against sinners, although they were led by malice and ambition.