And the children of Israel
In the land of Canaan:
sent unto the children of Reuben, and to the children of Gad, and to
the half tribe of Manasseh, unto the land of Gilead;
they were possessed of, and had now returned unto and dwelt in; hither they sent an embassy to them, to inquire into the truth of what they had heard, and the reason of it, before they went to war with them, or proclaimed it, or took any further steps towards it; and which they were obliged to do by the above law, when there was any suspicion of idolatry, and any good ground and reason for it, ( Deuteronomy 13:14 ) ; and at the head of this deputation was
Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest;
a man zealous for the Lord of hosts, and his glory, of which there is an instance in ( Numbers 25:7 Numbers 25:11 Numbers 25:13 ) ; and so a fit person to be employed in this affair, who would be faithful, bold, and zealous, as well as capable of giving advice and counsel to both parties, if needful.