And what the land [is] that they dwell in, whether it [be]
good or bad
Whether the air is good, the climate temperate, and the earth well watered, and has good convenience of springs, fountains, and rivers, and so wholesome or healthful; or otherwise, which is the first thing they were directed to observe, though here put in the second place:
and what cities [they be] they dwell in, whether in tents or strong
whether in tents, as the Israelites now lived, and as the Kedarenes, as Aben Ezra notes, and other Arabians, who encamped in tents, or who dwelt in villages, and unwalled towns, unfortified cities, according to the Targums of Onkelos and Jonathan; or whether in fortified cities, towns, and garrisons; by which it would appear whether it would be easy to come at them, and fall upon them, or difficult to subdue and conquer them; for if their cities were fortified, it would not be so easy to take them, and would require time. Jarchi thinks, that by this it might be known whether they were men of strength and courage, or whether weak and fearful persons; seeing if they dwelt in villages they were strong men, and depended on their own strength, but if they dwelt in fortified cities, they were weak.