And he saw that rest was good
Not the house of the sanctuary, and attendance there, and the service of that, as the Targum of Jerusalem; nor the rest of the world to come, the happiness of a future state, as that of Jonathan; but rather, as Onkelos, the part and portion of the good land allotted him; he saw that a quiet industry exercised in a diligent cultivation and manuring his land was preferable to the hurry of a court, or the fatigue of a camp, or the dangers of the seas: and the land that it was pleasant;
a fine delightful country, which, if well looked after and improved, would produce plenty of pleasant fruits; and within this tribe were the rich vale of Esdraelon or Jezreel, and the fruitful mountains of Gilboa: of the former it is agreed by all travellers the like has never been seen by them, being of vast extent and very fertile, and formerly abounded with corn, wine, and oil; (See Gill on Hosea 1:5) and the latter were famous for their fruitfulness, through the dews that descended on them, ( 2 Samuel 1:21 ) and bowed his shoulders to bear;
the fatigues of ploughing and sowing, and reaping, and carrying in the fruits of the earth: and became a servant unto tribute;
which greatly arises from agriculture and the fruits of the earth; and this tribe chose rather to pay more tribute than the rest, that they might abide at home and attend the business of their fields, when others were called to go forth to war.