Verse 14. Before their brethren - In the front of all of them; which was but reasonable; because they had the advantage of their brethren, having actually received their portion, which their brethren had only in hope, because they were freed from those impediments which the rest were exposed to, their wives, and children, and estates being safely lodged; and to prevent their withdrawing themselves from the present service, which they otherwise would have had temptation to do, because of the nearness of their habitations. Armed - For by this time they were well furnished with arms, which they had either from the Egyptians, Amalekites, or Amorites, from whom they had taken them; or by purchase from those people by whose borders they passed. Men of valour - All such were obliged to go over if occasion required it, but Joshua took only some of them, because they were sufficient for his purpose, and because some were fit to be left, both to secure their own wives, children, and possessions, and to prevent their enemies on that side from giving them disturbance in their enterprise upon Canaan.
Verse 16. And they answered - Not the two tribes and an half only, but the officers of all the people, in their name, concurring with the divine appointment, by which Joshua was set over them. Thus must we swear allegiance to our Lord Jesus, as the captain of our salvation.
Verse 17. Unto thee - The same obedience which we owed, to Moses, we promise unto thee. With Moses - This is not a limitation of their obedience, as if they would not obey him any longer than he was prosperous, but an additional prayer for him. As we have hereby promised thee our obedience, so our prayer shall be, that God would bless and prosper thee, as he did Moses.