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The Art Scroll Chumash on Mattos 32:16 cites Abarbanel who says that they intended to rebuild and refortify the cities. I have seen in a number of places that had they left those remaining behind defenseless, the "inhabitants of the land" surrounding the areas captured would have moved in and conquered the areas occupied by Reuven and Gad. The Art Scroll ...


Divrei Hayamim I 5:10 and 5:19-22 mentions a war between the two and a half tribes and the "Hagarites" in the time of Shaul (and there's a Midrash - right now I don't remember the location - that says that actually it was in the time of Yehoshua). So even if the Emorites were wiped out, there were certainly other dangerous tribes and nations.

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