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See Talmud Bavli Shabbat 89: מדבר סיני שירדה שנאה לעכו"ם עליו ומה שמו חורב שמו ופליגא דר' אבהו דא"ר אבהו הר סיני שמו ולמה נקרא הר חורב שירדה חורבה לעכו"ם עליו [Why was it called] the Wilderness of Sinai, because hostility [sin'ah] toward idolaters descended thereon. Whilst what was its [real] name? Its name was Horeb. Now they disagree with R. Abbahu, ...


Sifsei Chachamim brings this question from Rabi Elazar Mizrachi who left it as a question. The Sifsei Chachamim goes on to suggest that this limud is to tell us that Shevet Levi was not even involved in the council to send spies. He quotes Rashi, who's words are now clearer, who says Levi was not with them, but did not say Levi did not go with them.


The Gur Aryeh explains this Rashi. He cites the question of Rabbi Eliyahu Mizrachi (the Re'em) והקשה הרא״ם, דכבר כתיב בפרשת שלח (במדבר יג, ל-טו) שנים עשר אנשים, כל אחד בשמו, ולא נכתב כלל אחד משבט לוי עמהם, and then answers: ואין זה קשיא, דהאי ׳מגיד׳, פירושו, מה שהוצרך משה רבנו עליו השלום לומר לישראל ״שנים עשר אנשים״, כדי לומר משה לישראל ...


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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