|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
2:1-7 Only a short account of the long stay of Israel in the wilderness is given. God not only chastised them for their murmuring and unbelief, but prepared them for Canaan; by humbling them for sin, teaching them to mortify their lusts, to follow God, and to comfort themselves in him. Though Israel may be long kept waiting for deliverance and enlargement, it will come at last. Before God brought Israel to destroy their enemies in Canaan, he taught them to forgive their enemies in Edom. They must not, under pretence of God's covenant and conduct, think to seize all they could lay hands on. Dominion is not founded in grace. God's Israel shall be well placed, but must not expect to be placed alone in the midst of the earth. Religion must never be made a cloak for injustice. Scorn to be beholden to Edomites, when thou hast an all-sufficient God to depend upon. Use what thou hast, use it cheerfully. Thou hast experienced the care of the Divine providence, never use any crooked methods for thy supply. All this is equally to be applied to the experience of the believer.
Verses 1-23. - THE NEW BEGINNING AND REVIEW OF THE JOURNEYINGS OF ISRAEL FROM KADESH TO THE RIVER ARNON, THE FRONTIER OF THE AMORITES. At this point the language of address is exchanged for that of narrative. The change of subject from "ye abode" to "we turned," became necessary when Moses passed from exhorting and warning the people to narrating what happened after they resumed their journeyings; and gives no support to the notion of some recent German critics, that Moses left Kadesh with only a portion of the people, while the rest remained there, so that no entire departure of Israel from Kadesh ever took place - a notion which the whole tenor of the subsequent narrative contradicts. In obedience to the Divine command (Deuteronomy 1:40), the people, after tarrying for a while at Kadesh, took their departure and marched in the direction of the Yam-suph (Numbers 14:25). Verse 1. - And we compassed mount Seir many days. These "many days" are the thirty-eight years during which the people wandered in the wilderness before they camped the second time at Kadesh; their going round Mount Seir, which was in Edom (Genesis 36:8, 9, 20), is descriptive of their nomadic wanderings in various directions, west, south, and south-east of that mountain (Numbers 21:4). "Crossing the long, lofty mountain chain to the eastward of Ezion-geber (Numbers 21:4, 5), the Israelites issued into the great and elevated plains which are still traversed by the Syrian pilgrims on their way to Mecca; and appear to have followed northward nearly the same route which is now taken by the Syrian Hadgi along the western skirts of this great desert near the mountains of Edom" (Robinson, 'Bib. Res.,' 1:253, 559). Mount Seir is now Jebal and esh-Sherah. This mountain range is a continuation of that which surrounds the eastern side of the Dead Sea. The details of this protracted wandering are passed over by Moses as not required by his purpose here.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Then we turned,.... From Kadesh, where they had been many days, and so also their backs on the land of Canaan, on the borders of which they had been:
and took our journey into the wilderness, by the way of the Red sea, as the Lord spake unto me; Deuteronomy 1:40.
and we compassed Mount Seir many days; many think by Mount Seir is meant the whole mountainous country of Edom, about which they travelled to and fro in the wilderness that lay near it for the space of thirty eight years, which they suppose are meant by many days; but I rather think they came to this mount towards the close of the thirty eight years, before they came to Kadesh, from whence they sent messengers to Edom, which they went round about for several days,
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
De 2:1-37. The Story Is Continued.
1. Then we turned, and took our journey into the wilderness by the way of the Red Sea—After their unsuccessful attack upon the Canaanites, the Israelites broke up their encampment at Kadesh, and journeying southward over the west desert of Tih as well as through the great valley of the Ghor and Arabah, they extended their removals as far as the gulf of Akaba.
we compassed mount Seir many days—In these few words Moses comprised the whole of that wandering nomadic life through which they passed during thirty-eight years, shifting from place to place, and regulating their stations by the prospect of pasturage and water. Within the interval they went northward a second time to Kadesh, but being refused a passage through Edom and opposed by the Canaanites and Amalekites, they again had no alternative but to traverse once more the great Arabah southwards to the Red Sea, where turning to the left and crossing the long, lofty mountain chain to the eastward of Ezion-geber (Nu 21:4, 5), they issued into the great and elevated plains, which are still traversed by the Syrian pilgrims in their way to Mecca. They appear to have followed northward nearly the same route, which is now taken by the Syrian hadji, along the western skirts of this great desert, near the mountains of Edom [Robinson]. It was on entering these plains they received the command, "Ye have compassed this mountain (this hilly tract, now Jebel Shera) long enough, turn ye northward" [De 2:3].
Deuteronomy 2:1 Parallel Commentaries
Deuteronomy 2:1 NIV
Deuteronomy 2:1 NLT
Deuteronomy 2:1 ESV
Deuteronomy 2:1 NASB
Deuteronomy 2:1 KJV
Bible Hub: Online Parallel Bible