therefore it is said in a book, 'The wars of Jehovah,' -- 'Waheb in Suphah, And the brooks of Arnon;
Numbers 21:14 Additional TranslationsClarke's Commentary on the Bible
The book of the wars of the Lord - There are endless conjectures about this book, both among ancients and moderns. Dr. Lightfoot's opinion is the most simple, and to me bears the greatest appearance of being the true one. "This book seems to have been some book of remembrances and directions, written by Moses for Joshua's private instruction for the management of the wars after him. See Exodus 17:14-16. It may be that this was the same book which is called the book of Jasher, i. e., the book of the upright, or a directory for Joshua, from Moses, what to do and what to expect in his wars; and in this book it seems as if Moses directed the setting up of archery, see 2 Samuel 1:18, and warrants Joshua to command the sun, and expect its obedience, Joshua 10:13."
What he did in the Red Sea, and in the brooks of Arnon - This clause is impenetrably obscure. All the versions, all the translators, and all the commentators, have been puzzled with it. Scarcely any two agree. The original is את והב בסופה eth vaheb besuphah, which our translators render, what he did in the Red Sea, following here the Chaldee Targum; but not satisfied with this version, they have put the most difficult words in English letters in the margin, Vaheb in Suphah. Calmet's conjecture here is ingenious, and is adopted by Houbigant; instead of והב vaheb, he reads זרד zared. Now a ז zain may be easily mistaken for a ו vau, and vice versa; and a ה he for a ר, resh, if the left limb happened to be a little obliterated, which frequently occurs, not only in MSS., but in printed books; the ב beth also might be mistaken for a ד daleth, if the ruled line on which it stood happened in that place to be a little thicker or blacker than usual. Thus then והב vaheb might be easily formed out of זרד zared, mentioned Numbers 21:12; the whole might then be read, They encamped at the brook Zared, and they came to Suphah, and thence to the brook Arnon. Take the passage as we may, it is evidently defective. As I judge the whole clause to have been a common proverb in those days, and Vaheb to be a proper name, I therefore propose the following translation, which I believe to be the best: From Vaheb unto Suph, and unto the streams of Arnon. If we allow it to have been a proverbial expression, used to point out extensive distance, then it was similar to that well known phrase, From Dan even unto Beersheba.
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in the book
Joshua 10:13 And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves on their enemies...
2 Samuel 1:18 (Also he bade them teach the children of Judah the use of the bow: behold, it is written in the book of Jasher.)
What he did. or, Vaheb in Suphah. The following seems to be the sense of this passage; 'From Vaheb in Suphah, and the torrents of Arnon, even the effusion of the torrents, which goeth down to the dwelling of Ar, and lieth for the boundary of Moab; even from thence to the well; (which is the well of which Jehovah spake unto Moses, Gather the people, and I will give them water. Then sang Israel this song; Spring up, O Well! Answer ye to it. The well, princes digged it; even nobles of the people digged it, by a decree, upon their border;) and from the wilderness (or the well, as in LXX) to Mattanah; and from Mattanah,' The whole of this, from ver.
Numbers 21:14-20 Why it is said in the book of the wars of the LORD, What he did in the Red sea, and in the brooks of Arnon...
, is a fragment from 'the book of the wars of Jehovah,' probably a book of remembrances or directions written by Moses for the use of Joshua, and describes the several boundaries of the land of Moab. This rendering removes every obscurity, and obviates every difficulty.
Numbers 21:14 Parallel CommentariesAmon Arnon Book Brooks Ravines Red Sea Valley Valleys Wadis Wars WhereforeAmon Arnon Book Brooks Ravines Red Sea Valley Valleys Wadis Wars WhereforeTHE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica®.
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