|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
21:21-35 Sihon went with his forces against Israel, out of his own borders, without provocation, and so ran upon his own ruin. The enemies of God's church often perish by the counsels they think most wisely taken. Og, king of Bashan, instead of being warned by the fate of his neighbours, to make peace with Israel, makes war with them, which proves in like manner his destruction. Wicked men do their utmost to secure themselves and their possessions against the judgments of God; but all in vain, when the day comes on which they must fall. God gave Israel success, while Moses was with them, that he might see the beginning of the glorious work, though he must not live to see it finished. This was, in comparison, but as the day of small things, yet it was an earnest of great things. We must prepare for fresh conflicts and enemies. We must make no peace or truce with the powers of darkness, nor even treat with them; nor should we expect any pause in our contest. But, trusting in God, and obeying his commands, we shall be more than conquerors over every enemy.
Verse 30. - We have shot at them. וַגִּירָם. A poetical word of somewhat doubtful meaning. It is generally supposed to be a verbal form (first person plural imperf. Kal), from יָרָה, with an unusual suffix (cf. יִלְבָּשָׁם for יִלְבָּשֵׁם in Exodus 29:30). יָרָה has the primary meaning "to shoot at," the secondary, "to overthrow," as in Exodus 15:4. Others, however, derive the word from ארה, a root supposed to mean "burn." Even unto Dibon. See on Numbers 32:34. The site of Nophah, perhaps the Nobah of Judges 8:11, is unknown. Which reacheth unto Medeba. The reading is uncertain here as well as the meaning. The received text has אֵַשֶׁר עַד־מַידבָא, which gives no meaning, but the circle over the resh marks it as suspicious. The Septuagint (πῦρ ἐπ Μωάβ) and the Samaritan evidently read אֵשׁ, and this has been generally followed: "we have wasted even unto Nophah, - with fire unto Medeba." Medeba, of which the ruins are still known by the same name, lay five or six miles south-south-east of Heshbon. It was a fortress in the time of David (1 Chronicles 19:7) and of Omri, as appears from the Moabite stone.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
We have shot at them,.... Either the Amorites at the Moabites, or else the Israelites at the Amorites; for, according to Aben Ezra, these are the words of Moses, though they, with Numbers 21:29, seem rather to be a continuation of the song of the old Amorite bards, describing the ruin of the country of Moab by them; and this clause may be rendered with the next, "their light, or lamp, is perished from Heshbon" (r); or their yoke, as Jarchi, and so the Vulgate Latin version; that is, their kingdom, and the glory of it, as the Targums of Onkelos and Jonathan interpret it, and so Jarchi:
even unto Dibon; which was another city in the land of Moab; see Isaiah 15:2,
and we have laid them waste even unto Nophah, which reached unto Medeba; Nophah perhaps is the same with Nebo, mentioned along with Medeba, Isaiah 15:2, however, they were both places in Moab, and are mentioned to show how far the desolation had or would spread; and the whole is observed to prove, that this part of the country of Moab, now possessed by the Israelites, was taken from them, not by them, but by the Amorites, a people Israel now conquered, and so had a right to what they found them in the possession of.
(r) "lucerna eorum, Heshbon (seilicet) periit", Tigurine version; "regnum eorum periit a Chesbon", Pagninus, Vatablus; "imperium eorum", Munster.
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