|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 33. - They turned and went up by the way of Bashan. The brevity of the narrative does not allow us to know who went upon this expedition, or why they went. It may have been only the detachment which had reconnoitered and taken Jaazer, and they may have found themselves threatened by the forces of Og, and so led on to further conquests beyond the Jabbok. Og the king of Bashan. Og was himself of the aboriginal giant race which had left so many remnants, or at least so many memories, in these regions (see on Deuteronomy 2:10-12, 20-23; Joshua 12:4; 13:12); but he is classed with Sihon as a king of the Amorites (Joshua 2:10) because his people were chiefly at least of that race. Bashan itself comprised the plain now known as Jaulan and Haulan beyond the Jarmuk (now Mandhur), the largest affluent of the Jordan, which joins it a few miles below the lake of Tiberias. The kingdom of Og, however, extended over the northern and larger part of Gilead, a much more fertile territory than Bashan proper (see on Deuteronomy 3:1-17). At Edrei. Probably the modern Edhra'ah, or Der'a, situate on a branch of the Jarmuk, some twenty-four miles from Bozrah. The ancient city lies buried beneath the modern village, and was built, like the other cities of Bashan, in the most massive style of architecture. The cities of Og were so strong that the Israelites could not have dispossessed him by any might of their own if he had abode behind his walls. Either confidence in his warlike prowess or some more mysterious cause (see on Joshua 24:12) impelled him to leave his fortifications, and give battle to the Israelites to his own utter defeat.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And they turned,.... From Jaazer, after they had taken it, and came back a little way:
and went up by the way of Bashan; which was a nearer way to Canaan, a fine country abounding with oxen and sheep, having rich pastures, and very famous for its oaks; it had its name from the mountain of Bashan in it, and has been since called Batanea; it was at this time in the hands of the Amorites, and from them it was taken by Israel, as follows: who marched this way for that purpose, or at least were so directed by the providence of God for that end:
and Og king of Bashan went out against them; who was of the race of the giants, and he himself of a gigantic stature, and was a king of the Amorites, as well as Sihon, Deuteronomy 3:8, he came out in an hostile manner against Israel, to stop them going any further:
he, and all his people: out of his many cities, a numerous army no doubt:
to the battle at Edrei; where it was fought between him and Israel. Jerom says (t) it was in his time called Adara, a famous city of Arabia, twenty four or twenty five miles from Bozra, and six from Ashtaroth Karnaim, the ancient seat of the Rephaim, or giants from whom Og sprung, Genesis 14:5, and was the seat of Og now, from whence he came to Edrei or Adara, to meet and fight Israel there; see Deuteronomy 1:4.
(t) De locis Heb. fol. 87. I. & 92. M.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
33. they turned and went up by the way of Bashan—a name given to that district from the richness of the soil—now Batanea or El-Bottein—a hilly region east of the Jordan lying between the mountains of Hermon on the north and those of Gilead on the south.
Og—a giant, an Amoritish prince, who, having opposed the progress of the Israelites, was defeated.
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