And it came to pass in the fortieth year, in the eleventh month, on the first day of the month, that Moses spoke to the children of Israel, according to all that the LORD had given him in commandment to them;
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)And it came to pass in the fortieth year, in the eleventh month.—The “and” is the real beginning of Deuteronomy, and connects it with the previous books. The moral of these words has been well pointed out by Jewish writers. It was but eleven days’ journey from Sinai to Kadesh-barnea—the place from whence Israel should have begun the conquest of the promised land; but not only eleven days of the second year of the exodus, but eleven months of the fortieth year found them still in the wilderness. “We see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.”
(3, 4) Moses spake unto the children of Israel . . . after he had slain Sihon . . . and Og.—The conquest of these two kings and their territories was one of the exploits of the fortieth year. (See Numbers 21:21-35.) Before the eleventh month of that year, not only Sihon and Og, but also the five princes of Midian, “who were dukes of Sihon, dwelling in the country” (Joshua 13:21), had also been slain (Numbers 31). This completed the conquest, and was the last exploit of Moses’ life. In the period of repose that followed he found a suitable time to exhort the children of Israel, “according unto all that the Lord had given him in commandment unto them” From Deuteronomy 34:8, we learn that “the children of Israel wept for Moses thirty days.” These days would seem to be the last month of the fortieth year, for “on the tenth day of the first month” (probably of the next year, Joshua 4:19) they passed over Jordan. Thus the last delivery of the discourses recorded in Deuteronomy would seem to lie within a single month.Deuteronomy 1:3-4. The eleventh month — Which was but a little before his death. All that the Lord had given him in command — Which shows not only that what he now delivered was in substance the same with what had formerly been commanded, but that God now commanded him to repeat it. He gave this rehearsal and exhortation by divine direction: God appointed him to leave this legacy to the church. Og — His palace or mansion-house was at Astaroth, and he was slain at Edrei.Numbers 13:26 note; and for Horeb see Exodus 3:1.
in the eleventh month; the month Shebet, as the Targum of Jonathan, which answers to part of January and part of February:
in the first day of the month, that Moses spoke unto the children of Israel according to all that the Lord had given him in commandment unto them; repeated to them the several commandments, which the Lord had delivered to him at different times.And it came to pass in the fortieth year, in the eleventh month, on the first day of the month, that Moses spake unto the children of Israel, according unto all that the LORD had given him in commandment unto them;
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)3. And it came to pass in the fortieth year, etc.] P alone of the Hex. documents dates by months and days (I. P. 58, 71); and its division of the year is not that which, beginning with the autumn, prevailed in early Israel, but the Babyl. division which began with the spring. The Babyl. system was first adopted by the Jews, not during the exile (as usually supposed, Marti, Enc. Bibl. ‘Year’), but, as we gather from Baruch’s narratives in the Bk of Jeremiah, during Manasseh’s reign, when the Assyrians imposed on Judah many of their institutions (Jerusalem, ii. 189 f.). Another mark of P is the term for eleventh used in the Hex. by P alone and elsewhere only by late writers. Wellh. (Hist. 384 f.) takes the verse as from the editor who incorporated D with P, but Driver, as the introd. to a summary narrative in P, and as followed immediately by Deuteronomy 32:48-52; the self-same day there being the day specified here. On the date the 40th year and the different dating of JE and D see below on Deuteronomy 2:1-8.
the children of Israel] Another designation characteristic of P; D all Israel. See on Deuteronomy 1:1, Deuteronomy 4:44.Verses 3, 4. - Here is intimated the time when the following addresses were delivered to the people. It was on the first day of the eleventh month in the fortieth year; therefore near the end of their wanderings, and towards the close of the lawgiver's own career. He could thus speak to them according unto all that the Lord had given him in commandment unto them, i.e. in accordance with the legislative contents of the preceding books (comp. Deuteronomy 4:5 23; 5:28-33; 6:1). It was also after the destruction of Sihon and 'Og (Numbers 21:21-35). This also is significant. By the destruction of these kings, who sought to bar the access of the Israelites to the Promised Land, God had given proof that he would indeed fulfill his promise to his people, and had at once laid them under obligations to obedience, and given them encouragement to go forward on the course to which he had called them. The "he" here is Moses, who, at the command of God, had led the Israelites against Sihon and 'Og. Edrei, hod Draa (Numbers 21:33) was the second capital of 'Og; he "reigned in Ashtaroth and in Edrei" (Joshua 13:12). Here, however, it denotes the place where he was slain in battle, and the words "in Edrei" are to be referred to the verb "smote" and not to "dwelt" (cf. Deuteronomy 3:1: Numbers 21:33). Numbers 36:10-12 it is related that, in accordance with these instructions, the five daughters of Zelophehad, whose names are repeated from Numbers 26:33 and Numbers 27:1 (see also Joshua 17:3), married husbands from the families of the Manassites, namely, sons of their cousins (? uncles), and thus their inheritance remained in their father's tribe (על היה, to be and remain upon anything).
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