Deuteronomy 2:10
The Emims dwelled therein in times past, a people great, and many, and tall, as the Anakims;
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(10-12) These three verses which follow should be read parenthetically.

The Emims.—See Genesis 14:5-6, for the first mention of Rephaim, Zuzim, Emim, and Horim. (The termination im is plural in Hebrew, and, like cherubim, does not need the additional s.) These tribes were flourishing in the time of Abraham, but were conquered before the exodus.

The children of Esau succeeded them.—A partial mixture of the two races resulted in this case, and from their union sprang the Amalekites, Israel’s inveterate foes (Genesis 36:12; Genesis 36:22).

As Israel did unto the land of his possession.—On the east of Jordan in Moses’ lifetime, as well as on the west of Jordan under Joshua. It is not necessary, therefore, to make the parenthesis (Deuteronomy 2:10-12) editorial, though it forms no essential part of Moses’ speech.

Deuteronomy 2:10-12. The Emims — Men terrible for stature and strength, as their very name imports, whose expulsion by the Moabites is here noted as a great encouragement to the Israelites, for whose sake he would much more drive out the wicked and accursed Canaanites. Which the Lord gave —

The past tense is here put for the future, will give, after the manner of the prophets.2:8-23 We have the origin of the Moabites, Edomites, and Ammonites. Moses also gives an instance older than any of these; the Caphtorims drove the Avims out of their country. These revolutions show what uncertain things wordly possessions are. It was so of old, and ever will be so. Families decline, and from them estates are transferred to families that increase; so little continuance is there in these things. This is recorded to encourage the children of Israel. If the providence of God has done this for Moabites and Ammonites, much more would his promise do it for Israel, his peculiar people. Cautions are given not to meddle with Moabites and Ammonites. Even wicked men must not be wronged. God gives and preserves outward blessings to wicked men; these are not the best things, he has better in store for his own children.For the Emims, Horims, and Anakims, see the marginal references. These verses are either parenthetical or the insertion of a later hand. 8-18. we passed … through the way of the plain—the Arabah or great valley, from Elath ("trees") (the Ailah of the Greeks and Romans). The site of it is marked by extensive mounds of rubbish.

Ezion-geber—now Akaba, both were within the territory of Edom; and after making a circuit of its southeastern boundary, the Israelites reached the border of Moab on the southeast of the Salt Sea. They had been forbidden by divine command to molest the Moabites in any way; and this special honor was conferred on that people not on their own account, for they were very wicked, but in virtue of their descent from Lot. (See on [113]De 23:3). Their territory comprised the fine country on the south, and partly on the north of the Arnon. They had won it by their arms from the original inhabitants, the Emims, a race, terrible, as their name imports, for physical power and stature (Ge 14:5), in like manner as the Edomites had obtained their settlement by the overthrow of the original occupiers of Seir, the Horims (Ge 14:6), who were troglodytes, or dwellers in caves. Moses alluded to these circumstances to encourage his countrymen to believe that God would much more enable them to expel the wicked and accursed Canaanites. At that time, however, the Moabites, having lost the greater part of their possessions through the usurpations of Sihon, were reduced to the small but fertile region between the Zered and the Arnon.

Emims; men terrible for stature and strength, as their very name imports; see Genesis 14:5; whose expulsion by the Moabites is here noted as a great encouragement to the Israelites, for whose sake he would much more drive out the wicked and accursed Canaanites. The Emims dwelt there in time past,.... We read of them as early as the times of Chedorlaomer, Genesis 14:5 when their dwelling was in Kirjathaim, a city which Sihon king of the Amorites took from the Moabites, and which being taken from him, was with others given to the tribe of Reuben, Numbers 32:37. These are by some thought to be the same with the Yemim which Anah found and met with in the wilderness, and defeated, which we render "mules", Genesis 36:24. They had their name from the fear and terror they put men into because of their gigantic stature and great strength, as follows: it is probable they were the descendants of Ham:

a people great and many, and tall as the Anakims; who were very numerous, of a very bulky size of body, and of high stature, like the giants the spies had seen at Hebron, the sons of Anak, a noted giant there, Numbers 13:22.

The {f} Emims dwelt therein in times past, a people great, and many, and tall, as the Anakims;

(f) Signifying that as these giants were driven out for their sins: so the wicked when their sins are ripe, cannot avoid God's plagues.

10. The Emim] Only here and Genesis 14:5 which places the Emîm in Shaweh-Ḳiriathaim, probably the plain of the present Ḳureiyât, N. of Arnon. Whether the name is of an actual people or of mythical formation like Repha’îm, Nephilîm, etc. as if from ’emah, fear, or Ar. ’iyam ‘serpent’ (Schwally, ZATW, xviii. 135 f.), is uncertain.

10–12. An archaeological note, rightly put in brackets by R.V., written after the settlement in W. Palestine, as is clear from the end of Deuteronomy 2:12. This of course does not in itself prove that the note is by a later hand than the rest of the discourse.Verses 10-12. - The mention of the Moabites gives occasion to the author to introduce some notices of the ancient inhabitants of Edom and Moab. In Moab dwelt, in the earlier times, the Emim, a giant race, potent and numerous, like the 'Anakim. They were also, like the 'Anakim reckoned among the Rephaim, but were by the Moabites called Emim. The word Emim means frightful, and was given to these men probably because of their huge stature and fierce aspect. Anakims (see Deuteronomy 1:28). Rephaim seems to have been a generic name of these gigantic Canaanitish tribes (see Genesis 14:5; Genesis 15:20). The Horim appear from the name (from חוד, a cave) to have been a Troglodyte race, inhabiting the caves which abound in the Edomite range, and with whom, perhaps, originated the conception which was at a later period carried out in the marvelous rock city of Petra. Of their own origin nothing is known. As Israel did [or has done] unto the land of his possession. This cannot be regarded as uttered proleptically; it must either be the insertion of a later age, or it must refer to the conquest which had actually been made before this by the Israelites of the land to the east of the Jordan. and which is, in Deuteronomy 3:20, described as the possession which the Lord had given to the two tribes and a half to whom it had been assigned. The latter is the preferable supposition. When they had gone through the Arabah to the southern extremity, the Lord commanded them to turn northwards, i.e., to go round the southern end of Mount Seir, and proceed northwards on the eastern side of it (see at Numbers 21:10), without going to war with the Edomites (התגּרה, to stir oneself up against a person to conflict, מלחמה), as He would not give them a foot-breadth of their land; for He had given Esau (the Edomites) Mount Seir for a possession. For this reason they were to buy victuals and water of them for money (כּרה, to dig, to dig water, i.e., procure water, as it was often necessary to dig wells, and not merely to draw it, Genesis 26:25. The verb כּרה does not signify to buy).
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