The Horims also dwelled in Seir beforetime; but the children of Esau succeeded them, when they had destroyed them from before them, and dwelled in their stead; as Israel did to the land of his possession, which the LORD gave to them.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
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 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.Object. God had not yet given it unto them.
Answ. 1. The past tense is here put for the future, will give, after the manner of the prophets.
2. Things are oft said to be done when they are only resolved, or decreed, or attempted to be done, in which sense Reuben is said to deliver Joseph, Genesis 37:21; Balak to fight against Israel, Joshua 24:9; Abraham to have offered his son, Hebrews 11:17.
3. God may well be said to have given it, not only because he had purposed and promised to give it, but also because he was now about to give it, and had already given them some part of it, and that as an earnest of the whole.
4. This may be particularly understood of that part of Israel’s possession which was beyond Jordan, which God had actually given to them, that is, to some of them, for even the land of Canaan on this side Jordan was not given to all of them, but only to some of the tribes.
Of the Horims, see Genesis 14:6 36:20. Genesis 14:6. They seem to be so called from their dwelling in holes and caves in rocks, which the southern part of Edom or Idumea was full of, and to be the same the Greeks call Troglodytae:
but the children of Esau succeeded them; Esau and his sons marrying among them, made way for getting the country into their possession, as appears from Genesis 36:2 and in which they afterwards settled themselves by the dint of sword, since it follows:
when they had destroyed them from before them, and dwelt in their stead; even in Seir where they had dwelt, afterwards called Edom, from one of the names of Esau, Genesis 36:8.
as Israel did in the land of his possession, which the Lord gave unto them; because this is said before the Canaanites were drove out of their land, and it was possessed by the Israelites, some think this was written by Ezra, or some other hand; but there is no need to suppose that; Moses, by a spirit of prophecy, and in faith of the promises and prophecies of God relating to this affair, which were just now about to be fulfilled, might write this; besides, it may refer to what was already done to the kingdoms of Sihon and Og, kings of the Amorites; which had been taken from them, and given to the tribes of Reuben and Gad, and the half tribe of Manasseh; and the above instances as well as this may be observed, to encourage the people of Israel that they should succeed in dispossessing the Canaanites, and settling in their land, in like manner as dispossessions of this kind had already been made.The Horims also dwelt in Seir beforetime; but the children of Esau succeeded them, when they had destroyed them from before them, and dwelt in their stead; as Israel did unto the land of his possession, which the LORD gave unto them.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)12. The Horites] Heb. the Ḥorîm; Sam. LXX, Ḥorî. Possibly cave-dwellers, cp. Heb. ḥôr, Ar. ḥawr, cave or hole. Cave-dwelling is ascribed by Jerome (on Obadiah 1:6) to the Edomites of his day; and is fully verified for the Nabatean period, at least, by the remains about Petra; but it is precarious to reason back from these facts to the meaning of the name of the primitive race, which preceded ‘Esau in Mt Se‘îr, especially as other etymologies of Ḥorî are possible. Sayce (Higher Criticism and the Monuments, 204) derives it from a root = white as if in contrast to the red-skinned ‘Edom. R. A. S. Macalister has discovered at Gezer the remains of a pre-Semitic, cave-dwelling race, using stone-implements, and identifies these with the Ḥorîm.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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