And the LORD said to me, Behold, I have begun to give Sihon and his land before you: begin to possess, that you may inherit his land.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Behold, I have begun to give Sihon.—Notice that in all the conquests of Israel Jehovah gave the order to begin the attack. (See Deuteronomy 7:2, and Note on Joshua 13:1.)Joshua 13:18; 1 Chronicles 6:79.
behold, I have begun to give Sihon and his land before thee; by hardening his heart, which was a sure token of his ruin, and a leading step to the delivery of him into the hands of Israel:And the LORD said unto me, Behold, I have begun to give Sihon and his land before thee: begin to possess, that thou mayest inherit his land.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)31. deliver up before thee] See Deuteronomy 1:8. The Sg. is retained as original by Steuern. presumably on the ground of its being addressed to Moses.
Sihon] LXX. Sam. add king of Ḥeshbon, the Amorite.Verses 31-37. - God had determined to give Sihon and his land to the Israelites, and so certainly should this be done, that Moses is exhorted already to begin to seize, in order to possess the land. Sihon initiated hostilities by coming out with all his host to fight against Moses and the Israelites. The battle took place at Jahaz (or Jahazah, or Jahza), a town between Medeba and Dibon (Euseb.; cf. Numbers 33:45), afterwards belonging to the tribe of Reuben (Joshua 13:18), and assigned to the Levites of the line of Merari (Joshua 21:36; 1 Chronicles 6:78). The war was one of extermination, in which all the people of Sihon were destroyed, from one cad of his dominion to the other; all his cities were devoted irredeemably (comp. Leviticus 27:29), and only the cattle and the material property were preserved as booty by the conquerors (Numbers 21:23-26). Deuteronomy 2:24. Whereas the Israelites were not to make war upon the kindred tribes of Edomites, Moabites, and Ammonites, or drive them out of the possessions given to them by God; the Lord had given the Amorites, who had forced as way into Gilead and Bashan, into their hands.
While they were encamped on the Arnon, the border of the Amoritish king of Sihon, He directed them to cross this frontier and take possession of the land of Sihon, and promised that He would give this king with all his territory into their hands, and that henceforward ("this day," the day on which Israel crossed the Arnon) He would put fear and terror of Israel upon all nations under the whole heaven, so that as soon as they heard the report of Israel they would tremble and writhe before them. רשׁ החל, "begin, take," an oratorical expression for "begin to take" (רשׁ in pause for רשׁ, Deuteronomy 1:21). The expression, "all nations under the whole heaven," is hyperbolical; it is not to be restricted, however, to the Canaanites and other neighbouring tribes, but, according to what follows, to be understood as referring to all nations to whom the report of the great deeds of the Lord upon and on behalf of Israel should reach (cf. Deuteronomy 11:25 and Exodus 23:27). אשׁר, so that (as in Genesis 11:7; Genesis 13:16; Genesis 22:14). וחלוּ, with the accent upon the last syllable, on account of the ו consec. (Ewald, 234, a.), from חוּל, to twist, or writhe with pain, here with anxiety.
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